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canard78

So There's No Archaeological Evidence For The Book Of Mormon?

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we have been digging around in the middle east for decades with teams of scholars but have found no evidence of anything in the bible other than the locations of some places.

The only way this sentence is correct is if the "we" you refer to means you and your immediate family.  Otherwise, it's nonsense.

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The only way this sentence is correct is if the "we" you refer to means you and your immediate family.  Otherwise, it's nonsense.

We as in humans. Show me a single example of any evidence that proves any events or people in the bible. 

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I'm not sure what you're basing this off of, but I completely disagree. Let me be clear, I'm not saying there isn't a need for sprititual evidence, just that other forms of evidence can be just as valid. For example I'm more logically based and therefore I rely on rational, logic-based evidences for many of my decisions in life. I know many other people who are more emotionally based and spiritual experiences are the best form of evidence for them. God created us each so differently for a reason, it seems to me he would provide evidences that would best reach each one of us individually rather than a one-size-fits-all-approach.

I would invite you to provide some doctrinal support for your point of view. 

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If I am not convinced...why am I automatically wrong not to be convinced?

 

You're not automatically wrong.  Or even manually wrong.  The Book of Mormon was never intended to be proven archaeologically. 

 

Incidentally, the Bible is not proven archaeologically either.  Except to the extent that yes, there are these places that appear to match places mentioned in the Bible.  But this does not prove the divinity of the Bible, not by a long shot.  The divinity of the Bible is only subject to proof via supernatural means.  The question "Did Christ rise from the dead?" is not something archaeology is going to be able to answer.  Christ as the Son of God is only subject to proof via supernatural means.

 

The only twist in relation to the Book of Mormon is that if it ever WERE proven archaeologically, then it would automatically prove that Joseph Smith was a prophet and would provide good solid evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was actually the Lord's church on earth.  But it won't be proven archaeologically, in my humble opinion, because the Lord would not want it so proven.  Not now, anyway.  Divinity must be taken on faith.  Or so I believe.

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I would invite you to provide some doctrinal support for your point of view.

I'm not sure what you mean. How would I provide doctrinal support for my position if I'm freely admitting it's not doctrinal. I don't base my beliefs off of church doctrine.

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I can't wrap my head around the idea that God won't provide archeological proof because we would somehow lose the need for faith or as a need to test our faith. Let's suppose that a group of archeologists found irrefutable evidence that a group of Hebrews colonized at least a portion of the American continent around 600 B.C. Let's even suppose they found strong evidence of Christian beliefs among this group with images and Reformed Egyptian writings that described horses, cattle, steel, wheeled chariots, goats, etc. This would be quite the archeological find, in fact I suspect one of the greatest of the last century and would undoubtedly make front page news with a number of TV documentary specials.

So what are we to suspect would happen next? Would millions of people around the world rush to get baptized? Would this be a bad thing? Would existing members lose their free agency to disobey the commandments because they've been given this proof? I suspect it would bring in some baptisms, perhaps even enough to take us to .8% of the world's population (up from the current .2%). It would most certainly strengthen the testimonies of many members (once again, is that a bad thing) but they would still struggle to obey the commandments and there would still be many other issues to cause doubt. Finally, for the vast majority of the world I suspect it would have no effect at all. So why again are we not finding stronger archeoligical evidences?

I for one suspect he will one day provide evidence for the Book of Mormon and the historicity of many events in the Bible if I read the Book of Mormon correctly. I think that will be one of the latter signs of the times leaving everyone without excuse. We are in a different stage of the gospel right now.

As a practical matter I do not want it proven. Evidence does not have the effect on our mind we often imagine it will. The proofs for how unhealthy obesity is roll forth and we know how to prevent it in ourselves but obesity is on the rise anyways. I expect proof of the church's claims would begin with a wave of conversions in the same way obesity or realization of the reality of a global or personal crisis of any kind is usually met with frantic action or concern. Then for most the concern and action fade into the background and we are left with an even larger load of inactives and my Home Teaching list gets annoyingly longer. I do not want it to be longer.

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Did Dan Peterson just tacitly acknowledge that there's no archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon?

Hi canard,

 

For clarity, the specific word he used to describe the evidence is that it was "spotty". That assertion is quite different from your assertion that there is absolutely no evidence.

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You're not automatically wrong.  Or even manually wrong.  The Book of Mormon was never intended to be proven archaeologically. 

 

Incidentally, the Bible is not proven archaeologically either.  Except to the extent that yes, there are these places that appear to match places mentioned in the Bible.  But this does not prove the divinity of the Bible, not by a long shot.  The divinity of the Bible is only subject to proof via supernatural means.  The question "Did Christ rise from the dead?" is not something archaeology is going to be able to answer.  Christ as the Son of God is only subject to proof via supernatural means.

 

The only twist in relation to the Book of Mormon is that if it ever WERE proven archaeologically, then it would automatically prove that Joseph Smith was a prophet and would provide good solid evidence that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was actually the Lord's church on earth.  But it won't be proven archaeologically, in my humble opinion, because the Lord would not want it so proven.  Not now, anyway.  Divinity must be taken on faith.  Or so I believe.

The Bible has far more going for it on the archaeology side than the Book of Mormon but a lot of that is due to more time and resources spent in Bible lands than BOM lands.  However the BOM has far more potential going for it than the Bible since almost all critics say Joseph Smith just made it up.  An archaeology discovery for the BOM that supports it hits hard at that view.  An archaeological discovery of a verified place in the BOM is probably worth more than 10 or 20 discoveries for the Bible.

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So we have some names in the bible that match names found in other records. None of this proves that the people in the bible are real. This same sort of evidence can prove that Harry Potter or James Bond is true. 

