Rights or no Rights, the book is invaluable as a piece of history! I agree CJB.
She is probably not in her right frame of mind doing what she did to the book.
Very sad & upsetting to hear what she did.I feel if someone were
stealing it to "save" it from her damaging it more, that thief would
have stolen the framed pages also, so as to have the book restored...
I am pleased to learn that 90% of the original 5,000 copies of The Book of
Mormon were used for their intended purpose: to be read, studied, implemented
and eventually worn out beyond preservation.
Analogy: A person who burns an American flag in the public square should
be charged with littering, illegal burning, maybe disturbing the peace and
whatever other local ordinances apply, the same as if they had burned an old
shirt or something. The flag itself is just a piece of cloth dyed red, white and
blue, and is not sacred; that which it symbolizes is sacred. The
real value of The Book of Mormon--ANY copy of the Book of Mormon, whether it was
printed in 1830 or last month--is the intangible result of studying and applying
its contents. Mrs. Schlie's book is valuable only as a historic
artifact. It isn't any more "holy" than any other copy of the Book
of Mormon, which leads me to snicker when I read that some people have actually
shed tears when she has shown them the book. Please! I also seriously doubt that
the Church ever endorsed or condemned her practice of selling pages from the
book. It's her property to do with as she pleases. I could
never express it better than Elder Jeffery R. Holland did in his scathing April
2008 General Conference address about continuing revelation.
One might hope that whomever now has the book, that they needed the lessons in
it much more so than its owner.
Hopefully the thief will crack it open since missing 50 pages significantly
impacts retail value. As I was reading, I thought "Is that lady nuts?"
Displaying it is one thing. Taking it out so people can handle it and such is
The reason that she was ripping pages out and framing them was because she sold
them on Ebay. She has been doing it for years... That being said, stealing is
still stealing! Even though I don't agree with what she was doing by
selling the pages. It is her's to do with as she pleases.
No one has focused on the fact that the bookstore owner/victim was showing
everyone this book and letting them handle it regardless of whether they were
strangers or not. That was well-intentioned but invited disaster sooner or
later. I hate to kick her when she is already down, but she needed better
security for the book since it was so valuable.
I met this woman last year at a Booksellers convention in Sandy, UT and she let
me touch the book. I didn't want to wash my hand. She told me I was
touching the DNA of Joseph Smith. She was very charismatic and wonderful to let
all of us handle the book. I hope she gets the book back so she can continue to
be the Johnny Appleseed of the Book of Mormon...taking the book all over and
letting people see it and touch it.
It's a shame that book was stolen. Would like to see a line by line
comparison to today's BOM edition ....
If anyone thinks she was somehow justified, consider-It were a
Gutenberg Bible, no one would be defending her. And if anyone did, they'd
realize why everyone else was freaking out.Agh!
"Schlie has been taking pages out of the book in recent years and framing
them for display in various locations."AGH! The book deserves a
better owner! Not the person who stole it of course. lol but still... agh!
@ EveryoneOh, well. At least she still has the framed pages.
I really hope it is recovered and I hope that someone who really has a sincere
and honest caring for the book and for it's owner will take the time to
advise her as to how to protect it and herself. It would be awful if, now that
it has become such public knowledge, if someone went back to get it and hurt her
too. I hope they find the person and exact the correct punishment on them. This
is just sad. And I say to all those that are judging this woman and her
intentions or reasons for the pages being framed should just quit assuming and
be a bit kinder, unless you talk to her personally what purpose does it serve to
MaxxFordham, there are still people who bind books! I once found a reference
book that had been used and abused by students in a study room to the extent
that its cover was long gone, with perhaps a $100 replacement cost, and took it
to a young lady who did bookbinding in her home. It cost $30 or $40 to do, and
it came out looking great and ready for more use and abuse. I like books and
felt like I'd rescued a friend from certain doom.By now, years
later, she might be up to the task of restoring a first edition BOM, but
I'm sure Mr. Ashworth would be able to point Ms. Schlie to somebody who is.
Rather than the interest in the book having been stolen, I am more interested
in the statement that "No two editions are the same". Therefore which
is the exact copy of the original writings and where is it ?
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.
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. :-) ...)
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.Mike
@Serenity;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.
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
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.
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.
re SeposmEvanston, 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.
@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..
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
"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.
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!Mike
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?
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 would give good money for that book.
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.
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