There exists a modern plagiarism of disparate texts which has provided for the first and latest followers of a clumsily crafted American religion an unreadable foundation for undeserved legitimacy. Only after an encounter with this particular American classic will you understand the turgid and perverse, religious imagination of post-revolutionary America.
The compilers of this book sought to imitate language which might serve as an identifier of a kind of hyper-sacred talk. Oddly, they may have unwittingly contributed to the promotion of Elizabethan grammatical forms used still in religious vocabulary today.
Though The Book of Mormon aspires to some literary greatness through the use of obscure language, it cannot in any way be compared with even the lowliest and mundane of passages its plagiarists found in the King James Bible — or even those contained within nearly any English translation of the Qur’an. One need only survey two centuries of literature to see that the language contained in the King James translation has provided a sublime ground for a descriptive, modern English. That particular translation brings with it, poetic and evocative, an understanding of the rich development of English literature.
The language of The Book of Mormon is comically pathetic by comparison and continuously conspires towards making a parody of itself. Upon first encounter with its text, the reader’s initial amusement quickly transforms to glazed-eyed boredom. Clumsy language is made ugly by infantile and useless repetition, by hundreds of obvious quotes pulled directly (and unapologetically) from the King James Bible, and from awkwardly and incompetently re-worked themes of authors like Josiah Priest and Ethan Smith – often those authors’ words are used verbatim! These seem employed for the sole purpose of falsely elevating a pitiable, alternate reality through a kind of sneaky endorsement by mere familiarity of form to a contrived status of holy scripture. To make some sense of the text and its purported message, follow a chain of clumsy purpose back to the theft of publishing rights from one uninspired, out-of-luck author.
And it came to pass that the language was bloated with all of the hallmark superfluities one would expect to hear from any religious fraud trying to impress rather than inform the credulous. It is clear that the compilers were intimately familiar with the hysterical preachments of 19th-century ministers. Boring, bloated language hardly addresses this book’s greatest fault: The publishers of this inelegant fraud would attempt to claim scholarship by pretending translation and so commit a great crime against all translators everywhere. Ironically, its promoters moan about the great errors of translation present in other cult foundational texts. The sources for its own are nowhere to be found.
What is the form and substance of inspiration? Can it be found even in some contrived text of questionable provenance? Well, I think that only the reader knows where personal inspiration is found. Surely, though, any so-called god who would (could) pass off The Book of Mormon — unreadable and unintelligible — as an “ultimate revelation” most certainly deserves no praise; any author who would pass off this text as divinely inspired or original work, has won for himself only enduring, eternal contempt.