ChurchOfJesusChristWikia
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Historicity Dispute[]

The Book of Mormon is a sacred text to the Latter Day Saint movement, which, according to Latter Day Saint theology, contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.

The Book of Mormon gives an account of two civilizations formed by families who migrated to the Americas. One group of families came from Jerusalem in 600 BC and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. Another group came much earlier, when God confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel; that group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites. Latter Day Saints believe that Lamanites are among the ancestors of the Native Americans.

Some archaeological, historical, and scientific communities do not accept the Book of Mormon as an ancient record of actual historical events.

Disclaimer: This article is not an official statement or publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Instead it could be considered a journal of study by those who seek to gather evidences supporting the claims of the church regarding this subject. Constructive criticism can be added to the "talk" page.

  • See Parent Article : Historicity of the Book of Mormon

Latter Day Saint Views[]

The dominant and widely accepted view among Latter Day Saints is that the Book of Mormon is a true and accurate account of these ancient American civilizations whose religious history it documents. Joseph Smith, whom most Latter Day Saints believe to have translated the work, stated, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."[1]

Judaic Laws & Traditions[]

For two cultures that are found on opposite sides of the planet, there are a disproportionate number of similarities in the laws, customs and traditions of the two groups. One would normally expect to see a greater amount of difference in religious beliefs such as is found in other cultures that demonstrate animal worship, nature worship, ancestor worship, multiplicity of gods, such as in found amongst the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Vikings, Chinese,

Native Americans wrote in Hebrew[]

Native American Traditions[]

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  • Viracocha (Wikipedia) Viracocha is the great creator deity in the pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes region of South America. Full name and some spelling alternatives are Wiracocha, Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra, and Con-Tici (also spelled Kon-Tiki, the source of the name of Thor Heyerdahl's raft). Viracocha was one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon and seen as the creator of all things, or the substance from which all things are created, and intimately associated with the sea.

(A story resembling Christ's visit to America) "Viracocha eventually disappeared across the Pacific Ocean (by walking on the water), and never returned. He wandered the earth disguised as a beggar, teaching his new creations the basics of civilization, as well as working numerous miracles. Many, however, refused to follow his teachings, devolving into warfare and delinquency; Viracocha wept when he saw the plight of the creatures he had created. It was thought that Viracocha would re-appear in times of trouble. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa wrote that Viracocha was described as "a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe like an alb secured round the waist and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands."

Native American Landmarks[]

Native American Holy Men[]

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Native American Tribes Embracing Mormonism[]

  • Chief Walker's Tribe - Timpanogos
  • Pacific Islander Tribes

Tribal Organization[]

Supreme Diety Worship[]

Theocratic Government[]

Traditions of the Hopi Indians[]

This book documents some remarkable claims made by the Native Americans, particularly the Hopi Indians. Here are a few:

  1. We are a branch broken off of a sacred tree in a holy place far away.
  2. Our forefathers were white, but because of iniquity we lost all that.
  3. We migrated from Jerusalem to America before Christ was born.
  4. Our fathers had a magic ball that showed them where to go.
  5. Our fathers buried their weapons of war deep in the earth.
  6. We were led to the mesas by three immortal holy people.
  7. They taught us prophetic ceremonies that remind us of who we are and what is to be.
  8. One of our rituals is tying two sticks together, which is followed by the joining of two moities in a ceremonial dance.
  9. The first stick is a book to be brought on our land by the return of our long lost white brother(s). The second stick is a record of our fathers and is buried in a hill, in the east, under a rock.
  10. It will emerge by the hand of a young non-Indian with the assistance of an eagle dancer (angel) to bring our people great blessings.


Judaic Calendar[]

Linguistics[]

Template:Main An additional criticism of the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon concerns linguistics. According to the text, the Nephites and the Lamanites initially spoke Hebrew (600 BC) and might have spoken a modified Semitic language until at least 400 AD, when the Book of Mormon ends. The non-canonized introductory paragraph to the LDS Church 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon stated that the Lamanites were the "principal ancestors of the American Indians".

While critics focus on that no semitic language exists with any American Tribes today, other researchers have found a fascinating preponderance of language similarities that are beyond just coincidental.

