The Book of Mormon is a fraud you say? Joseph Made it up or stole the ideas from someone else? If only it were that simple. Today I sit down with two friends, Chris and Clay. We talk about ways in which to corroborate a fraudulent narrative of the Book of Mormon. Who could have been involved and how the narrative would have to flow based on who is in on it and who is being duped along with what it should look like if Joseph is truly plagiarizing sources to create a fictional work. Is “The Book of Mormon” a fake? Maybe… that conclusion certainly is reasonable. Yet, as we explore in today’s episode, to create a coherent historical narrative that explains the ins and outs of how such a hoax could be pulled off seems to have just as many issues if not more than simply believing in the divine nature of the book. The witnesses, Emma, Rigdon, Spaulding, View of the Hebrews, Late War, Savant, Genius, Photographic memory, and everything in between is explored in just over an hour…….. Is there room for faith?…… the choice was always yours!
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Great podcast! Thanks for the great insights. I was wondering: The historical record of witnesses to his translating doesn’t say JS ever used other documents for reference. Emma explicitly said he didn’t (at least when she was present). But, we don’t have statements from EVERY scribe saying that JS NEVER used other materials. Therefore, I don’t see any reason that JS couldn’t have been inspired by what he was seeing in the seer stone to pull out his King James bible and copy down verses and chapters as he felt impressed to do. That seems more plausible than him getting King James errors through the revelatory process using the seer stone. Thoughts?
I have listened to your podcast for several months now but this is my first time commenting. Although I am not a believer I enjoy your nuanced perspective because it helps me stay more fair and balanced in my own thinking. However, I must say that I was a little disappointed by what I perceive as a lack of your typical nuance in this episode. From the beginning all three of you assumed that the BOM is either an actual ancient text that Joseph produced by revelation or a complete fraud. Isn’t it possible that the book could be a 19th century production without being a knowing fraud? I believe that Joseph and the witnesses all truly believed it was what they said it was. If this is the case then of course none of them would recant their testimony of the BOM. Just a possibility that I thought could be explored.
Also, I felt that the discussion about plagiarism was too black and white. The one book we do know Joseph knew well was the Bible. He doesn’t necessarily need to have read the other books that have been suggested in order to use ideas from them–the question of Native American origins, for example, was a hot topic of conversation and he wouldn’t need to read View of the Hebrews to know that.
There is no doubt that the BOM is a remarkable work, and I certainly can’t explain every aspect of the work, nor do I feel the need to do. Joseph was clearly a fantastic storyteller and a creative mind (not necessarily a genius in the traditional sense). You made the comment that Joseph didn’t plagiarize the books of Moses and Abraham. In one sense I agree–his main source was the Bible, but he creatively reinterpreted it much as the writers of the ancient apocryphal books did. In reading 1 Enoch or Jubilees I can see how creative biblical exegesis works. I see common elements of this in the BOM (such as exegesis of the Adam and Eve story in 2 Ne. 2 and Alma 42), Moses, Abraham, and parts of the D&C. Not a smoking gun, of course, but something worth considering.
Anyway, I don’the mean this as a critique of you, just suggestions of things to take into account. Keep up the great work.
I appreciate your comments. In order to jump into the nuance on this large a range of topics one would need to take up hours or make it several episodes. Our goal was to show that while the BOM has problematic issues there is reason for those who want to believe to maintain faith. That is always my goal.
For sure, I understand that that is your goal and I think it is a good one for a certain segment of people. I guess my main point is that if you want to offer listeners a way to believe while acknowledging difficulties, it might be nice to provide a middle way option (for example, that God revealed to Joseph the essential doctrines but allowed Joseph to couch those teachings in a narrative of his own choosing–or something like that). Perhaps if you would have had more time you would have done just that. You have done an excellent job providing other middle way options on other subjects, and I think that is an important service for people who cannot believe literally but want to remain connected with the the faith.
I struggled with this episode because it scratches on the surface of issues that I believe you know are much more complex and controversial. Good critical analysis around the BoM has been done that dives much deeper on challenging issues about authorship, try “New Approaches to the Book of Mormon”, “American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon”, “Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon”.
Also on the witnesses Dan Vogel has done good work bringing serious questions to the table. There is just so much more that you didn’t address and in some cases that you seemed to gloss over, I was disappointed by this.
Bill, one of your strong points and reason’s I’ve been a fan of yours is that you typically try to validate the questioner as having legitimate questions. When you do this, I think you are at your strongest, because you don’t try and dismiss the critical arguments that are vexing the questioner, and you end with saying that there aren’t any easy answers to these difficult questions. Yet in this podcast you seemed to take a different stance where you are trying to equivocate the positive evidence along side the negative. When you do this, I think you’re less effective in my opinion, and I don’t find this approach helpful.
Although I’m not a fan of some of your nuanced views. I think your audience would find the archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon found in North America very interesting. In the North American model most people hold the Hopewell Indians as the Nephites and the Adena as the Jaredites. The Hopewell have a timeline beginning with the first civilization around 500BC and their civilization ended at around 400BC excellent matches for the timeline. The Hopewell and Adena have confirmed metal breastplates and head plates metal weapons and jewelry. The Hopewell made their own clothing from fine twine linen. Hopewell Indian fortifications are also a match as described in the Book of Mormon. There is historical evidence by 19th century Smithsonian researchers and early settlers that Hopewell Indians not only smelted iron but made swords as found in Hopewell Indian mounds. It also helps that Hopewell lands also include areas such as New York state where the Hill Cumorah is.
Hey Bill –
First of all I want to say that I appreciate all the effort you put into trying to help people. But I actually came here to echo the sentiments that J expressed in his comment. As much as I can understand that you want to come at things from a faithful perspective, I found this episode really weak intellectually. When one of you says “don’t even bring Emma into this because I really like her” and then you guys just move on without any further discussion I have a really hard time feeling like you really examined things thoroughly.
I get that to dig into this properly would take many more hours of discussion than what you had here but in my opinion it would be better to not do it at all than to do it half way.
My main criticism I suppose is that this is three guys who all share the same view agreeing with each other for an hour. Where is the opposing viewpoint? Wouldn’t a discussion between yourself arguing the faithful perspective with an informed sceptic be a more meaningful conversation? I guess I just found the echo in this particular chamber too loud for my liking.
All that said, I do appreciate your perspective. Thanks again for the hard work.
I hear you. I understand your criticism. I am sorry this episode wasn’t beneficial to you and hope I continue to bring content that is helpful. The issue with Emma is that we spent a lot of time early with the first two people and Chris was looking to keep us moving.
