Introduction to the Book of Mormon - Keystone of our Religion
- What is the process by which an individual comes to believe in something
- What are the claims the Book of Mormon makes
- What evidence is there for those claims
- What doctrine is taught in the Book of Mormon and how is it the "Keystone" of our religion
The Book of Mormon Message from Heaven video 20 Minutes a day
The Book of Mormon will Build Faith and Testimony - more than any other book
The Power of the Scriptures - Daily Reading - provides daily inspiration
The Keystone of Our Religion - Why people like the Book of Mormon
The Process of Belief: Epistemology
1. Question -> Evidence -> 2. Interpretation -> Choice -> 3. BeliefAn individual gains evidence which is then interpreted by which choices are made on how the evidence supports an idea which leads to a belief in that idea.
All belief, Religious, Scientific etc. is formed through this process.
Lets look at this process and its relationship to a belief in the Book of Mormon as a Revelation from God.
1. What is EvidenceThe basis or cause of a belief. It is a statement of justification and explanation of the basis and or reason why one believes a concept. It is information that is the basis for belief.
There are 2 primary ways evidence is gathered based upon secular knowledge, and an additional way through religion.
- Physical evidence - Physical evidence - i've seen, touched, visited, talked to i.e. sensory information
- Experiential evidence - I've done, experienced, completed, worked on etc. i.e doing experiencing something
- Referential evidence - gained from an external source i've been told, read, heard of, i.e. trust in physical/experiential evidence of another.
- What are some examples of our Belief's being based upon Evidence?
- (Scientific Method, Child touching hot stove, Fear caused by traumatic event)
- Do we require evidence for a belief in a given topic/doctrine?
- (I believe the answer to this is a resounding YES)
- Is some Evidence stronger than others?
- What makes one type of evidence of greater power in forming a belief than another?
- (less prone to error, less possibility of misinterpretation, less likely to be a figment of our imagination or illusion)
- What is Faith:
- Faith is the substance of things Hoped for the "Evidence" of things that are unseen. Heb 11:1
- Is Faith another way we can gain evidence?
- (We believe in things because we have evidence of them or corresponding other beliefs)
- In what way can we use faith to gain Evidence of things not yet seen?
- (We can gain evidence through faith by obeying without knowing why, or praying for an answer, etc)
- Is this evidence any weaker than other types of evidence?
- No... it is just another way of getting evidence)
- Does secular systems accept the evidence of faith?
- Why? Why not?
- (In general they don't accept anything they can't prove cause/effect for or that they can't personally experience via experiment)
- Does Science use faith as well? In what way?
- It does - the scientific method uses faith - a belief in one's hypothesis before proving it through experimentation.
Many scientific theories are presently unprovable - and have no experimental proof at all (Multi dimensional universe, singularity theory, etc.)
2. Interpretation of Evidence/Choice that leads to a belief.
Once evidence has been presented to the mind whether that evidence was gained by study or by faith, the individual will need to make a choice and an interpretation of what that evidence means in order to have a belief created in the mind. This interpretation of the evidence becomes quite subjective and is individual in nature. In some cases the same evidence can be presented to two different people and because of their interpretation of this evidence different beliefs are formed.
What is an Illusion - optical or otherwise?
How can we be deceived by evidence - and the interpretation of it?
Fallacies of Logic - in interpretation
Hasty generalization, Missing the point, False Cause, Slippery Slope, Weak Analogy, Appeal to Authority, etc.
Lets take a look at one of these:
Appeal to Authority
Often we add strength to our arguments by referring to respected sources or authorities and explaining their positions on the issues we’re discussing. In a religious context usually this is an appeal to an authoritative source such as God, Prophet, Ensign, Scriptures, etc.
If however the individual we are talking to does not believe in the authority of that source - this appeal will have no impact on their interpretation of the evidence.
An example of this is Quoting from the Ensign to a member of another church. They have no belief in the Ensign, or the person speaking in it so it doesn't help their Faith. Even Quoting What God has said to an Atheist has the same impact... none.
An understanding of these Logic fallacies can help us understand how to make evidence of Religious doctrines/concepts more easily believed by those we teach.
