John C. Symmes' Hollow Earth Writings

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An example of the type of research that shows Book of Mormon agriculture to be nineteenth century fantasy is David J. Yes it is true that a supermassive black hole will be found at the center of the milky way galaxy as astronomers have observe but remember that they did not confirm the facts as yet because no one has ever seen what is at the center of our galaxy because of the interstellar dust that covers it. I said that because I did not regard the evidence on The Book of Mormon to be equally balanced, I therefore did not believe I was obligated to accept it on faith.

How Many Changes in the Book of Mormons?

I fully believe that all three are one and that Christ is God with skin and born from a virgin…a full virgin. I begged to be excused, choosing to keep the staff in my own hands. If the Nephites and Lamanites used chariots, why wouldn't this extremely valuable idea continue to be used by the descendants of the Ancient Americans? Emily Ratajkowski showcases bare midriff in double denim look as she grabs coffee with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard Something caught your eye, boys? The church we have which you dubbed as mormons has its name. Archived from the original on October 26, Not all things that God has to reveal has already been written even the bible lost much of each pages before it comes to our hands.

Again, thank you for this article. In additional JS freely changed many parts of the text in and At the other end of the spectrum are Brant Gardner and Blake Ostler who essentially attribute the text to inspiration and the seer stone did not convey specific data optically. It is beyond this post to elaborate further, but my personal feeling is that JS received translation information from the stone in English, but it was not the final translation. JS would then be a literal translator, rather than primarily a seer or revelator.

I actually agree with the data that so strongly suggest that he read what he saw. The loose control makes a lot of sense in that it reflects how I have written things over my nearly 30 year career and in education before that.

Skousen stunned me with the evidence of tight control and not only that, but that it is often in early modern English. Why tight control over early modern English? What Joseph read when he put his face in with the stone in his beaver skin cap to block out the light and how that text became visible is in the range of speculation.

When did Moroni learn English? Did he learn English in the spirit world from people who died speaking early modern english, or did he learn English as a resurrected being, resurrected so that he could learn English and prepare the translation?

I do think Moroni is the key to why so much early modern English in the text and the solution to the debate over tight and loose control of the translation process. Is there another explanation for the ancient text in EME scenario…one that takes into account the history i. How this individual s get the original or copies?

The bottom line is I think we have ignored the more mundane clues from a timeline inspection as to how the pieces of the puzzle could be brought together…. From all I can observe from descriptions of scrying in multiple cultures and over time, the point of the object used was to somehow alter or distort vision—probably so both the scryer and anyone watching the process would know that the result was not derived from the normal visionary processes.

Darkening the hat was a more modern version of the practice. Perhaps attaching dual stones set too far apart to be spectacles, and probably not clear would have served the same function. Joseph saw something when he used the stone. In non-text usages, it was places. I think it is reasonable that he saw text—particularly if he used the stone to see the KJV text I suspect an image of the printed page, including the italics with which Joseph interacted.

All of the speculation that something magical happened due to the stone itself seems to me to be imposing current understanding backwards. It makes nonsense of major plot points in Mosiah, thinking of Mosiah as war drama rather than scripture. Other Christian doctrines proclaim the salvation of Christ, but are not particularly troubled that large swaths of humanity will never have an opportunity to embrace Christ. I was writing a missionary about this, and said for Mormons, teaching someone how to embrace Christ is like teaching someone to smile — teaching them how to exercise something that is a fundamental capability of their being.

Where other Christian doctrines teach that embracing Christ is like giving someone a smart phone, a fantastic thing that, though fantastic, is not a fundamental core to every soul. Actually, the existence of the Amalekites as separate from the Amlicites is actually is consistent with the text, as the Amalekites are described as worshiping one God Alma The origin of the Amalekites is found in the few references to events from the pages.

No tinkering with the words. See pages and page at https: Your email address will not be published. All comments are moderated to ensure respectful discourse. It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged. Check here to be notified by email of followup comments.

You can also subscribe without commenting. How Many Changes in the Book of Mormons? Claiming That the Book of Mormon Dictation Must be Flawless For some observers, the fact that any changes have been made in the original Book of Mormon text is evidence of the falseness of the book.

McElveen, author of The Mormon Illusion , further explains: Stanford Carmack, who has a linguistics and law degree from Stanford University, sums up the most recent findings: And now Limhi was again filled with joy on learning from the mouth of Ammon that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.

And the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to go down out of the mount from the presence of the Lord, and write the things which he had seen; and they were forbidden to come unto the children of men until after that he should be lifted up upon the cross; and for this cause did king Mosiah keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should show himself unto his people.

This word count was calculated using Microsoft Word and the text from http: Signature Books, , Joseph Smith History 1: Accounts of Divine Manifestations — , 2nd ed. Deseret Book, , — Call, , 41, https: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, , A Journal of Mormon Scripture 11 See Tanner, 3, Changes in the Book of Mormon , http: Call , Changes in the Book of Mormon , 30, McElveen, The Mormon Illusion: Regal Books, 44— See also Oliver Cowdery to W.

One possible exception is found in a late recollection from conversations between Samuel W. Richards [statement, May 21, ] 2—3, https: Cannon and Lyndon W. Deseret Book, , See also Times and Seasons 5 1 March Grandin, , Signature Books, , , http: This is purely speculative. See Royal Skousen ed. Part One Grammatical Variation , A Journal of Mormon Scripture , vol.

