A.'s Reviews > The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith Jr.
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's review
Sep 01, 07

Recommended for: people who feel a weird obligation to read primary documents
Read in September, 1999

"Wherever he found his speech growing too modern -- which was about every sentence or two -- he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as 'exceeding sore,' 'and it came to pass,' etc., and made things satisfactory again. 'And it came to pass' was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet." -- Mark Twain, Roughing It

You know, I read this at age 15 or 16 in seminary. I'm proud of having trudged through the thing, an accomplishment I can also say of The Bible (even all the endless begetting). I looked at it the other day and saw all the passages I underlined, baffled as to what they could have meant to me. I was trying really hard to get at least something out of it. It didn't really work.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 58) (58 new)

Anna I am sorry you felt this way about such an amazing book. I think you should give it a 2nd try...

message 2: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. I read the thing three times, which was anesthetizing enough. Don't be sending two men to my house about this, please.

Skylar Burris "recommends it for: people who feel a weird obligation to read primary documents"

That's why I read it. I plowed through the entire Bible once too. Now, I believe the Bible and find it too be much more poetic overall than other works of religious literature, but I doubt anyone reads the begats and all of Leviticus and Numbers more than once. To me, the Book of Mormon was more often like plowing through Leviticus than reading through, say, Job or Psalms or Gosepl of John...

Ariel I agree with Anna. It is REALLY too bad that you don't enjoy reading this anymore. I am in seminary and know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know you felt that way too. But you're not going to get anything out of it if you're reading it with such a negative attitude towards it. Read it with faith and all that good stuff and I think you'll find something different.

message 5: by Libcrypt (new)

Libcrypt My mormon pals from uni said that all the good stuff was in D&T, not BoM.

Ariel D&T?? Do you mean D&C or something else?

message 7: by Libcrypt (new)

Libcrypt Perhaps. I have never seen it.

message 8: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. The "good stuff" in the D&C is a bunch of commandments thrown around willy-nilly, personal revelations from God about how church members at the time needed to pay their debts to Joseph Smith, and a few chapters that are wholesale lifting of Revelations with a few rewordings.

message 9: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. Also, Leviticus is my favorite part of the Bible! It's like the "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" of the OT but with more architectural instructions.

Ariel Libcrypt---- I think that all of the books are important. It's important that you read D&C, because it's true and contains a lot of good information. But I thought we were talking about the Book of Mormon, which personally speaks louder to me and is emphasized more in the gospel. If you read both you can see for yourself what each has to offer. And Abbie, I love Leviticus too. In particular is Leviticus 19:18 (a scripture mastery by the way) which reads:
"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord."
I found out the hard way on this website that sharing my beliefs wouldn't always earn me friends, but I don't regret any of it. And I don't think that you would regret it if either of you read the Book of Mormon again. :)

message 11: by Patricia (new)

Patricia wow, you sure generated some comments mz A!

as soon as my kids were born and all their young lives i read them the book of mormon every night, and it scared the shit out of them. war, famine, pestilence, liar, cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers....talk about family dysfunction! the book of mormon portrayed it all. my children left the church as soon as they were teenagers; they found it boring and scary and confusing and dichotomous. And they are the finest grownups i know.
i found all the standard works and the church itself to be a fascinating account of completely predictable human nature.
i read all the "standard works" many many many times, and wish i'd been reading Shakespear, and Aristotle and Sophocles and Socrates and Plato and Habermas, Hegel, and Neitzche instead.. after i received several college degrees i followed my children out of the church, left my high priest husband and found i could breathe and think on my own.
but since christianity is the predominant religion of western civilization, the more we know about it, the more we know about ourselves, and how and why we think and act as the enculturated beings we are.
Moral Philosophy by Lakoff and Johnson explains the stern father versus the loving parent philosophical approaches to relationships, especially parenthood. i felt too much stern father in the mormon church in all the wards and branches i was in; and not enough unconditional love and giving and understanding. i'll never regret raising my children in it, and can completely understand people's need to be members. but i wish more members would practice more tolerance and respect for the freedom of choice of people who will never investigate the church. it's a big old world and if you look far enough back into the past, the church isn't saying anything new or enlightening that hasn't already gone around for thousands of years. enlightenment without tolerance and respect and love and genuine humanity and actually feeding the sheep isn't enlightenment, no matter what book you read or who you follow. the crusades are still alive and well as people all over the planet war over religion.
both inside and outside the mormon church there are starving sheep in every sense of the word. to me, the only important message is to feed the sheep. i think this is the bottom line to all existence, and gives purpose and meaning to life.

