Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for December 31, 2015
New media for the Book of Mormon: from plates to posts
On January 1, 2016, a developing website devoted to the Book of Mormon will go public.
What if Book of Mormon researchs from all over the world were available in one place?
What if Book of Mormon scholars collaborated with professional media experts?
What if informative gems of Book of Mormon content were published on various social media several times each week?
Could the Book of Mormon become more interesting, and even be discovered by millions of new readers?
Why has no one ever done this before? It seems sorely needed and long overdue.
These are some of the questions Lynne Wilson asked. A faculty member at the Stanford University LDS Institute of Religion, she grew tired of seeing bright Latter-day Saints not knowing where to turn to seriously engage the Book of Mormon. She envisioned an organization capable of communicating the wonders of this text to a broad audience including especially the rising generation of young people.
Generous donors came forward and Book of Mormon Central (BMC, a charitable organization) was born. Beginning January 1, 2016, frequent Book of Mormon research updates will appear in many social media venues. This new resource is designed and built by and for people who love, treasure, ponder, research, apply and believe the Book of Mormon. BMC will provide free access to Book of Mormon research and scholarship. It expects to become the largest on-line repository of all such materials in the world.
John W. (Jack) Welch is BMC Chairman. Generally regarded as a leading Book of Mormon scholar, Welch started the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in 1979. For 20 years, FARMS was the pre-eminent source for faithful and academic Book of Mormon scholarship. Since 1991, Welch has been the editor-in-chief of BYU Studies.
“The need now exists and the time is right,” commented BMC Executive Director Kirk Magleby, “for a new independent, non-profit organization to re-focus on Mormonism’s keystone text. BMC is not controlled by or part of Brigham Young University or any other organization, while several entities and individuals affiliate with BMC. A team of amazing young people has come together to create a new and exciting approach to the dissemination of Book of Mormon studies. The primary goal of BMC is accessibility. We want everyone to have access to all the insight relevant to the Book of Mormon as a spiritual and historical text. ”
The organization exists to freely inform, explain, invite, engage, inspire and encourage greater knowledge and appreciation of every aspect of the Book of Mormon. Book of Mormon Central believes that increased understanding of this transformational text will advance goodness, justice and faith on personal, family, social and international levels.
Some of the new BMC activities are or will be:
• Book of Mormon Central Archive -- a comprehensive searchable digital repository. Books, papers, art, photos, audio and video are all freely available in one convenient place. Over 1,000 items are currently in the archive.
• Book of Mormon Central Notes – Wiki-style articles on every imaginable Book of Mormon topic, authored and edited by dozens of people from different walks of life. This resource will grow through 2016 and beyond to become an online encyclopedia of knowledge about the Book of Mormon. Notes articles reference longer sources in the archive.
• Book of Mormon Central Text – an interactive copy of the Book of Mormon with links to explanatory material in the notes and archive. A central text for this website will be based on the earliest manuscripts of the Book of Mormon that were written 1829-1830.
• Book of Mormon Central KnoWhys – brief illustrated essays, videos, podcasts and memes that present little-known information about the Book of Mormon, then explain why it is significant. KnoWhys are published frequently via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Book of Mormon Central has an office and research library in Springville, Utah. Full-time staff, freelancers, and many volunteers work together to share meaningful ideas about their favorite book with the world in new and enjoyable ways.
BMC hopes to enrich the experience of Book of Mormon readers everywhere.
The BMC website is bookofmormoncentral.org.