A Journal of Mormon Scripture 11, Signature Books, , 9, 30, 32, Greg Kofford Books , forthcoming. The Making of a Prophet , xix, A few of the writers who have published books that portray Joseph Smith as the unassisted author of the Book of Mormon include: Wunderli, An Imperfect Book: McGraw-Hill, , Random House, , Jean Wyrick, Steps to Writing Well , 12th ed.

Wadsworth, , 91— Davis concluded that Joseph Smith may have had seven years of schooling. See also Brian C. The Maya almost always indicated a Macaw by a little curl coming up from the neck, which you can also see in all of the examples I've provided as well as the drawing in the original post. Although the elephant image is not so apparent in the glyphs, you still can see the trunk and many similarities to the sculpture which resemble the elephant.

None of those sculptures or drawings look anywhere close to the ones that others think are elephants. Most people will think that the Stela 5 figures are elephants, especially if they do not know where they are to be found, than macaws. Here is a link to some other macaw sculptures. Some email discussion threads where this topic is discussed by both critics and LDS faithful: The following stone carving is where the picture comes from.

You can see that the top corner pieces are broken off - that is why what remains appears to be an elephant. Scholars now are able to decipher the hieroglyphs contained on the stone monument and they confirm that it was a macaw on the stone and not an elephant reference: Coe, mormonstories podcast Editor Summary Comment on Elephants: If the first elephant image at the beginning of this section is truly a depiction of a real, living elephant that the Mayans saw, and if it was really made before Columbus arrived, then we have to ask why there isn't any drawings or carvings of complete elephants, elephant figures, ivory carvings, etc.

The Mayans made thousands of detailed carvings of other animals they had contact with such as jaguars and monkeys so why can't we find any concrete evidence of elephants other than this obscure depiction? The LDS apologists likely know that the macaw explanation is accepted by serious archaeologists such as Michael Coe.

They may also suspect it is not credible like the numerous ancient American horse hoaxes that have been circulated and Daniel Peterson of FARMS use to endorse. The above depiction was found at Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: Photographic Evidence for the Authenticity of the Book of Mormon archived copy.

Luckily, most apologists no longer cite this drawing or other "evidences" Pictures Worth a Thousand Words uses as proof of the BOM since some of the "evidences" are known hoaxes such as the Los Lunas Inscription 10 commandments hoax archived copy. The following is a neutral summary of cattle and cows from Wikipedia as of May 20, There are six references to cattle made in the Book of Mormon, including verbiage suggesting they were domesticated.

Apologists argue that the term "cattle" may be more generic that suggesting members of the genus Bos, and may have referred to bison, mountain goats, llamas, or other American species. Without these the Nephites could not have kept the Law of Moses, as directed[3]. LDS Apologists note that the word "cattle" may refer to the ancestor of the American bison, Bison antiquus of the sub family Bovinae.

Bison antiquus, sometimes called the ancient bison, was the most common large herbivore of the North American continent for over ten thousand years, and is a direct ancestor of the living American bison. However, no species of bison is known to have been domesticated as the "cattle" in the Book of Mormon are suggested to have been. Apologists counter that the wording in the Book of Mormon does not require the "cattle" to have been domesticated in the strictest sense.

For example, Enos in the Book of Mormon tells that the Nephites raised "flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind…" - Enos 1: Diamond , pp. The following is a neutral summary of goats from Wikipedia as of June 1, Goats are mentioned three times in the Book of Mormon[1] placing them among the Nephites and the Jaredites.

In two of the verses, "goats" are distinguished from "wild goats" indicating that there were at least two varieties, one of them possibly domesticated, or tamed.

Domesticated goats are not native to the Americas, having been domesticated in pre-historic times on the Eurasian continent. Domestic goats were introduced on the American continent upon the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century, years after the conclusion of the Book of Mormon, and nearly years after they are last mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

The mountain goat is indigenous to North America, but it has never been domesticated, and is known for being very aggressive. He noted that when early Spanish explorers visited the southeastern United States they found native Americans herding tame deer.

Quoting an early historian of Spain, Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, recorded:. These deer bring forth and nourish their young in the houses of the natives. During the daytime they wander freely through the woods in search of their food, and in the evening they come back to their little ones, who have been cared for, allowing themselves to be shut up in the courtyards and even to be milked, when they have suckled their fawns.

The only milk the natives know is that of the does, from which they make cheese. Mr Roper also noted early Spanish colonists called native Mesoamerican brocket deer goats. May and Bruce M. The following is a neutral summary of swine from Wikipedia as of August 5, Swine are referred to twice in the Book of Mormon,[1] and the narrative of the Book of Mormon suggests that the swine were domesticated.

Apologists note that Peccaries also known as Javelinas , which bear a superficial resemblance to pigs, have been present in South America since prehistoric times. Studies of the Book of Mormon , Second Edition. Edited by Brigham D. The book of Mormon says that the Jaredites "…did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees… " Ether 2: Not only bees, but swarms of them.

The honey bee is not native to North America; it was introduced from Europe for honey production in the early s. Subspecies were introduced from Italy in , and later from Spain, Portugal and elsewhere. The following is a neutral summary of barley and wheat from Wikipedia as of August 18, Grains are mentioned twenty-eight times in the Book of Mormon, including barley and wheat. First, the terms barley and wheat, as used in the Book of Mormon, may refer to certain other New World crop plants that were given Old World designations; and second, the terms may refer to genuine varieties of New World barley and wheat," states Mr Benett of the Maxwell Institute.

