Mormon Quotes

Book of Mormon anachronisms

Joseph Smith
Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 21:14
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 16:18
Joseph Smith
The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 12:1
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of the judges, that the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine‑twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 4:6
Joseph Smith
Therefore, there was no chance for the robbers to plunder and to obtain food, save it were to come up in open battle against the Nephites; and the Nephites being in one body, and having so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses and cattle, and flocks of every kind, that they might subsist for the space of seven years, in the which time they did hope to destroy the robbers from off the face of the land; and thus the eighteenth year did pass away.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 4:4
Joseph Smith
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:15
Joseph Smith
And thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 7:8
Joseph Smith
Wo unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 15:18
Joseph Smith
Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 34:29
Joseph Smith
And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:10
Joseph Smith
For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 7:15
Joseph Smith
And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 10:4
Joseph Smith
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 14:6
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 18:25
Joseph Smith
And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house of Israel. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 6:5
Joseph Smith
Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 12:7
Joseph Smith
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Helaman 11:13
Joseph Smith
And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 23:1
Joseph Smith
And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 2:23
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 3:22
Joseph Smith
And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 20:4
Joseph Smith
And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 17:18
Joseph Smith
And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 9:18
Joseph Smith
For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 20:10
Joseph Smith
And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 5:14
Joseph Smith
Now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 11:2
Joseph Smith
And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:14
Joseph Smith
And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 9:9
Joseph Smith
And all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and the treading of lesser cattle.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 17:25
Joseph Smith
The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 23:1
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Enos 1:21
Joseph Smith
And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine‑twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:7
Joseph Smith
And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:11
Joseph Smith
And now it came to pass that the people of the Nephites did all return to their own lands in the twenty and sixth year, every man, with his family, his flocks and his herds, his horses and his cattle, and all things whatsoever did belong unto them.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 6:1
Joseph Smith
And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 4:9
Joseph Smith
And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 18:9
Joseph Smith
Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them—
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 20:11
Joseph Smith
And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine‑twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 1:29
Joseph Smith
Yea, and I will cause that they shall have burdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 12:5
Joseph Smith
And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:5
Joseph Smith
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 14:16
Joseph Smith
Therefore they were not permitted to enter into their synagogues to worship God, being esteemed as filthiness; therefore they were poor; yea, they were esteemed by their brethren as dross; therefore they were poor as to things of the world; and also they were poor in heart.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 32:3
Joseph Smith
And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 11:10
Joseph Smith
And he did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne; and he did build many prisons, and whoso would not be subject unto taxes he did cast into prison; and whoso was not able to pay taxes he did cast into prison; and he did cause that they should labor continually for their support; and whoso refused to labor he did cause to be put to death.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 10:6
Joseph Smith
O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 10:5
Joseph Smith
A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 11:7
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 11:8
Joseph Smith
And then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which say:
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 16:17
Joseph Smith
Whose arrows shall be sharp, and all their bows bent, and their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind, their roaring like a lion.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 15:28
Joseph Smith
Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 9:17
Joseph Smith
And he shall cut down the thickets of the forests with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 20:34
Joseph Smith
And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 15:6
Joseph Smith
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 24:10
Joseph Smith
Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished, because of the faithfulness of Ammon, saying: Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 18:10
Joseph Smith
Now they durst not slay them, because of the oath which their king had made unto Limhi; but they would smite them on their cheeks, and exercise authority over them; and began to put heavy burdens upon their backs, and drive them as they would a dumb ass—
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 21:3
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines, and did lay that upon men's shoulders which was grievous to be borne; yea, he did tax them with heavy taxes; and with the taxes he did build many spacious buildings.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 10:5
Joseph Smith
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.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 10:6
Joseph Smith