Belief comes through the interpretation of evidence as we've discussed. The interpretation of the evidence always requires a choice in what the evidence "Means". This means that the belief can be subjective. Meaning, that one person sees the same evidence and comes up with different conclusions than another. Even though it may be subjective in some cases this belief can become as strong as real knowledge if the evidence for this belief is also very strong. After all what is the definition of knowledge vs belief except that knowledge is assured and known whereas belief could actually be wrong.
The Book of Mormon - Its Claims and the evidence for those claims
Lets look at what the Book of Mormon Claims - and the evidence of those claims.
It is an ancient record translated from Plates of Gold
Written by spirit of prophecy and revelation
Interpreted by the Gift and Power of God - by way of Gentiles
Contains a religions record of 3 main people, Nephites, Lamanites, Jaradites
Written to teach the Covenants of God
Written to convince Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ
Contains a promise how to exercise faith and know it is true - gain spiritual evidence
What evidence is provided for these claims?
Personal Evidence - Promise of the Book
3 Witnesses - 8 Witnesses - Joseph Smith's own Testimony
Testimony of others
Gain a witness from god for yourself that the Book of Mormon is true
If any of you lack wisdom - ask of God - with faith nothing doubting
If you ask of God with sincere intent - he will manifest the truth to you
Alma 5:45-47 Alma followed this course in the gaining of his testimony as can we all
Testimony of the 3 Witnesses
Angel has shown us the plates
Have seen the engravings which are upon the plate
Testify of Contents - religions record of 3 main people, Nephites, Lamanites, Jaradites
Know it has been translated by the gift and power - God's Voice
Know of assuredly that the work is true
Commanded to bear witness
The Eight Witnesses
Testimony of the 8 Witnesses
Joseph has shown unto us the plates
Saw engravings upon plates - curious workmanship
Handled plates with hands
Lifted plates - felt their weight
What are the differences in the evidence provided by each group of witnesses?
saw an angel, heard God's voice, were commanded by God to bear witness, know it is true - God does not lie
were shown the plates by Joseph smith - willingly give testimony to the world of what they have seen.
It is even more interesting what is not in each testimony
Neither testimony claimed any evidence save that which they had been given. They didn't go beyond what the experience provided them in evidence.
i.e... the 8 witnesses said nothing about the translation, nor about the correctness of the work, nor about an angel or even anything of God save that God will bear witness of the truthfulness of their testimony.
i.e.. the 3 witnesses said nothing about lifting, or looking at each page of the plates etc.
Each Testimony is complete by men of good faith many of whom later fell away from the church and yet never denied their testimony concening their witness of the Book of Mormon.
Were they deceitful men? Were they lieing? Were they deceived in some way? Were they hypnotized?
Or... were they just honest men witnessing incredible things and bearing witness of them to the world?
Testimony of David Whitmer March 19 1881 - Richmond Conservator -
President Joseph Fielding Smith
This is a testimony of David Whitmer, given in Richmond, Missouri, March 19, 1881—copied from the original document, which was published in the Richmond Conservator on that date.
"Unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people unto whom these presence shall come— "It having been represented by one John Murphy of Polo [Caldwell County], Missouri, that I had in a conversation with him last summer, denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon— "To the end thereof, that he may understand me now if he did not then, and that the world may know the truth, I wish now, standing as it were, in the very sunset of life, and in the fear of God, once for all to make this public statement:
"That I have never at any time, denied that testimony or any part thereof, which has so long since been published with that book, as one of the three witnesses. "Those who know me best, will know that I have always adhered to that testimony—And that no man may be misled or doubt my present views in regard to the same, I do now again affirm the truth of all my statements as then made and published. "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear: It was no delusion. What is written is written, and he that readeth let him understand . . ."And if any man doubt should he not carefully and honestly read and understand the same before presuming to sit in judgment, and condemning the light which shineth in darkness, and showeth the way to etenal life, as pointed out by the hand of God? "In the Spirit of Christ who hath said follow thou me; for 'I am the life, the light, and the way.' I submit this statement to the world. God, in whom I trust being my judge, as to the sincerity of my motives and the faith and hope that is in me of etenal life.
