Ancient metal plates found in Middle East


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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    "Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so far from the Mediterranean? "

    Joseph Smith, like most people in that part of the nation at the time, were of European descent, some of whom probably were immigrants, or had ancestors who were immigrants, from the Mediterranean.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    April 5, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    Other places worth looking into for evidence concerning the Book of Mormon is to Google, "Book of Mormon Evidence" or "Lost Civilizations of North America" or "FIRM (The Foundation For Indigenous Research and Mormonism." All three are basically the same thing, but this should hopefully give some folks an idea of things that are coming forward.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:57 a.m.


    Testimony can be compared to love between a man and his wife. If love isn't nourished it withers and dies. Certainly it doesn't grow. The couple who once held hands at the alter is now in front of a judge getting a divorce.

    Question: What kind of love is so tenuous that it must be constantly fed?

    Answer: The kind that lasts and grows stronger.

  • krislost Sterling, VA
    April 5, 2011 11:10 a.m.


    What kind of testimony of something is so tenuous that it must be constantly fed and cannot withstand discussion, honest seeking, and a good dose of real church history? Why are testimonies so weak that EVERYONE risks losing it, no matter what position you hold in the church.

    My mother raised me to be honest. I am, with myself and God. If something does not feel right, and my own sense of personal integrity tells me that some things are just not right, I will NOT participate. No amount of humbling oneself or changing behavior, or seeking Gods will can produce answers in the LDS sense for everyone. Moroni's promise in the BOM does not hold true for everyone that asks. I choose to not destroy my familys faith by adding doubt and fear.

    Thank you SamBaUSA. I will continue to participate in discussions in the future, but I do not think this is the place to call people to repentance or lecture(or brag) about the strength of ones testimony. It is possible to be interested in archeology and oral and written folklore without needing to find proof of God.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Again, I dont want to detract from wonderful comments above (Jaime, Flying, granny : ) etc etc).
    I'm very busy, but want to explain that I've been communicating with a few DN anti-Mormons for more than a year (usually on Mike Ash articles). I have no ill will towards them, often joke with them, and feel they serve an important purpose.

    They know I luvem : ) and I tell them every week : ). They also know they can't explain away JS, BoM, etc. They have been trying for years, following 200 years of failed attempts, which turn supportive.

    It's important to understand that some DN critics are leading international Anti-Mormons and activists (working together), and are highly trained, openly express willingness to be dishonest (justifying "dishonesty" in comments to me), are regularly caught in this dishonesty (but repeat debunked comments), and do pretend to be active, offensive, or naive LDS (sometimes with strawman arguments).
    Theyve occasionally posted their names or websites etc trying to entrap, but monitors wont let me give info, for more search past Deseret News Michael Ash articles, JM comments Dec24 2009-present, etc.

    This is what they do.

    And I still luvem heaps!!!! : )

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    April 5, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    It is always interesting to read about new findings and the discussions that follow. I also find it interesting with the LDS faith how these discussions typically digress to why people leave ths church. I respect those that no longer believe. Your reasons are yours alone. But, why not take the responsibility to have your name taken off the records. Either you are not that confident in your decision or you are trying to play both sides of the street. Your families already know your decision. Being in the middle with your life and beliefs is not a comfortable place to be. Stand up and take responsibility. You can't stand on the fence forever. My personal impression is that you are simply not mature enough to make a decision about your life and get on with it.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    April 5, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    Again, I dont want to detract from wonderful comments above (Jaime, Flying, granny : ) etc etc).
    I'm very busy, but want to explain that I've been communicating with a few DN anti-Mormons for more than a year (usually on Mike Ash articles). I have no ill will towards them, often joke with them, and feel they serve an important purpose.

    They know I luvem : ) and I tell them every week : ). They also know they can't explain away JS, BoM, etc. They have been trying for years, and others for nearly 200 years, but in failing validate.

    I also feel it's important for all to understand that some of these are leading critics and activists (working together), and are highly trained, openly express willingness to be dishonest, are regularly caught in this dishonesty, and seemingly have multiple accounts, some pretending to be active but offensive or naive LDS (sometimes with strawman arguments).

    Two stir up hatred in foreign countries, writing newspaper articles etc, and have websites.

    This is what they do.

    I'm a father and very busy, but feel it is important to point out what is going on.

    And I still luvem all !!!! : )

  • SamBaUSA Sandy, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    re: Flying Finn 6:51am

    What hurtful behavior are you referring to? You sound like you are taking an illogical stance that all former members are sinful and must be ""doing something wrong."

    For the former members I know, the only "behavior" that led them out of the Church was curiousity about their own Church's history and the fortitude to read up on it.

    Is intellectual honesty with one's self a "behavior" you would disparage? I think it commendable and their leaving the church at such possible personal costs is heroic and brave. Would you agree? Or would you prefer that stay engaged and pretend to believe? Is that a behavior you would prefer?