A similar practice may have been employed when Book of Mormon people encountered New World plant species for the first time. The seeds are edible, and this plant was part of the Pre-Columbian Eastern Agricultural Complex of cultivated plants used by Native Americans.

Hordeum pusillum was unknown in Mesoamerica, where there is no evidence of pre-Columbian barley cultivation, but evidence exists that this plant was domesticated in North America in the Woodland periods contemporary with mound builder societies early centuries A.

Critics rebut these claims, rejecting the notion that Hordeum pusillum was the "barley" that Joseph Smith referred to in the Book of Mormon. They also note that the earliest mention of barley in the Book of Mormon dates to B. Barley and Wheat in the Book Mormon".

Featured Papers Maxwell Institute. Retrieved - now archived. Bennett cites, Nancy B. Asch and David L. Asch, "Archeobotany," in Deer Track: McGimsey and Michael D. Center for American Archaeology, , 44, pg. Commenting on the Norse sagas: Dorothy Duncan, Canadians at Table, pp. When Joseph Smith concocted the Book of Mormon, he just assumed that the ancient Amerindians had the same kind of agriculture as that which he knew in upstate New York.

Consequently, he had his ancient characters growing wheat, barley, corn, and flax, and planting vineyards for wine, and being able to understand the symbolism of the olive and trees. Now, of course, Smith was right about the corn - that is, maize. But is there anyone of Smith's day who had not heard of "Indian corn," or did not know that corn had come from the Indians? What Smith did not know, however, was that corn was but one of three staple crops raised by the Indians of Central America - the region in which the discovery of ruined civilizations had triggered enormous amounts of speculation in the time of Smith's youth.

The other two major crops were squash and beans. These were supplemented by such things as avocados, amaranth, etc. You can search all you want in the Book of Mormon, but you won't find any mention, apart from corn, of the crops actually raised in ancient America. Incidentally, we have numerous cases where these crops have been preserved in archaeological sites and are easily identifiable.

What does archaeology tell us of the presence or absence of the crops Smith claimed were the staples of ancient America? No remains of wheat or domesticated barley have ever been found. In fact, the one possible pre-Columbian specimen of barley discovered at a site in Arizona [not a Book of Mormon location anyway per apologists] is of a species different from the species of domesticated barley allegedly brought from the Near East.

And what of flax? Fortunately for lovers of truth, the Mormon apologists cannot simply say we haven't been looking in the right place, or that the remains of these plants have all perished with the passage of time. The reason for our good fortune is the fact that these domestic plants are all flowering plants.

As such, they produce pollen - in great abundance. If the Mormonic civilizations had been growing these crops for even a few decades - let alone the thousands of years allegedly chronicled by the Book of Mormon - every soil coring taken in Central America should show traces of wheat, barley, and flax pollen.

Pollen is one of the most indestructible natural objects known. An example of the type of research that shows Book of Mormon agriculture to be nineteenth century fantasy is David J. He could tell from pollen when the region was forested, when the forest was cut and burned for agriculture, what crops were grown and for how long. Although he found clear records of pollen from corn maize and amaranth - two Amerindian staples - he makes no mention of wheat, barley, or flax pollen.

Perhaps the LDS Church would like to pay him to go through his cores again, looking more carefully for the mythical motes that should be in them if the Book of Mormon be true!

How do you lose a steel mill? Cultural artifacts or circumstances mentioned in the Book of Mormon that have not been discovered or verified in any ancient American archaeological expedition or historical investigation in the last years. Metal work in the BOM can best be summed up with 2 Nephi 5: And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

The MormonThink editors are not going to chase down every anachronism—there are simply too many to ignore and LDS apologists will always come up with some sort of answer to explain how these anachronisms do not entirely necessarily discredit the Book of Mormon. There may be viable explanations that makes sense for some, but it's difficult to believe that they all can be explained away.

Here is a typical full analysis of one of these additional anachronisms we received from a critic - the use of the word compass in the BOM. We do this to show the reader how adequate or inadequate their explanations can be for anachronisms in the BOM. Critics charge that the description of the Liahona as a "compass" is anachronistic because the magnetic compass was not known in B. Believing it was called a compass because it pointed the direction for Lehi to travel is the fault of the modern reader, not the Book of Mormon.

In every case, it is clear that, at least in Jacobean England, the word was regularly treated as meaning either a round object, or something which moved in a curved fashion. Further evidence of the archaic meaning of the word comes from a study of the rather lengthy listing for the word in the Oxford English Dictionary. It includes definition 5. To use the word compass as a name for a round or curved object is well attested in both the King James Version of the Bible and the Oxford English Dictionary.

The Book of Mormon refers to the Liahona as "a compass" not because it anachronistically pointed the way to travel, but because it was a perfectly round object. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way wither we should go into the wilderness. Now followed by Alma And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director —or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass ; and the Lord prepared it.

The Book of Mormon explicitly states that the "Liahona", was a director , it was certainly used by Lehi's party to direct them in the wilderness, and Alma the younger even made more clarification of its nature by calling it a director and compass —this is an anachronism because the compass which directed one's course wasn't invented yet for many centuries. FAIR grasps at straws by stating "In every case, it is clear that, at least in Jacobean England, the word was regularly treated as meaning either a round object, or something which moved in a curved fashion.

