Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chinese and Korean with missionaries. Thu, Jan 31, 2008.

01/31/2008. Journal Entry. I took the ward's full-time missionaries (elders) out to lunch during their 3-5 pm break. We went to a Chinese restaurant that I've been to before. I think our waitress was the one to whom I had previously given material, but I'm not sure. But I had been there before, I just didn't know if it was the same lady.

Anyway, she didn't say anything when she saw the books as she cleared plates from our table.

I suggested to the missionaries that the approach her after we ate and offer her a Chinese Liahona, which she accepted.

In the same shopping mall there was a store that I knew was owned and run by a Korean family. After we left the restaurant I suggested to the missionaries that they pop in and offer Korean material. I gave them Korean and English copies of the Book of Mormon, three Korean Liahona magazines, and a couple DVD's with Korean audio tracks. They went in for a little bit, came out, and reported that they accepted one Korean Liahona magazine.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Amharic to taxi driver. Wed, Jan 30, 2008.

01/30/2008. 981. As I was crossing a parking lot going back to my car, I walked past a taxi that was dropping off a passenger. It was from a company that employs a lot of drivers from Eritrea and Ethiopia. I retrieved an Amharic and an English Book of Mormon from my car and went back, and the passenger had already left, and he was getting ready to pull away. I signalled that I wanted to talk to him, and he stopped. I asked him if he spoke Amharic, but he said only a little. His main language was Tigrinya, of Eritrea. I asked if he knew anyone who spoke Amharic, and he said yes. I asked if he could give these books to him, and he didn't seem to think that was out of line, and he agreed, and accepted the books.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vietnamese. Tue, Jan 29, 2008.

01/29/2008. 980. A man originally from Vietnam, but who's been a long time in the US politely accepted both a Vietnamese copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon.


"The Dance" and "Singles 2nd Ward." Buy the DVDs!

I recently purchased and watched these two movies. Money and time well spent. (I previously described "The Dance" movie here.)

"The Dance" is about three couples going to a church dance: two single college students, two single thirty-somethings (one a single mom), and a 60-ish couple whose marriage has gone stale.

The "single-isms" spoken by the 30-something guy really cut me to the quick. I thought "What a jerk that guy is" and in the very next moment I thought "Ouch! That's me."

It's one of the better Mormon movies. It could have used some professional polishing in a few parts, but the dialogue, directing, and cinematography have really improved from past LDS-themed movies. I think it's by the same people who produced "Best 2 Years."

I think women will like it, but guys won't necessarily think it's a chick flick. Heartwarming. Not campy.

Links: Main website. Trailer. Trailer #2. IMDB. Plot summary. Buy at

Very worth the $16.22 plus shipping.

"Singles 2nd Ward" has most of the same principal actors from "Singles Ward". But it's a much better movie. More professional in its writing, acting, directing and cinematography than the first installment.

This one is more from the girl's standpoint, as she's the one occasionally talking to the camera, but still staying in character. I think that's kind of what Bob Hope used to do in his movies.

There are still some Mormon in-jokes. One cute moment is when a hungry non-member buys food from a kid in sacrament meeting.

This one is campy and humorous, so I didn't mind some of the unpolished parts. Some of the weak parts could have been cast better with more professional actors. But the repeat principal actors from the first installment were good. Also worth the $17.99 plus shipping.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Saying good things about people before they die.

Or alternate title: Follow the prophet, and not just give him lip service.

Many of my friends are in their 50's and older. Statistically speaking, men start to die off in their 50's. And, statistically speaking, Vietnam Veterans (those 6 to 15 years older than I) have had a higher mortality rate than those of the same age who did not serve in Vietnam. (Some attribute it to many of the stressors there, including Agent Orange.)

I need to make a point of complimenting my friends and those with whom I have associated, and let them know I appreciate them, so that if/when they pass on to the great beyond, I hopefully won't regret not having let them know how important, influential and admirable they have been.

Now is the time when many LDS are recounting the great life led by Gordon B. Hinckley and his prophetic service and leadership to church members and to the world.

There's nothing that I can add to what has been said and what is currently being said. In fact, I'm still "stuck" on what a prophet "two prophets ago" said almost 20 years back about flooding the earth with a miraculous book of scripture.

