On Sept. 18 and 19, 2020 in Provo, Utah, the Interpreter Foundation sponsored a virtual conference, “Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses.” Dr. Noel Reynolds and I collaborated on a paper that I presented, joined by Noel in the Q&A session. The presentation and our Q&A are in the Youtube video below. You can also read a draft of the paper on the Interpreter Foundation website, where you can also see the video and listen to the audio recording.
In our paper, we propose that the extensive textual relationships between the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon is not easily explained by Joseph just relying on Book of Mormon language when he later dictated the Book of Moses, for many of the relationships suggest a direction of dependency from the Book of Moses to the Book of Mormon, as if something like the Book of Moses were on the brass plates used by Book of Mormon writers. In some cases, it is as if the Book of Moses text provides the backstory that Book of Mormon writers allude to, wherein knowledge of the relevant Book of Moses passage adds meaning to the allusions in the Book of Mormon text. Interestingly, writers most familiar with the brass plates like Nephi tend to provide the heaviest textual linkages to the Book of Moses. Further, the heavy relationship between the two texts is not evident when we compare the Book of Mormon with the Book of Abraham. The dozens of textual parallels not based on the KJV may provide an unexpected and fascinating insight into the ancient roots of both the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon, via its ancient roots in the brass plates.
We recognize that this is a controversial position, but please consider the data presented in the paper and briefly summarized in the presentation before you dismiss the hypothesis.
An array of other speakers participated in the conference. The Interpreter Foundation is providing free access to the papers and to video recordings of most of the presentations. The presentations include:
- “Adam, Eve, the Book of Moses, and the Temple: The Story of Receiving Christ’s Atonement” by Elder Bruce C. Hafen (emeritus) and Sister Marie K. Hafen
- “Centralizing Scriptural Resources” by Ryan Dahle
- “Moses 1 and the Apocalypse of Abraham: Twin Sons of Different Mothers?” by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, David J. Larsen, and Stephen T. Whitlock
- “‘Strong Like Unto Moses’: The Case for Ancient Roots in the Book of Moses Based on Book of Mormon Usage of Content Apparently from the Brass Plates,” by Noel Reynolds and Jeff Lindsay
- “‘The Word of My Power’: The Divine Word in the Book of Moses” by Matthew L. Bowen
- “The Priestly Interests of Moses the Levite” by John W. Welch and Jackson Abhau
- “Mortality Reconsidered: The Book of Moses as a Pre–Augustinian Text” by Terryl L. Givens
- “‘This Thing Is a Similitude’: A Typological Approach to Moses 5:1–15 and Ancient Apocryphal Literature” by David Calabro
- “‘Enoch Walked with God, and He Was Not’: Where Did Enoch Go After Genesis?” by Jared Ludlow