One of the typical responses (and we have seen it here) to the question about Book of Mormon Archeology is that the Book was meant to require faith, so no evidence is needed. That is ahandy answer for a Church that knows that no evidence exists.
But the argument is a specious one.
IF the Book of Mormon was simply a spiritual book of teachings, then yes, no evidence is needed and faith is all that is required.
Where the LDS argument fails is that the BM does NOT just purport to be a spritual book of teachings, but, rather, a history book that tells the history of a specific group of people.
The discussion from non-LDS is NOT that there should be evidence of the spiritual aspects of the book…that is a faith-based issue that is not relevant.
The discussion is about the HISTORICAL aspects of the book. This has NOTHING to do with faith. If the evidence of the historical aspects of a book was that critical, then everyone would believe in God due to the evidence that suuports the historical aspects of the Bible.
Mormons try to muddy water by bringing in faith as a red-herring. This is NOT about faith but about HISTORY. IF the Book is what it purports to be, then there WOULD be historical, geographical, archeological, and scientific evidence.
Mormons always try to claim that no one knows for sure where the BM took place, so excavating is almost impossible. That is hollow because we DO where Cumorah is, and NO excavating has taken place. That tells me that the LDS Church KNOWS there is nothing to be found.
We are told archeology is not important to the LDS Church. Yet, the Church has sponsored or financed several attempts to find evidence. All have failed.
We are told missionary work is more important. Hmmmm. I was LDS. The missionary program is strong. Very strong. The goal, according to LDS leaders is to baptize EVERYONE (not just certain people as Parker stated). Imagine, if you will, how many baptisms the LDS Church would obtain (and by extension, the millions in tithes) if they excavated Cumorah and found solid evidence of two large battles with items as described in the Book of Mormon. What a POWEFUL missionary tool to be able to show the world that what was in the BM has some solid evidence that even non-LDS can agree on (like non-Christians who acknowledge archeological findings that support Biblical history).
Do you really believe the LDs Church would, with millions, perhaps billions in tithes at stake, not to mention the perhaps millions who might become LDS, refuse to excavate if it was even remotely possible that they would find evidence?
The refusal to excavate Cumorah is a tacit admission that LDS leaders know that no evidence exists. That they know the BM is not true. And that they know the LDS Church is not the true Church.