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This social justice commentary of the Book of Mormon empowers readers to understand the text as a book that speaks to issues of racism, sexism, immigration, refugees, and socioeconomic inequality. The Book of Mormon For the Least of These offers an unflinching examination of some of the difficult and troubling sections of the Book of Mormon, while also advocating for a compassionate reading of holy text. As a verse-by-verse close reading, this book examines new layers of interpretation and meaning, giving even those deeply familiar with scripture innovative tools for engaging powerfully with the Book of Mormon.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK OF MORMON FOR THE LEAST OF THESE
Fatimah Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming have given us a beautifully written commentary on hundreds of verses in the first third of the Book of Mormon. Although they avowedly write from the perspective of contemporary social justice advocates, their perspective is broader than that. They see in the Book of Mormon a picture of life as a hard journey--harsh, discouraging, contradictory--but one where God is always present to succor suffering travelers.--Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

Across our differences--black, white, brown, indigenous, bond, free, male, female, gay, straight, living the principle, attending and tithing, or seeking another way altogether--what bonds LDS/Mormon people together is our relationship to the Book of Mormon. We have held it on our laps in cold early morning classrooms, stuffed it into our backpacks, purses, and suitcases, peered into our small bright screens searching out its verses, rested it on our nightstands, wept over it at our kitchen tables, argued over it on the internet, and wrestled with what it should mean to us individually and collectively. In this powerful new contribution to LDS scriptural study, Dr. Fatimah S. Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming have wrestled with the Book of Mormon in a whole new way: as a text that addresses inequality, trauma, dysfunction, and catastrophe and offers insights essential to achieving that dimension of Zion we call social justice. An essential companion for 21st century LDS/Mormon life. This book lifts my heart. --Joanna Brooks, co-editor of Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings and author of Book of Mormon Girl

The Book of Mormon For the Least of These will change the way you read the Book of Mormon, providing a profound and more reflective view of the events, teachings, and characters in the book than is traditional, and also offering a perspective on the book''s principles of social justice that is missing in most Book of Mormon commentaries. A must read for those who take seriously their study of the Book of Mormon."--Ignacio Garcia, professor of Western American History at Brigham Young University and author of Chicano While Mormon: Activism, War, and Keeping the Faith

Review

Fatimah Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming have given us a beautifully written commentary on hundreds of verses in the first third of the Book of Mormon. Although they avowedly write from the perspective of contemporary social justice advocates, their perspective is broader than that. They see in the Book of Mormon a picture of life as a hard journey--harsh, discouraging, contradictory--but one where God is always present to succor suffering travelers.

--Richard Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

Across our differences--black, white, brown, indigenous, bond, free, male, female, gay, straight, living the principle, attending and tithing, or seeking another way altogether--what bonds LDS/Mormon people together is our relationship to the Book of Mormon. We have held it on our laps in cold early morning classrooms, stuffed it into our backpacks, purses, and suitcases, peered into our small bright screens searching out its verses, rested it on our nightstands, wept over it at our kitchen tables, argued over it on the internet, and wrestled with what it should mean to us individually and collectively. In this powerful new contribution to LDS scriptural study, Dr. Fatimah S. Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming have wrestled with the Book of Mormon in a whole new way: as a text that addresses inequality, trauma, dysfunction, and catastrophe and offers insights essential to achieving that dimension of Zion we call social justice. An essential companion for 21st century LDS/Mormon life. This book lifts my heart.

--Joanna Brooks, co-editor of Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings and author of Book of Mormon Girl

The Book of Mormon For the Least of These will change the way you read the Book of Mormon, providing a profound and more reflective view of the events, teachings, and characters in the book than is traditional, and also offering a perspective on the book''s principles of social justice that is missing in most Book of Mormon commentaries. A must read for those who take seriously their study of the Book of Mormon."

--Ignacio Garcia, professor of Western American History at Brigham Young University and author of Chicano While Mormon: Activism, War, and Keeping the Faith

The Book of Mormon For the Least of These is a transformative and revolutionary work that should be a staple in LDS homes across the globe. This book is a love letter to us, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), and it is felt with such vigor within each page. It nods to us and our struggle at the margins and reminds us that we have always been centered in sacred text. This lens shall live on and inspire great and needed transformation for the generations that are to come.

