Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: The Peruvian model

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • MrNirom1 Portland, OR
    March 2, 2015 10:11 a.m.

    So.. who occupied MesoAmerica? MesoAmerica is where the Nephites and converted Lamanites from South American went when they boarded the ships that Hagoth built and sailed north.

    "....THIRTY AND SEVENTH YEAR... there was a large company of men, even to the amount of five thousand and four hundred men, with their wives and their children, departed out of the land of Zarahemla into the land which was northward."

    And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward.

    And in the THIRTY AND EIGHTH YEAR, this man built other ships. And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward.

    And it came to pass in the THIRTY AND NINTH YEAR of the reign of the judges, ....Corianton had gone forth to the land northward in a ship, to carry forth provisions unto the people who had gone forth into that land."(Alma 63:4-10)

    Too much time & energy has been spent on MesoAmerica as the Book of Mormon lands. Go South!

  • MrNirom1 Portland, OR
    March 2, 2015 9:27 a.m.

    Chachi said: Where's the sea to the east? The Atlantic Ocean, 2,700 miles away and across the Brazilian rainforest? Where's the narrow neck of land?

    With most of the land east of the Andes more or less underwater, the land was what is now west of the Andes. Chileans, even today, call their country an island. According to the scientific findings of the deep sea drilling vessel, Glomar Challenger, Panama was not connected to Colombia in recent times, and Darwin himself claimed his findings of the Andes mountains told him that land eastward was underwater in very recent times and the Atlantic Ocean reached the Andes Mountains. This particular land mass west of present day Andes, is separated north and south by the very large Bay of Guayaquil along the southern Ecuadorian border. If the Andes Mountains are the mountains Samuel the Lamanite claimed rose up, “whose height is great,” then the Sea East would have been about 30 miles from the east end of this Bay. As a footnote, the idea of an earthquake lasting three hours (3 Nephi 8:19), is beyond imagination—there has never been an earthquake recorded for more than a minute or two.

  • MrNirom1 Portland, OR
    Feb. 23, 2015 7:45 p.m.

    Heber C. Kimball related thus: "During the ceremonies of the dedication an angel appeared and sat near Joseph Smith Sen., and Frederick G. Williams, so that they had a fair view of his person. He was tall, had black eyes and white hair and stooped shoulders and his garment was whole, extending to near his ankles, on his feet he had sandals. He was sent as a messenger to accept of the dedication. Frederick had in his pocket a piece of paper which he carried to take notes on. On this he wrote in pencil: "John the Beloved"--then a space followed and a few lines written in another language. A large space followed and then at the bottom of the page he wrote the following revelation: "The course that Lehi traveled from the city of Jerusalem to the place where he and his family took ship: They traveled nearly south, southeast direction until they came to the nineteenth degree of north latitude. Then nearly east to the Sea of Arabia; then south, southeast direction and landed on the continent of South America in Chili, thirty degrees south latitude."

  • Alberta Reader Magrath, Alberta
    Nov. 17, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    You have made my point as well as missed my point.

    The point you made is that beleif in the Bible or BofM is a matter of faith (but beleif can be confirmed through the witness of the Holy Ghost.)

    These scriptures have always been about what the message is more than where it took place. The message being the importance of Jesus Christ and a testimony of His mission as the Saviour to all mankind.

    Yes there is a historical starting point for the Bible agreed. The point you seemed to have missed is despite this clear historical starting point for the Bible, it has not changed the world to Christians, even if the bible teaches no one can be saved except through the Saviour Jesus Christ. That is quite a statement to be made isn't it?
    It should catch everyone on this earths attention but it doesn't.
    So again physical evidence does not produce a beleif or testimony but faith then translated into action does.
    You agree the Bible has a historical starting point you have used your 2 comments but I ask you as well. Is your life different because of the Bible?

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    I'm disappointed, not surprised, that BoM critic desperation again slides to knowingly misstating. Still love yall but faith is challenging exercise, and those yet unable to recognize God's voice needn't close minds or run (former critics are missed : )).

