Talk:Book of Mormon

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Merger proposal: the keystone metaphor[edit]

I suggest that the (very short) page Keystone symbol in Mormonism should be merged into this article. I really want to work on the Keystone article, and this separate page arose because of disagreement how/whether to include the Mormon example of the figurative use of "Keystone" in the keystone page itself. (Actually I think some discussion of the various figurative uses is quite appropriate, but that is a separate issue.) Now we have this rather stranded page -- it could be referenced from this page, but if the keystone is that significant, it should surely merit mention in the body of the text, and all of the content would fit in a small paragraph. (Currently 'keystone' occurs only in the title of one of the references.) Imaginatorium (talk) 07:17, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

  • I agree. Good Ol’factory (talk) 07:53, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
    • So do I. --Jgstokes (talk) 22:28, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
      • Makes sense. Slb1900 (talk) 06:23, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Weak approval - I don't see a need for a separate article, but I also don't see a need for a focus. It is unquestioned that Joseph Smith made this statement and it has been repeated, but the keystone teaching itself is not a concept. If it is addressed there needs to be balance between this statement and the 8th Article of Faith, which is contained with the Standard Works of the Church. Daily speech affords hyperbole whereas scripture demands a whole different level of direction and review. --StormRider 18:38, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
      • If merged, I agree that all that would be necessary is a very short mention in Book of Mormon. I would think one sentence would suffice. It would probably just say something like, "Joseph Smith and other leaders of the LDS Church have characterized the Book of Mormon as the 'keystone' of Mormonism." The various sources in Keystone symbol in Mormonism could follow the sentence. Good Ol’factory (talk) 02:19, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree. I like the way that was worded. I would suggest that wording be implemented into the article ASAP. --Jgstokes (talk) 05:21, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • As creator of the "Keystone symbol in Mormonism" article, I agree that although the keystone symbol is an important concept in Mormonism, it probably doesn't merit its own page. The concept is already vaguely referenced in the third sentence in the "Religious Significance" section; perhaps it would be best to merge Good Olfactory's proposed sentence with the existing third sentence where the keystone concept is partially quoted. Lebaronmatthew (talk) 11:30, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree. COGDEN 18:17, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Keystone metaphor seems very appropriate - the Wikipedia article gave a symbol off to the side which made it appear that that would be the symbol for representing Keystone. If it is incorporated into the discussion and I think it would be very fine to do so. It would need to represent the true meaning of the Keystone as the center or central stone that is used to hold up an arch that has it's center stone keeping the structure intact. The fact that the Book of Mormon exists, That Joseph Smith was told where it was by an Angel, that God the Father and Jesus Christ who first appeared to Joseph set about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was lost to the world through an ancient apostacy from authority, doctrine, etc. - Have placed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints, on the earth. Would necessarily have to have the Book of Mormon hold up under all circumstances that could be thrown at it and brought to test it's authenticity. It does hold up and has held up under every test I have been able to give it. Sometimes the answers come immediately and sometimes it will take weeks and months before answers reveal themselves, but it always comes out true. It holds up under all scrutiny. Because it's true.Dalwiscombe (talk) 01:20, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

What if this article just cites the quote and leaves it at that, without any advocacy one way or the other? It is probably the most famous statement ever about the Book of Mormon itself. Seems appropriate to include it on that basis, per Wikipedia Pillar 2 to "document and explain the major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence". Perhaps something like "Smith asserted that the Book of Mormon 'was the most correct book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get closer to God by abiding by its principles, than by any other book'". Pretty tough to be more major, weighty or prominent than that. But then just leave it at that. The reader can form their own opinion about such a strong statement. Dpammm (talk) 05:31, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

While Smith's famous comment about his book is, as Dpamm states, "famous", the entire sentence doesn't need to be produced here. While the phrase "more correct than any other" is probably the most famous snippet from the longer quote and should be included, the entire quote is overkill and reads more like an author's quote on the dust jacket of a bestseller. Include a summary and the pithy meat of the quote certainly, but don't let Smith drone on and on about how great his book is all the way to the bitter end. We've tried to avoid entire quotes most of the time when a clause or two is generally quite sufficient to get the point across. --Taivo (talk) 13:53, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Requested moves -- Add "The" to article title, invert re-directs[edit]

