Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Bradley, Martha Sonntag ; Roberts, Allen Dale
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"White" or "Pure": Five Vignettes Douglas Campbell In 1981 the First Presidency of the LDS church changed 2 Nephi 30:6 in the Book of Mormon from "and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people" to "and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people ..." In the following essay I present five vignettes as background to the change from "white" to "pure" in official LDS scripture. Vignette 1. Restoring a Plain and Precious Truth Our story begins with the 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon. After LDS missionaries had exhausted this first edition, Joseph Smith had Parley P. Pratt publish a second edition in 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio. Three things happened in 1839 that affect our story: (1) Joseph Smith sent the Quorum of the Twelve to England; (2) missionary work exhausted the second edition of the Book of Mormon by December 1839; and (3) on 29 December 1839 the Nauvoo, Illinois, High Council voted to publish a third edition of the Book of Mormon. After delays in fund raising, Eben-ezer Robinson published the third edition in October 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In this 1840 edition, for the first time, 2 Nephi 30:6 reported that the Lamanites became "a pure and delightsome people" rather than "a white and delightsome people." Not knowing that a third edition was being planned 4,000 miles away (the trans-Atlantic telegraph was not in operation until 1866), the Twelve held their April 1840 conference in England and voted to publish the Book of Mormon in England by the end of the year. The Twelve faithfully reprinted the second (1837) edition. Due to delays, this edition did not appear until January 1841. The church thus had two different editions at the same time: the American 1840 Nauvoo and the English 1841 edition.