Cherokee Bat Creek Stone[]

BatCreekFig7

Bat Creek Stone Figure

The Bat Creek Stone was professionally excavated in 1889 from an undisturbed burial mound in Eastern Tennessee by the Smithsonian's Mound Survey project. The director of the project, Cyrus Thomas, initially declared that the curious inscription on the stone were "beyond question letters of the Cherokee alphabet." (Thomas 1894: 391:4)

In the 1960s, Henriette Mertz and Corey Ayoob both noticed that the inscription, when inverted from Thomas's orientation to that of the above photograph, instead appeared to be ancient Semitic. The late Semitic languages scholar Cyrus Gordon (1971a, 1971b, 1972) confirmed that it is Semitic, and specifically Paleo-Hebrew of approximately the first or second century A.D. According to him, the five letters to the left of the comma-shaped word divider read, from right to left, LYHWD, or "for Judea." He noted that the broken letter on the far left is consistent with mem, in which case this word would instead read LYHWDM, or "for the Judeans."[2]

Population Genetics[]

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Archaeology[]

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Discussion regarding the historicity of the Book of Mormon often focuses on archaeological issues, some of which relate to the large size and the long time span of the civilizations mentioned in the book. A contemporary Mormon view is that these civilizations rose and fell in Mesoamerica. Civilizations of their magnitude and duration would be expected to leave extensive archaeological records. Several Mesoamerican civilizations did exist in the time period covered by the Book of Mormon, including the Olmec, Zapotec and Maya. The Olmec and Zapotec civilizations developed a writing system that may have served as the model for the later Mayan writing system, which became highly developed. The Maya developed a complex calendar and were advanced in astronomy and mathematics.

Great Ancient Mounds[]

The Great Ancient Mounds found in early Ohio are among the most remarkable archaeological features in North America. These mounds were built by indigenous peoples and are believed to have served various ceremonial, burial, and possibly even astronomical purposes. They are significant not only for their size and construction but also for what they reveal about the sophisticated societies that existed in prehistoric Ohio. Modern archealogists label the builder the Ohio Hopewell group and date the construction to the period 100 BC to 400 AD - the peak of the Book of Mormon Lamanite / Nephite civilizations.

Ancient Horses of America[]

  • SacredWaySanctuary.org - ​We are a research, education, and preservation facility that is home to a foundation herd of between 80 and 90 Indigenous Native American horses. The origin of these horses can be traced to Native Peoples across North America. Our Mission is to educate the world regarding the true history of the horse in the Americas and its relationship with the Indigenous Peoples. This historical reconstruction has been compiled by combining Traditional Knowledge from a number of Native Nations with cutting edge academic research.
  • Evidence Pre-Colombian Era Horses - Compelling evidence presented by IndianCountryToday.

Geography[]

Reformed Eqyptian[]

Biblical References[]

Did God reveal the presence of the Early American peoples to his prophets in the Old World? How do they fit into God's divine plan for humanity? There are actually many prophecies about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon hiding in the Holy Bible, such as this one:

"But he Jesus answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (St. Matthew 4:4 / Deuteronomy 8:3)

  1. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder

Witnesses to the Gold Plates[]

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (II Corinthians 13:1)

Besides Joseph Smith himself, there were a number of others who witnessed the actual existence of the Golden Plates from which the record was made and also of the Angel Moroni who presented them.[3] An important element to proving the divine authenticity of this scripture is the Testimony of Latter-day Witnesses. Their experiences with this book have been recorded for all mankind.

  1. Testimony of Three Witnesses - Three men who were privileged to see the angel and the gold plates.
  2. Testimony of Eight Witnesses - Joseph Smith shows the gold plates to eight acquaintances.
  3. Joseph Smiths History is the account recorded in 1838 by the Prophet Joseph himself and is cited by most Mormon sects (including the LDS Church) as the official record of events. In Mormonism this account is generally referred to as his "witness" to the Book of Mormon.
  4. Witnesses of the Book of Mormon - (Religion.Wikia.org)
  5. Voices of the Restoration - The angel Moroni showed the gold plates to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris in the woods near the Whitmer home in Fayette, New York. Joseph’s parents were visiting the Whitmers at the time. Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s mother, described the effect this miraculous experience had on the witnesses:
  6. Testimony of Oliver Cowdery - Contained as a supplement to the History of the Church.

Church Essays[]

These are some of the few official Church statements with regard to such historical issues. The Gospel Topics essays section of the LDS official website hosts two essays entitled:

See Also[]

Adair history
  • To read the Book of Mormon please visit this link.
  • Adair's History of the American Indians - James Adair (1714-1796) - pioneer, indian trader, patriot, Scotch-Irish immigrant - James Adair spent 40 years visiting the indians and collecting meticulous notes for his book. This book, published 55 years prior to the coming forth of The Book of Mormon, contains some powerful evidences for why Mr. Adair strongly felt from his forty years of personal observations that the American Indians were direct descendants of The House of Israel, and perhaps part of the Lost Ten Tribes. In his efforts to scientifically determine their historical origins, the first 100 pages of his book presents 23 "Arguments".
  • Empirical Witnesses of the Gold Plates by Larry E. Morris, Dialogue Journal (Summer 2019), p 59-84
  • SupportingEvidences.net - Archaeological and Historical Evidence - The Bible and The Book of Mormon are historical testaments of Jesus Christ.
  • EvidenceCentral.org - Evidences of the Book of Mormon.
  • FairMormon.org - Many articles supporting the Historicity of the Book of Mormon.
  • Mounting Evidence for the Book of Mormon - January 2000 LDS Ensign Magazine.

References[]

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