Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Mesoamerican model: Evidences and anomalies

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  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Feb. 24, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    @the truth
    You might consider reading "Eastern North America as an Independent Center of Plant Domestication". Many people still think that domestic plants were imported to the north, but that is not entirely correct. Also, your claim that the land bridge theory has long been discredited is troubling. Have you read the research and data of Dr. Ugo Perego? He is an outstanding BYU scientist.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    JM: I agree with Joggle in nearby clearfield.

    Most of my family are Mormons, I go to Jazzs games with my bother-in-law who is a Bishop. I take the older Mormon family members to the Doctors office and the mall. I attend dinners and anniversaries with several wards,(non-church functions.) They know that I and others in the family have left the church most of us attending Christian churches. They do not consider me Anti-Mormon, butthey know I do not believe JS is a prophet. There is a difference.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 24, 2011 2:31 p.m.


    Please realize that most people presenting opposing statements and opinions here do so with honest intentions. They simply disagree with yours! Many of the statements and opinions have been investigated and researched from various reliable sources which perhaps you haven't located, but believe me...they do exist as much as yours do! Please refrain from using ad hominems as it's not conducive to civil discourse. It would be much appreciated and would make these exchanges a much better experience for all of us.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 24, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    RE: cmtam | 3:25 p.m.

    ALL the documents you mentioned were written long after the events recorded or the person lived who supposedly wrote them,

    or worse just translations of later documants,

    while those translations may be correct,

    That does NOT mean the content is correct to the original sources.

    The ONLY way you can show that the JST translations are incorrect is you must have the orginal sources,

    NONE exist! All we have are documents that were written much later,

    and there is no way to prove their content is correct.

    NOT any of you ANTI's BOM dislbleivers have sho us wwhre mayan came from.

    THe oldest and most advanced civilization is in south amerca, and civilization gets younger as move north!

    which means civilzation in america started in the south NOT the north.

    The land bridge theory has been long ago discredited. IF it were so, the oldest and most advance civilization should be in the north.

    They are not.

    So where did the mayans, incans, etc. come from?

    why not from the jaredites?

    The BOM is a possible answer.

    (FYI "reformed egyptian" is_a description, NOT the_name_or_language, and ancient_american_cultures written_languages are heiroglyphic in_nature_and_style)

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    The five questions asked by Christ in a priesthood interview are absolutely preposterous! Since women are not eligible for the LDS priesthood, so much for the biblical concept of being a Royal Priesthood and being joint Heirs in salvation.

    Also what about Paul, he fails miserably in the first two questions. No wife, and since he was celibate, no children. Will Christ relegate him to the telestial kingdom or since he can faithfully answer the last three, will he be promoted to the terrestrial kingdom? Orwill Christ embrace Paul, and in the words of Matt. 25:23 say well done good and faithful servant. I know the results, anything else is amazing hubris.

  • The Milk Beast Herriman, UT
    Feb. 24, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    I loved the above post that had the quote from David O' Mckay about the questions Jesus will ask each and every one of us when we meet Him face to face. It really shows you that there are only a few things that are important in this life. Namely, how you treat your spouse, your children and if you are kind and honest in your dealings with each other.

    Everything else is just not important. Reading many of these comments makes me wonder how much time has been wasted on focusing, debating and arguing on things the Savior doesn't care about, like whether the Book of Mormon is historical. Such a waste of precious time.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Feb. 23, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    JM,you have a responsibility to investigate, after all your salvation stands or falls on JS.

    The dead sea scrolls refute the JST of Genesis. THE JST adds over 125 verses to the first 6 chapters of Genesis. The Septuagint, Dead scrolls and Masoretic Text all refute the JST.
    The Great Isaiah Scroll, After all variations are noted and taken into account and the reasons for them (lapses, spelling errors, simple human error in copying, dialectical difference, Aramaic environment etc.) are understood then
    it is easy to say with confidence that the Q text is substantially the same as the received text of the Book of Isaiah that we now read in our English Bible.
    JS makes hundreds of change to Isaiah and in chapter 29 he even adds prophecies of him and the Bom. Just two examples,Can you rely on the JST?(P.of G.P. Moses)

  • Everybody Wang Chung Tonight Riverton, Utah
    Feb. 23, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Pickle Juice,

    I love your theory. It is much better than all the other theories in explaining the complete lack of any evidence. Just give it a little time and it will catch on.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    So, anti-Mormons: How do you justify being so dishonest? EVERY time ive investigated your comments youve been dishonest, outright lying etc.