message 12: by Elysse (new)

Elysse Umm. Yeah. If this book is going to do anything for you, you going to have to want something out of it. It sounds to me like you're a bit wary of letting it change your way of life. True, it'll be inconvenient but if you really want happiness your going to need to want the truth.

♫♪ Olivia ♪♫ bunch of commandents thrown about willy-nilly?
i resent that comment Abbie.

message 14: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. Olivia wrote: "bunch of commandents thrown about willy-nilly?
i resent that comment Abbie."


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I heart you, Patricia. "Starving Sheep." Yes.

message 16: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Rebecca wrote: "I heart you, Patricia. "Starving Sheep." Yes."

ditto. really.

Brooke Nielson I still beieve that it is very sad that you think that this book is "boring" and not worded right, but come on!! Seriously!! I really think that you need to just respect that you are reading something so precious and it is something that has taken so much time and even taken some lives of some people!! Please do not say anything negative about this book ever again, please!!!

message 18: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. oh my gosh I didn't know it kills people!!!!! be careful!!!!! when you read it!!! Brooke!!

message 19: by Madalyn (new)

Madalyn I'm not mad at you, I feel sorry for you that you've lost an amazing spirit you once had. I respect your beliefs, but all your doing is offending people that this book is very dear too. Nobody's benefiting from you negative words, least of all you.

message 20: by A. (new) - rated it 1 star

A. Madalyn wrote: "I'm not mad at you, I feel sorry for you that you've lost an amazing spirit you once had. I respect your beliefs, but all your doing is offending people that this book is very dear too. Nobody's be..."

Do you know me?

message 21: by Autumn (last edited Nov 04, 2009 07:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Autumn You have to go into it with real intent, wanting to get something out of it. The answer will come when you pray the first time, if you are really wanting an answer. You have to listen for that still small voice. You need to really listen for it. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know you can too. You don't realize it's great importance until you know the history, Joseoh Smith, The seeing stones, the prophetic messages, the people. It took me 12 years to finish it from start to finish. I am now 12. I love this book. It IS the keystone of Mormonism. I love the part when Jesus comes to the nephites and lamanites. I love how he blesses the little children. I want you to know that he really wants you to come unto him. You do need the 2 men with suits at your door, but first you need to want them there. Jesus died for our sins. He wants us to be perfected in him and repent and be baptized. Have you ever wondered where you came from and where you are going? the answer is in there. Please re-read it with the yearning to. You have to want to get the answer. I know it is true, and I know you can too.

Autumn Patricia wrote: "wow, you sure generated some comments mz A!

as soon as my kids were born and all their young lives i read them the book of mormon every night, and it scared the shit out of them. war, famine, pes..."

was that nescescary? I dont' like that kind of language.

message 23: by Madalyn (new)

Madalyn of corse I do!

message 24: by Matthew (last edited May 26, 2010 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Carlson I do believe this all boils down to a matter of opinion. I personally feel that Mark Twain was absolutely correct in branding the Book of Mormon "chloroform in print." It's not a fabulously exciting read but to say it is at times boring is not the say it isn't valuable.

