Feasting on the Word: The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Feasting on the Word is both a heartfelt and a thoughtful book, as clearly reasoned as it is faithful. That wedding of the rational and the religious works well for a volume which argues that the literary dimensions of the Book of Mormon contribute deliberately and dramatically to its religious impact. Author Dil Rusts explicit purpose is to “set forth a literary testimony of the Book of Mormon to show how the impact of what the Book of Mormon says often is created through how it is said.”

He shows that clearly. Feasting on the Word gives a helpful introduction into what might be the most under appreciated dimension of the Book of Mormon, providing a useful overview of the literary aspects of the scripture. Rust offers up a complete menu of Book of Mormon literary considerations, from the most minor embellishments to the largest questions. He lays out for us a smorgasbord of literary insights into the narrative, the poetry, the sermons, the letters, the imagery, the typology, even the epic elements of the Book of Mormon. He titles his final chapter “Larger Perspectives” and he’s especially good at that larger end of the literary spectrum, with cosmic issues, as when he focuses on what Hugh Nibley thinks may be the central issue of the book—the underlying question of why “there has been chosen for our attention a story of how and why two previous civilizations on this continent were utterly destroyed.”

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 37:4
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