    Youve been given numerous evidences (DNA, History, miraculously impossible Mayan religious symbolism found in the ME (only posted tidbits of that, the main course is far better, and overwhelming), etc.

    Most of you once had the Spirit bear witness, yet you deny Him, and some now KNOWINGLY fabricate, hoping someone might fall for it, as you did.

    Even if you didnt know you were lying, you STILL have a responsibility to investigate, before loudly attacking LDS faith (especially since youve been shown repeatedly that anti sources are dishonest also).

    The Bible explains that lying about people is hating them.

    Spreading hate and darkness like this cannot be good for you. For your sakes, rethink.
    Stillluvya : )

    ON TOPIC: The more I read about Mesoamerica, everything found etc...WOW!!! Gives goose bumps. I already know its true, the Spirit testifies to ALL, but its so thrilling to see the places&things.

    Thanks Mike, again, for the articles, and the links to further enlightenment.

    What youre doing has to be good for you, and all who read with open hearts. : ) : ) : )

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 22, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    The Apostle Paul, A man is not a Jew if he is one outwardly ,nor circumcision merely outward and physical, No a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is a circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, not by written code, Such a mans praise is not from men but from God.(Romans 2:28- 29) The true sign of belonging to God is not outward but a regenerated heart.

    Brigham Young, Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you nay. If a Jews comes into this Church and the blood of Judah is in his veins he will apostatize.(JoD.. V. 7 pp 290-291)

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 7:15 p.m.

    Great article Mike.

    Took the kids skiing yesterday, and wasn't surprised that there were no anti-Mormons making stuff up this week. They never would do that, and are always honest and open minded in their assessments. Anything less would be hateful and beneath them, right??? : ) ; )

    I just read more from cumorah. Always enjoy. I didn't know we've known so much for so long (Sorenson etc). I knew Mesoamerica fit in detailed miraculous ways,a nd of course knew the evidences were mountainous (as I've mentioned)but didn't know so many of the details had been worked out. (even iron, narrow pass etc etc. Awesome!!!

    I also did some Bible reading (Ezek47, Numbers etc) and how they mapped their lands and checked Google earth (before reading about the directions in Hebrew and Mesoamerican), if they marked from summer solstice like izapans... : )

    This is an heritage that IP are proud of, and should be. Not only are the founders of a great civilization, but some of their ancestors founded another. And God gave this Land to them, as they know, and if we Gentiles are to stay we must be adopted into Lehi's family. : )

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    I am curious how at times prophets seem to get very specific answers from the Lord. Pres McKay was able to know what questions, and the order of those questions, Jesus would ask us in an interview when we die. Pretty impressive. Why can't a current prophet today give us a straight answer on homosexuality being genetic or not. Pres Ukdorf said we don't know...and that we may never know.

  • Mormon in Michigan Detroit, MI
    Feb. 22, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    In another article today from the D-News about what questions the Savior will ask us when we meet Him face to face. Notice how there is no mention of Book of Mormon by the Savior.

    "Let my assure you, brethren, that some day you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior, himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.

    First, he will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife.

    Second, he will want an accountability report about each of your children individually.

    Third, he will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.

    Fourth, he will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had.

    Fifth, he will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.

    Sixth, he will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country and the world."
    President David O. McKay

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 6:01 p.m.


    I appreciate your testimony and someday I hope that you will be able to appreciate testimonies that are different than yours.

    Testimonies are personal and between that person and the Lord. NOBODY has the right to say that someone's testimony is not as valuable in the eyes of the Lord. To do so shows a lack of understanding of the Savior and why we are here on earth.

    Bill, the Church is filled with people who have served missions, married in the temple and hold temple recommends who do not believe the BoM is historical. Elder Holland recently acknowledged that there are many people firmly in this Church who do not believe the BoM is historical.

