Sunday, October 13, 2013

Judgement Day - LDS Card Game Verse of the Week

  • Revelation 20:12 “…And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” 
  • Verse Rule: DISCARD: Remove this verse from the game. Then, for each verse in your blessing stack, choose up to one verse from your discard and place them in your hand. 
  • Sacrifice Cost: 2
  • Markers: Strength  
  • Icons: S, H, T

The Book of Revelation can be pretty intimidating and confusing, in much the same way as Isaiah, and, by extension, 2 Nephi.  It’s so full of metaphoric images and rhetorical devices it’s hard to tell what’s up and what’s real.

I wanted to give the player of this verse a really strong benefit for playing it, tied in with their blessings.  So, the idea is that they’re judged, and found blessed, so they get to pull things back into play.

In practical play, it turned out to be too powerful at first, because it was phrased badly.  When it was discarded, it allowed itself to be pulled back into the hand as one of the chosen discarded verses.  So, I rewrote that so it got discarded after the returning effect triggered.  That still didn’t work, because if a player had two Judgement Days, they could do essentially the same effect.

Finally, it was decided that it had to be either unique or removed from play.  In the end, I decided on the latter.  It’s a cool verse, and it’s now not the game-owner that it used to be. Thank heavens for playtesting!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Authority Trading Cards

I had to chuckle a little when I saw this article. Obviously, from the name of the site, I can tell this is a parody, but it sure is a sweetly done one. A while ago, someone had made some other GA trading cards that looked a lot more like sports cards, and they were pretty cool, too.

I kind of liked that these new ones were based on Pokemon, both in design, and in the way the rules text was laid out and written. Pokemon is kind of a fun game, and how my kids got introduced to the whole concept of collectible card games. Later came Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic.

What's kind of funny about this is that I had imagined something kinda similar early on in the life of Chapter and Verse. I had thought about a sort of promotional mini-set of, maybe a dozen or so cards that could come out after each conference, based on quotes from the talks. I think it would be cool to be able to intermingle the words of the current prophets with those of the ancient and even the historical Latterday ones.

I think it's really cool to see how fast the stand-out quotes from each conference show up as meme pictures on facebook, as fast as that afternoon.

I thought that there might be copyright and trademark issues involved. Those might get sorted out under either "Fair Use" laws or through negotiation with the church's intellectual reserve. In any case, I thought it was a kind of fun idea!

Check out Mark's other blogs, like Mark's Black Pot - Dutch Oven Cookbooks, and Mo'Boy

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

LDS Card Game Verse of the Week (Month?) Isaiah 29:13

Talk, Talk, Talk  "Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, but have removed their heart far from me…"  DISCARD: Mastery, Sacrifice Cost: 1, Markers: Trials, Themes: Trials, Life

This verse is a Scripture Mastery verse, one that’s in the new list, so it’s one that most LDS seminary students should know.  It’s a fun one, whose sentiment is expressed in a similar phrase in several different places in the scriptures, like in the first vision, in Joseph Smith History 1:19.  It’s usually used to refer to the Great Apostacy, where churches and religious leaders seek power and are not humble followers of Christ.

I like to think of this verse in a more personal way, and to think of my own religious observance.  I mean, how often do I sit in sacrament meeting and my mind and heart are focused elsewhere?  How often do I go about my daily life oblivious to the struggles of my neighbor?

Just the other day, my own neighbor came over and helped me to fix my car.  I thought how often I miss that kind of stuff going on.  But, on my blogs and in church, I’m eager to proclaim the gospel, right?

So, I hope this card captures that.  I called it “Talk, Talk, Talk”, but I could have just as easily called it “Bla, bla, bla”.  The effect is a discard effect, to be able to require an opponent to quote a verse he or she has just played.  It’s a way of saying, “Are you sure you know what’s on that card?  Or are you just full of talk...”