Now the people having heard a great noise came running together by multitudes to know the cause of it; and when they saw Alma and Amulek coming forth out of the prison, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear, and fled from the presence of Alma and Amulek even as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions; and thus they did flee from the presence of Alma and Amulek.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 14:29
Joseph Smith
Wherefore he did obtain all his fine work, yea, even his fine gold he did cause to be refined in prison; and all manner of fine workmanship he did cause to be wrought in prison. And it came to pass that he did afflict the people with his whoredoms and abominations.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 10:7
Joseph Smith
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man‑servant, nor his maid‑servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 13:24
Joseph Smith
Now I, Nephi, do speak somewhat concerning the words which I have written, which have been spoken by the mouth of Isaiah. For behold, Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:1
Joseph Smith
And it came to pass that when Ammon had made ready the horses and the chariots for the king and his servants, he went in unto the king, and he saw that the acountenance of the king was changed; therefore he was about to return out of his presence.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 18:12
Joseph Smith
And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 7:22
Joseph Smith
And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 11:3
Joseph Smith
Wherefore, he came to the hill Ephraim, and he did molten out of the hill, and made swords out of steel for those whom he had drawn away with him; and after he had armed them with swords he returned to the city Nehor, and gave battle unto his brother Corihor, by which means he obtained the kingdom and restored it unto his father Kib.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 7:9
Joseph Smith
Then said the Lord unto Isaiah: Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 17:3
Joseph Smith
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 22:12
Joseph Smith
And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 10:23
Joseph Smith
For I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 20:19
Joseph Smith
And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 2:3
Joseph Smith
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 30:13
Joseph Smith
Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 11:6
Joseph Smith
A shiblon is half of a senum; therefore, a shiblon for half a measure of barley.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma 11:15
Joseph Smith
And they did have silks, and fine‑twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth, that they might clothe themselves from their nakedness.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 10:24
Joseph Smith
And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war ‑‑ yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Jarom 1:8
Joseph Smith
Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mosiah 14:1
Joseph Smith
And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Ether 9:19
Joseph Fielding Smith
It is the personal opinion of the writer that the Lord does not intend that the Book of Mormon, at least at the present time, shall be proved true by any archaeological findings. They day may come when such will be the case, but not now. The Book of Mormon is itself a witness of the truth, and the promise has been given most solemnly that any person who will read it with a prayerful heart may receive the abiding testimony of its truth.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1998, v. 2, p. 196
Orson Pratt
Now to prepare them against these contingencies, and that they might, have fresh air for the benefit of the elephants, cureloms or mammoths and many other animals, that perhaps were in them, as well as the human beings they contained, the Lord told them how to construct them in order to receive air, that when they were on the top of the water, whichever side up their vessels happened to be, it mattered not; they were so constructed that they could ride safely, though bottom upwards and they could open their air holes that happened to be uppermost.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:340
Fawn Brodie
In more recent times the half‑dozen leading Egyptologists who have been asked to examine the facsimiles agree that they were ordinary funeral documents such as can be found on thousands of Egyptian graves.
Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, Fawn Brodie, p. 175
David Whitmer
The record of the Jews and the record of the Nephites are one.
David Whitmer, Inscription on David Whitmer's tombstone
Michael Coe
Let me now state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing to be true, ... nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon... is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.
Michael Coe, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1973, pp. 42, 46
Daniel C. Peterson
One area of the Book of Mormon that does bother some is what they see as anachronistic doctrine; that the Book of Mormon has Christian doctrine prior to the coming of Christ; that it has seemingly New Testament doctrines appearing centuries before Jesus arrives, and it seems to be representing a form of Christianity existing in the New World where there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that archaeologically. Christianity is invisible in the New World prior to the coming of Columbus, and so those things seem like clear anachronisms to people looking at it in that way.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
There are certain things that exist in the Book of Mormon that some people argue [are] anachronistic. Steel is an example of that, though the issue dissolves a little bit when you look at, well, what did the word "steel" mean? When words like that appear in King James's English, what do they mean? They don't necessarily mean what we mean by "steel" today. But we do have a problem with metals in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon seems to describe fairly widespread metal use. Well, I don't know if it's widespread; it's common throughout the Book of Mormon history and text, and yet we don't have any good evidence of any kind of metal industry, even small‑scale cottage industry, in Mesoamerica at the time.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
Horses in the Book of Mormon would be another. You have relatively few mentions of horses, but there are some, and we don't know exactly how they were used; they don't seem to be all that common. Were they horses as we understood them, [or] does the term describe some other animal? Languages don't always and cultures don't always classify things the way we would expect. We have what we call common‑sense ways of doing it. They're not common sense; they're just ours. But again, we don't have a strong case there. We're just problem solving there.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Lucy Mack Smith
During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of travelings, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.
