Friday, February 26, 2010

Books about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.

Books about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. (Written from a faithful persepctive, of course.)

Doubleday edition of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (Hardcover). ISBN 038551316X. This is the current edition of the Book of Mormon, but without footnotes, and has no index. Has a pronouncing guide, and a brief reference guide in the back.

Original 1830 edition. paperback. ISBN: 0976402513.

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (Paperback) Terryl L. Givens. ISBN: 0195168887.

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (Hardcover) Terryl L. Givens. ISBN: 019513818X

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (Paperback) Richard Lyman Bushman. ISBN: 1400077532. I like this book. It's written from a faithful perspective, and from a scholarly perspective that makes it palatable for non-members to get an even-handed and non-proselyting delivery of the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. If you (LDS or non-LDS) have an intellectual curiosity about the history of Joseph Smith and the early church, this is the book for you.

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling [Deckle Edge] (Hardcover), Richard Lyman Bushman. ISBN: 1400042704.

The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 1: 1832-1839 (Hardcover)
Dean Jessee (Editor), Ronald Esplin (Editor), Richard Lyman Bushman (Editor).
ISBN: 1570088497.

On the Road With Joseph Smith: An Author's Diary (Paperback) Richard Lyman Bushman. ISBN: 1589581024.

The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition (Paperback) Grant Hardy (Editor). ISBN: 025207341X. This book is the 1830 edition (no break-down into verses), typeset in a way that makes for easy reading, and sets aparts the quotes. The "reading appearance" makes it more of a regular read as opposed to "reading scripture."

The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition (Hardcover) Grant Hardy (Editor). ISBN: 0252027973.

The Book of Mormon Movie - Volume 1 - The Journey. Most of it is cheesey and unprofessional, but it's a landmark. Some of the scenes are real groaners, but this movie was a major step taken in dramatizing the Book of Mormon. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND buying this for historical purposes. And, there are actually a couple good scenes in it. ASIN: B0002ER5VQ. Also look for it on ebay.

The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. (Paperback) Terryl L. Givens. ISBN: 0195369319.

Book of Mormon. Facsimile Reprint of 1830 First Edition (Hardcover). ASIN: B000HP2QQY.

Book of Mormon: 1830 Replica Edition (Leather Bound). ISBN: 0929753208.

The Book of Mormon - The Earliest Text. Edited by Royal Skousen. ISBN: 0300142188. "Royal Skousen has single-handedly brought the textual analysis of the Book of Mormon to a professional level on par with the finest classical and biblical scholarship. This volume is the culmination of his labors, and it is the most textually significant edition since Joseph Smith's work was first published in 1830. It takes us back to the original manuscript (as best we can reconstruct it) and sometimes beyond, to the very words that were first spoken by Joseph Smith to his scribes."-Grant Hardy, from the Introduction. == Completely redesigned and typeset by nationally award-winning typographer Jonathan Saltzman, this new edition has been reformatted in sense-lines, making the text much more logical and pleasurable to read. Featuring a lucid introduction by historian Grant Hardy, the Yale edition serves not only as the most accurate version of the Book of Mormon ever published but also as an illuminating entryway into a vital religious tradition.

Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide (Hardcover) Grant Hardy. ISBN: 0199731705.

Joseph Smith, Jr.: Reappraisals After Two Centuries
Reid L. Neilson (Editor), Terryl L. Givens (Editor).
ISBN: 0195369769.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1: First and Second Nephi (Hardcover) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 0884946320.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1: First and Second Nephi (Paperback) Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 1590385233.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2 (Hardcover) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 088494655X.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2: Jacob through Mosiah, by Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet (Paperback). ISBN: 1590385241.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3 (Hardcover) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 0884948072.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3: Alma through Helaman (Paperback) Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 159038525X.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4 (Hardcover) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ISBN: 0884948188.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4: Third Nephi through Moroni. (Paperback) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet and Brent T. Top. ISBN: 1590385268.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon [4 Volume Set] (Hardcover) Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ASIN: B000XMKWW6.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon (4 Vol. set) I-IV (Paperback) Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet. ASIN: B0022WZALS.

Not all of Nibley's works below are directly related to the Book of Mormon, but I'm including them as a convenience for those who are fans of his works.

Old Testament and Related Studies (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 1) (Hardcover), Hugh Nibley. ISBN: 0875790321.

Enoch the Prophet (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 2) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley (Author), Stephen D. Ricks (Editor). ISBN: 087579047X

The World and the Prophets (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 3) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley. ISBN: 087579078X

Mormonism and Early Christianity (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 4) (Hardcover), Hugh Nibley, Todd M. Compton, Stephen D. Ricks. ISBN: 0875791271.

