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Brand new softcover book!
; Reviewed by Roy Schmidt for the Association for Mormon Letters.
I first read The Book of Mormon in 1968. I was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time, but was “looking into it.” As I read over the following months, I gradually became convinced the book contains the Word of God. I subsequently joined the Church, and have enjoyed reading and studying The Book of Mormon ever since. I estimate having read it more than one hundred twenty-five times over the years, and still learn from it.
When I met M. Brent Gandre at the LDS Bookseller's Association Conference recently, and saw what he has produced, I wondered if his work had anything new to offer. After all, Book of Mormon workbooks are nothing new. That said, I really like the approach Gandre has taken.
The workbook is well structured. The odd numbered pages are divided into six columns covering Date, Writer/Record, Reference, Place, Description/People/Events, and Doctrine. I use page 119 as an example:
Date: 83 BC, 9th [year of the] judgesWriter/Record: Recorder= Alma2, Large Plates Nephi kept by kings &, or descendents of Nephi were abridged by Mormon3 (There were also detailed records kept by the Nephites – which Mormon3 had from Hill Shim)
Reference: Alma 5 p 217
Place: Lands of Zarahemla, Mormon
Description, People and Events: (Note the use of first person in this chapter) Alma2 traveled & taught the Nephites & recorded his own words, the Word of God. He started in the city of Zarahemla. He received his authority as High Priest from his father Alma who had received it in the Land of Nephi - Lehi at a place called the Waters of Mormon in the land of Mormon (see Mosiah 18 above). Those that followed Alma were delivered from the bondage & captivity of king Noah & then of the Lamanites; when their hearts were changed by God. Then Alma2 asked the people of Zarahemla several questions about their own spiritual birth, their righteousness, the Judgment, Mercy & Repentance. He called those who have rebelled to return to the flock or suffer condemnations. He bore testimony of his own conversion through fasting & prayer. The Savior would come to accomplish the Atonement. He warned of pride & not caring for needy. The names of the righteousness will be written in the Book of Life.
Doctrines: Born of God, Repentance, Wickedness, Atonement, Mercy, Care of needy, Book of Life, Judgment.
I find all this quite helpful to the reader/student. I make particular mention of how much I appreciated the author's identifying the various persons appearing in The Book of Mormon by adding their chronological number (Nephi, Nephi2, etc.) This is most helpful in keeping things straight in my mind.
The even numbered pages are blank, giving the student a place to record “Your Notes & Ponderings.” This is something I always intend to do, but seldom follow up.
In his introduction Gandre writes, “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not let this chronology substitute for reading the Book of Mormon itself, which is SCRIPTURE. You would rob yourself of many rich experiences & gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Wonderful things can happen as you SUP from the scriptures."
The Book of Mormon is the Gospel Doctrine course of study for 2012. I fully intend to include A Chronological Workbook For Book of Mormon Study as part of my individual study, and enthusiastically recommend it to readers of this review.
(Editor's addition to Roy's review)
I likewise met Mr. Gandre at the recent LDS Booksellers convention in Sandy, Utah. I'm always excited when someone outside the normal large publisher crowd emerges with a unique and helpful product. I've looked through this book and came to appreciate the time and effort Gandre has put into this project. What a terrific guide this is to the story of the Book of Mormon. As Roy indicated above, there are very helpful summaries of each chapter of the Book of Mormon. I suggested to Gandre that a reader might benefit from reading through these summaries as a way of capturing the storyline and not become completely lost in the complexity of the story.
The book is nicely produced and is constructed so that it lays flat on a writing surface -- a very helpful feature. And there's plenty of room to take notes -- sometimes lacking in such endeavors.
All in all, I think this would be a wonderful addition to any Book of Mormon student's library. Even if you've read the book many times, there's always some new insight to be gained, and this workbook is a fine way of keeping track of those insights. And when you're listening to a talk and hear something new and exciting, here's a way to record that thought, in context, in a way that enables you to go back to it again and again.
Bravo to Mr. Gandre for this nice addition to the many tools available for Book of Mormon study. ; 8" x 9"; 217 pages; 9780983881407