Recently, some short-sighted YSA leaders in Provo urged ward members to go to Amazon and post positive reviews of the Book of Mormon. When their suggestion got out, the ex-Mormon community exploded with class and rushed to Amazon to saturate the book with negative reviews instead.
Consider this my plea to both parties: don’t. Giving Amazon reviews to books of ancient Scripture (or even, you know, relatively modern, nineteenth-century Scripture) is tacky in the extreme. It’s like giving a Yelp review to your local McDonald’s.
The purpose of online reviews is to tell other users / potential readers / potential tenants / potential customers about your experience and help them make a buying decision. You had a great experience? Fantastic, sing that daycare’s praises. You had a bad experience? Sure, let people know that your landlord refuses to repair your air conditioner. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve single-handedly gotten at least two people to not rent from my horrid former landlords, once through word-of-mouth and once through a bad Yelp review. They’ve probably lost a lot more money than they gained from stealing my security deposit.
But no one needs you to tell people what the food at McDonald’s is like. Everyone has eaten at McDonald’s and knows what the food is like. They know that the workers are paid minimum wage, not likely to be there anymore in 3-6 months, and the service is typically sub-par. Maybe you really like their food, maybe you really don’t, maybe you don’t care for it but you think it’s an acceptable option to snarf on when you’re hungry. Whatever the case, you’ve hardly contributed anything worthwhile by proclaiming on the Yelp page of your local McDonald’s (which has very little say in the quality of the franchise food anyhow) that you hate the food there or you had a bad experience there.
Everyone knows what the Bible is like, a lot of people know what the Book of Mormon is like, and at this point, neither Zondervan nor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has much say in the quality of the actual text of those books. Most people who give reviews to those books (whether positive or negative) aren’t actually reviewing the text, they’re reviewing their experience with Christianity and/or Mormonism. Regardless, you telling Amazon that you did/didn’t like the Bible or the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an hardly tells us anything useful.
Reviewing a translation or a special edition of a book of Scripture is fine; I never miss a chance to tell people that the English Standard Version is “the abusive boyfriend of Bible translations.” But you have an opinion about the actual text of the Book of Mormon?
Save it for Fast & Testimony meeting or a post on ExMormon.org. You pick.