Studies in the Book of Mormon follows the LDS [Book of Mormon] Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual in its forty-eight weekly reading assignments in the Book of Mormon. However, its approach is conceptual rather than linear, tying in other related scriptures to a particular concept or idea. Its forty-eight chapters don’t attempt to cover each reading assignment in its entirety but only in part.
A word of caution. In an age when gospel study groups almost inevitably veer off on tangents and often lead to apostasy, when even individual study is looked upon as a “gospel hobby,” one must walk a fine line between “searching the scriptures,” which we are commanded to do, and being over-zealous to discover and share ideas. There is safety in following the counsel of prophets of God, whether we agree with them at the time or not. The Lord not only speaks through His servants, He also tries us at their hands to see if we are compliant and loyal to Him.
There is also safety in staying with the Standard Works rather than branching out into “Mormon Apocrypha.” I have therefore attempted to stay close to the scriptures at all times, using appropriate scholarly methods of scriptural analysis rather than the speculative interpretations that seem to come so easily to people. If there is anything controversial in these findings (which are backed up with ample scriptural references and quotations), then perhaps the scriptures themselves may be controversial, which I believe they are. Otherwise the burden of proof is on the reader.
Lastly, I know that we will not only get nearer to God by studying the Book of Mormon than by any other book, but as we diligently search its pages our minds will open to many untold truths and heavenly mysteries. I believe we are all guilty of underestimating the Book of Mormon for what it is. We have also misread parts of it, particularly those that connect with passages in Isaiah. I believe that until we comprehend its message more fully, recognizing and accepting what it says (not what we may assume it says), we won’t receive more.
As a second witness of Jesus Christ, who is also Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Book of Mormon beautifully illustrates the oneness of our Lord in these two aspects. It also underlines the importance Jesus attaches to the prophecies of Isaiah, which were understood by Nephi and Jacob as revelations from Jehovah. All three quote from Isaiah but also point to Isaiah’s words as the key to understanding the entire prophetic context of the Book of Mormon.
There is thus something profound still to be realized about the writings of Isaiah and how they interface with the Book of Mormon. Perhaps this book, Studies in the Book of Mormon, will bring us a little closer to that understanding and to a greater appreciation of the sublime message these scriptures contain.
Dr. Avraham Gileadi
For more information on Dr. Gileadi’s study of Isaiah, Click Here: Isaiah Institute website