|Understanding the Book of Mormon, by Grant Hardy|
Friday, December 8, 2017
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide
In his article "The Book of Mormon: A Great Answer to 'The Great Question'", Elder Neal A. Maxwell expressed his eagerness to broaden and deepen his understanding of the Book of Mormon:
In a similar vein, Hardy has explored many of the towers, courtyards, and wings of the Book of Mormon. He has entered rooms and found fireplaces, furnishings, panels, decor, and banquet tables that may have escaped the notice of rushed readers. Hardy ventures beyond the entry hall, into the mansion, and his exploration invites us to do the same. Whether we have been hurried tourists or skeptics in the past, Hardy's Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide invites us to enter the Book of Mormon mansion with a fresh perspective.
In some instances, Hardy stretches his interpretations beyond credible speculation. Nevertheless, for the most part, his study of the Book of Mormon is enhanced by his capacious knowledge of world religions and his keen literary interests. Throughout his book, Hardy highlights the editorial efforts of the three major prophet-historians of the Book of Mormon, namely Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. The result is a panoply of penetrating insights into a book that for good reason members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regard as a "marvelous work and a wonder."
There is simply too much in Hardy's book, and even more in the Book of Mormon itself, to appreciate in one short blog post. But it is a such pleasure to read Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide in part because it allows the reader to enter into a conversation with someone who treasures the book enough to read it carefully. The Book of Mormon is anything but "chloroform in print." Critics have wrongly supposed that the Book of Mormon is not "one of those books that must be read in order to have an opinion of it." The Book of Mormon does not easily reward the casual or cavalier reader. Grant Hardy's Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide demonstrates that the Book of Mormon brims with meaning for those who are willing to pay the price of careful study. But you don't have take my word for it.