The Book of Mormon: Selections Annotated & Explained

Explores a sacred epic cherished by more than twelve million members of the LDS church as the keystone of their faith, clarifying the religious, political and historical events in the ancient communities of this text and its underlying teachings for today.

Annotation by Jana Riess
Foreword by Phyllis Tickle

5½ x 8½, 272 pp | 978-1-59473-076-4

Click below to purchase


  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Indie Bound


  • kindle
  • nook
  • itunes

An inside look at the foundational sacred text of one of the world's youngest and fastest growing religions.

The Book of Mormon stands alongside the Bible as the keystone of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church/Mormonism). Translated by the prophet Joseph Smith from ancient writings inscribed on golden plates, the Book of Mormon is an account of people living in the Western Hemisphere in a timeline that parallels that of the Bible. It covers a thousand years of loss, discovery, war, peace, and spiritual principles that focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ, outlining a plan for salvation and the responsibilities we must assume to attain it.

The Book of Mormon: Selections Annotated & Explained explores this sacred epic that is cherished by more than twelve million members of the LDS church as the keystone of their faith. Probing the principal themes and historical foundation of this controversial and provocative narrative, Jana Riess focuses on key selections that offer insight into contemporary Mormon beliefs and scriptural emphases, such as the atonement of Christ, the nature of human freedom, the purpose of baptism, and the need for repentance from sin. She clarifies the religious, political, and historical events that take place in the ancient communities of the Book of Mormon and their underlying contemporary teachings that serve as the framework for spiritual practices that lie at the core of Mormon life.

Now you can experience this foundational sacred text even if you have no previous knowledge of Mormonism. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents the key teachings and essential concepts of the Mormon faith tradition with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that helps to dispel many of the misconceptions that have surrounded the Book of Mormon since its publication in 1830.

“Captures the spirit and gist of the distinctively Mormon scripture at one-tenth its length. Coupled with her informed, discerning, and accessible commentary, Riess's editorial accomplishment is an act of interreligious generosity.”

Philip Barlow, ThD, author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion

“The most compelling, fascinating, and gracious approach to the Book of Mormon that I have seen. Transforms dozens of cryptic passages and symbols into powerful messages that make the Mormon story shine with the beauties and mysteries of God’s love.”

Mary Ford-Grabowsky, editor of Spiritual Writings on Mary: Annotated & Explained

“With her considerable historical and theological knowledge combined with her literary sensibilities, Jana Riess strikes precisely the right balance—an astute and sympathetic guide, not an overzealous proselytizer. Her informed and agile glosses help enormously in bringing the text to life.”

Randall Balmer, PhD, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of American Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University

“At last, a version of the Book of Mormon that is suitable in both size and content for the classroom.... Manages to leave the sense of the whole intact, while commentary provides a simple guide to Latter-day Saint belief. A very useful, even necessary supplement to the study of Mormonism.”

Kathleen Flake, PhD, assistant professor of American religious history, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Foreword by Phyllis Tickle vii
Introduction xi
A Note about Language xxi
The Book of Mormon: An Account Written
by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken
from the Plates of Nephi 1
Selections from the Book of Mormon
1. The First Book of Nephi 5
2. The Second Book of Nephi 51
3. The Book of Jacob 79
4. The Book of Mosiah 109
5. The Book of Alma 139
6. The Third Book of Nephi 185
7. The Book of Mormon 207
8. The Book of Moroni 219
Notes 232
Suggested Readings 234