The best way to play this one is to hold onto it until your opponent is about to play a verse that’s important, like one that will close off a book.  After he/she plays it, drop this one down and make them quote what he/she just played, or it goes away!  If the quote fails, on your next turn, you might be able to drop in the final verse, and close up that book yourself!  It’s a great way to practice your scripture mastery!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

An Evening of LDS Games

Brendon and I had a bunch of friends come over last night for a few games.  Jacob wasn't with us, he and mom were up at the hospital.  He got admitted again on Friday.

The games were so energizing. Brendon and I started out by just explaining the game an demonstrating a few turns.  There were about seven of us, so we split into two groups, one of three and one of four, and we all started playing.  It was one older guy (dad to three of the boys) and another kid who likes to come to our house from time to time.  As we started playing, each one seemed to get the game pretty quickly.  My group was the three-player, and our game went longer.  The other group actually played two games in the same time frame.

After all the games, it was amazing to see everybody just jump in talking about how fun it was. Brendon and I had a great talk afterward about the game and about how teaching the game works.  It was all just great to have fun with friends with the scriptures.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Open letter: I Need Your Feedback!

Hello, fellow LDS gamerz!

I'm very excited, and I have been for the last three months or so.  I've been reworking the rules, the cards, the game, all with the intent of submitting it to publishers.  As I've dealt with publishers in the past, I've realized the power of praise and endorsements. Good, kind words from the right people can make a huge difference in their decisions.


If you have ever had the chance to play a game of Chapter and Verse, I would love to have you write a paragraph or two saying why you liked it and what you learned from it, and to email that to me, at, so that I can include it in the submission.  Alternatively, you can post it in the comments below.

If you haven't had a chance yet to play, let me invite you to download the cards and the rules (in the nav bar to the left) and give it a try.  Then, post me your comments.

In all fairness, if you have any complaints or suggestions for improvement, please send those to me as well.

Chapter and Verse is a very unique kind of LDS game, and so publishers might now "get" quite how it all works and how popular it could be.  Your words could be the assurance they need to know that it is viable and exciting!



Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chapter and Verse: The Past and Future of My LDS Scripture Game

This adventure all started for me in early 2006.

Well, earlier, really.  I’ve been a tabletop gamer all of my life.  I loved the early role-playing games, and I played Avalon Hill’s wargames with my friends from as early as 8th grade.  I’ve come up with various game ideas over the years, too.  But in the early parts of the century, as I got more and more involved in collectible card games (CCG’s, like Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon, which I played with my sons), I found myself wanting to make an LDS game that expressed my faith.  I tried making one that was based on the Book of Mormon, but I struggled with it, and in the end, it didn’t satisfy me.

But in early 2006, an idea gelled for me, and I created a set of rules, and a set of cards.  I talked about it in my Mormon commentary blog here, and here.

Rather than be a strict story-line game, it would be more abstract.  The players take verses of scripture, from the seminary scripture mastery list, combine them together into thematic chapters and then close them up into books.  The verses would have individual effects which would change the play of the game, just like MTG and YGO cards do.  It was, and still is, a new idea in the LDS game market.

Over the years, I would work on it, abandon it, then work on it, and abandon it in a sort of creative/frustration cycle.  It was usually my son that would break the frustration part by asking to play it again.  That would trigger a new wave of creativity, a new version of the rules, and more playtesting, until the next cycle of frustration would make me set it aside for a while.

All the time, I thought I wanted to publish it, but I’ve never known how to accomplish that.  I’ve looked at lots of options, and I’ve submitted it at times to various publishers, I’ve priced out printing, etc... but I’ve never really been sure how to proceed with it.

A few months ago, after I turned in the manuscript for my the final book of my Dutch oven cookbook contract, I started thinking about it again.  I brought it out, dusted it off, and started reworking some rules ideas that had been bugging me about it.  I made a whole new set of cards, and Brendon and I started playtesting it.  My boys started taking a deeper role in the development and promotion of the game.  Then, another idea hit, and the Church changed the official list of Scripture Mastery verses, and we remade the whole cardset again.  We’re now in version 11 of the rules.  I’ve been contacting a number of key people and sharing the game with them, gathering input and even endorsements.