Yet to reduce it to merely "war, famine, pestilence, liar, cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers...." is highly problematic. If indeed a volume's value were based upon a lack of "war, famine, pestilence, liar, cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers...." we may as well toss every tome on history ever penned. Even modern history is replete with "war, famine, pestilence, liar, cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers...."

Such a shallow assessment of the volume makes me wonder if one is even carefully considering the content. Mention of such things as "famine" and "pestilence" are actually quite infrequent. Although warfare is pretty constant there is context and meaning to the conflict not merely mindless debauchery. Indeed, at the height of such we have a "captain" who professes "We do not desire to be men of blood!"

Although there are certainly some "liar[s:], cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers" these are far from the sole focus of the volume. The books most notorious murderers, Gadianton and Kishkumen are far from being main characters although the former founds a secret society which leads to the downfall of the nation, not through murder but through "secret combinations."

Indeed, if one is so offended by the presence of "war, famine, pestilence, liar, cheats, vagrants, beggars, murderers...." it's a wonder why one would be able to endure living from day to day. The news is replete with stories of war, with notifications of present or impending famine. Pestilence abounds in the third-world and liars and cheats fill the houses of government. Vagrants and beggars are all about us and murderes reside sometimes under our own roofs with fathers murdering their families and mothers drowning their children in bathtubs. If anything the Book of Mormon is quite relevant in containing counsel on such things.

Indeed, if ones excrement flows in fear in consequence of the presence of such things then I wonder how one can even muster the courage to get out of bed in the morning. The real key is not the presence of such things within the volume (as the lack thereof would certainly miliate against the volumes authenticity) but what their presence teaches us. What is the lesson behind it all?

message 25: by Julie (last edited Jan 16, 2010 11:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julie The real key is not the presence of such things within the volume (as the lack thereof would certainly miliate against the volumes authenticity) but what their presence teaches us. What is the lesson behind it all?

WOW, well said Matthew, well said. It's not all about the content of this great book, it's the Spirit of it and it's a shame that there are some that decide it is better to simply shut out what they could be feeling when reading this book and only concentrate on the "wars and rumor of wars". I was once told that this book reads like today's news paper, how true that is. So why can't we use it as a guide to teach us how to deal with our wars.

message 26: by Madalyn (new)

Madalyn 'yea, even if ye can have no more that a desire to believe' If you don't have that theres not much anyone else can do.

Dustin I certainly relate to that "weird obligation." I'm working my way through the bible and find it historically interesting. The Koran has some interesting things as well and I love a lot of the Eastern religion books.

I guess what I'm getting at is, in your opinion, is the book of mormon worth the time?

The Cheshire Cat The problem with the Book of Mormon isn't the book, it's the reader. Generally I'll pick up a book, read it, and then formulate my opinions. However, no one picks up the Book of Mormon without knowing what it is to some degree. There are two types of readers of the Book of Mormon. Those who have already decided if it true or not, and the few that are willing to accept either answer they find. And the funny thing is that all readers will get out what they started with. The sceptic will find support for his condemnation of the book, the believer will find greater faith, and the honest seeker will find the truth.
As much as most of us like to believe that we fall into the camp of honest-seekrs, most of us usally already have our minds made up. To be an honest-seeker of truth one must be open to new ideas, diligent in study and thought, and completly willing to change their life in acordance with the truth they find. Most of us don't like the idea of change, so we get out of the Book of Mormon what we need to support our initial claim, truth or lies.
So the question becomes, is it more important to know the truth or to stick with your comfortable view of reality. It is amazing to see how far people will go in thought and action to defend their little bubble of existance. It is the opition of this reader, that the truth will always bring greater happiness than any make-believe world we create for ourselves. "The truth shall set you free".
This book is true. But more than that, anyone who wants to know can find that out as well. All truth about the world around us comes from God. If we ask him, he will let us know. God can't lie to us, we can only lie to ourselves.
This book has the power to change lives. And mine has only gotten better ever since I read it.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the best book I have ever read and it has changed my life!

