Difficulties in the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon presents difficulties that cannot be explained away regarding the following topics:
First Nephi 1:2, etc., states that Hebrews who left Jerusalem and came to the Americas spoke Egyptian. It is a known fact that Hebrews spoke Hebrew, and their records were kept in Hebrew. Egyptians were their enemies. It is as absurd to think that Hebrews would have written their sacred history in Egyptian as to think that American history would have been written in Russian! In Mormon 9:32, 34, it is stated that the language was “reformed Egyptian” and that no other people knew their language. There is no known language called “reformed Egyptian.”
First Nephi 17:5 talks about ample fruit and wild honey being products of the Sinai Desert (called Bountiful). Not possible!
First Nephi 18:1 talks about ample timber that these Jews used to build a ship. There is not ample timber in that area. It was a desert. It is still a desert.
First Nephi 2:6-9 mentions a river named Laman that flows into the Red Sea. There is no river there, nor has there been one since the Pleistocene Era (even if one accepts evolutionary geology).
Discrepancies abound in the Book of Mormon. Wheat, barley, olives, etc., are mentioned, but none of these were in the Americas at that time.
North America had no cows, asses, horses, oxen, etc.; Europeans brought them hundreds and hundreds of years later. North America had no lions, leopards, or sheep at that time. Honey bees were brought here by Europeans much later. Ether 9:18,19 lists domestic cattle, cows and oxen as separate species! They did not even exist in the Americas at that time, nor did chickens, dogs, or elephants.
And what on earth are “curloms” and “cumoms”? No such animals have ever been identified anywhere. Domestic animals that are thought to be “useful” would hardly become extinct.
Butter is also mentioned, but it could not possibly have existed, since no milk-producing animals were found in the Americas at that time.
The Book of Mormon mentions silk and wool clothing, but they did not exist at that time, nor did moths (1 Nephi 13:7; Alma 46, Ether 9:17; 10:24).
Ether 15:30-31 says that after Shiz (the Jaredite military leader) was beheaded, “Shiz raised upon his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.”
In Ether, chapter 6, we learn that furious winds propelled the barges to the Promised Land for 344 days! Even if the winds were not “furious” but, for example, blew only 10 miles per hour, the distance traveled in 344 days would have been 82,560 miles, or more than three times around the world. Absurdity, to say the least!
Furthermore, why would the Lord instruct the brother of Jared to make a hole on the top and bottom of each barge (Ether 2:20)?
When Lehi left Jerusalem, according to the Book of Mormon, his group consisted of perhaps fewer than 20 people. Yet 19 years later the people had so prospered and multiplied in the Promised Land that they built a temple of which the “manner of construction was like unto the temple of Solomon: and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine” (2 Nephi 5:16)—see chapter 3 for further details.
Looking at what the Bible says about the construction of Solomon’s temple, we find that it took 30,000 Israelites, 150,000 hewers of stone and carriers, 3,300 supervisors (1 Kings 5:13-16), and about seven years to build it (see also 1 Kings 6).
How many people could Lehi have had in his group after 19 years? Most of them would have still been very young children or teenagers, hardly capable of building a temple.
The book further explains that in fewer than 30 years after arriving on this continent, they had multiplied so rapidly that they divided into two nations. Even the most rapid human reproduction could have resulted in only a few dozen in that brief time, and most of them still would be infants or small children, and about one-third older people.
Not only did they divide into two nations, but throughout the book, every few years, they had devastating wars that killed thousands (i.e., Alma 28:2).
After the first 19 or so years, Laman and Lemuel and their descendants and followers(!) turned dark skinned because of their disobedience (2 Nephi 5:21). According to the Book of Mormon, a dark skin color was a curse from God. This change of skin color takes place throughout the book. In 2 Nephi 30:6, we read that if Lamanites accepted the gospel, they would become “white and delightsome” (and, since the 1981 printing of the Book of Mormon, we read that they became “pure and delightsome”), and if they “dwindled in unbelief they became a dark and loathsome…” (1 Nephi 12:23). People’s skin color does not change if they believe or do not believe, nor is skin color a curse!
The Book of Mormon teaches that Native Americans originated from these Jewish settlers. However, Native Americans are distinctly Mongoloid. They have the “Mongoloid” blue spot, specific blood traits, and their facial features are of typical Asian origin, not Semitic at all.
DNA testing and studies of the Indian tribes (that the LDS Church and the Book of Mormon teach to be “Lamanites”), have concluded that American Indians are Mongoloids from Siberia and not Hebrews from Jerusalem. Nearly 100 years of scientific research has refuted all claims of the Book of Mormon, which is believed by the LDS to be an actual history of millions of Semitic people who built magnificent cities and had an advanced culture. Due to these testing results, the LDS Church saw it necessary (Nov. 2007) to change the wording on the Introduction page to the Book of Mormon—written in 1981, they say, “only as a commentary” by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie.
It originally said, “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”
It will now say, “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.” With this change, they are trying to reduce “the Lamanites” to so small a group that they may never be found, and that “the Lamanites” have somehow been absorbed into Indian tribes that now show only Mongoloid DNA. This is contrary to what all LDS prophets from Joseph Smith to the current LDS prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, have repeatedly stressed: namely, that all American Indians are Lamanites. LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball emphasized, “[The] term ‘Lamanite’ includes all Indians and Indian mixtures…Lehi and his family became ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea” (Ensign, July 1971, p. 7, emphasis added).
LDS apologists from BYU are also saying that there were a lot of other people on this continent when Lehi and his group arrived. By saying that, they contradict the Book of Mormon that says that this land (American Continent) was “kept from all other nations” (2 Nephi 1:9).
Regardless, this word change to the Introduction to the Book of Mormon does not make a bit of difference because the Title Page to the Book of Mormon says basically the same thing that the Introduction page said – connecting all Lamanites to Hebrews. The Title page says that the Book of Mormon “is the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are remnant of the house of Israel….”
This should not be changed, because Joseph Smith said that the Title Page is part of the gold plates and that “it is a literal translation taken…of…the book of plates…this title page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation” (Times and Season, vol. 3, No. 24, p. 943).