“A New Approach to Studying The Book of Mormon” was a labor of love for the editors, Lynn A. Rosenvall and David L. Rosenvall. Starting in the 1980s – as a father and son team – they developed and helped the Church publish the first online edition of the scriptures. Parallel to that project they considered ways to isolate the doctrinal precepts by reformatting the scriptures for easier reading and pondering. They discovered this reformatted edition, emasizing events rather than chapters was their preferred way to study.
The Prophet Joseph Smith declared “a person would get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon than by any other book”. Not one word, letter or even a punctuation mark of the actual text has been deleted or altered in the process. Only the formatting has been enhanced by adding wider margins for notes, two type sizes, and spaces between textual subdivisions. These contextual enhancements are designed to help the reader more readily visualize the context, speaker and doctrine of the Book of Mormon narrative.
This edition of the Book of Mormon divides the text into 214 events or episodes. An event-based approach provides an alternate way to read the scripture text without the obvious intrusion of verse and chapter breaks which can obscure the narrative as it was originally written or even the continuity of doctrinal discourses. Short text headings in the margins indicate names of speakers, chronological dates, locational information and other scriptural references. These marginal annotations allow the reader to quickly and consistently place the Book of Mormon historical narrative within space and time.