    Bill, as I have said before, I know the BoM is not historical because I have prayed about it, pondered it and studied it. I am also an active member of the Church who holds a temple recommend.

    Also, I know that the Savior is pleased with me and the type of person that I am striving to become by following his teachings. I also know that the Savior doesn't care at all about the historicity of the BoM.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 22, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    To Aaazzz: There is a difference between being historical and being historically accurate.

    To Searching:

    Proof is in the cover of the Book of Mormon itself. The Burden of Proof still is not on the Church. What we have said and how it is said comes straight from the Lord himself. He has stated flat out that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is and was a prophet of God. Just because you want absolute proof from science, which is not going to happen, because we must take it on Faith.

    Faith is the deciding factor. Nothing else matters.

    Yes, still wasting time but hey have to be somewhere.

  • aaazzz Murray, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska,
    Who has failed to prove that the BoM is not historically accurate. There are loads of things that are inconsistent with Western Hemishepere biology that are well documented.

    Just askin:)

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Feb. 22, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska
    I did not call the Indians west of Missouri "Jews", Jesus did in D&C 57:4. Also, the use of the term "literal descendent of Abraham" means from father to son, etc through Isaac and Jacob. DNA should show this but doesn't. Instead it shows direct lines from Asia. Again, it is not my words, it is the words of the Angel Moroni and of Jesus. However one wishes to apply the words of the Lord in D&C 57:4, it still must mean from father to son from Abraham. And the DNA absolutely fails to demonstrate this.

    I have no problem with the BofM when one applies faith in believing it. But there is a huge problem when attempts are made with science that does not support it.

    Razzle2 had stated that the American Indians being from BofM people was an idea of men. He or she clearly is not aware of the canonized words of the Lord in LDS scripture, or of the words of the Angel Moroni.

    These are issues that apologists fail to properly address. As I have said before, LDS apologists are not to be trusted.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    Bill, I thought that you were tired of wasting time with these types of arguments. Your personal testimony is not a proof to anyone but you and it does not mean that others can, have, and will receive different answers to Moroni's challenge. I'm not questioning your experience; I'm sure what you felt was strong and reassuring. But for me to accept yours, you also need to accept mine and all of the other who have received opposing answers or no answer at all.

    To be objective, the challenge needs to be testable and reproducible with a statistically significant outcome. That has not yet been done.

    The onus of proof is really still on the church. I have no reason to trust Smith and 11 of his friends/family about the plates. Show me something objective. If it is true, that shouldn't be hard.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 22, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    To Michael M and others:

    First to Skeptic: The LDS Church is not trying to prove the Book of Mormon. That proof has already been given in that it is a translation by Joseph Smith of a HISTORICAL record of God's dealing with ancient Americans in this hemisphere. That is what we say and that is what we know, that it is a translation of Golden Plates. Now it is the critics that are the ones that are trying to disprove it and all have failed.

    First off to be the lineage of Abraham you do not have to be Jew. There first is and foremost a Hebrew Nation. Jew did not come forth until we read more about the HOUSE OF JUDAH. The HOUSE OF JOSEPH is not Jewish but a part of the Hebrew nation. Therefore, one can be Hebrew and not Jewish but one who is Jewish is Hebrew. A huge difference.

    The Book of Mormon perpetuates that it is a historical record and another testament to the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

    The Spirit will not tell some it is historical and others that it isn't. That just WILL NOT HAPPEN.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    "...all Native Americans are literal descendents of the original Lehi and Mulek groups just isn't told in the BoM. This idea is 19th or 20th century.
    If we accept that other people migrated to this continent long before, during, and/or after the BoM than the whole DNA question is no longer."

    Do you believe the words of Jesus?

    D&C 57 is quite interesting. Verse 1 makes it the words of the Lord, not Joseph Smith, not Joseph Smith's word choice. In verse 4, Jesus even calls the American Indian people residing west of Missouri "Jews".

    Do you believe the words of an angel?

    Joseph Smith's journal for 1835-1836 on page 25 tells us what the angel Moroni said:

    "he [Moroni] said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham"

    "Literal descendant of Abraham" means Jews. Did Jesus lie?

