Population of Ancient America

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

Current issues

Follow Gramps:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Print Friendly

How many people do you think lived in America at the end of the Book of Mormon before the Nephites were killed off? 300 plus years and our country has over 300 million. 600 BC to 400 AD is much longer than 300 years. Mormon said when he went to Zarahemla at a young age there seemed to be more people than the sands of the sea. Do you think this country was more populated back then than now?

Dan

________________

Hello Dan,

The population of America when Christopher Columbus arrived, depending on sources, may have been between 50 to 100 million civilians. In other sources, the civilian population pre-Columbian is estimated around 2 to 18 million civilians. However, the exact number of people that inhabited North and South America is not known.

When the metaphor, “more people than the sands of the sea,” is presented in sands of the seascripture the idea may represent multiple meanings. When this concept was used with Abraham, we can easily recognize that this meant billions upon billions of children. This is easily understood because we know how many people have existed thus far since Abraham.

However, in the Book of Mormon this language may represent, at least according to the numbers we currently have regarding the number of inhabitants within the Americas, a number they were unwilling to count and it was much easier to say “as the sands of the sea” than to give a correct accounting.

Due to infant mortality rates and a lack of medical advancements it would be surprising to me if the American continent had more people than we do now. I personally would say “no” this country was not more populated back then versus now, and our current understanding of the population from records back then, would agree with this notion.

Sincerely,

Gramps

Summary
Article Name
Population of Ancient America - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
How many people do you think lived in America at the end of the Book of Mormon before the Nephites were killed off? 300 plus years and our country has over 300 million. 600 BC to 400 AD is much longer than 300 years.

Follow Gramps:

Can two people live together in a platonic relationship?

September 2, 2014 7:52 am

Question Gramps, I realize that we are to remain completely chaste before marriage, but what about cohabiting  with single persons of the opposite sex in a completely platonic (more)

How did Christ get anything done while on the earth?

September 1, 2014 6:00 am

Question Dear Gramps, I was just wondering how Christ, when He was on the earth, was able to get anything done, with so many things distracting Him.  For (more)

Why did God need Jesus to atone for our sins?

August 31, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, With all of God’s knowledge and power, why did he need Jesus to atone and sacrifice for our sins? Sherlene   Answer Hello Sherlene, In teachings (more)

Why did we have the Civil War?

August 30, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Why did we have the American Civil War and what does it mean as said in DC 87? Will those people be saved due to fighting (more)

Did Joseph Smith use a hat during the translation of the Book of Mormon?

August 29, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, There was a question about Joseph’s stone and hat but you never mentioned either. What is this about a hat? I was taught that the seer (more)

Did Adam and Eve get baptized?

August 28, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I have what I think is a simple question.  Were Adam and Eve baptized?  If not, why? Kalola   Answer Kalola, We read about Adam’s baptism (more)

Is it okay to swear during a play?

August 27, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, I used to go to my brother’s plays and he would have to swear in them.  Is that bad and will he get punished? Also what (more)

Why do my prayers seem to hit the ceiling due to my depression?

August 26, 2014 7:00 am

Question Hi Gramps, I have been suffering from depression and anxiety most of my life.  I don’t know if the Lord will remove it in this life or (more)

Was the celestial kingdom empty before the LDS church was restored?

August 25, 2014 12:34 pm

Question Hi Gramps,I understand the three levels of Heaven. If non-Mormons cannot enter the celestial kingdom, does that mean that it was empty of spirits before The Book (more)

Why are the words Christ and church used in the Book of Mormon?

August 24, 2014 7:17 am

Question Hi Gramps! My husband and I have recently started reading the book of Mormon. I would like to know why in Alma the word Christ and Church (more)

Are there degrees of Priesthood power?

August 23, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, Are their degrees of priesthood power?  The Savior said that if we had the faith as a grain of a mustard seed that we could move (more)

Why do we use Old English when saying prayers?

August 22, 2014 8:50 am

Question Gramps, Why do we use old English when we say prayers?  Also, how do we do it correctly?  Words like “Canst” “Wilt” and similar conjugations can be (more)