It may be correct to say "It's more important to follow a prophet than to praise a prophet." Praising a prophet for his service, even when he is emminently qualified for such praise, may not be what he wants. I remember meeting two of the Apostles back in the 1980's at an airport. After I approached them and offered any service or assistance, and gushed over them, they basically told me they didn't need anything, that they were tired from meetings all day, and that I should go sit down.

What may be more important in President Hinckley's eyes, is to study his prophetic teachings and injunctions, and follow them, and encourage others to follow the teachings of him and other prophets.

One of the things President Hinckley was famous for was his list of "Six Be's".

    1. Be grateful.
    2. Be smart.
    3. Be clean.
    4. Be true.
    5. Be humble.
    6. Be prayerful.

President Hinckley also had a catch-phrase: "Stand a little taller."

I hope that I can be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful, and stand a little taller. Those are some ways I hope I can follow his teachings.

Spencer W. Kimball was prophet/president when I joined the church in 1982. Ezra Taft Benson became prophet/president towards the end of my mission in 1985. He was still prophet/president when I left the church in 1987. Howard Hunter, and then Gordon B. Hinckley became prophets/presidents while I was inactive, and President Hinckley was prophet when I returned to the church in 2002.

Now, according to long established precedent, Thomas S. Monson, the most senior member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles, will soon be set apart as the new prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and will be sustained at the next General Conference of the church in April of this year.

President Monson has been my favorite conference speaker over the last few years. I love the way he tells a story. I love the way he emphasizes service to those who are most in need of service and compassion, the widows, the elderly, and the sick. His emphasis in that regard has motivated me to visit people I know from church when they are in a hospital or nursing home.

President Monson's stories of how small acts can have big effects have motivated me in my attempts to create many such small acts as giving out scripture and other church material in foreign languages.

His stories of how following the promptings of the Spirit can lead to wonderful things has also motivated me, and given me comfort that the ideas I sometimes get are not entirely my own imagination.

Let us study and do what the prophets of old wrote in the scriptures.

Let us study and do what the living prophets during our lifetime have taught us.

Let us now pay attention and do what the new prophet, Thomas S. Monson teaches us.


P.S. By the way, Geoff B, Adam Greenwood, Annegb, Jeff Lindsay, Larry K, I admire you guys.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yoruba Book of Mormon is out! Yahoo! Sat, Jan 26,2008.

01/26/2008. Journal entry. I just discovered that the Yoruba Book of Mormon has been released and is available on Woo hoo! Yay! Yippee!

There are many Yoruba-speakers in the United States.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Follow-up on French / Wolof, Punjabi. Fri, Jan 25, 2008.

01/25/2008. Journal Entry. I went back to the gas station I was at Wednesday night, where I had given out copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony in Wolof and Punjabi, and a French Liahona magazine. Tonight, I went back and gave the man from Senegal French and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and Wolof and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals. I gave the other cashier Punjabi and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Road trip summary, 38 encounters. Jan 11 - 16, 2008.

I finally got caught up on blogging the encounters. This was a very cool trip. I flew down south to visit family on Friday January 11th, and drove back to Indianapolis on the 14th, 15th, and 16th.

Wed the 9th: Received a shipment of the full (not "selections of") Urdu Book of Mormon. I placed three on this trip.

Fri the 11th: Amharic, and Bengali. One missed opportunity.

Sat the 12th: Thai.

Sun the 13th: Visited mom's church, Methodist. I liked the Sunday School teacher and his presentation.

Mon the 14th: On the road. I placed material with people in 10 languages. Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, French, Haitian Creole, Twi, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali. 11 encounters, 14 people. I had Vietnamese material declined at two different places. I missed at least one opportunity.

Tues the 15th: On the road. Hindi, Chinese, Urdu, English, Bengali, German, Sinhala, Igbo, Arabic, Greek, Telugu, Amharic, Pashto, Vietnamese. 22 encounters. I travelled a little too far, and ignored inspiration about where to stay the night. That likely messed up the timing of various stops the next day.

Wed the 16th: English, Korean. One missed opportunity at my first stop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wolof, French, Punjabi at gas station. Wed, Jan 23, 2008.