  • JM Lehi, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Hopefully they post that last comment explaining a little about what is going on between myself and my beloved anti-Mormon friends who post here.

    I just want to add that they know there are mountains of evidence for the BoM, and we have been discussing this for more than a year on Mike Ash articles and they are unable to explain the BoM etc.


    I haven't seen the chrisalmond screen name before so will add an invite to him to go to FAIR MAxwell, etc or Mike Ash articles and look into evidences, if that is what he needs, but as we are discussing now, no evidence converts, even with all the miracles of Jesus, still, Peter knew by the still small voice, not Lazarus.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    April 5, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Re: krissy | 7:50 p.m. April 4, 2011

    LDS children are taught by their mothers that a testimony is a living thing that must be watered and fed or it will wither and die.

    Some people consider themselves "former members" but don't want their records removed because it might hurt their families. To them I'd submit that it is their behavior and not some piece of paper that hurts their families.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    April 5, 2011 6:21 a.m.


    From Mike Ash, Aug 16, 2010:
    "If there was no other similarity between NHM and Nahom other than the consonants, it might be dismissed as a homophonic coincidence (two words that sound the same). NHM, however, was the name of an actual seventh-sixth century B.C. location that precisely fits the Lehite narrative of their South Arabian journey including the note the fact that it was a burial ground. It lies, just as the Book of Mormon predicts, in the vicinity of an eastward turn in the ancient Arabian trail, and leads to another specific location that also matches Book of Mormon geography. Such interlocking complex parallels add significant weight to Old Word archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon."

    I wouldn't say that Ash "holds doubts", as you first put it. He sounds pretty convinced, even more than most.

    Also, in Daniel Peterson's "Evidences of the Book of Mormon", he fails to convey any of his "doubts". Quite the contrary.

    I am not saying everyone is convinced. I've just never read of a well-known pro-LDS scholar (your word) who was not impressed with the NHM name, time, and place correlations.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    April 4, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    To those of you who question and want an answer I would say it is time to get down on your knees and ask our Heavenly Father to give you an answer that you might know the truth. And to the EX Missionary, all I can say is Please come back, your family loves you, and wants to share the eternities. If you have a problem keeping you away from the blessings of activity, you really need to humble yourself and get down on your knees. the Lord loves you

  • krissy Sterling, VA
    April 4, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    "People leave the church, but can't leave it alone".

    Not quite. Some of us leave because we just don't believe it is true. And, it really has nothing to do with sin or guilt. I still stay current on Deseret News and the LDS teachings, not because I'm trying to justify my apostasy, but simply because I understand it. I grew up with it. I have the inside perspective without the emotional chains. Most of my family still believes and is still "active. I consider it interesting, but that is about it. I'm not attacking or justifying. I, like alot of people have not had my records removed because it would hurt my family. I'm not anti-mormon and I find phrases like "apostate" and "in-active" offensive, only because they are labels that just don't fit everyone. Like most former "members", I am not running from the "truth". I actually feel sorry for those of you that continue to believe.

    This article was interesting. Even more interesting the comments on this board that some consider the metal plates a "faith promoting" find. Even sadder that they too, are probably fake.

  • UtahToad Ogden, UT
    April 4, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    I'm sure that Mark Hoffman has something to do with it.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    April 4, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    @ex missionary

    Apostasy is as old as the Christian Church itself. Judas Iscariot was worthy to be called to the Apostleship by Jesus. It was only later that the Lord asked "Judas, are you betraying the son of man with a kiss?"

    At what point did Judas begin to turn away? Certainly it wasn't suddenly.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    April 4, 2011 12:05 p.m.


    "But, as President Hinckley said, People leave the church but they cant leave it alone. I think this is because they feel the need to constantly justify their apostasy. Its a lot easier than repenting and its more fun to mock the LDS church."

    The same derogatory phrase method could be said of religious people. Religious people could be labeled as continuously justifying their ancient made illusions. Required to read scriptures daily, bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel to each other often, dont miss church. Seems like great methods to control thought processes.

    Look! The truth of the matter is that everyone here on this earth wants to be happy. We all have our own opinions and beliefs. We are all seeking for truth.
    If an organization claims that they are the monopoly of truth, ex. God only speaks to prophets. Be prepared for a thorough examination of your claims.

    If you dedicate all your gifts, talents and very own life to an organization and later find out it is not being completely honest. Could you leave it alone?

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    April 4, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    Jaimee Lee Bonberger:

    Both Michael Ash and Daniel C. Peterson have concluded that NHM is not conclusively Nahom, though they both favor the position that it is. I'm not going to do a scholar search for you, I have read enough from Farms and Fair to recognize that there is a broad spectrum of opinion on this matter. The two names mentioned above should suffice to demonstrate that fact.

    Why reproduce the words of Isaiah indeed? It seems rather unproductive to me, but I'll admit its all just reasonable conjecture on efficiency.