"My sincere desire is that the world may be benefited by the plain and simple statement of the truth. "And all the honor be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.David Whitmer, Sr."
This was then followed by an affidavit of around 20 men swearing to the Honesty and Integrity of this man.
Additional Evidence: These witnesses never denied their testimony
Attempts to Redefine - 8 Witness Testimony - Byu Speaches
Joseph Smith's Own account of the coming forth of the Book of MormonThe Book of Mormon Translation - LDS Topics
As Elder Pratt watched the Prophet translate, “Joseph, as if he read his thoughts, looked up and explained that the Lord gave him the Urim and Thummim when he was inexperienced in the Spirit of inspiration. But now he had advanced so far that he understood the operations of that Spirit, and did not need the assistance of that instrument.
I have a Question - Urim and Thumim - Ensign October 1973
Joseph Smith in Harmony - Ensign - Sept 2015
A new Prophet New Scripture - Ensign Jan 1988 - Chronology of the time of Translation
The Coming forth of the Book of Mormon - Ensign July 2015 65 working days
The Path to Palmyra - Ensign June 2015
Joseph The Stone and The Hat - Does it Matter - Deseret News - March 26 2015
The Translation of the Book of Mormon - What the Manuscripts say - Byu speaches
Response to Translation concens and Questions - Fair article
The spectacles, the stone, the hat and the book - A Believers Article
Joseph Smith - Historical Setting for BOM Translation and Publication - Byu Speaches
BYU TV - comming forth of the Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 4 - Remember the new covenant
The Urim and Thumim Seen by Lucy Mack Smith: Lucy Mack Smith Jounal
He went and while he was absent Joseph retuned I was trembled so much with fear lest all might be lost again? by some small failure in keeping the commandments that I was under the necessity of leaving the room to conceal my feelings. Joseph saw this and followed me. Mother he said, do not be uneasy all is right see here Said he I have got the key. I knew not what he meant but took the article in my hands and uponafter examing it with no covering but a silk handkerchief found that it consisted of 2 smooth conered diamonds set in glass and the glass was set in silver bows the stones connected with each other in the same way that old fashioned spectacles are made.
We are looking beyond the mark today, for example, if we are more interested in the physical dimensions of the cross than in what Jesus achieved thereon; or when we neglect Alma’s words on faith because we are too fascinated by the light-shielding hat reportedly used by Joseph Smith during some of the translating of the Book of Mormon. To neglect substance while focusing on process is another form of unsubmissively looking beyond the mark. Maxwell, Not My Will, 26
The youthfulness of the prophet - no manuscripts seen during translation
The Method of translation - its difficult to hide a manuscript in a hat :)
The short time spent in actual translation 65 working days
Intenal evidences in the book - Hebraic Forms etc.
The Book of Mormon - Ensign April 1976
Hebrew Literary pattens and Poetry in the Book of Mormon - Ensign Oct 1989
A Clear Poetic Voice - Hebrew Poetry in the Book of Mormon - Ensign Jan 1984
Digging into the Book of Mormon - Ancient American Geography - Ensign Sept 1984
Additional Evidences - Joseph Smith Physics and Science
Joseph Smith - Physics and Science - Byu Speaches
D&C 93:29-38 All spirit is an organized form of intelligence... that is also etenal and has always existed... and will always exist.
D&C 131:7-8 All sprit is matter just more pure and refined
Psalms 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8, Abraham 3:1-11 Time based upon Reckoning of Planet that one resides (Book of Abraham first published in 1842)
This concept of the time of reckoning of time given to man is amazing. How could Joseph Smith have known concening the time differential/relativistic nature of time based upon the point of reference of the observer? In fact he could not have.... Yet... he is accurate on this point. In that the time reference of an individual is based upon the planet upon which they reside!! ... Doubters... explain that!!
The Doctrine of the Book of Mormon
Now that we have covered some of the evidence - lets look at the importance of the doctrine it reveals
“There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 5).
