Editor Paul Hoskisson reflects on his final issue of the Journal

04.08.2014 | The Maxwell Institute

Volume 22/2 of the Journal of Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture is finally available! It includes great pieces like Mark Wright’s discussion of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture and John Hilton III’s perceptive piece on Jacob’s influence upon other Book of Mormon authors. Each article is available on the Journal’s home page and printed copies are even now being mailed. With this issue, Paul Y. Hoskisson’s editorship of the Journal comes to an end. I asked Dr. Hoskisson to write a retrospective letter to past and current Journal readers. His letter appears below. On behalf of the Maxwell Institute I extend gratitude to Paul for his years of research and service. —Blair Hodges

After four years as editor of the Journal, I am stepping down and turning the reins over to my younger friend and colleague, Brian Hauglid. I wish him the same (or even more) joy, satisfaction, and success that I have had.

Rather than being a naturally born editor, I am one of those who desperately needs the help of editors. Therefore, it was with great misgiving and trepidation that I assumed the editorship in 2009 of the Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture (a title I inherited and tried to live up to), beginning with volume 18/2. With the next issue, volume 22/2, I will have ceased being the editor of the Journal, and I plan to retire from active academic life by the end of the summer of 2014. If the Journal has achieved any success, it can be attributed to my associate editor, Shirley Ricks, and the ever helpful and competent staff of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

Being a philologist by training and by avocation, I have predispositions toward certain kinds of articles. That is, I personally liked some submissions more than others. But I am appreciative of a wide range of articles, as I hope our readers also are appreciative. Therefore, rather than pointing to individual authors and articles as making outstanding contributions, I would rather have my tenure as editor judged by the range of topics and the depth of coverage. Great effort was made to present issues in such a way that both the seasoned scholar and the informed Gospel Doctrine teacher would be educated, edified, and strengthened.

I am grateful to John Sorenson, the editor who introduced the current glossy and colorful format. With the precedent he set, I tried to bring appropriate color and design to the Journal, and at the same time to continue the high standard of precision and LDS scholarship that has marked the past issues. It was also my objective to present new ideas and different, faithful perspectives on the scriptures of the Restoration. I was blessed with submissions and solicited manuscripts that seemed timely and that closely fit the editorial model I had set for the Journal.

It was and is my firm belief that all universities should serve their three constituents: the academy, the sponsoring institution (whether that be the state, or, in BYU’s case, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and the general public, who ultimately provide the capital to fund every university. These three constituents were always in the back of my mind when I made editorial choices. My editorial staff and I also went out of our way to find young LDS artists to provide novel, high-quality illustrations, while at the same time trying to find lesser-known older art works to educate and help enliven the pages of the Journal. The results were often quite felicitous.

Because this will be the last issue of the Journal in the glossy, full-color, large format, I decided to push some submissions, which would benefit from the current format, to the front of the publishing queue. This has necessitated more work and longer preparation time, and therefore a delay in the appearance of volume 22/2. But the end result will be almost a double issue of the Journal. I apologize for the delay in bringing this last issue under my editorship to light. It will be well worth your wait.

Yours,

Paul Y. Hoskisson
Editor, Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 2009-2013.