The Book of Mormon and Other Hidden Books

Out of Darkness Unto Light


If it existed in only one ancient copy, says John Tvedtnes, the Book of Mormon may have been unique. But in virtually every other way it resembles many ancient books. In this present volume, Tvedtnes shows perhaps fifty things about ancient records that must have been hilarious in 1830 but make perfect sense today: the ubiquity of intentionally hiding books in all kinds of ingenious containers made of many materials, including stone boxes and ceramic jars; books incised on obdurate surfaces, like metals, bones, and ivory; inked papyri and parchments treated with swaddling cloths soaked in cedar and citrus oils to prevent decay; many sealed and open records; waterproofing sealants like bitumen and white lime mortar; caves serving as repositories of treasures buried in many sacred mountains; the ancient perception of permanence and eternalism associated with the preservative functions of writing; and numerous ancient traditions of angels as writers and guardians of written records. Many twentieth-century discoveries of ancient documents have made all of this visible.

About the Author

John A. Tvedtnes

John A. Tvedtnes (M.A. in Linguistics and M.A. in Middle East Studies (Hebrew), University of Utah) was a senior resident scholar with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He has taught at the University of Utah and at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies and has lectured in Israel and the United States.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Speech from the Dust
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Speech from the Dust
  • Hidden Records
  • Hiding Records in Boxes
  • Sealed Books
  • Angels as Guardians of Hidden Books
  • Hiding Sacred Relics
  • Mountain Repositories
  • A Book That Does Not Wear Out
  • Books in the Treasury
  • The Records Come Forth
  • Restoring Lost Scriptures
  • The Book of Mormon and the Apocalypse of Paul
  • Glowing Stones in Ancient and Medieval Lore
  • Annotated Bibliography
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Publication Information

  • Subject: Book of Mormon
  • Publication Year: 2000
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0934893534
  • Page Count: 288
  • Price: $ 14.95
  • Imprint: FARMS

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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