01/23/2008. 979. I stopped and had supper on the way home from Institute. Then along the way home, I received a spiritual "tug" towards a gas station that I saw on a cross street about a block over. The tug wasn't obvious until it was too late to turn at that intersection, so I had to go a little further before I could turn back.

I bought a couple small items I could use anyway. My cashier was from Senegal, and spoke French and Wolof. And the other cashier was from India and spoke Punjabi.

I haven't restocked my car since the road trip, but I did have a computer case filled with one each of almost all translations of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlets, and a box of Liahona magazines in the car.

I took in Wolof and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet and a French Liahona for the one cashier; and Punjabi and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet for the other cashier. They accepted them, except the Punjabi cashier declined the English pamphlet.

I told them I'd come back with more material another day. The man from Senegal was very delighted to receive the material.

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Chinese and Korean at Institute. Wed, Jan 23, 2008.

01/23/2008. Journal Entry. I felt inspired to go to the YSA Institute tonight. They allow older folks to occasionally sit in on classes as long as it's not too crowded.

Afterwards, I talked a bit with the Institute teacher, and found out he was taking copies of the Book of Mormon to Chinese restaurants too. So I gave him two of my copies, one Simplified Script, and one Traditional, and explained the difference to him. These were already marked with Post-It Notes(tm) at 3 Nephi chapter 11, and Moroni 10:3-5, and had some other inserts that I wanted him to see. I also gave him a Chinese Liahona magazine (the international version of the Ensign), along with the corresponding English edition of the Liahona, to also take to restaurants.

There was another student there who had served a mission in Korea not too long ago, so I asked him if he knew of the Korean restaurants in town. He didn't, so I wrote down their names for him, and gave him a web site where he could look up the addresses. And I also explained that most Japanese restaurants in town are owned/run by Koreans. I then gave him an extra Korean Book of Mormon, and a couple copies of the Korean Liahona that I had in my car.

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Igbo at nursing home. Wed, Jan 23, 2008.

01/23/2008. 978. Last Friday I visited a lady from my old ward who is in a nursing home on the Northwest side of town. As I was leaving, I heard an employee speak with an accent, so I asked him where he was from. He said Nigeria. He spoke Igbo, so I asked if I could come back and bring him a book from my church in Igbo. He said sure.

So today I went back to see the member, and also to take him an Igbo and English Book of Mormon. I didn't see him on the floor, so I asked someone in an office, and just as I was asking her, he showed up. He gratefully and enthusiastically accepted the books.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chinese declined. Tue, Jan 22, 2008.

01/22/2008. 977. After doing a project at the storehouse, I stopped for supper at a Chinese restaurant that I haven't been to in a long time. I made a placement attempt here before, at least a couple years ago, but I forget if they accepted the material. And I couldn't tell if the people working there tonight were the same owners/opeators from before.

Anyway, the person who brought my food noticed the books on my table, but didn't say anything. After eating, I went to the counter and offered them the Chinese Book of Mormon along with the English, but they politely shook their head no. They also declined the "Finding Happiness" DVD that's in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Chinese declined. Fri, Jan 18, 2008.

01/18/2008. 976. I had supper at a restaurant on the other side of town after running an errand and making a visit. I saw it on my way back, and realized I hadn't been there before.

When the server brought out my food, she noticed the books on the table and hestitated a few seconds to read the covers. I asked if she like to read Chinese, and she said she didn't have time to read. We spoke a little bit more, then she went back to work. The other waitress also looked at them a little.

When the other waitress came back to check on me, I asked if she'd like a free copy, and she politely declined, saying she already had a bilingual Chinese/English Bible. I've learned that it's usually not productive to try to explain that the Book of Mormon isn't the Bible. And I didn't have any Chinese Bibles, or Chinese/English bilingual Bibles with me to illustrate that it's different, and that we use both. I didn't have any Chinese Liahonas with me either.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Missed opportunity, English, Korean. Road Trip Day 3. Wed, Jan 16, 2008.

01/16/2008. Journal Entry. Missed opportunity. The Spirit directed me to a McDonald's restaurant. I didn't see any opportunities at first, but then the Spirit indicated I was to offer one or both of the DVD's I had in my jacket pocket to an English-speaking customer who was waiting around. But I chickened out, and disobeyed. I feared that it would have been too awkward, and I gave in to my fear instead of following the inspiration.

