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Book of Mormon


Book of Mormon Grammar

The following quotation was inspired by an article that appears in the October 1999  issue of FARMS Insights (p. 3).  Since the material comes from the Journal of Discourses and is in the public domain and since it is relevant to this section of SHIELDS, we felt it important to include it here.  We thank FARMS for providing the reference.

It was no sooner noised abroad that Joseph Smith was preaching the Gospel in its purity and administering its ordinances than a howl went up from all the world that he was an impostor, an ignorant fellow, a man without education, and the Book of Mormon was denounced as ungrammatical.  An argument was raised that if it had been translated by the gift and power of God it would have been strictly grammatical.  Now so far as grammar is concerned we have King James' Bible before us which was translated two hundred and fifty years ago, by a large number of the most learned men that could be found in great Britain, and it was put into the best language of that time; but since that day the English language has undergone so many changes and improvements that societies have been formed in various countries for the express purpose of re-translating the Bible so as to make it in accordance with the modern usages of our language.  When the Lord reveals anything to men He reveals it in language that accords with their own.  If any of you were to converse with an angel, and you used strictly grammatical language he would do the same.  But if you used two negatives in a sentence the heavenly messenger would use language to correspond with your understanding, and this very objection to the Book of Mormon is an evidence in its favor.

President George A. Smith, November 15, 1868, 
Journal of Discourses, Vol.12, p.335