Joseph Smith nor the Nephites lived in Jacobean England. All this statement does is transfer the problem to why God chose to have Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon into King James Version biblical language see that topic below. Also notice how the apologists blame you for taking "director" to mean "director".

We'll let the reader decide whether the apologists or the critics' arguments make the most sense. More critical analysis and LDS apologist responses can be found on Wikipedia's Book of Mormon Anachronisms page and other various sites to discuss some of the culture, metallurgy and linguistic anachronisms that the contributors of this site haven't fully yet analyzed.

Coinage wasn't really invented until after Lehi left Jerusalem. Furthermore, no evidence of any coins, which would have been very numerous, have ever been found which could be attributed to the Nephite monetary system. Here's an excellent analysis on the Book of Mormon currency by Jim Whitefield. Please read this well-researched and informative essay:. An archived backup of this webpage is here. Apologists are adamant to state that the BOM does not specifically say the word coins except in the chapter heading added by the church later for clarity.

Critics claim that Book of Mormon references to Nephite coins is an anachronism, as coins were not used either in ancient America or Israel during Lehi's day. However, the word "coins" was only added to the chapter heading of Alma 11 much later, and the text of the Book of Mormon itself does not mention coins.

The pieces of gold and silver described in Alma Although Jim Whitefield's essay discusses the use of coins in great detail, we'd just like to add the following common sense items: The Church added the word coins starting in to the chapter summaries in order to clarify what the text of the chapter was about.

Why would they use the word 'coins'? It was obvious to the Church and anyone else reading the text that the text of the BOM was referring to coins and a monetary system. Do you think that the Church just casually adds words to their sacred scriptures specifically for the purpose of summarizing and clarifying the text without being pretty confident they are doing so correctly?

Roberts also believed the BOM referenced coins:. Just as it was very obvious to the Church editors and to B. Roberts that those passages were referring to coins and stated as such, it was also very obvious to famed apologist Hugh Nibley when he made his famous Book of Mormon challenge.

Here is item 8 [emphasis added]:. You must describe their religious, economic, political, and social cultures and institutions. Cover every phase of their society, including the names of their coins. So even famed LDS historians B. Roberts and Hugh Nibley knew that the Book of Mormon was referring to coins in the text. Roberts or the apologists at FAIR?

And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay. A farthing is a coin so it would make sense that the Nephite word senine substituted for farthing is also a coin. Even if the BOM was referring to a monetary system using coins without imprinting on them such as uniform weights as argued by FAIR, that does not solve the problem as no weights made of silver and gold have ever been found that could possibly be considered as part of the Nephite weights and measures system used for centuries by millions of Nephites.

National Geographic recently rebroadcast a documentary called 'America before Columbus'. This documentary did not mention Mormons at all but gives remarkable insights to the lands mentioned in the Book of Mormon. An overview of the show from their website:. History books traditionally depict the pre-Columbus Americas as a pristine wilderness where small native villages lived in harmony with nature. But scientific evidence tells a very different story: When Columbus stepped ashore in , millions of people were already living there.

America wasn't exactly a "New World," but a very old one whose inhabitants had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways. Based on their overview of the show, we initially thought this may actually support the Book of Mormon, however the documentary goes into great detail discussing all the new animals and plants that were introduced to the Americas by the Europeans starting in These include modern-day horses, cattle, oxen, goats, sheep, pigs, European honeybees, wheat and barley.

However, according to the Book of Mormon, all of these animals and plants existed in abundance in the Americas when the Nephites and Lamanites lived as they were brought there by Lehi and his family around B.

So how can scientists say that none of these animals and plants existed in America when the scriptures clearly report they did? Either the BOM or all of these scientists must be in error. The National Geographic Society is one of the most respected scientific organizations in the world.

Their goal is to educate people about our planet, its history and help protect it for future generations. We ask the viewer of this documentary to honestly think about which is more likely - all of the evidence of these animals and plants vanished and scientists are completely mistaken about what was in the Americas or perhaps the Book of Mormon is not historical?

It begs the question, why did God give Joseph Smith the English equivalent for some words, but others He left untranslated? If some of the items did not exist in the New World, why would God give Joseph the English translation of a non-existent thing, such as "elephants," when other times, such as with "neas" and "sheum" He gave the original words?

Corn really existed in the New World during the Book of Mormon time frame, so that word should appear in the Book of Mormon if it is an accurate historical record.

But wine made from grapes should not be in the Book of Mormon. Apologists may try to explain that it was not grape wine, but it's hard to imagine that Mosiah And it came to pass that he planted vineyards round about in the land; and he built wine-presses , and made wine in abundance; and therefore he became a wine-bibber , and also his people.

As noted elsewhere, apologists may be able to take up pages worth of space to rationalize why maybe , possibly an apparent anachronism really isn't one. But shouldn't there be zero anachronisms?

If Joseph simply used words of things that really existed, or even used non-English words for things, this problem wouldn't exist. For those of you reading who are devout Mormons, which is most logical to believe, that Xenu was really dictator of the Galactic Confederacy 75 million years ago and brought billion of people to earth, and their spirits "thetans" are inhabiting humans, or that L.

Ron Hubbard made it all up? Likewise, which is more logical to believe, that all of the anachronistic things mentioned in the Book of Mormon really were here at one time, but have oddly left no trace, or that Joseph Smith made it up?