{{|Book of Mormon = Current title of page 1 |The Book of Mormon = New title for page 2 |The Book of Mormon = Current title of page 2 |Book of Mormon = New title for page 3 |reason = "Book of Mormon" should re-direct to "The Book of Mormon", and not vice versa (the current state). "The Book of Mormon" is the correct main title. Among the supermajority of lds movement denominations (all lds denominations?), as well as the general public at large, "Book of Mormon" is not commonly or colloquially used. "Book of Mormon" is also an incorrect grammatical/syntax reference. "Book of Mormon" also is not used as a plural reference: neither "Book of Mormon", nor "Books of Mormon", nor "Book of Mormons" are used [not without giggling anyway]). "Book of Mormon copies", is an acceptable plural reference; however, such requires a separate Wikipedia page as a separate noun, or worst case, should re-direct to "The Book of Mormon". , For evidence reference, see image of cover in right hand column of page. "The Book of Mormon" is the primary title. . . }}

Not sure how to fix your un-template above, but you might want to see template:Requested move for how to use that template properly, and try again. -- (talk) 15:52, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

. I'm brand new at this, if what I stated above was incorrectly stated, please bear with me. I've since reviewed the Wikipedia etiquette and other guidance. Going forward I'm looking to do things within the program. So 1st things 1st -- am I even making this comment correctly? 20 June 2014 Dpammm (talk) 00:23, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Article use of proper language, syntax, punctuation, etc.[edit]

Tonight I read the Wikipedia article for "Book of Mormon" for the first time. I was quite surprised by its generally poor narrative and grammar. I've also submitted a request to change the title to "The Book of Mormon", which is its correct title.

Given all the adherents to LDS Restorationist Christianity, and the importance of the Book of Mormon in their lives and their religion, I'm truly shocked at how poorly written this article is. There are 4 entire universities & colleges owned & operated just by the Mormon Church, each blessed with numerous published professors, both in academia & for public consumption, nearly all of whom hold PhD degrees, some of which are considered the very best in their fields. I'm not up to it myself -- I've spent too many years developing technically descriptive business grammar, which would be extremely boring & unfathomable to the general reader. But my goodness -- will some qualified and talented talk page member please take responsibility to refine this article into a more accurate, enjoyable and grammatically correct narrative? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dpammm (talkcontribs) 00:48, 18 June 2014‎

The traditional reply to this kind of common comment is "so fix it", but there's more you should know. We're all self-selected volunteers here, editing what strikes our fancy; unfortunately this article is a bit of a battleground (as the edit history of the last 500 edits will attest, as will the archives of this talk page) and many of the people who polish articles (variously known as WikiGnomes, WikiFairies, & WikiHobbits) have difficulty with the drama on these high-conflict pages, so they can be a bit rough sometimes. To make real progress in bringing them up to good article criteria or beyond, these kinds of articles need to be adopted by people (e.g. WikiKnights) who dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to improving them. If you're up to the challenge, your self-image of your writing style doesn't have to limit your contributions here: "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved." (Emerson) - (talk) 15:28, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
"Volunteers" is the operative word here. So if you decide to "fix" the grammar, punctuation, etc., I suggest you proceed one paragraph at a time and not move too fast. This article balances on a very, very thin compromise based on WP:NPOV. Any massive amount of editing will be viewed suspiciously since large edits make evaluating whether or not you have tilted the compromise one way or another very difficult to judge. The key here is to be patient. It's clear that you operate under a very particular point-of-view concerning Smith's text, so remember that for every editor like yourself who thinks it is a work of divine provenance, there is another editor who thinks that Smith was a con artist and made the whole thing up. It's that balance between both points of view that has to be maintained. Go slow and don't rush. If you feel that some paragraph needs more than minor punctuation and spelling correction, then post a draft here on the Talk Page and build a consensus for it. Some of the awkwardness may be essential to maintain Wikipedia's neutral point of view. --Taivo (talk) 19:31, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Change Article Title from "Book of Mormon" to "The Book of Mormon"[edit]

Hello everyone,

A couple of days ago, I created my first topic page post ever right here on this talk page. It's the "Requested moves -- add "the" to . . ." page. I've since read up on Wikipedia etiquette & talk page guidelines. My apologies if I trespassed over some of these general practices, and please bear with me as I "traverse the learning curve".

I'd like to delete that topic page and start over. If deleting it is possible, I request an experienced talk page member explain the steps required to do it. Thanks in advance to anyone who helps me with this.

Moving forward, I'd like to focus the scope of this talk page to the article title only. Again, please bear with me as I learn the rules of the road.

The current title of this Wikipedia article is "Book of Mormon". In my view, the title should be changed to "The Book of Mormon". A few key rationales for this are as follows:

1. "The Book of Mormon" is the book's general short title, and always has been

2. It was the large print portion of the title page in the 1st edition (I think)

3. It's the generally accepted title used in everyday speech among latter-day saint movement adherents

4. "Book of Mormon" violates the key Wikipedia imperative to use proper grammar, because it is not an official or accurate title

I request anyone with a different point of view please contribute it in this talk page.