974. Gave "Together Forever" DVD to English-speaking caucasian-american cashier at a gas station.

975. A few hours from home, stopped at a Korean restaurant to meet a friend and her daughter for supper. After paying, gave a "Finding Happiness" DVD to owner/waitress.

Since I only had two placements today, I think I grieved the Spirit by my disobedience at the McDonald's.

Trip summary: 38 contacts (#938 through #975). 3 missed opportunities.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Various. Road Trip Day 2. Tue, Jan 15, 2008

01/15/2008. Hopefully, I'll get around to fleshing this out when I get more time.

Since I flew down, and drove back, I could only take so many books in my checked baggage, and I didn't have the normal complement of inventory in my car.

952. Hindi Book of Mormon to lady at desk at motel. She declined to receive the English.

953. German declined at book store.

954. Pass-along card, Hindi, at convenience store across street from book store.

955. Simplified Chinese and English copies of Book of Mormon at Chinese restaurant near book store. DVD too, probably Finding Happiness.

956. Urdu Book of Mormon. No English. At convenience store/gas station. Man was from Pakistan. Bought item made in Mexico.

957. English KJV New Testament to cashier lady at gas station. She declined Book of Mormon and DVD.

958. Inspired exit. Urdu at gas station to cashier from Pakistan. He declined to receive the English copy.

959. Inspired exit. Cashier lady at gas station accepted NIV Bible and English Book of Mormon.

960. Gas station/truck stop. I thought I was out of Bengali Book of Mormon so gave the Bengali cashier just a pass-along card. Second cashier who spoke English only wanted an English Book of Mormon, so gave him a pass-along card too. A customer came along, an American guy who was stationed in Germany with US Army, and he spoke German, he accepted a German Book of Mormon. I asked about other employees, and they said one of the night shift cashiers spoke Urdu, so I left an Urdu Book of Mormon for him.

961. Macon, Georgia. Gas station. Hindi-speaking cashier accepted pass-along card.

962. Tug to shopping center. International store. Owner was from Sri Lanka, and she spoke Sinhala, but I didn't have any so gave her info flyer with list of languages and toll-free number to call. She also asked for Arabic, and I had that Book of Mormon so I gave that one to her. Nigerian customer wanted Igbo, but didn't have any, so gave her an info flyer. Also gave her the cell phone number of an Igbo-speaking member in the US (had his permission to give out his number to other Nigerians.) Also left a Telugu Book of Mormon with the store owner, since she knew Teulgu-speakers. Also gave NKJV (New King James Version) paperback Bibles, and KJV pocket sized New Testaments to owner and three customers. I had bought those real cheap at the book store. I had a small gospel conversation with one of the customers who is a part-time pastor.

963. Supper at a Greek restaurant. Left an info flyer with the employees to give their Greek boss. I had a Greek Book of Mormon with me, but didn't feel bold enough to leave it with them.

964. Telugu cashier at gas station. Didn't have any Telugu copies of Book of Mormon left, so gave him an info flyer with list of languages and toll free number.

965. Ethiopian cashier at gas station. Gave him an Amharic Book of Mormon, and encouraged him to call the toll free number on the flyer/pass-along card for a free English copy.

966. Pakistani cashier at gas station. Gave him Urdu Book of Mormon. He searched info flyer for his other language, and he said he was originally from Afghanistan. I asked "Pashto?". He said yes. I retrieved Pashto and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals from car and he was delighted to receive them.

967. Pakistani/Urdu cashier at gas station. I thought I was out of Urdu, but later learned I had one. I gave him a pass-along card and suggested he call for free Urdu Book of Mormon.

968. Same exit, other side of Interstate. Bengali cashier, gave pass-along card to him. Later realized I had one more Bengali Book of Mormon in car, and went back and gave it to him.

969. Gas station about a mile from exit, pass-along card for either Hindi or Bengali, forget which one.

970. Second gas station across street from previous stop, still about a mile from exit. Hindi-speaking cashier. Gave pass-along card.

971. Chinese restaurant. Simplified script Chinese and English Book of Mormon, and bilingual Simplified script Chinese/English New Testament.

Journal Entry. Should have stayed at this exit to check into a motel, but I disobeyed the Spirit and drove on.

