Roger R. Keller, introduction to Book of Mormon Authors: Their Words and Messages (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996), x–xiii.

Several people have encouraged me to carry out and complete this research. The first of these was Robert J. Matthews. Shortly after I came to BYU, he, then dean of Religious Education, encouraged me to find an area of research within the Book of Mormon. As I made tentative steps in developing the methodology explained and developed in this book, his was a voice of continuing encouragement. Professor Matthews also read a draft of the book and made very helpful suggestions in several areas. Dean Robert L. Millet and Associate Dean Donald Q. Cannon pressed me to continue my research and encouraged me to publish the findings. To both of them I am grateful.

Others assisted in the technical area. John L. Hilton helped provide a vision of what might be done with the use of computers and statistics. Without him, none of what has been done here would have been achieved. Alvin C. Rencher was another who read the entire work and made numerous helpful suggestions. His insights, from a background in statistics and wordprint, were particularly cogent.

Finally, special appreciation goes to Kent P. Jackson for his assistance in bringing the manuscript to publication. Without his careful work and suggestions, and the untiring efforts of his staff, this book would not have seen the light of day.

In the end, however, the major thanks must go to my wife, Flo Beth, for encouraging me in those moments when it seemed that the creative well had run dry. She pressed me to write the chapters which demonstrate what was only in the realm of theory in the chapter on methodology. To her I owe an unrepayable debt.

Despite the assistance and suggestions of others, any errors or oversights that may appear are my responsibility.