To the Reader—
The Book of Mormon is a source of spiritual guidance and inspiration for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and likely many others. This book of scripture has long been revered as a testament of faith and an integral part of the LDS Church’s canon.
In recent years, however, many have sought to gain a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon through the modernization and abridgment of its content. The translation and abridgment of the Book of Mormon is a labor intensive process. It continues to involve multiple versions of edits and rewrites, and an extensive review by hand-picked volunteers. In comparison to my other abridgment projects like Anna Karenina, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Peter Pan, and the epic Moby Dick, each of those projects took just over a month to complete. My ongoing effort to abridge the Book of Mormon has spanned well over two years so far.
The purpose of this process is to make the Book of Mormon more accessible to some contemporary audiences; it is not meant to replace the original Book of Mormon. Most of those that are already comfortable reading the Book of Mormon, will prefer to read it in its original King James scriptural language.
This modern interpretation is not meant to be used as a study guide, but as a means of exploring the original book of Mormon in an accessible manner. As such, it is important to note that not every detail, nuance or theological purpose of the original book of Mormon is included in this translation.
A Word of Understanding and Caution
Many readers will find this modern interpretation of the Book of Mormon unsatisfying or even irreverent. We are used to hearing the word of God in formal King James-style language. This plainer speech with modernized themes may initially feel less sacred or divine.
In the opinion of those working on this project, God is not bound by 17th century English. God has spoken to people of all times in ways they understand – whether formal or casual, lofty or down-to-earth. The truth of God’s message does not depend on the era of language.
This modern rendering aims to make this substantial book more accessible to today’s readers. The goal is to open it’s teachings to a wider audience, not to provide the definitive interpretation. More than precise literalism, the spiritual essence and enlightenment within these pages is what matters most to us.
*This interpretation is not endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.