Editor's Notebook

Editor’s Notebook

Paul Y. Hoskisson

With this issue a new
editor has taken over the helm of the
Journal. Because of a recent church calling, it was
necessary for Andrew H. Hedges, the immediate past editor of the
Journal, to step down after
only a short time. The new editor, Paul Y. Hoskisson, an erstwhile contributor
to and long-time reader of the
Journal, agreed to begin immediately. He brings a wide range of interests and
professional experience.

This current issue forms a
transition from the editorship of Andrew Hedges to myself. We will miss Andrew;
he took the editorship seriously and served faithfully.

Terryl Givens has provided the
first article in this issue, which makes available in print his presentation of
the first Laura F. Willes Center Book of Mormon Lecture. Givens has already
amassed a considerable and acclaimed body of scholarship on the Book of Mormon.1 In this article he discusses provenance as
an important theme in the Book of Mormon, pointing out its influence on the
structure and purpose of the book. He also discusses the themes of revelation,
Christology, Zion, and scripture in the Book of Mormon.

The year 2009 is the hundredth
anniversary of the translation of the Book of Mormon into Japanese. To help
celebrate this milestone in the spread of the Restoration in these latter days,
Shinji Takagi has written an exploration and commemoration of this seminal

Most well-known religions were founded in the misty past, with little if any contemporaneous
documentation. Not so the restoration of the gospel in these latter days.
Extant newspaper and other published accounts open windows onto interesting
vistas of many of the early events of the Restoration. Matthew Roper offers Journal readers a few glimpses of the rich material about the Book of Mormon published
in newspapers contemporaneous with Joseph Smith.

With the current change of
editors of the Journal, it is only appropriate to include here for
our readers a retrospective, written from the perspective of all the Journal editors, beginning with the very first editor.

Perhaps in the future historians
might declare that, with the exception of our Restoration scriptures, the
publication of the Joseph Smith Papers ranks as the most important
publication in these latter days. Therefore, Matthew Grow’s review of the
second book of the papers project, also the first book of the Revelations and
Translations series, will be of interest to our readers.

With this issue we begin a new
feature, “Worthy of Another Look: Classics from the Past.” In 1993
Robert Millet published “The Book of Mormon, Historicity, and Faith.”2 This paper is as relevant today as when it
was first published. One of the directions biblical studies had taken, and
continues to take, denies that scriptural events need be historical. On the
contrary, it is important that Latter-day Saints know why many of the events
recorded in the scriptures must be historical.

I hope you enjoy the variety and
scholarly acumen that our authors have provided for your enjoyment and
edification. As editor, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send
them to jbmrs@byu.edu.


1. See,
for example, The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and
the Construction of Heresy
(New York: Oxford University Press,
1997); By
the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); The Latter-day Saint Experience in America (Westport, CN: Greenwood, 2004); People of Paradox: A History of Mormon
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); The Book of
Mormon: A Very Short Introduction
(New York: Oxford University
Press, 2009); “The Book of Mormon and Dialogic Revelation,” Journal
of Book of Mormon Studies
10/2 (2001): 16–27.

2. Journal of Book
of Mormon Studies
2/2 (1993): 1–13.