Last week, I met with a friend who owns a game store, and I demo’ed the new Chapter and Verse for him.  He was very positive and his suggestions were more directed toward how to get the the game published and distributed, rather than any fixes that needed in the game.

A switch turned inside me that night.  I realized for the first time inside me that this game needs to be published and that it will be published.  I’m not sure when it will happen, but there are now several options on the table to get it done.  For the first time in the 7 years I’ve been working on this game, it feels ready and it feels like it will actually happen.

And that is very, very exciting!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

LDS Game Card of the Week - Gather the Sheep

John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold... and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Sacrifice Cost: 2; Markers: Wisdom, History; Themes: WHH; EFFECT: Choose two Histories verses from your deck, add them to your hand, and reshuffle your deck. I remember this one from way back in the day in my own seminary class. It was always used, both then, and later, in my mission, to show evidence of the need for God to be God of the whole world, not just of Palestine or the Middle East. When Jesus visits America, after His resurrection, He says, “And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” The point was, to prove that the Bible references the Book of Mormon. Of course, if you didn’t already believe the Book of Mormon, it was really a meaningless argument. Still, in the game, I wanted to capture the sense of gathering and binding together, so I used the fetch mechanic to represent the “one fold” feeling. If I were playing this one in a constructed deck, I’d probably fetch “The First Vision”, which lets you fetch two more Histories verse and set them right away.

Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This LDS Game Feels Complete!

 So, after reworking the card set, which increased the number of cards by over 50%, and redoing the layout, and printing the pages and pages of cards, then cutting them and sleeving them, Brendon and I finally got a chance to playtest this cardset.  I truly hope it's the last test. I've been working and reworking these cards in this LDS game for over seven years, now!  And always with the Scripture Mastery verses.

We played two quick games, and they were both thrilling.  These cards are so much more balanced and flexible than ever before.  With the addition of the Life icons and evening out of the other icons, the game was much more playable.  There were more options, but it wasn't overwhelming!

I was concerned that there would be certain verses that would be too powerful.  There were some powerful cards, it's true, but no one verse dominated the game.  There was plenty of quoting and even some quote challenging, but again, it didn't rule the play. Since Brendon had studied many of the verses in seminary, for Scripture Mastery, he was able to knock off quite a few quotes.

We played with random verses in our decks, as if we had just opened the game out of the box.  We used one set of verses as our base to draw from.  We'll have to try and work with constructed decks sometime soon.

We also discovered that Brendon's work on this whole project has almost earned him the game design merit badge.  This is a relatively new badge, only about a year or so old.

At any rate, this is a great LDS game.  I'm really proud and excited to have been able to work on it all this time.  I really, finally feel like this revision is the most complete of all the versions of it so far!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Version 11.0 of the Rules and Cards

I've just posted version 11.0 of the cards and rules.  Really, there were almost no changes to the rules.  I had considered some, but Brendon and I decided to pass on each of the changes.  So, why a new version number?

Well, the cards were so deeply changed that I decided it warranted a new version.  Here are the changes:

1 - The addition of all of the new seminary Scripture Mastery verses, as outlined by materials I found at the website.  At first I struggled to decide what to do, because I really liked a lot of the passages that were removed from the list, and I really liked a lot of the cards and verse rules I had created for them.  I the end I decided to include the old ones and add in the new ones.  So, all of the verses are marked as either SM 2013 (meaning they're included in the new list), or SM Legacy (meaning they were only in the old list).  Verses that were on the old list and are still on the new list are marked SM 2013, too.

2 - The addition of a new theme icon: Life.  These are passages that relate to being alive, and living in the temporal day-to-day world.

3 - The icons and markers are more evenly balanced now.  I did some counting, and discovered that Faith and especially Wisdom were heavily over-represented, and Histories were sadly neglected. Much of this was due to the fact that the Scripture Mastery verses are more conceptual and doctrinal.  Still, I did some re-reading of the verses, and adjusted the icons and the markers so that there is a much more equitable count.  They are not equal, but it is much more balanced than it was before.