I wish you would have discussed the Late War. After watching this youtube…there is compelling evidence of plagiarism. Could someone watch this and help me understand how to combat this very compelling evidence.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAGasQ7j_ZI
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions. Perhaps instead of asking whether or not the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired maybe instead we should be asking what is the divine. What is God? Why would he inspired one man to write the Book of Mormon, another man to write the Quran, another to write the Tao Te Ching, another to write the Bhagavad Gita? etc. etc. Why would he lead one man into Mormonism and another one into Islam? or Buddhism? Adventism? or Judaism? etc. etc. and give them a powerful witness and spiritual confirmation that their particular religion is true. Clearly Mormonism has brought about tremendous changes for the good in some people’s lives and brought them closer to Christ. Others it has harmed. Mormonism is just one facet in the diamond that we call God. Who can understand it? It’s a mystery, a beautiful mystery. It’s just our egos that want to make ours the only path and everyone else’s the devil. I believe real spiritual maturity is accepting and allowing everyone their own spiritual journey without judging it and seeing it as part of the beautiful mystery that we call God.
I feel bad commenting for the first time because I didn’t like something, when there have been many episodes that I DID like. 🙂
I think there were many many possible views not explored. The attitude seemed to be that Joseph’s only options was to plagiarize because the text is so complex and comes together so well. Well SOMEONE wrote it! 😉 Whether it was ancient people, or Joseph Smith, or some other contemporary of Joseph. The text doesn’t purport to be written by God’s hand–so that leaves us with mere mortals putting together the thoughts, stories, and theology and writing them into what became the BoM.
It is a decent feat regardless of who wrote it. But there are many gifted writers or story tellers throughout time. Joseph Smith may have been one such person. Or a contemporary of his. Or an ancient. But someone did write it, and in my mind that opens up the possibility that if someone wrote it, then there are a number of people capable of writing such a work.
It would take someone with a passion–maybe even an obsession with Christian theology. With lots of creative story telling ability. And someone with a disregard for convention. There aren’t a lot of people that fit that bill, but there are some.
One thing a lot of you are missing out on is the historical record. The Book of Mormon matches the Hopewell Indians in significant ways. The artifacts the timeline and dna matches to the Book of Mormon. North American Indians have dna from Israel and the middle east. Plagiarism would not allow to get these historical accounts correct. To say that Joseph Smith wrote this is a bad way to put it saying he translated the Book of Mormon is much better.
This dna marker is also a Caucasian dna marker. William Penn who founded Pennsylvania said this of the North American Indians
“I found them [the Indians of the eastern shore of North America] with like countenances with the Hebrew race; and their children of so lively a resemblance to them that a man would think himself in Duke’s place, or Barry Street, in London, when he sees them.”
Native Americans believed they killed off a white race of Indian and also had white ancestors.
“There is a dim but persistent tradition of a strange white race preceding the Cherokee, some of the stories even going so far as to locate their former settlements and to identify them as the authors of the ancient works found in the country. The earliest reference appears to be that of Barton in 1797, on the statement of a gentleman whom he quotes as a valuable authority upon the southern tribes. “The Cherokee tell us, that when they first arrived in the country which they inhabit, they found it possessed by certain ‘moon-eyed people,’ who could not see in the day-time. These wretches they expelled.” He seems to consider them an albino race.* Haywood, twenty-six years later, says that the invading Cherokee found “white people” near the head of the Little Tennessee, with forts extending thence down the Tennessee as far as Chickamauga creek. He gives the location of three of these forts. The Cherokee made war against them and drove them to the mouth of Big Chickamauga creek, where they entered into a treaty and agreed to remove if permitted to depart in peace. Permission being granted, they abandoned the country. Elsewhere he speaks of this extirpated white race as having extended into Kentucky and probably also into western Tennessee, according to the concurrent traditions of different tribes.”
(Mooney 1902 pg. 22)
Concerning Hattera Indians of North Carolina:
“These Hattera tell us, that several of their Ancestors were white People, and could talk in a Book, as we do; the Truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being found frequently amongst these Indians, and no others.”
(John Lawson 1709 pg. 62)
Native Americans built lavish temples.
(In reference to the Natchez of Mississippi, who said a race that preceded them built temples with much skill, and also taught them to build temples)
“Their temples were built with much skill and labor. They made very beautiful things with all kinds of materials, such as gold, silver, stones, wood, fabrics, feathers, and many other things in which they made their skill appear.
“A remarkable temple was situated in the town of Talmaco, upon the Savannah River, three miles distant from Cutifatchique, near Silver Bluff. It was more than one hundred feet in length, and fifty feet in width. The walls were high in proportion, and the roof steep and covered with mats of split cane, interwoven so compactly that they resembled the rush carpeting of the Moors.”
(Jones, The American Naturalist, Vol 3 1869)
They also had interesting temple ceremonies.
“They call themselves Aquanuskion (Algonquin Great lake Indians), or ye Covenant People.”
(Louise Welles Murray 1908)
The Native American ceremony of Red Hand is very interesting. The tribes that conducted this ceremony in their long houses are the Iroquois, that being the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, or Mohawk. Keep in mind Red Hand is a Native American ceremony, nothing else. The account has been edited for relevance.
The proceedings began with 4 raps at the door. The candidate was brought in and listened to the story of Red Hand, the ancient leader. The candidate assumes the identity of the object of the story.
Red Hand was a young Chief who received certain mysterious knowledge from the Creator of All. He was kind, generous, and loved by all.
VOICE: “Hast thou cleansed thyself from human guilt and impurity?”
RED HAND: “I have.”
VOICE: “Hast thou ill will toward any of thy fellow creatures?”
RED HAND: “I have not.”
VOICE: “Wilt thou trust and obey us, keeping thyself always chaste and valorous?”
RED HAND: “I will.”
VOICE: “Wilt thou hold this power with which we endow thee for thine own chosen company only?”
RED HAND: “I will.”
VOICE: “Wilt thou endure death or torture in its cause?”
RED HAND: “I will.”
VOICE: “”Wilt thou vow this secret never to be revealed save at thy death hour?’
RED HAND: “I will.”
VOICE: “Thy death hour will be revealed to thee; thou wilt be allowed to choose thy successor, and at the end of thy journey thou wilt be rewarded for faith and obedience.”
When studying the Natchez temples many of the same implements found in Hebrew temples was also present in the Natchez temple. In Hebrew temples, you have a rectangular shaped building with high walls, all constructed and furnished with great craftsmanship and lavishness. Inside you have the menorah, an eternal light (oil lamp), a veil, and the Ark of the Covenant. The Natchez have many similarities. They have an eternal fire that it is held with such regard that if it goes out those responsible for it are put to death. They have an alter inside their temple. They have a curtain or veil. Behind the veil is a wicker basket that no one is allowed to open.
Here are some very ties to the Book of Mormon that native Americans have.
Native American Council Tower
7 For the multitude being so great that king Benjamin could not teach them all within the walls of the temple, therefore he caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them.
