Monday, March 23, 2009

Archaeology, Relics, and Book of Mormon Belief

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Dr. John E. Clark is Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University and Director of Brigham Young University's New World Archaeological Foundation based in Chiapas, Mexico. In this talk, he discusses archaeological evidences of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. (32 minutes)

Excerpts from the talk:
"The Book of Mormon still presses the world to take it seriously, and now science is lending a hand. The ... archaeology that has been undertaken in Mesoamerica is confirming historical, geographical, and political facts mentioned in the text."
Dr. Clark points out that the Book of Mormon's central challenge is "the promise that its doctrine leads to Christ" and asserts that its "instructions for coming to Christ are unsurpassed, and this is the infinitely more important destination." He quotes President Gordon B. Hinckley thusly:
"The evidence for [the Book of Mormon's] truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical analysis, though these may be confirmatory. The evidence for its truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. Reasonable people may sincerely question its origin; but those who have read it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines saving truths of the everlasting gospel..."[1]
The full text of this talk, along with numerous source citations and footnotes, is available in English from the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship (formerly known as the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS).