About DKO


DKO - photo in BYU office

Biographical Sketch – Dr. D. Kelly Ogden

D. Kelly Ogden is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He has taught courses in Hebrew, Old and New Testament, writings of Isaiah, the Bible as literature, history of the ancient Near East, biblical and modern geography of the Holy Land, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. For a span of fourteen years he helped administer BYU’s study programs in the Holy Land and guided students on field study trips all over Israel/Palestine, the Sinai, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece. He led groups of students on many walks through the Holy Land, including retracing the “three-days’ journey” of Abraham and Isaac from Beersheba to Mount Moriah, the ninety-two miles Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the two hundred miles from Dan to Beersheba, and the two-hundred mile “Lehi Trek” from Jerusalem to the Red Sea. He has climbed Mount Sinai 18 times.

Brother Ogden earned a B.A. in English and Spanish, an M.Ed. in International Education, an M.A. in Hebrew language and historical geography of the Bible, and a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies. He has presented scholarly papers in Louisville, Kentucky; Washington, D. C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Honolulu, Hawaii; Seattle, Washington; Leuven, Belgium; Vienna, Austria; and Santiago, Chile.

He is the author of the following books:

1. The Holy Land – A Geographical, Historical, and Archaeological Guide

to the Land of the Bible (co-authored with Jeffrey R. Chadwick)

2. Where Jesus Walked – The Land and Culture of New Testament Times

3. Jerusalem, The Eternal City (with David B. Galbraith and Andrew C. Skinner) 4. Discovering the World of the Bible (with LaMar C. Berrett)

5. The President and the Preacher – Memoirs of a Mission President and

Companion (with Marcia H. Ogden)

6. Pioneering the East (30 years’ involvement in the Holy Land, 1972 – 2002)

7. 8 Mighty Changes God Wants for You—Before You Get to Heaven

8. Verse by Verse: The Four Gospels (with Andrew C. Skinner)

9. Verse by Verse: Acts through Revelation (with Andrew C. Skinner)

10. The President and the Preacher II – Memoirs of a Missionary Training Center

President and Companion (with Marcia H. Ogden)

11. Happy like Jesus – Lessons from Jesus Christ on How to Live

12. Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon – two volumes (with Andrew C. Skinner)

13. Verse by Verse: The Old Testament – two volumes (with Andrew C. Skinner)

His articles have appeared in the Ensign, the Liahona (the International Magazine of the Church), the Church News, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Meridian Magazine, and other LDS and non-LDS publications. He is also a frequent participant in the BYU Television scripture discussions.

For five years Brother Ogden helped prepare the LDS editions of the scriptures, and he served on the Gospel Doctrine Writing Committee for the Church. In the 1980s he served as president of the Jerusalem Branch in Israel. In the 1990s he served as a branch president at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, as 1st counselor in a BYU stake presidency, and as president of the Chile Santiago East Mission. He has served as president of the Guatemala Missionary Training Center and is now a sealer in the Provo Temple.

After listing all the above “accomplishments,” DKO readily admits that his greatest mortal relationship and blessing has come through marrying Marcia Hammond Ogden. She has graduated from BYU, served a mission in Spain, earned a masters certificate in TESOL, and taught part-time at BYU. After our marriage she became “a mother in Israel” (literally giving birth to more children in the Holy Land than any other Latter-day Saint woman), and later served as a companion to her president-husband in Chile and in Guatemala. DKO acknowledges that his four children (Sara, Daniel, Elizabeth, and Joseph) have taught him many of his greatest lessons in life, and he loves those daughters and sons. Plus, they have given their parents many grandsons: Caleb, Ari, Jude, Gideon, Maxwell, Soren, Anders, Karsten, Oskar, . . . . This is the beginning of his real “bio”—eternal lives/eternal posterity.



D. Kelly Ogden With Wife Marcia


December, 2011


Ph. D. 1982 University of Utah, SLC, Utah Middle East Studies

M. A. 1978 Institute of Holy Land Studies, Hebrew Language and

Jerusalem, Israel Historical Geographyof Bible Lands

M. Ed. 1974 Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah International Education

B. A. 1971 Weber State College, Ogden, Utah English and Spanish

+ specialized studies in the Book of Isaiah with Prof. Moshe Goshen-Gottstein at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Spring 1990 and Water Management at UC Berkeley, Summer 1988


BYU, Provo 1991 – 1997, 2000 – 2005, 2008 – 2011

Rel. 121-122 Book of Mormon

Rel. 211-212 New Testament

Rel. 301-302 Old Testament

Rel. 304 Writings of Isaiah

Rel. 324-325 Doctrine and Covenants

Rel. 327 Pearl of Great Price

Team taught the Political Science (454) and Honors (224R, later 232R)

course “Jerusalem, The Eternal City,” biannually 1994-1997.

