Millennial Star book club

Who would be interested in starting up a book club here?

We have options.  We can as a group read one book per month and then discuss it, or we can take a book chapter by chapter on a weekly basis and discuss it.

For example, Nibley’s An Approach to the Book of Mormon was a Priesthood manual in the 1950s, and is set up in 44 chapters.  Taking a chapter per week would allow interesting discussion and take almost a year to do.  It would be easy for all to read, as it is available for free at the Maxwell Institute.

We would not have to stick with LDS books, but could include classics, etc., that everyone could check out from their local library or download for free in ebook format.

If any are interested, let me know in the comments, and which format (weekly chapters or monthly book) that you would prefer.

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

14 thoughts on “Millennial Star book club

  1. Rame, not a bad idea. When “Rough Stone Rolling” came out several years back we tried to go through it chapter by chapter. We got a lot of interest.

    Hugh Nibley is always a good choice.

  2. Sounds like fun. I’d prefer the ‘one chapter a week’ personally.

  3. Alright, then. Let’s start with Nibley’s An Approach to the Book of Mormon, since most of the chapters aren’t too long. As we go along, if we want to speed it up, we can later do multiple chapters in a week, but will deal with that later.

    The Maxwell Institute has it online to read for free:

    Chapter One is actually, “Introduction to an Unknown Book”, and so I’ll let y’all read the forewards, etc as an aside. If there is something in any of them you’d like to bring up, go for it. But we’ll begin now and each Monday start the discussion of that chapter, and begin reading the next. So we’ll begin reading chapter one, and begin discussing it on about July 23.

  4. Interesting comments from Allen. I posted my own “take” on it. I know where Allen is coming from and I agree that Nibley was not a perfect polymathic genius, merely a regular polymathic genius. 😉

    It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. Just because Nibley was wrong about the “Garment of Joseph” or about Lehi as a 7th century BC sheikh doesn’t mean that the 95% of his other contributions are garbage. On the whole, Nibley’s readings and interpretations of ancient Near East culture remain strong.

  5. If it were a book one could get cheaply in paper form, that would be my preference as I don’t like to read things online. It may be hard finding a balance between abstract and readable. I like doing group reads at Great Books. On some groups, the authors actually participate. It’s interesting to get the background information that they provide.

  6. Barb, if you live in a strong LDS area, the book is probably available at the public library. For those who would like to have it for their ereader in EPub, you can download it from Maxwell Institute and convert it using the Python script at this link:

    You can then use it on almost any ebook reader. You can convert it to MOBI for Kindle by using Calibre. That’s an easy way of doing it.

  7. Rame, you might want to start a new post announcing what exactly the first chapter will entail and by when it should be read, etc.

  8. “On the whole, Nibley’s readings and interpretations of ancient Near East culture remain strong.”

    95%? I think you are being overgenerous, but this should be an interesting read.

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