Now that Gospel Doctrine teachers are provided only a set of questions and a quotation for each lesson, many are on the lookout for additional resources. Other Church members are seeking new insights and “a wider appreciation of the life and ministry of the Savior” (ix). This relatively slim volume aims to provide such an appreciation via a discussion of many, but not all, of the episodes reported in the Gospels and Acts. Matthews draws primarily upon the Latter-day Saint cannon, the teachings of Joseph Smith, and, of course, his own observations.
The book is organized thematically instead of chronologically. But the reader can find specific discussions through the scripture index and a fairly detailed index. One valuable chapter is a collection of quotations from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning Jesus.
The contributions or lack thereof of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) are usually highlighted rather than those from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Such an emphasis is no surprise coming from a man who has devoted much of his life to studying the JST. However, since the current LDS edition of the Bible includes most of the significant changes in the JST, this emphasis is not as useful as another might be.
As is usual in commentaries, the discussions vary in depth and freshness. Nevertheless, the general reader will find many passages that are both instructive and inspiring.