“Professor Carr of its once having supported a building similar to the council-house observed by Bartram on a mound at the old Cherokee town Cowe. Both were built on mounds, both were circular, both were built on posts set in the ground at equal distances from each other, and each had a central pillar. As tending to confirm this statement of Bartram’s, the following passage may be quoted, where, speaking of Colonel Christian’s march against the Cherokee towns in 1770, Eamsey says that this officer found in the center of each town ”a circular tower rudely built and covered with dirt, 30 feet in diameter, and about 20 feet high. This tower was used as a council-house… Mr. M. C. Bead, of Hudson, Ohio, discovered similar evidences in a mound near Chattanooga, and Mr. Gerard Fowke has quite recently found the same thing in a mound at Waverly, Ohio.”
(Thomas 1889 pg. 32)
The Lamanite Daughters
This has bits and pieces of the account of the Lamanite daughters. The Cherokee have a myth listed below, which I find ties to the Lamanite daughters who would go out to Shemlon to dance and make merry, but are abducted by the priests of Noah and become their spouses. The Lamanites try to find the daughters and blame the Nephites for their disappearance, which causes a war. This war continues until the Lamanites are told that the Nephites did not abduct the girls. The daughters stop the priests from being killed when they are found out.
“Allured by the haunting sound and diamond sparkle of a mountain stream, she wandered far up into a solitary glen. The dream picture of a fairyland was presently broken by the soft touch of a strange hand. The spirit of her dream occupied a place at her side, and, wooing, won her for his bride.
“Her supposed abduction caused great excitement among her people, who made diligent search for her recovery in their own villages. Being unsuccessful, they made war upon the neighboring tribes in the hope of finding the place of her concealment. Grieved because of so much bloodshed and sorrow, she besought the great chief[.] She appeared unto the chiefs in a dream (to stop the fighting).”
(Mooney 1902 pg. 478)
The Saying Bury the Hatchet
The Book of Mormon tells the history of the Anti-Nephi’s, a Lamanite people who no longer wanted to fight or kill other people. They made this covenant to God to longer fight by burying their weapons in the ground, never to use them again even in the case of self-defense for themselves or for their family.
The saying bury the hatchet comes from the Algonquin Indians of the Great Lakes area who also made peace by burying their weapons of war. As mentioned before, I think the Hopewell Indians are the best candidate to be the Nephites for numerous reasons – this is one of them.
The first mention of the practice in English is to an actual hatchet-burying ceremony.
Years before he gained notoriety for presiding over the Salem witch trials, Samuel Sewall wrote in 1680, “I write to you in one [letter] of the Mischief the Mohawks did; which occasioned Major Pynchon’s going to Albany, where meeting with the Sachem the[y] came to an agreement and buried two Axes in the Ground; one for English another for themselves; which ceremony to them is more significant & binding than all Articles of Peace[,] the hatchet being a principal weapon with them.”
(South Carolina and the Cherokee Nation 1785)
Treaty of Hopewell 1785, Keowee, South Carolina: signed by Col. Benjamin Hawkins, Gen. Andrew Pickens and Headman McIntosh, establishing the boundary of the Cherokee Nation. Use of the phrase ‘Bury the Hatchet: “ARTICLE 13. The hatchet shall be forever buried, and the peace given by the United States, and friendship re-established between the said states on the one part, and all the Cherokees on the other, shall be universal; and the contracting parties shall use their utmost endeavors to maintain the peace given as aforesaid, and friendship re-established.”
Native American idioms and phraseology, as described by early settlers, are consistent with the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. Below are some examples of Native American idioms consistent with scripture. Examples are from John Heckewelder’s Manners and Customs of The Indian Nations Who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania and the Neighboring States.
Native American saying: “I will place you under my wings!”
Meaning: I will protect you at all hazards! You shall be perfectly safe, nobody shall molest you!
Scripture: 3 Nephi 10:6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
(Heckewelder pg. 139)
Native American saying: ”To bury deep in the earth” (an injury done)
Meaning: To consign it to oblivion.
Scripture: 2 Nephi 26:5 And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them.
(Heckewelder pg. 140)
Native American saying: “You have spoken with your lips only, not from the heart!”
Meaning: You endeavor to deceive me; you do not intend to do as you say!
Scripture: 2 Nephi 27:25 Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men.
(Heckewelder pg. 139)
Native American saying: “draw the thorns out of your feet and legs, grease your Stiffened joints with oil, and wipe the sweat off your body.”
Meaning: I make you feel comfortable after your fatiguing journey, that you may enjoy yourself while with us.
Hebrew Custom: The washing of feet is a Hebrew custom. It was the first item done when entering a house or tent. The host would provide the water and the guest would wash his own feet. If the host was wealthy, a slave would wash the feet.
Anointing of oil was used by Jews to refresh and invigorate the body. This custom is still done today by Arabians. In the example there are some similarities in the cleaning of feet and legs from thorns and the anointing of oil or grease to refresh the body.
(Heckewelder pg. 139)
Bone pits found in New York and surrounding areas.
At the final battles at the Hill Cumorah, nearly a quarter of a million Nephites were slaughtered. An untold number of Lamanites were also killed. Indian legend supports this great and terrible battle that caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
Thayendanegea Mohawk/Iroquois Chief:
“From the earliest knowledge the white men have possessed of the country of western New York, the Painted Post has been noted as a geographical landmark. When first traversed by the white men, a large oaken post stood at the spot, which has retained the name to this day. It was painted in the Indian manner, and was guarded as a monument by the Indiana, who renewed it as often as it showed evidence of going to decay. Tradition says it was a monument of great antiquity, marking the spot of a great and bloody battle, according to some statements. According to others, it was erected to perpetuate the memory of some great war-chief.” (My opinion is the great Chief is Mormon I can’t prove it though)
(Painted Post, New York is located about 70 miles away from Hill Cumorah)
(Stone 1838 pg. 318)
In reference to Buffalo, New York in close proximity to what is the narrow neck of land and the Hill Cumorah:
“Tradition fixes upon this spot as the scene of the final and most bloody conflict between the Iroquois and the ”Gah-kwas” or Eries, — a tradition which has been supposed to derive some sanction from the number of fragments of decayed human bones which are scattered over the area.”
In the last battles Mormon states that bodies of the Nephites were heaped into piles (Mormon 2:15).
New York State:
“It was called the “Bone Fort,” from the circumstance that the early settlers found within it a mound, six feet in height by thirty at the base, which was entirely made up of human bones slightly covered with earth… The popular opinion concerning this accumulation is, that it contained the bones of the slain, thus heaped together after some severe battle.”
“Half a mile from this place, at the foot of the mountain, in a large cave full of human bones, perhaps several wagon loads; some of which are small, and others very large”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 153)
New York State:
“The bones were of individuals of both sexes and of all ages. Among them were a few fetal bones. Many of the skulls bore marks of violence, leading to the belief that they were broken before burial.”
“Mr. Ramey, the owner of the mound, speaks about digging in one part of the field and finding heaps of bones eight feet deep, and says that the bones are everywhere present.”
(Peet 1892 pg. 163)
New York State:
“Human bones have been discovered beneath the leaves; and in nearly every part of the trench skeletons of adults of both sexes, of children, and infants, have been found, covered only by the vegetable accumulations. They seem to have been thrown together promiscuously.”
