About Robert F. Smith

Robert F. Smith is an alumnus of BYU and has had advanced training in archeology and Near Eastern languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, UCLA, and CalState University, Long Beach. He was the first editor of the FARMS Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (1979–1987), and most recently presented a paper on ”Book of Mormon Theologies: A Thumbnail Sketch” at the 2012 annual meeting of the Society  for Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT). He is currently a member of Grandview Stake and a veil worker at the Provo Temple.

“If There Be Faults, They Be Faults of a Man”¹

Review of John S. Dinger, ed., Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation/Signature Books, 2013); with foreword by Stan Larson; 418pp+ xxxvi; hardbound edition limited to 501 copies; ISBN 978-1-56085-233-9

It has been nearly 40 years since I walked into the BYU office of Stanley R. Larson in the early summer of 1974. Stan had just completed his master’s thesis, and he proudly displayed a hot-off-the-press copy of it on his desk. Stan was justifiably proud, and I could see right away while thumbing through it that this was a very important work that could be utilized as the basis for a critical text of the Book of Mormon. I did not realize then that this would become a part of Ellis T. Rasmussen’s much larger effort to prepare a new edition of LDS Scriptures (I had met Ellis in the Holy Land, and he was later kind enough to show me a mock-up of a page of the planned new edition to see what I thought of it). Continue reading

Adam Miller’s New Hermeneutic?

Review of Adam S. Miller (Collin College, McKinney, TX). Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology. Foreword by Richard Lyman Bushman. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2012. 162 pp., with bibliography and indexes. $18.95. Paperback and e-book formats.

Whatever else spirit may be, we experience spirit as an interpenetrating weave of thoughts, ideas, judgments, feelings, passions, desires, and aversions. Though rooted in the body, this weave of spirit involves a dimension of looped awareness and reflexivity that is finer and harder to discern than those that belong to the body itself. (p. 42) Continue reading