4 - Some of the basic verses were upgraded to power verses.  I know this really doesn't change much, but if the game is ever published, and we use my current packaging strategies, it will make the game more balanced.

5 - Brendon and I went through the verse rules, verse-by-verse and corrected a lot of verbiage and phrasing to make things more consistent, and fix ambiguities.

6 - I had to rework the layout of the prototype print-n-play pdf cards, because there were new things to include, like the Scripture Mastery SM 2013/Legacy label.

So, with all of those changes, I decided it deserved a new number.  I'm really hoping that, at this point, we've got the rules and the cards to the point where we could publish.  As I play the game, it really feels more complete now.

The new rules and cards are available for printing in the left sidebar.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Verses for the Scripture Mastery Set!

In my recent efforts to prepare and promote Chapter and Verse, I had a visit with a seminary teacher.  He was very helpful in a lot of ways, and one was to let me know that the Church was making some changes to the Seminary Scripture Mastery verse lists.

If it’s been a while since you’ve been in Seminary, or if you joined the church after your teens and never attended, here’s an explanation.  Those in the Church leadership that oversee the Seminary Program and its curriculum choose 100 passages, 25 from each of the standard works (The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, combined).  The Seminary students spend each year learning about and even memorizing the 25 scriptures that are part of that year’s curriculum.  After the four years of High School, each student should, in theory, have a good command of all 100 passages.

Now, since the entire first set of Chapter and Verse cards is all based on the 100 scriptures of the Scripture Mastery set.  And suddenly, that was changing!  I got a copy of the new lists from the Church’s website at, and I set myself to revising.

Several things happened:

One, most of the verses remained unchanged.  A few were lengthened, others were added, and some were removed, so that the final tally would still be 25 per course.

Two, I really liked a lot of the cards that were now no longer a part of the Scripture Mastery List.  Faced with the idea of removing them, I decided to keep them in the set as sort of “Legacy” cards.  So, I added in new cards, and new verse rules for all of the additions.

Three, since I was taking so much time to revise add in so many cards, I was going to use this as an opportunity to revise the entire set in a few ways.  One was that I wanted to add a sixth theme icon:  Life (Things dealing with the earth, nature, and the practicalities of temporal existence).  As I read through the new verses, there were lots of opportunities for that.

Also, the themes were way out of balance in the original set.  There were almost twice as many “Wisdom” verses, for example, as “Histories”.  I went through and counted each icon and each marker, and did some thematic revisions to even the numbers out some.  They are still not exactly equal, but they are much more so than before.

So, the current themes are:

1 - Strength:  Represented currently by a Red Shield.  This is the theme of action, of doing, of taking a stand, of holding fast to your beliefs.

2 - Wisdom: A glowing Yellow Candle.  The theme of knowledge, of doctrine, of understanding, and of living in accord with that knowledge.

3 - Faith: Represented by the Blue Eye of Faith, spoken of by Alma.  When we look to the Heavens and believe, our lives are full and complete.

4 - Histories: A White Page, with writing.  The scriptures are full of stories and characters, teaching us by example how to choose the right.

5 - Trials: Represented by a Struggling Fist, surrounded by Dark Purple.  All may seem to be black as we face our difficulties, but as we overcome them, and the dawn comes, the darkness starts to fade.

6 - Life: a Green Leaf.  This is the theme of our home, our earth.  We are born to it, live in it daily, and will eventually return our bodies to it.

All of the verse cards relate in some way to one or more of these themes, and that’s how the verses are added into chapters and eventually into books!  That’s how you become a Master of Chapter and Verse!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Version 10.0 of this LDS Game is ready for general playtesting!


After banging my head against my computer for a frustrating morning, I finally got the latest revision of the cards prepped as a PDF and set on the site!  You can download them on the left, or by clicking here!

Now there's a common thread through the phraseology of the verse rules, the Mastery challenge DISCARD effect is now in place, and it's all ready!


Pleeeeeze give it a try and start playtesting it!  Let me know how it all goes.  It is a bit intimidating to print and cut apart all of those cards.  There are 143 cards, and each one is a set of six on its own page.  I haven't yet figured out how to merge my database to flow them so that there are six unique cards on each sheet.

