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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

In my previous posts, I talked about the problems facing the geography of the Book of Mormon. The traditional view regarding the geography of the Book of Mormon is the view that was widely accepted by Joseph Smith, other prophets and early members of the church in general. The traditional view was that the geography for the Book of Mormon included the entire North and South American continents. However, more and more LDS scholars are taking a more non-traditional view of the Book of Mormon geography, known as a "limited Geography theory", or in other words Joseph Smith was incorrect in his teachings that the Book of Mormon covered the entire Continent. Instead, most LDS scholars today insist the Book of Mormon is a story of a small group of people that had very little impact on the overall society. The reason is current LDS scholars take this view is because it is clear that the civilizations that are found in North, Central and South America are in no way similar at all with the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.

Continual Shrinking of Book of Mormon Geography

Sometime in the 1940's, the first LDS scholars came up with the idea that the geography of the Book of Mormon was not the entire North and South American continent, but was in fact limited to the southern Mexico and Central American area. This view was not well accepted at first, particularly since it contradicted Joseph Smith and his claims about locating the remains of Zelph, the location of the hill Cumorah, and statements made by Smith and other early prophets. None the less, it has since proven to be the most widely popular and publicized theory.



The reason LDS scholars believe that the Book of Mormon geography is located around Mesoamerica is because there were many civilizations that had great empires in that region during the same time period. So, it would make sense that if the vast empires that existed in the Book of Mormon, we could find some archaeological evidence to support it.

The New World Archaeological Foundation

In 1952, an LDS attorney named Thomas Ferguson approached the first presidency with an idea for the church to fund an archaeological dig in central America with the soul purpose of finding cities and/or artifacts that would support the Book of Mormon. The name of the organization that Ferguson established was The New World Archaeological Foundation. Although David O. Mckay(the prophet and president at the time) was skeptical at first, once Thomas Ferguson raised private funds to get the program started, the church stepped in and fully backed the program financially.

The New World Archaeological Foundation is funded by the church, but employs professional Archaeologists to manage the dig sites. It has since been re-structured and is now run through BYU, but it's purpose remains the same. Its sole purpose is finding locations and artifacts to support the Book of Mormon . Unfortunately, 55 years after it was founded, they have yet to find a single shred of physical evidence to support the Book of Mormon. In fact, in the quest to find evidence to support the Book of Mormon, LDS archaeologists and anthropologists have discovered quite the opposite. In my next posts, I will outline the different archaeological aspects of what is found in ancient America and how it differs with what is described in the Book of Mormon.

Skeptical Mormon

5 comments:

James Brian Marshall said...

I Find it Odd the LDS church has found little evidense to back up the Book of Mormon!

I'm a Member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's..... We have plenty of proofs starting with the Book of Mormon it self..... And they're well thought through and stand under tough scruntiney....

I'm curious why you're skeptical and disillusioned? Does anybody know Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the Utah Branch of the LDS church? Does anyone know why there is an RLDS/ LDS split?

Only 10,000 saint's followed Brigham Young to Salt Lake. It seems most people have forgotten there were 140-190,000 people who did not follow Brigham Young to Salt Lake... The the RLDS church was the origanal LDS church which reorganized in 1860 as RLDS. The very church Emma Smith was a member of till her death..........

I could say more but I tend to have a big mouth, a love for history and the Book of Mormon. I don't always listen like I should. If any have Questions, I'll happy to help you if I can.

No body should be ashamed ofthe book Prophecied to come forth in our bibles in these latter day's. Nobody should be ashamed of the Book of Mormon.

I have eye opening Biblical scripture which I'd be glad to give any who wish it!

Contact me James@storybookglen.com.
Please Subject Title your Email Book of Mormon Questions in Capital letters. Else you'll likly be deleted!

God bless!

P.S. There was a battle in the Book of Mormon where 4 Million men died in north America! It's quite clear where it took place.

PPS.

I'm sorry but many many LDS teachings about what Joseph Smith taught can be likened to calling Jesus Christ a prostitute. It just ain't so! I don't mean to seem mean or sound concieted... But their are two churchs LDS. One is hampered by the shadow of the other...

This type and shadow is a repeat of Historical happening in the early church after Christ's ascention into heaven........

Anonymous said...

Hello,

This is James@storybookglen.com.

I'm currently in Texas and having to opperate for a different computer.

I wanted to clearify something.
When I ended my march 11th 2008 post responding to the Book of Mormon possibly being a hoax I ended my response by saying " Please Subject Title your Email Book of Mormon Questions in Capital letters. Else you'll likly be deleted"!

I only meant that I get lot's of spam and I'm a diligent Email Spam destoryer. I didn't want to delete an Email about the Book of Mormon.

Biblical Scriptural Teaching Of The Day.

Is the Book of Mormon possibly true?

Joseph Smith claimed he found these records buried in the earth from which he translated the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon has a hope of being true, then the Bible will tell us.

In future post I'll show you how the Book of Mormon is truly of God, but I must regretfully show people how the LDS Church is a Construct of the Devil.

First we must answer does the Bible say God has braught us all his truth, (i.e. the Bible )?

Isaiah 42:1-9 speaks of a servant who will bring forth Judgement to the Gentiles, ending in verse 9 where God declares....

9.Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

This means God does not reveal every bit if information he has to us. Unlike what most biblical teachers and preachers like to say, " the bible is the only word of God". if this were true it would contradict Ezekiel 37 about two books and two nations.

First Bible verse I know begins to prophecy the Book of Mormon is Phsalms 85. It begins to confirm Joseph Smiths claims may be true.
Granted they in no way are conclusive, but it begins to tell us something.

Notice verse Phsalms 85:6, King David ask God,

6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

And later Kind David Prophecies verses 10-11,

10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Again while this is not conclusive evidense for the Book of Mormon or especially the LDS church, it's a beginning.

In latter posts I will answer questions, such does the bible talke about a people who've left Israel and traveled over the sea, and other questions skeptical people, ( like myself:) ....

I will remind you all I'm a Memeber of the Reoganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are very good reasons the RLDS reorganized and would have no part of the LDS invasion of Utah.... All things of which I'll share with you latter as I share more of what I know as an RLDS member.

James Brian Marshall said...

Yikes!

I just reread my post!
The spelling is terrible!

So Sorry! In future posts I shall edit better!

Brian Marshall

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