New York State:
“Among them may be mentioned the “bone-pits,” or deposits of human bones. One is found near the village of Brownsville, on Black River. It is described as a pit, ten or twelve feet square, by perhaps four feet deep, in which are promiscuously heaped together a large number of human skeletons.”
Once again the Geography of the BoM switches around conveniently from the Large one to the Small one. There is no question that the BoM is a great book. The lessons in human relationships [good or bad in 21st century perspective] are still valid. But if as the Church essay states the ol’ Lamanites were here by themselves there is not enough time in isolation to have lost immunity to Euro-Asian diseases to which the original Nephites were immune, since they had Euro-Asian beasts and pets with them. MesoaAmerica as well as the North East could have used some of that immunity when the white settlers showed up. Currently no work that I’m aware of has been written in the relationship of the Thule people and the Norse from 900 CE to 1300 CE as far as disease. Either small or large geography notwithstanding Native people died in large numbers due to Euro-Asian diseases brought about by exposure to White Settlers and their cattle and pets. The BoM is still a great book but for the philosophy and human story that it tells………not the accuracy of the story. Unless of course North East Native people are different somewhat to the more usual suspects of Pueblo, Plains and Mesoaamerican natives.
Here is one more food for thought. Although its confirmed by archeologist that prehistoric native Americans made metal breastplates and head plates. It has not been confirmed the use of smelting iron or the making of swords but early settlers did find iron swords in Hopewell and Adena mounds.
18 But behold, their naked skins and their bare heads were exposed to the sharp swords of the Nephites; yea, behold they were pierced and smitten, yea, and did fall exceedingly fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as the soldier of Moroni had prophesied.
Mosiah 8:11. In reference to Jaredite swords
11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust;
“In digging the Louisville canal, nineteen feet below the surface, with the coals of the last domestic fire upon them, medals of copper and silver, swords and other implements of iron. Mr. Flint assures us that he has seen these strange ancient swords.”
(Conant, pg. 111, 1879)
(Items found in Hopewell Indian Ruins)
“A few miles from the town of Columbia, in Maury county, in West Tennessee, and on Duck river, are a number of fortifications, … also, several fragments of earthen ware, and a sword about two feet long, differing from any in use since the white people visited the country, apparently once highly polished, but now much eaten with rust. Those who buried these articles there, could fashion the sword, and could make bricks, and use them by the masonic art.”
(Haywood 1823, pg. 179)
(The sword at this site was found in the state of New York by Smithsonian Researchers)
“Engravings of the silver-plated discs and also of the embossed silver plate sup-posed by Dr. Hildreth to have been a sword ornament, are herewith presented. These articles have been critically examined, and it is beyond doubt that the copper “bosses” are absolutely plated, not simply overlaid, with silver. Between the copper and the silver exists a connection, such as, it seems to me, could only be produced by heat…. Again, if Dr. Hildreth is not mistaken, oxydized iron, or steel, was also discovered in connection with the above remains ; from which also follows, as a necessity upon the previous assumption, the extraordinary conclusion that the mound-builders were acquainted with the use of iron,”
(Squier, pg. 87)
(Items found in Hopewell Indian Ruins)
“On the back side, opposite the depressed portion, is a copper rivet or nail, around which are two separate plates, by which they were fastened to the leather. Two small pieces of the leather were found lying between the holes of one of the bosses. They resemble the skin of an old mummy. The plates of copper are nearly reduced to rust. Around the rivet of one of them is a quantity of flax or hemp in a tolerable state of preservation. Near the side of the human body was a plate of silver, the upper part of a sword scabbard, six inches long, two wide, weighing one ounce. Three longitudinal ridges were on it, which perhaps corresponded with the edges or ridges of the sword.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 347)
(An iron sword was found in a North Carolina mound. Due to this item Cryus Thomas who believed that the mounds were built after the Europeans arrived. We know the Hopewell mounds were built before Columbus)
“The iron implements which are alluded to in the above-mentioned articles also in Science, as found in a North Carolina mound. “
(Cyrus Thomas 1889 pg. 31)
(Items found in Hopewell Indian Ruins)
“The iron was considerably oxidated, and when exposed to the air, dissolved and fell into small particles of rust, leaving only the handle, which was thick, and central parts adhering together. There were four or five of these swords, if we may so call them. The handle was round and cylindrical, and encircled with ferules or rings of silver.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 328)
(Items found in Hopewell Indian Ruins)
“The aborigines had some very well manufactured swords and knives of iron, and possibly of steel.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 349)
I don’t mean to plaster your comment section with Book of Mormon evidence but here is one more section. Prehistoric native Americans made metal plates that is confirmed. Native Americans have traditional account of burying and using metal plates for historical records.
13 And now there are many records kept of the proceedings of this people, by many of this people, which are particular and very large, concerning them.
(In reference to Hopewell ruins)
“In Virginia, near Wheeling on Grave creek, is a mound 75 feet high, with many smaller ones around it. In the interior parts of this mound, are found human hones of large size, and mixed with them are two or three plates of brass, with characters inscribed resembling letters.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 82)
(In reference to Hopewell ruins)
“The shape of the two brass plates, — about a foot and a half in diameter. He said — he was told by his forefathers that those plates were given to them by the man we call God; that there had been many more of other shapes and some had writing upon them which were buried with particular men; and that they had instructions given with them, they must only be handled by particular people, ….He said, none but this town’s people had any such plates given them, and that they were a different people from the Creeks. He only remembered three more, which were buried with three of his family, and he was the only man of the family now left. He said, there were two copper plates under the king’s cabbin, which had lain there from the first settling of the town. This account was taken in the Tuccabatchey-square, 27th July, 1759, per Will, Bolsover. “
(Adair 1775 pg. 178)
“According to Morgan, the Muscogee proper, and perhaps also their incorporated tribes, have 22 clans. Of these the Wind appears to be the leading one, possessing privileges accorded to no other clan, including the hereditary guardianship of the ancient metal tablets which constitute the palladium of the tribe.” (Palladium’s meaning in the 19th and 18th century: for safety)
(Mooney 1902 pg. 499)
(In reference to Hopewell ruins)
“In the interior parts of this mound, are found human bones of large size, and mixed with them are two or three plates of brass, with characters inscribed resembling letters. A mound near Chillicothe being removed, discovered near the bottom, in a cavity, the remains of some chieftain”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 82)
(In reference to Hopewell ruins)
“There are certain enchanted beads, certain thin plates of copper, of which extraordinary figures are engraved, with inexplicable words and unknown characters”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 346)
“To support their pretensions, this family hold in their possession a circular plate of virgin copper, on which is rudely marked indentations and hieroglyphics denoting the number of generations of the family who have passed away since they first pitched their lodges at Shaug-a-waum-ik-ong and took possession of the adjacent country, including the Island of La Pointe or Mo-ningwun-a-kaun-ing…. The old chief kept it carefully buried in the ground, and seldom displayed it”
(Williams, pg. 63)
“Above these is the arch of the heavens, with Roman numerals and Arabic figures scattered through and above it. The figure eight is repeated three times, the letter O repeated seven times. With these familiar characters are ethers which resemble letters of ancient alphabets, either Phoenician or Hebrew.”
