Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Book of Mormon, Helaman, History, Book of Mormon as Literature, Book of Mormon as Music


Marian Robertson Wilson recounts her memories of her father, Leroy Robertson, and of the creation of his masterpiece, the Oratorio from the Book of Mormon. The idea to compose an oratorio based on the Book of Mormon first came to Robertson when Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles casually suggested it to him one day in 1919. After his conversation with Elder Ballard, Robertson dedicated much of his time to studying the Book of Mormon and choosing sections of scripture to use in his compilation. The piece eventually received attention from LDS church leadership and from the renowned Maurice Abravanel. It significantly impacted missionary work, as well as the work of other LDS composers.