It was a Friday afternoon and I’m sure I was supposed to be doing something important somewhere else - working for instance - but for some reason I found myself at my computer drinking coffee. The doorbell rang. Now I’m not usually at home and wouldn’t normally have answered the door, but I must have been bored and feeling semi-adventurous so I went for it. Standing on the porch were two excellently dressed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They gave me the usual spiel about God but I was more interested in the book they were offering - for free. I’m not going to say no to a free book am I?
I was surprised to find that The Book of Mormon reads like a story recounting the ancient history of the founding fathers of the religion and there battles and struggles. The story was closer to Troy than the The Bible. The amount of blood shed over the 531 pages (I am aware there are more pages, but I’m not counting an index as part of the story) of the text makes Kill Bill look like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's violent to the point where so many people are killed that even the writer could not express the destruction numerically.
I was expecting to find a lot of preaching about believing in the Lord to be saved, how the Lord is the only way to salvation, or how we will all die if we don’t do EXACTLY what the Lord says. Okay, it does that last one a lot. Several people die just because the followers of Lord wish it and the Mormons seem to believe God has a take-no-prisoners approach to being omnipotent.
The highlights of this book for me were the characters. To name a few, ‘the great warrior Moroni, who slew many Lamanites with the sword’ and Helaman and his two-thousand strong seemingly invincible army.
If I’m going to mention weaknesses, it is the fact that the narrative constantly adds ‘All these things are written and they are true’ on the end of several passages. It makes the book feel like an unconvincing liar; a child caught stealing - ‘It wasn’t me, it was him.’
As far as recommendations go, it’s hard to recommend it to any specific group of people (other than Mormons but that’s too obvious.) If you are looking to branch out, and I mean way out, on the type of stuff you read then the book of Mormon is definitely for you.
The Book of Mormon was published and translated by Joseph Smith in 1830. RRP Free from your local door-to-door Mormon.