    Space will not allow a comprehensive response to either Lindsay or Brant, but suffice it to say that there are several cognitive leaps. For example, the single servant refenced "must mean the Chief Steward", or the frequency of references to "dunging" are somehow consistent with known ancient horticulture. It is also fascinating how much these apologists read into these details, while dismissing just as-matter-of-factly Pauls precedent in the New Testament - absent any proof of a so-called Zenos (I know, lost through the apostasy). Trenching, Dunging, and pruning, that's what it amounts to. I guess we have our opinions.

  • larri3 Farmington, UT
    April 4, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Allin The Words and MormonCowboy, I googled as suggested and learned even more details that lead to the conclusion that Joseph Smith could not possibly have written the book of Jacob on his own. Google the following key words, "joseph smith olive horticulture brant mormanity," and read up on this. Flippant dismissal of facts is easy; serious study with an open mind is difficult. A serious investigator it seems to me, must conclude that either Joseph Smith was a real prophet or the most intelligent, convincing and committed hoaxer who ever lived. I can simply ignore the whole issue if I prefer, saying that it has no impact on me and is irrelevant to my life, which is true if Joseph Smith created and perpetuated a hoax but most definitely false if he was as he claimed.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 4, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    @ ex missionary and double rainbow:
    You are right about the "no longer believes the church is true" group and I know a lot of people like this. I thought they were covered in the rest of the list. I wouldn't class them as anti Mormons. The NLBTCIT group usually don't go out and attack the church. I think the attackers have deeper issues and they loose their objectivity in trying to justify their apostacy for the rest of their lives. At least that's been my experience.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    April 4, 2011 8:29 a.m.


    You got me, it was adultry! Plus I'm a sign seeker (the two go hand in hand right?) It's just interesting that the leading differential diagnosis for someone leaving the church, in church members minds, is sin. And way down there, or not even appearing, is that the church just isn't true. Now that's real indoctrination!

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    April 4, 2011 6:26 a.m.

    @Double Rainbow:

    When I talk with people I listen to what they have say at face value and I don't try to second guess what they might be thinking in the back of their mind. The typical inactive LDS member doesn't write to Church Headquarters and ask for their names to be removed.

    Why your focus on adultery and not apostasy?

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    April 4, 2011 1:26 a.m.

    JSB -

    When listing reasons why people leave the church you have left off "no longer believes the church is true". Not everyone leaves the church for this reason but it is very common.

    I could see someone feeling guilty if they stopped attending because they felt it was too demanding but still believed it was true. But why would someone who no longer believes the church is true feel guilt about leaving it? I can't conceive of a reason why they would, I certainly don't feel guilty about it.

    So, I'm asking, why did you leave this reason off your list and what do you think of this category of people (formber believers but current non-believers)? Do you agree that it doesn't make sense that guilt would be a motivator for them to comment on boards like this?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 3, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    Re. Double Rainbow.
    People leave the LDS church for a lot of reasons: no interest, too demanding, disillusioned, personal conflicts, guilt, etc. My point was that anti Mormon propaganda really wont negatively affect a persons testimony unless he has another issue(s) and the propaganda, no matter how flimsy, gives them an excuse to leave. Often, I have heard apostates say: No more guilt and then spend the rest of their lives attacking the church. People can feel guilty about a lot of things. You mentioned adultery, I didnt. But, as President Hinckley said, People leave the church but they cant leave it alone. I think this is because they feel the need to constantly justify their apostasy. Its a lot easier than repenting and its more fun to mock the LDS church.

  • erin33 South Jordan, UT
    April 3, 2011 6:42 p.m.


    I loved your comment. I am so perplexed and sad when I see and hear people who identify themselves as active members of the LDS Church mocking other people who are different than they are.

    It is so common. Even among people who are close to me. I love discussing things in forums like this but I am so ashamed when I see the arrogance that is sometimes displayed so cavalierly by those who represent the Church because they identify themselves with it.

    I don't understand it.

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    April 3, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    Also, kudos to the Deseret News for giving an objective reporting on these plates. In their eagerness to bolster the claims of their owners, they could have easily omitted the BYU Professors skepticism, and the fact that they didn't shows good, objective journalism and intellectual honesty, something I wish was more highly regarded and emphasized within the Church and it's various institutions.

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    April 3, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    (repost with cleaned up grammar.) TO the people who are saying that no matter how much archeological evidence was found it wouldn't do anything to pursued the skeptics, I would like to go on the record stating that if there was conclusive (or even just very strong) archeological evidence confirming the historicity of The Book of Mormon, I not only would have never left the Church, but will make it my first priority to be re-baptized if such evidence is ever uncovered. I suspect many others in my shoes would say the same Of course, even if these plates were shown to be legit it wouldn't be strong evidence of the B.O.M., but if such plates were found in the Americas it certainly would.

  • erin33 South Jordan, UT
    April 3, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Bramhabull- You wrote:

    "You also mentioned how the church gets 'continuing revelation'. This is not true either. Maybe guidance, suggestions, self-help speeches, but revelation??"