    Stay, and rejoice with us in the impending death of another anti-scholar deception absolutely no geography no cities etc.

    There is already mountainous BoM evidence.
    This supports the Bible and Gods reality (check Mike, Comments, FAIR, FARMS, etc, for dna, translation, places, etc (could repeat that every week)).

    All anti faith articles will eventually be added to that evidence mountain.

    Those with malice: join us in improving the world.
    Destroying LDS faith in the Christ of the Bible and BoM isn't productive.

    ex check FAIR or wiki "white skins."

    Some LDS leaders explained the BoM isn't comprehensive history, Mike, BoM etc agree. Its spiritual genealogy leaving much out. Still very real historical people and places.

    Even with absolute evidence, or none, prayer is the path to life changes.

    Testimonies, evidence etc, hopefully spark that ultimate open inquiry.

    ?: Maya centered around unique Golgotha/temple/Eden Cross/tree with Olmec Laman Baallike twists.

    Howd they know details?

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Nov. 17, 2010 5:15 a.m.


    An unfair comparison.

    to paraphrase, you say that that both belief in the BOM and Jesus requires faith and not historical evidence.


    But you seem to gloss over the facts here.

    There is evidence of cities, civilizations etc that are written in the Bible. The Bible is a collaboration of peoples writings about KNOWN actual places. Faith is certainly needed to take it from there.

    The BOM? No known places. No known civilizations.

    Written by one guy.

    Everything in the BOM must be taken on faith.

    There is not a historical starting point as in the Bible.

    You assertion that both require faith is true.

    What you omit is that all would agree that the Bible has a historical starting point.

    The BOM? not so much. 100% faith is needed

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    Nov. 17, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    i had forgotten how lame this comment system is. let's see if the censors let this get through.

    Ash's article brought up "progressive modifications" and the idea that there were no white ancient americans. I was only criticizing his positions. this comment system filtered out the quotation marks for some reason so it made my original message difficult to understand.

    And, for alberta reader, historical evidence for the bible and bom are not analagous. the bom purports to tell the story of a lost civilization. the existence of the major cultures and cities of the bible has never been in question. so yeah, reliable evidence proving the existence of bom people would make a huge difference. no one's holding they're breath though.

  • Alberta Reader Magrath, Alberta
    Nov. 16, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Have followed your comments for sometime now.
    What would have me believe?
    You seem to want and continue to ask for CONCRETE EVIDENCE. I ask the same I have asked others how would you change if concrete evidence were produced?
    Many that don't believe JS or the BofM admit to the evidence based on archeology for the bible. I am not aware of a single person that I have come across in my life that has felt compelled to believe in Jesus Christ change his/her life and become a Christian because of historical evidence for the Bible.

    BofM is the same way the Church could have the golden pates on display at Temple Square and I am certain convert baptisms into the church would not change at all.
    Would you reactivate if the plates were on display?

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Nov. 16, 2010 8:28 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said,
    "When Christ walked the Earth he didn't go to the Learned and most knowledgeable Jews."
    Wrong remise, What Peter is saying that these are simply the unlearned that have not been taught basic apostolic teaching and could be easily lead astray by ignorant and unstable people who distort scripture, as they do other scriptures, to their own destruction. This is about future false prophets and teachers."
    "The Father has always spoken to us through prophets (Amos 3:6) so why not now"?
    Mormonism distorts the scriptures,answer.
    "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John"(the Baptist) (Mt 11:13) God, who at sundry times and divers manners spake in the time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His son..."(Hebrews 1:1,2)
    Re: Truth,Skin color has nothing to do with Salvation. (Acts 8:27-38)Is the story of a Ethiopian(a black man)becoming a Christian.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 16, 2010 6:57 p.m.

    The 4th line of my preivious comment should read:

    that does NOT mean their content is true to the original source, Isaiah.

    RE: Idaho Coug | 8:50 a.m

    I am going by what was actually written not your "opinion" of what was written.

