What was on the lost pages of the Book of Mormon? Historian Don Bradley has been wondering this ever since he was in primary!
Don: Since primary, yeah. I think I was ten. I was in South Bend, Indiana Ward where Notre Dame is, and Mike Standiford was my primary teacher, Blazer A. We did a unit on Church History on the Presidents of the Church. Somewhere I even got coloring sheets that were stapled together into a little book. I need to find where that’s at. It shows Joseph Smith and Martin Harris and it tells the story of the lost pages. I remember being there in that primary class and thinking, “We’re missing part of the Book of Mormon? What was in it?” Because like if you grow up a Latter-day Saint, how foundational is the Book of Mormon?
Only absolutely foundational, right? As a child, you’re going to hear more about the Book of Mormon than anything and how foundational it is. So, the idea that there was a big part of it that we didn’t have, nobody even talked about what was in it. This was just wild to me. I think that when we encounter a funny idea, and then we encounter it over and over and over again, it ceases to become funny to us. We just get sort of inured to it. We get used to it. That’s, I think, what has mostly happened or to a good extent has happened to us as a Latter-day Saint culture is we’re so used to the idea that part of our foundational scripture is missing, that we didn’t even give it much thought. Isn’t that kind of weird that we’re missing? In fact, you know what part we’re missing. We’re missing the first part. We’re missing the original first part of the Book of Mormon.
Don has found clues not only in the Book of Mormon, but in various accounts of Joseph’s friends and relatives. Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our other episodes where Don discusses his research on the Fanny Alger relationship with Joseph Smith!