Lucy Mack Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, quoted in Studies of the Book of Mormon, p. 243
B. H. Roberts
We see that the prevailing mode of land transport in the New World was by human carrier. The wheel was unknown in pre‑Columbian times.
B. H. Roberts, B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, Second Edition, 1992, pg. 99
Thomas Ferguson
Ten years have passed... I had sincerely hoped that Book‑of‑Mormon cities would be positively identified within 10 years — and time has proved me wrong in my anticipation.
Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson, Mormon founder of LDS‑sponsored New World Archaeological Foundation
Dee F. Green
The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists.... If one is to study Book of Mormon archaeology, then one must have a corpus of data with which to deal. We do not. The Book of Mormon is really there so one can have Book of Mormon studies, and archaeology is really there so one can study archaeology, but the two are not wed. At least they are not wed in reality since no Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography. Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful (nor any other location for that matter) were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but we have already seen that twenty years of such an approach has left us empty‑handed.
Dee F. Green, Mormon archaeologist, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, pp. 77‑78
Ray T. Matheny
The Book of Mormon talks about ferrous and non‑ferrous metallurgical industries. A ferrous industry is a whole system of doing something. It's just not an esoteric process that a few people are involved in, but ferrous industry.., means mining iron ores and then processing these ores and casting [them] into irons.... This is a process that's very complicated...it also calls for cultural backup to allow such an activity to take place.... In my recent reading of the Book of Mormon, I find that iron and steel are mentioned in sufficient context to suggest that there was a ferrous industry here.... You can't refine ore without leaving a bloom of some kind or impurities that blossom out and float to the top of the ore... and also the flux of limestone or whatever is used to flux the material.... [This] blooms off into silicas and indestructible new rock forms. In other words, when you have a ferroused metallurgical industry, you have these evidences of the detritus that is left over. You also have the fuels, you have the furnaces, you have whatever technologies that were there performing these tasks; they leave solid evidences. And they are indestructible things.... No evidence has been found in the new world for a ferrous metallurgical industry dating to pre‑Columbian times. And so this is a king‑size kind of problem, it seems to me, for the so‑called Book of Mormon archaeology. This evidence is absent.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archaeology," August 25, 1984
Ray T. Matheny
I really have difficulty in finding issue or quarrel with those opening chapters of the Book of Mormon [i. e., the first 7 chapters which only relate to Lehi and his family around the area of Jerusalem]. But thereafter it doesn't seem like a translation to me.... And the terminologies and the language used and the methods of explaining and putting things down are 19th century literary concepts and cultural experiences one would expect Joseph Smith and his colleagues would experience. And for that reason I call it transliteration, and I'd rather not call it a translation after the 7th chapter. And I have real difficulty in trying to relate these cultural concepts as I've briefly discussed here with archaeological findings that I'm aware of.... If I were doing this cold like John Carlson is here, I would say in evaluating the Book of Mormon that it had no place in the New World whatsoever. I would have to look for the place of the Book of Mormon events to have taken place in the Old World. It just doesn't seem to fit anything that he has been taught in his discipline, nor I in my discipline in anthropology, history; there seems to be no place for it. It seems misplaced. It seems like there are anachronisms. It seems like the items are out of time and place, and trying to put them into the New World. And I think there's a great difficulty here for we Mormons in understanding what this book is all about.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archeology," August 25, 1984
M. T. Lamb
It is not necessary here to repeat the passages in the Book of Mormon which describe such civilization.... It is only needful to show that nothing could be wider from the truth, unless all ancient American history is a lie, and its ten thousand relics tell false tales. It may be stated in a general way that there never has been a time upon this western hemisphere within the historic period, or within three thousand years past when a uniform civilization of ANY KIND prevailed over both continents. We are to learn now: First, that a Christian civilization has never existed in Central America, not even for a day. Second, the people of Central America, as far back as their record has been traced (and that is centuries earlier than the alleged beginning of Nephite history), have always been an idolatrous people.... The entire civilization of the Book of Mormon, its whole record from beginning to end is flatly contradicted by the civilization and the history of Central America.
