DVDs designed to assist deaf members

Two new DVD products in American Sign Language have been released by the Curriculum Department — Book of Mormon Stories and Selected Hymns.

The new Book of Mormon Stories in American Sign Language (ASL) is "going to help deaf individuals to begin to understand the Book of Mormon better," said Doug Hind, manager of the special curriculum division of the Curriculum Department. "Often missionaries will use this in their proselyting when they come across a deaf person."

Speaking of the uses for the Book of Mormon Stories in ASL for adults and children, in both Primary and home settings, Brother Hind explained that American Sign Language is the first language for many people who are deaf, and that like any other language, English does not always translate directly into American Sign Language. Thus, any product in ASL can be beneficial for deaf members.

The Book of Mormon Stories in ASL includes a chapter-by-chapter glossary of English words translated visually into American Sign Language. There are also captions and an audio reading in English. Thus, both hearing and deaf children can use Book of Mormon Stories together, Brother Hind emphasized.

As to the Selected Hymns in ASL, Brother Hind said deaf members struggle to understand the meaning behind music and its role in Church meetings. In addition, music is difficult to translate during meetings. "So we selected four individuals to assist us and we worked as a translation team to translate 127 hymns.

"Music plays a big part in our lives and we have to realize people who are totally deaf don't have the enjoyment of music," Brother Hind said. "This translation (is) more meaningful to them. They seem to get more of the meaning from the songs whereas we who are hearing (seem to concentrate more) on the music."

Selected Hymns in ASL on DVD includes the option for those preparing music for meetings to preselect several hymns and have them ready at the push of a button.

Book of Mormon Stories in ASL (54100) and Selected Hymns in ASL (54028) are available now at Church distribution centers.

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