Taught the whole course, 2001 – 2005, 2008 – 2009.

Taught as adjunct professor of geography the course

“Geography of the Middle East” (Geogr. 471) for BYU’s

Department of Geography, Fall 1992.

Taught two graduate Old Testament courses for CES

teachers in Davis County, Utah, Summer-Fall 1991.

BYU, Jerusalem 1989 – 1990

Rel. 300 Old Testament

Rel. 200 New Testament

NES 336 Ancient Near Eastern Studies

BYU, Provo 1988 – 1989 Two-semester lecture series on Historical/Geographical Settings

of the Bible for BYU Religion and Near Eastern Studies faculty and CES

faculty in Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden

Rel. 211 New Testament; Rel. 302 Old Testament;

Rel. 304 The Writings of Isaiah

BYU, Jerusalem 1987 – 1988 Assistant Director – Academics

1985 – 1987 Associate Director, The Jerusalem Center for

Near Eastern Studies; guide, and teacher:

Biblical and Modern Geography of the Holy Land

Ancient Near Eastern History

The Bible as Literature (Eng. 350)

Introductory Hebrew

BYU, Jerusalem 1980 – 1984 Administrative Assistant – BYU, Jerusalem

BYU, SLC 1979 Geography 502R Seminar in Geography of Israel

BYU, Ogden 1979 Geography 502R Seminar in Geography of Israel

SL Institute 1979 Rel. 121 Book of Mormon

BYU, Jerusalem 1977 – 1978 Assistant Director, Study Abroad Program

and Part-time Instructor:

Rel. 211R and 212R New Testament

Comparative Religions; Anthropology 490R;

Rel. 302R Old Testament; Geography 502R

BYU, Provo 1975 – 1977 Instructor and Researcher, Bible Aids Project

Rel. 211 New Testament; Rel. 212 New Testament

Rel. 301 Old Testament; Rel. 122 Book of Mormon

Rel. 390R Senior Seminar

LDS Seminary Teacher (Ogden and Weber High Schools), 1971 – 1975

Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Church History


Service on Ancient Scripture’s Rank Advancement Committee (2008 – 2011).

Chair, Sidney B. Sperry Symposium on the Old Testament (2008 – 2009).

Coordinator of Religious Education’s Graduate Studies (2001 – 2005).

Coordinator, Ancient Scripture Dept.’s Digital Media Library Photo Collection (2000 – 2002).

Service on the University’s Advanced Writing Committee (1994 –1997).

Service on the Ancient Scripture Department’s Search Committee (1990 – 1994);

chair of the Search Committee (1994 – 1997).

Organization and assistance in guiding Ancient Scripture faculty study tours through Turkey and Greece, May 1994 and May 1997.

Taught in-service and various symposia for CES on Old Testament and New Testament in Utah Valley, Salt Lake Valley, Davis County, and Ogden (1991 – 1996). Also, taught Jerusalem course to Religious Education faculty, Winter 1996, and New Testament to CES coordinators in England and the Nordic countries, Winter 1997.

Supervision of work of several BYU students and CES personnel in graduate readings courses (1991 – 1995).

Service on M. A. graduate committees for students in Near Eastern Studies at Brigham Young University, and on a Ph. D. committee for a doctoral candidate in Archaeology and Middle East Studies at the University of Utah, 1991.


Original authorship — Books

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon, two volumes, by Ogden and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, October and December, 2011.

Happy like Jesus – Lessons from Jesus Christ on How to Live. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, April 2011.

The President and the Preacher II – Memoirs of a Missionary Training Center President and Companion, co-authored with Marcia Hammond Ogden, 2008.

Verse by Verse: The Four Gospels by Ogden and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 2006.

A doctrinal commentary supplemented with photos, paintings, drawings, charts, maps, and other study helps – a “user-friendly” companion to the study of the New Testament Gospels; provides insights to understand these scriptures from the culture, history, geography, archaeology, and languages of the New Testament era. Answers and clarifications are given by using latter-day revelation and particularly the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Stories and other illustrations from the authors’ personal experiences in the land of Jesus, from two decades of walking where Jesus walked and teaching where Jesus taught.

Verse by Verse: Acts through Revelation (re-titled reprint of New Testament Apostles Testify of

Christ – A Guide for Acts to Revelation) by Ogden and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 2006.

8 Mighty Changes God Wants for You – Before You Get to Heaven. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, August 2004.

Pioneering the East, personal memoirs of the 30-year involvement of Daniel Kelly Ogden in the Holy Land and other lands of the Near East, 1972 – 2002.