But, you can print them all out, then cut one off of each sheet, and you'll have enough to play.  Then, if you cut them all out, you'll also have enough that two people could make unique decks and test your deckmaking, so the error does have its advantages.  I also recommend that you put the verses into plastic sleeves (available dirt cheap at hobby stores and card shops), so that they're easier to shuffle!

Thanks so much for giving it a try!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Beta Version 10.0 of LDS Game Chapter and Verse

Every once in a while, things will bubble and boil up inside me, and all of the ideas that I've had over the course of six months or a year will all burst forth into...  What?   Stew?

I don't know where I was going with that metaphor.

But anyway, I just finished reworking the rules.  There are two big differences:

  1. I did away with the learning game and the standard game.  I found that when I taught people the game, I taught the standard game, anyway.  I also combined the meta game into the shame rules doc as the standard game.  The mastery game is so far from development that I shelved it, too.  I also created a "Quick Start Guide" so that players can get the overall idea of the game, and give it a try, then reference the more detailed rules to answer questions, or as they get more into the game.
  2. I did away with the "Quote Challenge" rule, and made it a DISCARD verse rule.  I found that many people testing the game were turned off by the rule, and by playing the game with the possibility of a challenge hanging over their heads.  Making it a verse rule follows the model of the Magic: The Gathering "Cancel", "Counter", and "Fizzle" spells.
Here in a few days, I'll put out the new cardset, too.  It has more verses, about 145, and my playtests so far have been lots of fun.

So, here is the new v10.0 complete rules document.  And here is the new v10.0 quickstart guide document. The links are also available in the sidebar, on the left!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). In addition to playing LDS games, Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

LDS Game Design and Dr Grimdeath: Part 1

Recently, I got a facebook message from one of my old buddies from my high/school college days. He was one of our gamer crowd, and played a lot of D&D as well as other miniatures and role-playing games.

He’d developed a game, with a prototype, that he wanted me to playtest.  It was based on the old, corny B-grade horror flicks of the past.  The premise is a bunch of students spending the night in a mansion with a monster.  They have until midnight to 1) identify and kill the monster using weapons and items they find, 2) escape the island the mansion is on, or 3) die trying.

Our family tried it, and it was a hilarious and silly romp.  It’s a cooperative game, so we were all trying to win together.

Afterward,. by a few days, I got on the phone with him and we talked a lot of cool things about game design and our game efforts.  It was interesting to talk to him about Chapter and Verse, and about Dr Grimdeath, because he’s not LDS, and so that made it interesting to explain the concepts of the game.

I thought I’d share some highlights of our discussion, because it plays not only into LDS gaming, but also into game design in general.  I’ll touch on each one here, in the successive parts of this posting!

Feedback Loops

There are two kinds of feedback loops in game design.  A “Positive Feedback Loop” is a rule or a circumstance that encourages a situation to recur more and more frequently.  One broad example, it’s the way a Monopoly game is really won or lost in the first few turns.  The player that gets the best properties in the first few rounds ends up collecting more rent, and that grows into more re-investment, until he or she is unstoppable.  You have to watch for these in your games, or they can make the game balance run away from you.

A “Negative Feedback Loop” is a rule or situation that makes a situation LESS likely to recur.  In American Football, when you score a touchdown, you have to kick off to the opposing team, and it’s their turn to be on the offensive.

It’s important to note that the terms “Positive” and “Negative” don’t refer to any thougths about the outcome.  As a player a PFL can have a very bad impact on my strategies and my play of the game, and a NFL can keep my opponents in check.  Positive loops are things MORE likely to happen again, and negative loops are things LESS likely.

Early in the game, when a player closed up a book, he/she would draw blessing verses, and then continue on with their turn.  I soon discovered that players could use various drawing verses (like Prayer and Keyword) effects to just keep on playing and playing, closing book after book, and win in one turn without the other player being able to do anything.  A PFL was messing up the game balance.  I chose to fix it like the football game.  Once you close a book, your turn ends.

