The Latter-day Saint Edition of the King James Version
Mormon Studies, King James Bible, Bible, Latter-day Saint edition
During the early 1970s, a practical need arose for a Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible. As explained by George A. Horton Jr., director of curriculum production and distribution for the Church Educational System, three different Bibles were in circulation among Church members—one for adults, one for seminary students, and one for Primary children. Not only did this system create an element of chaos, but it also increased costs.1 About this time, the Spirit of the Lord seemed to be hovering over several people in various organizations within the Church. Two of these people were Horton and his colleague Grant E. Barton, who was then serving as a member of the newly formed Meetinghouse Library Committee.2 Horton and Barton were neighbors who carpooled together to the Church Office Building, using the occasion to discuss a desire to have one Bible as well as teaching aids for an LDS edition.3 Barton, Horton, and another colleague decided to survey various organizations of the Church to help them decide “what the ideal characteristics/features would be of the ideal Bible that would be used by all.” Barton, who led out on the survey, noted:
We put together a survey that showed . . . various alternatives of page widths, margin widths, whether to include concordance, maps, whether to have cross-referencing of various kinds, and had them do multiple-choice selections as to what they thought would be ideal. Finally, the results came back, and I took the results to Daniel Ludlow, the director of Church correlation at that time. He apparently had been thinking along similar lines, . . . was very accepting of the results, and then . . . made a proposal to the Brethren that maybe the time had come when the Church ought to produce its own Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible. . . . Reportedly it went to the Missionary Department, and Elder McConkie was on the Missionary Committee. It was chaired by Spencer W. Kimball. . . . Spencer W. Kimball reportedly said, “But where did the survey come from?” So they traced it through and so on, but I guess the damage had been done and the wheels had been put in motion.
Original Publication Citation
Fred E. Woods, “The Latter-day Saint Edition of the King James Version,” in The King James Bible, ed. Kent P. Jackson (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2011), 260-280.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Woods, Fred, "The Latter-day Saint Edition of the King James Version" (2011). Faculty Publications. 5625.
BYU Religious Studies Center
Church History and Doctrine
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