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Though the King James Version of the Bible has long been admired for the elegance and beauty of its language, its companion volume, the Book of Mormon, has only recently begun to be truly appreciated for its own literary merits.
In Feasting on the Word, Richard Rust shows the Book of Mormon to be not only a bounteous doctrinal storehouse but also a treasury of literary riches, bidding us to taste, touch, see, and hear in order to experience things of the Spirit. Rust explains that the text was planned purposefully and shaped artistically so that form and content are totally integrated, as they are in great works of literature.
Literary elements used by the book’s prophetic writers to invite the reader to come unto Christ include form and imagery, poetry and narrative, repetition and chiasm. Several such elements are of ancient Hebrew and Middle Eastern origin, and their presence in the Book of Mormon testifies of its conscious literary craftsmanship.
With its doctrinal content so plain and precious, the Book of Mormon fulfills both our spiritual and our artistic longings; it speaks to us intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. This interconnection of truth and goodness is explored with sensitivity and intelligence and will enhance the reader’s awareness and appreciation of the truth and beauty of the Book of Mormon.
© 1997 Richard Dilworth Rust
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies and Deseret Book Company
Religion | Religious Education
Rust, Richard Dilworth, "Feasting on the Word: The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon" (1997). Maxwell Institute Publications. 34.