Monday, April 17, 2006

Marking the Book of Mormon.

I was putting Post-It(tm) notes in just the English copies of the Book of Mormon that I give out. I had been writing them by hand, but I now have some rubber stamps that I custom ordered, so it's easier. The four stamps are:

1) "The Atonement, 2 Nephi Chapter 9"
2) "The Plan of Salvation, Alma Chapter 42"
3) "Jesus Visits, 3 Nephi Chapters 11-26"
4) "How to know that this book is true, Moroni 10:3-5"

I can get one impression of each stamp, 4 impressions total, on a 3"x3" Post-It(tm) note. I cut them into 4 strips with scissors, and put then in the appropriate place, with just a little hanging out for a tab.

One of my friends told me he would have joined the church a year earlier if the missionaries had asked him to start reading in 3rd Nephi chapter 11 instead of from the beginning.

Anyway, now that it's easier to make the strips with the stamps, I've started putting them in the foreign language books in addition to the English. But for the foreign language, I just use the last two, "Jesus Visits" and "How to know that this book is true."

For most foreign languages, the ones that are written in a Latin alphabet and use Arabic numerals, it's just as easy as marking English. 3 Nephi 11 is still 3 Nephi 11 or 3 Nefi 11.

Languages like Chinese, Cambodian, Thai and Amharic are a little harder, but you just have to use a little logic and detective work.

To find Third Nephi, you look at the Table of Contents and count down 11 books, and note the symbols used to denote 3 Nephi. Then look for the book with those symbols, and count down 11 chapters.

There is a special heading right before Chapter 11 of 3rd Nephi in all languages, which stands out from the verses. I put the Post-It(tm) note right before it.

That special heading ends with "Comprising chapters 11 to 26 inclusive." You can use the page numbers or verse numbers to teach yourself the digits 1, 2, 6, or the numbers 11 and 26, and verify that you've found the right spot. I don't memorize it for every language, I just match up the symbols each time.

It's easy to find Moroni Chapter 10, because it's the last chapter in the Book of Mormon. Turn to the last verse, which might be the last page in the book, or is right before an index or Guide to the Scriptures. You'll notice a change in layout between the end of the Book of Mormon and the begining of the index.

Then go to the beginning of that chapter, and count down 3 verses, and there's Moroni's promise.

For English I stamp the strips with the sticky side on the left. For some languages, 3 Nephi 11 or Moroni's promise is on the left hand side of the page, so I stamp them with the sticky side on the right.

I also include a flyer that lists the addresses and meeting times of the local chapels, the mission office phone #, one of the missionary 800 numbers, and the church web site. I also include a Book of Mormon pass-along card, and my personal card with name, phone, and email.

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