Monday, September 21, 2009

Book of Mormon Evidences Revisited

by Joseph W. Grammer

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2009 Joseph Warren Grammer

Cover: The Hill Cumorah


Author's Note

This work is not intended to be a book of original research by this author. It is, for the most part, a compilation and arrangement of the research done by others. In that light, I do not intend to take the credit for anything presented herein, other than the editing and arrangement of information for the purpose of my own presentation. Although I have done some of my own research on the subject covered, the majority of information will be from other sources.

Where possible, all references to other works will be cited. However, there may be instances where I fail to give credit where credit might be due. If such be the case, it will not be for the purpose of plagiarizing the works of others as being my own. Under any such circumstance, I sincerely beg forgiveness of any I might offend by such neglect, and due credit goes to the originator of the information presented.

Internet web sites will be offered as citations, as well. However, sometimes web sites are discontinued by their owner, and relative URLs may not be operable for that reason; as of this writing, though, the sites offered are in operation. URLs are placed at the end of each chapter, and each is indicated by a number placed in parenthesis in its respective place within the document — Example: (1).

The views expressed in this work are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Any editing and emphasis, such as boldings, capitalizations and italics, may be of the authors doing. In addition, many illustrations are used throughout the book. The sources of some illustration have been lost over time and, therefore, may not be offered. For such I beg forgiveness, as well, for such is not my intention.


The thesis of this book is in support of evidence that the Book of Mormon is a divinely inspired work, and the word of God to His people.

Many get hung up with the claim that the Book of Mormon is the word of the Lord, thinking that the statement means that the Book of Mormon is the “only” word of God. That is not the case, for it is divinely inspired just as the Holy Bible is inspired — both contain His words. So the Bible and the Book of Mormon can go hand-in-hand, and side-by-side, as scripture and God’s word to His people.

Now if this is truly the case, that the Book of Mormon is the word of the Lord, why wouldn’t anyone want to read and consider the Book of Mormon as being what it purports to be — divine revelation and scripture?

At this point, let’s ask, What is scripture? Is it not that which is given by the inspiration of God? Of course it is, for we read in Second Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Tim. 3:16.) Let’s ask another question: If scripture comes by divine inspiration, how does the Lord inspire the individual to write scripture? That answer comes from Peter: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1:21.) So scripture is given by the inspiration of God through holy men as they are inspired by the Holy Ghost.

These holy men are usually called prophets. So let’s pose another question: What is a prophet? John the Revelator gives the answer in Chapter 19 of Revelation. Turning to verse 10 we read in part, “... worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10.)

Therefore, if one professes to be a witness of Jesus Christ, that individual must possess the spirit of prophecy; and that constitutes them being a prophet. Therefore, he who witness or teach of Jesus and, at the same time, denies the spirit of prophecy, must be, by this same criteria, a false prophet. If, therefore, someone speaks or writes anything under the influence of the Holy Spirit and testifies of Christ, that individual can be considered a prophet; and his words can be considered scripture. This is exactly what the Book of Mormon claims to be — scripture written by men of God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

As stated, the purpose of this book is to present evidence that upholds the Book of Mormon as being what it claims to be — sacred scripture from God. But one of the claims against the book is that there is a lack of scientific evidence in support of that claim.

Does the lack of anything disprove its existence? Of course not. Take Thomas, for example. When our resurrected Lord appeared to the remainder of the twelve after His resurrection, Thomas was not there. When the disciples told Thomas of the event, Thomas said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, when they were all together, and after Thomas not only saw but handled the resurrected Christ, Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29.) Again, does the lack of visual evidence prove the nonexistence of anything? If that belief is true, then there is no God for in John we read, “No man hath seen God at any time;...” (John 1:18.)

At no time in history has anyone proved the Holy Bible wrong based upon the lack of evidence. But abundant physical proof, which has come forth in recent years, such as the discovery of the “real” Mt. Sinai, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, has provided monumental credibility to the claim that it is God’s word. But such evidence cannot “prove” the Bible to be the Lord’s word to man, for that proof can only come by reading it, applying the precepts presented therein, and through testimony of the Holy Ghost. Accordingly, the lack of something cannot disprove the Book of Mormon from being what it purports to be.

The truly amazing thing about the majority of the facts presented in this work is that they were not known to scientists, much less to Joseph Smith in 1829 ,when the Book of Mormon was translated. The Book of Mormon lacks very little, if anything, when it comes to supporting scientific evidence. In fact, and with all due respect, I personally believe that the Book of Mormon has just as much going for itself, as far as scientific proof is concerned, as does the Bible.

In 1830, when Joseph Smith first published the Book of Mormon, archaeology was hardly a viable science. There is some indication that archaeology didn’t truly begin on a scientific level until 1842 when Paul-Emile Botte excavated Nineveh in 1842 and Khorsabad in 1843; that’s twelve years after the first publication of the Book of Mormon. In his book, A Hundred Years of Archaeology, British archaeologist, Glyn E. Daniel, professor at Cambridge University, expressed the idea that the birth of Archaeology was between 1840 and 1870. He said, “Excavations began with Warren’s work in and around Jerusalem in 1867-70 and the work of Petrie and Bliss at Tell el-Hesy in 1891-92.” (See The Improvement Era, April 1962.)

So as we consider scientific proofs surrounding evidences in favor of the Book of Mormon, we note that its publication was well ahead of the real birth of true archeology and the modern scientific discoveries we will be considering in this study.

This book is not designed to be a work of doctrinal consideration, only objective scientific facts relevant to the subject at hand. Furthermore, this study into the Book of Mormon is not presented for the purpose of converting anyone to Mormonism, for many humble followers of Christ have received a spiritual witness to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon without being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the “Mormon Church.” The study is strictly my attempt to show, through worldly scientific evidence, that the Book of Mormon, along with the Holy Bible, is also the word of God to mankind today.

As physical evidence continues to mount supporting the Bible as coming from God, so it is with the Book of Mormon; evidences continue to come forth supporting it as divinely inspired as well. With this increasing evidence comes the inevitable conclusion that Joseph Smith must have been a true Prophet of the Living God.

However, the spiritual aspect of the Book of Mormon being of the Lord comes only through reading it and asking the Father, in the name of Christ, if it is true. The only catch is that this must be done with total sincerity and with true intent. God knows our hearts. He knows if we are sincere and truly want to know, and if our intent is to accept its truth or not. He will not cast pearls (Matt. 7:6). But when you ask Him with a sincere heart, with honest intent, He will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Keeping all of this in mind, the reader is invited to truly consider the following evidence in a logical manner — not emotionally. Endeavor to set aside all previously conceived notions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, regardless from whatever source derived. Open up your reasoning mind, with which God blessed you, and judge the facts of the matter for yourself. Have the courage to honestly accept truth when it is presented, and fear not man; for only God’s approval is of eternal worth.