13 Comments

Top 24 Book of Mormon Stories

We have a Childrens Bible that my children love.  It has 25 Bible stories: David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s den, Abraham, Joseph, etc.  I asked my children about some Book of Mormon stories such as Ammon and the sheep, Nephi’s boat, and realized that my children weren’t familiar with these stories.  So, I decided to write my own version of the most important Book of Mormon stories that I thought my kids could understand.  I used the Childrens Bible as my guide, and tried to tell the stories in about 100 words or so, and thought it would be fun for my kids to draw pictures of the stories.

As it turned out, my kids got tired of drawing pictures, and I can’t count very well–we stopped at 24.  I realized that I was leaving out some stories.  Here’s my list.

  1. Lehi Tells the People to Repent
  2. Lehi Finds the Liahona
  3. Lehi’s Dream of the Iron Rod and Tree of Life
  4. Nephi Breaks his Bow
  5. The Brass Plates
  6. Nephi Builds a Ship
  7. The Big Storm
  8. The Promised Land
  9. Jacob Teaches Everyone to Be Nice
  10. King Benjamin Tells Everyone to Serve
  11. Alma and the Sons of Mosiah
  12. Ammon Defends the Sheep
  13. King Lamoni gets Baptized
  14. The People of Jershon Bury Their Swords
  15. The Title of Liberty
  16. Samuel the Lamanite
  17. The New Star
  18. The Great Destruction
  19. Jesus Appears to the Nephites
  20. 200 Years of Peace
  21. Mormon Abridges the Plates
  22. The Brother of Jared
  23. The Nephites and Lamanites are Bad
  24. Moroni Buries the Golden Plates

There were other stories that I missed–Enos, Abinadi, the Waters of Mormon, The Stripling Warriors, and many others. I was originally going to add the Stripling Warriors, but I wasn’t sure what to tell my kids to draw (they’re 7 and 5.)  I also didn’t really want to stress the war stories in favor of some of the other stories, in order to give a variety.  I felt there was enough war stories already.  On a side note, I had my kids watch the old 1960’s movie on Netflix:  The Incredible Mr Limpet.  They had no idea why the US was trying to blow up all the Nazi subs.  It was hard for me to put it in terms they understood.  I realized that this rated G cartoon/movie had some more difficult subjects to explain to little kids, and I didn’t want to get into the Holocaust with them.

So here is my question.  If you had to limit the list of stories to 24, what stories would you remove in order to include some of the ones I missed?

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13 comments on “Top 24 Book of Mormon Stories

  1. My favorite is when Shiz becomes the only man in recorded history to do a push-up with no head.

  2. I swear I remember hearing a story of a man in france who picked up his head after he was guillotioned. i’ll have to find a reference.

    but bishop rick, do you think this is a worthwhile activity for children, or should I avoid the book of mormon because you think it is ahistorical?

  3. When my daughter was about the age of your kids, she’d make the wilderness the common areas of our condo complex, invite a couple of kids from church over, and they’d have a fun time acting out the Book of Mormon stories. The balcony of our apartment became the high towers as needed, and tents can always be assembled by draping cloth over strategically arranged furniture in the living room.

    You’re on your own about what you wish to teach about the complex issues of war and peace in the Book of Mormon, but sons will love to play both the roles of the Antis (although their marterdom WILL tend to be somewhat dramatic) as well as the Sons of Heleman.

    What you’re doing is worthy.

  4. I think a children’s version of the BoM is every bit as valid as one on the OT. That is how I learned about all the OT stories…by reading a children’s book. I loved it. No reason, why kids can’t have the same experience with the BoM.

  5. FireTag, I would have loved to witness your children acting out BoM stories. I wish I had been a neighbor.

    Bishop Rick, I didn’t find the reference I was looking for, but this reference to Living Heads (a subheading of Guillotine) at Wikipedia has some interesting points.

    Audiences to guillotinings told numerous stories of blinking eyelids, speaking, moving eyes, movement of the mouth, even an expression of “unequivocal indignation” on the face of the decapitated Charlotte Corday when her cheek was slapped. Anatomists and other scientists in several countries have tried to perform more definitive experiments on severed human heads as recently as 1956. Inevitably, the evidence is only anecdotal. What appears to be a head responding to the sound of its name, or to the pain of a pinprick, may be only random muscle twitching or automatic reflex action, with no awareness involved. At worst, it seems that the massive drop in cerebral blood pressure would cause a victim to lose consciousness in several seconds.[17]

    The following report was written by a Dr. Beaurieux, who experimented with the head of a condemned prisoner by the name of Henri Languille, on 28 June 1905:

    Here, then, is what I was able to note immediately after the decapitation: the eyelids and lips of the guillotined man worked in irregularly rhythmic contractions for about five or six seconds. This phenomenon has been remarked by all those finding themselves in the same conditions as myself for observing what happens after the severing of the neck …

    I waited for several seconds. The spasmodic movements ceased. […] It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: “Languille!” I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions – I insist advisedly on this peculiarity – but with an even movement, quite distinct and normal, such as happens in everyday life, with people awakened or torn from their thoughts.

    Next Languille’s eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. I was not, then, dealing with the sort of vague dull look without any expression, that can be observed any day in dying people to whom one speaks: I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me. After several seconds, the eyelids closed again […].

    It was at that point that I called out again and, once more, without any spasm, slowly, the eyelids lifted and undeniably living eyes fixed themselves on mine with perhaps even more penetration than the first time. Then there was a further closing of the eyelids, but now less complete. I attempted the effect of a third call; there was no further movement – and the eyes took on the glazed look which they have in the dead.

    So, perhaps this pushup of Shiz was some sort of involuntary muscle spasm.

    With that story, we’ve now turned my rated G post on a Child’s version of the Book of Mormon into a rated PG-13 post…..

  6. Now, let’s return to our original post. Now that I am thinking about it, I think I should have added the story of Enos praying to the Lord all day and night. Perhaps I’ll try to put that in between #9 and 10.

  7. No doubt that involuntary muscle spasms are possible after decapitation, and have likely happened many times. But how many times have they been recorded? I only know of one. Shiz doing a pushup was a big joke in the MTC. Just a little levity.

  8. MH, I’m going to have nightmares now… 🙂

  9. The church publishes children’s stories from all of our scriptues – “Book of Mormon Stories”, “New Testament Stories”, Old Testament Stories”, and “Doctrine and Covenant Stories”. Why not just order those? I had all of those as a child and I have them for my children now.

  10. DB, I went to the BYU Bookstore and came up empty (they had plenty of children’s books). Do you have a reference for these?

    I will say that my kids have really wanted to read “their” book, so it has been fun to do.

  11. If you’re in Utah you should be able to find them at a Distribution Center but I don’t if they would be in the children’s books section or the scripture section. You can also order them from the church Distribution Services at http://www.ldscatalog.com. Look under “Scriptures” – “Scripture Stories”.

    You can also view them in various media formats by going to http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=12f1d9e1ec1cb110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&locale=0

    Sorry, but I don’t remember the beheading of Shiz being included as one of the stories. Go figure.

  12. Shiz has always been misunderstood.

  13. Thanks DB. I think I did see that, but it’s just too long for my kids. They seem to like the more cartoon type drawings than these paintings too.

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