Kerry I am a writer/editor by profession. The thing that strikes me most about the Book of Mormon is that it was translated in just 60 days (different days).

Given Joseph Smith's lack of formal education and access to research materials, I cannot explain how the book came to be, except by Divine design.

The Book of Mormon has not been disproved by scholars, though they have tried relentlessly to pick it to pieces. It has withstood the test of time as a scriptural record.

Though we don't know answers to some of the details contained therein, the basic truths taught are true. Who can argue that prophets of old called the people to repent? Even if you don't consider them to be prophets, they taught the people correct principles.

If you boil it down, the spiritual teachings of the Book of Mormon are solid and true. It's main purpose isn't to provide a historical document. It's to give spiritual guidance, to bring people unto Christ. You might try reading it again with that in mind.

message 31: by Rodolfo (new)

Rodolfo Please. The histories it tries to re-write isnt even funny. its insulting. People of the America's are dark skined because they were cursed by God? right. Has nothing to do with evironment and pigment. As long as it makes the white race more godly. This book is RUBISH. and silly.

Sarah Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi verse 32 states, "And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates."

It saddens me to know that even with the help of seminary, you still think that Book of Mormon is boring or not worth reading. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, I was just reading 2 Nephi chapters 28-31, and in those chapters, it stated that the reason the Book of Mormon was even written is to prove that Jesus and God exist. It is just like accusing someone of a sin that they committed, you need 3 witnesses don't you? The book of Mormon is here to state the truthfulness of the Bible (when it is translated correctly), to act as a witness that Jesus is the Christ.

In D&C section 88 verses 81-82 it states, "81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.

8 2Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads."

I'm warning you now that when you think that they Book of Mormon is not true and meaningful in your life, you have done something seriously wrong, you have not listen to the holy spirit that whispers in your mind and heart.
Just don't regret your decision later when the second coming occurs.
btw, I'm too lazy to search up the prophets that have said this but I'm pretty sure a lot of prophets have declared that the Book of Mormon is probably the most correct book in this world today.
I still don't get how people can believe in the Bible and not the Book of Mormon...........
The fact that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon just made it even easier to believe, how can a boy with little or no education be able to translate (or if you don't believe he translated the book- wrote) this book in less than 70 days??

Sarah Rodolfo wrote: "Please. The histories it tries to re-write isnt even funny. its insulting. People of the America's are dark skined because they were cursed by God? right. Has nothing to do with evironment and pigm..."

how can you prove that the Indians didn't get curse....
I actually have a book to prove that they were cursed by God........
You have nothing....
please explain why asians are kinda yellow, Whites are white, and Blacks are black....... goodness... if you say that it's because of the Environment and pigment... why haven't Americans on the American continent turn brown yet??????
I mean.... they were declared brown 600 years before Jesus's birth... and btw they have only been on American for a few years... if not for the curse of God.. they should still be white... they are the descendants of the Jews...

message 34: by Rodolfo (new)

Rodolfo You truely are an idiot. wow. people do live under rocks. You have book the proves it. again. wow. I have a book that says peter pan can fly. does it make it true? My conclusion, and it really doesnt matter what you think. you are a tool. And thats what my book says.

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

All I can say is that this book can change your life. It has changed mine and it can change yours. If you know any people who are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) ask them about this book. I know it is true.

message 36: by Rodolfo (new)

Rodolfo Like us darkies are cursed? Believe what you want. Racism is racism no matter how you wrap it up. Any book can change your life. Doesnt make it the word of god.

Katherine Crabtree I appreciate your comment because I grew up in the church and read the book of mormon yet feel the same way. I think it's silly that people are getting so defensive about it--- it's your opinion and we have already been through seminary and heard everything they have to say, does it hurt them that badly that you express what you have to say? everyone who's offended-- sometimes people have a different opinion then you, welcome to life.

message 38: by Vanni (new) - rated it 1 star

Vanni i completely agree with Patricia, i wish i had spent my youth and young adulthood reading an entirely different canon...

