(KUTV) Amazon users are responding after leaders at a Brigham Young University ward reportedly asked students to post five-star reviews on The Book of Mormon's Amazon page.
Amid 5-star reviews that have appeared on the page, some users say it was unethical for church leaders to solicit reviews from members.
In the Provo Young Single Adults 9th Ward's Facebook group, according to posts published on Imgur and in a Reddit thread, the stake presidency and the bishopric requested all members of the ward publish positive reviews of the book on Amazon.
"Hello wardies!" wrote one member in the Facebook post, which was not publicly available Monday afternoon. "Many people against the Church have, sadly, written negative comments about the Book... [Writing a review] is a great opportunity to share your testimony to the world and do online missionary work."
The post went on to suggest that members could create new Amazon accounts if they didn't have one already, or borrow their parents' account. "Please accomplish this challenge by the end of the week," the post finished. "Thank you for serving the Lord!"
Questions began to pop up on a Latter-day Saint subreddit, drawing attention to the ward leaders' request, and soon, several negative reviews began filtering in.
"I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints (sic) and was instructed to write a positive review to bolster the numbers. I do not agree with this sort of unethical behavior and my rating will reflect this," wrote one user alongside a one-star review.
Amazon lists several versions of the book on its site. One listing for the paper book has received 10 five-star reviews in the past week, though it's unclear if any came from members of the YSA 9th ward. A Kindle edition of the Book of Mormon has received three new negative, one-star reviews over the past two days.
The request does not appear to violate Amazon's terms of service, which "...do not permit artists, authors, developers, manufacturers, publishers, sellers or vendors to write Customer Reviews for their own products or services, to post negative reviews on competing products or services, or to vote on the helpfulness of reviews."