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Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon (Paperback) *

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Dennis Gaunt

“I loved this book! I never thought that I'd like a gospel book, but this one was fun and actually written for young people. I read it in one sitting! I loved the humor ('Hello, Moroni. My name is Ammoron. You killed by brother. Prepare to die!') as well as the questions to ponder.” — Amy, age 15

“These bad guys have earned their place on the wall of the Zarahemla police station. I highly recommend it.” — John Bytheway, author of Righteous Warriors: Lessons from the War Chapters in the Book of Mormon

Your enemy is smart. You can be smarter.

Warning! This book contains information about a deadly enemy's top secret plans of world domination and total destruction. Your mission — should you choose to accept it — is to learn what the enemy is planning as well as what his weaknesses are so that you will be prepared to defeat him.

Gathered here are case studies of some of the enemy's top soldiers in his army — Laman and Lemuel, Korihor, King Noah, Amalickiah — as well as the strategies that allowed the Lord's righteous warriors — Nephi, Alma the Younger, Abinadi, Captain Moroni — to defeat them.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ . . . . It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day.” By learning about the bad guys, by studying their traits, tricks, and tactics, we will be able to see clearly the plans and plots Satan used in Book of Mormon times. And because they are the same plans he is using today, we will have “insider information” on how to defeat him.


    • Chapter 1: Whiners in the Wilderness
      Laman and Lemuel
    • Chapter 2: It May Be Spacious, but It Ain't That Great
      Lessons from the Other Side of the River
    • Chapter 3: "I Am So Smart!S-M-R-T!"
    • Chapter 4: "Have a Great Summer!"
      The "Yearbook" of Omni
    • Chapter 5: Kings for a Day, Losers for Life
      King Noah, Amulon, and the Wicked Priests
    • Chapter 6: Popular Like Me
      Nehor and Amlici
    • Chapter 7: A Frenzied and Deranged Mind
    • Chapter 8: "Is It in You?"
      The Zoramites
    • Chapter 9: Throwdown with Captain Moroni
      Zerahemnah, Amalickiah, and Ammoron
    • Chapter 10: Stealth Fighters
      Secret Combinations among the Nephites and the Jaredites
    • Chapter 11: From Bad to Good
      Alma and the Sons of Mosiah, Amulek, Zeezrom, and Corianton
    • Notes

Reviewed by Beth Roach for the Association for Mormon Letters

I was intrigued and interested by the title of Dennis Gaunt's book, "Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon," but frankly, I was surprised at how much trouble I had starting the book. The tone is friendly, knowledgeable, and with vocabulary that is modern and funny that teenagers and older readers can relate to, with insightful and enlightening commentary and frequent quotes from current General Authorities. My hurdle with starting the book was this: every time I wanted to read the book, I found that my teenagers had carried it off to their rooms. The author has been a seminary teacher and has an obvious love of the scriptures and for the youth. His great sense of humor comes out in the descriptions and commentary which quickly hooks the reader into looking at the scenes and people of the Book of Mormon in a fresh new way.

If you were on a championship sports team and you were given the play book from the team that was your biggest rival and greatest threat to help you prepare for competition, would you read it so you could know how they will be coming at you or would you toss it aside? The author explains the Book of Mormon to be just like that. In it, we find the shortcut version that explains how Satan uses the same methods and arguments now to deceive and confuse and pacify that he used centuries ago. The author quotes extensively from General Authorities and auxiliary leaders, including the last six prophets, most of the apostles who have served in the last 30 years, Elaine Dalton, Julie B. Beck, and many others, as the star coaches on our side to teach us how to counteract the tricks that Satan is trying on us. Their quotes target specific ways to deal with various situations we encounter. Each chapter ends with "Lessons Not Learned," which summarize the main points of the chapter in just a few catchy sentences and "Lessons to Learn," offering several questions to reflect on and some suggested activities like reading certain hymns or writing responses to questions in a journal.

Gaunt walks us through each scene, giving an analysis of each bad guy and his motivations and flaws. Starting with probably the best known ones, Laman and Lemuel, we go through the whole trip in the wilderness with the whiners making excuses and take another look at the people in the great and spacious building from the Tree of Life vision. He examines people that I had never considered to be in the bad guy group, like Omni, whom he describes as a reluctant follower, doing things because he is commanded to and grudgingly at that.

Gaunt acknowledges that we don't know much about the authors of the shortest book in the Book of Mormon and maybe they aren't in the same category as Laman and Lemuel, but sees the _ã–there is not much room on the plates, so I didn't write much_ã� as a built-in excuse for procrastination. He compares it to the plates we have been handed, referring to our time everyday, which is definitely limited. What do we choose to fill our plates with? Do we make excuses about what we spend our time on by saying, _ã–Well, there isn't enough room in my day to'read'pray'help others'go to church'or (fill in the blank)? I had to stop and take a look at what I am filling the limited space on my _ã–plates_ã� with; is it really all that important or am I justifying my choices?

The girls and women don't get a pass here either. The author looks at them as well, especially the wicked Jaredite princess who encourages the secret combinations which led to her family falling apart and the destruction of her entire society. Some of the most insightful chapters for me involved the bad guys fighting Captain Moroni, especially the sneaky and despicable Amalickiah who posed as Lehonti's ally while he was carefully plotting his destruction and then took over the Lamanite kingdom through deceit.


I would highly recommend this book to any teenager or young adult and anyone who counsels, teaches, advises or parents them or some mature preteens with a basic familiarity with Book of Mormon people and strong reading. You can read it to laugh, you can read it to learn, but you will probably end up doing both.

Product Details

  • Size:  6" x 9"
  • Pages:  256
  • Published:  07/2011
Deseret Book




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  1. Informative and entertaining! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 14th Mar 2016

    his was definitely worth the reading time (will be re-reading repeatedly, I'm sure) and purchase price. Very informative book showing us where those guys we consider bad guys went off-course and how to learn from their mistakes without having to make those mistakes in turn. Also very entertaining read, with a very nice balance between humor and serious teaching. Looking forward to this author's next book, whatever it may be. ;)

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