Download Excerpt from the Cultural History (vol.1)

In this sample from CHAPTER FIVE  [Excerpt_CulturalHistoryBoMVol1ch5] of Volume One of the Cultural History of the Book of Mormon, I analyze how the history of “the Restored Church” has been reconstructed by missionaries and BYU historians who inherited the traditions of Alexander Campbell and his preachers of Restoration.

In short, a break off from Campbell’s movement saw in the Book of Mormon the doctrines of Restoration they had preached for centuries, and they proceeded to ignore the actual text of the book, deciding they would interpret it for others.  As a movement called the Disciples of Christ took up the Book of Mormon, they layered what I call “metatext” over the book, giving new converts to what Campbell termed “Mormonism” (in early every way a version of Campbellism) a way to be a Mormon without actually having read the new book they claimed as their own.  The historians discussed in this chapter inherited these traditions, and no matter the chronological difficulties, they insist that the Book of Mormon really was part of Joseph Smith’s plan to restore the New Testament church.  As you’ll see in this first volume, neither Joseph Smith nor the Book of Mormon seem terribly interested in that kind of restoration (a matter discussed in detail in chapter two).

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(NOTE: The PowerPoint Presentation Files of the Cultural History are linked to the book cover below)


  1. TK says:


    I finished your book after reading and taking notes like a madman for that last several days. I found the ideas and the history interesting. I’ve suspected Rigdon’s influence for awhile. I agree with your assessment of the BofM’s idea of the restoration.

    Im still a bit confused on the picture of Joseph Smith that you’ve painted. Will your next book clarify his role more?

    1. day2mon says:

      Yes, although I think his role is minimal, something of a name to use to put onto one’s pamphlet or notion.

      1. TK says:

        Hey I just went through chapter two again tonight. I found it interesting that the latter day work is broken up into three distinctive parts. The word, power and deed. I decided to read 2 Ne 3 and found verse 15 saying that the record brought forth (sealed portion) will be the “power of the Lord” and bring the “people unto salvation.”

      2. day2mon says:

        I agree. The “word” seems to refer to the BoM, the “power” seems like another book, and the deed seems to map onto the “in very deed” prophecy mentioned by Moroni in Ether. It’s developed in an essay in volume five.

  2. cds says:

    any way to get a copy of your atonement paper you referred to in your Phoenix talk? I have listened to that 4 or 5 times and pick something new each time, thank you!

    1. day2mon says:

      It’ll be in volume five, which I’m hoping to have by the end of the year.

    2. day2mon says:

      It’ll be in volume 5. I’d send you the paper, but it’s rough, and I need to revise a few passages. I’ll send you the revised version, if you send me an email.

  3. Donald Danner says:

    I’ve finished 3 chapters and looking forward to the remaining chapters. I enjoyed the review of Ezekiel 14 by Joseph.

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