    The last time I heard continuing revelation was a few hours ago in General Conference. That's why we have Conference. If we didn't need continuing revelation they'd just hand us the scriptures and say- go at it.

    Dallin H. Oaks talked of "The threefold sources of truth about man and the universe: science, the scriptures, and continuing revelation"

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    April 3, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    And I would like to give Kudos to the Byu professor who, despite realizing that accepting such a find would not only fit easily into his worldview but provide some long sought empirical evidence for one of the Church's many historical claims that must be taken on faith alone, he approached it with an unbiased and honest assessment allowing him the objectivity to acknowledge it seems fishy. This sort of intellectual honesty is good for the Church and something that should be more encouraged and respected, not only because it is the ethical thing to do, but it also adds to the Church's credibility and takes ammo away from it's critics.

  • erin33 South Jordan, UT
    April 3, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    JM- You said- "I'm just curious : ) No offense."

    As a practicing LDS like you are and as someone who loves to engage in debate with those who might not necessarily believe as I do I have to say that I do not believe those words to be honest.

    It seems clear that you meant offense. Had you truly not meant offense you would have used very different and much more careful language. If you truly didn't mean offense then you need to rewrite your whole comment to be clear with your intention.

    Ex missionary has a right to his beliefs. We should treat him with respect.

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    April 3, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    TO the people who are saying that no matter how much archeological evidence was found it wouldn't do anything to p pursued the skeptics, I would like to go on the record stating that if there is was conclusive (or even just very strong) archeological evidence confirming the historicity of The Book of Mormon, I not only would have never left the Church, but will make it my first priority to be re-baptized if such evidence is ever uncovered. Of course, even if these plates were shown to be legit it wouldn't be strong evidence of the B.O.M., but if such plates were found in the Americas it certainly would.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    April 3, 2011 6:02 p.m.


    A) Which LDS scholars (or are they apologists?) hold doubts about NHM? The fact remains that there is only one location on the Arabian peninsula known to exist in 600BC with the place name NHM, and it is serendipitously in the exact location where a turn east takes you to the only location that could fit the description of "Bountiful". It also lands right on the path Nibley and others previously regarded as mostly likely taken by the Lehite party.

    B) Regarding chiasmus, your ergo consideration seems ill-placed. Why include redundant verses from Isaiah if they already have the brass plates? Why the repetition overall? If chiasmus were seen as a teaching technique for the "remnant" of their seed, why would they NOT use it? As for whether chiasmus appear in the BoM merely by chance, I invite all to review the study by Edwards and Edwards entitled "Does Chiasmus Appear in the Book of Mormon by Chance?".

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    April 3, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    El Ingreso:

    A couple of responses:

    1) If "faith in Christ's restored gospel is a matter of choice", then what makes that choice any better than the alternative of not having faith? In fact, if it is strictly a choice absent proof, then it seems a rather poor choice in light of the evidentiary (though inconclusive) alternatives.

    2 - A) Nahom - Not as self-evident as you would like, I'm afraid. Even some Church scholards hold doubts as to whether NHM is actually Nahom mentioned in the Book of Mormon. So in answer to your question, there is a significant likelihood that Joseph Smith didn't know about it, and defenders are straining at gnats.

    2 - B) Chiasmus - Another characteristic of The Book of Mormon with little agreement. In many instances, Alma 37 for example, the alleged chiasticity is quite inconsistent. Secondly, when we extend the chiastic parameters beyond words and into themes (which BoM apologists do), the basis for determining chiasmus is quite subjective. Besides, from just a practical standpoint it wouldn't have made sense for the Nephites to write in chiasmus anyway! They were ergonomically constrained by the task of engraving, so why include unnecessary redundancies?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 3, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Re: AllInTheWords | 9:45 p.m. April 2, 2011

    No one is trying to prove anything to you. There are those today who would not believe if they were to see the Red Sea parted and people walking across on dry ground.

    The things of the spirit, like love, cannot be proved to the satisfaction of the physical eye.

  • El Ingreso St.George, Utah
    April 3, 2011 1:22 p.m.


    Very astute rebuttal. Now, how did Joseph Smith know about Nahom? And Chiasmus?

    Faith in Christ's restored gospel is a choice. Choosing to find discredits in order to disprove the LDS church means you no only choose not to have faith in the restored gospel, but you also seek to "kick against the pricks", and seek to demean beliefs.

    "Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    April 3, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    "larri3: Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so far from the Mediterranean?"

    Yes, Joseph Smith did not live in the day's of Google, where answers to these types of questions is as simple as a few keystrokes and less than five minutes worth of reading. Try Romans 11:16 - 24, a discourse from Paul on grafting wild olive branches with tame olive branches, symbollic of the doctrine of "adoption". If you made any attempt to answer the question, before posing it rhetorically, you would have found this out. It was likely plagiarized conceptually from the New Testament.

