Conjectural Emendation and the Text of the Book of Mormon


Conjectural Emendation and the Text of the Book of Mormon

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication



Larsen, Stan (Primary)


BYU Studies Quarterly







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Bibliographic Citation

Larsen, Stan. "Conjectural Emendation and the Text of the Book of Mormon" In BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol. 18. 1978:563-569.


The process of studying early manuscripts and recommending corrections is called conjectural emendation. It is conjectural because it is based on circumstantial evidence and by its nature is unverifiable since it attempts to go beyond the earliest extant manuscript.A possible need for conjectural emendation in the Book of Mormon arises from its unique origin as a dictated translation. Phonetic similarity may account for Oliver Cowdery’s mishearing of some words. Examples of possible errors found in the Book of Mormon manuscripts that were due to either misspelling, miscopying, and/or mishearing are explicated in this article, under the assumption that such faults are always the failings of men.

Critical Text
Cowdery, Oliver

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