“The moment you begin a serious study of [the Book of Mormon, you] will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. … When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 6; orEnsign, Nov. 1986, 7).
The Prophet Joseph records in his diary, “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 by any other book.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:461.)
“And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.… If ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.” (2 Ne. 33:4–5, 10.)
“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” 7 Ezra Taft Bensen).
The Book of Mormon has strong intenal and extenal evidence for its authenticity. It was translated by a very young man without formal education, through the use of revelation and devices given him by God. It provides a strong witness of Jesus Christ and is another testimony of the mission and life of the savior. To the Honest seeker of truth, if they are humble, and follow the promises given in the book itself they can add their own personal witness as evidence to the truthfulness of this book.
I can truly say as Alma of old that I myself have studied it out in my heart, asked God if it is correct and have received a witness that it is true, and is what it claims to be.
Appendix: Additional Evidences
I do not post this information as some sort of proof that the Book of Mormon is a true document. Rather I post this as a small smattering of evidence to strengthen the faith of those who know as I do that the Book of Mormon is true. As well as to perhaps show to others that we are not without evidence supporting our beliefs as some would propose.
Some would state that there are no "Extenal" evidences to the claims made in the Book of Mormon.
Let us consider some of the claims... and the evidence for them. There are many more claims and much more evidence. In fact I was overwhelmed with the amount of evidence out there... I have selected a small sample for your perusal.
Concening the Book of Mormon:
Remember that at the time of translation it was 1830.
Remember that the man who supposedly wrote the Book of Mormon was an un-educated farmer who had no knowledge of the secular world or their theories or claims.
Remember that he was supposed to have created this document in around 6 months translation time... and 18 months total time of having the plates.
Remember that Joseph Smith was inexperienced and young. He had never seen a volcano; he had never leaned a foreign language or traveled to a foreign country to lean their customs or traditions.
Claims - and associated non LDS based evidence!
#1. A group of individuals jouneyed from Jerusalem and made a transoceanic jouney to the American Continent.
#2. A Group of Hebrews traveled across the ocean and lived on the American continent for some period of time.
#3. Jesus Christ visited the Americas and taught his gospel.
#4. Gold Plates used as writing medium and found contained within a stone box.
#5. Horses lived in America before Columbus came.
#6. The plates were written in Reformed Egyptian
#7. The ancient Americans knew of a type of steel.
#8. Coins - Weights and Measures in the Book of Mormon.
#1. The Book of Mormon claims to have been the jouney of a group of individuals who left Jerusalem at or around 600 B.C. This document
describes their jouney through the wildeness before leaving on a ship for the American continent. Shouldn't this jouney be retraceable?
Shouldn't we be able to find locations that match the description in the Book?
Bountiful and Nahom in the Arabial Peninusula - Jeff Lindsay
Lehi's Arabian Jouney Updated - byu.edu
#2. A group of Hebrews traveled across the ocean and lived on the American continent for some period of time.
Bat Creek Stone: Bat Creek stone video
The Bat Creek Stone was discovered in 1889 in an undisturbed burial mound in Easten Tennessee by the Smithsonian's Mound Survey project.
In 1971, Cyrus Gordon identified the letters inscribed on the stone as Paleo-Hebrew of approximately the first or second century A.D. According to him, the five letters to the left of the comma-shaped word divider read, from right to left, LYHWD, or "for Judea."
See: Historical Outliers - econ.ohio-state.edu
The Decalogue: Decalogue stone video - found in a stone box
Native Americans wrote in Ancient Hebrew - Fox News.com
Historical Outliers - econ.ohio-state.edu
In November of 1860, David Wyrick of Newark, Ohio found an inscribed stone in a burial mound about 10 miles south of Newark. The stone is inscribed on all sides with a condensed version of the Ten Commandments or Decalogue, in a peculiar form of post-Exilic square Hebrew letters. The robed and bearded figure on the front is identified as Moses in letters fanning over his head. The inscribed stone was found inside a sandstone box, smooth on the outside, and hollowed out within to exactly hold the stone.
Los Lunas Stone: Los lunas stone video
Historical Outliers - econ.ohio-state.edu
The Los Lunas Inscription is an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque. The language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet, with a few Greek letters mixed in.