    RE: ex missionary | 1:51 p.m

    there WERE and ARE fair jews, most were and are not dark middle eastern types, just loook at the jews in Europe, russia, and america they were all QUITE fair and most were able blend in to the populations.

    the notion that jews and hebrews were dark people is just plain wrong.

    "the most correct book" is talking about it's gospel doctines and gospel truths and gospel principles,

    it's gospel content NOT it's grammer.

    grammer does NOT get you closer to God, the gospel principles do.

    and NONE of those things have changed.

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2010 1:51 p.m.

    In science, progressive modifications allow for alterations within a paradigm so long as the paradigm is not destroyed by the modifications and so long as the preponderance of evidence supports the paradigm.

    The basic premise of Mormonism is all or nothing. Either JS had the plates or he didnt, the Nephites existed or they didnt. The so-called truths that the BOM is indeed the word of god and the most correct book do not allow for progressive modifications. It is dishonest for a mormon apologist to claim divine, never changing truths on the one hand but then suggest we give his ideas some slack and allow for error based on the scientific method. You cant have it both ways.

    the assumption that there were once white ancient Americans rests on a misreading of the Book of Mormon

    I cant wait to hear this explanation. The BOM is fairly explicit about skin color and their skin became white like unto the Nephites (3 Nephi 2:15).

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 16, 2010 12:09 p.m.


    Have you ever considered that the so called pale of Christianity (Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox) are wrong and that the interpretation in the Book of Mormon is correct?

    Have you ever considered that the unlearned and unstable that Peter is talking about are the Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox)?

    When Christ walked the Earth he didn't go to the Learned and most knowledgable Jews. He went among those that the learned said were unlearned and unstable. Why would our Heavenly Father pick a meer boy to be his mouthpiece and his prophet of the restoration versus say a knowledgable priest or even the Pope? It is all because they would not listen to the promptings of the Spirit. They would have used for profit the plates and the knowledge presented to them. Father has always spoken to us through prophets (Amos 3:6) so why not now? No one enters into the kingdom of God unless he is baptized with the proper Priesthood Authority and given the Holy Ghost by proper Priesthood Authority. The Bible tells us all about the gathering of Israel in the Last Days. The Book of Mormon gives another testament of Jesus Christ.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Nov. 16, 2010 9:56 a.m.

    BofM Lover said,

    "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    Scripture is understood by the spirit of the Holy Ghost, not by the scholarly
    knowledge of men." True,

    The Holy Ghost, Scripture itself and the Christian Church should be included in the process not privately interpreted by one organization. The BofM prophecy is clearly considered private and false interpretation by the 'pale' of
    Christianity(Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox). Peter warns of such error;
    "As also in all his epistles(Paul),speaking of these things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2Peter 3:16)

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Nov. 16, 2010 8:50 a.m.

    A few thoughts:

    1. Again I commend Mike Ash for supporting his testimony of the BofM with logic and reason. He is willing to diminish traditional LDS myth and this strengthens his credibility.

    2. To Truth and Tera Nova - the argument that lands were changed and cities sunken "therefore who knows what things really looked like" is almost an afront to logic. I believe that writers of the BofM used exaggeration and literary license at times like any writer. Notice that people like Ash who wish to maintain credibility do not even allude to these arguments.

    3. I believe that Nelson's talk is reflective of the fact that LDS leaders focus members on the spiritual benefits of the BofM. They are not saying it is not historical. And today's leaders are largely well versed in avoiding public speculation. JS and BY speculated from the pulpit a great deal and apologists are having to explain some of those comments to this day. Today's leaders focus on spirituality.

    4. Great stuff - from JM and CAT's to Jeff to non-believers we have such a rich spectrum of perspectives. I learn every time I come by!

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Nov. 16, 2010 5:54 a.m.

    "It is more than reasonable to assume that lands described in the Book of Mormon are partially submerged making any approach through geography futile."

    Well, isn't that convenient.

    As I read the comments, it is clear that folks will go to any lengths, regardless of the improbability, to justify what they KNOW through nothing but spiritual guidance.

    In a debate class, you would be laughed out of the auditorium for posing such outlandish explanations.