Dpammm (talk) 01:09, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

You can open a request for that, see Wikipedia:Requested moves. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:33, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Per WP:THE, I don't think we would include the "The" in the article name. No one (not even the LDS Church) capitalizes the "The" in running text. Good Ol’factory (talk) 22:30, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

2 items: (1) what is "WP:THE" (remember, I'm new at this) (2) It's true no one capitalizes "the" when referring to the Book of Mormon in running text. But grammatically, using proper english, does that necessarily translate into not using the correct title of the book as the article title? I don't see how a running text convention would wipe out using the proper title of the book, let alone any other book. Also, "Book of Mormon" is not used as an object in running text or everyday conversation. "Books of Mormon", "Book of Mormons", etc. are not used. "Copies of The Book of Mormon" is how I've been trained to say it, even if that's a bit unwieldy. I don't know whether "Book of Mormon copies" is OK. Pls. Share your thoughts. Dpammm (talk) 16:55, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

WP or MOS are prefixes that distinguish "Manual of Styles" or Wiki Project pages that give instruction on how to use the wiki. So, for example, when someone adds information to an article that is unsourced and usually based on one persons interpretation of an item you could cite "WP:OR" as reason to remove the content.
In this case I believe that "The Book of Mormon" is the proper title, and WP:THE does state that you can use the word "The" in the title name. However, one thing to consider is how searchable the name my be. In this case "Book of Mormon" may be the better name. As a final thought I decided to do a test. I went and looked for the article on the Bible to see how it had been named. Its title also omits the article at the beginning of the name, so "Book of Mormon" may also be more consistent. I don't really have a preference one way or the other. I did want to commend you to keep up the good work though. Dromidaon (talk) 17:52, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
There are three different types of "the" relevant to this discussion. 1) The garden variety of definite article, used after a generic noun has been singled out for discourse cohesion: "I saw a dog. The dog was chewing a bone." 2) The specifier role used in front of proper nouns: "I watch the Dallas Cowboys play football." 3) Part of the actual proper noun: "I watch The View." The question here is whether 2) or 3) is the appropriate way to interpret the the which precedes "Book of Mormon". There is a simple test which is completely reliable in distinguishing between uses 2) and 3): capitalization in running text. "The" is not part of the proper noun "Dallas Cowboys", therefore it is never capitalized (except at the beginning of a sentence and when blazoned on a marquee, of course). "I watch the Dallas Cowboys", not "I watch The Dallas Cowboys". When one is talking of the television program, however, "the" is always capitalized because it is part of the name itself. "I watch The View", not "I watch the View". So let's compare that to the usage of "the" before "Book of Mormon". This is from the Introduction to the Book of Mormon itself. Notice that "the" is never capitalized unless it's at the beginning of a sentence. That's definitive. --Taivo (talk) 22:55, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
While I know Wikipedia is not required to follow the style guide of article subjects, it is interesting to note that the fifth bullet of the church style guide uses a lower case "t" in the sentence. Bahooka (talk) 23:05, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Hey everybody, I noticed the controversy on the topic, and decided to voice my own opinion on the matter. As the word 'The' was and is officially published as part of the book's title, it is my opinion that this article should indeed be moved to 'The Book of Mormon', as opposed to 'Book of Mormon'. Thanks, --Joseph Yanchar (talk) 06:02, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm picking this back up: another editor recommended providing official references. This formal media guide from states that the official title is "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" So what are the next steps? Am I OK to change the page title to "The Book of Mormon"? Does this go to mediation? I request that someone in the know advise what I'm supposed to do next. Thanks!Dpammm (talk) 17:34, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

If you wish to pursue it, you can follow the instructions at WP:RM to formally propose a name change. You should not move the article yourself since there has been disagreement here as to whether or not it should be changed, so the change would be classified as a "controversial" one that needs a formal discussion. Once you open the discussion using the WP:RM process, the formal proposal will then be open for comments and discussion for at least a week. If there is a consensus in the discussion that the article title should be changed, it will be changed by an administrator. If there is consensus for the current name, the title will not be changed. If there is no consensus that can be identified, then the article name will remain unchanged. Good Ol’factory (talk) 02:16, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The LDS Church is not the only organization that is publishing copies of the Book of Mormon; your citation is only useful to demonstrate the name the LDS Church has given it's edition since October 1982, not to what it was historically called, nor what other denominations in Latter Day Saint movement and other publishers call it. The name of the article is best left as-is. Asterisk*Splat 18:26, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does NOT include a capitalized "the" with the Book of Mormon. See the style guide here. Bahooka (talk) 18:46, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

BOM in hotel rooms[edit]

It's not notable that Mormon-owned hotels put the BOM in their hotel rooms. Nothing to see here folks. Anyone who has stayed at a hotel in Utah can tell you that. --Taivo (talk) 16:49, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