    If people migrated to America long before, do you realize that you must discard the belief in a universal flood?. All DNA evidence supports the Asian migrations of more than 10,000 years ago. Are you comfortable with the idea of humans not from Adam and Eve being the American Indians?

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Jax you are forgetting another likely scenario: God is deliberatley hiding or obscuring objective evidence. That is why there is no DNA or archeologigal evidence. But why the anachronisms? Easy, its a trial of our faith.

    God certainly could reveal the same concepts to BOM prophets as he did to New Testament prophets. Why would he do it verbatim KJV New Testament?

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    While I can respect Ash's attempts to reconcile the Book of Mormon with reality, it is frustrating that the most obvious explanation is never considered. When the Book of Mormon is viewed as a 19th century creation that attempts to explain the origin of the Native Americans, all of the questions disappear. The anachronisms disappear. Themes like racism, masonry, infant baptism, and universalism in the Book of Mormon suddenly make perfect sense. Language from the New Testament and Christian phraseology suddenly fit into place. That precise prophecies about Columbus, the constitution, and Joseph Smith suddenly stop in the 19th century starts to make sense. The missing plates, the changing theology, the King James language. We immediately understand why the archeology is missing. We immediately understand why DNA evidence hasn't been uncovered. Everything becomes clear under such a theory. Please at least consider the one theory that does answer the questions.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    A man in my ward years ago told me the BoM was true,I prayed and God told me not to listen to him,and to study the Bible,I did:
    Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people even A Marvelous Work and Wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent men shall be hid. (Is 29:14).

    For it is written, I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise ,and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent(1 Corinthians 1:19)
    Paul is quoting from (Is 29:14), from where God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness; He will remove their discernment from their hearts. Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ.

    A paraphrase gives a good view of Isaiahs prophecy. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB).

    JS mis-used the KJV; not a prophecy of the BoM.
    God gave me my faith(Romans 12:3)and I left Mormonism.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Interesting article on the Mesoamerican Theory. None of these many different theories really matter to me because I know the BoM isn't historical. I know this from many years of study, prayer and pondering.

    Most people don't read the BoM and then say to themselves, "Wow that was an interesting history book." It is not a history book, but a book about Jesus and some good parables.

  • nayajja` Ephraim, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    Yes brokenclay, the anachronisms really are bothersome. Do you realize nobody in 600 BC spoke English? Yet I count hundreds of English words on every page! And there is even a French word in there in one place! And, as you point out, "the book often uses Greek words (Christ, crucify, scourge, church)." How would a person translating a true ancient record into English ever possibly use words such as those?

    And the very idea that God might have revealed to prophets that Christ would be crucified is of course proof that the Book of Mormon is false, because we all know that there are no such thing as prophets and that for that matter there is no such thing as God. I am glad that Mormoncowboy doesn't use any circular logic to accuse Mormons of circular logic.

    And the fact that God revealed to Book of Mormon prophets the same concepts that he later revealed to New Testament apostles is sure proof that the Book of Mormon is false, because God couldn't do that, because God doesn't exist and if he did exist, God wouldn't know those concepts yet, right?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    The evidence is clear, no matter where the BoM took place; there were great nations in Mesoamerica at the same time. The central valleys of Mexico and Guatemala had cities from 500 BC (Monte Alban) to the conquistadors.
    It is possible that the groups came together during the 200 years of peace after Christ, therefore for a small time all becoming Nephites than Lamanites.
    But, the idea that all Native Americans are literal descendents of the original Lehi and Mulek groups just isn't told in the BoM. This idea is 19th or 20th century.
    If we accept that other people migrated to this continent long before, during, and/or after the BoM than the whole DNA question is no longer.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska, You state "We are to take the Book of Mormon on faith and faith alone. For 150 plus years people have tried and tried and have failed to prove it wrong. They have all failed." You have it backwards. For 150 plus years Mormons have tried and tried and have failed to prove the BOM right or true. Mormons swear they know the BOM is true. If you know something is true then you should be able to prove it is true, right. And if you can't prove it then you do not know it, right. Maybe you just think it or believe it; but that is not the same as knowing it, right. Also, history shows Joseph Smith was much smarter and better educated than you give him credit for and at age 21 when he started to write the BOM he was an expeienced and well traveled man in the area were he lived and associated with other learned men. Face the facts and don't try to make things the way you want them to be, it will help you to learn things that you can prove you know.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska: Bruce R. McConkie,"From LDS Revelation, however, we learn that Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known anciently.(D&C. 110:3;Abra. 2:8)." Wrong,
    Catholic Encyclopedia [1913, Vol. VIII, p. 329] states: "Jehovah (Yahweh),the proper name of God in the Old Testament." Had they known about the Q're perpetuum, the term "Jehovah" may have never come in to being.
    Jewish scholars recognize Jehovah to be "grammatically impossible" Jewish Encyclopedia (Vol VII, p. 8).

