Co-founder of Line Upon Line Alexis Harper sat scrolling through Pinterest one day in 2016 while on a break from editing and compiling videos for a client. She went through a sea of aesthetic pictures and inspiring quotes, occasionally pinning something for later.
Her brown hair fell over her shoulders as she grabbed her glasses to get a closer look at some images. She wasn’t searching for anything scripture-related, but she started seeing “recommended for you” pins about Bible journaling. The scripture passages were brightly colored and beautifully decorated.
She phoned Emily Liddle, her high school best friend, and the two began looking on the Internet to find a Book of Mormon version they could fill with their own art, but they couldn’t find what they wanted.
Now, years later, the two high school best friends and Orem natives have co-founded Line Upon Line and are making this idea a reality.
Harper and Liddle — the blonde and the brunette, as they call themselves — talked about the process behind creating a new version of the scriptures, starting a company and what they have learned along the way.
“I saw the journaling version of the Bible, but I couldn’t find an LDS version that fit what I was imagining,” Harper said.
Harper discussed the idea with Liddle, who had just started hand lettering and calligraphy, to see if she knew of anything they could use to journal more in-depth.
“That first conversation happened in 2016, and we imagined the whole book that night. We wanted really thick quality paper, a hardbound cover, different colors, gold lettering. We were googling images, trying to find what we wanted it to look like,” Liddle said.
A year passed, and the two best friends kept searching for a product that met their needs. They found little success. In March 2017, Harper had just had a baby, and Liddle had been laid off from her job.
“We were both at a point where we thought, ‘I need to be doing something more. What can I go and do? What can I contribute?'” Liddle said.
The two friends began planning their dream versions of the Book of Mormon.
“Once we stopped daydreaming and started planning what it would really look like, it made me so excited because I could do more than just reading. Either I’ve had to have another journal, or I wasn’t writing at all. But if I had a blank canvas where I could do something creative and pull in a relevant topic, I knew I’d get a lot more out of it,” Harper said.
The friends set off to figure out what it would take to make their dream book a reality.
After talking with different printers and running numbers, they figured out that with sales tax, shipping and other costs, the minimum amount of money they needed to raise was $35,000.
“Alexis sat me down to go through the numbers, and when she said $35,000, I thought, ‘Well, we’re gonna fail, … but it’s going to be fun! And we’ll get our sample books!'” Liddle said.
The two friends have done anything but fail. They launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign for the Journaling Edition of the Book of Mormon in May 2018. Their goal was to raise enough money through the pre-orders to order 1,000 books with the printer. They hit their goal in 10 days.
“It was completely outrageous; we couldn’t believe what was happening,” said Harper. “We asked our people to share our product, and before long we were getting people who we never met sharing it. They wanted us to get funded so they could get their book!”
The campaign included a three-minute video of Harper and Liddle introducing the product and their story. They created clever names for their supporter groups, like “The Three Nephites” for those who pre-order three copies, “Girls Camp” for 23 orders and “The Stake” for pre-orders of 50.
Harper and Liddle also set aside 25 copies to send to different social media influencers and bloggers, hoping to get the word out about the journaling edition.
“That was absolutely integral. We might still have been funded, but it wouldn’t have blown up like that if we hadn’t done that,” Liddle said.
At the end of 30 days, Line Upon Line was 273% funded, with a final contribution of $95,681.
The friends were overwhelmed by the love and support they had during the Kickstarter campaign.
“We felt guided by Heavenly Father from the very beginning, we just weren’t sure how confident to be. We feel very blessed,” Harper said.
The co-founders re-worked the text in order to make it all fit into one book and spent months figuring out what spacing and fonts would work for their dream version.
“We made it really clean and changed the fonts a little bit. It still feels like you’re reading scriptures, but it’s a little easier on the eyes,” Liddle said.
The Journaling Edition contains of 520 pages, compared to 531 pages on the original copy of the Book of Mormon. The books are hardbound with a linen cover, and they include a ribbon bookmark and are printed on premium paper. The books are offered in seven colors, and all pre-orders will start shipping at the end of August.
Line Upon Line has created a community of followers who share the ways they want to use the space to increase the quality of their scripture study.
“We’ve had people tell us how much it means for them, telling us that they want to fill one out for each of their children. It’s a different way to worship Heavenly Father and a different way to feast on the words of Christ instead of just tasting them,” Harper said.
This new version of the Book of Mormon means that owners of the book can have scriptures and a journal in one, making a huge difference to those who prefer to write or draw their notes as opposed to reading alone.
“I knew it would change the way I study, but it’s really been in the interacting with people that I’ve seen the impact this is going to make for other people. It’s been humbling,” Liddle said.
Line Upon Line obtained a licensing agreement with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to publish this version of the Book of Mormon and has obtained the rights to begin work on a journaling edition of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
Follow Line Upon Line on Instagram at @lineuponline or visit their website.