Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Sunday School Lesson #1 (Book of Mormon)

Posted by Jim F. on January 1, 2008

Here is a link to the study notes I created for this lesson in 2004: http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=231

Obviously, any additional questions are welcome.

16 Responses to “Sunday School Lesson #1 (Book of Mormon)”

  1. Todd Wood said

    In 2008, I will seek to stay with you in my reading on the Book of Mormon the whole way, Jim.


  2. Jim F. said

    Now that I’m not producing an entire set of notes for each lesson, I hope that I can stay with me.

  3. Matt W. said

    Since one of the points of the first lesson is to go over the introduction, Do you think it would be worthwhile to mention the recent changes in the introduction and their potential significance to the church? I am really thinking about bringing it up in our Gospel Doctrine class, but don’t want to throw things too off kilt. (We’ve had some complaints lately about teachers not following the manual, etc.)

  4. brianj said

    Matt W: “…complaints lately about teachers not following the manual.” In my own ward, I am free to view the scriptures as our only manual. I know I am blessed in that way. I am actually skipping the whole introduction part and jumping right into 1 Nephi 1, so I don’t have much advice for you. (At least, that’s my plan for now.)

  5. Jim F. said

    Here is what the manual says, quoting Elder M. Russell Ballard: “Teachers would be well advised to study carefully the scriptures and their manuals before reaching out for supplemental materials. Far too many teachers seem to stray from the approved curriculum materials without fully reviewing them. If teachers feel a need to use some good supplemental sources beyond the scriptures and manuals in presenting a lesson, they should first consider the use of the Church magazines” (page vii).

    Elder Ballard’s remark says that the scriptures and the manual are to be our basic resources for teaching. The manual adds that scripture discussion and application “is the main part of the lesson” (page viii). Given that admonition, it follows that the scriptures are more important as the source of lesson material than is the manual.

    Also, Elder Ballard counsels us to go beyond those materials only if we exercise care, reviewing the scriptures and the Church-poublished manuals fully before going beyond them, and taking the Church magazines as the first source of supplementation. However, he does not counsel us never to go beyond either the scriptures or the manual.

    Since the introduction to the Book of Mormon is part of the scriptures, discussing what the introduction says is directly in line with Elder Ballard’s counsel.

    In other words, I don’t see how discussing the changes in the introduction goes against the admonition that we stick to the manual–assuming that such a discussion is used to teach the gospel and help class members apply it in their lives.

  6. Cherylem said

    I have been so immersed in the NT that the changes in the BOM intro swirled around me but without a definite source. Can you point me to a source and or what the exact change/changes are?



  7. clarkgoble said

    Cheryl, the changes are only in the Doubleday edition of the Book of Mormon but not in the official version. However it’s widely thought that since this was apparently done at the request of the Church that it heralds an eventual change in our own edition.

    Rumors have been flying for at least 15 years about a new edition of the scriptures. Especially after the additions to the Spanish triple back in the 90’s. But we’ve not seen any major changes.

    The problems are well discussed. The introduction which easily can be read as supporting an universal American geographical setting for the Book of Mormon needs edited, if not completely overhauled. The footnotes are a bit of a mess. (Do we really need TG: word I just read listed over and over?) The Bible dictionary has lots of problems in terms of history/theology but more importantly doesn’t include anything about the D&C or Book of Mormon.

    As I’ve said I’d love if the format for the text was more minimalistic and that they got read of the verse structuring, akin to most modern translations. And at least broke out the poetry into paralellisms.

  8. Cherylem said

    Thanks Clark, both for the explanation and your excellent “wants.” Such a readable edition of our scriptures would be exciting indeed.

  9. Joe Spencer said

    Jim, I couldn’t agree more with your understanding of what the Brethren are telling us about the relation between the scriptures and the manual. When I was teaching the young men, I kept the very same portion of the manual I was given close at hand so that I could defend my predilection for the scriptures over the manual.

    Cheryl, according to an article in the Deseret News: DoubleDay explained that the change was initiated by the Church and not by themselves; the Church PR representative explained that the change will also be found in future editions of the Book of Mormon published by the Church. I believe it was back in November or so that the article appeared.

    I also agree that a new edition of the scriptures—or at least of the Book of Mormon—would be nice, but I think it would be very wise for the Church to wait until Royal Skousen has finished his massive work so as to take advantage of everything he has discovered. Similar work should probably be done on the D&C and Pearl of Great Price (some of which is under way) before a new edition of either of these works is issued. Working out a new edition of the Bible would be a massive project that would require a great deal of work (far more critical attention to the JST manuscripts than was possible for the 1979 edition; acknolwedgement of certain findings of critical scholars; far more helpful cross references when texts explicitly cite other texts; a greatly revised Bible Dictionary; etc.). I imagine it will be a few years before we see anything happen, especially because the Church seems to be otherwise occupied at present.

  10. Matt W. said

    Joe, I have heard some push back on using all the Skousen material, as some have complained that a percentage of it is merely speculation. I sadly no longer recall where I read that.

    Cherryl this is the best summary.

  11. nhilton said

    RE: the BofM introductory change, I believe this is in response to all the DNA research & anti’s focus on this research. Really, I don’t think it is that important, myself. It’s one of those G-Whiz bits of information, kinda like the geography of the BofM & all the controversy there.

    RE: #7 “And at least broke out the poetry into paralellisms.” Jim asks in his notes how we know the BofM to be true, authentic. I have been studying the BofM from a literary point of view, specifically using Dilworth Rust’s “Literary Testimony of the BofM” a FARMS publication. I believe this point of view to be very enlightening to the understanding of the BofM’s message AS WELL as underscore the divinity of the book. I highly recommend this line of study, especially for those of you who have studied the BofM before & are looking for a fresh approach.

  12. Joe Spencer said

    Matt, I have not yet come across many who are not seriously impressed by what Skousen is pulling off. It is worth reading the recent JBMS issue that dedicates a number of articles to the subject (Grant Hardy, Terryl Givens, Kevin Barney, etc.). I’ve got the first three volumes and am infinitely impressed with the intricate work he is doing: complainers would do well to take the scriptures so seriously!

  13. nhilton said

    so, reading the link in #10, who wrote the introduction to the BofM? McConkie?

  14. cherylem said

    Does someone have a quick link to a chart or other easily accessible/readable document which shows what was on the small plates, large plates, etc? also a document which lists the timetable for the original translation of the BOM?


  15. brianj said

    cheryl: this graphic is pretty good (if not a bit busy). CES has a pretty good one too, but I’m not sure how to get it if you are not a seminary teacher.

  16. Abraham said

    l want sunday school book let

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