Comments about ‘Arizona woman says first-edition copy of Book of Mormon stolen’

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Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Buena Vista, VA

I am really curious about how removing pages like she did affects the book's value. Do other 1st edition owners remove pages too? I know I certainly wouldn't.

Bountiful, UT

That Book of Mormon looks like it wasn't being taken care of as much as it should have been.

If it hasn't already, it ought to undergo treatment for acid that may be in the pages, and then it ought to be stored in an inert atmosphere.

Cache county, USA

I would give good money for that book.

Manti, UT

Oh I certainly hope she finds it. The thieves who stole it must have no consciences. Robbing an older lady of such a treasure is cruel. It sounds as if someone who is very familiar with her habits of putting the book in the safe knew when to steal it. To learn when the safe was open, they must have been watching for quiet some time before they stole it. The article doesn't mention if she was insured. Wouldn't removig pages from the book decrease its value? I sure hope she gets it back - and soon.


I'm with RG. This woman owned a rare bookstore, but pulled pages out of a first-edition Book of Mormon to frame them? Did no one mention to her what a horrible idea that was, not only from a financial standpoint but in terms of the damage done to an irreplaceable piece of history?


Ooh yeah...! I cringed when I read that she had been taking pages out of the book, but at least she still treated them as she thought was respect, by framing them. No, I don't think I would take pages out like that!

But actually, she's wrong about the steps from the gold plates to the 1st-edition masters: 1st-ed.s aren't right next to the plates; they're two steps away. Between the plates and those we have the manuscripts.

I surely hope the thief will grow half a conscience or get caught soon!


Huntsville, UT

"The book was probably missing about 50 pages at the time of its disappearance."


Oh no, call the president, we need a new translation of the 50 missing pages.


I hope she gets her book back.

@Serenity; IMO, anyone who steals from anyone has no conscience, not just those who steal from the elderly.

terra nova
Park City, UT

About fifteen years ago I looked into finding an early edition. At the time they were being offered at about $60,000. They are virtually guaranteed to grow in value as time passes. The growth of the church and the limited supply early copies makes it a foregone conclusion. But something about seeking out books like this began to feel slightly unsavory. Not bad really. But tainted in some way. Perhaps the best word for it is worldly and unnecessary. Photo accurate reprints are available for very little.

Again, pity it was stolen. Very sad really, that someone would steal scripture. No doubt they were motivated by greed and a misplaced sense of protecting the book from further destruction by its owner. It is pathetic how often greed finds reasons that are good and holy to support insupportable actions.

It was wrong in every way that the book was taken. But there is comfort in knowing its real value is found in the spirit that bears witness of its truth. And this is found in any copy ever printed. With luck her collection was insured and she will be compensated for her loss.


Oops, I worded one of my sentences somewhat wrong. Part of it was supposed to have said this: "...but at least she still treated them *with what* she thought was respect, by framing them."

But then... maybe you readers already knew what I meant. :)

Evanston, WY

cjb. I don't think you are treating your car with the respect that it deserves, it is a miracle of modern engineering, so I am going to take it from you to treat it as it should be treated. After all it is the right thing to do.

Sorry, I don't buy it. The thief is wrong no matter how you try to spin it.

She was 88, maybe the value of it was not financial to her, she had a piece of history she wanted to share with others. After all she let people hold it and take pictures with it. Maybe she felt that by framing pages she could share it with more people.

Durham, NC

We have a copy here at Duke.... and I have yet to go see it. Makes me think I should. Sad someones greed would do something like this to an elderly lady. Who ever got it will have a really hard time moving it though.

Manti, UT

@Ranch Hand: Well in my opinion, to steal from the elderly is more unconscionable because they don't have the time left as other people to recover what was stolen. Think about it. When you are 88 years old, you are way over the average life-span of a woman. Causing her to go to her grave without solving the mystery of who stole her BOM is very cruel. Causing her to go to her grave with a feeling of fractured trust in human kind is even crueler. The elderly are usually the easiest targets because they cannot defend themselves and they trust more than the young..

Bountiful, UT

re Seposm
Evanston, WY


I see your point, ordinarily you'd be 100% correct, but this is a priceless artifact. It belongs to her, but it also belongs to history.

If someone were some how to obtain ownership of the Declaration of Indepencence or US Constitution for example and decide to cut either of them up with up with scisors so they could frame parts of it in different places, it would be right that it be taken from that person so it can be preserved for the ages. If the law were not able to do it, I'd be hard pressed to say that a (Robin Hood) thief who did so would be in the wrong. Such a person would probably be remembered as a hero. (Perhaps years after they spend some time in prison).

If you disagree, fine, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I don't believe the thief stole it for any other reason than financial gain. I believe it will probably turn up on the market somewhere and eventually be recovered. It was probably someone she knew that knew where it was kept.

It was a shame that she took pages out to frame, but I imagine they could be restored to the book by a professional.

sandy, ut

Cjb - I highly, highly doubt that somebody willing to commit a felony is concerned about preserving the book because it was being mistreated. If that were the case, wouldn't they have taken it 50 pages ago?? I doubt the book is worth anywhere near 100,000 now in a low economy and in low condition. Still, I would bet the farm that it is somebody looking for financial gain, and it will not work. Once it comes on the market, they will have their man(or woman). Greed is the reason.

Springville, UT

Perhaps the book was in such poor condition that pages were actually falling out. I have an old dictionary, nowhere near as old as this first edition, and it has many loose pages. If that was the case, than framing those pages would be less egregious stewardship than slicing them out of the book with an X-Acto knife (which thought makes me cringe).

If this was a movie, then detectives would be watching all 50 framed pages, waiting for the thief to go after them...

Huntsville, UT


I don't necessarily disagree with you. Those who steal from the elderly are particular scum, but those who steal from anybody are scum too.

Unfortunately, the elderly are like a lodestone to iron-filings and they attract theives like moths to a flame. There have been quite a few stories in the last year or so of their having been fleeced by their fellow church members (not only the LDS, but other religions have the same problem). Religious elderly seem to be even more ripe for the fleecing - sadly.


Huh, Suzy K. 1, "Maybe her carelessness was the reason it was stolen..."?

Nahh... I don't think a thief would be thinking about that at the time of hunting the book down: "Oh, I should just steal this book because this lady has been removing pages from it. My job is to teach her a lesson."

Thieves don't tend to think like that. They just want to get in there, get the stuff, get out as quickly as possible, and then either keep the stuff they stole for their own enjoyment or sell them and try to make a quick buck.



Oh, Lyle, if that were true--the pages are already falling out, so let's just frame them instead of trying to repair the book, rather than deliberately cutting or tearing them out--then I would feel better about this too. I surely hope that's the case.

But then still, if it were me, I would take the pages and the binding to a professional book repair company (if such exists) and ask them to do what they know to do to fix old historic books like that.

I wish we could get Helen to come into here and send a comment about the details of what she was doing. (Oh, and I wonder if, and hope that, she's LDS. :-) ...)

Medical Lake, Washington

When the prophet had the plates, his enemies were after them, not for their spiritual value but for the monetary value - gold. And so it is here, the thief was wanting the financial value from the book.

If this woman chose to remove pages, it was her book and her right to do so, falling out or not. I appreciate the historical value and have personally held a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon and shall remember that moment for the rest of my life. But when it comes down to the worth of a person and the worth of a book -- people too are worth a great deal. And historical value aside, a brand new, $2.00, paper back copy of the Book of Mormon has as much true value as does an 1830 copy of the book. The greatest value of any edition of the Book of Mormon is when it is read, prayed about and the principals it teaches are lived.

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