Population of Ancient America

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

Current issues

Follow Gramps:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail
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:

Why were the deaths of the early Apostles so brutal?

October 24, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I was interested in the life of the remaining Apostles after the death of the Savior.  As I researched their lives I was stunned and shocked (more)

If a man is of a certain tribe, are they automatically called to be a Bishop?

October 22, 2014 9:00 pm

Question Gramps, I heard that it has been stated that some people have been told by their patriarch that they are not of Ephraim or Manasseh but of (more)

Is Mormon underwear magic?

October 22, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, I am not a Mormon, but a Born Again Christian faithfully attending a Protestant church.  I have recently been involved in a study in which we (more)

Why was the purchase of slaves allowed during Biblical times?

October 21, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I have been discussing matters of misinterpretation with Bible versus with friends and was wondering, why are there parts of the Bible that allow the purchase (more)

If my father is the Branch President, can I repent to someone else?

October 20, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Hello.  I have broken the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. I’ve been doing better and reading my scriptures and praying for forgiveness but (more)

How many Priesthoods are there?

October 19, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, How many priesthoods are there?  I know there is the Aaronic and Melchezidek, but someone mentioned there was also the Patriarchal Priesthood? Don   Answer Don, (more)

Will the church rescind the ban on coffee due to Alzheimers studies?

October 18, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I am a member and wonder why the church does not rescind the ban on coffee when scientific studies over the past 20 years have shown (more)

Can physical intimacy and spirituality be compatible?

October 17, 2014 11:37 am

Question Dear Gramps, When I am reading my scriptures or saying my prayers, I have no interest in physical intimacy with my spouse.  And when we do come (more)

Is God a respecter of persons sometimes?

October 16, 2014 12:47 am

Question Gramps, Why does the Lord seem to bless some of the faithful with prosperity? It seems that others who are faithful and also pay their tithes and (more)

In the Princess Bride, should Wesley have pursued a married woman?

October 15, 2014 10:28 am

Question Dear Gramps, Was it appropriate for Wesley from the Princess Bride to pursue a married woman? Fezzik   Answer Fezzik, The question is not whether Westley was (more)

How can I learn about the church as a teenager?

October 13, 2014 12:04 am

Question Gramps, Hello. I am 16 and I have zero affiliation with the church. I was interested in learning about the Mormons, so I got a copy of (more)

Was Joseph Smith just a con man?

October 12, 2014 8:18 am

Question Gramps, In 1971 Joseph Smith was arrested and brought before a Justice of the Peace for that practice of a “glass looker”. Before this he was in (more)