About The Book of Mormon – Part 3

The Book of Mormon is an ancient scriptural record written by the prophets of the people of Ancient America spanning 1,000 years from approximately 600 B.C. to 400 A.D.  It was buried in a stone box by the final author to preserve the record for a future time, and then it was brought forth by the Lord for the people of our day.

As the book is scripture and is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, readers are encouraged to read the book, to ponder on its message, and then to pray with sincerity to ask Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ whether the book is true.  The promise is that we may know the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost.

This is, in fact, the only way for an individual to find out whether it is true or not.  Just like the Bible, one cannot take another’s word for its veracity – rather you must actually read, ponder and pray to gain a testimony to know for yourself.

Having said that, it is comforting and assuring to one’s faith in the Bible when archaeologists unearth supporting evidence in the holy land to substantiate the written record.  Similarly, those who have read and gained a testimony of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon have their interest increasingly piqued in recent years as large cities that hosted millions of people anciently are unearthed from beneath overgrown jungles of Central and South America; Hebrew artifacts are found in burial mounds in North America; millions of burial mounds scatter the eastern half of the United States as well as northward into Canada and westward as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba; and war artifacts and battle burials are unearthed that document an unfortunate ancient history of war and desecration… all of these discoveries supporting the record as written in The Book of Mormon.

Although much remains to be learned from the archeology, it undeniably parallels the story of the people in The Book of Mormon.

I share the following information not in an effort to “prove” The Book of Mormon since that proof can only come to an individual through the personal discovery of reading, pondering and praying to obtain the answer directly from God.  Rather, I share it to supplement that spiritual discovery, as one who has already had a strong spiritual testimony of The Book of Mormon, and now who’s interest has been further magnified and who’s desire has been piqued to learn more of the magnitude, blessings, trials, tribulations and eventual downfall of the ancient civilization that once populated the Americas and were the ancestors of today’s Native Americans.  The powerful lessons learned from The Book of Mormon are intended to benefit the people who live today, and the principles taught in The Book of Mormon will draw one closer to Jesus Christ.

I hope you will find this as interesting as I find it to be.

Bob Hilke, Jr.

Mormon – History on Metal Plates – A Great Battle

An excerpt from a modern-day recitation of a Seminole Indian legend of their ancestors’ history recorded on metal plates that were buried in a hill in New York State, and of a great war where a warrior chief was killed and buried in upper New York State.  Compare with the record of Mormon, the spiritual leader, military leader, and keeper of the records in The Book of Mormon who was killed in a great and final battle near the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra in upper New York State, and the records that Mormon delivered to his son Moroni who wrote his final words in The Book of Mormon before hiding up the records in the earth, buried in a stone box on the Hill Cumorah.

  • BLUE = Mormon was a prophet, military leader (Chief), father of Moroni who last wrote in The Book of Mormon
  • GREEN = History was written on metal plates
  • RED = Final battle where Mormon and his people were exterminated
The Book of MormonModern Evidence
The Words of Mormon 1:1-2
And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.
And it is many hundred years after the coming of Christ that I deliver these records into the hands of my son; and it supposeth me that he will witness the entire destruction of my people. But may God grant that he may survive them, that he may write somewhat concerning them, and somewhat concerning Christ, that perhaps some day it may profit them.  
Mormon 5:8
And now behold, I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes;  
Mormon 8:1-4
Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father.
And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed.
And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not.
Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.
Talk given to missionaries in training at the MTC, Provo, Utah 1979, by President Murray J. Rawson.
>>>[LINK TO AUDIO]<<<
Mission President to the Seminole Indians in Central Florida, Murray J. Rawson was teaching a group of the tribe about the Book of Mormon when he was interrupted by their Chief…
“We had a war long ago with a light skinned people around the Great Lakes. We conquered them but we had so much respect for their warrior chief that we buried him at the mouth of the Oswego River that is in New York State. We don’t discuss this very much because it is an embarrassment to us.”
President Rawson then asked why this is an embarrassment, and the Chief replied,
“Our history is written on metal plates and buried in a hill in New York, but we don’t know which hill… They still kept the sacred records of metal, some of which had come across the ocean waters with them, and others which they had continued keeping and making, scribing upon them as had been done before by the leaders of the People…”  












Mounds

Where did “Indian Mounds” come from?

When where they built?