    Second - what was this advanced perspective on ancient olive horticulture that Joseph Smith, "could not have known"? Pruning, trenching? I guess by that same logic we should not discount Alma either. He also offered a spot on analysis of horticulture, as an allegory on faith. Put a seed in the ground, nourish it, then wait and see. If it grows it was good, if doesn't it wasn't. How could Joseph Smith ever figure that out, right?

  • hairypatches Hurricane, UT
    April 3, 2011 1:45 a.m.

    Hoax or no hoax, I find it interesting how they were metal and bound. Personally I cannot wait to see what they really are. Little fishy that 5 years have gone by without anyone mentioning them. But take a look at how long it took to get the Dead Sea Scrolls published and out to the public. With that experience, I hope the governments, churches and scholars get their act together, do the responsible thing and get to the bottom so we know what they are.

    But then we all seem to like chewing on a good mystery for a time.

  • AllInTheWords Seattle, WA
    April 2, 2011 9:45 p.m.

    larri3: Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so far from the Mediterranean?

    Maybe by reading? Since Joseph could write, it makes sense he could read. He read the Bible. There were books on horticulture of the Mediterranean prior to J.S. being born. (Google it.)

    As to what this has to do with the topic of the Jordan Cave plates; is there a connection I may have missed?

    What does explaining it or not being able to explain it even prove?

  • Eli Lovington Summertime Provo, UT
    April 2, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    "It is surprising how many people claim not to believe in God but the supplicate for his help when our ship is sinking and we have no life jacket."

    It's amusing when people use this kind of thinking as if it actually supports the idea that "we all know, deep down, that there is a God" or some other such nonsense. Because what such stories actually suggest is that people create a god out of fear of death and the unknown. The whole "There are no atheists in foxholes" thing isn't true (though the continued use of such a thoroughly discredited meme does reveal a lot about the arrogance and ignorance of the people who use it, specifically their desperate hope that everyone who opposes one of their fundamental beliefs is flaky and actually, secretly agrees with them deep down inside) - but even if it were true it wouldn't be anymore meaningful than the fact that lots of other people stop believing in God during periods of severe hardship.

  • Silly Rabbit Magna, UT
    April 2, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    Very well said FreeForAll

    Thank you

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    April 2, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    No one is looking for archeological evidence of God. We are looking for archeological evidence of a civilization. Shouldn't be that hard to find.

  • fgduncan Slidell, LA
    April 2, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    As a retired chemist, I can safely say that determining whether the plates are ancient or not should be relatively easy. An elemental fingerprint analysis and an isotope analysis of the lead should immediately determine their age. The ancient methods of lead extraction and the use of the lead then are completely different than today. Ancient lead was largely the byproduct of silver refining and contains many trace impurities. Modern lead is usually used in lead acid batteries for cars and contains elements not available to the ancients. In addition, the isotopes of lead are characteristic of their place of origin. A similar analysis can be made of the binding rings. Modern metals are far more pure than the ancient ones, and have specific compositions not often used by the ancients.

    These tests require only very small amounts of material-a little corner of a plate and a ring. Even using the most modern techniques, this type of information would be impossible to forge.

    I would suggest that this type of analysis should be performed BEFORE any attempt at decipherment, since if the plates turn out to be modern, it really doesn't matter what they say.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 2, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    ex missionary | 6:40 a.m. April 1, 2011

    When I paint a target and invite others to throw apples at it I should not act surprised when people accept my offer.

    It is surprising how many people claim not to believe in God but the supplicate for his help when our ship is sinking and we have no life jacket.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    April 2, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    There are a lot better, authenticated examples of writing of scripture on metal media in old Egyptian or Hebrew script in the Middle East, and that are actually in the BoM timeframe.

    This "discovery", while interesting on what it could mean to our potential understanding of early Christian/Jewish thought patterns and record keeping (if found to be authentic), would have little to no bearing on any BoM belief or tradition. It should be taken purely in its archaeological context. Even if it is authentic, it will likely be years or even decades before anyone unravels its full significance.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    April 2, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    RanchHand: Anything though to build up the hopes of the faithful.

    I assume you are referring to the faithful LDS folks out there.

    This story has been published in other news sources for a while now. The tone of the DesNews story regarding the authenticity and impact of this "discovery" is one of fraudulence at worst, insignificance at best (what impact does the 200 BC to 600AD time frame in the Middle East have on LDS history or belief systems? Not much). I am not sure how that builds up hopes of the faithful. I think you are reading into it something that is not there.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    April 2, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    A couple of thoughts

    @JSB One of the reasons I don't want to talk religion with members of the church is because in the back of their mind they are thinking "What's wrong with you? What sins did you committ? Is it adultry? I'll bet its adultry." People leave the church all the time because they just don't think its true.

    I started skipping JM's comments a while ago. There is a very deliberate tone that is designed to elicit a response.

    What if the plates were found to be real and people got interested in the church and then felt the spirit? Would that be an acceptable way for objective evidence to lead to faith?