Lehi in the Desert, the World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 5) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley (Author), John W. Welch (Editor), Darrell L. Matthews (Editor), Stephen R. Callister (Editor). ISBN: 0875791328.

An Approach to the Book of Mormon (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 6) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley, John W. Welch. ISBN: 0875791387.

Since Cumorah (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 7) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley, John W. Welch. ISBN: 0875791395.

The Prophetic Book of Mormon (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 8) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley. ISBN: 0875791794.

Approaching Zion (The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9) (Hardcover) Hugh Nibley (Author), Don E. Norton (Editor). ISBN: 0875792529. A very popular book among Nibley fans.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

African language at store. Fri, Feb 19, 2010.

02/19/2010. 1234. I had been shopping at a store and was about to leave when a man came in and spoke to one of the clerks. He spoke with an accent so I hung around a little bit. I struck up a conversation with him on his way out. I didn't have anything in his language, but I thought I had something in his wife's language. He met me outside at my car, but I couldn't find what I was looking for in my car supply. I had run out! Or at least I had forgotten to restock the car in that language. I asked for his name and address, and said I could mail it to him. I gave him my card, and he gave me his name and mailing address. I also gave him the name and phone number of a local woman who runs a humanitarian foundation in his native country.

At home I found the material, and will mail it to him. I think this was the first time I've actually asked for someone's address. He requested that I mail them instead of drop them off, so that's what I'll do.

It's been awhile since I've made any placement attempts. It's easy to get out of practice. That, plus I've cut back on eating out and shopping at new places. I think it's important to actively seek to create opportunities in order to maintain the right mind-set and keep the momentum going.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Old Testament reading schedule.

I'm reading the Old Testament this year. I like a schedule to read so many pages per day. Rather than do the calculations each day (1184 pages divided by 360 days gives 3.29 pages per day) and figuring out the day number of the year, I did a spreadsheet and printed out a chart to keep in my Bible.

It will print on one page if you set your "page setup" borders to .5" margins, and turn off headers and footers. HTML version here. XLS (MS-Works) version here. The latter might also work with MS-Excel.

The spreadsheet formula makes it adaptable to any book. Change cell B1 to the number of days in which you want to finish (assuming you start January 1). Change cell D1 to the number of pages. (And no, I didn't allow for leap year.)

This schedule does not follow the reading assignments for the current OT Gospel Doctrine class. The HTML Old Testament class member study guide is here. The PDF teacher's manual is here.


A million names.

At our stake conference on February 7th, the Stake Pres challenged the stake to index a million names in 2010. That's do-able.

So Bookslinger is now doing "indexing" at

He spoke at our ward conference on Feb 14th. He said that hundreds had signed up during the intervening week and indexed thousands of names. I forget the exact number.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Part 1.

The scriptures have many references to various combinations and forms of "nations, kindreds, tongues and people."

From Isaiah 66: 18-20 :
18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

There's a "gathering in" from various nations there in verse 18. And a "sending out" to various nations in verse 19. And another "gathering in" in verse 20.

I love the phrase "nations, kindreds, tongues and people." It appears a bunch of times in the Book of Mormon. And I'm sure it makes fans of diversity all giddy too.

In 1 Nephi 5:18, the plates of brass will go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people. In Alma 37:1-4, the plates handed down among the Nephites (small and large plates of Nephi, plus the plates of brass), will go forth unto nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

A scriptural prophecy doesn't have to be fulfilled all in one fell swoop. Fulfillment can come in steps. Missionaries haven't gone to every country and every language, but more and more having been gone to over the years. The Bible and Book of Mormon haven't been translated into every language yet, but work continues in that direction.

The Book of Mormon is in 106 printed languages now, plus English Braille, Spanish Braille, and American Sign Language.

The total number languages in which at least something from the Church has been translated is 159.

Now... let's start connecting the dots.

Is the Book of Mormon going out from the Church here in the US to other nations, kindreds, tongues and people? Yes. We're sending out missionaries to almost every country in the world now, with very few exceptions.

Is there a "gathering in" going on now? Yes, saints are not "gathered to" Utah anymore, but the Brethren say that saints are "gathered to" the "Stakes of Zion" wherever they are when they join the church.

Is there any other "gathering" going on? Yes! Millions of immigrants (and not just illegal immigrants) are "gathering" to the US right now! Are any of them "the elect"? It's a good bet that some of them, at least a percentage, are.

One of the scariest, but also coolest things going on is the "Visa Lottery". That page states: "The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States."

So in effect, in the name of "diversity", Congress has created a program that is helping the Lord "gather in" people from nations that weren't sending very many immigrants to the US.

