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Yep, good stuff. Tom gave a nice review when it was released, here. See comment #33 regarding the timing of the manual.

My memory is that despite its many faults, the Brigham Young manual was more interesting than any that have come after it. If anything the more recent manuals seem more sanitized and correlated than that one. Teaching out of the BY manual was much more fun as BY seemed to contradict himself frequently within a single lesson. Working out the paradoxes is not only fun but causes class member to really engage the material.

It's probably true that the BY manual was better than those which followed, but that's not exactly high praise. And I loathe the picture on the cover of the new JS manual.

I haven't gotten the new manual yet, but I've liked all the manuals so far, and think it's interesting that the only real difference I see is in the size of the disclaimier in the preface.

Paula -- Would you prefer Dean Cain's face on the manual?

Buff Tones Beaming? It's worse than that, I think. I've seen Ken dolls look more lifelike and realistically human. The picture certainly doesn't portend a more realistic, more balanced, Joseph within the pages of the book. That picture is no rough stone, but a highly polished piece of granite or marble.

DWG, one fiction might now be worse than another. :) I'd prefer something realistic, and not anachronistic. This cover's just plain silly.

While I am not a huge fan of the picture on the cover, I have enjoyed the manual so far. Obviously it is faith-promoting, but it is also candid about things the average Church goer might misunderstand, such as the nature of the six volumes Roberts edited known as the "History of the Church." I notice no footnotes from Fielding Smith's "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith."

Also, selections from the King Follett discourse, including God being a man etc. are included.

I think it's a great manual for its purpose.

I am so excited to see this manual. Because I have been traveling from one family emergency to another, for months, it somehow escaped my notice this was what we were studying over the next two years. I am SO excited.

I was privileged to spend a solid two years of my life doing nothing but studying the life and times of Joseph Smith. And I do mean life and times. I studied his history, the church's history, the American political, social, economic, arts and literature, religious and historical climate of the time. It gave me a picture of Joseph Smith, Jr. that so many have missed.

Thanks for posting about this. You've made my day.

I forgot. I found you via the www.writersofmormon.com website, I think. Anyway, if you'd like, please drop by my blog and find the LDS Blog Webring and then click on Join. I'd love to have you onboard.

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