Foreword to the First Edition
Everyone who reads this manual will find new material in it—material that has not appeared in print before and is, therefore, of vital importance. The work is a new approach to the Book of Mormon and for that reason demands careful reading and study of every member of the priesthood classes using it.
In this work the Book of Mormon is seen in a new perspective; we see it in a world setting, not in a mere local one. It takes its place naturally alongside the Bible and other great works of antiquity and becomes one of them. As we study the manual, the mystery that some writers have tried to throw around the Book of Mormon disappears, and the book and its characters become real and natural. False arguments which in the past have prospered against it are shattered by the material of this course. The author has thrown up such a background for the study of the Book of Mormon and has fitted it into such a framework of world history as to make it one of the great books of all time. The success or failure of the study of the course depends upon seeing and clearly grasping this point of view, and one will be rewarded according to the energy expended in gaining such an important vision.
Some of the lessons of the manual are too long for one recitation period. This should disturb neither the instructor nor the class members—two or even more recitation periods, in some cases, can be profitably spent on one lesson.
Every member should be constantly encouraged to carefully and earnestly read every lesson, that he may contribute to the mastery of such vital material.
The captions and notes at the back of the book, if carefully used, can be made to enrich the text. These notes should not be neglected.
While many of the references cited will not be available to all, others may be. These will also help to enrich the study of the manual.
The questions at the close of each lesson may well be assigned to members of the class for brief discussion in order to bring boldly to the front significant points in the lesson.
This is a course that needs diligent and prayerful study.