M. T. Lamb, The Golden Bible, by M. T. Lamb, p. 366, 370, 373
A. H. Sayce
It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith's impudent fraud.... Smith has turned the Goddess [in Facsimile No. 1] into a king and Osiris into Abraham.
A. H. Sayce, Joseph Smith as a Translator, F.S. Spaulding, p. 23
Michael R. Ash
In conclusion on this first issue, if real Israelites had lived anciently in the Americas and had left records in Hebrew about their lives, the tapir would easily—perhaps likely—have been included into the word "horse." If 6th century B.C. Egyptians, or people who wrote with an Egyptian script, had lived in the Americas and had left records, they easily could have included the deer, tapir, and perhaps other animals into their expanded definition of "horse." Both peoples would also likely have referred to Mayan palanquins or travois‑type devices as "chariots."
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
But didn't the Nephites know real "deer" from their Old World experiences? Possibly. While "deer" are never mentioned in the Book of Mormon—not even in the Old World setting where the Lehites frequently hunted during their travels through the Arabian Peninsula—it seems reasonable to assume that the Lehites were familiar with Old World deer before coming to the New World. Why, then, would the Nephites use the term "horse" for "deer"? Why didn't they simply use the Hebrew word for "deer"? As previously noted, the Hebrew words for "deer" included several non‑deer animals such as "ram," "ibex," and "mountain goat." The Lehites may also have associated the Hebrew term "deer" with "gazelle" or "hartebeest." The Hebrew‑speaking Lehites wouldn't have limited the label "deer" to exclusively one animal, nor would they have limited the Hebrew words for "horse" exclusively to horses.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
It's also possible that Nephite "horses"—at least when associated with chariots—were among the provisions that King Lamoni needed during his travels (we know that horses were part of the provisions which the Nephites reserved for themselves when fighting the Gadianton Robbers [3 Nephi 4:4]). Perhaps "preparing" the horses and chariots would be like "preparing the chicken and backpack." To modern ears this doesn't suggest that the chicken will carry the backpack but rather than a chicken meal will be prepared to go in the backpack. If Book of Mormon horses were eaten, they may have been one of the provisions loaded on a "chariot" and carried or dragged by men.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
The wheel, then, may have been known to the early Americans, but disappeared from use due to changes in religious beliefs. But, some may ask, how could all traces of the wheel and chariots disappear? Such disappearances are not as unusual as it sounds. According to the Bible, the Philistines in Saul's time had 30,000 chariots (1 Samuel 13:5), yet not a single fragment of a chariot has ever been uncovered in the Holy Land. In the humid Mesoamerican climate, would we really expect the survival of two‑thousand year‑old wooden wheels (the last mention of Nephite chariots dates to about 20 AD)?
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
John L. Sorenson has suggested the latter possibility and has pointed to archaeological specimens showing humans riding on the backs of animal figures, some of which are evidently deer. Also Mayan languages used the term deer for Spanish horses and deer‑rider for horsemen. Indians of Zinacantan, Chiapas, believe that the mythical "Earth Owner," who is supposed to be rich and live inside a mountain, rides on deer. In addition, the Aztec account of the Spanish Conquest used terms like the‑deer‑which‑carried‑men‑upon‑their‑backs, called horses
Michael R. Ash, Reexploring the Book of Mormon, 1992, p. 98
Michael R. Ash
Typically a battle beast statue accompanied the king atop the palanquin. The most common battle beast was the jaguar—which was a symbol of war—but other creatures, monsters, or gods were also associated with the battle beast and war palanquins. Among the ancient Zapotec gods, for instance, was Xolotl—the "lightning beast." Perhaps coincidently, his image was often associated with the setting sun being devoured by the earth (reminiscent of what we find in religious wheel symbolism). He is also associated with war. While most scholars believe that he is symbolized by a dog (and it is typically the dog that we find on the religious wheeled figures), the eminent non‑LDS scholar, Eduard Seler, believes that Xolotl is more closely associated with the tapir.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
In my opinion, a more likely candidate for the Nephite loan‑shift "horse" would have been the Central American tapir. Tapirs are one of only a few odd‑toed ungulates—a family that includes the horse, zebra, donkey, onager, and the rhinoceros. These large grazing animals have common traits, including an odd number of toes on each hoof, a large middle toe, and a relatively simple stomach (as compared to other grazing animals like cows who regurgitate their cud for digestion).