--Maybelline Alvarez-McCoy, educator, activist, and co-founder of the Black LDS Legacy Conference

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
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Kullervo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A deeper into some of the Book of Mormon''s dark places
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
The Book of Mormon has some really cringeworthy racism, sexism and antisemitism. It is important that we find better ways to read it, but it''s also important that we are acknowledging what''s there instead of trying to give it a free pass. The temptation is to find a better... See more
The Book of Mormon has some really cringeworthy racism, sexism and antisemitism. It is important that we find better ways to read it, but it''s also important that we are acknowledging what''s there instead of trying to give it a free pass. The temptation is to find a better way to read it and then insist that the better way is the "real" way and that the cringeworthy stuff is a mistaken reading that doesnt actually reflect the meaning of the text.

But siblings, that is massive gaslighting.

The Book of Mormon wasn''t dictated by God, it was written by human beings and we need to make sure our practical theology of scripture makes room for that. On the face of it, the text confesses it''s own weaknesses and failures! We don''t need to try to make it be flawless or inerrant. It says we don''t have to!

But it is really important that we acknowledge the ways that the text has been weaponized to hurt vulnerable people. Our process of rehabilitating the Book of Mormon can''t erase that. I get it. We love the Book of Mormon. We want to be able to see it in it''s best light. But we''re not doing any favors to it, to ourselves, or to the people it is used against by pretending that it is something that it is not.

What does this look like, then? I''m glad you asked. The Book of Mormon for the Least of These is a great place to start. Salleh and Hemming do a wonderful job of looking deeper into some of the Book of Mormon''s dark places and seeing the humanity behind them and giving us new ways to read and understand in a way that doesn''t erase or make excuses.
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S. Faulk
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My excitement and enthusiasm for scripture study has been resurrected!
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2020
Shout out to Margaret Olsen Hemming and Fatimah Salleh for their amazing book The Book of Mormon for the Least of These. For me, as a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ, the focus has often been on the Book of Mormon. And then last year’s study of the... See more
Shout out to Margaret Olsen Hemming and Fatimah Salleh for their amazing book The Book of Mormon for the Least of These.

For me, as a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ, the focus has often been on the Book of Mormon. And then last year’s study of the New Testament opened my eyes to the beauty of the Bible. In order to emulate Christ, we have to know him, really know him: how he interacted with those around him, loved and welcomed the marginalized, broke with convention to show love for all, and modeled how to truly love without judgement.

What I realized on the first Sunday of this year, was that the Book of Mormon, while full of great messages and gospel teachings, does not (and really cannot) deep-dive into the life of Christ. It saddened me. And then came The Book of Mormon for the Least of These. I ordered four more copies to share with my daughters and a friend.

Thank you, thank you for helping me see the Book of Mormon from a fresh, deeper perspective. My excitement and enthusiasm for scripture study has been resurrected!!
11 people found this helpful
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E. Gray
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Seeing the Book of Mormon in a whole new way
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
I don''t know how many times I have read First and Second Nephi -- but it''s been a very long time since I got anything new out of them. Studying the text alongside this book has completely reinvigorated my study of the Book of Mormon. It''s like I''m reading it again for the... See more
I don''t know how many times I have read First and Second Nephi -- but it''s been a very long time since I got anything new out of them. Studying the text alongside this book has completely reinvigorated my study of the Book of Mormon. It''s like I''m reading it again for the first time.

One of my favorite things about these authors'' approach is the deep compassion and empathy they bring to the text. There are some difficult things in this part of the Book of Mormon, to say the least, but these authors are seeking to understand rather than essentialize or judge. They don''t skip over or try to explain away the hard parts -- they engage them in a way that is both clear-eyed and gentle.

