Moroni’s Colophon

John W. Welch

In ancient writing, many manuscripts contained what scholars call a colophon. They did not have a copyright or a title page on their scrolls, but formal scribes would typically leave a declaration either at the beginning or the end of what they had written. A colophon required the scribe to leave a date of when the document was written, and state the identity of the author, their titles, and their genealogy. Moroni began by saying who his father was, and giving us the genealogy and the sad, though glorious and honorable, way in which Mormon died.

Further Reading

Thomas W. Mackay, “Mormon as Editor: A Study of Colophons, Headers, and Source Indicators,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 2, no. 2 (1993): 90­–109.

John A. Tvedtnes, “Colophons in the Book of Mormon,” in Reexploring the Book of Mormon: A Decade of New Research, ed. John W. Welch (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1992), 13–16.

John W. Welch Notes