    But, in the end, I doubt that many, if any of you would leave the LDS Church if some future declaration was given from the pulpit that the BOM does not pertain to actual civilizations.

    How would you all then justify what you so dearly believe in?

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Nov. 16, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    Elder Nelson meant that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ, not to provide a secular history. That doesn't mean that it isn't historical.

    Evidences of the Book of Mormon include 1) the Nahom altar discovered in Saudi Arabia and the geography there that perfectly corresponds to the Lehites' travels, 2) the discovery of gold plates dating from the kingdom of Darius of Persia, kept in stone boxes and inscribed with writing, 3) parallels between ancient American and Near Eastern temple architecture (e.g., compare El Castillo at Chichen Itza to the Pyramid of Djoser), 4) Hebraisms in the text that neither Joseph Smith nor anyone of his day were aware of, such as chiasmus, 5) descriptions of ancient American civilizations far more populous and advanced than what was popularly thought during the 1830s, 6) strong parallels in the Mesoamerican geographical model, centering around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as the narrow neck of land, 6) the claim that ancient Americans built with cement, and 6) the ancient American use of barley.

    See the FAIR site for much, much more.

  • BOM Lover Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 15, 2010 10:02 p.m.


    The prophecy is about Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria.
    The LB paraphrase gives a clear view of the prophecy.


    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Scripture is understood by the spirit of the Holy Ghost, not by the scholarly knowledge of men.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 7:10 p.m.

    RE: cmtam

    Niether teh septuagint nor the deaD sea scrolls are oroginal sources,

    as written hundreds of years after Isaiah lived.

    While you may be able certify the translation of those LATER documents,

    that does mean their content is true to the original source, Isaiah.

    "a marevelous work and wonder" is more than just the BOM, BOM is just a part of that.

    REGARDING the Puruvian/chilean theory,
    there are "seas" to the east, very large lakes at souther end peru and in chile,

    many citees were sunk and there are cities on the west coast of south america found under the ocean,

    But fact we don't know the EXTENT of the change to lands,

    could seas have change size?
    been moved up in altitude?

    could rivers have change direction? gotten smaller? be under the ocean now?

    if citles sunk, how much land sunk also?
    and how much raised?

    did the narrow neck get wider?
    did it sink?

    is the east sea now a bay? the narrow neck now it entrance?

    sunken ruins have been found off of cuba, bimini, and the west coast of south america.

    did BOM_peoples build stone cities?

    if_not, what would there be_to_find?

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Nov. 15, 2010 5:42 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said,"We also know that the N.T. was written in Hebrew before it was ever written in Greek. Wrong,"Joseph Smith,...studied "Hebrew and Greek" in an attempt to come closer to the original language of the Bible." see, Fair LDS.
    Why is the JST not considered a standard work?
    The Isaiah of the JST is refuted by the (Septuagint 250 B.C,),The Dead Sea Scrolls(150 BC-70A.D.) and the Masoretic text about the 10th century A.D.

    "A Marvelous work and Wonder" which is not a prophecy of the BoM.
    A better translation. "Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise" and will hide the understanding of the prudent. "(Is 29;14 Septuagint). Paul explains in (1Co 1:19)(God)"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise."
    The prophecy is fulfilled in that the Jews reject Christ see verse 18,.."the cross is to them that perish foolishness"... The pericope of (1Cor 18-31) explains, "The Gospel is Not earthy wisdom.",nothing to do with the BoM.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Nov. 15, 2010 5:29 p.m.

    "You can invite a friend to read the Book of Mormon. Explain that it is not a novel or a history book."

    Russell M. Nelson, Oct. Conference 2010

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 2:26 p.m.

    Fifth model: More ruins found underwater indicate that the landscape has changed a LOT since the days of Lehi.

    (See 3 Nephi 9:4-8 for examples of six named cities which sank at a time of great storm and earthquake.)

    It is more than reasonable to assume that lands described in the Book of Mormon are partially submerged making any approach through geography futile.

