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LIST OF SUGGESTIONS TO HELP WITH YOUR PERSONAL STUDY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON

Following are some general DOs and DON'Ts by Daniel H. Ludlow, director of Correlation Review for the Church, pertaining to the study of the Book of Mormon. The list is from "Getting the Most Out of the Book of Mormon," a set of two cassette tapes produced by Deseret Book Co.

-Do become well acquainted with the five major sets of plates so that you can determine precisely what sections and teachings and events of your present Book of Mormon come from each of these sets of plates.-Do develop your own chart of the major dates, events, and names of the Book of Mormon, including a list of the Church, civil, and military leaders.

-Do become oriented to the relative location of three or four of the major lands in the Book of Mormon (such as Nephi, Zarahemla, Bountiful, and "the land of our first inheritance") and be aware of which major events occur in each of these lands.

-Do learn all of the names of the books of the Book of Mormon in the order in which they appear so you can easily locate the books and find references in them. There are only 15 of these (compared with 66 books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament).

-Do develop a personal meaningful marking system. Use different colored pencils. You remember about 70 percent of what yo udo but only about 10 percent of what you read.

-Do become acquainted with the doctrinal teachings of the Book of Mormon. It contains the "fulness of the gospel" of salvation. In other words, it contains instructions on everything you need to know and do in order to go back into the presence of God. As Joseph Smith said: "A man can get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book."

-Do pray about what you've read.

-Do bear your testimony concerning its truthfulness.

-Don't claim that the Book of Mormon is primarily a history book, or a book on archaeology, or a book that tells everything about all the people who lived in all the lands of the Americas before the coming of Columbus. Limit your claims and purposes of the book to those of the original writers and engravers.

-Don't become too concerned about the exact geography and location of the various cities and lands mentioned in the Book of Mormon. You might have in mind the relationship of the major lands and cities to each other, but do not become so preoccupied with their exact locations in relationship to current lands and cities that it diverts your attention from the major religious messages of the Book of Mormon.

-Don't let differences in the suggested pronunciation of the names of the Book of Mormon bother you unduly. Many of these names are of Hebrew origin; and others, such as most of the names in the Book of Ether, come from an even earlier culture.

-Don't become unduly concerned about the changes that have been made in the various editions and printings of the Book of Mormon. The 1981 edition is the most accurate of all, and is faithful to the printers manuscript and to what we have of the dictated (or original) manuscript. There have been no major doctrinal errors or changes in any of the editions.

-Don't let any criticisms of the Book of Mormon by anti-LDS critics bother you, even for one second. Almost invariably their criticisms are without substance; they are a sort of smoke screen to serve as a weak excuse and defense for their not having paid the price of reading the Book of Mormon itself and praying about its truthfulness.