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Mixing the Old with the New: The Implications of Reading the Book of Mormon from a Literary Perspective
|Title||Mixing the Old with the New: The Implications of Reading the Book of Mormon from a Literary Perspective|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Stokes, Adam Oliver|
|Journal||Journal of Book of Mormon Studies|
|Keywords||Apologetics; Historicity; Literary Analysis; Literature; Mormon (Prophet); Moroni (Son of Mormon); Narrator; Nephi (Son of Lehi)|
The following examination of Grant Hardy’s Understanding the Book of Mormon highlights Hardy’s literary approach to the sacred text. This approach is exemplified in his treatment of the major figures in the Book of Mormon—Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni—as literary characters. While Hardy’s commentary on the Book of Mormon is directed toward non-Mormon readers, his work nonetheless has apologetic implications for those within the LDS tradition. Hardy’s work is relevant to questions raised within the Community of Christ (or RLDS) regarding the status of the Book of Mormon. Hardy unintentionally highlights the unique voices that make up the Book of Mormon and in doing so reinforces the view of a translated, ancient document in line with the traditional RLDS view. At the same time, his literary perspective is very much in line with the current attitude taken by the Community of Christ toward the Book of Mormon in the past two decades, which is to see it as a piece of literature written by Joseph Smith.
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