New Book of Mormon study guide clear, engaging

By Margot Hovley

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 28 2011 5:00 a.m. MST

"VERSE BY VERSE, THE BOOK OF MORMON, Vol. 1," by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, Deseret Book, $35.99, 468 pages (nf)

"Verse by Verse, the Book of Mormon," a new commentary by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, asks the question: Do we really need another Book of Mormon study guide? They answer with a resounding, "Yes. We can never do too much with the Book of Mormon."

If you've ever had questions in a Sunday School, institute or seminary class in which there wasn't time to examine every verse, this is the book for you. As the title suggests, the authors take very small chunks — a couple of verses or so at a time — and write thoughtful commentary to enlighten and explain. Helpful maps and charts make the scripture easier to understand as well.

Authors Ogden and Skinner have extensive experience and credentials to present this material, having both taught at BYU and the BYU Jerusalem Center and each holding doctorate degrees in Middle East studies and history.

The commentaries explain and assist with passages that sometimes baffle the average LDS scripture reader, putting things in historical contexts and relating the events to our times. Serious students from seminary age up will benefit from having this scholarly book at their side.

This substantial book, dealing with the first half of the Book of Mormon, comes just in time for 2012's Sunday School course of study. This is a new entry in a series of "Verse by Verse" commentaries, including two guides on the New Testament. A volume on the second half of the Book of Mormon is also available.

Margot Hovley's first novel will be published by Covenant Communications in 2012. Find her popular self-reliance blog at www.mynewoldschool.com or read about her writing adventures at www.margothovley.com.

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