the-street-legal-version-of-mormons-bookAs the 7th feature of our Mormon Stories Book Club series, we feature Michael Hicks and his book The Street-Legal Version of Mormon’s Book, accompanied by podcast host Heather Olson Beal and readers Mark Brown and Jonathan Yarrington.  Please support Mormon Stories by purchasing The Street-Legal Version of Mormon’s Book through this link.  A small amount of the proceeds go to help support Mormon Stories.

Michael Hicks, a composer, performer, scholar, and poet, has been teaching in the BYU School of Music since 1985.  For more biographical information about Michael, see here  and here.


Title: The Street-Legal Version of Mormon’s Book
Author: Michael Hicks
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Non-fiction
Year: 2012
Pages: 504
Binding: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN-13: 1477615830
Price: $17.25 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle)

Book Description from

Not a “simplified” version of the Book of Mormon, but a completely rewritten paraphrase, with a contemporary voice hovering somewhere in the realm of J. D. Salinger, Hunter Thompson, and some generic humanist academic/poet, i.e., me. An affectionate, meditational dramatization and commentary. From the Introduction: “Why ‘street-legal’? That’s a term we use for souped-up cars—streamlined and powerfully efficient but also decorative, with decals, pinstriping, and tricked-out doodads—that still can be ridden in normal lanes of traffic. They’re not cars meant for everyday errands, to be sure. Offroad is their normal habitat. But the only thing they usually lack to be ‘normal’ is a better muffler. This paraphrase of the Book of Mormon is like that. I’ve streamlined a lot of passages, put them in terse, up-to-date vernacular, thinking that’s what one would have done if one were scratching the book out on metal plates. I’ve tried to muscle up the prose. But I’ve also added lots of linguistic decals: digressions, snippets of commentary, queries, and even humor, which the original editor, Mormon, apparently cut.”

In March 2013, the Association for Mormon Letters gave the book the “first ever award for adaption from a modern language into a more modern language.”

Book Club Resources:

  1. Reviews of The Street-Legal Version of Mormon’s Book
  3. Video resources:
  4. Other Bloggernacle resources/writings by and about Hicks


  1. […] has produced his own work in this vein, the The Street-Legal Version of Mormon’s Book, which I learned about in a recent podcast. [While I'm not suggesting that either of these are a substitute for the Book of Mormon (far from […]

  2. Steve Price May 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I am curiosity where the quote is from that Brigham Young said about if the Bible and even the Book of Mormon were written today it would come out different

  3. Mark Brown May 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Steve, here is the reference for that quote.

    Brigham Young’s sermon entitled “The Kingdom of God”, given on 13 July 1862, recorded in Journal of Discourses 9:311.

  4. Michael Hicks May 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Journal of Discourses 9:311 has the quote by President Young.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.