Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship



Book of Mormon studies, William Eggington, BYU, oral culture, Lehite community, print technology


A recent fascinating study by William Eggington of the BYU English Department suggests that, by and large, Book of Mormon peoples functioned as an oral culture. Although the Lehite community had access to print as a technology, Eggington believes that they wrote only to accomplish narrow (i.e., religious) goals and that their writings retained many features of a nonprint culture. His evidence comes from certain indicators and memory-aiding devices within the text of the Book of Mormon, including repetitious patterns, balanced patterns, formulaic expressions, and parallelisms.