The President and the Preacher – Memoirs of a Mission President and Companion, co-authored with Marcia Hammond Ogden, 2002.

New Testament Apostles Testify of Christ – A Guide for Acts to Revelation. Co-authored with Andrew C. Skinner. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, November 1998. A 424-page volume for study of the second half of the New Testament, complete with seventeen chapters, six appendices, maps, charts, feature articles, photos, and indices. Scriptural commentary rich with historical, geographical, archaeological, linguistic, and other insights, but focuses especially on the doctrines taught by the early apostles.

Jerusalem, The Eternal City. Co-authored with David B. Galbraith and Andrew C. Skinner. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, March 1996, and republished in February 2008. A study of the Holy City of Jerusalem from 2,000 BC to AD 2,000 – from Melchizedek to Millennium. Through the disciplines of theology, history, geography, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and political science, the book constitutes a comprehensive analysis of Jerusalem’s multi-faceted influence on world history through forty centuries, its preeminence and centrality in the human drama. After a philosophical introduction to this most famous city on earth, and a chapter describing the physical setting of the city, various periods of its history are examined. The politics of modern Jerusalem are explored through World Wars, Arab-Israeli conflicts, United Nations intercessions, and mediations of the major powers. The book also focuses on the broad cultural diversity in Jerusalem today: the city’s ethnic and religious groups, its expansive growth and modernization, its architecture, its factious government, and its political tensions. A unique feature is the role of Jerusalem as a Temple City, past and future. Also uniquely featured is a view of Latter-day Saint involvement in the City, especially Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. This work presupposes Latter-day Saint interest and commitment to understand the role of Jerusalem while anticipating its ultimate destiny through a painful transition into the City of God, the City of Holiness.

Discovering the World of the Bible – Guidebook to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, with text, charts, maps, and photos; 3rd ed., revised and updated (with LaMar C. Berrett). Provo: Grandin Book, 1996.

Where Jesus Walked – The Land and Culture of New Testament Times. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, May 1991. (172 pp.) An 8 1/2 x 11-size book with photos, drawings, and text giving visual and didactic commentary on New Testament teachings drawn from the lands of the Bible.

The Holy Land — A Geographical, Historical, and Archaeological Guide to the Land of the Bible. Co-authored with Jeffrey R. Chadwick. Jerusalem: Barry Segal International, 1990. A 379-page text used by BYU study programs in Israel and in training potential faculty members for their teaching assignments abroad, including geographical topics such as cartography, climate, water resources, road systems, settlement factors, geology, demography, etc., and summaries of historical periods, including Egypt, Canaanites, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Hellenistic or Intertestamental period, Rome, and Muslim empires; archaeological subjects such as excavation of tels, pottery and ceramic typology, archaeological periods, evidences of the Bible, and ancient inscriptions from Bible lands, plus a survey of all regions and detailed descriptions of all major sites in the Holy Land, with accompanying photos, drawings, site plans, and charts.

Historical Geography in the Bible – A Commentary on the History and Geography of the Old and New Testament periods, with Cartographic Application. Jerusalem and Provo: The Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in conjunction with Pictorial Archive, 1988. (136 pp.) Used with Pictorial Archive’s Student Map Manual.

Faculty Field Trip Files. Jerusalem, 1987 – 1988, and updated, 1990. Fifteen Guides used by Jerusalem Center faculty while conducting Field Study Excursions to all parts of Israel, Sinai, Egypt, and Jordan, (700-800 pp.).

Introductory Hebrew. Jerusalem, 1986. A 35-page booklet used in the beginning Hebrew course, incl. genealogy and history of the Hebrew language, study of English words from Hebrew, divine names, examples of how knowing Hebrew helps to understand the Bible, use of Hebrew in latter-day scripture, standardized pronunciation guide, and bibliography.

Illustrated Guide to the Model City of Ancient Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Barry Segal International, 1986, a detailed, 35-page description of one of the most remarkable teaching tools in Jerusalem today (1990 – revised, 2nd edition).

Biblical and Modern Geography of the Holy Land. Jerusalem: Barry Segal International, 1985.

A 132-page text which includes study of toponymy, cartography, climate, water, geology, topography, mineralogy, soils, settlement, trade routes, road systems, agriculture, industry, demography, flora, fauna, and regional studies.

Original authorship — Articles and Chapters

Three chapters (“Sirocco and Sharav in the Bible,” “Canaan: God’s Testing Ground for His Covenant People,” and “Was City Planning in Modern Jerusalem Foreseen by the Prophets of Judah?”) in Geography of the Holy Land: Perspectives, Dando, Dando, and Lu, editors (Taiwan: Holy Light Theological Seminary Press, 2005).

