The Book of Mormon 4/18
Mormons often ask me how I feel when I read the BOM. I find that a little frustrating because it doesn't matter how I feel when I read it. It only matters whether it's true. I don't think you can tell whether it's true by how you feel when you read it, so it doesn't matter how you feel. I wrote more about that in my series on Mormon epistemology.
I don't mind saying how I felt, though. When I was first visited by the Mormons over ten years ago, I prayed about the BOM like they asked me to, and all I felt was a foreboding. It was the same foreboding I felt before I prayed about it, though. Now I don't attribute this foreboding to the Holy Spirit. I attribute it to the fact that I already had serious doubts about it. But I didn't read the whole BOM back then. I only read the passages the missionaries gave me to read.
Last August, I read the whole BOM. When I met with Kay's bishop later on, he asked me how I felt when I read it. I told him I couldn't remember since I wasn't really thinking about my feelings when I was reading it.
But reading the BOM caused me to have far more doubts about it than I had before I read it. So I don't feel very good about the BOM at all now.
The BOM is much better when read cover to cover. What kept me from reading it before was pure boredom and lack of interest. But I was only reading isolated passages. I couldn't possibly see how it all fit into the story. The BOM isn't like the Bible where you have a collection of independent books from different genres. The BOM is more like a novel. You can read it from cover to cover, and it's just one long story. I think that's the way it ought to be read, at least the first time you read it. Then you can go back and read passages over again and know how they fit in the broader story.