The origin of the wheel is unknown, but once it was invented, knowledge of the wheel spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean and Asian world. Wheeled vehicles made the movement of goods much easier. The earliest known examples of wheels are from Mesopotamia and date from about to BC. The cart or wagon, pulled by humans or animals, was the first wheeled vehicle. Lehi and his party obviously had knowledge of the wheel. The Book of Mormon uses the term chariot many times and in many different time periods which shows that the BOM peoples used the concept of the wheel.

Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots , and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.

Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them. The chariot is also referenced in 2 Nephi Archaeologists say that wheels were not used for travel in Pre-Columbian America.

The knowledge of the wheel for transportation may have been in existence but seems to be limited to the use in toys. If the Nephites and Lamanites used chariots, why wouldn't this extremely valuable idea continue to be used by the descendants of the Ancient Americans? If Lehi's descendants did use a wheel, there would be evidence of wheels in the Americas before Columbus. Technology spreads quickly, especially an innovative one like the wheel. Even the use of wheels in toys is suspect.

Some LDS apologists have pointed to the discovery of wheeled toys left in tombs. Holmes of the Bureau of American Ethnology who suspected that the toys were introduced into the tombs after the arrival of Europeans on the continent, who stated:.

Charnay obtained from an ancient cemetery at Tenenepanco, Mexico, a number of toy chariots of terra cotta, presumably buried with the body of a child, some of which retained their wheels.

The possibility that these toys are of a post-discovery manufacture must be taken into account, especially since mention is made of the discovery of brass bells in the same cemetery with the toys. Wikipedia on May 14, which is a quote from Holmes, W. Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities , That no extended contact with the civilized peoples of the Old World occurred in pre-Columbian times is strongly suggested by the fact that this device was unknown in America, except possibly as a toy.

It appears in no pictographic manuscript or sculpture, the highest graphic achievements of the race. Two different questions are at issue: Over fifty clay "toys" or miniatures with axles and wheels have been uncovered in ancient America.

Such miniatures which most likely were not "toys" but had religious significance most certainly exhibit knowledge of the wheel and its uses. Full-sized wooden wheels most likely would have deteriorated through time. Of the tens of thousands of chariots mentioned in the Bible, not a single chariot fragment has ever been unearthed in the Holy Land.

Some American cultures—after the wheel was introduced by the Spanish—refused to use the wheel because of it's religious symbolism associated with the Sun.

For hundreds of years others did not take advantage of the Spanish-introduced wheel because it was not practical in the Mesoamerican jungle terrain. In Maya battle imagery, for instance, the king rides into battle on a litter or cloth covered framework between two parallel bars. Since the Book of Mormon never hints at riding or mounting a chariot and since it is never mentioned in a military context , we cannot confidently conclude what such a "chariot" was.

Some biblical passages referring to "chariots" can also be translated as a "portable couch" or "human-born 'sedan' chair. Ash, "Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 3: This web site does not specifically 'defend' the Bible, but certainly evidence of chariots has been found throughout the Old World:.

Chariots are also found in pictorial form, including northern Italian grave monuments as, for example, the famous Paduan Stele Frey ; see Fig. Additionally, just because a wheel is made of wood, that does not mean "[f]ull-sized wooden wheels most likely would have deteriorated through time" as is evidenced by the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel which was discovered in Slovenia and was radio-carbon dated at over years old. No one seems to doubt that chariots were used in the Old World but no non-Mormon scholar believes that chariots or any wheeled vehicle were used anywhere in the New World before Columbus for any purpose other than toys or religious effigies.

If the Nephites and Lamanites used the wheel for transportation in the form of chariots, then they wouldn't have simply stopped using them for "religious symbolism associated with the Sun" as proposed by the apologists.

Why would non-believing Lamanites care about offending some 'Sun god' by using a wheel when they didn't care about offending the 'real God' by breaking his commandments continually? If the Lamanites, Nephites or any other people used the wheel for any length of time, one would assume that they would not have simply abandoned its use for any reason. The clay toys with wheels are frequently mentioned by apologists.

What is rarely mentioned is that the dating of those wheeled toys is after AD, thus putting them out of the time frame of the Book of Mormon.

The argument put forth by the apologists that the chariots spoken of in the Book of Mormon were wheel-less vehicles, such as litters, is strange. The bible uses the word "litters" in conjunction with chariots see Isaiah In every instance that the word chariot is mentioned in the BOM, it is used in conjunction with the word "horse. Precolumbian Wheels archived copy. Horses and wheel discussion.

Ethnic Diversity in America before Columbus. Guns, germs and steel. Despite some LDS member's claims, there appears to be no existing archaeological evidence directly supporting the Book of Mormon. There are scholars within the Church who point to a few scattered, indirect parallels within existing Old World and ancient American history and archaeology in an attempt to lend credence to the possibility that such a civilization existed.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the entire Book of Mormon narrative occurred within a very limited geographical location in Central America and therefore would be virtually undetectable by means of modern research.

Unfortunately for these scholars, this theory and the different variations of it that exist directly contradicts nearly a century and a half of past statements by high-ranking Church leaders, past prophets, the Book of Mormon text, the Doctrine and Covenants which specifically identifies North American Natives as Lamanites and even Joseph Smith himself.

If one is to accept any variation of this "limited geography theory," one must disregard the LDS church's current and past declarations on the matter and basically stand in direct opposition to current and past church teachings. The reason that the limited geography theory is appealing to many apologists is because the closest archaeologists have come to finding anything remotely similar to the historical claims made in the Book of Mormon are found in the Olmec and Mayan ruins of Central America.