  • FreeForAll New York, Manhattan
    April 2, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    I'm talking to fellow Latter Day Saints, please don't criticise others for their beliefs and opinions.

    We believe in following the Savior by using kindness, not forcing our Religion down peoples throats and expect them to take it!

    We also don't believe in mocking others, that is the way of Satan.

    What Latter Day Saints believe as stated in the Articles Of Faith.

    We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

  • RichT church stretton, shropshire
    April 2, 2011 5:17 a.m.

    I would love to believe this find is significant but certainly wont rule out the possibilty that they are fake. I just pray that if they are genuine and significant to us then they will fall in to the hands of gods servants.

    I agree with ex missionary's statement that conversation would be better quality without unneccecery attacks on each others views or faith.

  • larri3 Farmington, UT
    April 2, 2011 3:09 a.m.

    Has anybody ever come up with an explanation of how Joseph Smith was able to come up with such a spot-on description of olive horticulture while living so far from the Mediterranean?

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    April 2, 2011 3:08 a.m.

    Items containing Hebrew writing found in North America have always been immediately categorized as fakes and hoaxes. The chief reason seems to be that there has never been definitive proof that anybody who wrote in Hebrew was ever in America before Columbus. Any pictographs that show horses are similarly said to have been created after the Spaniards arrived because to our knowledge there were no horses in America until after Columbus.

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    April 2, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    google Peter Thonemann on lead codices with Daniel O McClellan

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    April 2, 2011 12:43 a.m.

    Fake... more news articles are coming out about it. I would post the url's but that is forbidden. sorry...

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 1, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    Personally, I have never known anyone whose testimony was seriously damaged by anti Mormon propaganda unless there was something else amiss in their lives already. Then they can use the propaganda to justify leaving the faith and get rid of the guilt they had been carrying. But then they feel that they must spend the rest of their lives justifying their apostacy.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    April 1, 2011 8:13 p.m.


    A cursory view of the quotes contained in The Presidents of The Church, Elders Quorum/Relief Society manuals, compared to the original statements, ought to be enough to convince any observor that the Church is very cautious as to what it "volunteers" within it's own histories.

    On to the topic:
    Reading the banter that is going back and forth, I can't help but wonder if most people commenting here didn't actually read the article. The overall tenor is that the artifacts are probably fake. The alternative theory is that they originate between 200 and 600 AD. In either case that rules out parallels to Nephites writing on metal plates. Even the BYU scholar seems doubtful. Not even Mormon enthusiasts are picking this one up, so where exactly is the debate coming from?

    Secondly, it has long been established that there is at least some evidence of metal inscriptions going back possibly to the ancient egyptians (I won't pretend to be scholar on the matter), making all of this dicussion moot. Old World metallurgy is not nearly as controversial as New World metalurgy. The Book of Mormon references both.

  • mosbyjim Vernal, UT
    April 1, 2011 7:41 p.m.


  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    April 1, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Contrary to the belief of some on this board, I am not offended. Attempts to describe me as a person who was deceived or lied to are silly as well.

    What I am trying to do is point out how pretentious it is for a person to assume he or she knows the motives and history of another person he or she has never met and then share that information in the discussion board in an attempt to discredit the other's position.

    It is much more respectable when someone discusses the issues (even if it is done in a snarky way). Ad hominem attacks often disguise weak arguments and nearly always sidetrack the conversation if they aren't called out.

    For example, it would be really bad form for me to call someone out on this forum and imply that no one should trust what they say because they are ignorant, delusional, or some other despective term. Amazingly, some people on that post on these stories cross that line continually and explicitly in attempts to defend their faith, others do it more subtly. I know we would have better quality conversations if everyone stopped it.

  • NoCoolName_Tom Orem, UT
    April 1, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    One of the codices have been found to be a forgery, so it is very likely that all of these have been forged. The codex in question contained a piece of a Greek inscription on an old Jordanian tomb. It is akin to finding a letter containing the phrase "not to be, that is the quest". You'd know that the phrase was a quotation. The question would be why is a lead codex quoting from the inscription on a Jordanian tomb with a phrase that makes no sense without the rest of the inscription as context (and this phrase occurs multiple times on the same codex).