    Some of the most recently discovered ruins are half a mile deep. (Discovery Channel aired a special highlighting these finds)

    In the end, there is a lot we do not know and talk about where-or-when this-or-that occurred is nothing more than supposition and speculation. Unless it is your vocation, it is not worth spending too much time on - or taking a hard position.

  • BoiseSuperBlue Twin Falls, ID
    Nov. 15, 2010 1:59 p.m.


    I found the article (Clayton E. Ray, "Pre-Columbian Horses from Yucatan," Journal of Mammalology 38 1957) and it states that fossilized horse teeth were found. From the article, "Clayton E. Ray believes "that the fossil teeth were of Pleistocene age".

    Keep in mind these teeth were fossilized which means that they are at least several hundreds of thousands of years old (it takes at least that amount of time to completely fossilize). Also keep in mind that the Pleistocene period was approximately 2.5 million years ago.

    Cats, nothing in this study shows that the Mayans rode horses. In fact, FARMS and FAIR now take the position that horses in the BoM refer to deer or tapirs. Even FAIR and FARMS do not believe the Nephites/Lamanites rode horses.

    Finally, you seem to indicate that the Mayans are somehow related to the BoM. There is no evidence to support this and many, if not most, current apologists agree that the Mayans were in noway associated with the BoM. There just isn't any evidence.

  • I Bleed Blue (Boise Blue) Twin Falls, ID
    Nov. 15, 2010 1:39 p.m.


    I tried to find citations for your horse tooth story about Carnegie fellows, Pollock and Ray. I can't find a citation. Do you have one for us? Why didn't you give a citation in your last comment? I would greatly appreciate a citation. thanks

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 1:05 p.m.


    In 1957, Carnegie fellows, Pollock and Ray, discovered two partially mineralized horse teeth at Ch'en Mul, Yucatan at the same level as Mayan pottery. Since this didn't fit with the "Siberian Land Bridge Only Theory," they were discarded and were never radiocarbondated.

    In 1977 at the same location, two Mexican scientists discovered horse bones six feet down which were radiocarbondated at 1800 B.C. Pottery ABOVE that level was dated 900-400 B.C. They stated that this was "difficult to explain," These scientists had no awareness, at that time, of the earlier discovery of the teeth. That was too uncomfortable for the Carnegie scientists to report. It needed to be rediscovered.

    BTW, the Siberian Land Bridge Only Theory was officially dumped by the American Anthopological Association in 1999. It just takes a long time for this information to filter out to the schools and the public.

    We have no way of knowing how much other evidence is out there that has been discarded or dismissed because it doesn't fit pre-conceived notions.

    I can't write another post so I hope someone else picks it up.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 15, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    To cmtam: Sorry but we have three different versions of Chapter 29. We also know that the New Testament was written in Hebrew before it was ever written in Greek. Considering the three different versions of the Isaiah Chapter 29 you will find that the Book of Mormon has this same chapter but is considerably longer than the one in the KJV and also Joseph Smith own translation of the same Chapter. This basically means that his translation leaves out what may be Nephi's own interpretations and goes with what the correct translation is. Therefore, you fail to acknowledge that his translation with more verses than yours could be correct because you don't recognize Joseph Smith for who we say he is. Therefore, your translation of the same Chapter is incorrect as the Doctrine and Covenants supports the Book of Mormon and we know that our Heavenly Father through revelation has stated the Book of Mormon is true and correct.

    To Dennis: No member of the Quroum of the Twelve has stated anywhere that the Book of Mormon isn't historical. That is wishful thinking on your part.

  • Juice SLC, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 11:38 a.m.


    I can't seem to find any mention of finding a horse tooth in ancient meso-america. Do you have a citation? Also, if a horse tooth was found I'm sure it was immediately radiometric dated and/or tested genetically and ruled out that it was pre-Columbian.

  • Juice SLC, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 11:26 a.m.

    Cats said, "Every year more and more evidence comes forward."

    Would you please share one of these "evidences" with us?

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 10:49 a.m.