    The spelling Jehovah appeared first during the 1762-1769 editing of the King James Bible. Hence there is a certain basis to the claim that the transcription Jehovah is nothing but a misunderstanding by Christian translators of Jewish reading traditions."
    JS saw the KJV not Jesus.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    I believe that the point brokenclay is trying to make is that the writers of the BoM are using terms that would be incomprehensible to would-be contemporaries. For example, it is difficult to explain how Nephi would use a term for crucifixion when crucifixion was not widely practiced before the Romans. And even if the concept were given to him in vision, his contemporaries and their ancestors wouldn't know what he was referring to. For a well-explained article on the linguistic arguments, google "packham mormon linguistics".

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    To brokenclay and others. Most of the translations in the Book of Mormon of the teachings of Christ do not actually mirror the literal translation of the Bible. There are numerous differences and there are also simliarities. What you fail to understand is that Joseph Smith didn't completely translate the Book of Mormon via a hat with a stone. We don't know how much of the Book of Mormon this was done with and what parts.

    What we do know is that he couldn't write a coherent sentence or a paragraph much less the Book of Mormon during the time it was written. We do know that he had the plates of brass that contained basically the first five books of OT and the sayings of Isaiah. We also know that the Nephites/Lamanites genealogy went through Joseph not Judah.

    You want proof but when the proof is given you throw it away as if it is nothing. We are to take the Book of Mormon on faith and faith alone. For 150 plus years people have tried and tried and have failed to prove it wrong. They have all failed.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    The Book of MOrmon is realy not as problematatic as you claim. First much of what we find in the NT is infact quoting the OT. Because Lehi had much of the OT it is not strange at all. As for Joseph Smith useing terms that are from the Greek it because the Boof of Mormon is a TRANSLATION not a TRANSLITERATION. The difference being transliteration is word for word were translation is meaning. Because of this you can read Missiah and Christ the frist being the Hebrew and the seconmd Greek both meaning the same thing in English so you can translate either into the term Christ because that is what te English readers would understand. When Translating into Hebrew you will find the term Messiah, in German Christus, Spanish Christo, Chinese Jidu, ect.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    You've missed the point, question mark. We are not debating THAT the OT prophesies of the Messiah; all Christians would agree to that. The point in question is HOW the BoM prophesies of the Messiah. It uses Christian and Greek vocabulary and syntax, which mirror the literal translation in the King James NT. The more of this we find, the higher the probability that the BoM is simply a work of fiction that originated in the 19th century. This is what is meant by anachronism. Joseph Smith imported first century A.D. terminology into a fabricated 6th century B.C. context. The only way Mormons can explain this is to say that God revealed Paul, Peter, and John's language to the American Jews 600 years before those apostles even penned the words! And on top of that, somehow the translation comes out exactly the same as the KJV, even though the BoM is translated from reformed Egyptian, and the NT is in koine Greek, with Joseph Smith "translating" out of a hat with a stone. One anachronism leads to some doubt; dozens of them per chapter allows one to dismiss a work out of hand as fiction.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    When people dig for worms in the Holy Land, they make discoveries. The Bible has been proven HISTORICALLY by archaeology, cities, places, coins, clothing, swords, etc., that have been found, but not one single place mentioned in the Book of Mormon has ever been identified. In the mid 1970's, President Spencer W. Kimball made a statement that should have stopped these "faith promoting rumors." The Church News published it and it said to "stop looking for archaeological evidences for the Book of Mormon, for there is none," he said. Perhaps he finally realized that it was too embarrassing to insist on Book of Mormon archaeology since professors in the Church's own University had started to publicly deny that there was any truth to it. Interestingly enough, not any of the important Mormon doctrines of today are in the book that the Church claims "contains the fullness of the everlasting Gospel."