#3. Jesus Christ visited the Americas and taught his gospel.
See: Ancient American Article - 26
Traditions of a mys- terious, bearded visitor from overseas have been current across our continent since pre-Columbian times. The universal image of this man, depicted as an influential religious leader, has fascinated me for twenty years, during which time I conducted my investigations among every Native American willing to discuss his or her tribal history with me. Through them I leaned that the mythic memory of this light-skinned (often referred to as white-skinned), robed man occurs in ancient myth among numerous Indian peoples.
But his story is found most frequently in North American legends, which reveal more infor- mation about his appearance and the nature of his arrival. In Middle and South America, he was known respectively, as the "Feathered Serpent" (the Mayas' Kukulcan and Aztec Quetzalcoatl), and "Sea Foam", Kon-Tiki- Viracocha, to the Incas. North of the Rio Grande River, he is generally referred to as East Star Man, Peace Maker, Pale One, Dawn Star, etc.
Ancient America .org - Quetzalcoatl
#4. Gold Plates used as writing medium and found contained within a stone box.
Gold Plates used Anciently - Shields
Hiding Sacred records - an established practice - Jeff Lindsay.com
Ancient Writing on Metal Plates -Ensign October 1979
Evidences of the Book of Mormon - Brass Plates
Gold Plates - Ore Analysis
#5. Horses are described as being in America during pre-Columbian times.
This was discounted and discredited until recent finds have shown this to be true!
The wild horse Conspiracy
In conclusion, using state-of-the-art dating methods, we along with other researchers have found radiometrically-dated evidence for the existence of horses in North America long after the last ice age and before the arrival of Columbus. These data challenging the existing paradigm. Further DNA analyses will provide additional data and insights.
Byu studies quarterly - Hard evidence of Ancient American Horses
Evidence presented in this article includes (1) archeological evidence for large animals used for draft and transportation; (2) wheeled artifacts showing a person or animal riding on an obviously artificial wheeled platform; (3) the possibility that Book of Mormon peoples referred to native animals such as the Baird's tapir with names such as horse that they were familiar with; (4) early accounts suggesting that Native Americans had horses too early for them to come from strays that escaped the Spanish conquistadors, especially since the Spanish kept very careful records of their horses; (5) the prevalence of the pinto or piebald horse among Native Americans and its relative absence among Spanish expeditions; (6) images in Mesoamerican art that might depict horses; (7) evidence that horses survived far longer after the last ice age than previously thought; and (8) the question of the Bashkir Curly.
#6. Reformed Egyptian
MANY Egyptologists agree that the Egyptian language has been modified through the ages. W.V. Davies, "Reading the Past: Egyptian Hieroglyphs," Univ. of Califonia Press, 5th print, 1993, pp. 23 shows examples of how Egyptian has certainly been "reformed" through time. Adolf Erman in his text "Life in Ancient Egypt," p. 342 demonstrates that "Reformed Egyptian" is exactly a shortening of the regular Egyptian writing system!
Note it well that Erman said to increase their speed in writing, the scribes "cut short to a few strokes those words which occurred most frequently." Note the top forms of the various words are in hieroglyphic, while below is a "Reformed" version. E.A.W. Budge in his book "The Rosetta Stone" said that Demotic is "the conventional, abbreviated, and modified form of the Hieratic character..." (p. 41, 173). Sir Alan Gardiner, "Egyptian Grammar," p. 422 notes that "in the course of time the two scripts [Hieratic & Hieroglyphic] divurged and developed special orthographic habits of their own...Hieratic...became far more regular and consistent, and invented, in case of need, fashions of spellings suited to itself." That was the idea of the Book of Mormon writers.
Examples of scriptic writing.
Why was Demotic script created - Britannica.com
History-world.org - Egyptian scripts - demotic and hieratic around 700-600bc...