Elizabeth a good book for everyone to read is "had you been born in another Faith". People need to educate themselves impartially on all faiths before they can claim their religion as the one and only true religion. life is what you chose to make of it but make the choice only after you can say you studied all choices.

message 40: by David S. T. (new)

David S. T. I'm reading this now, the bible (at least modern translations) are easy to get through compared to this. I'm going to finish it though out of pure stubbornness. I don't imagine that many mormon converts actually join because of reading the book of mormon.

message 41: by Vanni (new) - rated it 1 star

Vanni The Cheshire wrote: "The problem with the Book of Mormon isn't the book, it's the reader... This book is true."

The problem with the Book of Mormon is precisely the book.

I feel bad for people like myself who have dedicated decades of their life reading this book as holy scripture. If you read this I recommend you read it mostly for the laughs.

Rachel I am also sorry you felt this way about such an amazing book, a book that so many people love and hold close to their hearts, I hope you will consider re-reading it, and to ponder it.

Theresa Welham I'm with you on this review. Looking back at it now I wonder what it all meant

Caryn Hey Abby, Patricia and all the other haters: Why don't you tell us about something or someone precious to you so we can all hate on it. Thanks

message 45: by Sam (new)

Sam you already do

Blake Gordon Your opinion on it is your opinion and I won't try to convince you otherwise but with regards to the saying "it came to pass" as least from what I've read and was told (which could be wrong ad I nevet tried to verify it for myself) is that it was a very common phrase at that time in Hebrew. I don't know the Hebrew words for it but that is what it translates to and since it was written by Israelites and their decendents then I can understand why it is used a lot. I wondered the same thing the first time I read the book of mormon and had my doubts about it all but almost 10 years after first reading it and almost 8 years as a member I have no doubt as to it's origins and even if it all is made up which I don't believe it was it has made me a better and happier person and for me that's an amazing blessing itself. But if it's not for you then it's not for you. Just as other religions and similar ways of life I investigated were not for me. To each their own.

message 47: by T.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

T.r. Sune oh man that's shame then you just missed the essence of The Book of Mormon. Well there is always the Quran if you are up for the challenge. Good luck.

message 48: by T.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

T.r. Sune Libcrypt My mormon pals from uni said that all the good stuff was in D&T, not BoM . Repsonse .. Who are making these stupid claims that the DC is better than the Book of Mormon. Ok, here is something that should have been addressed to you a long time ago... If you have ever been taught the missionary discussions about the BOM pretty much it is the keystone of the church. Withouth the BOM the church would crumble, even if we had the DC to begin with or even if in the even that the church were to reject the BOM, which would not happen in a billion billion billion years. That is like saying the Hadiths of Islam is what holds together the Muslim community or what is known was the ummah, but it is simply the Quran or however way you want to spell it because there are over a dozen.

message 49: by Grace (new) - added it

Grace Gauldin This book was written nearly 200 years ago. Of course there would be interesting language. But the book was actually translated from an earlier text that, today, would be thousands of years old! He's just translating what he read! He's not making up some story. And this isn't a storybook. It's pretty much a bible but for a different religion. My religion.

message 50: by Grace (new) - added it

Grace Gauldin Please. Everyone. It's just a book. We are not trying to hurt or discriminate anyone. We just grew up with this book in our hands and we don't want people making horrible comments on it! Just all of you please stop arguing over it and start reading something else if you don't like this book! It pains me to see that people are making such a big deal about this when its just their own opinion! People have opinions! We get it! Us Mormons just don't want you to take one of our precious items and smashing it right back in our faces! This book is NOT racist. This book does NOT ruin your life. And you chose to read it so its your fault! Don't blame it on us! We love the Book of Mormon! You guys happen to hate it and see it as a piece of crap literature! What the heck! You wouldn't understand what we've gone through and you don't. So stop saying things about something you don't know, apparently, anything about!!

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