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The Book of Mormon
BOOK OF MORMON: FAMILY HERITAGE EDITION, Covenant, 519 pages, $79.95.

BOOK OF MORMON REFERENCE COMPANION, edited by Dennis L. Largey, Deseret Book, 850 pages, $49.95.

These two large volumes — one a classy, gilded-edged, large-print, illustrated edition of The Book of Mormon, and the other a reference companion — would make excellent gifts for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who want to give something extraordinary to friend or family.

COVENANT COMMUNICATIONS has done an excellent job with "The Book of Mormon: Family Heritage Edition," carefully boxed and containing more than 70 attractive illustrations from such well-known artists as Greg Olsen, Gary Kapp, Robert Barrett, Del Parson, Clark Kelly Price and Scott Snow.

It is assembled with a bonded-leather cover, sewn binding, a ribbon marker and acid-neutral pages with gilded edges, to last for generations. The print is large for easy reading. And there are several family-history pages at the front for recording births, blessings, baptisms and confirmations, marriages and other significant events.

DESERET BOOK'S "The Book of Mormon Reference Companion" is billed as "the largest-ever compilation of Book of Mormon facts and descriptors." Out since September, it is already in its third printing, and includes 900 entries addressing 1,500 topics from 111 contributing writers. It is a topical guide to people, places, words, phrases, doctrines, purposes, themes and the historical background of the Book of Mormon.

Just as the "Bible Dictionary" at the back of the LDS edition of the King James Bible has become known as the reference tool for studying the Bible, this "Book of Mormon Reference Companion" will likely be seen as the guide for studying the Book of Mormon. There are comprehensive reviews of Isaiah's statements, insights on gospel concepts and principles, and a greater explanation of Book of Mormon facts and events.

Maps, illustrations, photographs, pictures, outlines and charts are combined with articles geared to enhance a reader's understanding of the Book of Mormon. Dennis Largey, the general editor of the volume, is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. Others who served as associate editors for the book are Marilyn Arnold, Terry Ball, Larry Dahl, Donald Parry, David Seely, Clyde Williams, and Richard Holzapfel as graphics editor. The contributors are, without exception, experienced scholars and teachers.