Question: Why does the Lord want people to immigrate to the US? Answer: Because we aren't sending enough missionaries out there to those countries! The need for missionaries in "every nation" is HUGE, and we can't (or just plain aren't) filling that need. Too many young men are not going on missions. Therefore, the Lord is bringing those people to us, you and me, here in the United States, so they can receive the gospel from us, their new neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.

That is not to say that all immigrants are golden investigators. That's not how the Lord works. He likes to "hide" his miracles among mundane everday occurances. And just like in all times past, the "elect" are always sprinkled among a much larger group. And it's likely that He can't bring in the "elect" without bringing in a lot of "non-elect" with them. Though it's not up to us to judge who is and who is not the elect. Well, in a way, but only after the fact, as when the Lord said "My sheep hear my voice."

Another point is that He doesn't have to bring in all the golden investigators anyway, just a few. Those who join the church here, or even just investigate, will transmit that information back to their relatives and friends back in their home country who will hopefully seek out missionaries over there. That will make the (relatively) few missionaries that we send overseas more effective. What missionary wouldn't want to hear: "Hey, my brother in America told me to look you guys up. Tell me what you believe. And what's that blue book all about?"

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hindi, Tagalog and Tongan at Stake Conference. Sun, Feb 7, 2010.

02/07/2010. Journal Entry. (These were to members, so I don't number them along with other contacts.) While walking from the parking lot to the auditorium where Stake Conference was going to be held, I met two sister missionaries. I asked where they were from. One said Hawaii, and the other Texas. We chatted a bit on the way in.

Inside, while a friend and I were standing looking for people from our ward to talk to, we again encountered the sister missionaries, and continued conversing. The sister from Hawaii was originally from Tonga and spoke Tongan. She's in our mission sort of "on loan" from the Temple Square Mission. Sister missionaries from the Temple Square mission go out to "regular" missions for a couple months to get some of the "regular" mission experience.

She didn't have a Tongan Book of Mormon, and she agreed to receive one. I suggested she might meet someone who is Tongan.

I asked her companion where her family was originally from, and she said her mother was from the Philippines and her father was Eastern Indian. She didn't speak any of those languages except for a few words, but she agreed to receive a couple copies of the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and Hindi.

We had arrived early enough that I had time to go out to my car and retrieve those copies and give them to the sisters. They were excited about them, and I told them the story of meeting the Filipina member of the church at a Chinese restaurant in Tennessee last November, (#1206).

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

"Going Public with Your Faith", book recommendation.

"Going Public with Your Faith," by William Carr Peel, and Walt Larimore, Copyright 2003, published by Zondervan. Available at Amazon and Amazon's third-party sellers, for as low as $1.50 new and $.01 used (plus $3.99 shipping).

I think I got my copy at Book Warehouse, 1190 Lakes Boulevard, Lake Park, GA 31636-3015; phone (229) 559-4373‎. That's at Exit #5 on Interstate 75. Turn East when you take that exit. There are two discount/closeout bookstores in that shopping center. The bookstore closest to the Interstate is a Christian bookstore.

The authors are not LDS, but I really like their attitude and recommendations about what they call "evangelism," "outreach" and "witnessing." It's what LDS would call "missionary work." The authors describe courtesies and conversations that are well within the Golden Rule. The things the authors write really hit home with me, and are the way I would want to be treated by those who would like to share things about their religion with me.

I think Latter-day Saints could learn a lot from this book, and use the guidelines in it to share the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The book seems to go a long way to help you get over the embarrassment of "talking religion."

From the back cover:

How to take evangelism out of the religious box and weave it into your life at work.

In every part of the world, people are looking for spiritual answers and resources as never before. But you don't need to travel to some exotic foreign mission field to find hungry hearts. You spend hours every day in the most strategic place of impact in the world -- your workplace.

Going Public with Your Faith offers a proven model for evangelism that respects the unique relationships you have with your coworkers, clients, or customers. It shows how you can be authentic instead of artificial when sharing what you believe, build trust with even the most skeptical person, and cultivate caring connections with those who have not yet come to a saving faith in Christ.

If you've ever wanted your life to count for the kingdom, Going Public with Your Faith will show you how your God-given gifts and talents can easily and naturally draw customers, clients, and coworkers to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

William Carr Peel, TH.M., is the pastor of leadership development at Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas, Texas, and the best-selling author of five books, including What God Does When Men Pray. He has consulted with and spoken for many organizations, including Promise Keepers, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs.

Walter L. Larimore, M.D., is vice president of medical outreach at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and the best-selling author of Bryson City Tales and 10 Essentials of Highly Healthy People. He coauthored and teaches the course "The Saline Solution: Sharing Your Faith in Your Practice" for the Paul Tournier Institute of the Christian Medical Association.

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