HOW THIS BOOK CAME TO BE
The primary credit for this book goes to my father, John W. Rich.

In 1961 he had the vision of teaching the Gospel in cartoon caricature style using pleasant humor without distracting from the important content of serious religious topics. He found Fritz Alseth, who produced excellent artwork. Together with Fritz, my father and I created our first book on the Plan of Salvation which we called “ A New Look at Mormonism.” It was very well received.

Upon the success of the first book, I mentioned to my father that in 1959 ( during the last 2 months of my mission in Mexico ) I had read the nine hour presentation called “ The Trial of the Stick of Joseph ”, a true experience by Jack West. I suggested to my father that it would be superb material to put into this same book format. Much to our surprise, we found out that Jack West was coming to our ward that same week to give his presentation. We received permission from Jack West to adapt his book and began right away. Finished in 1964, the First Edition has received 14 additional printings to date.

The current printing began as a seed in 1979 while I was serving as a missionary in St. Louis, Missouri. A full-time missionary, Elder Scott Marshall, worked with me and became acquainted with our book. He began using the book with his investigators with a great deal of success.


I have always felt that this book, with some revision, could become more informative and beneficial. Then in 1999, Scott Marshall contacted me. He requested I put a more durable cover on it and republish the book as he was going to recommend it in his own book “ Tracting and Member Missionary Work ” that has been extremely successful.

It took me two years to find Andrew Knaupp and Adam Koford, who possessed the skills to match the previous artwork style. They have the same love and zeal for the Gospel and belief in what this book‛s teachings can do for

those who love Christ. Their invaluable talents have allowed me to improve the dialogue ( including a new beginning and conclusion, adding 160 additional pages of up-to-date discoveries, and producing a durable, full-color cover ). The 2nd Edition took 4 years to complete and still a few errors slipped through 200 proof readings by many different people. In trying to correct these errors many other improvements and additional information have proven to be of value. Adam‛s artwork has developed to the point that it was decided to replace all of the drawings from the original first edition with Adam‛s new talents. Every page has experienced changes and improvements in this 3rd Edition which took another 18 months with multiple talents to perfect it.

Considering the tremendous amount of effort, time, and expense it has taken to produce this
book, even with the help of computers, e-mail, and the internet, it is clear to know and recognize the improbability and impossibility of any one person, regardless of age and education, creating the magnificence and wisdom of the Book of Mormon in just 70 days, especially in 1830, without the assistance and complete help of God.

I also know that the Lord has given me invaluable help to do this work, for I know I‛m not capable of doing it all by myself. In doing this project, it is obvious to me that God has brought information to my attention that I wasn‛t looking for and didn‛t even know existed. He has also put thoughts with wording into my mind that are not natural for me to express. I have to admit humbly that this is not my work, but His work just using me as an instrument in His hands to do much good for which I am grateful.

If I was given the assignment to do it all over again, I couldn‛t and wouldn‛t do it. With God‛s
help, I‛m certain I would have failed greatly to meet these same expectations. I love him with all my heart and hope this end product in no way disappoints Him, or any readers who are seeking Truth.

Adam and Andrew have assisted me with my other two books, “ Heavenly Father‛s Plan of Salvation Coloring Book “ and “ Book of Mormon Evidences Activity Book.” They continue to give me very valuable help with the development of 15 more future books on gospel subjects and teaching-aid presentation materials.

The topics in this book are in large measure a result of the attempts of anti-Mormon efforts from ministers and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discredit the Book of Mormon.

In the bibliography, the purpose I listed each book‛s ( totalling 25,259 ) is to show a portion of the considerable 40 years of study I have had in order to discover, sort out, compare, and organize the material that I have correlated into the contents of this book. I‛m also showing the number of references that each book‛s author has listed ( 17,581 books and writings ) to indicate the immence amount of work and 10‛s of thousands of hours they have dedicated in order to compile and publish the material from their findings, not considering the additional work that their reference authors gave in order for them to research, correlate, put in writing, and publish their books.

After reading this book, members have expressed an enhanced love and respect for Jesus Christ, knowing that He has provided an immense amount of indisputable evidence supporting the testimony of the Book of Mormon.

I want to express heartfelt thanks to the lady with the flying fingers, my wife Mikell, for her support, encouragement, and help in the creation of this revision and other missionary materials.

My wife and I want to express our gratitude to our second daughter Dana Brust and her husband Douglas, the ever faithfuls, our sons, Lance and Wade, for their excellent input, and for our five other children and their spouses‛ patience, as I have constantly asked for their input and evaluation.

We also wish to give thanks to our many friends, of many different faiths, who have taken time to sincerely read this book and give us honest input. Their assistance has been invaluable in making this book as correct and easy to understand as possible. We have invested tens of thousands of hours in research and composition to accurately relate this story, which can in no way be compared to the inspiration contained within the Book of Mormon.

This project has reinforced our testimony, that we know without doubt that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and is inspired by Him, and that there is no man that can or could duplicate this masterpiece without the same assistance and direction from God that Joseph Smith received. We cannot read any of the Book of Mormon without feeling the power of God within its pages.

 

We want you to know that we love our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ with all our hearts and souls. We feel immeasurable gratitude to Them for preparing the facts and evidence contained in this book. We recognize that without Heavenly Father’s help we may never have been able to accomplish the revisions, improvements, and additions contained within.

We are so fortunate to live in these latter days when the Book of Mormon and Living Prophets are available to give us greater insight into and appreciation for Jesus Christ and His great Plan of Happiness for each of us.

Mikell Wight Rich & J. Milton Rich