The Language of the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon was reportedly translated "by the gift and power of God." Nevertheless, its first incarnation was a grammatical nightmare. And the spelling was terrible. Subsequent Mormon leadership corrected much of the grammar and spelling, but the structure remains problematic.

The Book of Mormon is painfully wordy. By contrast, the Bible is considered by all—believers, atheists, agnostics, and skeptics alike—to be a literary masterpiece. The Sermon on the Mount, the Twenty-Third Psalm, the Book of Revelation, and scores of other passages are studied for their structure, poetry, and grace of style. But the Book of Mormon stands out in its sluggishness, its opacity, and its plain boring nature. It has earned the sobriquet (from Mark Twain) "chloroform in print."

Consider this following as excerpted from Rev. Lamb's The Golden Bible published in Salt Lake City in 1887:

If you turn over to the New Testament, what could be plainer or simpler, or more beautifully expressed than Christ's sermon on the mount? And yet you have to stop at every sentence, not because it is difficult to understand, but because you discover a mine of gold in it that is not exhausted by a few moments, or even a few hours of study and reflection. And the same thing is true of all his sermons and addresses and parables. What can equal in sublimity and beauty and pathos, and yet in real simplicity and naturalness, the Fifteenth Chapter of Luke, containing the parables of the lost sheep, the lost piece of money and the prodigal son? A storehouse of wealth that all the study of the ages has not diminished.

Read over Jesus' incomparable address to his disciples, on the eve of his apprehension and crucifixion, as recorded in the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters of John. Every sentence has the stamp of divinity upon it. Spoken by lips that "spake as never man spake." Dissect carefully that address, and find anywhere in it the word, or the phrase, or the sentence that is either unnecessary, useless or foolish; find one line that you can improve, or that you can in anyway equal; find a single sentence that is not wholly pervaded with the divine heart and the infinite wisdom that prompted it:

"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.
"In my father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.
"I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman.
"Every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
"Abide in me and I in you. . . ."

Could any merely human lips ever have given utterance to such words as these?

Perhaps this point may be seen more clearly by reading in the Book of Mormon a few specimens from what purport to be Jesus' own words. The book tells us that Jesus, a few days after his ascension, as recorded in the New Testament, appeared here upon this continent and spent some forty days with his people, performing miracles and preaching to them the gospel of the kingdom. A large portion of his addresses, during this period, is made up of the sermon on the mount, and various other extracts from the four gospels. But he adds some new matter, enough to show how vast the chasm between what he said here upon this continent and what he said in the land of Judea. . . .

The first selection is a single sentence, a rather long one, and somewhat mixed in its construction, but nevertheless is recorded as an actual speech from the lips of him who spake as never man spake. Page 477 (N. Ed. 527.)

"And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign, for verily I say unto you, that when these things which I declare unto you and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning this people, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people, who shall be scattered by them; verily, verily I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you, for it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he has covenanted with his people, O house of Israel; therefore, when these works, and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter, shall come forth from the Gentile, for this cause, that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; and when these things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel."

This sentence contains over 340 words. The words "that" and "which" are repeated twenty times; the words "I," "my" and "me," eleven times; the word "Father," eight times; "Gentiles," five times; the expression, "shall come forth," four times. All this in one sentence. A very remarkable sentence surely.

We find upon examination that in Christ's sermon on the mount, beginning at the first sentence, 340 words include eighteen complete sentences, an average of nineteen words to the sentence. The Golden Bible pages 44-47)