Two and a half years ago, BCC Press made the world a better place by publishing the first volumes of The Book of Mormon for the little ones and The Book of Mormon for Women. You responded by buying them in massive quantities from those volumes and making them two of our best-selling books of all time. And now we’re about to do it again with a pair of volume twos.
There’s nothing in the world like The Book of Mormon for the little ones. It’s because there’s no one in the world like Fatimah Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming – the two brilliant women whose lives and experiences prepared them for the brilliant analysis at the heart of these books. The Book of Mormon for the little ones offers patient, verse-by-verse readings of writing driven by a passion for justice and a rejection of the idea that racism, sexism, inequality and violence can still be seen as the work of God .
The second volume in a projected trilogy carries the authors’ signature analysis of the books of Mosiah and Alma, two of the longest books in the Book of Mormon and two of the most violent. Here we see the authors’ response to King Benjamin’s magnificent final speech, the trial and execution of Abinadi, the baptismal covenants set forth at the Waters of Mormon, the trials of Nehor and Korihor, the wars with the Amlicites and Amalickiahites , and the horrific burning of innocent women and children at Ammonihah. Salleh and Hemming deal directly with these texts and show us how to read them ethically – as stories of God upholding equality and justice and condemning war, brutality, inequality and injustice. Check out their reading of the first four chapters of Mosiah, including King Benjamin’s speech, here:
by Mette Harrison Book of Mormon for Women does pretty much the same job as The Book of Mormon for the little ones, but it does the job like a novel, which means the author is free to create stories, characters, plots, and narrative arcs that are not in (but definitely implied by) the text of the Book of Mormon . In many ways, Harrison, one of the most talented and accomplished novelists in the Mormon world, addresses one of the biggest problems the Book of Mormon poses for modern readers, which is that the perspective of women is completely absent. But not for Mette Harrison; she invents the stories of women that no one talks about in the male-dominated text.
This is Harrison’s fourth novelization of the Book of Mormon published with BCC Press. In each of these volumes, she imagines how different the story would be if the excluded voices were included. And, in doing so, it speaks to what is glossed over, but not entirely excised from the text. In The Book of Laman, it imagines what Nephi does not say in his story, and it shows the redemption of a character that is much more in line with the Book of Mormon’s own theology than the story we actually see in the text. In Abish’s Bookshe imagines the story of a minor Book of Mormon character who is also one of only three female characters in the text with a name.
In the Woman’s Book of Mormon. all the women are given names—21 of them in Volume 2 alone, including: Dara, the mother of Samuel the Lamanite, who is preparing her son for a great work she does not understand; Kishla, Kishkumen’s daughter, who knows her father is a public enemy but also knows that he loves her; and Shila, the Nephite mother, who dedicated her life to burying the dead, both Nephite and Lamanite, after a great battle in which her husbands and four sons were slain. And, of course, Isabel, the courtesan reviled for generations for diverting Corianton from her missionary duties. See his story below