    This is nothing more than someone trying to make a quick buck in the antiquities market and a Discovery channel special.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 1, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    JM - on a side note, you mention how you think some people were misled with 'lies' by the anti's. Well that may be true some of the time. But more often than not the church deceives its members, for which there is no excuse. The church edits its own history, taking out certain things that they feel are not beneficial to the average reader. They hide certain facts and stop discussing doctrinal issues (blacks and the preisthood, polygamy, the pearl of great price, adam-god theory) so lets not assume that anti's are the only ones being less than truthful in their approach. If you searched and knew as much about the church you are a member of as you claim to it would be beneficial. And just because a person has questions or concerns about the church doesn't make them anti's or any less of a member. Those who don't question things are naive. Remember, all this we claim to believe is because Joseph Smith questioned what others were telling him, so it is not a sin to have doubt.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 1, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Jm - If you honestly think that as you say "I know of no canon (prophets words)that has been dismissed as words of men and not of God." then you are extremely naive. The early church, and even the modern chruch for that matter, has numerous times where prophets say something that is later dismissed as 'opinion'. Mormons pick and choose what statements of former prophets to classify as 'doctrine' and which to disgard as 'opinion'. I am a member myself but am not closed to the reality and truth that some people bring into the conversation. If something is a fact, then it has to be looked at. You also mentioned how the church gets 'continuing revelation'. This is not true either. Maybe guidance, suggestions, self-help speeches, but revelation?? When was the last time you heard a prophet give a revelation or speak about doctrinal clarification? Probably back in the 1970's with the negro revelation. Point is, you shouldn't attack somebody whether they are a member, non-member, ex-member or whatever. If you really think that is what christ would have you do because you are mormon, then there is something wrong with you.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 1, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Re: mistertilly | 1:07 p.m. April 1, 2011

    I came to the same conclusion when reading the comments from ex missionary but lack your ability to paint the concept.

    Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. It would appear to apply here.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 1, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Lead decays at a specific rate. Old lead cannon balls have lost the majority of their radioactive elements. If there are radioactive elements in the lead of these plates, then they are forgeries (i.e.; recent construction).

    Anything though to build up the hopes of the faithful.

  • mistertilly Provo, Utah
    April 1, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    Ex Missionary, you strike me as someone who is professionally offended. You complain about someone's poor attempt to define you in a public forum, but you go by a name that is hardly public. No one knows who you are.

    You may think you are a victim, but your cynical aggression will inspire others to comment. You can't have it both ways. It's what you meant to do when you left a snarky comment, so don't be bothered when someone reacts.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    April 1, 2011 12:45 p.m.


    Do you realize that you are an anti of other beliefs and a critic just as much as anyone else who comments here? For the most part, however, the difference with your criticisms lies in the false accusations and name-calling.

    Question: Do you realize that you are often criticizing your brethren as well as former members who obviously know well about the LDS faith since they either are currently living it or have previously lived it. The information about it is out there in the world both opposing and supporting as well as much information about other beliefs. Do you dare to educate yourself with opposing infomation so you really understand opposing views? It's not rocket science that a non-Mormon can learn about your faith without being directly in the fold! In fact, ex-Mormons are an excellent source to gain an inside view because they are less biased. I married one! I suggest in the future you refrain from accusatory and name-calling rhetoric and focus on presenting an argument or defense based on fact and reason....rather than insults and rambling. No offense!

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    April 1, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    "so don't jump to conclusions people or false speculation to justify your beliefs."

    In no way would I use an archeological find to justify religious beliefs. But I don't think it's too much of a stretch to use something like this to justify a belief that ancient people from in and around Jerusalem writing on metal plates is within the realm of posibility, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    April 1, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    I'm just curious to know if there is any standard of proof that would satisfy a hard-core archeologist as evidence of a religious belief or principle. I would venture to guess no. I just think it's funny how someone can find an ancient artifact that might have important religious implications for a lot of people, and all the scientists rush out say it's no big deal. I suppose it's their job to be skeptical, but why can't they just admit that something is cool once in a while?

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    April 1, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    Extensive investigation must still be done to verify the authenticity of these plates and their meaning....so don't jump to conclusions people or false speculation to justify your beliefs. The Book of Revelation tells of a sealed book that was opened only by "the messiah" so plates such as these were already known to exist. It is known that early Christian writers used sealed books as a code for secret teaching, but no actual book had ever been found. Anybody reading the Bible could easily take this example and story a version of their own. Even if they are authentic...they will probably still prove nothing beyond them being writings from an ancient time depicting observations from a time of ignorance....or simply being a recording of ancient myths. People always want to read things into discoveries that aren't proven and may never be proven. I suppose it's fun to imagine the possibilities, but it is very premature to assume conclusions.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    April 1, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    ex. It seems to me that things change, and people also. And, if nothing ever changed, we really wouldn't need continuing revelation, and if Christ's Church stayed the same, we would hardly have claim to His ongoing leadership. Yet, again, your claim seems a little stretchy. I know of no canon (prophets words)that has been dismissed as words of men and not of God. Although, as Moroni says, even the BoM might contain some mistakes of men, still, we don't dismiss the eternal gospel message contained therein.