    Dear MormonCowboy: Allen's examples are EXCELLENT. Undiscovered planets are an excellent parallel to this issue.

    Every year more and more evidence comes forward. In addition, there is a lot of evidence that is, unfortunately, discarded without proper examination.

    One example: A horse tooth was found buried very deeply among ancient archaeological items in mesoamerica. They had no explanation for how it could have gotten there and were stumped. They didn't want to bother to go to the expense of studying it, so...they just decided to conclude that somehow the tooth of a modern horse had gotten mixed up among ancient items and they just discarded it. We have no way of knowing how many other examples there are of this sort of thing.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are literally thousands of square miles of unexplored jungle, etc. in central and South America. Slowly but surely, more and more evidence comes forward that supports the BofM. No matter how much deniers try to ignore it, it is true.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Nov. 15, 2010 10:48 a.m.

    Allen: said," I agree that as of today the "preponderance of evidence" does not support the Book of Mormon being historical. True," Geographical evidences reject the BoM but more important the Bible refutes A Marvelous work and Wonder which is not a prophecy of the BoM.
    A better translation. "Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise" and will hide the understanding of the prudent. "(Is 29;14 Septuagint)
    In(1Cor 1:19 KJV) Paul quotes from the(Septuagint 29:14) "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. The prophecy is about Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria.
    The LB paraphrase gives a clear view of the prophecy.
    therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites and make their wisest counselors as fools.
    Nothing to do with the BoM.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 10:15 a.m.


    "Absence of proof is not proof of absence" is flung around as a convenient dodge of the hard questions surrounding the Book of Mormon, let me ask this: What exactly would constitute proof of absence (of evidence supporting the Book of Mormon)? Tell us exactly what would be necessary to show that the Book of Mormon stories do not accurately portray ancient New World history and events.

    The hard truth is that absence of proof is proof of absence after 200 years of intense archaeological study, linguistic study, anthropological study and recent genetic testing, etc.

    Further, there is an absence of evidence for a great many things which no rational human beings believe in. If I theorize that space aliens named Zorgs occupied the earth 1,000,000 years ago and there is no evidence for that theory, is it reasonable for me to complain, "Hey, absence of proof is not proof of absence"? Or would you dismiss me as irrational? See, in a different context that cliche no longer sounds so good, does it?

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:50 a.m.


    That's not exactly a great comparison. Not having evidence for planets millions of light years away from earth, in a universe we have explored less than a fraction of 1% of is understandable. Not having evidence for the Book of Mormon peoples on earth, and on continents that have been heavily explored and continually inhabited, etc, is a bit more discouraging. True, we haven't explored everything, and there still remains a possibilty - but with each year and each new discovery plausibility decreases. To say we haven't even scratched the surface on the universe would be quite an understatement, on the other hand.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    I would also be interested in the two members of the 12 who have stated that the Book of Mormon is not historical. I follow General Conference talks quite closely, and that does not ring any bells for me.

    If they said something that can be interpreted in that way. I am interested.

    The First Principle of the Gospel is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a lot of evidence that the Book of Mormon is historical, but no proof. I don't think that is an accident. Wouldn't proof kind of negate the importance of Faith?

    Evidence can be interpreted in different ways. Some see it with a foundation of Faith. Others view it with skepticism. The evidence hasn't changed. Just the way we approach it.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    Denis (7:06 A.M.):
    I can't find any evidence of this. I am aware of statements made by Church leaders, as well as Book of Mormon authors, that the intent of the book was not to be a secular history, but a "spiritual" history - but this was not to suggest that events didnt actually happen.

