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Portable New Testament Available

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken another step to make the scriptures more accessible to Church members. The Church recently released a more portable stand-alone version of the New Testament in English.

This new version has the standard size (5¼" x 7¼"), print and footnotes that Church members are accustomed to. However, this smaller book is 404 pages (compared to the 2,000-plus pages of the Church's current LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible), is one-fourth inch thick and does not include the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Joseph Smith Translation, Bible maps, or photographs.

This book was released in advance of next year's study of the New Testament in Church Sunday School Gospel Doctrine classes, which have a four-year rotating curriculum. The Old Testament is this year's book of study, followed by the New Testament in 2011, the Book of Mormon in 2012 and the Doctrine and Covenants in 2013. On Sundays Church members attend congregations for three consecutive hours -- one of which is dedicated to learning the scriptures.

The portable New Testament is currently available in Church distribution stores from Logan to Spanish Fork, Utah, as well as by phone (1-800-537-5001) or Internet in the United States and Canada. The stand-alone New Testament will be under evaluation between now and the end of the year to determine if the Church should distribute the book worldwide.

The Church has done a number of things over the years to make scriptures more accessible to its members. For example, chapter summaries, footnotes, an introduction, an index and other information -- all of which are not considered scripture -- were added or expanded in 1981 to help the reader navigate through the book and compare scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. And most recently, the Church published a Latter-day Saint edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish to benefit an estimated four and a half million Latter-day Saints whose native language is Spanish.

Mormons regard the Bible as scripture, along with the Book of Mormon and other sacred texts. The Church's eighth article of faith states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

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