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Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.
America's Greatest Work of Religious Fiction
The book was privately published in Palmyra, New York in the Spring of 1830, but sales were so poor that Martin Harris (who paid for the publishing) completely lost his investment. Nevertheless, the few copies that were circulated deeply impacted religous seekers of the day.
In late 1830 an entire community of Christian Primitivists in Kirtland, Ohio, under the leadership of Christian restorationist minister Sydney Rigdon, accepted the book as scripture. Joseph Smith and his scribe, Oliver Cowdrey, movwed the dozen or so families who belonged to their local congegation, The Chruch of Christ, to Kirtland, Ohio.
Joining forces with Sydney Rigdon, Joseph Smith established a seminary (called the School of the Prophets), began studying theology and developing new doctrines that would alter Mormonism, turning it into a new American religion--as different from Christianity as Christianity is different from Judaism.
THIS EDITION of "The Book of Mormon" is the verison published by the Utah LDS Church (the largest, but NOT the only Mormon denomination.) The modern subtitled "Another Testament of Christ" was created by the Utah LDS Church in 1983 in that church's attempt to transform itself into a more mainstream Christian denomination. THIS EDITION also contains over a century of rewrites and word changes, many of which change the meaning of the text as originally published. The most drastic changes involve changing references to race and skin color by substituting the words "pure" for the word "white."
"The Book of Mormon" was not reprinted until the 1840's, and was NOT used as the basis of Mormonism's more profound and innovative doctrines. In fact, until the early 1980's when the subtitle "Another Testament of Christ" was added by the LDS Church, Joseph Smith's LATER writings were the ones that LDS Church members studied the most.
Rather than reading this edition, I would recommend that you read the ediiton recommended below--which is a reprint of the 1840 ediiton.
ALSO check out the recent-award winning bioraphy of Joseph Smith by Dan Vogel (recommended below) entitled "Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet." This book goes through "The Book of Mormon" exploring what Joseph Smith was dealing with in his personal life, day by day and week by week, as he wrote each chapter.
posted by dec0558 on March 25, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2004
Interesting History, Life Changing Message
This book presents the story of a family who left Jeursalem for the American continent about the time of Jerimiah in the Bible. It follows the descendants of that familiy for about a thousand years. It was translated into language similar to that of the King James Translation of the Bible which makes following the story challenging, but worth the struggle. I strongly recommend pen and paper for keeping track of the characters. If you are reading it as a story, skip the section entitled 2 Nephi after the fourth chapter. The message of the book relates to how Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and how following His teaching brings blessings. For Christians looking for a way to better understand how to draw nearer to Christ, this book provides practical solutions. For anyone looking for meaning in their lives, this book provides a unique challenge, 'And when ye shall recieve these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. (pg 520)' I have met this challenge and it has brought peace and meaning to my life. I am a better person, a better wife, and a better friend because of the teachings of this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.