The Book of Mormon is now being challenged in the Utah school district, which has banned the Bible

In the Davis School District, which has become a battlefield in the fight for literature, requests to remove books are piling up.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A collection of copies of the Book of Mormon photographed on Wednesday, February 8, 2023. The Davis School District received a challenge on Friday, June 2, 2023 because the Book of Mormon was in the school libraries should be available.

The Utah school district, which had just banned the Bible in elementary and middle schools, received a new motion Friday targeting another religious text: the Book of Mormon.

A spokesman for the Davis School District confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune the recent book challenge, which goes against the founding text of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The motion calls for the book to be reviewed for curbing violence, whose stories include battles, beheadings and kidnappings. Members of the faith believe the text was translated from gold plates by Church founder Joseph Smith.

The complaint is the latest in a fast-paced Utah school literature review process.

In 2022, legislation was passed allowing parents to request removal of books containing “pornographic or “indecent material.” This was driven by conservative groups that primarily targeted lyrics written about the LGBTQ+ community.

A parent in the Davis School District said they were frustrated with the application of this law and decided to file a Bible review request. They called the writing “one of the most sex-driven books out there” and said that as such it fits the definition of porn.

The committee that reviewed the complaint concluded that the book did not break the law in a decision released Thursday. As such, it will be kept on the shelves of high schools in the county, Davis spokesman Christopher Williams said.

However, members decided that “vulgarity or violence” in the religion book for elementary and middle school students was not age appropriate. The King James Bible was removed from these schools, although Williams said other translations of the book remained. There is a middle school with another translation and two elementary schools.

Those will stand, Williams said, because those versions have not been contested.

Faced with the challenge to the Book of Mormon, the district will now form another committee to examine the book to determine if it violates the law.

The Tribune has filed a filing request to obtain a copy of this complaint, but the district declined to provide it immediately.

Williams said no complaints have been made about other religious texts, such as the Koran.

Justin Scaccy

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