“Amos through Malachi: Major Teachings of the Twelve Prophets” (with Blair Van Dyke), in The Religious Educator (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University), volume 4, number 3, 2003, 60-88.

Eleven brief articles (Bethabara, East Wind, Immanuel, land of Jerusalem, Jordan River, Melchizedek, Mosiah 14, Nazareth, Red Sea, Sabbath, and Salem) in Book of Mormon Reference Companion, edited by Dennis L. Largey, published by Deseret Book, 2003.

“Jerusalem” photo essay in Ensign and Liahona, April 2003, 12-21 and 8-17.

“Prophecies and Promises of Joseph Smith—Matthew” in The Religious Educator (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University), volume 3, number 1, 2002, 35-49.

“Scriptures offer glimpse of New Jerusalem” in Church News, January 6, 2001; a report of my presentation in the Missouri Mormon Heritage Conference in Independence, Missouri, September, 2000.

“Biblical Language and Imagery in the Doctrine and Covenants,” chapter in The Doctrine and Covenants: A Book of Answers – 1996 Sperry Symposium, Deseret Book Company, 1996, 169-187.

“Spiritual Lessons in Their Physical Settings” in The Bible Today (a Catholic periodical), March/April, 1996.

“Nephi learned of God, language from Lehi who prepared family for its long journey” and “Lord foresaw Lehi’s arduous exodus,” two-part article on backgrounds of the first seven chapters of the Book of Mormon in Church News, January 6 and 13, 1996.

“Two from Judah Ministering to Joseph” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History – Illinois. Edited by H. Dean Garrett. Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1995, 225-247. A study of two lives: Major Howard Egan and Dr. Alexander Neibaur.

“Spiritual lessons in physical settings” in Church News, January 7, 1995; an illustrated article describing how geographical landscapes often figure in the imagery of biblical teachings.

“Remember the Sabbath Day,” Ensign, April 1994, fourth in the series of feature articles on the Ten Commandments, 46-51. Also published in The International Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 1998.

“The Spirit of Prophecy is the Testimony of Jesus,” chapter in Thy People Shall Be My People and Thy God My God – The 1993 Sperry Symposium, Deseret Book Company, 1994, 74-83.

“Was the gospel of Jesus Christ known to Adam and his posterity?” Ensign, February 1994, 62.

“All the Prophets Prophesied of Christ” (with R. Val Johnson), Ensign, January 1994; article and accompanying chart detailing prophecies of Christ’s ministry in the Meridian of Time. Also published in The International Magazine of the Church, April 1994.

Three chapters in Studies in Scripture, vol. 4, 1 Kings to Malachi, Deseret Book Company, 1993: “The Book of Amos,” “The Book of Micah,” and “The Book of Nahum.”

“The Road to Bethlehem” in The International Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, December 1993; an illustrated article describing the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. Also published in Ensign, December 1995.

“What are the reasons behind the long-standing conflicts in the Holy Land, and how should Latter-day Saints view such conflicts?” (with David B. Galbraith) Ensign, September 1993, 52-53. Also published in The International Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, December 1997.

“The Earthquake Motif in the Book of Amos” – chapter in the volume Goldene Apfel in silbernen Schalen in the scholarly monograph series Beitrage zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des Antiken Judentums, edited by Dr. Dr. Matthias Augustin, Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang, 1992.

Three articles in Encyclopedia of Mormonism (Macmillan, 1992): “Bible, King James Version (Authorized),” “Jerusalem,” and “Messianic Concept and Hope.”

“As Plain as Word Can Be” – chapter in Doctrines of the Book of Mormon – The 1991 Sperry Symposium, Deseret Book Company, 1992, 158-165.

“When did the use of consecrated olive oil in priesthood blessings originate, and what part does the oil play in the blessing?” Ensign, October 1991, 60-62.

“Jesus and the Temple,” Ensign, April 1991, a study of Herod’s Temple and its role in the life of Christ, with accompanying drawings and photographs, 13-19.

“The Kirtland Hebrew School (1835-36)” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History – Ohio. Edited by Milton V. Backman, Jr. Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1990, 63-87, 155-162. An in-depth examination of the reasons for more intensive study of the Hebrew language than any other subject in the School of the Prophets.

“A Sampler of Biblical Plants,” photo essay and text in Ensign, August 1990, 35-39.

“Old Testament Canaan – Home of the Prophets” (maps). Ensign, January 1990.

“Answering the Lord’s Call (1 Nephi 1-7)” chapter in Studies in Scripture, Vol. 7, 1 Nephi to Alma 29, Deseret Book Company, 1987, 17-33.