The distribution of the BoM in hotel rooms could have a place in an encyclopaedia article. The citation being used here, though, noting that "many" (nfi) branches of a single specific hotel chain have it in their rooms (with no date as to when this started, or if this is unusual/normal etc.) feels a bit weak to me personally. Is there any more information from other sources that could be added to make it a more relevant part of the article? Hchc2009 (talk) 17:11, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems notable to me because (as the cite notes) it was atypical (either unusual itself, or specifically highlighted as part of a wider trend). The cite does appear to support it being unusual or at worst part of a recent trend with comparison made to the Gideon Bible (our article notes that's been happening for over a century, and orders of magnitude more widespread). Enough so that it got reported in a generally reliable source. This isn't a "Mormon hotel in Utah" (where it would be reasonable as local culture) but a major international chain that does not seem to have other religious overtones. DMacks (talk) 17:29, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
It is a "Mormon-owned" hotel chain as I clearly stated above. I agree with User:Hchc2009 that it is certainly a weak piece of information and doesn't pass muster as notable. And, that "generally reliable source" isn't the only criterion for passing the notability test. Lottery winners are also reported in that reliable source, but that doesn't make them notable. --Taivo (talk) 17:36, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't either make them default non-reliable in other areas. DMacks (talk) 17:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Taivo that it isn't notable; this situation is unlike the Gideon Bible, where placement of literature in guest accommodations is a principle focus of Gideons International. In the NYT article the Book of Mormon gets a single sentence to itself (plus a mention in a list of other publications being similarly placed), while in the Christianity Today article it gets two whole sentences: clearly both refs are just passing mentions. The whole point of both articles is the trend for a "crowded nightstand" with literature from many faith traditions, and the BoM is just a very small contributing factor in the much bigger trend that was being reported on. Asterisk*Splat 17:41, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify my position, DMacks - I'm not arguing that the fact isn't true; the NYT is generally reliable, and it seems very plausible that in 1995, in some of the Marriot chain's hotel rooms, there were BoMs. I'm just not convinced that this fact on its own, without further contextual information, improves the article. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:46, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I understand your position completely. I hunted for additional context or comparitive information. Here's a slightly different copy of the same underlying story (different publishing outlet, but cited back to NYT): [1]. Presumably there's some syndication adjustment, as the wording and a few details are included/excluded. And the additional details do provide more support for this being a major second player on the nightstand: not just a random few (by number or specific geography) of their rooms, but "many of the 160,000 rooms in the chain". The other religious-texts are also noted with numbers, and they don't seem nearly as widespread by amount or geography. The topic of religious texts other than Gideon is further raised by an apparent scholar in the field (see Keck quote in article), though he is not specifically speaking about this alternative text. And still other religious texts are noted as not being distributed this way. That's what I think makes this a notable detail, that it's substantial, and that it's tied to the corporate culture or a major example beyond Gideon, rather than focused as a customer-culture/geographic choice. DMacks (talk) 18:06, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's another story [2] from 12 years later, specifically mentioning the BoM as part of the corporate culture (and not as strongly mentioning other faiths as being supplied by default in other hotels). So it's not just a one-time mention of this situation. And this new article also notes that Marriott BoM placement is a decades-long effort rather than the wider trend, which is instead described as a recent situation (including an expert in the field supporting that position). DMacks (talk) 18:21, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, DMacks, it is "focused as a customer-culture/geographic choice" since the Marriott chain did not make this choice for business reasons, but because the ownership is Mormon. If this practice actually extended to non-Mormon chains outside Utah, then it would be notable perhaps--the Gideons don't care if the hotel chain is owned by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, or Mormons--but as long as it is virtually 100% found in Mormon-owned chains or in Utah (and even then not regularly in hotels that are not Mormon-owned), then I would say that it is still not notable. --Taivo (talk) 18:27, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I disagree that what a company decides to do (seemingly) across widespread areas and based on its owner's preference is related to what it thinks customers want ("customer culture") either in general or in certain areas ("geographic choice")--it's exactly the opposite. And a company doing something that's not positioned as customer-driven or marketing-ploy seems novel. Note my second ref supports that this was not solely "one of many examples" as part of the current customer-diversity/plural-culture push. That's my final comment here as I'm not saying anything I haven't already said (unless I have a chance to find more refs). DMacks (talk) 18:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it's not completely unknown for businesses to operate in a way that isn't customer-focused, but based on owners' beliefs. Take, for example, the companies like Chick-Fil-A, Taco Time, and Hobby Lobby that close on Sunday. Hobby Lobby just won a Supreme Court case because it didn't want to offer its employees access to ACA-mandated birth control because of its owner's belief system. --Taivo (talk) 20:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)