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Book Of Mormon Made Easier


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I have not used it myself, but when I was working at a church bookstore up in Calgary, a missionary came in who had a reading disability and he said that really helped him understand what he was learning and memorizing.

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I'm kind of with nack, except that, having a sister who is mentally challenged in a lot of ways, i can see the need for scripture that is easier to understand and accessable, in a meaningful way, to as many people as possible.

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hehe, Pres. Monson had a story on book of mormon stories for children (or something like that)>

I think it is good for those who it helps understand the scriptures better =). And it also helps to have nice and simple things for a change =D. But at the same time, nothing will replace the regular scriptures =). They are very good, I like them.

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'Simplified' versions for kids are one thing. Tools for adults are different.

Most books that claim to make the scriptures easier tend to use pseudo-scholarship and presentism in a way that leaves all questions neatly answered, all the while reaffirming all that the reader generally originally believed.

I know from my experience, the more I learn about this history and context of scripture, the more questions I have, and the more difficult it becomes. I tend to have to stretch a lot more. But it certainly keeps me active in my studies.

Edited by nackhadlow
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'Simplified' versions for kids are one thing. Tools for adults are different.

Most books that claim to make the scriptures easier tend to use pseudo-scholarship and presentism in a way that leaves all questions neatly answered, all the while reaffirming all that the reader generally originally believed.

I know from my experience, the more I learn about this history and context of scripture, the more questions I have, and the more difficult it becomes. I tend to have to stretch a lot more. But it certainly keeps me active in my studies.

And i think it's great that you have the intellect and ability to do that. I also, have been blessed with those abilities and don't take them for granted.

I also know though that not everyone is capable of learning the same way that you and i do and i am gratful for those things which allow them the opportunity to learn in a way that is possible for them.

It's against my nature in many ways, but having the sister that i do, i've been forced to get off my intellectual high horse many times to see the gospel in terms of those who are 'the least'. It's humbling and uncomfortable but i am reminded almost daily that the gospel and the scriptures provide no help to us whatsoever if we are unable, in a very personal way, to understand them and to apply them in our lives.

In that way, if someone is able to do that through an easy-reader BOM when it wasn't possible for them before, i'm not going to disparage the book and thus the blessings they receive from reading it.

God will guide them if they are sincere. They don't need me be the watch dog. :)

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And i think it's great that you have the intellect and ability to do that. I also, have been blessed with those abilities and don't take them for granted.

I also know though that not everyone is capable of learning the same way that you and i do and i am gratful for those things which allow them the opportunity to learn in a way that is possible for them.

It's against my nature in many ways, but having the sister that i do, i've been forced to get off my intellectual high horse many times to see the gospel in terms of those who are 'the least'. It's humbling and uncomfortable but i am reminded almost daily that the gospel and the scriptures provide no help to us whatsoever if we are unable, in a very personal way, to understand them and to apply them in our lives.

In that way, if someone is able to do that through an easy-reader BOM when it wasn't possible for them before, i'm not going to disparage the book and thus the blessings they receive from reading it.

God will guide them if they are sincere. They don't need me be the watch dog. :)

You make some very valid points here, and in some cases making things easier helps. But as I tell my students…”The scriptures are Spiritually discerned, not intellectually”. Intellect helps, but can also derail the message. Christ taught, “…unto you it is given to know the mysteries of heaven, and not to them” (Paraphrasing from memory). This is why he taught in parables, to help the simple and the wise both.

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You make some very valid points here, and in some cases making things easier helps. But as I tell my students…”The scriptures are Spiritually discerned, not intellectually”. Intellect helps, but can also derail the message. Christ taught, “…unto you it is given to know the mysteries of heaven, and not to them” (Paraphrasing from memory). This is why he taught in parables, to help the simple and the wise both.

I completely agree.

I've seen instances where intellect and intelligence were a hinderance to having a testimony, rather than a blessing. It definitely is a fine line in some ways. It's so hard to see inside people and understand what they truly need in terms of understanding the gospel. One size doesn't fit all, but at the same time, there is only one 'way' back. Thank goodness Heavenly Father is the perfect parent and can juggle all of our needs at the same time, to produce the best outcome, if we let Him.

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You make some very valid points here, and in some cases making things easier helps. But as I tell my students…”The scriptures are Spiritually discerned, not intellectually”. Intellect helps, but can also derail the message. Christ taught, “…unto you it is given to know the mysteries of heaven, and not to them” (Paraphrasing from memory). This is why he taught in parables, to help the simple and the wise both.

If the "regular" scriptures are inaccessable for reasons having nothing to do with "looking beyond the mark," such as those who have conditions which make reading or comprehension a challenge, I see nothing wrong with resorting to resources such as these. Intellectual challenges can also interfere with the acquisition of spiritual knowledge in ways having nothing to do with pride in one's learned state. Nephi wasn't talking to those folks when he said that "to be learned is good if one hearkens to the counsels of God"; he was talking to the people who do tend to look beyond the mark because of pride in what they think they already know.