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
The term "cattle" is used three times in the Book of Mormon (Ether 9:17‑19; Enos 1:21; 3 Nephi 3:22), while the term "cow" is used twice (Ether 9:18; 1 Nephi 18:25). The Jaredite record is unclear as to whether "cattle" and "cows" are the same animals, or if "cows" are a subcategory of "cattle." When the Miami Indians, who were familiar with cows, first encountered the unfamiliar buffalo they simply called them "wild cows." Likewise the explorer DeSoto called the buffalo "vaca" which is Spanish for "cow." The Delaware Indians named the cow, "deer," and a group of Miami Indians labeled sheep, which they were unfamiliar with, "looks‑like‑a‑cow."
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
The English word "chariot" comes from Latin carrus, car, and is etymologically related to the verb to carry. The primary definition for chariot seems to be a device to carry some sort of load. We should not automatically assume that the Nephites understood chariots as wheeled war machines. Because no Book of Mormon verse says or suggests that chariots are mounted, dismounted, or that they carried people or were ridden (although this could be inferred from a twenty‑first century view), we cannot say for certain what a Book of Mormon "chariot" means. Native American kings, for example, were often carried into war or to ceremonial events on litters or palanquins. These were sedans carried on the shoulders of other men and certainly fits the Hebrew definition of a "chariot." The Book of Mormon, it must also be noted, never mentions horses "pulling" chariots.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
"Ox" or "oxen" is mentioned six times in the Book of Mormon (Ether 9:18; 1 Nephi 18:25; 2 Nephi 17:25; 2 Nephi 21:7; 2 Nephi 30:13; Mosiah 13:24). Some critics charge that this is an anachronism because, they claim, an "ox" is a castrated bull — something that would be impossible to find in the wild (see 1 Nephi 18:25). Ox, however, also refers to members of the subfamily Bovinae, in the Bovidae family, which includes Asiatic buffaloes, African buffaloes, cattle, and bison. A glance at a good encyclopedia will reveal the listing of other "wild ox" such as the yak, banteng, and the wild North African ox. Some LDS scholars have suggested that the Book of Mormon "ox" may refer to the tapir, camelidae, or perhaps bison.
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
While the Lehites would have had a Hebrew word for deer, the question is whether the Nephites had a written reformed Egyptian word for deer. Reformed Egyptian was likely a combination of Hebrew language written in modified‑Egyptian characters. The number of reformed Egyptian characters may have been rather small as evidenced by the limited vocabulary we find in the Book of Mormon. It is possible, like the Book of Mormon terms "river" and "sea," that other reformed Egyptian characters were expanded to describe multiple items. Dr. William Hamblin explains that "deer" were likely extinct in Egypt long before Lehi's day and that there may not have been an Egyptian word for deer at the time of Nephi. But even if an Egyptian word for "deer" was known to the Lehites, this does not mean that such a word was available in the limited vocabulary of reformed Egyptian. In the absence of a reformed Egyptian word for deer Nephi would have chosen some other word that represented a characteristic of deer or a way they interacted with people. The terms for "horse," which had already been expanded in Hebrew to refer to "horseman" (or riders) as well as leaping animals (or even cranes), could easily be expanded to include New World "deer." As noted in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ancient Near Eastern cultures, such as the Hebrews and Arabs, had "looseness of nomenclature" when it came to categorizing animals. The Nephites would have had no problem expanding the definition of "horse" to include New World animals that may have behaved in a similar fashion or were used in a similar way.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
As already noted, some of the Aztecs called the Spanish horse "deer." Likewise, in the Quiche languages of highland Guatemala we have expressions like keh, which means both deer and horse, and the cognitive keheh, which means mount or ride. Early Native Americans had no problem expanding their definition of "deer" to include horses, so why couldn't the Nephites expand their definition of "horse" to include deer if the American genus of deer—in some ways—acted like horses? An early pre‑Spanish incense burner discovered in Guatemala shows a man riding on the back of a deer, and a stone monument dating to 700 A.D. shows a woman riding a deer. Until recently many people in Siberia rode on the backs of deer. In such cases the deer served as "horses."
