Issue Date: May/June 2007
Gordon B. Hinckley, 96-year-old president of the Mormons, told the biannual meeting of the Latter Day Saints that the Book of Mormon contains a valid account of Christ`s dealings with the American Indians. This "valid account" claims that a group of Jews called the Jaredites came to America from the Middle East at the time of the tower of Babel. None of them survived, being that they were eventually destroyed by wars.
Another group from the Hebrew tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim migrated to America around 589 BC. They supposedly split into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The first were also destroyed by war but the Lamanites became ancestors of the Native Americans, according to the Book of Mormon account.
Author Thomas Heinze points out in his book, Answers To My Mormon Friends, that there is no clear historical or archeological evidence supporting this tale. By contrast, "Many cities mentioned in the Bible have indeed been uncovered by archeologists just where the Bible said." Mormons have long sought to verify scientifically the Book of Mormon story. Overwhelming evidence has accumulated indicating that the story is pure fiction.
At one point they claimed that the Smithsonian Institution used the Book of Mormon as a guide to almost all of the major archeological discoveries in the Western Hemisphere. Queries to the Smithsonian brought this "diplomatic" response: "The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no connection between the archeology of the New World and subject matter of the book... We know of no authentic cases of ancient Egyptian or Hebrew writing having been found in the New World."
Speaking of languages, Heinze points out that nowhere in any of the Native American languages do you find any traces of Hebrew or Egyptian roots. In addition, recent DNA testing and other evidence firmly links the Native Americans to Mongolian tribes, not Hebrew.
Then there is the problem of the animals. Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi chapter 18 verse 25 says that the immigrants found cows, oxen, donkeys, horses and goats in the American wilderness. But all of the animals listed were not native to the New World. They were all brought by the Europeans a thousand years after the supposed landing of the Jaredites and Lamanites.
How sad that 12 million Mormons are resting their eternal destiny on such fiction. Soul winners, we must do all we can to introduce them to the real Jesus Christ who is the Saviour of the true saints in these latter days.
Heinze`s book is gentle enough to give to a Mormon who is willing to consider the truth. It also contains invaluable information for anyone considering becoming a Mormon or soul winners wanting to sharpen their witness to these precious, lost people.