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 are not relevant in the year 2020 because adult Sunday School classes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are studying the Book of Mormon this year. However, the stories of the Old Testament as they are told in How Often Would I Have Gathered You are still relevant and will be 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 for the following reasons:
- This book of 229 stories is more comprehensive than any other book of Old Testament/Bible stories that we know of. In addition to the stories that you knew and loved as a child, it includes many other wonderful, rarely-told and little-known stories.
- The stories in How Often Would I Have Gathered You are written specifically for Latter-day Saint adults. And, though the stories were written for adults, they are also a valuable aid for parents who want to teach their children the stories of the Old Testament.
- The stories are in chronological sequence, insofar as can be determined, beginning with the Grand Council in heaven and ending after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon.
- The stories also contain information and perspectives from non-Old Testament sources. These include the Pearl of Great Price; the Book of Mormon; and the works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian. Also used were the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants, and scripture study aids of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- 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. How Often Would I Have Gathered You takes the title “the LORD” out of the account and puts Jehovah in—with significant effect. (It is interesting to note that 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”].)
- The stories in How Often Would I Have Gathered You are written in modern English, except for the use of the old-style pronouns (Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine and their related verbs) when talking about 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. Instead, it includes only what is relevant to each story—leaving out those parts where most of us get bogged down. Some stories cover only a few verses; others cover (in much less—but essential—detail) entire books.
- Insofar as we can tell, no other collection of Old Testament stories provides any more than just glimpses into that Old Testament period when kings reigned in Israel and Judah in what is called 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 helpful insights and background to the stories. Footnotes also include cross-references between related stories.
- The book has two complete indexes—one to names and one to subjects. You will also find 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, and the stories should be read in conjunction with these scriptures.
- With the help of these amazing and 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