Make a Critical Text!

Want a fun little exercise? Try taking a few of the summaries of addresses given at the recent conference like here for example, and here for example, there are several others, and try reconstructing what was actually said. Or at least try to give some guarantee that you can give a few of the exact spoken words (no fair using transcripts or video/audio!). Then compare your careful pains taking work with the online video or audio or your own recordings. Miss anything important? Oh, by the way, if you happen to have actually seen and heard the addresses, perhaps even close up in the conference center, how well does your reconstruction match the sensory experience of the address(es)? Good luck!

7 Responses to Make a Critical Text!

  1. Matt W. says:

    WVS, This is an awesome point, especially when we deal with the Words of Joseph Smith. You could even add another hypothetical of trying to recall what was said in your favorite conference talk from 10 years ago….

  2. WVS says:

    Royal Skousen makes the point that the current, 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon is the canonical text. But the revealed text is what JS saw in (or perhaps thought because of) the stone(s). Skousen’s critical text hopefully gets close to the revealed text, but really he only asymptotically approaches the original manuscript for the most part. In a way the sermon critical edition is like this in that there is an oral intermediate text. What was in JS’s brain at the time?

  3. BHodges says:

    A fun project, WVS. I recently blogged my notes from Kathleen Flake’s Arrington lecture, it will be interesting to compare it with the published version.

  4. WVS says:

    Yes, and in comparing your notes with the published version, remember that an editor(s) will get in the way!

  5. BHodges says:

    WVS: Can you email me (lifeongoldplates (at) I have a question about volume 6 of the History of the Church.

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