“A Brief Guide to the Shrine of the Book” and “A Brief Guide to the Archaeological Treasures of the Israel Museum.” Jerusalem, 1986 (17 pp.).

“Why does the Book of Mormon say that Jesus would be born in Jerusalem?” Ensign, August 1984, 51-52. Also in A Sure Foundation: Answers to Difficult Gospel Questions (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1988), 3-5.

“Hebrew and Greek Insights into the New Testament” in The Religious Educators’ Symposium on the New Testament, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 1981, 160-163.

“The Testing Ground for the Covenant People,” Ensign, September 1980, 55-58.

“God’s Testing Ground of Faith: The Impact of Israel’s Geography on Old Testament History” in The Religious Educator’s Symposium on the Old Testament, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 1979, 252-258.

Online articles – Meridian Magazine

“The Awesome Promise of the Brain in Our Spiritual Future” – March 10, 2010

“International Appearances of the Resurrected Jesus – A Latter-day Saint Perspective on

the Resurrection of the Dead” – April 2, 2010

“Optimism in a Time of Terror” – May, 2010

“Latter-day Saint Concept of Messiah” – August 6, 2010

“These Lands of Joseph” – August 30, 2010

“‘A Desolating Sickness’ – How to Detect, Avoid, and Overcome Pornography Use”

– September 3, 2010

“To the Ends of the Earth—The Far-reaching Influence of the Prophet Joseph Smith”

– October 1, 2010

“What Some Scholars Call Legend” – November 8, 2010

“Joseph Smith on the Future of Missouri” – December 22, 2010

“Steadfast and Immovable” – January 10, 2011

“Avoiding Distractions” – February 3, 2011

“Proving Christ” – March 4, 2011

“Why Do We Use the King James Version of the Bible?” – April 1, 2011

“If” – May 6, 2011

“A Latter-day Saint View of the Conflict in the Holy Land” – June 7, 2011

“The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy” – August 5, 2011

“Joseph Smith’s Plan for the City of Zion” – September 23, 2011

“Spiritual Lessons in their Physical Settings” – November 4, 2011


“Choose to be Happy like Jesus” at Time Out for Women, Denver, CO, October, 2011, and in Phoenix, AZ, November, 2011.

“Understanding Biblical Teachings in their Geographical Context” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA, April, 2011.

Panel presentation, “The Purpose of Cities from the Perspective of the First Precept [Gen. 1:28]—Toward a New Theology of Cities” (Sponsored by the Bible Geography Specialty Group), at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA, April, 2011.

Interview of D. Kelly Ogden and Marcia H. Ogden with Ruth Todd on “The Mormon Channel,” the Church’s international radio station (one hour and twenty minutes), April, 2010.

Interview for film, “That Promised Day—The Coming Forth of the LDS Scriptures,” 2009-2010.

“Understanding the Bible: Spiritual Lessons in their Physical Settings” at the 7th Annual International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii, January, 2009.

Frequent participant in the BYU Television scripture discussions (2003–2005, and 2008).

“Spiritual Lessons in their Physical Settings” – at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education, Kansas City, Missouri, October 2004.

“The Miracle of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies” DVD, commissioned by the Harold B. Lee Library’s Learning Resource Center, 2003.

“Joseph Smith on the Future of Missouri” – at the Missouri Mormon Heritage Conference in Independence, Missouri, September 2000.

“Biblical Language and Imagery in the Doctrine and Covenants” – at the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants, October 1996.

“Latter-day Saint Concept of Messiah” – in the Symposium “Jews and Mormons: A Common Heritage” at the Center for Jewish Studies, Utah Valley State College, November 1995.

Also presented (in Spanish) in May 2000 to the chapter of B’nei B’rith in Santiago, Chile. Also in the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium on the Old Testament, Brigham Young University, October 2001.

“The Abrahamic Covenant” – at the Pearl of Great Price Seminar, BYU, May 1995.

“The Spirit of Prophecy: The Testimony of Jesus” – at the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium on the Book of Mormon, November 1993.

Series of four lectures in BYU’s Education Week entitled “Archaeological Evidences of the Bible” (requiring many months of scholarly work in preparation), August 1992 and August 1993.

“Concept in Context – Spiritual Lessons in their Physical Settings” – at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1993.

“Two from Judah Ministering to Joseph” for the Nauvoo Symposium (1993) of Religious Education. A study of two lives: Major Howard Egan and Alexander Neibaur – both of whom received patriarchal blessings through the tribe of Judah. A description of their service to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to the people of Joseph in fulfillment of said blessings during the Nauvoo period and beyond.

“Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – Past, Present, and Future” – for BYU Honors course on Jerusalem, November 1991, and for BYU Religious Education faculty, March 1992.

