Part 6 Archeology & DNA evidence falsify the Book of Mormon

ASSESSING THE BOOK OF MORMON

Instead of praying over the Book of Mormon, we need to look for evidence.  What do we find when we test the Book of Mormon?

Stolen Transcripts: As Joseph Smith used stones to translate the golden plates, some detractors created a plan.  These critics stole 116 pages of the original Book of Mormon and then waited to see if Joseph Smith could reproduce from the plates the exact same words.  If the Book of Mormon was truly from God Joseph Smith should have had no problem duplicating the text.  However, he avoided this test by translating a different set of plates that he said were attached to the original plates.  So essentially he said the story in the Book of Mormon was the same as the stolen texts but the words were different.  How convenient an extra set of plates mysteriously appeared[1].  Who believes this story?

No Archeological evidence: Smithsonian Institution of Natural History released a statement calling the evidence for the Book of Mormon fictional.  The Smithsonian statement lists many items not in existence from the time period of the Book of Mormon. For example, iron and horses were not present in America during the alleged dates.

In addition there are no archeological artifacts found to support the ancient people groups of the Book of Mormon.   Interesting was the fact that during a visit to the Mormon Museum, I searched the entire facility to find any archeological artifacts and none could be found.  How could it be, the most famous Mormon museum in Salt Lake City, failed to display evidence for the people of the Book of Mormon?  While Mormon leaders have insisted that virtually millions of Jaredites, Nephites, and Lamanites lived during the Book of Mormon era, the LDS Church has no tangible evidence to support this claim.[2]

I once shared this information with a Mormon and he said: “If we don’t find archeological evidence or if the current evidence contradicts what we believe, we just know that in the future we will find the evidence to support the Book of Mormon.  He said eventually the findings will match what we already know to be true.”  I then asked him if he could be wrong and he said no.  He said the burning in his chest was confirmation from God that he had the truth.  If a Mormon’s heart says he is right, then the lack of archeological evidence no longer matters.

Major DNA problem:The Book of Mormon teaches the ancient inhabitants of the Americas (Native Americans) are descendants from the Israelite group called the Lamanites.However,DNA evidence shows no connection between American Indians and Israel.A quote from Dan Egan, a writer for the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Generations of Mormons grew up with the notion that American Indians are descended from the lost tribe from the House of Israel, offspring of a Book of Mormon figure named Lehi, who left Jerusalem and sailed to the Americas around 600 B.C.For the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, Lehi’s story is neither fable nor parable.  It is truth.  Historical fact.  But mainstream science has failed to back that story.  Instead, archeologists, linguists and genetic experts outside Mormon culture say all the evidence points to Asia as the place from which American Indians originated.”[3]

This is devastating evidence against the Book of Mormon.  Many individuals have left the church based on the DNA findings.

When we assess Joseph Smith’s failure to reproduce the stolen text, the lack of archeology evidence, and the DNA studies, we are left with no other conclusion other than the Book of Mormon is a fictional account born from the fertile imagination of Joseph Smith.  Praying over the Book of Mormon will not change the truth.  Paul says, “Test everything.  Hold to the good.” Don’t follow your feelings, follow the evidence.  The Book of Mormon is pure fiction.

Go to part 7 here


[1] Palmer, Grant, “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins,” Signature Books Salt Lake City UT, 2002 ps. 6,7

[2] Bill McKeever & Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101, Baker Books, Michigan, 2000 pg. 112

[3] Dan Egan, “Gene data may shed light on idea of American Indian-Israel link” Salt Lake Tribune, 12/24/2000

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Tom Wright September 6, 2010, 10:05 pm

    Steve;
    Doesn’t the old testament contain fables such as the parting of the Red Sea and the in the new testament Jesus walking on water?
    What’s the difference? Can evidence be found to substantiate the above?

  • Morgan October 24, 2011, 11:28 am

    Wow! Over 1 year with no response. Looks like Tom put you in your place.

