by Hank Hanegraaff
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.