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
So while the jaguar is the most common battle‑beast associated with Mayan war palanquins, we see that the warlike god Xolotl is associated with the jaguar, the tapir, the dog (which we find in religious symbolism on wheels), and the devouring of the sun (which is also associated with wheels). The interconnectivity with the battle beasts and palanquins suggest possible (albeit tentative) connections between the Book of Mormon's statements of preparing horses and chariots.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Perhaps deer or tapirs pulled wheelless chariots. We know, for instance, that the American Indian travois (a kind of sled) was pulled, not only by horses, but also by dogs. Maybe King Lamoni used a deer or tapir‑drawn travois to cart his supplies while traveling. The mass Nephite movement to Zarahemla certainly suggests that chariots were used to carry supplies rather than soldiers.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
After defeating the Gadianton Robbers the Nephites returned to their homes—every man with his "flocks and his herds, his horses and his cattle" (3 Ne. 6:1). It seems that Book of Mormon horses may have been considered to be something like cattle. As noted above, tapirs were frequently eaten in ancient America.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Non‑LDS archaeologist, Michael Coe, in his book Breaking the Maya Code, claims that in the Mayan Yucatec language the term "tzimin" would classify either a "horse" or a "tapir." Tzimin originally meant "tapir" but was expanded to include the "horse" when the Yucatec speaking natives discovered a need to label the horse. Once again we could ask how the Book of Mormon can be rejected for suggesting the Nephites had done the exact thing we find in the history of Yucatec‑speaking Mayans.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Another possibility is that King Lamoni's horses were symbolic battle beasts. Mayan kings brought battle beasts along while traveling on palanquins. In Maya battle imagery, for instance, the king rides into battle on a litter or cloth covered framework between two parallel bars. As Mesoamerican ethnohistory specialist Brant Gardner has written, "the capture of the king's litter is tantamount to the capture of the gods of that king." The animal alter‑ego of a god accompanied the king and conceptually represented the king and litter. "Thus," writers Gardner, "there were three important elements of this complex which went into battle: king, litter, and battle beast. There is also evidence that the litter complex was used in other ceremonial occasions other than war."
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
For the first 85 years of the church, the accepted geographic model among most Mormons was the hemispheric model — the whole of North and South America. It was also commonly believed (as noted in a previous installment) that Joseph Smith had received revelation that Lehi landed in Chile.
Michael R. Ash, Deseret News, "Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: True scholarship vs. wishful thinking"
Michael R. Ash
The Welsh cognate to the English chariot, signifies, among other things, a "dray"—which Webster's defines as "any of several wheelless land vehicles used for haulage," and for which it gives as a synonym nothing less than travois; dray is obviously cognate with the verb to drag—or a "sledge" (which term is, itself, related to words like sleigh and sled—which also plainly denote wheelless vehicles).
