Thursday, November 01, 2007

What Mormons believe: Part 2

Picking up where we left off from the last post, I want to keep examining The Book of Mormon.

In the Book of Mormon, the various civilizations were described in some detail. The Jaredites, Nephites and Lamanites were reported to have certain items in their culture that we find common today. Here are some selected quotes from the Book of Mormon that list these kinds of items.

“The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea” (Mormon 1:7)

“…fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manners of tools” (Jarom 1:8; 2 Nephi 5:15)

“…grain…silks…cattle…oxen…cows…sheep…swine…goats…horses…asses…elephants…” (see Ether 9:17-19)

“…swords…cimeters…breastplates…arm-shields…shields…head-plates…armor” (see Alma 43:18-19; 3:5; Ether 15:15)

This would all make sense if these ancient people were around in the 1800's during Joseph Smith's lifetime. But there are a few problems with these sort of items being mentioned as a part of these ancient cultures. Archeologically, these civilizations have never been found anywhere in the Americas. The other problem is that most of these animals and man-made objects mentioned above were never on the Western Hemisphere until Europeans brought them over in 1492.

Steel, for instance, has never been found anywhere in the Americas before 1492. Silk, also, was an item imported to the West. Native Americans had no wheat, barley, oats, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, or donkeys before 1492. So anthropology, history and archeology all testify against the existence of the ancient cultures mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Even more damaging evidence came about when Brigham Young University (BYU), a Mormon University, assigned a Mormon professor to find archeological evidence of these civilizations. After 25 years of research, professor Thomas Ferguson published a paper in 1975. He found nothing to back up the flora, fauna, topography, geography, peoples, coins or settlements of the Book of Mormon. In fact, he called the geography of The Book of Mormon “fictional.”

Once again, as mentioned in my last post, the scientific evidence refuting the validity of the Book of Mormon is substantial. It's hard to imagine that if someone really was studying the history and composition of The Book of Mormon that they would find it to be true. The reality, instead, is that a person would have to turn a blind eye to the facts in order to keep their belief alive.


At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Virgil said...

--..he called the geography of The Book of Mormon “fictional.”--

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Virgil said...

Oops..hit the wrong button by mistake. I meant to attach a comment to that quote.

If a mormon professor testifies against the book of Mormon, how can the church still hold to its infallibility and to Joseph Smith's prophet status? Very disingenous in my opinion...and I am not the guy to go out and judge people either!


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