What is their purpose?

What is in them?

I grew up knowing about “Indian Mounds”, ever since I was a young kid.  We had mounds near our home in Northern Minnesota.  Probably most people in America have mounds near where they grew up, even if they don’t know about them, because they are all over the place – especially all along the Mississippi valley and eastward.  Some are small and may contain the remains of only one person while others are large burial sites of thousands of individuals.  Some are carefully laid out with great care, while others are mass gravesites with bodies piled haphazardly with arrows stuck in bones and skulls bashed in… the obvious result of devastating battles.

Here’s the mound I knew most about in my youth…

Grand Mound – Koochiching County, Minnesota

This particular mound, the Grand Mound in Minnesota, is alongside the Rainy River which is the boundary between Minnesota and Ontario Canada.  It is in a very beautiful and peaceful setting.  Any one of us would love to be buried in such a lovely place.  There’s a nice trail where you can walk all around this mound, but not on it.  It is “see only – no touch” because it is protected as a sacred burial ground of ancestors of Native American Indians. 

Here’s more information about this same mound.

I’m sharing information about this mound and the site that follows because these are ones I am familiar with since my youth.  Probably you are familiar with some near you.

Manitou Mounds – Same River / Other Side

Directly across the Rainy River from the Grand Mound on the Canadian side of the river are the Manitou Mounds with 15 ancient burial mounds.  This picture is taken from the Canadian site of the Manitou Mounds, looking in a southwesterly direction across the Rainy River into Minnesota on the far shore. 

Mounds similar to these Manitou Mounds are found northward and westward in Canada as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Also known as Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung…

Here’s a picture of one of the 15 Manitou Mounds, just a few miles west of Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada.  This beautiful setting is alongside the northern shore of the Rainy River.

The obvious questions are, “who are all these people who are buried here, and where did they come from?”

Order of Magnitude

So, how many mounds are there?  Or how many mounds “were there” (many are no longer visible because they are beneath cities, roads, crop fields, etc.)?  And how many people are buried in all the mounds?  And where did these people come from?  Who were they?  And what was their civilization like?

In 1894, this map of the Eastern United States was published, showing areas where mounds with human bones were documented.  Each red dot represents an area with a significant enough number of mounds to be registered on the map (multiple mounds per red dot).  Some of the mounds are small, containing the remains of one or several individuals, and some are very large containing the remains of thousands of individuals.  Mounds extend upward and westward into Canada.  This map of the Eastern United States Mounds only documents the mounds found in the Eastern United States.  Many of these mounds documented in the 1894 survey have since been plowed under crop fields, paved over, built over or otherwise destroyed.  Some remain visible today, many are protected as sacred burial sites and several large ones have well-developed visitor facilities.

Note: This and several other images that follow are attributed to Wayne May

In the 1800’s, there were numerous books published on Ancient America Archaeology, including the first book ever published by the Smithsonian.  Here’s several examples.  Mounds and cities of an Ancient American civilization were documented by these early American archaeologists.

More examples of mounds…

What are some of the things that are found in mounds?

The Book of Mormon

The unfortunate story documented in The Book of Mormon is of a vast civilization who perished because they turned from God and they became a wicked people.  Their prophets warned them to repent, but they did not, and the consequence of their wickedness was the downfall of their civilization.  Following are quotes from The Book of Mormon describing the terrible scenes toward the end of the destruction of this previously great people.

Alma 2:38
38 And it came to pass that many died in the wilderness of their wounds, and were devoured by those beasts and also the vultures of the air; and their bones have been found, and have been heaped up on the earth.

Alma 16:11
11 Nevertheless, after many days their dead bodies were heaped up upon the face of the earth, and they were covered with a shallow covering. And now so great was the scent thereof that the people did not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years. And it was called Desolation of Nehors; for they were of the profession of Nehor, who were slain; and their lands remained desolate.

Alma 28:11
11 And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.

Alma 44:21
21 Now the number of their dead was not numbered because of the greatness of the number; yea, the number of their dead was exceedingly great, both on the Nephites and on the Lamanites.

Mormon 2:15
15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land.

Mormon 6:15
15 And it came to pass that there were ten more who did fall by the sword, with their ten thousand each; yea, even all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their mother earth.

