For the past 2 years I’ve been working on understanding why some people accept invitations to read the Book of Mormon and why others don’t, so I asked people… a lot of people and what I found was shocking.
Lesson number 1: Ninety-five percent of the people who said no to the invite did so for one of two reasons. One, they thought reading the book wouldn’t be worth their time or might even be dangerous to them; and two, they thought the book would be boring, uninteresting, or too long. As a result I began a project changing those misconceptions about the Book of Mormon.
Lesson number 2: Pictures worked better than just words. Noble prize winner Danny Kahneman discovered that our brains process information differently. One part is fast, instinctive, and emotional. The other part dealing with language is slower, deliberate, and more logical. Pictures operate through the first part of the brain. They capture attention and change minds when a logical argument would be rejected seconds after you open your mouth.
With these insights I asked 1200 people not of our faith to read the Book of Mormon. But I was curious to see how people would react so I divided the people in two groups. One group was given a typical invitation to read and the other group was shown an interesting picture related to the text when invited to read. The words of the invitation were exactly the same. But what I saw was that 43% not only accepted the invitation to read but actually started reading when they were first shown a picture that interested them and captured their attention.
Perhaps this is why Ezra Taft Benson said, “I have a vision of artists putting into paintings great themes and characters from the Book of Mormon…. Indeed I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.”
Building upon President Benson’s prophetic vision, we are creating a new tool for missionaries and those that want to share the Book of Mormon. It is a tool designed to interest those who might think the book too boring or not worth their time. It is a tool that I believe will touch thousands and tens of thousands as people give the powerful words of the Book of Mormon a chance.
Specifically we are dividing the Book of Mormon into smaller books and filling them with pictures that reimagine the ancient events of the Book of Mormon in modern times. With the same inspired translation we add engaging images that help the reader feel the stories come to life.
Check out the project on Kickstarter and support it by preordering or sharing the project with others. I believe it will change the world.