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Is the book of Mormon authenticated by archaeology?

images-3Hello A,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The Bible teaches to “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The Book of Mormon is promoted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as “another testament of Jesus Christ” and of the account of His supposed visit to the American continent (The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:1-17).

However, archaeologists and researches have looked for evidence in the Americas to see if the Book of Mormon is true but have found nothing – not even one single coin. While there is ample archaeological evidence to prove the authenticity of the Bible in the Middle East, the evidence to support the Book of Mormon is not there.

If we read the Mormon book, we find that in Mormon 6:9-15, it says that thousands of men fought a great battle armed with swords, bows, arrows and axes, but there is no evidence in archaeology to any of these items that date back to that period. Also, in Ether 15:2, it states that two million Jaredites were killed in battle, yet there is no evidence to the battle anywhere. And in Ether 15:15, it states that men, women, and children armed with shields, breastplates, and head plates, fought a battle with many dead but no item of that battle has been found.

Based on the Smithsonian Institute, there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of the  following items (which, according to The Book of Mormon, existed in the Americas between 600 B.C. and 421 AD):

Iron—2 Nephi 5:15, 20:34, Jarom 1:8, Mosiah 11:8

Steel—Jarom 1:8, 2 Nephi 5:15,16, 1 Nephi 4:9, 16:18

Coins—Alma 11:5-19

Grain and Wheat—Mosiah 9:9; Helaman 11:17

Cattle, Cow, and Oxen—Enos 1:21; 3 Nephi 3:22, 6: 1 Nephi 18:25

Horses—Enos 1:21, Alma 18:9, 3 Nephi 3: 1, Nephi 18:25

Donkeys—1 Nephi 18:25, Mosiah 5:14, 12:5

Pigs—3 Nephi 7:8

Silk—Alma 4:6, Nephi 13:7, Alma 1:29

We may have a clue to the origin of the Mormon stories in the book “History of Joseph Smith” (p. 85), written by Joseph Smith’s own mother, Lucy Mack Smith, where she says: “During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.” Joseph Smith’s mother said that her son told these stories many years before he allegedly found the golden plates.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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