pdf Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 4/1 (1992)  >  A Standard unto My People
ARTICLES
  1. Editor's Introduction: Questions to Legal Answers
  2. Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion
  3. George Dempster Smith, Jr., on the Book of Mormon
  4. Stories from the Early Saints: Converted by the Book of Mormon
  5. Living the Book of Mormon: A Guide to Understanding and Applying Its Principles in Today's World
  6. Ancient American Indians: Their Origins, Civilizations and Old World Connections
  7. Fathers and Sons in the Book of Mormon
  8. Fathers and Sons in the Book of Mormon
  9. The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon
  10. The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon
  11. A Standard unto My People
  12. Southwestern American Indian Rock Art and the Book of Mormon
  13. Gadiantons and the Silver Sword: A Novel
  14. The Truth about Mormonism: A Former Adherent Analyzes the LDS Faith
  15. A Tragedy of Errors
  16. The Book of Abraham: Divinely Inspired Scripture
  17. By Study and Also by Faith, vol. 2
  18. Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon Vol. 3, Alma through Helaman
  19. Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon. Vol. 3 Alma through Helaman
  20. Dominions of the Gadiantons
  21. The Most Correct Book: Why the Book of Mormon Is the Keystone Scripture
  22. The Book of Mormon: Mosiah, Salvation Only through Christ
  23. Isaiah Made Easier
  24. Rediscovering the Book of Mormon
  25. Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?
  26. Out of Darkness into Light: A Novel Approach
  27. The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon
  28. Death Knell or Tinkling Cymbals?
  29. Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory
  30. Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory
  31. To Mothers & Fathers from the Book of Mormon
  32. 1991 Book of Mormon Bibliography
  33. About the Reviewers

Review of Robert E. and Sandra L. Hales, A Standard unto My People, vols. 1 and 2. Illustrated by Susan Meeks Curtis. n.p.: Seven Up Publishing, 1990. Vol. 1, 186 pp. $10.95; Vol. 2, 182 pp. $10.95.



Reviewed by John M. Beck

Volumes 1 and 2 of A Standard unto My People follow a format similar to that of the authors' earlier publication, How to Hiss Forth with the Book of Mormon. These later publications are in a reader/workbook format, with questions for each chapter and an answer section at the back of each book.

A quick perusal of the volumes gives one the impression that these books are rather basic in nature and would satisfy the inquisitive learner. However, serious questions arise as one studies the topics and notices how little flow there is between the various concepts studied in each section. For example, in section 1 of volume 1, the author moves from topics such as the Fall of Man to the Law of Moses in a matter of pages. The volumes would be more readable if new chapter headings were developed and the various topics within the headings were rearranged to give more meaning and flow to the study. Discussion of significant gospel topics would be strengthened if the authors tied more of the concepts together from one section to another. It appears that the authors have compiled topics of their own interest under broad and often vague and unrelated headings. Volume 2 appears to have been given more organizational thought. However, no page numbers are supplied in the table of contents for concepts 19-36.

Volumes 1 and 2 contain four sections each, with from three to six concepts presented within each section. The full Book of Mormon text for each reference is also included, with questions and commentary dispersed throughout. In the spirit of simplicity and brevity, approximately 20 per cent of the volume could be deleted if the reader were to have the Book of Mormon in hand instead of having the Book of Mormon text within the volume. The reader would then be able to move between the workbook and the Book of Mormon itself. Scripture annotating, cross-referencing, and scriptural chaining of key verses could be entered in one's personal copy of the Book of Mormon, while one could answer the questions within the workbook itself.

Most section headings represent typical Latter-day Saint concepts and doctrines. Some headings, however, could use a bit of improvement. For example, "Free Agency" (vol. 2, p. 4) should read "Agency," and "Psychological Sickness" (vol. 2, concept 30) could better be labeled "Rationalizing One's Sins." Often there are vague and misleading connections between the topic being discussed and the topic heading. A case in point is "Psychological Sickness." What is "psychological sickness"? How does one become "sick"? No reference is made to this topic within the section.

On the positive side, the authors should be given credit for developing some rather good scripture chains within specific sections. There are few typographical and spelling mistakes, and this fact contributes to a splendid-looking workbook. Most charts and learning activities are simple enough even for younger readers.

In summary, there is a definite need to organize the materials better so that the authors' objectives to "teach . . . the doctrinal concepts addressed in the Book of Mormon" can be met. There is merit in this "workbook" style of learning, but some simple changes along the lines suggested would improve these volumes.