The secret of life is butter. - Chef Didier, Last Holiday

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Ok, so is it "Books of Mormon", "Book of Mormons", or "Copies of the Book of Mormon". i have no idea which one it is, and none of us can decide.

-Jus' Wundrin

A: Dear Jus',

I say "Books of Mormon," but then again, I refer to the multiple Harry Potter films or books as "Harrys Potter." Take that for what it's worth.

- Optimistic.
A: My Dearest Only Wondering,

Chalk me up for "Books of Mormon" over "Book of Mormons." Also I ran the comparison on Google Fight and it was 872 results vs. 652 results, resulting in a win for "Books of Mormon." That means Google found more websites describing the plural of the "Book of Mormon" as "Books of Mormon."

Now when you throw the plural form "copies of the Book of Mormon" into the mix it gets interesting. I consider both to be correct, and Google Fights agreed by returning 838 results, basically a dead heat. That means whether you use "Books of Mormon" or "copies of the Book of Mormon" you will at least have the majority of people agreeing with you.

-The Right Reverend Rusky Roo
A: Dear Wondering,

A "Book of Mormon" is a kind of "Book" (not a kind of "of Mormon), so when you pluralize it, you pluralize the main part, "Book," not the modifying phrase. (In some languages you do pluralize the adjectives that modify plural nouns, but English is not one of those languages. And even in those languages, you still don't pluralize prepositional phrases.) So from a linguistics perspective, you should say "Books of Mormon."

However, my uncle, who first taught me all things relating to typography and style, also introduced me to the convention whereby one cannot modify the title of a book in pluralizing it. Since "Book of Mormon" is a proper phrase, you cannot change it. So from a proper editing/stylistic perspective, you need to say "copies of The Book of Mormon."

And "Book of Mormons" isn't supported by either philosophy, except that it's the one that you're most likely to hear, and it would be uncharitable to judge people for saying it.

So. Use the first in speech if you're the kind of person who gets a kick out of saying "attorneys general" or "brothers-in-law." Use the second in writing for official publications of the Church (should you ever be so lucky), and use the third if you're feeling extra colloquial. (And don't look down on people for using it. And probably don't correct them either, unless you're both English/linguistics nerds. And I use the term fondly.)

- B.C.
A: Dear Jus',

If you ask Elder Van Pelt on "The Best Two Years" (and me), it's
"Books of Mormon."

Just wanted to throw that in there.

A: Dear JW,

Good question. In fact, this is such a good question that it was once the subject of a discussion in the Utah senate:,1249,600114286,00.html?lds=T

According to BYU's official style guide, either "Books of Mormon" or "copies of the Book of Mormon" is acceptable. According to President Hinckley when he was still an apostle, "copies of the Book of Mormon" is the correct form.

As for me, I always say "Books of Mormon," mostly because I enjoy the thrill of pretentiousness that accompanies it.


PS: Optimistic, I think I love you. "Harrys Potter," indeed!
A: Dear Jus' Wundrin,
Any knowledgable editor on campus would tell you that the correct phrase is copies of the Book of Mormon. Linda Adams was a huge advocate of making sure people got the phrasing right. Go Linda.
A: Dear Jus'

I am alright with Books of Mormon,
Just don't try to apply that to that one book with Captain Ahab...

Have Fun Storming the Castle,
-Il Guanaco

PS. is your real name Justin?