    As always, I do always appreciate the audacity of those who fall. It's interesting to study your behaviours on this public forum. Some anti-Mormons seem driven to justify how they so easily fell for the dishonesty of others. Oddly, they use dishonesty to do this. Perhaps some feel that, since tehy fell for it, others will too. Interesting. Some also suppose they know more about the LDS faith than the LDS who have faith, and who live it every day. That's also interesting. Where do you think they get this idea? I'm just curious : ) No offense.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 1, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Perhaps these plates are related to the Kinderhook plates.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    April 1, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    The significance of a find like this is not lost on faithful LDS, but it doesn't really mean much in terms belief. Even if the gold plates were found here in the Americas, and for that matter, the sword of Laban, and the skull of a curelom, and a horse and chariot, or the exact location of the city of Zarahemla--the naysayers will still find a reason not to believe. It is because belief in scripture should never be based solely upon archaeology or for that matter physical evidences. Even spiritual evidence, insights and impressions felt from God, only go so far. Ultimately the ability to believe in scriptures comes with a willingness to believe--an active choice to be open to the possibility of Divine guidance in life.

    Though signs and wonders abound, there will always be those who refuse to believe simply because they don't want to. So cherish these days when we don't have evidence. They are days of grace.

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    April 1, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    Ah, thanks chachi, I was confusing it with the peep stone JS purportedly used to translate the BOM. It was Brigham Young that related an experience about the sword of Laban being in a cavern in Cumorah.

    Two other notes -
    Myths and doctrines are hard to distinguish in mormonism because, apart from the articles of faith, there is nothing to distinguish the two. Scripture is open to interpretation. Words of the prophets are often later dismissed with the phrase "he was speaking as a man". The content of lesson manuals evolves over time. The Church Handbook of Instructions evolves over time. People often say the gospel doesn't change but ask two mormons to define the gospel and you'll get two different answers.

    I'm "ex" because I don't believe in God. Not because of some minutiae of mormon legend but thanks for trying to represent who I am for me in a public forum, I always appreciate that kind of audacity.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2011 6:27 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see what the experts are able to figure out. Hopefully they're not forgeries. But the way this world is, there is always that chance. We'll just have to wait and see.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 1, 2011 6:10 a.m.

    Re: ex missionary

    If the sword of Laban were in a vault and if it were to be analyzed by scientists it wouldn't change the testimony of a single believer, and it wouldn't convert a single ex-member.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 31, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    This doesn't prove the Book of Mormon to be true, but ever since the Book of Mormon was first published, the claim about metal plates has been mocked and used as an evidence that the Book of Mormon isn't what it claims to be. Now that other matal plates have been discovered, the mockers will go into denial and say it doesn't mean anything. On another comment board, someone even said that this latest discovery is a hoax put there by Mormons! "The place called Nahom" and "chiasmus" and so many other supporting evidences cause the mockers to go into denial. Their minds are made up. Why confuse them with the facts?

  • Victor Layton, UT
    March 31, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    Gentile - Read the Book of Mormon and you will quickly find out.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    March 31, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    No, ex missionary, you've failed to distinguish between Mormon myths and the actual doctrines of Mormonism. Perhaps that's why you now identify as an "ex."

    By the way, isn't it funny that Joseph Smith made up a story about ancient peoples from Jerusalem keeping their religious records on metal plates bound together by rings and sealing portions of them, none of which anyone at the time had ever heard of, and happened to be right? Weird coincidence, I guess.

  • Gentile brookings, SD
    March 31, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    What is the sword of laban? Just asking.

  • armchairQBonthehill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    I've never seen the plates or hefted them either, but I know they are real.

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    March 31, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    Independent - doesn't the church have the sword of laban in a vault or something? it would be interesting if they let scientists analyze it wouldn't it?

  • BOY BLUE South Salt Lake, UT
    March 31, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    There are metal plates in early Christianity period.

  • attentive Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    For Patriot: The Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly.

    Knowing that we all keep our own records and journals and diaries means that other people living at the time of Christ did too. More evidence of His existence and work do not lessen our knowledge, but increases it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 31, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    Oh but I thought the bible was complete???

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    March 31, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    Hmmm, how interesting! Metal plates with a sealed portion. If my memory serves me correct, isn't there some religion out there that claims its scripture to have been translated from metal plates and that it had a sealed portion? ;)

  • shellperson Centerville, UT
    March 31, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    It sounds like there is a lot of the classic "NIH" (not invented here) going on. I look forward to a follow-on article that might clear things up.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    March 31, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    Reading this article makes me wonder if any significant archeological finds that are religious in nature can ever be made public for what they really are. They could find the Golden Plates and the Sword of Laban, and they'd still find a way to explain it away. What's the point?

    I hope I'm around when Jesus comes back. It will be interesting to hear the explanations from scientists.

  • Silly Rabbit Magna, UT
    March 31, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    Cool story its neat to hear when items like these are found, things of this nature are often not talked about very often. Archeology is a strange buisness as many finds are not shared by the main stream media. If these plates are real it will be interesting to read what is written on them, and even more interesting to see if we ever hear what is on them.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 31, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    Wow... all the interesting and controversial info in the article... and all we get is one grammar critic denouncing it?

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    There are several grammatical errors in this article. Did the Deseret News get rid of all their copy editors when they restructured recently? I've noticed this in many of the articles since the restructure took place.