Pace is everything. Whether I’m sitting in Sacrament Meeting or Young Men’s or Primary, when the speaker gets too slow, the audience fades away.  If the speaker maintains an upbeat tempo, it’s much easier to pay attention (except when Elder Lynn G. Robbins gave the “To Be or Not To Be” talk in April of 2011 – it was so deep, I could barely keep up! But I digress…)

So when I decided to start listening to the Book of Mormon on my commute to work, I was completely and utterly bummed out when I started listening to the Church’s production on MP3.  It needs a warning from the Surgeon General about causing drowsiness, or at least it should advise you not to listen to it while driving or operating heavy machinery.  It is impossible to get through.  I almost decided to abandon the effort, but then I devised a plan.

I went home and ran all the files through some software to speed them up by 45%.  Any faster and it becomes “Alvin and the Chipmunks Read the Book of Mormon.” Any slower and you’ll still fall asleep.  45% was the sweet spot, and it worked for me.

Speeding up the pace of the reading accomplished two things.  This took the total length of time to listen to the entire collection from 26 hours down to 18 hours – not too shabby.  But much more importantly, it brought the rate of speech up to the pace of an excited conversation, one that you’d want to pay attention to.

With the newer, faster version, I had to pay attention a lot more, and do more active listening, because it’s moving along with or without you.  The slightly higher pitch feels a little more aggressive and interesting.  The story progresses and you feel like you’re getting somewhere.  You can finish two or three chapters on a 20 minute drive, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something.  Honestly, it still takes a while to get through it.  Jacob 5 is still 15 minutes long, but at least it’s not 22 minutes like in the original!

Anyway, once I mentioned the fact that I had a sped-up version to some of my friends, I had several requests for copies.  And since this has become a place to host all my little LDS-hacks over the past few years, I guess I’ll share them with you. All the sped-up MP3s are in a nice little zip file, only 243MB – small enough for any smart phone, MP3 CD, or Ipod.

To download, right click on the following link, and then unzip them on your computer:

Fast_BOM.zip

Maybe they’ll work for you, maybe they’re not at the right speed, maybe you prefer to sit down and read everyday; but hopefully for someone somewhere, these might just be able to get some of us back into the scriptures again. It did the trick for me.

(Direct download link for the original, slower MP3s here: Official Book of Mormon MP3s)

P.S. I know some people get really worried about copyright, but I’m not so concerned.  If a Church representative would like me to take these down, that’s fine, but I think they would realize the intent is to increase exposure to the scriptures for free, and who is going to get mad about that? So go ahead and download guilt-free.  I’ll take the fall for you if someone gets cranky.

18 Responses so far.

  1. Matthew says:

    Hey Brad,
    Thanks for sharing the speedy Book of Mormon. I have listened to the church published CDs several times in my car (at least once per year), but I really like the idea of being able to go through the entire set a little faster. Leaves room for other listening opportunities as well.
    Keep of the good work.
    -Matthew Haws

  2. James Beadlle says:

    Thank you for doing this. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. John Z says:

    Thank you so much! It seems to go so slow with out a little speed. Thank you thank you!

  4. John Z says:

    Thank you!

  5. Tessa Olson says:

    The Young Women in our ward are doing a Book of Mormon Read-a-thon (read the whole thing in two days). Reading aloud has gotten them a bit behind schedule so this will be REALLY helpful to get us finished on time. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Laura says:

    The link for the faster BOM does not work. It downloaded an empty file. I tried a different browser and it didn’t help.

    • bradjackman says:

      I’m sorry it’s not working for you, I just tried downloading it from the website and the zip downloaded just fine. I find that about 5% have issues downloading the file, but I can’t ever duplicate the issues. I have also hosted them on my google drive. You can access them through this page: http://www.bradjackman.com/?p=124

      The easiest way to use them from there is to use a google account and select the button in the top right corner that says “open in drive” (If you’re not signed it, it will say “sign in” then after you’ve signed in it will change to “open in drive.”) That will allow you to highlight all of the files and then download them through google. It’s a little complicated, but it might work for you. I’d probably try downloading the original zip file on another computer first though, that might be the issue.

      Good luck!
      Brad Jackman

  7. Wendy McKay says:

    Thank you very much for this! I agree with everything you said. I have a fairly new member of the church living with us and preparing for a mission and he hasn’t read the Book of Mormon. We are doing a marathon with him and this will speed things up nicely!
    Much appreciated!

  8. Crystal Hulbert says:

    Thank you!
    Have you ever thought of doing this for all the standard works?

  9. Tom says:

    Thank you! This is great!

  10. jason says:

    i downloaded this from your website and we listened and followed along and finished it in one day with our priest quorum, started at 4:30 in the morning and finished around 11:30 at night, incredible experience for all involved. thank you for your website!

  11. This is a techie question. I downloaded the Fast B of M to my computer. Works great. I can’t seem to figure out how to get it to my I phone 6. Any suggestions?

  12. Mark says:

    Thanks, Brad!

    For another option, I just figured out that some podcast apps allow for variable speed. I bought Podkicker Pro for $1.99, subscribed to the Book of Mormon MP3 English podcast, and downloaded all of the chapters. You can increase playback speed in increments of 0.2x (from 1.0x to 1.2x to 1.4x etc) with no maximum speed.

    Like you, a faster playback actually helps me listen better.

  13. Chelsea McKell says:

    this will be super helpful for my YW’s upcoming BOM 24 hr read. We’ll prob listen to every other chapter or so.
    Thank you!

  14. Keith Hudson says:

    I discovered a couple of weeks ago that the Gospel Library app on my current Android phone lets me modify the speed while listening to the Book of Mormon. The technology increases the speed without changing the pitch. For me, it works well to listen at 2x normal speed. When I can, I also read along on my phone. I should be able to listen to the entire Book of Mormon in under 8 weeks by listening 15 minutes a day.

    I’ve just downloaded your speeded up version and will give it a try as well. It’s great to have an alternative.

  15. Eileen says:

    Thank you!! I’m a seminary teacher and I’m going to suggest this to my students!

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