    The Book of Mormon presents problems that cannot be explained away no matter how you twist it! I could go on, but why bother when faith trumps evidence for the LDS.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Mormoncowboy: You don't have to believe Zenos, Neum, and Zenock were prophets, but the atonement of Jesus Christ by way of crucifixion was taught in the Old Testament. The word may or may not have been used specifically, but it was taught. Moses raising the brazen serpent is symbolic of Christ being raised on the cross. Isaiah 53 gives some insights of what Christ would go through. It seems to be that there would been some Jews of Lehi's time who would have known about the Savior and how he would be crucified.

  • aaazzz Murray, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    Thanks for the references. Usually the simplest anwser is the best one.

    I am content with the Book of Mormon even though I believe that we (as a church) will probably never confirm its historical authenticity. The value of its theachings and its gospel are of enough for me to be happy with the book.

    We all have so many worries, that spending all the time and effort spent trying to prove or disprove the Book of Mormon could be much better spent with our families and friends, working to create a more Christ-like atmoshpere in our own lives.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Feb. 21, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    aaazzz, a couple of articles that may be of interest to you are, "The Plates of Brass: A Witness of Christ, by Robert Millet, January, Ensign, 1988," and "The Dead Sea Scrolls: Some Questions and Answers, by Hugh Nibley, Maxwell Institute."

  • DanielAZ Tucson, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Great article! I also look forward to the follow on articles referred to in this story. I know a little about the Mesoamerican model and look forward to learning more. I served a mission for the LDS church in the late 1970's in southern Mexico and was fascinated by Dr. Sorenson's and Dr. Allen's books on this model. The latest (that I know of) journal article by Dr. Sorenson was very interesting and compelling in the similarities between Middle Eastern and Mesoamerican culture. Keep up the good work Mike! Peace to all who read this.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    Of course, again the circular logic abounds. We must take on faith that Zenos, Neum, and Zenock, are all prophets who would have filled in the Greek Christian terms, followed up by Christian era theology, in the Old Testament. Though Isaiah has been Christianized, many of the Christian metaphors and allusions (healing in his wings - as an allusion to the crucifixion) are not self-evident. So we appeal to Old Testament Prophets to make a biblical case for The Book of Mormon, forgetting that there is no evidence of these alleged Prophets absent the BoM's says so. It would be quite a feat for the OT to have recieved the surgical precision of being un-Christianized through centuries of translation - while retaining its current level Jewish influence.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Feb. 21, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    I don't know. Where do you find reference that Zenos and Enos, Zenock and Enoch should be the same? If these are the same, who would Neum refer to? It would be interesting to find out.

  • aaazzz Murray, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Enos = Zenoc
    Enoch = Zenoch

    Is that right, or have I been misinformed?

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Feb. 21, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    How would 550BC Jews in America know about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?

    Isaiah and other references to the crucifixion in the Old Testament would be a good place to start, the brass plates Lehi and co. took with them contained Isaiah. The brass plates included other writings of prophets, Zenos, Neum, and Zenock which taught about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (1 Nephi 19:10) Plus they had prophets, who dreamed dreams and had angels appear to them, same as any other Old Testament prophet had happen to them. They practiced the Law of Moses, which law points to the atonement of Jesus Christ.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Yes, many scientific theories have holes in them - but we should bear in mind that these incomplete theories are generally developed to explain observed phenomenon. For example, the History chanel recently had a program where "scholars" were rethinking beliefs that Mayans did not engage in long-distance sea travel. A small Island, several hundred miles off the coast of Chile was discovered to hold many Mayan artifacts. Most of the theories will probably be wrong, just due to the probabilities...but, there is an observed reality (the artifacts on an Island) that lead to reasonable theories. How does this correlate to Book of Mormon archaeology? What are the observed realities? A book, said to have originally been written on Gold Plates, that only a small-town scryer was allowed to look at. The book is written in an overtly New Testament style with heavy Christian themes, by a civilization that holds no empirical ties to pre-Columbian Christianity. Then we have New World archaeology and anthropology, which agenda driven "scholars" try and force a fit. Suffice it to say, one "observation" is only apparent to certain to those with certain religious proclivities, and directly conflicts with the undisputed observations (archaeology).