972. Gas station. Pass-along card to Bengali-speaking owner. Other cashier from Ecuador.

973. At motel, gave Vietnamese Book of Mormon to man ahead of me in line. He said he'd give it to his father. Didn't have any more English. Stayed at this motel overnight.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Various. Road Trip Day 1. Mon, Jan 14, 2008.

01/14/2008. Hopefully, I'll get around to fleshing this out when I get more time.

Since I flew down, and drove back, I could only take so many books in my checked baggage, and I didn't have the normal complement of inventory in my car.

941. Spanish. "Together Forever" DVD to fellow diner at a Chinese restaurant. He was from Guatemala.

942. Simplified Chinese and English Book of Mormon to cook at Chinese restaurant. Cashier/waitress declined, but cook later asked to see.

943. Vietnamese declined. Cold call at Vietnamese-owned nail salon.

944. Vietnamese declined. Cold call at Vietnamese-owned nail salon.

945. Korean. "Our Heavenly Father's Plan" DVD, at service place along turnpike. Two Korean ladies parked right next to me as I was getting out of my car.

946. Turkish/English copies of Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet, and English Book of Mormon, at a mom-and-pop restaurant. 1 Nephi 4:6

947. French/Haitian Creole/English copies of Book of Mormon at an international grocery store.

948. Twi and English copies of Book of Mormon at gas station.

949. One Traditional script Chinese, one Simplified script Chinese, and two English copies of the Book of Mormon at a Chinese restaurant. Cashier's sister is a member of the church.

950. At a gas station. Hindi/English copies of the Book of Mormon. Hindi Liahona. Punjabi Gospel Fundamentals. Punjabi/English Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlets. Punjabi man knows someone in Indianapolis.

Journal Entry. Missed opportunity with a Spanish-speaking couple at a McDonalds.

951. Bengali Book of Mormon (no english) at gas station at exit where I stayed the night.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thai at restaurant. Sat Jan 12, 2008.

01/12/2008. 940. I'm still on a trip down south to visit family. We went to a Thai restaurant. I didn't put the Thai Book of Mormon out on the table until after we started eating. One of the wait staff noticed it, and stopped to ask questions. He said he was Buddhist, but accepted both the Thai and the English copies. There were at least two Thai families represented among the restaurant staff, but I only had the one Thai copy. I explained that if others wanted free copies they could call the toll-free number that I included in the books.

On the way out, the lady who took our order stopped me to ask some questions, so I talked to her a little bit, and gave her the "Finding Faith in Christ" DVD that has a Thai audio track.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Pass-along card, Bengali, at airport. Fri, Jan 11, 2008.

01/11/2008. 939. I was at an airport (not Indianapolis) to change planes, and noticed a sky-cap or other airport employee who looked South Asian (India or Pakistan). As I was hoping to give out the Urdu Book of Mormon, I stopped to ask him what languages he spoke. He spoke several, but his main language other than English was Bengali (also known as Bangla).

I showed him the Urdu Book of Mormon anyway, explaining that I was looking for someone who spoke Urdu, but he didn't know any off hand. He did show curiosity in the book, so I got out a customized Book of Mormon pass-along card, and gave it to him, explaining that he could call the toll-free number and get a copy in Bengali. He accepted the card, and seemed interested.

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Amharic to taxi driver. Fri, Jan 11, 2008

01/11/2008. 938. I took a taxi to the airport. On the way I chatted with the driver. He was from Eritrea, and spoke Tigrinya and Amharic in addition to English. I told him about the Amharic Book of Mormon, and he was interested. I had put an Amharic and an English Book of Mormon in my carry-on bag that was on the seat next to me, because many taxi-drivers and airport employees are from Ethiopia and Eritrea. So after we got to the airport and unloaded my luggage from the back of his cab, I gave him the Amharic and English Book of Mormon when I paid, and he seemed very grateful.

01/11/2008. Missed op. While waiting at the concourse for my plane to arrive, I noticed a man who looked like he could have been from Southeast Asia, like India or Pakistan. But I was too chicken to start a conversation with him. I had also put one of the new Urdu copies of the Book of Mormon, and a second English copy in my carry-on. I had room for four books in my carry on. Amharic seemed logical, and I felt inspired to carry the Urdu one too. Feeling guilty about not approaching him sort confirms that he may have been the one I was supposed to talk to.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Urdu Book of Mormon is out! Jan, 9, 2008.