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Normally, our first inclination would be to agree that the term "chariot" suggests wheels. But upon further investigation we must conclude that this interpretation is not mandatory. Turning to the Bible we find that the term "chariot" does not always reflect what we would envision. There are five Hebrew words which translate as "chariot" in the KJV Bible. Some of these Hebrew words have other definitions such as a team, mill‑stone, riders, troop of riders, pair of horseman, men riding, camel‑riders, place to ride, riding seat, seat of a litter, saddle, portable couch, and human‑born sedan chair. The Talmud even uses a version to mean "nuptial bed" and one word used for chariot has an uncertain definition of "amour" or "weapons" and comes from an unused root meaning to be strong or sharp. The Arabic cognate of one of the Hebrew terms for chariot refers not to any kind of wheeled vehicle, but can refer to a ship or a boat. In most instances, the word refers to a device that can move a person or object, but not necessarily a wheeled device.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Of the animals listed in the New World portions of the Book of Mormon, thirteen are physical creatures, whereas the remaining animals are figurative and may have been borrowed from Joseph's vernacular to express common ideas. Two of the thirteen physical creatures are cumoms and cureloms from Jaredite times (for which we have no Nephite or modern translation). Of the eleven remaining physical creatures we find cow, ox, ass, horse, goat, wild goat, dog, sheep, swine, serpents, and elephant.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
According to the Spanish chronicler Sahagun this animal‑god, Xolotl, is described as having a "large snout, large teeth, hoofs like an ox, a thick hide, and reddish hair"—a pretty good description of a tapir. Dr. Seler explains that along with the dog, Xolotl's role of lightning beast is shared by two other creatures in the codices: the tapir, and the jaguar. These animals appear with the hieroglyphs jaguar and kan, meaning corn or yellow. The root xolo, yellow in Zapotec, occurs in both the words for dog and tapir, and according to Seler, it is repeated in Aztec in the name of the god Xolotl.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
But if Nephite chariots were not wheeled (and it's possible that they were), why are chariots mentioned in conjunction with Nephite "horses"? First, Nephite chariots (wheeled or not) may have been pulled by deer or tapirs (which may have been included in the Nephite term "horse"). Several ancient Eastern and Near Eastern pieces of art and petroglyphs depict chariots drawn by deer. Early Hindus had chariots pulled by deer. We find deer‑pulling chariots in Asian art. The Greek goddess Artemis supposedly rode a chariot pulled by deer.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
While some species of tapir are rather small and look like pigs, the Mesoamerican variety—Baird's Tapir—can grow to be nearly six and a half feet in length and can weigh more than six hundred pounds. A modern government report indicates that "the tapir is docile toward man and hence management of the animal is relatively easy. An indigenous person describes the tapir as follows: "The animal is very sociable. Taken as a pup, one can easily tame it; it knows how to behave near the house; it goes to eat in the mountain and then returns to sleep near the house." Tapirs were frequently eaten and, because of their strength, they may have been used as beasts of burden on a small scale. Charles Darwin wrote that tapirs were kept tame in the Americas, though they did not tend to breed in captivity. This fact might explain the relatively infrequent mention of "horses" in the Book of Mormon.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Could the Nephites have used the term "horse" for deer or some other animal? It is not impossible considering the above examples. Figurines, for example, of the pack bearing South American alpacas — which is related to the camel — have been unearthed as far north as Costa Rica. An early pre‑Spanish incense burner discovered in Guatemala shows a man riding on the back of a deer. A stone monument dating to 700 A.D. shows a woman riding a deer. Another similar figurine was found in central Mexico, and until recently, many people in Siberia rode on the backs of deer. In such cases the deer served as "horses."
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Israelites often distinguished animals based on the type of foot and what the animal ate. This generally played a role in determining if an animal was "clean" or "unclean." If we use the Law of Moses as a guide, tapirs and horses are very closely related—and in a significant way. While there is no clear consensus as to what dietary rules were known and/or applied in the land of Israel just prior to Lehi's departure, it is possible that the Nephites were obligated to live—or were at least familiar—with some of the dietary restrictions and may therefore have included tapirs in the horse family. And while they may have categorized the tapir in the same family as the horse, it is possible that they might not have had dietary restrictions on eating animals is this family.
Michael R. Ash, Horses in the Book of Mormon
Jeff Lindsay
Elephants are mentioned only once (Ether 9:19) as having been "had" by the ancient Jaredites. This occurrence is at an early point in the history of the Jaredites, probably well before 2500 B.C. based on the chronology proposed by Sorenson in An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon. Is this an obvious blunder? Mastodons and mammoths, a form of elephants, lived across North America and part of South America. It is widely believed that they went extinct before Jaredite times.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
After reading about the discovery of fossilized bison along with the mammoths recently found in Mexico (Associated Press, Oct. 30, 1996), perhaps one could speculate that bison were treated and named as cattle. If buffalo or bison had been in Joseph Smith's vocabulary in 1829, perhaps a more specific term might have been used in the translation, but "cattle" (perhaps as a generic term) may have been the most accurate translation for whatever word was used in the Nephite language.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
Could "aluph" also describe a tapir?
