If you’re at all like this author and researcher, you enjoy reading the scriptures. In them I find a personal message of inspiration, hope, counsel and consolation from our Heavenly Father. I relish their message.

But some parts are a conundrum. They make little sense for most of us: Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation, Section 88 or Abraham—most of the visions of the prophets. What are we to make of the curious imagery found there? What counsel, wisdom or insight are we to derive from the esoteric language and peculiar metaphors they employ?

Well, there is good news. There is a unique and somewhat surprising approach that allows any student of the scriptures to understand all that cryptic imagery. One need not be a prophet or receive revelation to easily comprehend it. Anyone can understand the most mysterious passages.

The bad news is that to properly read their idiomatic prose—from Genesis to Isaiah to Revelation, from Doctrine and Covenants to Nephi to the Pearl of Great Price—requires considerable study and effort on your part. It necessitates a reorientation of your thinking about the ancient past and our ancient skies, a study defined by the term “cosmology.” You must literally go to school to unlearn some things that you have been told are true all your life and to become intimately familiar with other things you have been told were inconsequential or wrong.

You’ll find that nearly everything you’ve been taught about Earth’s early history by secular and sectarian historians and scientists is incorrect. Their take on the past prevents you from understanding a vital part of the message delivered by the Savior, his apostles and the prophets.

Not so surprisingly, the key lies in the Restored Gospel, the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith and in a revolutionary revision of Earth’s planetary history espoused by a number of modern scholars and scientists. It’s a remarkably revealing synthesis of Mormonism, ancient planetary history and cutting edge science that unlocks the scriptures, the words of the prophets and the meaning of modern temple rituals like nothing else.

I invite you to explore the concepts presented herein to amplify your understanding of the prophets, to greatly strengthen your testimony of the Restoration and to reinvigorate your study of the scriptures.

Anthony E. Larson