Ether 11:6
And there was great calamity in all the land, for they had testified that a great curse should come upon the land, and also upon the people, and that there should be a great destruction among them, such an one as never had been upon the face of the earth, and their bones should become as heaps of earth upon the face of the land except they should repent of their wickedness.

Modern Evidence

So, did the events described in The Book of Mormon really happen?  And were those people really of Hebrew descent as described in The Book of Mormon?

You be the judge!

Here’s a quote from one of those books from the 1800’s, Antiquities of the State of New York, by Ephraim G. Squier…

Many unearthed mounds are called “battle mounds”, as it is not uncommon to find thousands of skeletons of men, women and children heaped into a pile and covered with dirt, and in those mounds many skeletons are found with arrowheads still lodged in their bones or with their skulls bashed in.

So far we have looked at mounds, and some human remains from mound excavations. 

But, what else has been found in mounds?

Nephite Copper Headplate and Cheek Guards

This one was excavated in Ohio.  The curved portion was designed to fit the contour of the head, while the wing like appendages dropped along the sides of the face.  The headdress had been sewn to a bonnet-like appurtenance which covered the head and fell to the shoulders at the rear.  “The Mound Builders” by Henry Clyde Shetrone, page 115, published by D. Appleton-Century Company New York & London, 1936.

The Book of Mormon

Alma 43:19,21
19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with… shields to defend their heads

Many Artifacts – Some of Obvious Hebrew Descent

Excavated artifacts include arrow heads (millions of them!), armor, spear points, atlatl points, head plates, breastplates, arm plates, swords, knives, oil lamps, Hebrew inscriptions, Effigy Pipes, and more.

Nephite Arm-shields

The Book of Mormon

Alma 43:19,21
19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with… arm-shields

Hebrew Oil Lamp

How can this be explained to have been excavated from an Ancient America grave, except that these people were of Hebrew descent? 

Hebrew Text of the Ten Commandments

This artifact was found in Michigan.  It has the Ten Commandments inscribed in Hebrew.  How can this be explained other than the people were of Hebrew descent?

DNA

There are two places on Planet Earth where the Hg “X” (mtDNA) is found:  the area around Jerusalem, and the area around the Great Lakes of North America. 

How can this be explained other than these people having common ancestors?

Haplogroup X is one of 5 genetic markers found among Pre-Columbian Amerindians.  Unlike the 4 other (A,B,C&D), X is only found in North America with concentrations as high as 25% found among the Great Lakes Indians like the Iroquois and Algonquin.

The only place with higher concentration (27%) of Haplotype X is among the Druze people in Israel, Jordan and Syria.

The Book of Mormon claims the people of Ancient America came from Jerusalem. 

Did they? 

You be the judge!

Hopewell Culture Timeline and The Book of Mormon Timeline

The Hopewell were Native Americans who once flourished in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Their culture and timeline is well documented in the archives of American archaeologists. The Hopewell were mound builders, and “Hopewell” is the name of the land owner where one of the mounds of these people was found.  The Hopewell are the primary mound builders of Ancient America.

Lining up the timeline the archaeologists have defined for the Hopewell culture with the Nephite timeline as defined by the authors of The Book of Mormon, they are a perfect match!

Hopewell Timeline     600 BC – 400 AD

Nephite Timeline       590 BC – 385 AD

The archaeologists have not been able to determine what happened to the Hopewell people.

The Book of Mormon describes exactly what became of them.

Overlaying the geography and chronological timeline of the Hopewell culture with The Book of Mormon timeline of the Nephites and their likely geography, is a perfect match!

Conclusion

There is much more to be shared because much more has been unearthed that supports the recorded history of the Ancient Americans as documented in The Book of Mormon.  But what I have shared should be enough to substantiate significant parallels between the record in the earth (archaeology) and the record on the metal plates (The Book of Mormon).

Again, the archaeology evidence of Ancient America does not prove The Book of Mormon.  Nor does the archaeology evidence of the Holy Land prove the Bible.

Both sets of scripture are found to be true by their readers sincerely reading, pondering and praying to receive their answer directly from God after having put forth an honest effort to investigate.

It is my testimony that The Book of Mormon is indeed TRUE!  It is a companion scripture to the Bible.  It is Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  Its purpose is for the people of our day, in preparation for the Second Coming.

CONTINUE – LEARN MORE:

About The Book of Mormon – Part 4

LDS Temple – Why The Book of Mormon is Important!

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