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Dear Gramps,

My wife (a non-member) has been reading “The Case For Christ”, a very well written book detailing many of the archeological corroborations to the truth of Christ’s life and mission on earth. There is a passage that she asked about, indicating that there is currently no archeological evidence to support either the claims of the LDS religion or The Book of Mormon. Is this true? and if there has been evidence found, where could I find the record of the evidence corroborating various details of the Book of Mormon. Thank you

Jeremy, from Pittsburg, CA

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Answer

 

Dear Jeremy,

The literature in support of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is prolific! An author writing about the life of Christ who would make such a claim that there is no archeological evidence to support either the claims of the LDS religion or The Book of Mormon is either grossly ignorant, or is publishing a falsehood of which he is completely aware, but is making a feeble attempt to discredit the Mormon religion. It is hard to imagine that such a person would make such a false claim without investigating it in the least. So I must conclude that the author, rather than being completely ignorant, is purposefully perpetrating a falsehood in an attempt to discredit the true Church of God.

There are numbers of books and papers written that give very conclusive evidence (both external and internal) that establishes the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. To cite just a few–

Virtually every Indian tribe in North and South America have legends that cite a white Redeemer God who came among them and taught them laws of morality and other Christian principles. As you know, the Savior visited the Nephite civilization in the Promised Land following his resurrection, spent much time with them and taught them his gospel. Legends of American Indians that deal with such a Redeemer God are cited in the following work:

He Walked the Americas, by L. Taylor Hansen. 1963 Amherst Press, Amherst, Wisconsin.The legends of a white redeemer God come from the Waikanoes, Hopi, Choctah, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Shawnee, Pawnee, Puant, Seneca, Chippewa, Dacotah, Cheyenne, Seri, Papago, Dene, Zuni, Acoma, Yaqui, Toltec, Zapoteca, Navano, Quichua, Maya, Puant nations– to name just a few.

The legends of a white redeemer God come from the Waikanoes, Hopi, Choctah, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Shawnee, Pawnee, Puant, Seneca, Chippewa, Dacotah, Cheyenne, Seri, Papago, Dene, Zuni, Acoma, Yaqui, Toltec, Zapoteca, Navano, Quichua, Maya, Puant nations– to name just a few.Exploring the Book of Mormon, John W. Welch, 1992, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, John W. Welch, 1992 Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.John W. Welch, 1992 Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.This work reports on new research on the Book of Mormon setting forth the essence of various research topics and new discoveries in a variety of fields treating internal evidences that establish the truth of the Book of Mormon.

John W. Welch, 1992 Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.This work reports on new research on the Book of Mormon setting forth the essence of various research topics and new discoveries in a variety of fields treating internal evidences that establish the truth of the Book of Mormon.Ancient Literary Forms, Hugh W. Pinnock, 1999, Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Provo, Utah. Dr. Pinnock identifies the following Hebrew literary forms in the construction of the literature in the Book of MormonAnaphora, epibole, cycloides, epistrophe, amoebaeon, synonymia and synonymia parallelism, synonymous parallelism, synthetic parallelism, alternate, climax, anabasis, catabasis, antimetabole, antithetical parallelism, chiasmus, inclusio, antopopatheia, numerical parallelism, exergasia, ellipsis, eleutheria, and aeroneia.The Story of the Book of Abraham, H. Donl Peterson, 1995, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah,. treats the discovery in Egypt by Lebolo and the translation by Joseph Smith of the papyri from which the Book of Abraham was taken.H. Donl Peterson, 1995, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah,. treats the discovery in Egypt by Lebolo and the translation by Joseph Smith of the papyri from which the Book of Abraham was takenPopol Vuh, (Book of the Princes) Written by a prince of the QuichéIndians in Guatemala, who had been captured in 1524 by Alvarado, a lieutenant of Cortez. This prince learned to Speak Spanish, was converted to Christianity, and wrote down in the Quiche language, using the Roman alphabet the legend of the origin of his people. This legend includes the creation story roughly parallel to the Genesis account; the record of a redeemer God who sacrificed himself for the sins of the people; an account of the darkness of their skin and an account of their coming “from the other side of the sea.” The Quiché record was discovered in the Guatemala City library in 1853 by Dr. Carl Scherzer of Vienna, who published the work in 1857. This work was translated into Spanish by Adrian Recinos in 1946.

H. Donl Peterson, 1995, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah,. treats the discovery in Egypt by Lebolo and the translation by Joseph Smith of the papyri from which the Book of Abraham was taken, (Book of the Princes) Written by a prince of the QuichIndians in Guatemala, who had been captured in 1524 by Alvarado, a lieutenant of Cortez. This prince learned to Speak Spanish, was converted to Christianity, and wrote down in the Quiche language, using the Roman alphabet the legend of the origin of his people. This legend includes the creation story roughly parallel to the Genesis account; the record of a redeemer God who sacrificed himself for the sins of the people; an account of the darkness of their skin and an account of their coming “from the other side of the sea.” The Quich record was discovered in the Guatemala City library in 1853 by Dr. Carl Scherzer of Vienna, who published the work in 1857. This work was translated into Spanish by Adrian Recinos in 1946.The libraries are full of such texts as mentioned above. Research papers written on various aspects of the Book of Mormon and other Mormon scriptures are too numerous to recount.

When the Mormon Church was first organized numerous criticisms were immediately published attempting to disclaim its authenticity. However, each of those criticisms, without exception, has been proven to be false, so that the Book of Mormon stands today with more documentation to support its veracity than perhaps any other book. In spite of all these evidences it is still maligned by the proponents of other religions.

Among specific archeological criticisms than have been voiced and completely refuted are the following–

Claim–Horses are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but there were no pre-Columbian horses in North America.

Answer– It is true that the Spaniards found no horses among the Aztec Indians when they invaded Mexico, but Sir Francis Drake records that he saw large bands of wild horses near the coast of what is now Oregon when he sailed up the west coast of North America. I have seen the skeleton of a pre-Columbian horse in the archeological Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Claim–Steel is mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but steel is a modern invention and only iron existed in pre-Columbian times.

Answer– Steel and iron both rust rather rapidly, and few steel artifacts have been found. However, a pre-Columbian steel knife has been found that was saved from rusting away since it was found in the ashes of a fire, protected from invading oxygen.

Claim– Elephants are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but no elephants have been found in the Americas.

Answer– The remains of elephants, and mammoths (a cousin to the elephant) have been found in various places in the Western Hemisphere. The remains of mammoths have been found in Alaska, frozen in the ice, with the flesh still intact. The remains of elephants have been in the Area tar pits in Los Angeles, California. I have seen the exhumed remains of an elephant that was unearthed by a road crew in Nebraska a few years ago, and now resides in the Dawson County Historical Museum in Lexington, Nebraska.

This list also goes on and on.

However, there is one sure way to determine the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. If one will read the book with a sincere desire to know of its truthfulness, and will ask God in faith to reveal to the person that the Book is indeed true, God will, without any doubt or without any exception, answer that prayer and reveal to that person the truthfulness of the book (Moroni 10?4-5).

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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