LDS Church members are taught that the Book of Mormon (BOM) is scripture, as well as a true record of the inhabitants of the Americas from about 2200 BC to 420 AD. Although it serves primarily as a religious text, it is to be interpreted literally as being an actual, historical record of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. Some Latter-day Saints believe that there is some archaeological evidence supporting the BOM, many know there is little or no evidence and continue to believe in the book's authenticity despite these challenges. Critics cite with the text that indicate it is of more modern origin such as anachronisms, DNA evidence, lack of archaeological evidence, linguistic problems, etc.
The church has historically taught that the Hill Cumorah in NY is the same Hill Cumorah mentioned in the BOM. Most members today still believe that (some do not and most LDS apologists do not believe that either despite the numerous examples provided above that show the leaders of the church preaching it).
The Westbrook Historical Society
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers: This resource is an invaluable record of British society, politics, government, and international affairs over the last two centuries. All sessional papers from 1801 to the present - around 9.5 million pages and 184,000 papers - have been digitised by ProQuest. The British parliament publishes and distributes a wide range of important documents concerning matters such as new legislation, emerging national and international issues and the general running of government. These documents include proposed legislation, regular government reports and special investigative reports, and the full text is reproduced in this collection, providing researchers with easy access to the records. Over 250 papers have been selected from this collection for inclusion in History Study Center. These documents cover many significant historical events, including the 1807 Bill to abolish slavery in the British colonies and the establishment of the principles of equal pay in 1969.
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The argument that Lamanite DNA may have gone extinct strains reinterpretations of the Book of Mormon to breaking point. In this reinvention of Lamanite destiny, the Book of Mormon people are reduced to an insignificant side show in American history, so insignificant that we would find it hard to detect their genes today. The Book of Mormon plainly states that the descendants of the Lehites and Mulekites. formed substantial populations that were ruled over by Lehi's descendants. Are we to believe that these populations were largely comprised of American Indians who swamped out the Israelite genes yet didn't assume any significant influence in these civilizations?
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Consider the battle in 187 B.C.E. in which 3,043 Lamanites and 279 of Zeniff's people were slain in a single day and night (Mosiah 9:18-19). Obviously the total Book of Mormon population at that time was much larger than 3,322 because numerous warriors were left alive after the battle as were women and male noncombatants. But even to produce a total population as large as the fatality figures for this one day would have required an average annual growth rate of 1.2 percent during the preceding four centuries. To put this in perspective, a growth rate of 1.2 percent was never achieved on a global basis or in the industrialized regions of the world as a whole until C.E. 1950-60 and was not reached in the developing regions as a whole until the 1930's (Bogue, Donald J. Principles of Demography. New York: Wiley and Sons, 1969, pg. 48-49). The Nephite-Lehite rate is thirty times the rate that existed in the world as a whole during the same era. Moreover if, as is far more likely, the total population in 187 B.C.E. was in excess of 35,000, it would have taken an average annual growth rate of 1.8 percent to multiply the original thirty pioneers to that level at that time. This is a rate that has never been reached in the industrialized world and has only been achieved in the world overall since 1950 (see table below).
AP Central – Education Professionals – The College Board
Aside from the changes and revisions to the text there are the ever present problems of historicity that are discussed on several previous sections of this web site. For the LDS Church to maintain the claim that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book from either a theological or historic standpoint is deceptively misleading at best. Perhaps, in light of the obvious problems this claim presents, faithful adherents and skeptics alike could benefit from a more metaphorical interpretation of the text; understanding it as a medium of expressing fundamental socio-religious issues that were common in early 19th century America and still worth consideration today.