    Practically speaking, the most plausible conclusion for any model would be that the Lehites landed somewhere along the east coast(s) of North or South America, and then migrated from there. That at least precludes a strict position on limited geography. More problematic however is the circular conflict in any model that does not include the northern continent. We have no tangible evidence of the nephites, just geography that kind suits conditions mentioned the BoM. Mormons take on faith a belief in the revelations from Joseph Smith that were said to bring about the BoM. Zelph can be interpreted as nothing other than a revelation - yet most of the alternative theories dismiss this account. You can't selectively choose from Joseph Smiths revelations to make a reasonable case. If you question Zelph, you have to question the entire Bom.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Otis, I agree that as of today the "preponderance of evidence" does not support the Book of Mormon being historical, but we need to remember that the lack of something does not prove anything. For example, going back 20 years ago, there was no evidence that planets existed outside our solar system. Today we have evidence of about 500 planets that do exist outside our solar system. Today, there are an awfully lot of parallels between the BoM and ancient America but no actual evidence. But, who knows what will happen in the future. It would be helpful to all of us if you and others advocating your view would soften your statements a bit and say something like, "Today, the evidence does not support the Book of Mormon as a historical document, and I don't believe future research will bring forth such evidence." This would change the focus of our discussion from the Book of Mormon is or isn't a historical document to the question of whether future research will bring forth actual evidence of the Book of Mormon being historical or not. I think this would be a healthy change of focus.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    Michael Ash wrote:

    " In science, progressive modifications allow for alterations within a paradigm so long as the paradigm is not destroyed by the modifications and so long as the preponderance of evidence supports the paradigm."

    Michael, the "preponderance of evidence" does not support the BoM being historical. According to the above criteria, as set forth in your article, one can objectively conclude the BoM is not historical.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    Dennis, can you give us more details about the two members of the 12. Were they speaking in General Conference? In Stake conferences? If their comments are online, I would like to find them to study the context of what they said.

    As I understand the situation, the LDS church has always maintained that the BoM is a historical document. Individual members of the 12 can give their opinions about the BoM, but they can't change the position of the church. Only the President an do that. So, until the President says the BoM is not a historical document, and says it in a way that indicates he is speaking for the church and not just giving his individual view, articles such as this one are appropriate. We all need to be aware that Ash is not saying where the BoM people lived. He is just reviewing the various ideas or models that have been proposed.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 8:54 a.m.

    Thanks Mike.

    I think Mike is discussing models, not finalizing.

    Narrow passage/pass, strip, neck, aren't identical, but matching features exist in Mesoamerica etc.

    @all especially Christians. Enjoy your comments.
    The BoM is a powerful independent witness for the Biblical Christ. Please dont put blind faith in negative accusing sources.
    You cant honestly educate yourselves about truly Christian LDS without trusting LDS sources.

    If you only read Mike you still know that anti-LDS sources, including some Churches, are generally misleading in principle.
    Why trust eternal decisions to that?
    Pray, study all things, trust God.

    After seeking, I found LDS are closest to Biblical and ancient Christianity.

    BoM support is mountainous.

    Separated IAmericans witnessing of Christ add crucial testimony to others.
    Evidence that Maya knew detailed ancient Christian symbolism supports Christs Divinity.

    Join us in witnessing of His Divinity. God, begotten, once man, now exalted, who visited His other sheep, sent His Gospel to every creature, and restored it.

    Why fight Him, like Saul?

    from lw DSscrolls are post Babylonian rewriting. Evidence indicates PoGP etc contain ancient stories unknown to JS, and later changes are often miraculously same verses. Check FAIR, FARMS, Mike for translation questions.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Nov. 15, 2010 7:06 a.m.

    Two members of the 12 have said from the pulpit this last year that the BoM was not a "historical" record.
    Why are you working so hard to make it such? Honest question, just looking for an honest answer.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Nov. 15, 2010 6:13 a.m.

    This article leaves unanswered what seems to me to be the biggest problem with a Peruvian setting for the Book of Mormon: Where's the sea to the east? The Atlantic Ocean, 2,700 miles away and across the Brazilian rainforest? Where's the narrow neck of land? Panama? The narrow neck of land is supposed to be in the middle of the Book of Mormon lands, separating the land northward from the land southward, but if the Book of Mormon is centered around Peru, then the narrow neck of land is 1,300 miles to the north.

    Contrary to featuring "a narrow neck of land and a mostly reasonable internal map," the Peruvian setting seems to bear no resemblance at all to the geography described in the Book of Mormon.