During the early s, reports circulated in LDS culture that the Book of Mormon was being used by the Smithsonian to guide primary archaeological research.

This rumor was brought to the attention of Smithsonian directors who, in , sent a form letter to inquiring parties stating that the Smithsonian did not use the Book of Mormon to guide any research, and included a list of specific reasons Smithsonian archaeologists considered the Book of Mormon historically unlikely.

Here are scans of some letters from the Smithsonian regarding the Book of Mormon. An example of the problems facing the Book of Mormon from an archaeological standpoint is found in 2 Nephi 5: There are ruins from a myriad of other non-Book of Mormon peoples that have survived for thousands of years.

The Book of Mormon never records the destruction of this temple and therefore it should be fairly easy to locate a temple "like unto the temple of Solomon" which, according to the biblical narrative, took many years and many thousands of workmen to build though Nephi's original colonizing party could not have numbered more than in totality at the time he records the construction of the temple.

In a broader context, where are the cities that archaeologically, geographically and historically correspond with the Book of Mormon text?

To date, there have been none discovered. There are a plethora of speculative theories from LDS scholars and lay members but there has yet to be a genuine verifiable discovery of a city or group of cities anywhere in the Americas that match the characteristics and time period given in the Book of Mormon. In fact, Apostle Dallin H. Oaks has actively discouraged members from speculating on the location of Book of Mormon Lands or artifacts and instead favors the standard missionary approach for determining the book's veracity.

In an interview with Steve Benson grandson of the late Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson , Oaks affirmed this approach in an attempt to assuage both Steve's and his wife Mary Ann's concerns regarding Book of Mormon historicity.

Here are a few excerpts from that discussion as recorded by Steve Benson [emphasis added]:. Mary Ann began by explaining to [Dallin] Oaks and [Neil] Maxwell that she was sincerely trying to do what the Church had admonished its members to do: She informed them that the more she examined Mormonism's scriptural texts, the more she found contradictions between The Book of Mormon and The Doctrine and Covenants.

Mary Ann informed the two apostles that she was having a difficult time reconciling those contradictions. Therefore, she said, she decided to undertake her own personal study of The Book of Mormon—but from another point of view. She took out a well-used, paperback copy of The Book of Mormon and showed Oaks and Maxwell what she had done with it. Opening the book and thumbing through its pages, she demonstrated to them how she, in Seminary scripture study cross-referencing style, had color-coded the text.

It's kind of like being married to The Book of Mormon. Don't let your doubts keep you out of the mainstream. Oaks offered me some counsel of his own. Maxwell also defended The Book of Mormon as a divinely-translated, authentic ancient document based, he claimed, on the speed and method of its translation.

After Oaks and Maxwell presented their respective defenses, Mary Ann again asked them how she should deal with the things she had found in her own Book of Mormon. At this point, Oaks and Maxwell said that the jury was still out. Maxwell asserted that the Lord will leave The Book of Mormon to the very last, before providing definitive proof of its truthfulness.

In the meantime, he said, "we will have opposition in this externally. Maxwell again insisted that external authentication of The Book of Mormon would be left "until the last," but that the Lord will no longer let critics of the Church "slam-dunk" The Book of Mormon.

Be that as it may, Oaks acknowledged that F. He said he becomes concerned when F. Nonetheless, Maxwell interjected to say, "We're grateful for F. Oaks and Maxwell, in their final assessment of evidentiary proof concerning The Book of Mormon, admitted to us that the arguments for and against the book were "equal," with neither side being able to prove whether The Book of Mormon was true or untrue.

In the ultimate analysis, they told us, The Book of Mormon had to be accepted on faith. I responded by telling them that I was attempting to examine both sides of the question and was not convinced that the pro-Book of Mormon side had the advantage.

To the contrary, I told them that I was inclined to believe the advantage lay with the book's critics. I said that because I did not regard the evidence on The Book of Mormon to be equally balanced, I therefore did not believe I was obligated to accept it on faith. I also expressed the view that if, in fact, there was an evidentiary advantage to one side or the other, that should then allow for the person doing the investigating to make a decision as to Book of Mormon veracity—outside the realm of faith.

Oaks responded by again saying there was no evidence proving or disproving The Book of Mormon. He placed his right hand over his heart and said, "I get this knot, this warm feeling right here, and that is what I go on.

Oaks' position as recorded by Benson can be understood in greater context when we examine the account of Thomas Stuart Ferguson; President of the New World Archaeological Foundation, the only LDS Church-sponsored organization to ever be commissioned with the task of attempting to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon outside the subjective supernatural realm of faith-based testimony. His efforts and the efforts of his foundation ended in failure and the Church has since ceased to sponsor archaeological expeditions to verify its keystone document's authenticity.

Ferguson also worked with the F. Willard Marriott wrote a letter in which he commented concerning Ferguson's dedication to establishing an archaeological base for the Book of Mormon: I have never known anyone who was more devoted to that kind of research than was Tom.

I remember when he was with the F. McDonald, about establishing a Department of Archaeology…. Tom Ferguson was able to convince officials of BYU of the benefit to the University of having such a department….

Tom Ferguson… participated in that first of many expeditions…". Ferguson devoted a great deal of his life trying to prove the Book of Mormon by archaeology and was considered by the Mormon people as a great defender of the faith. He wrote at least three books on the subject. His book, One Fold and One Shepherd , was recommended to one of the authors of this work Jerald as containing the ultimate case for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. On the jacket of that book, we find this information about Ferguson: From all that we can learn, Thomas Stuart Ferguson was a dedicated believer in the authenticity of… th;e B;ook Mormon at the time he founded the New World Archaeology Foundation.