(Peet 1892, pg. 45)
Bill as a Fan of your Podcasts, I would agree this one was done way too hastily, and needs to be be revisited.
Would that be possible? Dig in way deeper and not just move on to next, next, next. so quickly.
David, I hear you but as of present I don’t have plans to split this up into multiple episodes and dive deeply. I do agree though there is plenty here to do that.
I will add some more intriguing corelations between North American Indians geography and the Book of Mormon
The New Madrid fault
The New Madrid fault lies along the Mississippi river and has earthquakes that match the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Mormon that preceded Christ’s visit to America. It’s also worth noting that, as described in D&C 125:3, Zarahemla is along the Mississippi river, in the earthquake zone of the New Madrid Fault.
The Book of Mormon describes areas of land that sank and lands that lifted and shaking that lasted for long periods of time. It also describes a vapor of darkness to the point that they could not light fires.
Now compare eyewitness accounts of a New Madrid quake that happened in 1811. Quotes come from Joseph Knew website.
“In all the hard shocks mentioned, the earth was horribly torn to pieces – the surface of hundreds of acres, was, from time to time, covered over, in various depths, by the sand which issued from the fissures, which were made in great numbers all over this country, some of which closed up immediately after they had vomited forth their sand and water, which it must be remarked, was the matter generally thrown up. In some places, however, there was a substance somewhat resembling coal, or impure stone coal, thrown up with the sand. It is impossible to say what the depths of the fissures or irregular breaks were; we have reason to believe that some of them are very deep.” – Eliza Bryan
“The surface was sinking and a black liquid was rising up to the belly of my horse, who stood motionless, struck with a panic of terror […] water spouts, hundreds of them throwing water and sand were to be observed on the whole face of the country, the sand forming miniature volcanoes, whilst the water spouted out of the craters; some of the spouts were quite six feet high… In a few minutes, on both sides of the road as far as the eye could see, was vast expanse of sand and water, water and sand. The road spouted water, and wide openings were to be seen across it ahead of me, then under me, and my [vehicle] sank while the water and sand bubbled, and spat and sucked till my axles were covered.” – J Fletcher
“I went ashore, and found the chasm really frightful, as it was not less than four feet in width and besides the bank had sunk at least two feet. I took the candle, examined to determine its length and concluded that it could not be less than eighty yards long.” – John Bradbury (on the Mississippi River)
“The earth was broken in many places and the openings filled with water. The houses much injured – the only brick chimney in the place entirely demolished…” – Daniel Bedinger
“We were visited by a violent shock of an earthquake, accompanied by a very awful noise resembling loud but distant thunder, but more hoarse and vibrating, which was followed in a few minutes by the complete saturation of the atmosphere, with sulphurious vapor, causing total darkness.” – Eliza Bryan
“A dense black cloud of vapor overshadowed the land.” – Godfrey LeSieur
Kentucky “River of Blood”
Kentucky is a proposed North American Nephite land that saw so much blood and carnage that, after the Nephites were removed, the Cherokee and Sack Tribes refused to enter those lands. The Book of Mormon states that the Nephites dumped thousands of bodies of Lamanites slain into the River Sidon, which is likely the Mississippi River which borders Kentucky.
“An old Indian, in conversation with Colonel James F. Moore, of Kentucky, informed him that the western country, and particularly Kentucky, had once been inhabited by white people, but that they were exterminated by the Indians. That the last battle was fought at the falls of Ohio, and that the Indians succeeded in driving the Aborigines into a small island below the rapids, where the whole of them were cut to pieces. He said it was an undoubted fact, handed down by tradition, and that the colonel would have ocular proof of it when the waters of the Ohio became low. This was found to be correct, on examining Sandy Island, when the waters of the river had fallen, as a multitude of human bones were discovered. The same Indian expressed his astonishment that white people could live in a country once the scene of blood. The Indian chief called Tobacco, told General Clarke, of Louisville, that the battle of Sandy Island decided finally the fall of Kentucky, with its ancient inhabitants. General Clarke says that Kentucee, in the language of the Indians, signifies “river of blood.””
(M.H. Frost 1819; On the aborigines of the Western Countries)
“Colonel Joseph Daviess, when at St. Louis in 1800, saw the remains of an ancient tribe of the Sacks, who expressed some astonishment that any person should live in Kentucky. They said the country had been the scene of much blood, and was filled with the manes of its butchered inhabitants. He stated also that the people who inhabited this country were white, and possessed such arts as were unknown by the Indians.”
(M.H. Frost 1819; On the aborigines of the Western Countries)
“Colonel M’Kee, who commanded on the Kenhawa when Cornstalk was inhumanly murdered, had frequent conversation with that chief, respecting the people who had constructed the ancient forts. He stated that it was a current and assured tradition, that Ohio and Kentucky had been once settled by white people, who were possessed of arts which the Indians did not know. That after many sanguinary contests they were exterminated.”
(M.H. Frost 1819; On the aborigines of the Western Countries)
Here is some more
Sailed Here from another Country
In the Book of Mormon it states that Lehi and his family sailed from the Middle East to another country. Some North American Indian tribes have a belief that they arrived to the North American continent through sailing from another country.
Gaspesian/Micmac belief of how they arrived on the North American continent
The Gaspesian/Micmac have two theories of how they arrived. The first is by sailing from another country, and the other belief fits the Genesis account and flood.
“Others hold that this new world has been peopled by certain individuals who, having embarked upon the sea for the purpose of establishing a colony in foreign parts, were surprised by storm and tempest, which threw them upon the coasts of North America. Here they were unfortunately shipwrecked, and, with their ships, they lost everything which they must have had with them of property, and of the things which they valued most in the world. Affairs were such that this shipwreck having left them wholly without hope of ever returning into their own country”
(Clercq 1680, pg. 85)
Iroquois legend of a foreign people who sailed to the continent then were destroyed. Cusick’s book I believe is about the Nephite and Lamanite Interactions and fighting except from the Lamanite perspective told in Iroquois Legend.
“After a long time a number of foreign people sailed from a port unknown; but unfortunately before reached their destination the winds drove them contrary ; at length their ship wrecked somewhere on the southern part of the Great Island, and many of the crews perished ; a few active persons were saved ….They immediately selected a place for residence and built a small fortification in order to provide against the attacks of furious beasts….After many years the foreign people became numerous, and extended their settlements ; but afterwards they were destroyed”
(Cusick 1838, pg. 16)
Natchez Indians of Mississippi concerning a race of Indian that preceded them
“They had come on floating villages from the side where the sun rises.”
