Sharing the Book of Mormon with my kids

I read a lot to my kids. But it can be really hard to share the scriptures with them. The LDS church released picture books of the scriptures are ok, but the style of the pictures is very uniform and the action uninteresting, they leave out lots of parts of the scriptures that I love, and they spin stories (very slightly, and mostly by omission) to emphasize understandings of the scriptures that I don’t always agree with. Plus, my kids just get bored with them. We had a lot of fun reading the Brick Bible, but unfortunately it also skips most of the Bible and sometimes emphasizes things in ways that don’t represent my understanding of the same passages. We will read it again, but reading it got me thinking about what I would like. I would like a retelling of the Book of Mormon that is understandable to a preschooler, in chunks that match his or her attention span, and tells the whole story of the Book of Mormon–not just the action filled parts.

So this is my scripture study, for a while. I’m retelling, very slowly, the entire Book of Mormon. At each stage I ask myself, how can I say this idea, and what’s an image I can pair with it that will be interesting? I’m no expert on writing for this age group, and I’m even weaker when it comes to illustration. I have an invitation for all of you readers:

Enjoy my process by reading the Title Page here, then continue over at my blog Book of Mormon Bedtime Stories. If you like it, feel free to share it. Once you have a feel for what I’m doing with the stories, I would love collaborators. If you want to try writing some, I’d love to see your drafts and discuss contributions. If you want to contribute artwork, I welcome it with open arms. I’ll take images for things I’ve written, or simply stories you want to illustrate. I’ll take single frames or entire series. I’ll take fine art or cartoon drawings. Contact me (through the BoMBS blog) and we can discuss it. I have a vision for the work, but I am flexible and have experience collaborating on difficult projects. Now let’s get started.

Title Page

Moroni standing in front of Nephite recordsI’m Moroni. I helped my dad, Mormon, pick the most important parts out of all these records of a people called the Nephites.

Timeline with Moroni at 400 CE and child at 2000 CEI lived 1600 years ago. That’s when your grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents, back about 30 times, lived.

Moroni holding gold platesWe wrote this book for you and for the children of the Lamanites. The Nephites’ children and grandchildren and other descendents are all going to be dead or lost when you get this book.

God moving plates on timeline to 1800God is going to make sure you get it, even though this book will have been hidden for a long time. There are three things I want you to learn from this book:

God with arm around earthFirst, God made us promises, and he kept them.

King turning his back on GodSecond, even people who ignore God or run away from him will be welcomed back when they choose to seek God again.

Jesus appearing around the worldThird, Jesus, our savior, shows himself to people all over the world.

Man rejecting cake because it's the wrong flavorI probably made mistakes in some of these stories, but I did my best. Don’t throw out the good stuff because I made mistakes.

All artwork is by Jonathan G. Cannon, created in Inkscape as original art or using images from openclipart.org, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 4.0 unless otherwise indicated.

Jonathan lives in rural Georgia with his wife and three boys, teaching Chemistry and enjoying the good people of his community. He studied Molecular Biology at Brigham Young University, and Biophysics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Jonathan is passionate about fatherhood, teaching and learning, Mormonism, and dance (he’s much better at the first three), and dabbles in home repairs, various crafts, poetry, music, gardening, and Transhumanism. He has enjoyed many years working in Primary, with Young Adults and Ward Missions in various capacities. He currently enjoys serving in his ward and community however he is able. He posts on whatever interests him at the moment at http://jonathan.metacannon.net/

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