Feasting on the Word

The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon


Though the King James Version of the Bible has long been admired for the elegance and beauty of its language, its companion volume, the Book of Mormon, has only recently begun to be truly appreciated for its own literary merits.

In Feasting on the Word, Richard Rust shows the Book of Mormon to be not only a bounteous doctrinal storehouse but also a treasury of literary riches, bidding us to taste, touch, see, and hear in order to experience things of the Spirit. Rust explains that the text was planned purposefully and shaped artistically so that form and content are totally integrated, as they are in great works of literature.

Literary elements used by the book’s prophetic writers to invite the reader to come unto Christ include form and imagery, poetry and narrative, repetition and chiasm. Several such elements are of ancient Hebrew and Middle Eastern origin, and their presence in the Book of Mormon testifies of its conscious literary craftsmanship.

With its doctrinal content so plain and precious, the Book of Mormon fulfills both our spiritual and our artistic longings; it speaks to us intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. This interconnection of truth and goodness is explored with sensitivity and intelligence and will enhance the reader’s awareness and appreciation of the truth and beauty of the Book of Mormon.

About the Author

Richard Dilworth Rust

Richard Dilworth Rust (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

  • "To Come Forth in Due Time" - Introduction
  • "To Show unto the Remnant of the House of Israel" - Narrators and Narratives
  • "Great Things the Lord Hath Done" - Epic Elements
  • "By the Spirit of Prophecy" - Poetry
  • "Know the Covenants of the Lord" - Sermons
  • "Their Fathers" - Letters and Autobiography
  • "Not Cast Off Forever" - Imagery
  • "That Jesus Is the Christ" - Typology
  • "At the Judgment-Seat of Christ" - Larger Perspectives
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Publication Information

  • Subject: Book of Mormon
  • Publication Year: 1997
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-1573452045
  • Page Count: 304
  • Price: $ 16.95
  • Imprint: Deseret Book

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)