Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in the preface to the first edition of this book: "In these chapters Dr. Nibley has approached the Book of Mormon from a . . . unique, but very interesting point of view. [ chapters] will appeal to every sincere student and should be studied by every member of the Church. "
The foreword to the first edition noted: "In this work the Book of Mormon is seen in a new perspective we see it in a world setting, not in a mere local one. It takes its place naturally alongside the Bible and other great works of antiquity and becomes one of them. As we study the manual, the mystery that some writers have tried to throw around the Book of Mormon disappears and the book and its characters become real and natural. False arguments which in the past have prospered against it are shattered by the material of this course. The author has thrown up such a background for the study of the Book of Mormon, and has fitted it into such a frame, work of world history as to make it one of the great books of all time. "
Readers familiar with the previous editions of this book will find that the notes and text of this old friend have been newly edited, checked, and corrected. Those reading the book for the first time will find a work marked by Dr. Nibley's refreshing humor, straight, forward logic, and deep insight. Few other books contribute so much to our understanding of the Book of Mormon.