  • Steve October 24, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Tom,
    Sorry I didn’t get back to you (Morgan thanks for reminding me that I overlooked this comment). Both of these events are miracles. In an atheistic worldview you cannot have miracles, therefore you conclude a priori (before the evidence) this has to be a fable. As far as parting of the Red Sea, outside of the testimony of Moses, there is no physical evidence. Too many years (thousands) have washed away any and all physical evidence. The same goes for Jesus walking on the water. How could there be physical evidence to support Jesus walked on water? Do you want footprints on the surface of the water that match Jesus? The only evidence possible is the testimony of the individuals who witnessed the event. The best I can do is point you to my series of posts called, “Is God the Author of the Bible.” If God supernaturally guided the writing process of the human authors then these events happened. If God exists then these two miracles would be a piece of cake compared to creating the universe or humans.

    Even if you believed the Bible wasn’t inspired by God then you could believe the historical testimony of the writers. Why would they lie? They supported their testimonies with their lives. No one dies for a lie they know is a lie. Liars make lousy martyr’s.

    Tom since your worldview will not allow for miracles then no matter what I say you will reject. Morgan if you are an atheist then the same goes for you.

  • Kevin Rudd October 24, 2013, 11:42 pm

    I know this is an old thread that I’ve come across, but if by chance you still monitor it, I’ll comment. I find it hard to believe that you didn’t realize Tom’s comment was made in support of the Book of Mormon and not in support of atheism. Your response to him almost completely refutes your criticism above. His point was that the Bible doesn’t have a lot of historical nor archaeological evidence supporting it either. Yet many believe it to be true. “Liar’s make lousy martyrs” is also a particularly odd point to make when trying to prove that Joseph Smith was a fraud.

  • Steve Bruecker October 25, 2013, 6:41 am

    Kevin,
    Thanks for writing. And yes I will answer. I am out of town most of the day but will respond to your series of comments as soon as I can.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker October 25, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Kevin,
    Tom in no way supported the Book of Mormon. He knows it is a fable. I know his opinion because he is my neighbor. He is definitely not a supporter of Mormonism.

    His argument was against the historical nature of the Bible. I only addressed the events he mentioned, parting of the red sea and Jesus walking on water because that’s what he asked about. The red sea was too long ago to find evidence. How would you find something that was done over 3,500 years ago? And outside of testimony of eyewitnesses no other evidence is possible confirming Jesus walked on water. In a different post I argue for the supernatural foundation for the Bible in a series called “Is God the Author of the Bible.” I did a short piece in the series on historical evidence that can be found at: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/is-god-the-author-of-the-bible-part-6/

    Almost no one doubts the historical reliability of the New Testament. The geography, cities mentioned, manuscript evidence, and artifacts build a powerful case. However, when we look at the Book of Mormon it is embarrassing. No evidence whatsoever. Zero! And the multiple anachronisms just kills it.

    Knowing there are major problems, some Mormon scholars now try to say the Jaredites may have been the Olmec (lived in Mexico 5,000 years ago), and that part of the Mayans may have been the Nephites and Lamanites. Many missionaries will use this information to try to undo the fact there is zero evidence for these groups of people.

    David Carrasco PhD in the History of Religions writes,
    “The Book of Mormon is book of faith and storytelling and not history. Historically it is inaccurate. If we go on archaeological evidence, there is no basis for what the Book of Mormon teaches…There is no record of the arrival of anyone from Jerusalem .”
    Arthur Joyce PhD in Anthropology states,
    “I don’t see evidence of a major migration of outsiders into Mesoamerica around 600 BC. Archaeologists are able to trace Native American populations back more than 10,000 years ago. There are no indications of Hebrew roots in Native American languages .”

    One time at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Utah I walked across the street and asked the LDS official at the front desk if there were any artifacts verifying the existence of ancient people groups in the Book of Mormon. She said there weren’t any. How is that possible? There were millions of Jaridites, Nephites, and Lamanites lived there. Where is the evidence? She didn’t know what to say.

    Then comes the DNA evidence. The LDS Church always has taught the Native Americans we descendants of the Laminites. Therefore, the Native Americans should have Hebrew DNA. The testing has shown without a doubt the Native Americans came from Asia, and not Jerusalem. They have Mongoloid DNA.

    What this proves is the best explanation for the Book of Mormon is it is a fictional account from the fertile imagination of Joseph Smith.

    What evidence do you have from non-Mormon historians that support the historicity of the Book of Mormon?

    Steve

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