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Isn't that the way of archaeology (and most of science).  They assume something doesn't exist until they find it .

 

That would not be science as I learned it.  Such things would simply not be known or undiscovered.

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I suspect that the only archaeological evidence that would arguably prove the book of mormon true would be an ancient document that can be translated and that can verify what is written in it. 

I would be happy if they found just one sword.

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I would be happy if they found just one sword.

 

I too would like one to hang on my wall.

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Isn't that the way of archaeology (and most of science).  They assume something doesn't exist until they find it .

What if it actually doesn't exist and they never find it?

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What if it actually doesn't exist and they never find it?

 

I would be more worried if it actually doesn't exist and they do find it.

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Yep, NHM's very good. I think that's probably what's called a convergence in John Sorenson's analysis. It's not archeological evidence. That would be if a dig were done at NHM that produced evidence of Lehi's party spend time there.

Of course, the chances of artefacts from around 20 people passing through are next to '0.'

Several hundred thousand Lehites in the Americas on the other hand...

So finding evidence of a place called nhm exactly where we would expect it isn't archaeological evidence now? Seriously?

If even finding something with the right name isn't evidence, what hope do we have of ever finding evidence of something?

That's like saying if we found a sign saying "welcome to zerahemla" in central America from the right time period and saying it's not archaeological evidence. The whole premise is absurd

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Those have been found in abundance. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macuahuitl

Aren't some of the swords in the BOM mentioned as steel? Just saw this scripture on FairMormon,1 Nephi 4:9, where the sword is described as a most precious steel.

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I'm not sure what you mean. How would I provide doctrinal support for my position if I'm freely admitting it's not doctrinal. I don't base my beliefs off of church doctrine.

If you are going to make a judgement on how God would deal with you, you must have some basis for it. The only doctrinal source I am aware of concerning the workings of God is in the scriptures. I suppose you could make up any belief you want, that is your prerogative. You would have no way of verifying it so it is a rather untenable method of establishing doctrine. 

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I get what you are saying and what you want me to say..but I believe in Einstein and he is dead..I believe that Dr. Spock lived...I BELIEVE but do not know that there was a man called Jesus..was he a great philosopher or Son of God?  There is no proof that the stories..and some conflicting are true..but his philosophy was wonderful.

Sure there is. The eye witness testimonies and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

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If I am not convinced...why am I automatically wrong not to be convinced?

Joseph said: "I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself." Same goes for a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I can't blame you for not believing it until you've experienced what I've experienced, and what millions of others have experienced.

 

So not being "convinced" doesn't make you wrong. It only makes you lacking in key experience. The only way to bridge that gap is to prayerfully read the Book of Mormon and pray have the Holy Ghost testify to you whether it is God's word. Please carefully consider every aspect of the passage linked to in the above paragraph.

 

External evidence like archaeology will only, at best, provide probable cause for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. That's quite a different matter than "proof". For example, I've found what I accept as considerable evidence for Nephites, as have others. But I certainly don't think such evidence somehow "proves" the Book of Mormon. It only corroborates, or supports it. The only real proof or test of spiritual things comes through spiritual means.

 

Of less importance, I also suggest considering this article, as a primer, in the manner of first studying things out in your mind "and then asking". (The only correction I have for that article is where the author asserts that the only written languages found in the Americas are in MesoAmerica. On the contrary, Mi'kMaq writing, discovered among Native Americans in the northeastern corner of North America centuries ago suggests that the author has overlooked at least one known written language in the Americas.)

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we have been digging around in the middle east for decades with teams of scholars but have found no evidence of anything in the bible other than the locations of some places. I am not holding my breath that we will find evidence of profound significant for the book of mormon. Proof has never brought conversion. People who join based on empirical evidence never stick around because they failed to gain the spiritual witness. I am of the opinion that that spiritual witness is so critical to our salvation that God has organised the world in such a way that we are forced to rely on testimony. I have no doubt that the church has the golden plates in their possession along with a host of other remarkable artifacts, but God has commanded the prophet not to reveal it. Lam and Lemuel had absolute evidence of God but it did not compel them. Judas also had a personal witness. Many of the early apostles had special witnesses but still fell away. Proof does not bring testimony, and without a testimony there is no hope of receiving redemption through the atonement. 

 

We will find we have found for the bible. Shadows and implications.

Simon rider comes to mind.

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Aren't some of the swords in the BOM mentioned as steel? Just saw this scripture on FairMormon,1 Nephi 4:9, where the sword is described as a most precious steel.

 

Yep, though what is meant by steel is debatable. Nephi had a sword acquired from Laban and copied it for his people. The record does not say how good the copies were but after that Nephi taught some basic metallurgy but later in the abbreviated section of the Book of Mormon (post-Jacob to King Mosiah, about 500 years) the Nephite people did not fare very well and it is possible that the old world knowledge of metallurgy was lost somewhere.

 

The only other mention of steel that I recall is in the Book of Ether which is a different civilization all together and may have been a short-term discovery.

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The Bible has far more going for it on the archaeology side than the Book of Mormon but a lot of that is due to more time and resources spent in Bible lands than BOM lands.  However the BOM has far more potential going for it than the Bible since almost all critics say Joseph Smith just made it up.  An archaeology discovery for the BOM that supports it hits hard at that view.  An archaeological discovery of a verified place in the BOM is probably worth more than 10 or 20 discoveries for the Bible.

Which makes the fact that nhm is virtually ignored so much more frustrating. Joseph just got lucky describing a path through Arabia with the correct names at the correct times.

And of course, that's just one of many things he got lucky with. Seriously Joseph has to be the luckiest man on earth if we are to believe it's not true.

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