He really believed that archaeology would prove the Book of Mormon. In a letter dated April 23, , Mr. Ferguson said the "the archaeological data now available is entirely inadequate" for testing the Book of Mormon.

He predicted, however, that the "next ten years of excavations in Mexico and Guatemala should enable us to make the archaeological tests. In his book, One Fold and One Shepherd, p.

Eventually we should find decipherable inscriptions… referring to some unique person, place or event in the Book of Mormon. Ferguson said that "Powerful evidences sustaining the book are accumulating". Although many important archaeological discoveries were made, the evidence he had desired to find to support the Book of Mormon did not turn up.

In response to a letter Hal Hougey wrote in which reminded him that he had predicted in that Book of Mormon cities would be found within 10 years, Mr. At first it had all seemed so simple; since the Book of Mormon told when the Nephites were in Mesoamerica, all one had to do was find archaeological sites that dated to the period and the Book of Mormon would be established by the evidence.

The fact that archaeological research failed to provide the confirmation which Mr. Ferguson expected to find must have weighed very heavily on his mind.

The most serious blow to Ferguson's faith, however, came just after Joseph Smith's Egyptian Papyri were rediscovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This collection, which had been lost for many years, contained the very papyrus from which Joseph Smith "translated" the Book of Abraham.

Ferguson obtained photographs of the papyrus fragments, he consulted Professors Lutz and Lesko of the University of California.

Both these Egyptologists agreed that the papyrus Joseph Smith claimed was the Book of Abraham was in reality the Book of Breathings, an Egyptian funerary text made for a man by the name of Hor Horus. Ferguson learned that this papyrus had nothing at all to do with the patriarch Abraham or his religion. It was in its entirety a pagan text filled with the names of Egyptian gods and goddesses. Thomas Stuart Ferguson was shaken to the core by this discovery.

When the church's noted apologist, Dr. Hugh Nibley, began defending the Book of Abraham, he wrote a letter to another member of the church in which he stated:. I am like you—maintaining membership because of the many fine things the Church offers. But facts speak for themselves. I offered the data available to my Stake Pres. They can hardly excommunicate [sic] us when they won't look at the evidence. I conclude that we do have it and have translations of it. The first indication we had that Mr.

Ferguson was losing his faith in Mormonism was just after Joseph Smith's Egyptian Papyri were rediscovered. In he wrote us a letter saying that we were "doing a great thing—getting out some truth on the Book of Abraham. Later we heard a rumor that he had given up Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham, but this hardly prepared us for his visit on December 2, At that time, Mr.

Ferguson told us frankly that he had not only given up the Book of Abraham, but that he had come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith was not a prophet and that Mormonism was not true. Ferguson felt that our work was important and that it should be subsidized. He told us that he had spent twenty-five years trying to prove Mormonism, but had finally come to the conclusion that all his work in this regard had been in vain. He said that his training in law had taught him how to weigh evidence and that the case against Joseph Smith was absolutely devastating and could not be explained away.

He felt, however, that this foundation was doing legitimate archaeological work, and therefore he intended to continue the research.

He realized that the organization he had founded to establish the authenticity of-the Book of Mormon was now actually disproving the Book of Mormon by its failure to turn up anything concerning a Christian culture existing in Mesoamerica prior to the time of Columbus. A few months after Thomas Stuart Ferguson revealed to us that he had come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon was a spurious production, he wrote us a letter in which he said: I enjoyed my visit with you…. I certainly admire you for the battle you are waging—virtually single handed.

Ferguson recommended that they read our publications on Mormonism. Unfortunately, Thomas Stewart Ferguson seems to have had a very difficult time communicating his loss of faith to those he was close to.

He told us, for instance, that he did not dare tell one of his sons the truth about the Book of Mormon because the shock would cause him too much emotional trauma. He felt that he may have to put the matter off until the situation changed. While he no longer believed in the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, he continued to attend the Mormon Church. In a letter to James Still, dated Dec.

In the same letter Ferguson stated that he still attended Mormon meetings, "sing in the choir and enjoy my friendships in the Church. In my opinion it is the best fraternity that has come to my attention…" With regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon, Mr.

Even before our meeting with Mr. Ferguson in , some Mormon scholars were beginning to face the truth with regard to Book of Mormon archaeology. Green, who had worked with Ferguson's New World Archaeological Foundation, was one of the first to openly criticize "Book of Mormon archaeology. In he served as editor of the University Archaeological Society Newsletter. In his article, published in Dialogue: Titles on books full of archaeological half-truths, dilettanti on the peripheries of American archaeology calling themselves Book of Mormon archaeologists regardless of their education, and a Department of Archaeology at BYU devoted to the production of Book of Mormon archaeologists do not insure that Book of Mormon archaeology really exists.

If one is to study Book of Mormon archaeology, then one must have a corpus of data with which to deal. The Book of Mormon is really there so one can have Book of Mormon studies, and archaeology is really there so one can study archaeology, but the two are not wed. At least they are not wed in reality since no Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography.

Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful nor any other location for that matter were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but we have already seen that twenty years of such an approach has left us empty-handed. A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer , pp. In Thomas Stuart Ferguson finally mustered up his courage and prepared a page paper in response to papers written by Mormon apologists John Sorenson and Garth Norman.