(Swanton 1909, pg. 184)
“There is a rock, called the Dighton rock, on Taunton River, near Dighton, in Massachusetts. It is a large rock in the margin of the sea, and upon it are inscriptions in strange characters, partly alphabetical and partly hieroglyphic… In another scene, there is a vessel, with its masts, flags, and long rudder, as in the oriental vessels at this day…The subject generally seems intended to commemorate the arrival of a people there from the ocean and the east, and who, having had intercourse with that natives)
(Haywood 1823, pg. 329)
A second account of Christ visit to America.
Book of Mormon states that Jesus Christ after his resurrection visited the American Indians after great natural disasters among the Nephites. Christ taught the people the gospel, he showed them the imprints in his hand, ordained disciples and performed miracles among the people. There are some Indian legends that support this visit.
3 Nephi 17:3
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
“The visitor appeared very old man; he appeared among the people for a while; he taught them many things; how to respect their deceased friends, and to love their relations and he informed the people that the whites beyond the great water had killed their Maker, but he rose again.”
(Cusick 1838 pg. 31)
(Gaspesian/Micmac legend of a beautiful person who in a time of turmoil visited them. He taught them and performed miracles. The sleep mentioned in the quote would make sense during the three days of darkness mentioned in 3 Nephi. The cross mentioned in the quote is the Greek style cross.The Greek cross is a sacred symbol found in prehistoric North American Indian civilizations to Include the Hopewell Indians.)
“They claim that, at a time when their country was afflicted with a very dangerous and deadly malady which had reduced them to an extreme destitution in every respect and had already sent many of them to their graves, certain old men of those whom they considered the best, the wisest, and the most influential, fell asleep, all overwhelmed with weariness and despair at seeing a desolation so general and the impending ruin of the entire Gaspesian nation … It was, say they, in this sleep filled with bitterness that a man, beautiful as could be, appeared to them with a Cross in his hand. He told them to take heart, to go back to their homes, to make Crosses like that which were shown them, and to present these to the heads of families with the assurance that if they would receive the Crosses with respect they would find these without question the remedy for all their ills. And so it turned out in fact, for the sickness ended, and all the afflicted who used the Cross with respect were restored miraculously to health. In this they were more happy.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 172)
(Foretelling Christ’s visit to America there were incredible natural disaster. The Dakota Indians tell of an event passed down that matches the destruction explained in the Book of Mormon. The Dakota Indians explain that during a great and terrible tempest, with forked lightening and quaking of the earth an enemy Iowa village was ploughed to the earth to become a deep ravine where the village once stood. The Book of Mormon states in 3 Nephi Chapter 8 there were “terrible tempest”, “terrible thunder”, “exceedingly sharp lightnings”, ”exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth”, ”many smooth places became rough”, “And many great and notable cities were sunk”.)
“The thunder, which the Dakotas believe to be a winged monster, and which in character seems to answer very well to the Mars of the ancient heathen, bore down upon the Iowa village in a most terrible and god-like manner. Tempests howled, the forked lightnings flashed, and the thunders uttered their voices; the earth trembled; a thunderbolt was hurled at the devoted village, which ploughed the earth, and formed that deep ravine.”
(Miner 1911 pg. 29)
(Father Clercq believed that the Gaspesian/Micmac Indians were taught the belief of the cross and the Christian gospel by previous missionaries, the Gaspesian Indians said differently)
“One day to make these pagans admit that the missionaries who had preceded me had taught them the manner in which they ought to worship the Cross, the leading person said to me, “Well, now, thou art a Patriarch. Thou wishest that we believe everything that thou tellest us, but thou art not willing to believe that which we tell thee. Thou art not yet forty years old and for only two hast thou dwelt with the Indians; and yet thou pretendest to know our maxims, our traditions, and our customs better than our ancestors who have taught them to us. Dost thou not still see every day the old man Quioudo, who is more than a hundred and twenty years old: He saw the first ship which landed in our country. He has repeated to thee often that the Indians of Mizamichis have not received from strangers the use of the Cross, and that his own knowledge of it has been derived through tradition from his fathers, who lived for at least as long a time as he.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 191)
Mic Mak Indians the tribe that most resembles the Nephites.
Father Chretian Le Clercq a Roman Catholic missionary lived among the Micmac Indians for twelve years. After spending this time with the Micmac, he then sailed back to France and wrote a book about the customs and religion of the Micmac Indians.
He helped the Micmac Indians develop a written language composed of Hieroglyphs. He most likely used the characters that the Micmac Indians were already familiar with. If Clercq himself had developed the written language he most likely would have used the Latin alphabet – the language he grew up reading and writing with.
Four Micmac characters are similar to Egyptian Hieroglyphs in appearance and meaning. Other Micmac characters are similar to characters found on the Anthon Transcript.
Hebrew language comparisons
There are examples of Hebrew customs, characters, beliefs and language among Native Americans. According to Mormon, they knew how to write in Hebrew and of course had Hebrew customs and beliefs (Mormon 9:33). The Greek language is also compared to the Native American languages of the Indians.
Silas T Rand knew several languages to include Hebrew concerning Micmac Indians:
“There are also some words in the language which resemble Greek. The Micmac word Ellenu, an Indian, is not very different from Hellene, a Greek. Ellenu esit (“He speaks Micmac”) is strikingly like the Greek, Hellenize (“He speaks Greek”). But in other respects the language resembles the Hebrew, especially in the suffixes by which the pronouns are connected in the accusative case with the verb.”
(Silas T Rand 1893)
“Our Indians agree with the Greeks and Latins in this, that they use always the singular, and almost never, or at least very rarely, the plural, even when they speak to their missionaries, or to some other person of prominence. They express themselves by the word kir^ which means “thou,” whether it is the child speaking to its father, the wife to her husband, or the husband to his wife.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 141)
“Antipas – name of a general in the BoM (Alma 56); name of a mountain in the BoM (Alma 47:7, 10); It is a Greek name, an abbreviation for ‘Antipater.’
Archeantus – Nephite commander (Moroni 9:2); a typical Greek formation, made using the Greek prefix ‘arch-‘ (“great, chief”), as in the Biblical Greek names Archelaus and Archippus.
Judea – the name of a Nephite city (Alma 56, 57); it is the Greek (i.e., New Testament) form of the Hebrew name ‘Judah,’ referring to the tribe, the Southern Kingdom, and the area of southern Palestine occupied by the tribe of Judah (the Jews).
Angola – city name at Mormon 2:4 – Greek ‘angelos’, meaning ’angel’”
Mormon 9:33 – And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.