“‘As Plain as Word Can Be’ – A Study of Intentional Plainness while using Figurative Language in the Book of Mormon” – at the Sidney Sperry Symposium on the Book of Mormon, October 1991.

“Out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem – The Future of Two Jerusalems according to the Scriptures and Modern Prophets” – presented to BYU’s faculty of Religious Education, during Missouri study excursion, July 1991, 78 pages.

“Water Politics in the Near East and Ezekiel’s Vision of the Future Borders of Israel” – at the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Vienna, Austria, August 1990.

“The Earthquake Motif in the Book of Amos” – presented at the Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT), Leuven, Belgium, August 1989.

“The State of California and the State of Israel – A Comparative Study of Water Systems and Related Political Problems” (17 pp.) at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Baltimore, Maryland, March 1989. Also used in a subcommittee of the Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel during examination of critical water issues in that country, 1989.

“Was City Planning in Modern Jerusalem Foreseen by the Prophets of Judah?” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington, D.C., April 1984.

“Canaan: God’s Testing Ground for the Children of Israel” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Louisville, Kentucky, April 1980.

DKO Photography published

Good Tidings of Great Joy by Huntsman, 2011.

Verse by Verse, The Four Gospels by Ogden and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 2006.

Verse by Verse, Acts through Revelation (re-titled reprint of New Testament Apostles Testify of

Christ – A Guide for Acts to Revelation) by Ogden and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 2006.

HOLY LANDS: A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Near East by Berrett and Van Dyke, 2005.

Book of Mormon Reference Companion, ed. Dennis Largey, published by Deseret Book, 2003.

“Jerusalem” photo essay in Ensign and Liahona, April 2003.

Visualizing Isaiah, published by Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2001.

On Holy Ground (book on Old Testament), published by Covenant Communications, 2001.

New Testament Apostles Testify of Christ – A Guide for Acts to Revelation by Ogden and

Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 1998.

Journeys of Paul Study Guide, published by Educational Opportunities, 1996.

Jerusalem, The Eternal City by Galbraith, Ogden, and Skinner, published by Deseret Book, 1996.

The Bible Today (a Catholic periodical), March 1996.

International Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, December 1995 and

The Friend, December 1996.

Church News articles on “Geographical landscapes in Biblical teachings,” Jan. 7, 1995; “From Nazareth to Bethlehem,” Dec. 24, 1994; “Lehi Trek” Jan. 2, 1988.

A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Mark Tessler, published by Indiana University

Press (cover photo), 1994.

“Where Jesus Walked,” Infobases screen-saver program.

“Multimedia Family Bible” (CD Rom, for Windows), produced by Infobases International

Incorporated (over 100 photos used).

Young Explorers in the Land Where Jesus Lived, by Marcia Hammond, published by Chariot

Books (David C. Cook Publishing Co.), 1992.

BYU Today and This People magazines.

Where Jesus Walked – The Land and Culture of New Testament Times, by D. Kelly Ogden,

published by Deseret Book, 1991.

Ensign, April 1991, “Jesus and the Temple.”

Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint View by Spencer J. Palmer and Roger R. Keller

(1990; published again, 1997).

Ensign, August 1990, photo-essay “A Sampler of Biblical Plants.”

The Holy Land — A Geographical, Historical, and Archaeological Guide to the Land of the Bible,

by D. Kelly Ogden and Jeffrey R. Chadwick.

Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon and Sacred Sites—Searching for Book of

Mormon Lands, by Joseph L. Allen.

Publications of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.


Major: English, Spanish, Hebrew

Minor: German, French, Aramaic, Arabic, Greek


American Schools of Oriental Research

Association of American Geographers

National Council for Geographic Education

Israel Exploration Society

Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel

Biblical Archaeology Society

Society of Biblical Literature


High Priests group instructor 2011 –

Provo Temple sealer 2010 –

Edgemont 6th Ward Mission Leader 2008 – 2011

Provo Temple baptistry coordinator 2008 – 2009

President, Guatemala Missionary Training Center 2006 – 2008

Edgemont Utah Stake high councilor

Provo Temple ordinance worker 2002 – 2005, 2008 – 2009

Teachers/Deacons Quorum advisor, Edgemont 6th Ward

President, Chile Santiago East Mission 1997 – 2000

Chair, Troop 700 Boy Scouts of America, Santiago, Chile

1st Counselor in BYU 13th Stake Presidency

Branch President at the Missionary Training Center, Provo

High Priests Group leadership

Israel District Councilman

Jerusalem Branch President (two times)

Gospel Doctrine Writing Committee of the Church

Gospel Doctrine teacher (eight times)

Jerusalem Branch Clerk, Counselor

Executive Secretary (three times)

Elders Quorum President (four times)

Missionary, Northern Argentina 1966 – 1968

Testimony of D. Kelly Ogden

I love the Holy Bible. It is the single most influential book in the history of the world. It is the book with the most distributed copies, it is the most read, and it has been translated into more languages than any other book.

