Book of Mormon Has No Literary Merit

Book of Mormon Has No Literary Merit

The book of Mormon, is tedious, tasteless, having none of the poetic grace, depth of thought, and religious inspiration that characterize the Bible.

Book of MormonA number of critics have expressed views such as this, which are clearly subjective. The only purpose I can see in using such opinionated reasoning is to influence those who have not taken the time to read the Book of Mormon. By saying, “I read it and found nothing worthwhile,” the critic evidently hopes to prevent others from reading it and judging for themselves.

I can only say that, in my opinion, the Book of Mormon contains some very beautiful poetry (for example, Nephi’s psalm in 2 Nephi 4:15-35, Ammon’s praise of the Lord in Alma 26, and Alma’s psalm in Alma 29). It also contains the most comprehensive and understandable explanation of the atonement of Jesus Christ available in any single volume (see especially 2 Nephi 2, 9; Mosiah 15; Alma 34, 42). Its explanation of the temporal and spiritual deaths that resulted from the fall of Adam[i] clarifies a doctrine only hinted at in the Bible.[ii]

For the Book of Mormon as literature, see Richard Dilworth Rust, Feasting on the Word: The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret and FARMS, Rust is professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

[i] 2 Nephi 9:10-13, 19, 26; Alma 12:15-16; 42:7-9; Helaman 14:15-18; cf. 2 Nephi 28:23; Jacob 3:11; Alma 5:7-10; 13:30; Moroni 8:21.

[ii] Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13-14.