Using Beholding the Tree of Life to Start a Jewish-Style Book of Mormon Study Group
Studying Torah at a local synagogue has also transformed how I approach the Book of Mormon, so much so that I wrote a book about it, Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon. In this book, I attempted to show how productive this very Jewish way of studying the Scriptures is when applied to the Book of Mormon. Consequently, in this book I not only described this approach in detail, but I included many insights I discovered while using it on the Book of Mormon. I was impressed by these insights and thought that others might be impressed as well. However, I in no way thought that these insights were all or even the best this approach could produce. I offered them simply as examples, as samples of what could be unearthed as they studied the Book of Mormon closely, carefully, in this very collaborative, very communal, very spiritually constructive way.
In other words, I was attempting to recreate my Torah class experience for others and to encourage them to study not just the Books of Moses but the books of Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, Mormon, Ether, and Moroni as well. And along these lines I now offer several lessons—notes really—that help start up this kind of Jewish-style study group.
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