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
Besides turkeys, other indigenous species of birds in the Americas could be termed "chickens." In fact, in North America, we already use the term chicken for one native bird, the prairie chicken.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
The tapir in Mesoamerica is sometimes called a "cow." In fact, the national animal of Belize, Baird's tapir, is known in Belize as the "mountain cow." It is not a cow, of course, and is actually more closely related to the horse. Interestingly, Wikipedia reports that in Lacandon Maya, Baird's tapir is called cash‑i‑tzimin, meaning "jungle horse."
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
At the moment, I think that the single mention of elephants among a very early group of New World people could be accounted for plausibly by surviving mammoths or mastodons, which later became fully extinct.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
Contrary to allegations in some anti‑LDS books, the Book of Mormon does not say that the Nephites ate swine (which would have been a violation of the law of Moses), though the earlier Jaredites did (Ether 9:18) ‑ but the Jaredites were not under the law of Moses. Does "swine" necessarily refer to the type of animal we think of today? Perhaps not. Roper (p. 207) notes that "peccaries were well known in Mesoamerica and look very much like domesticated pigs and could easily fit the Book of Mormon designation of swine."
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
Was Ammon risking his life to vigorously defend King Lamoni's turkey flocks? Food for thought.Was Ammon risking his life to vigorously defend King Lamoni's turkey flocks? Food for thought.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
But what did Nephi mean by the term "ox"? As mentioned earlier on this page, Hebrew "teo" typically means "wild ox" but has also been applied to a type of gazelle.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
It may be naive to assume that the word "horse" necessarily refers to the species of we know today. The Hebrew word for horse , "sus", has a root meaning of "to leap" and can refer to other animals as well ‑ including the swallow (J. L. Sorenson, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 345). Since deer also leap, it is not impossible that the early Nephites might have described them with a word related to "sus" or even the word "sus" itself. (Sorenson notes also that "ss" in Egyptian means horse, while "shs" is antelope). Could the "horse" of the Book of Mormon be Mesoamerican deer?
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
The term chicken also could easily apply to the native turkeys that Mesoamericans used. Although a turkey is not a chicken, it is not surprising that people encountering turkeys for the first time might use the term "chicken" to describe them. When the Arabs encountered the turkey, they called it an "Indian rooster." In fact, the English word "turkey" is derived from the sixteenth‑century term "turkey‑cock," meaning essentially "turkish rooster." The term originally referred to a fowl from Ottoman Turkish territory in North Africa, but now describes birds native to the Americas.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
But we must not overlook the bison as a candidate for ox, though I don't know if they were in Mesoamerica when Nephi arrived.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
It is important to note that there were many species of animals used by Mesoamericans. Semitic peoples naming these animals might have used words familiar to them to describe the new creatures, much as English speaking peoples used the term "turkey" to describe the famous native American gobbler. For example, Michael D. Coe notes that there were "several breeds of dogs current among the Maya, each with its own name. . . . Both wild and domestic turkeys were known. . . .The larger mammals, such as deer and peccary, were hunted with bow‑and‑arrow in drives (though in Classic times the atlatl‑and‑dart must have been the principal weapon), aided by packs of dogs. Birds like the wild turkey, partridge, wild pigeon, quail, and wild duck were taken with pellets shot from blowguns. A variety of snare and deadfalls are shown in the Madrid Codex, especially a trap for armadillo."
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
Jeff Lindsay
The possibility that turkeys were an important part of any references to "flocks" in the Book of Mormon is strengthened by recent discoveries of Mayan remains showing that domesticated turkeys were present much earlier than previously realized.
Jeff Lindsay, Book of Mormon Problems: Plants and Animals
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