I am looking forward to Volume 2 . . .
11 people found this helpful
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Ted
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Presentist and misrepresentative of Nephi and his culture
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2020
This book is drenched in presentist notions to the effect of worshipping a god in the image of man. These two ladies constantly paint Nephi in the least flattering ways and by the end of the book Nephi is deemed not only prejudicial to his brothers (which is nonsensical in... See more
This book is drenched in presentist notions to the effect of worshipping a god in the image of man. These two ladies constantly paint Nephi in the least flattering ways and by the end of the book Nephi is deemed not only prejudicial to his brothers (which is nonsensical in its own right), but also racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic. In their opinions Nephi is constantly enraged and bitter to how his old brothers treated him over 30-40 years ago. They miss the political-religious reasons why Nephi wrote his record (see for example the writings of Noel B. Reynolds). And since there is such a lack for women representation in Nephi’s writings, Nephi is obviously a blatant sexist. The problem is that there are better ways to interpret Nephi’s intentions than painting Nephi as a sexist. One example is that Nephi’s first audience are his immediate people. Nephi’s people didn’t need an introduction into his wife or Jacob or Sam’s since all of these people are immediately in the initial audience.

And on the racism aspect the authors subscribe to one that is more controversial than to a more ancient-Near Eastern context that any dark skins mentioned were referring to garments and clothing rather than skin colors. But these authors do not even pretend to engage with this superior evidence.

This may not satisfy all who read the early parts of the Book of Mormon, but that’s the whole point: no ancient writing can conform to the arbitrary cultural values of later generations. Nephi wrote in a way and genre that made sense to him and his people. Perhaps while reading the Book of Mormon one can get more out of it by reading the text on Nephi’s terms (such as an ancient-Near Eastern context) than a presentist, post-modernist lens.

There are a couple good things about this book such as sympathetically treating some passages in the Book of Mormon; but this is outweighed by completely misreading who Nephi was and by extension the god he worshipped.
9 people found this helpful
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Natalie Prado
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wrestling with the Hard Questions
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
"The difference between the brothers is not whether they have doubts but their willingness to bring their questions to God." This is an extraordinary work, which takes uncomfortable and tricky aspects of faith and tackles them head-on, believing that you can find answers if... See more
"The difference between the brothers is not whether they have doubts but their willingness to bring their questions to God." This is an extraordinary work, which takes uncomfortable and tricky aspects of faith and tackles them head-on, believing that you can find answers if you approach them with compassion and thought. Fatimah Salleh and Margaret Olsen Hemming shine a light into the dark corners, and they give an entirely new experience to the Book of Mormon.
9 people found this helpful
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Susan C.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic Book of Mormon companion text
Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2020
When I opened the package, I didn''t do it planning to spend the next two hours devouring the text, but I couldn''t stop reading. It''s engaging and refreshing and challenging and I''m so, so grateful to Fatimah and Margaret for all of their work and sacrifices to get this out... See more
When I opened the package, I didn''t do it planning to spend the next two hours devouring the text, but I couldn''t stop reading. It''s engaging and refreshing and challenging and I''m so, so grateful to Fatimah and Margaret for all of their work and sacrifices to get this out to the public. Bravo!
12 people found this helpful
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Erica Eastley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Recommended
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2020
I am loving this new social justice commentary of the Book of Mormon. It’s everything I hoped for. But what I didn’t expect was a new take on Nephi. In this book, he’s not only the perfect and favored son with a superiority complex or the irritating younger brother who’s... See more
I am loving this new social justice commentary of the Book of Mormon. It’s everything I hoped for. But what I didn’t expect was a new take on Nephi. In this book, he’s not only the perfect and favored son with a superiority complex or the irritating younger brother who’s telling the story to favor himself, but a much more developed character who has suffered trauma and violence and deserves our compassion, even when he says or does things that cannot be right. The authors don’t let Nephi off easily for his faults, but they also don’t condemn him for them. That’s a lesson I need to remember.
7 people found this helpful
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Violadiva
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Valuable new insights to a familiar text
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
Excellent companion guide for a fresh and relevant interpretation of the BoM text. This should be used in every home and Sunday school class!
9 people found this helpful
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popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online

popular The Book of Mormon for the Least of online sale outlet sale These, Volume 1 online