An LDS Treasure Hunter’s Rare Finds
Scot took the photos and Maurine provided the text for this article. Reid Moon is going to become a regular columnist on Meridian Magazine.
Reid Moon is unabashedly an LDS treasure hunter. It is not gold that intrigues him, but the richer trove of LDS artifacts and rare books—things like Joseph Smith’s own copy of the Book of Mormon or Wilford Woodruff’s travel diary.
You don’t usually just happen upon these things in an old bookstore, where volumes crowd the shelves and spill over into the floor. He has to follow trails of clues, be quick to see a treasure where others don’t, and know exactly what he’s found when he stumbles upon it.
People have handed him what they thought were first edition copies of the Book of Mormon, and he can shake his head one way or the other immediately. He knows first editions well. He knows by tell-tale signs what is a treasure and what’s not. He’s knows how to follow clues like Sherlock Holmes and move fast when he needs t0.
He holds up what looks like a rather plain Bible, dated 1947. That doesn’t sound like something special. He got a lead on this Bible in Belgium, and when he got a call in Texas that it was available in Kansas, he had his family in the car in ten minutes to take a road trip to buy it. The Bible belonged to J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, and had his own notes in it extensively. “If you don’t move fast, these things like this can disappear for a generation or more,” he said.
His passion is not just collecting these rare finds, but sharing them and telling their stories, so they don’t remain public and remembered. See some of his rare finds here.