Response of Thomas S. In this response, p. And the hemisphere has been pretty well checked out by competent people. Thousands of sites have been excavated. He noted, for instance, that "Thousands of archaeological holes in the area proposed have given us not a fragment of evidence of the presence of the plants mentioned in the Book of Mormon…" p.

I, for one, would be happy if Dee were wrong. In a letter to Mr. It was one of several presented in a written symposium on Book of Mormon geography [sic]. My thesis is that Book of Mormon geography involves a lot more than playing with topography and terrain. The real implication of the paper is that you can't set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere—because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archaeology.

I should say—what is in the ground will never conform to what is in the book. Although he had written a paper criticizing Book of Mormon archaeology, Thomas Stuart Ferguson felt that it was generally best for those who doubted the faith to keep their "mouth shut.

He can be refuted—but why bother… It would be like wiping out placebos in medicine, and that would make no sense when they do lots of good…. So why try to be heroic and fight the myths—the Mormon one or any other that does more good than ill? Now that we have the inside dope—why not spoof a little back and stay aboard? Please consider this letter confidential—for obvious reasons.

I want to stay aboard the good ship, Mormonism—for various reasons that I think valid. First, several of my dearly loved family members want desperately to believe and do believe it and they each need it. It does them far more good than harm. Belonging, with my eyes wide open is actually fun, less expensive than formerly, and no strain at all…. I never get up and bear testimony… You might give my suggestions a trial run—and if you find you have to burn all the bridges between yourselves and the Church, then go ahead and ask for excommunication.

The day will probably come—but it is far off—when the leadership of the Church will change the excommunication rules and delete as grounds non-belief in the 2 books mentioned and in Joseph Smith as a prophet etc… but if you wait for that day, you probably will have died.

It is a long way off—tithing would drop too much for one thing…. The original editor of this section of MormonThink declared to his current bishop that he does not believe the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham or that Joseph Smith was a prophet and has not been subjected to disciplinary council or excommunication proceedings and is, in fact, assisting in the Primary organization in his ward. It would appear that Ferguson's statement above was prophetic in its own right. A Journal of Mormon Thought , Summer , p.

Whatever the case may be, we cannot help but sympathize with men like Thomas Stuart Ferguson and B. Roberts see Mormonism—Shadow or Reality , pp. It would have been very difficult for these men to have made a public statement repudiating the Book of Mormon. They would have been considered traitors to the church who allowed themselves to come under the power of the Devil.

Nevertheless, when we consider the consequences of remaining silent, we cannot help but feel that both these men made a drastic mistake when they failed to stand up for the truth.

In , Michael Coe, one of the best known authorities on archaeology of the New World, wrote an article for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. In this article he addressed the issue in his forthright manner:. Mormon archaeologists over the years have almost unanimously accepted the Book of Mormon as an accurate, historical account of the New World peoples…. Let me now state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing to be true, and I would like to state that there are quite a few Mormon archaeologists who join this group….

The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has even shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.

A Journal of Mormon Thought , Summer , pp. Although some LDS members believe that the scientific community supports the plausibility of the Book of Mormon, the reality is that the BOM is rejected by the general scientific community. Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere's past and the society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.

Statement by the National Geographic Society. It can be stated definitely that there is no connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the Book of Mormon.

There is no correspondence whatever between archaeological sites and cultures as revealed by scientific investigations and as recorded in the Book of Mormon, hence the book cannot be regarded as having any historical value from the standpoint of the aboriginal peoples of the New World.

Roberts, Jr, Smithsonian Institution, There is an inherent improbability in specific items that are mentioned in the Book of Mormon as having been brought to the New World by…Nephites. Among these are the horse, the chariot, wheat, barley, and [true] metallurgy. The picture of this hemisphere…presented in the book has little to do with the early Indian cultures as we know them.

A faith-promoting rumor surfaces from time to time that the Smithsonian Institution sometimes uses the Book of Mormon as a guide to archaeological research in the Americas. Many faith-promoting rumors are stories that are not verifiable, but the rumor about Smithsonian use of the Book of Mormon contains some element of truth. The organization did issue a statement about how it uses the Book of Mormon in legitimate research.

Faithful Mormons may find the content of the letter disappointing, but the Book of Mormon has never been used by the Smithsonian as a research tool and the statement addresses the most common questions the institution receives. Your recent inquiry concerning the Smithsonian Institution's alleged use of the Book of Mormon as a scientific guide has been received in the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology. The Book of Mormon is a religious document and not a scientific guide. The Smithsonian Institution has never used it in archaeological research and any information that you have received to the contrary is incorrect.

Accurate information about the Smithsonian's position is contained in the enclosed Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon, which was prepared to respond to the numerous inquiries that the Smithsonian receives on this topic. Because the Smithsonian regards the unauthorized use of its name to disseminate inaccurate information as unlawful, we would appreciate your assistance in providing us with the names of any individuals who are misusing the Smithsonian's name.

Please address any correspondence to:. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.

The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archaeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World--probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age--in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25, to 30, years ago.

Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen, who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around A. There is no evidence to show that they reached Mexico or Central America. None of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals except the dog occurred in the New World in pre- Columbian times. This is one of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific premise that contacts with Old World civilizations, if they occurred, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations.

American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, or camels before Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, but all these animals became extinct around 10, B. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before except for occasional use of unsmelted meteoric iron. Native copper was worked in various locations in pre-Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.

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