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    Pickle, that's one of the funniest things I've read in recent times. I've been reading through the Book of Mormon, and I underline all of the anachronisms I find. Perhaps one or two anachronisms per book could be explained, but I'm finding sometimes a dozen or more of them PER CHAPTER. Supposedly this is a translation from reformed Egyptian (whatever that may be), but the structure of the anachronisms resembles a KJV translation from the Greek NT. The portion in 2 Nephi I'm reading has extensive quotes and allusions from Romans and Revelation, among others. Moreover, the book often uses Greek words (Christ, crucify, scourge, church). How do Jews in America in 550 B.C. know what crucifixion is? The text doesn't even explain it. The church was a mystery only revealed in the first century, and yet for some reason we have 6th century B.C. American Jews explaining it in NT detail.

    I will allow you one or two anachronisms per book to explain away. But there are probably thousands in the BoM as a whole. When even critical scholars won't study your book, you know you have problems.

  • OprahwindFury Murray, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    I really don`t understand the controversy. If anyone believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and knew something of the happenings of the Book of Mormon, why not just believe what he said about it???? It is documented in History of the Church as well as other sources in Church archives that the events of the BofM happened in and around the Ohio valley and up around the hill cumorrah . Not to mention the overwhelming archeological evidence namely, the huge forts left behind in the Ohio valley area that just happen to be built exactly as described in Alma. Also the battle mounds filled with the bones of an ancient people. Archeologists call them the Adena (Jaredite) and Hopewell (Nephite). Many of these carbon date to exactly Jaredite and Nephite time lines. I highly recommend the book ancient monuments of the Mississippi valley by Davis and Squier 1847

    Also, how does one explain the "Land of Liberty" in the last days. Or how does one explain that the Promised Land will be the site of the New Jerusalem? Is Ash going to make the arguement that the New Jerusalem will be in Mexico instead Jackson County?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    The Mormon Church has proven resourseful at adapting to change for survival and growth. It has made numerous changes and edits to the written history and doctrine of the church. Perhaps now is the time to rewrite the Book of Mormon to conform with geographical and anthropological realities. A good story is still a good story.

  • Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS Clinton, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    I have a theory that makes much more sense then the Mesoamerican, LGT, Traditional, Malay or the Africa Theory or any of these other theories being put forth.

    Here is my theory. If Lehi and Company had a miraculous compass, I see no reason why they couldnt also have a time machine. So maybe all the anachronisms come from our assumptions about when things actually happened. Maybe the Nephites were transported back 40 million years when the mesohippus was roaming the continent. This theory has the advantage of explaining why no archaeological or DNA evidence has been found from the traditional understanding of Book of Mormon chronology. This also has the advantage of explaining why the continent was empty of people. And, of course, Christ, being resurrected, also could have easily transported himself back in time 40 million years, so all our assumptions about dates keying off the birth or death of Christ are just wrong. Those dates in the BOM were added later and are not in the original BOM, so they could represent just the wrong opinions of men acting under false assumptions.

  • Hyena Murray, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    I see that I have read another article and have not increased my knowledge about the origin on the Book of Mormon.

    In the Book of Mormon Reader the pictures look more like a meso-american setting than any other setting.

  • Everybody Wang Chung Tonight Riverton, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    I have no argument with people who revere the Book of Mormon as a spiritual text, just as I have no problem with people who revere the Bible or the Koran as a spiritual text. I have a problem with believers who insist the Book of Mormon is an ancient Mesoamerican text when such a claim requires disregarding DNA evidence, archaeological evidence, distorting and misleading statements about both the content of the Book of Mormon, and most especially, about Mesoamerican history.

    Mormons, as a people, honor their ancestors. I would like to see them honor the ancestors of Mesoamerica, as well.