01/09/2008. I just received the new Urdu Book of Mormon. This is the new full-translation, not "selections of."

It is the new standard size, and includes the usual pictures, and is printed in double columns.

It also has the border printed around every page, which I think is a custom in that part of the world to indicate that it is a holy book.

There are book headings and chapter headings, but no footnotes.

It's copyrighted 2007, and printed 8/2007.

Softcover catalog #, 35607-434.
Hardcover catalog #, 35606-434.

It's not on the web site yet, but you can order it by calling 1-801-240-3800.

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Book of Mormon price increase: $.50. Jan 9, 2008.

01/09/2008. The Book of Mormon has gone up 50 cents in price. Soft-cover editions are now $2.50, and hard-cover edtions are now $3.00. Shipping is still free. Order by phone at 801-240-3800 or 800-537-5971; or online at


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Book of Mormon study guide.

01/08/2008. There are several ways to read and study the Book of Mormon.

If you are not a member of the LDS church and have just an intellectual curiosity, ie. no religious motivations, then it would probably be best to just read it from beginning to end. You can read it online, order a free copy through the missionary department, or buy a copy through the church's online store. (You might get follow-up phone calls if you request a free copy, but you receive no follow-up phone calls and no follow-up emails (other than ordering/shipping confirmation) if you buy one online.) If you don't want to deal directly with the LDS church, you can buy a copy at or

If you are not a member of the LDS church and you haven't read it before, but have a religious curiosity about it, as to what it teaches about God, Christ and the Holy Ghost, I would suggest this reading sequence:

1. Moroni 10: 3-5. (Book of Moroni, chapter 10, verses 3 through 5.) Page 529 in the English edition. Read this to learn of the prophetic promise given to those who read the Book of Mormon with real intent.

2. 3 Nephi, chapters 11 through 26, containing the visit of the Savior to the Americas, starting on page 427. This is perhaps the most powerful part of the book. As you read this section, or after you finish reading this section, pray to know the truthfulness of what you read, in the manner suggested by the previous reading, Moroni 10:3-5.

3. 2 Nephi chapter 9, starting on page 72. This describes the Atonement of Christ, and why it is necessary.

4. Alma chapter 42, starting on page 311. This descrbies what is called "the Plan of Salvation" or the purpose of mortality, the fall, and redemption through the Atonement and repentance.

If you are a member, the 2008 Gospel Doctrine Sunday School manual may be used to study the Book of Mormon, which can be read online, or buy it here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Important quotes about the Book of Mormon.

Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1984 (General Conference Issue):

The Book of Mormon is for both member and nonmember. Combined with the Spirit of the Lord, the Book of Mormon is the greatest single tool which God has given us to convert the world. If we are to have the harvest of souls that President Kimball envisions, then we must use the instrument which God has designed for that task—the Book of Mormon.

Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1986 (General Conference issue):

This is my prayer, that the Book of Mormon may become the keystone of our lives,...

Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1988 (General Conference issue):

Now, my good Saints, we have a great work to perform in a very short time. We must flood the earth with the Book of Mormon — and get out from under God’s condemnation for having treated it lightly. (See D&C 84:54–58.)

I challenge the members of the Church to participate in the family-to-family Book of Mormon program — to send copies of the Book of Mormon on a mission for you. Sister Benson and I have been doing this for some time now, and we intend to do more. We should be sending out millions of copies of the Book of Mormon to the missionaries every month.

I challenge our mission leaders to show their missionaries how to challenge their contacts to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Missionaries need to know how to use the Book of Mormon to arouse mankind’s interest in studying it, and they need to show how it answers the great questions of the soul. Missionaries need to read with those they teach various passages from the Book of Mormon on gospel subjects.

I challenge our Church writers, teachers, and leaders to tell us more Book of Mormon conversion stories that will strengthen our faith and prepare great missionaries. Show us how to effectively use it as a missionary tool, and let us know how it leads us to Christ and answers our personal problems and those of the world.

I challenge those who are in business and other professions to see that there are copies of the Book of Mormon in their reception rooms.

I challenge owners of cassette players to play Book of Mormon cassettes from time to time and to listen to them at home and while walking, jogging, or driving.

