A Gospel Doctrine Class Resource
NOTE: The references on this page to your study of How Often Would I Have Gathered You in connection with the gospel doctrine Sunday School class do not apply in the year 2020 because adult Sunday School classes are studying the Book of Mormon. However, the stories of the Old Testament as they are told in How Often Would I Have Gathered You are still a valuable aid for your personal and/or family study of the Old Testament.
To enhance your Old Testament study and make it more meaningful, How Often Would I Have Gathered You, a book of 229 stories from the Old Testament written especially for adult and young adult Latter-day Saints, is recommended as the ideal study aid. This is true because. . .
- This book of 229 stories is more comprehensive than any other book of Old Testament/Bible stories that we know of. In addition to those stories you knew and loved as a child, it includes many wonderful, less familiar stories.
- These stories are written specifically for Latter-day Saint adults. And, though they were written for adults, they are also a valuable aid for parents who want to teach their children about the Old Testament.
- The stories are in chronological sequence, insofar as can be determined. They begin with the Grand Council in heaven and end after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon.
- The stories contain information and perspectives from non-biblical sources, including the Pearl of Great Price; the Book of Mormon; and the works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian. The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants, and various study aids of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were also used.
- Many people do not understand that the King James translators replaced the name Jehovah in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament with the term “the LORD,” putting LORD in small capital letters. This book takes the title “the LORD” out of the account and puts Jehovah back in—with significant effect. (The ancient Jews neither spoke nor wrote the name YHWH [which we now pronounce as Jehovah] because it was too sacred. The writers of the Masoretic text [the authoritative Hebrew text] instead used dots [. . . .] in its place, or wrote the name/title “Adonai” [which means “lord”].)
- These stories are all written in modern English, but for the use of the old-style pronouns (Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine and their related verbs) when referring to Deity.
- Unlike a translation of the Old Testament, How Often Would I Have Gathered You does not go through every word and every verse–or even every thought. It includes only what is relevant to each story.
- No other collection of Old Testament stories, insofar as we can tell, provides any more than glimpses into that Old Testament period when kings reigned in Israel and Judah during the period of the divided monarchy, after King Solomon. These stories—as told in parts 9, 10, and 11 of this book—will help you better understand these kings, their reigns, and their interaction with the prophets, the people, and each other during this significant period of Old Testament history.
- Extensive footnotes (not endnotes) are used to provide insight and background to the stories. Many footnotes also include cross-references between related stories.
- The book has two complete indexes—one to names and one to subjects.
- The book includes a pronunciation guide with helpful suggestions on how to say the names.
- There are also helpful maps at the end of the book to provide a geographic perspective.
- The relevant scriptural references are provided at the top of each story so you can read the stories in conjunction with these scriptures.
With the help of these wonderful stories, you will come to understand the Old Testament better than you have ever understood it before. And when you understand it, you will grow to love it.
The Old Testament: understand it, love it