It’s interesting because in an LDS game, as in any game, you have to watch out for PFL’s because they can really mess up the balance of a game.  On the other hand, in LDS LIFE, it’s full of PFLs.  Like prayer, for example.  You say a prayer and you feel great.  You feel connected to God.  That makes you want to pray more.  Which makes you more connected...

Of course, temptation is also a PFL.  If you give in once, you’re more likely to do it again.

Next: Getting to Your Core Essence


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scripture Mastery Card: City on the Hill

I thought it would be kinda fun to talk about some of my favorite verse cards from the newest Scripture Mastery set!  I keep working on the game, but I don’t always post it up here.  This idea, I think will help keep me more consistent!  I’m going to start with some of my favorite power cards.  These verses, if the game were to ever get published would be analogous to the “rares” in Magic, or Yu-Gi-Oh.  There really isn’t, unfortunately, an LDS game to compare it to, yet.

This first verse is from the New Testament: Matthew 5:14.  The card quote is: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”  It’s Pearl verse, which means that it can add one icon of any theme to the total of the chapter it’s in (like a wild card). It costs 3 to play it, and its special rules are: “Unique, ALSO, ABILITY: When you play any other verse, you may set another verse into the same chapter”

I’ve always loved this scripture.  I used it in a song, in fact!  It’s one of the LDS seminary Scripture Mastery verses, so it’s a good one to memorize, anyway.  It comes out of the Sermon on the Mount.  The Lord is telling his followers to go out and do good for the world around them.  Even if the service is quiet and humble, it will be seen.  It will set an example.  The world will “see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”

As I was preparing this cardset for the LDS game, I thought that good examples have a tendency to spread.  If you do something good, it feels good and you want to do more.  Often, it inspires others.  Soon, a lot more good is getting done.  As I thought about this verse, it seemed to me that light shining and cities on the hill in this sense can get things moving more quickly.  So, this verse in play allows you to set an extra, additional verse each time you play one into a chapter.  If I were playing it, I’d set it into an empty chapter, and use it to build up other chapters for the books and the win!

Chapter and Verse is a new kind of LDS Game!  Check out the print-and-play prototype cards!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Work and The Glory

Today, Brendon spoke in Sacrament Meeting.  It was very different from the previous times he’s spoken.  In the past, we worked together on his topic, and we pretty much wrote out everything he would say.  This time, he researched his topic on his own, compiled his quotes and citations, lined them up in the order he wanted to, and just spoke from his notes and his mind.

Watching him up there, it made me feel really proud.  Jodi said that he looked like a missionary. The talk flowed pretty smoothly all along, without any big gaps or stumbles.  He didn’t even look all that nervous, even though I knew that he was feeling it that morning.

His talk was on the Godhead, and he showed some good research and understanding of the quotes and scriptures he cited.  It was well-done, especially for a 15 year old.

The whole reason I’m mentioning it here is because, at the end, he cited one of my favorite scriptures: Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”.

And, of course, since that’s one of my favorite scriptures, it was turned into one of my favorite cards.  Two of my favorite cards, in fact: “The Work of God” and “The Glory of God”.  One’s rule reads: “ABILITY: If this verse is in the same chapter as “The Work of God”, the chapter may be closed as a book.”  The other is similar:  “ABILITY: If this verse is in the same chapter as “The Glory of God”, the chapter may be closed as a book.”

So, all you need to do is to get these two verses into the same chapter, and you can close up a book.  I did it this way because I felt it was interesting to think of how the Work and The Glory of god are so intertwined.

Here’s another interesting anecdote that I DIDN’T think of when I was creating the card.  I made a deck with three copies each of these two verses.  Then, I added in a lot of verses with the “Prayer” ability.  That allows me to look at so many verses on top of my deck and pull one of them into my hand.  It basically allows you to cycle through your deck faster.  That way, you can get to these three verses quicker and make your short books, winning the game!

It didn’t occur to me until much, much later that I was using “prayer” to bring about “the work and the glory of God”!


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.