Is There Any Evidence For Mormonism?


Is the Book of Mormon supported by any tangible evidence?



Video Transcript
 
Is there any historical evidence for the Book of Mormon? Because Joseph Smith made such an effort to bolster his religious claims with physical proof of their history, this question deserves a careful answer.

His first evidence was the Golden Plates, seen only by himself and eleven witnesses. But in 1838, witness Martin Harris publicly admitted that none of the witnesses had physically seen the plates, they had only seen them in a vision. Three apostles of the twelve apostles immediately left the church.

But Smith didn’t give up on trying to produce physical evidence for his stories, he identified

A hill in New York as the site of two cataclysmic battles, but no evidence has been found.
A pile of stones in Missouri as the altar of the biblical Adam, again no evidence.
A skeleton as a Lamanite warrio, no evidence.
Egyptian papyri and the Kinderhook Plates as ancient records supporting his translation claims, the evidence here shows he could not have been more wrong.
And he labeled Native Americans as Lamanites, ancient Jews from the Book of Mormon - but extensive DNA and cultural studies have found no evidence.

This carries on today, with not a single artifact, ruin, or record supporting any Book of Mormon historical claims: there’s simply no trace of the populous, city building, technologically advanced societies it claims lived in the Americas for hundreds of years. In fact, Thomas Stuart Ferguson, the head of the only church sponsored archaeological study meant to prove the Book of Mormon, lost his faith as a result of finding nothing.

There have been unofficial stabs at linking a few sites to Book of Mormon stories, such as the so-called Lehi’s Cave and the Tree of Life Stone. But the evidence is so exaggerated that even many Mormon scholars disagree.
 One discovery has received some official attention, a rock altar in the Arabian desert engraved with the letters NHM. Some Mormons claim this is proof of Nahom, a Book of Mormon location south of Jerusalem. But not only could NHM form many other words by combining vowels differently, its not necessarily even a place name. Yet even with such a flimsy connection, the official LDS publication Ensign called the rock “the first archaeological find that supports a Book of Mormon place-name….".

The best Mormons can do is to attempt to show that archaeology might not rule out the possibility of Book of Mormon claims. For example, there’s a long list of things that the Book of Mormon says existed in the Americas which history and science contradict. So they’ll take horses and say, “maybe it means deer”, or “maybe there were horses that didn’t leave any evidence”. But using this kind of hopeful speculation on every single issue just makes the lack of positive evidence that much more glaring.

So nothing vouches for the Book of Mormon except the testimony of the man who dictated it by looking at a magic rock in a hat. Take into consideration how it clashes with history that can be proven, and it leaves you wondering why the “most correct of any book on earth” has absolutely nothing concrete to justify its problematic claims. Instead of a faith supported by evidence, Mormonism is faith in spite of the evidence.