Open the Book of Mormon and the very first words that you will encounter are the following:
“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel.”
The Book of Mormon goes on to say that it is the record of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 BC, whom afterwards separated into two nations known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other great civilization is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principle ancestors of the American Indians.
The last survivor of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites was a military commander named Moroni. Following his death and resurrection, Moroni appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language. That very day, September 21, 1823, Moroni told Joseph Smith the location of golden plates that were inscribed in “reformed Egyptian” hieroglyphics. He had abridged these plates allegedly with the help of his father Mormon.
Smith not only secured the golden plates, but along with the plates, a pair of magical eyeglasses. And with the eyeglasses, he translated the “fullness of the everlasting gospel.” Upon the culmination of this, the most miraculous a feat, Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book.”
Here’s the problem, there is no archeological evidence for a language such as “reformed Egyptian” hieroglyphics. There is no archeological evidence for lands such as the land of Moron, which is described in Ether 7:6 of the Book of Mormon. There is no archeological evidence to buttress the notion that the Jaredites, Nephites, and Lamanites migrated from Israel to the Americas. Indeed, archeology and anthropology demonstrate conclusively that the people, places, and particulars chronicled in the Book of Mormon are little more than the product of Joseph Smith’s fertile imagination.
What about the Bible? What if through anthropology and archeology there was demonstrable, conclusive evidence that the Bible is not the Word of God, that like the Book of Mormon it is replete with mythology? If that were to happen it would be an absolute game changer, because, like Mormonism, Christianity would lose all its credibility. But exactly the opposite has happened. With virtually every turn of the archeologist’s spade, there is more and more evidence that the particulars, the people, the places, the details, the descriptions found in the Bible are in fact painstakingly accurate, meticulous, and true.
In an age in which the Mormon Church is attempting to pass itself off as mainstream, Christians must learn to recognize the counterfeit gospel of Mormonism by recognizing the Mormon mirage for just that. It is crucial that Christians are equipped to scale the Mormon language barrier and use Mormon doctrinal deviations to effectively communicate the everlasting Gospel of the historic Christian faith. And we say it’s “historic” because it’s rooted in history and evidence. Mormons need to know the truth.