Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon by Dennis Gaunt

I was inclined to like Dennis Gaunt the first time I met him. He is, after all, the brother of Lisa Mangum, who is one of my very favorite people in the world - not only is she an amazing author and editor, but she's a genuinely fabulous person - and of course her fabulousness had to run in the family, right? Well, it does. Dennis is a great guy, and we made friends immediately. And when I learned he was writing a book, I was even more intrigued. Did Lisa's amazing talent with words run in the family? When I was asked to review Dennis's book, Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon, I got the chance to see for myself, and you know what - this family is seriously blessed with talent.

To start with, how can you not love a title like Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon? You know exactly what you're getting - a book about the scriptures, but one that's a little bit tongue-in-cheek. Dennis goes through the Book of Mormon and discusses each of the bad guys and the things they do that show just how bad they are, and then likens those things to experiences we might have today. Yes, we can read the Book of Mormon and learn from Nephi and think about his courage (hey, I think there's a Primary song that goes something like that) and we can admire Helaman and want to be as his armies (another Primary song moment), but sometimes we need to look at things a little differently - what do the bad guys have to teach us? Laman and Lemuel, for instance, show us what can happen when we are too doubtful, too disbelieving, and yes, too whiny.

There are two sides at work in this ultimate battle of good vs. evil, and in his book, Dennis shows us the ways in which the wicked operate. They've done it this way for centuries - hey, why stop when it's working? If we know and understand the stories in the Book of Mormon, we can be on the alert for wickedness in our lives today, and know how to put a stop to it.

The thing I like best is the perfect balance Dennis strikes between humor and seriousness. He makes jokes all the way through, creating a doctrinal book that's not boring, if you can imagine such a thing, but he never treats sacred topics lightly. That's a tricky thing to accomplish, and yet he does it. It's a lighthearted read that is never lightminded.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon, about our Heavenly Father's plan, and/or wants a good, uplifting read.

FTC: I received a free copy of this book and was not reimbursed in any other way. To do so would be following along in the footsteps of the Gadianton robbers and those who seek wickedness in dark corners.


Christine Tyler said...

How interesting. Does it have a plot or is it kind of like an encyclopedia of bad guys?

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hi there,

It's a nonfiction, so there's not a plot per se, but each chapter is about one of the bad guys and talks about their strengths and weaknesses and then compares it to our day.

Shanda said...

I am LOVING this book. Can't wait to write up my review. Also, thanks for the FTC laugh. You are too dang funny.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...