For more than forty years I have been studying, teaching, and writing about the Bible. One of my favorite adjectives in the English language is “biblical.” One of my master’s degrees and my doctorate are in biblical studies. I’ve written and published two books on the Old Testament and three books on the New Testament.

I’ve enjoyed nearly fourteen years’ personal experience in the lands of the Bible—in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. I’ve conducted thousands of hours of field trips in those lands, and led students on between 35 and 40 long walks in the footsteps of the prophets and the Savior.

Much of my life for four decades has been focused on understanding the Bible, and helping others understand it.
But! Having said all that, I quickly add that there’s a book that is far greater than the Bible, the most Christian book on earth, that teaches best the Christ-like life. It is the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is not just another testament of Jesus Christ—it is the best testament that exists.

I agree with the Prophet Joseph Smith, that a person can get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon than by any other book in the world. And I agree with Elder Bruce R. McConkie when he testified that the Old and New Testaments are books preserved by the Lord to prepare people for the restoration of all things and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

“Ponder the truths you learn,” the modern apostle wrote, “and it will not be long before you know that Lehi and Jacob excel Paul in teaching the Atonement; that Alma’s sermons on faith and on being born again surpass anything in the Bible; that Nephi makes a better exposition on the scattering and gathering of Israel than do Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel combined; that Mormon’s words about faith, hope and charity have a clarity, a breadth and a power of expression that even Paul did not attain; and so on and so on.”

Elder McConkie added these unequivocal declarations:
1. Most of the doctrines of the gospel, as set forth in the Book of Mormon, far surpass their comparable recitation in the Bible.

2. The Nephite record bears plainer and purer witness of the divine Sonship of Christ and the salvation which comes in and through His holy name than do the Old World scriptures.

3. Men can get nearer to the Lord; can have more of the spirit of conversion and conformity in their hearts; can have stronger testimonies; and can gain a better understanding of the doctrines of salvation through the Book of Mormon than they can through the Bible.

4. More people will flock to the gospel standard; more souls will be converted; more of scattered Israel will be gathered because of the Book of Mormon than was or will be the case with the Bible.

5. There will be more people saved in the kingdom of God—ten thousand times over—because of the Book of Mormon than there will be because of the Bible. (Ensign, November, 1983).

All of that is not to depreciate the Holy Bible in any way; it is a great and influential record. It only tends to highlight the importance and excellence of the volume the Prophet Joseph Smith brought forth by the gift and power of God for the benefit of all humankind. As far as books go, the Book of Mormon stands supreme in its capacity to affect human lives here and forever.

Besides my feelings about God’s word, I will briefly share other aspects of my testimony:  I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves His children—and I love Him, and His Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Having literally walked in the footsteps of the Son of God, and having studied, taught, and written about His life and ministry for the past forty years, I testify that He lives.  He is the Savior of the world, and He is my personal Savior—He has rescued me from death and sin.  He still speaks, as He has always spoken, through His prophets (Amos 3:7).  I honor the prophets Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, and many others, and I know that prophets still live on earth in our day and speak God’s words.  The Church of Jesus Christ was lost from the earth, as prophesied (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and it has been restored on earth in these last days, as prophesied (Acts 3:21).  Heaven is not far away.  I love life, and I am a happy man.

Favorite Quotes

After more than forty years of teaching—
I present a collection of my all-time favorite quotations:


“I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being.  Why?  Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit. . . . He is a jovial, lively person.”  (Heber C. Kimball)


“How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations — too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God . . !”  (Joseph Smith)


“We all have photographic memories; we just don’t have instant recall.  On Judgment day we will all have instant recall!”  (DKO)  “The reason we lose our memory when we get old is so we can die with a clear conscience!”


“These are the times that try men’s souls . . . the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”  (Thomas Paine)


“Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature. . . . Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  (Helen Keller)


“We can . . . tell that we are making progress by the attention we get from the adversary. . . . This has been the lot of the Lord’s people from the beginning, and it will be no different in our time.”  (Spencer W. Kimball)


“A man may receive the priesthood and all its privileges and blessings, but until he learns to overcome the flesh, his temper, his tongue, his disposition to indulge in the things God has forbidden, he cannot come into the celestial kingdom of God.”  (Melvin J. Ballard)


“We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development.  We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power.  We do not need more knowledge, we need more character.  We do not need more government, we need more culture.  We do not need more law, we need more religion.”  (Calvin Coolidge)