While the Spirit often enables one to discern things spiritually which one cannot comprehend intellectually, sometimes it also works in reverse: it's sometimes difficult for one to be edified spiritually by something s/he cannot comprehend intellectually. In such cases, if the choice is between getting little or nothing out of the "regular" scriptures versus getting far more out of resources such as a "simplified" Book of Mormon I say, "Go for it!"

Now having said all of that, let me tell you about one of my heroes from my mission. We had our share of disagreements even though he was one of my leaders: I didn't think he was a "More Effective" Missionary (and I probably knew that only because I was president of the "Less Effective" Club). But he's still one of my heroes because he had reading difficulty (I'm not sure if it was dyslexia or what), and the [Regular] Book of Mormon was the first book he ever read cover-to-cover.

Would my former mission leader have gotten more out of a "simplified" version of the Book of Mormon? Maybe, maybe not. The answer to that question might be different in each case. Maybe some people are doing something similar to what Elder John Groberg did to teach himself Tongan, having a simplified Book of Mormon open next to their regular scriptures.

JOMO ... "Just one man's opinion" ... :)

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My memory states that the Church has requested people not to use "updated" Book of Mormon scriptures, but I don't think there would be a problem for those who would not be able to read them in any other way after having tried to use the original ones and failed.

add-on: it's actually in the CHI:

21.1.8

Book of Mormon

The Church discourages rewriting the Book of Mormon into familiar or modern English. The First Presidency has said:

“When a sacred text is translated into another language or rewritten into more familiar language, there are substantial risks that this process may introduce doctrinal errors or obscure evidence of its ancient origin. To guard against these risks, the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve give close personal supervision to the translation of scriptures from English into other languages and have not authorized efforts to express the doctrinal content of the Book of Mormon in familiar or modern English. (These concerns do not pertain to publications by the Church for children.)” (Ensign, Apr. 1993, 74).

http://lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies?lang=eng#21.1.26

Edited by calmoriah
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Generally, the "Book of Mormon Made Easier" that I see aren't re-written versions of the scriptures, they're third-party commentaries that specifically claim that their verse by verse explanations make the scriptures (Old Testament, New Testament, BoM, etc) "easier".

In fact, just last Sunday, our Gospel Doctrine teacher was teaching directly out of "NT Made Easier", believing that she was now an authority on the particular historical subject the book was commenting on and 'making easier'. Too bad the commentary was...wrong.

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Generally, the "Book of Mormon Made Easier" that I see aren't re-written versions of the scriptures, they're third-party commentaries that specifically claim that their verse by verse explanations make the scriptures (Old Testament, New Testament, BoM, etc) "easier".

In fact, just last Sunday, our Gospel Doctrine teacher was teaching directly out of "NT Made Easier", believing that she was now an authority on the particular historical subject the book was commenting on and 'making easier'. Too bad the commentary was...wrong.

That is the concern that resulted in the CHI directive, I believe. "Made Easier" essentially means "Interpreted"...and therefore should only be done as a last resort, imo.

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That is the concern that resulted in the CHI directive, I believe. "Made Easier" essentially means "Interpreted"...and therefore should only be done as a last resort, imo.

I agree.

I don't believe there are many people who need to use a 'made easier' version of the scriptures, though i believe that some such people do exist.

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Thank goodness Heavenly Father is the perfect parent and can juggle all of our needs at the same time, to produce the best outcome, if we let Him.

Very well said, as a father of four I had to employ different means for different personalities. Some worked and others did not, but not from a lack of trying, and crying. To be fair, also mush laughter.

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I agree.

I don't believe there are many people who need to use a 'made easier' version of the scriptures, though i believe that some such people do exist.

One of the problems with using "Made Easier" versions is that it may lock a person into viewing the scriptures in only one way. I think this is one of the positive aspects of using language we are unfamiliar with, we have to work at understanding it and the struggle is more likely to keep our mind open to new possibilities, thus allowing the Spirit greater chance of teaching us through our scripture study.

I remember well the difficulty of overcoming the set ideas of some Primary students who had viewed animated scripture stories and were so set in seeing the scriptures as only happening one way that we had some extended discussions about it, me informing them that this was an idea of the writers of the movies and not in the scriptures themselves so we couldn't be sure and them insisting that this was the way it happened. Even if in the future they come to realize that such is not the case, it may be difficult for them to be open to viewing the context differently (one of the reasons I never like to see a movie before reading a book and getting my own ideas about it first).

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Okay, I may be mistaken, I was thinking of an Easy to Read version as opposed to a commentary version when I mentioned the elder who had used it. The name made me think of another book than what it actually was. Should have checked the actual book before commenting, nack's comment made me go looking. Now I am not sure what the missionary used, but I lean toward this one:

http://www.amazon.co...08766731&sr=1-1

It was about ten years ago, sorry for the confusion.

These were the other books we carried in our store along with the two mentioned already, I can't recall others though we may have had some: http://www.amazon.co...cm_cr_pr_sims_t

http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sim_b_3

Edited by calmoriah
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