Creek Indians also had similarities to the Hebrew language. Considering that Nephites became Lamanites and Lamanites became Nephites this is not surprising:
“The name of the Creeks for man, is ishto, and so it is in Hebrew…The same remark might be made with respect to the word Kenaai, for Canaan. Jehovah they call Y-he-ho-wah. The roof of the house they call toubanora; in the Hebrew it is debonaour. The nose they call nichiri in Hebrew, neheri. The great first cause, Yo-hewah; in Hebrew, Jehovah. Praise the first cause, in their language, halleluwah; in Hebrew, hallelujah. Father they call abba; the same in Hebrew. Now they call na; in Hebrew, na. To pray they call pliale; in Hebrew, phalae. In their language, abel is manslaughter; the same in Hebrew. Wife, awah; in Hebrew, eve, or eweh. Winter, kora in Hebrew, cora. God, Ale; in Hebrew, Ale, or Alohini. A high mountain, ararat; the same by the Indians of Penobscot.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 282)
“Their languages are very diverse and differs as much from one another as Dutch, French, Greek and Latin. Declension and conjugation resemble those in Greek, for they, like the Greeks, Have duals in their nouns and even augments in their verbs.”
(In Mohawk Country: Early Narratives About a Native People)
“Shilu in Indian is the same as Shiloh in Hebrew; the Indian word for father is Abba; the word for “waiter of the high priest” is Sagan in both Indian and Hebrew; the word for man in Indian is Ish or Ishie.”
A Lost Book/Gospel
(About Gaspesian/Micmac Indians)
“They hold, further, that it could well have been a fact that these individuals were instructed in the sacred mysteries of our holy Religion, and that they had even a knowledge and the use of letters, since, in the establishment of colonies, it is customary to send there men who are alike learned and pious, in order that they may teach to the peoples, along with purely human knowledge, the most solid maxims of Christian wisdom and piety. Nobody, however, having followed them in these glorious employments, the knowledge which they had of the true God, of letters, and of their origin, was thus gradually lost and effaced from the minds of their unfortunate posterity by the lapse of time.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 86)
“These people had received in times past a knowledge of the Gospel and of Christianity, which they have finally lost through the negligence and the licentiousness of their ancestors.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 86)
(In reference to the North American Indians)
“It is said among their principal or beloved men, that they have it handed down from their ancestors, that the book which the white people have was once theirs. That while they say that their forefathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit, by which they foretold future events, and controlled the common course of nature, and this they transmitted to their offspring, on condition of their obeying the sacred laws. That they did by these means bring down showers of plenty on the beloved people. But that this power, for a long time past, had entirely ceased.”
(Boudinet 1816 pg. 114)
“Colonel M. inquired why the Indians had not learned these arts of the white people. He replied indefinitely, relating that the Great Spirit had once given the Indians a book, which taught them all these arts, but that they had lost it, and had never since regained the knowledge of them.”
(M.H. Frost 1819; On the aborigines of the Western Countries)
According to an old Cherokee quoted by Buttrick:
“God gave the red man a book and a paper and told him to write, but he merely made marks on the paper, and as he could not read or write, the Lord gave him a bow and arrows, and gave the book to the white man.” Boudinot, in “A Star in the West,”‘ quoted by the same author, says: “They have it handed down from their ancestors, that the book which the white people have was once theirs; that while they had it they prospered exceedingly; but that the white people bought it of them and learned many things from it, while the Indians lost credit, offended the Great Spirit, and suffered exceedingly from the neighboring nations; that the Great Spirit took pity on them and directed them to this country,”
(Mooney 1902 pg. 483)
Unknown Characters and Language
Mormon 9:34 – But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language…
I believe that haplogroup x or the Nephites brought over a distinct language and culture. There is evidence that the Great Lake Indians have a unique and different language separate from surrounding tribes.
(Gaspesian/Micmac Indians Proposed Nephite/ Hopewell survivors)
“The Gaspesian language has nothing at all in common, in its expressions, any more than in the meaning of its words, with the languages of our Europe ….because, amidst an infinity of different tongues which prevail among all these peoples, our Gaspesians are distinguished from the Montagniez, Soquoqui, Abennaqui, Hurons, Algomquins, Iroquois, and other nations of this new world, by a language which is peculiar to them.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 141)
(The area mentioned in the quote corresponds with the Gaspesian/Micmac Indians lands the proposed Hopewell/ Nephites survivors)
“A very respectable American author has imagined, that the Indian tribes to the northward of the river Saco spake a language very different from that of the tribes to the southward of the famed river. He informs us, that ”there was not one word” of the language of the tribes of Penobscot and St. John’s, who dwell to the northward of the Saco.”
(Barton pg. LVIII)
“Letters of an unknown alphabet are inscribed upon a rock in the western parts of New-York. There is a rock, called the Dighton rock, on Taunton River, near Dighton, in Massachusetts. It is a large rock in the margin of the sea, and upon it are inscriptions in strange characters, partly alphabetical and partly hieroglyphic.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 329)
“There are certain enchanted beads, thin plates of copper, of which extraordinary figures are engraved, with inexplicable words and unknown characters.”
(Haywood 1823 pg. 346)
MIC MAC continued
(About Gaspesian/Micmac Indians)
“They say that when the sun, which they have always recognized and worshiped as their God, created all this great universe, he divided the earth immediately into several parts, wholly separated one from the other by great lakes : that in each part he caused to be born one man and one woman, and they multiplied and lived a very long time : hut that having become wicked along with their children, who killed one another, the sun wept with grief thereat, and the rain fell from the heaven in such great abundance that the waters mounted even to the summit of the rocks, and of the highest and most lofty mountains. This flood, which, say they, was general over all the earth, compelled them to set sail in their bark canoes.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 85)
(Cherokee belief of a great deluge)
“A long time ago a man had a dog, which began to go down to the river every day and look at the water and howl. At last the man was angry and scolded the dog, which then spoke to him and said: “Very soon there is going to be a great freshet and the water will come so high that everybody will be drowned; but if you will make a raft to get upon when the rain comes you can be saved, but you must first throw me into the water.” The man did not believe it, and the dog said, “If you want a sign that I speak the truth, look at the back of my neck.” He looked and saw that the dog’s neck had the skin worn off so that the bones stuck out. Then he believed the dog, and began to build a raft. Soon the rain came and he took his family, with plenty of provisions, and they all got upon it. It rained for a long time, and the water rose until the mountains were covered and all the people in the world were drowned. Then the rain stopped and the waters went down again, until at last it was safe to come off the raft. Now there was no one alive but the man and his family, (Mooney 1902 pg. 261)
(Gaspesian/Micmac Indians – Hebrew one year betrothal and dowry)
“The one of our Indians who wishes to marry a girl must live an entire year in the wigwam of his mistress’s father, whom he must serve and to whom he must give all the furs of moose and beavers which he kills in hunting. By the same law it is forbidden to the future husband and wife to abandon themselves to their pleasure.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 238)
(Gaspesian/Micmac Indians – ancient Hebrew belief of a women being unclean during her menstrual period)
“A matter which is yet more surprising is this – they observe still to this day certain ceremonies of which they do not know the origin, giving no other reasons than that their ancestors have always practiced the same thing. The first is this, that the women and girls, when they suffer the inconveniences usual to their sex, are accounted unclean.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 227)
In 1735, James Adair lived isolated among the North American Indians for 40 years. He wrote a book about their customs and practices of the Indians. In this book he postulated that the Indians are from the lost 12 tribes of Israel he stated 22 reason listed below:
“1. Their division into tribes. 2. Their worship of J-hov-h. 3. Their notions of a theocracy. 4. Their belief in the administration of angels. 5. Their language and dialects. 6. Their manner of counting time. 7. Their prophets and high priests. 8. Their festivals, fasts and religious rites. 9. Their daily sacrifice. 10. Their ablutions and anointings. 11. Their laws of uncleanliness. 12. Their abstinence from unclean things. 18. Their marriage, divorces and punishments of adultery. 14. Their several punishments. 15. Their cities of refuge. 16. Their purifications and preparatory ceremonies. 17. Their ornaments. 18. Their manner of’ curing the sick. 19. Their burial of the dead. 20. Their mourning for the dead. 21. Their raising seed to a deceased brother. 22. Their change of names adapted to their circumstances and times.”