I challenge the homes of Israel to display on their walls great quotations and scenes from the Book of Mormon.

I challenge all of us to prayerfully consider steps that we can personally take to bring this new witness for Christ more fully into our own lives and into a world that so desperately needs it.

I have a vision of homes alerted, of classes alive, and of pulpits aflame with the spirit of Book of Mormon messages.

I have a vision of home teachers and visiting teachers, ward and branch officers, and stake and mission leaders counseling our people out of the most correct of any book on earth — the Book of Mormon.

I have a vision of artists putting into film, drama, literature, music, and paintings great themes and great characters from the Book of Mormon.

I have a vision of thousands of missionaries going into the mission field with hundreds of passages memorized from the Book of Mormon so that they might feed the needs of a spiritually famished world.

I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon.

Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.

(Emphasis added.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Punjabi at gas station. Wed, Jan 2, 2008.

01/02/2008. 937. (Click here if you're looking for the Punjabi story that Elder Ballard quoted.) I had dropped off the rental car, and one of their employees took me back home. I asked him to drop me off at the gas station next to where I live. It is very cold today, and I thought they might have some hot chocolate. I had been there several times before, but never ran into any foreign-born employees. They're currently undergoing remodeling, so in hind-sight it may have changed ownership.

When I entered, I could tell the cashier was from the Indian sub-continent. They didn't have any hot chocolate, so I got a can of soda. As I paid, I asked him if he was from India, and he said yes. I asked him what state he was from and he said Punjab. I offered him a religious book from church in the Punjabi language, and he seemed a little interested. I said I'd get it from home and bring it back.

I walked home and got Punjabi and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals, and Punjabi and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet. I walked back to the gas station and presented them. He was definitely curious about the Punjabi Gospel Fundamentals book. He didn't seem totally fluent in English, and didn't pick up the bilingual nature of two books immediately, but he eventually caught on and accepted the English edition too. He just wanted the one, so I didn't give him the pair of Joseph Smith pamphlets.

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English at gas station/convenience store. Wed, Jan 2, 2008.

01/02/2008. 936. On the way home from the laundromat I felt inspired to go in a certain direction instead of the quickest way that I would normally take. It wasn't going to be out of the way, just another route of equal distance, but staying off the freeway.

As I started in that direction, the thought of a certain convenience store along that way came to mind, and I felt like I should stop there. I've been there several times before over the years (just for a newspaper, or soda pop, or to get gas), and have never encountered immigrants working there. But it felt like I should offer something to whoever was working there.

I stopped there and got a newspaper and an inexpensive DVD that looked interesting. After I paid, I told the clerk I liked to give out free Bibles, and asked if he wanted one. He said okay. I asked if he'd like a King James or a more modern translation, and he said a modern translation. I said I'd go see what I had in the car.

I found I had a "Contemporary English Version" Bible in the car, and I also retrieved an English Book of Mormon, and a "Our Heavenly Father's Plan" DVD.

I went back in and presented them, and he graciously accepted them, including the Book of Mormon, and the DVD when I presented them.

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Bengali at gas station. Wed, Jan 2, 2008.

01/02/2008. 935. It was after midnight, and I had just finished up doing laundry at a 24-hour laundromat. There's a gas station next door, so after putting my laundry in the rental car, I went there to buy a newspaper.

(I had procrastinated earlier in the evening, and didn't really have to do laundry so late if I would have gotten around to it earlier. Earlier in the evening, I had felt inspired to go to a different 24-hour laundromat on the other side of town. But since I delayed, and it was so late, I went to the one on this side of town.)

The family that runs the gas station is from Bangladesh. I had given at least one of the employees there Bengali and English copies of the Book of Mormon at least a year ago.

I didn't recognize the cashier tonight, so I figured I could offer him some material. Even though I had earlier felt that I should have gone elsewhere to do laundry, I now felt as there may have been some inspiration to make an offer of material here tonight, while I was there anyway. Sort of like an "Okay, as long as you're here" kind of thing.

After paying, I asked if he spoke Bengali and he said yes. I offered him a book in Bengali from the church, and he agreed to see it. I went out to the car and retrieved Bengali and English copies of the Book of Mormon. When I went back in, he must have been in back room, as I didn't see him. So I gave the the books to one of the other employees, and said that it was in his language.

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