‘Detective’ Collects Old Copies of the Book of Mormon and Bible

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The "Bible Detective," Reid Moon. Image via Reid Moon.

Reid Moon, a member of the Allen Texas 4th Ward, tracks down and acquires rare copies of the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other literary classics as a renown book dealer.

Moon is also an expert in authenticating old copies of the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He currently owns several first edition copies of the Book of Mormon printed in 1830 by E. B. Grandin and Brigham Young’s 1854 copy of the Doctrine and Covenants. One of his rare copies of the Book of Mormon (1841) is a bound edition with gold lettering for Helen Mar Kimball who, at 13, received it as a gift from England from her uncle Brigham Young.

Image via Moon's rare books.
Image via Moon’s rare books.

Known as the “Bible Detective,” Moon owns a rare two inches tall “thumb” Bible, that belonged to Joseph Smith. Moon found the rare Bible in Palmyra, New York, at the E. B. Grandin bookshop. He also obtained a 1549 Matthew-Tyndale Bible, originally housed in the British Museum in the late 1700s. This is an impressive feat knowing that William Tyndale’s first translation of the New Testament appeared in 1525.

The rare "Thumb" Bible that belonged to Joseph Smith. Image via Reid Moon.
The rare “Thumb” Bible that belonged to Joseph Smith. Image via Reid Moon.

He also recently acquired a Bible owned by J.R.R. Tolkien. “[Tolkien] is the one who converted [the author] C. S. Lewis. He’s the one most responsible for getting him to really embrace Christianity,” Moon told Church News. “And it’s C. S. Lewis who encouraged Tolkien to finish The Lord of the Rings.”

J.R.R Tolkien's Bible. Image via Reid Moon.
J.R.R Tolkien’s Bible. Image via Reid Moon.

Moon continues to acquire new artifacts at high-stake auctions, often competing against the British Library, which has one of the largest rare book collections. To learn more about Moon’s books visit his website.

Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.