(Gaspesian/Micmac Indians – This one is more Egyptian, but the Hebrews were once enslaved by the Egyptians.)
“I have learned only this from our Indians, that the chiefs of their nation formerly entrusted the bodies of the dead to certain old men, who carried them sacredly to a wigwam built on purpose in the midst of the woods, where they remained for a month or six weeks. They opened the head and the belly of the dead person, and removed therefrom the brain and the entrails.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 302)
“They are either descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, or they have had, in some former era, a close contact and intercourse with the Hebrews, imbibing from them their beliefs and customs and the traditions of their patriarchs.”
(Warren Williams, Ojibwa History)
“After the death of one’s brother, it is permissible to marry his wife, in order that she may have children of the same blood if she has not had any by her first husband.”
(Clercq 1680 pg. 228)
Seasons of War and winter
Wars mentioned in the Book of Mormon were fought primarily between the first and fourth months mentioned in the Book of Mormon. During Nephite and Lamanite battles the Lamanites are described as wearing loin cloths. If the Nephite and Lamanite in the area between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico not going beyond the Rocky Mountains. How could the Lamanites wear loin cloths in the middle of winter when temperatures can drop below freezing? In the Hebrew calendar the first month is between March and April. This would mean that the Majority of wars were fought between spring and summer. Wearing loin cloths would not be a problem. But I know of one occasion mentioned in the Book of Mormon that a battle was fought during the winter and luckily it gives us a description of what the Lamanites were wearing Alma 49:6 “very thick garments to cover their nakedness”. The Lamanites known to wear loin clothes prepared themselves for battle with armor and thick garments. In this example there is obviously no conflict because of the wearing of thick garments.
Joseph Smith easily could have used the current Roman calendar to use for the Book of Mormon if it is a work of fiction. John Sorenson who is a famous Mesoamerican Archeologist espousing the Mesoamerican Book of Mormon geography model. He wrote the Mormon Codex considered the bible of the Mesoamerican Geography model. He at one time had the Nephites using a calendar similar to the Roman calendar. The one problem with this is that it would mean that Christ was crucified in January instead of April. If the Hebrew calendar is used this is not an issue.
Other verses that show that the Book of Mormon had seasons fitting the Heartland model are descriptions of migrating beast that migrated based on the season (Mosiah 18:4). Mesoamerica does not have migrating land mammals.
In Alma 46:40 it describes what sound like North America’s flu season fevers being common during the winter months of North America “there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land.”
James Adair wrote that the Cherokee Indians keep manner of time same as the Hebrews. While doing research I have noticed the same similarities with the Natchez of Mississippi.
“This nation begins its year in the month of March, as was the practice for a long time.”
(Swanton 1909 pg. 109)
The Natchez have 13 months in their calendar but that might be to account for the fact that the cycle of the Moon is longer than 365 days. The cycle of the moon is 375 days.
The Natchez also break up the day in the same way as the Hebrews.
Waters of Mormon
There is also a good candidate for the waters of Mormon found in Missouri. Based on the geography and features of the suggested place and the description given by the Book of Mormon and D&C.
This is how Alma described the waters of Mormon Mosiah 18:5
5 Now, there was in Mormon a fountain of pure water, and Alma resorted thither, there being near the water a thicket of small trees, where he did hide himself in the daytime from the searches of the king.
What sticks out is it is described as a fountain of pure water.
Big Springs, Missouri fits this description. Big Springs is a single spring that has a daily out flow of 286 million gallons per day. Enough that the springs creates white water as it enters what appears to be glacial crystal clear pool of water. You can see the white water that is produced from the out flow of the spring. The pool of water is surrounded by a thicket of trees.
How do we know that the waters of Mormon should be in Missouri the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants helps answer that question?
Alma says in from Mosiah 18:4, 31
4 And it came to pass that as many as did believe him did go forth to a place which was called Mormon, having received its name from the king, being in the borders of the land
31 And these things were done in the borders of the land, that they might not come to the knowledge of the king.
So from these verses we learn that the Waters of Mormon are near the border of the land.
So how do we learn where the borders of the land are located that is deduced from D&C 54:8 when missionaries were sent out to Missouri. Missouri is stated as the borders of the Lamanite lands.
8 And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites.
The borders of the Lamanites is located in Missouri just like the Waters of Mormon would be located in Missouri. Its large outflow of water could easily be described as a fountain in its simplest terms.
Hey Bill, would you update the tags on this episode to include your friends Chris and Clay, and give us their last names? You said you had them on before and I was interested to link back to the earlier episodes. Thanks!
This one is a little ridiculous. It made a complete strawman of the real issues and then took turns on the pet construct like a pinata.
How about maybe they lied? Oliver and Sydney’s descriptions are what the mockery of doubts on the BoM narrative are being based on for this podcast- but we all agree they lied on the record several times.
How about they didn’t recant their testimonies because it would be self-incriminating and ruin their livelihoods that depended entirely on people trusting their word and testimonies (as a lawyer and a religious leader)? The way Mormons and the law got along, I can’t imagine admitting your published testimony in the Book of Mormon was fraudulent would be in their best interest.
Of course if you believe the only possibility here is that Oliver and Sydney are completely trustworthy ONLY when it comes to the BoM, it becomes easy to make doubts of how they described the process look stupid. I don’t think it’s unreasonable, and certainly not stupid, to not trust what they said about anything.
Sorry, VERY helpful podcast most of the time but this was frustrating not being able to respond or ask anything back.
I hear you and the consensus was very split on this one. It was one you either loved or hated.
Bill, There ARE sources for The Book of Abrahram — several different books that Joseph is known to have. Mormonthink lists them.
and Joseph was TOTALLY faking it when he asked Emma if there were walls around Jerusalem. Of course he knew there were walls. Emma was not “in” on the scam.
Joseph Smith Sr. was a school teacher. Joseph Smith was not uneducated; he was homeschooled.