“If Mormonism is able to endure unmodified until it reaches the third and fourth generation, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known.”  (Leo Tolstoy)


“In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated.  But in our century, they want to be entertained.  The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom.  A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do.  A sense that we are not amused.”  (Michael Crichton)


“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.  . . . The faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things.”  (Joseph Smith)


“In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  And in all things, charity.”  (St. Augustine)


“Let the fire of the covenant which you made in the House of the Lord, burn in your hearts, like flame unquenchable.”  (Brigham Young)


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  (Edmund Burke)


“Whenever you get red in the face, whenever you raise your voice, whenever you get ‘hot under the collar,’ or angry, rebellious, or negative in spirit, then know that the Spirit of God is leaving you and the spirit of Satan is beginning to take over.”  (Theodore M. Burton)


“The power behind you is always greater than the obstacles before you.”  (Dallin H. Oaks)


“Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and you look into Her eyes and behold Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny.”  (Glenn L. Pace)


“What you think of Christ will determine what you are.”  (David O. McKay)


“Free agency is to do it willingly or to do it anyway!”  (Bruce R. McConkie)


“Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors.  Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.”  (Spencer W. Kimball)


“They do not love who do not show their love.”  (William Shakespeare)


“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“Eternal life is . . . bound up with love.  We want to live forever for the same reason that we want to live tomorrow.  Why do you want to live tomorrow?  It is because there is someone who loves you, and whom you want to see tomorrow, and be with, and love back.”  (Henry Drummond)


“Greatness is best measured by how well an individual responds to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable, and undeserved.”  (Marvin J. Ashton)


“Forgetfulness leads to exile, but remembrance is the secret of redemption.”  (Baal Shem Tov)


“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, to be hated needs but to be seen; but seen too oft, familiar with her face, first we endure, then pity, then embrace.”  (Alexander Pope)


“If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”  (John Taylor)


“The surest road to success is to do well your present job.”  (Theodore Roosevelt)


“You may search all the ages for a person who has had no problems, you may look through the streets of heaven asking each one how he came there, and you will look in vain everywhere for a man morally and spiritually strong whose strength did not come to him in a struggle.  Do not suppose that there is a person who has never wrestled with his own success and happiness.  There is no exception anywhere.  Every true strength is gained in a struggle.”  (Richard L. Evans)


“Nobody can reach everybody, but everybody can reach somebody.”  (Richard L. Evans)


“Whatever you do, you need courage.  Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires . . . courage.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“You’d better want the consequences of what you want.”  (Neal A. Maxwell)


“I think the Lord Himself must like a joke.  If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have made some of you people.”  (J. Golden Kimball)


“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: ‘that God governs in the affairs of men.’”  (Benjamin Franklin)


“I know that the Lord is always on the side of right.  But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I—and this nation—should be on the Lord’s side.”  (Abraham Lincoln)


“If you can’t stand the fire, you ought to stay out of the kitchen.”  (Harry Truman)


“If you’re not tested, make up your mind not to amount to much.”  (Theodore M. Burton)


“This is the generation that will stop the devil in his tracks.”  (Hugh B. Brown)


“I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.” (Joseph Smith)


“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”  (Joseph Smith)


The original authors of the following quotes are unknown, but the thoughts are still great—and some quite funny!


“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”


“Never lose faith in what you know because of what you don’t know.”


“The measure of life is not brilliance but balance.”


“Not knowing, and having a pious regard for the truth, I hesitate to articulate for fear of deviating from the paths of rectitude which have previously characterized my remarks.”


“If you almost keep the commandments, the Lord almost blesses you.”


“Man wrapped up in self make mighty small package.”  (Chinese proverb)


“I sought my God, but my God I could not see; I sought my soul, but my soul eluded me; I sought my brother, and I found all three.”


“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass.”


“God gave man a mouth that closes and ears that don’t.”


“Love one human being purely and warmly, and you will love all.”


“I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”


“There’s no end to the good you can do if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”


“The only difference between a mud puddle and a geyser is a little enthusiasm!”


“If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment!”


“Blossom where you’re planted.”


“While you’re green, you’re growing; as soon as you think you’re ripe, you’ll soon be rotten.”


“You may be on the right track, but if you just sit there you’re going to be run over!”


“Every time you sin, there is a loss of power.”


“There is no future in any job, only in the person who holds that job.”


“Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.”


“Sometimes we need to tell Satan where to go.”


“If you’re too busy to serve God, you’re too busy.”


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”


“After all is said and done, there’s more said than done!”


“Life is one foolish thing after another; love is two foolish things after each other!”


“Can you expect a ten-million-dollar blessing from a ten cent prayer?”


“We become what we think about.”