Archaeological Evidences for the Book of Mormon?

When I was LDS, I admittedly never really looked into the matter of archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. I was aware of various books and articles written on the matter, and that LDS apologists generally seem to believe that the New World portion of it took place in Mesoamerica, but I haven’t actually looked into these evidences to evaluate them.

So, what are these evidences? Are they strong, compelling evidences that lead one to conclude that the events described in the Book of Mormon really are historical? I know that “Mormon’s Codex” was recently published; 800+ pages on the subject of the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica. So, 800+ pages later, what is the conclusion? Are LDS any closer to finding real, historical locations for the Book of Mormon events?

Please keep this thread on the specific subject of archaeology and the Book of Mormon. I’m not interested in discussing whether archaeology is important, whether the Bible has problematic issues related to archaeology, whether having a testimony of the Book is more important, etc. I’d like to discuss the actual merits of archaeology and the Book of Mormon and what LDS apologists and scholars have actually found and concluded, and how that relates to the claims on the Book of Mormon.

My impression has always been that there is essentially no archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon. Moreover, there are incongruities between asserted events in the Book of Mormon and what archaeology does show.

Here’s a quick source. There are many others.

Are the American Indians the lost tribes of Israel? No, there is no evidence of that and there never will be.

Are the Catholic Church and the Bible false and apostate? No, there is no evidence of that and there never will be.

Amen, God Bless. Memaw

800 pages of no evidence. None.

Time for the LDS Church to excavate the Hill Cumorah. Send all the missionaries there with shovels for the next five years. Flatten the hill looking for swords, the remains of a million humans and chariots. Finding such evidence would be a great way to evangelize. Yet the hill remains undisturbed. Why? Because the LDS Church knows there is nothing there despite what the Book of Mormon says.

Is the Book of Mormon true … Or not?

The book of Omni, chapter 1, says that there were wars between Lamanites and Nephites and that the Nephites used swords. The footnotes in my Book of Mormon say that this would’ve been around 300 BC. The problem is that the technology of sword building did not exist in the Americas at that time. There’s no archaeological evidence of a jewish people *, who settled in Central America many centuries before Christ, had that kind of technology.

If these big wars happened, as the Book of Mormon says, then we should expect to see all kinds of evidence, in the field of archaeologly, of jewish settlers having lived in Central or North America that possessed the characteristics of the Lamanites and Nephites, respectively. We don’t find that, though.*

Geez…if only the world would have ended when js prophesied it would (in the late 1800s), then no one would have never discovered how much he lied and misled everyone and the current leaders would not to keep backtracking and misrepresenting his teachings.

One of the biggest problems with the Book of Mormon is the fact there is no archaeological evidence to support it.It would be helpful if Mormons could, at least, agree to where it all took place. The only place they agreed on was Cumorah, and when lds leaders realized the fraud of that, they backtracked to say that no one really knows where Cumorah is, either

One summer for family vacation when I was a teen, we went to Palmyra, Cumorah, etc. The one thing I did wonder was where the stone box was. Why didn’t they let us see the stone box? Even if the two Cumorah theory were valid, there should still be a stone box where the plates were supposedly stored.

Well, now I know there never was a stone box for the LDS church to show off. They don’t even have the basic historical evidence to support Joseph Smith’s claims and they certainly don’t have any archeological evidence.

I have been three times to Palmyra/Cumorah. Once was during the pageant. I have prayed in the “sacred grove”. I have seen the printing press. I have seen the js house.

One thing I always asked was, "why don’t they excavate here? It would hush all the lds critics! I was told it was wrong to excavate such sacred ground.


They have found remains of people who lived in the Americas around 100 A.D.

Jewish people in the Americas at 100 CE? You have to be joking!

I said people, not Jewish people. That’s about all they evidence there is.

I see, but Mormons claim that the first inhabitants of the Americas were Jewish Nephites and others Lamanites.

A small group of Vikings came to the East coast of North America circa 1000 AD. There were only a few of them and they only stayed a short time, but there is abundant archaeological evidence of their stay.

People leave artifacts. They always do.

So if there was a population of Jewish-Christian immigrants that were here for 1000 years and built a thriving civilization that farmed and kept meticulous written records and made iron and steel and fought armored wars where thousands perished in battle, it is unthinkable that they would not leave behind a treasure-trove of unique and identifiable artifacts.

The fact that no such artifacts have been found speaks volumes.

Mormons tell me that God has hidden all of these artifacts so that people have to rely on faith to accept the Book of Mormon. If such artifacts were found everyone would know that Jesus is the Christ and they would be under greater condemnation for rejecting it. God has made the artifacts slippery so they go back into the earth when people try to find them so they don’t condemn themselves through their unbelief …

Yes, they used to say that when i was LDS. If that were true, then why wouldn’t God hide the archaeological evidence for the bible?

There is a being who obscures the truth and deceives people, but it’s not God.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

I agree with you of course. But what would happen if we were to find a temple somewhere with a long written history of the Nephite-Lamanite wars that was proven to be valid? Would we convert back to Mormonism? I know it is not going to happen because the Book of Mormon was invented by Joseph Smith and his associates. I can see what the Mormons are saying when they proclaim that indisputable evidence of the Book of Mormon would end the need for faith.

Archaeological and historical evidence for the bible does not compel one to accept the theology and spiritual claims of the bible, as is evident by the number of people who do not believe in Jesus.

Abundant archaeological evidence for the BoM would not necessarily mean that people would embrace the theology of Mormonism either (especially since that theology changes with each new generation).

As with the bible, the theological claims of the BoM demand faith. But faith without reason allows people to be deceived, as we see mormons are deceived by a history book whose historicity has no evidence and can easily be debunked.

So I ask, why didn’t God hide the evidence for the bible?

The only evidence most Christians think is important is the resurrection of Jesus. That will always be a matter of faith no matter how much archaeological evidence is found. I suppose they could find something between the resurrection and the ascension that would negate the need for faith any longer, but that is far-fetched. The Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection and if anything were found to prove that it was absolutely true the need for faith would be over.

If we were actually to find a valid history of the Nephites in some ancient temple then we would no longer need to exercise faith to believe in the Book of Mormon. That wouldn’t prove the LDS Church is true, but it would probably mean we’d be looking at religion a whole lot differently than we do now. The only question for me would be whether or not I would go back to the LDS Church or become a member of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would no longer have a reason to remain Catholic if the Book of Mormon were beyond reason of doubt proven to be true. Of course that isn’t going to happen.

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