Egyptian hieratic and demotic. The Egyptian language was written in three related but distinct scripts. The oldest is hieroglyphic script, dating to around 3000 B.C.; it was essentially a monumental script for stone inscriptions. Hieratic, a second script, is a modified form of Egyptian hieroglyphics used to write formal documents on papyrus with brush and ink, and demotic is a cursive script. Thus, both the hieratic and demotic scripts could be considered "reformed" or modified
versions of the original hieroglyphic script. These are both examples of writing the Egyptian language in reformed versions of the Egyptian hieroglyphic script; there are also several examples of the use of reformed or modified Egyptian characters to write non-Egyptian languages. Byblos Syllabic texts. The earliest known example of mixing a Semitic language with modified Egyptian hieroglyphic characters is the Byblos Syllabic inscriptions (eighteenth century B.C.), from the city of Byblos
on the Phoenician coast. This script is described as a "syllabary [that] is clearly inspired by the Egyptian hieroglyphic system, and in fact is the most important link known between the hieroglyphs and the Canaanite alphabet." Interestingly enough, most Byblos Syllabic texts were written on copper plates. Thus, it would not be unreasonable to describe the Byblos Syllabic texts as a Semitic language written on metal plates in "reformed Egyptian characters," which is precisely
what the Book of Mormon describes. Cretan hieroglyphics. Early forms of writing in Crete apparently developed from a combination of "Egyptian hieroglyphic, Mesopotamian cuneiform and Phoenician native signs into one single, new pictographic script." Note again that there is a mixture of Semitic (Mesopotamian and Phoenician) and Egyptian writing systems, precisely as described in the Book of Mormon.
Meroitic. Meroitic, the script of ancient Nubia (moden Sudan), "was first recorded in writing in the second century B.C. in an 'alphabetic' script consisting of twenty-three symbols, most of which were borrowed or at least derived from Egyptian writing....The script has two forms, hieroglyphic and cursive." Meroitic hieroglyphic signs were "borrowed from the Egyptian...[and] the cursive script derived mainly from the Egyptian demotic script."
Psalm 20 in demotic Egyptian. Scholars have also recently deciphered an Aramaic version of Psalm 20:2-6 that was written in demotic Egyptian characters. This is precisely what the Book of Mormon claims existed: a version of the Hebrew scriptures in the Hebrew language, but written using Egyptian characters.
Proto-Sinaitic and the alphabet. Semitic speakers of early second millennium B.C. Syria and Palestine seem to have adopted reformed or modified versions of both Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mesopotamian cuneiform into syllabic and alphabetic systems of writing. Ultimately, this reformed Egyptian script became the basis for the Phoenician alphabet, from which nearly all subsequent alphabets derive. "The Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions were written in a Semitic language, and...their letters were the prototypes for the Phoenician alphabet. The letters are alphabetic, acrophonic in origin, and consonantal, and their forms are derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs." "Since the Canaanite/Phoenician syllabary formed the basis of the Greek alphabet, and the Greek in tun of the Latin, it means, in the words of Gardiner, that 'the hieroglyphs live on, though in transmuted [or could we not say reformed?] form, within our own alphabet.'" In a very real sense, our own Latin alphabet is itself a type of reformed Egyptian, since the ultimate source of our characters is Egyptian hieroglyphics.
#7. Steel in the Book of Mormon.
Evidences of the Book of Mormon - Steel in the Book of Mormon
2 Samuel 22:35, Job 20:24, Psalms 18:34 Sheilds - Steel in ancient times
Steel in Ancient America - Jeff Lindsey.com
"Recent Studies on the Book of Mormon," Ensign, June 1989, 50 Metal Alloys and Metal Workers The Book of Mormon mentions brass, steel, gold, silver, copper, and other metals. Yet many non-LDS scholars have concluded that metallurgy was unknown before the late classic times (A.D. 700-900) in Mesoamerica. They base their conclusions on the scarcity of metal artifacts in ancient sites. In reviewing this field, though, John Sorenson has identified dozens of early metals known from Mesoamerica. He concludes that enough evidence has tuned up that scholars should not prematurely decide against metal-making in ancient America.
Some critics have specifically attacked the Book of Mormon because it mentions a steel bow. They mistakenly believe that steel could not be made anciently or that it was rare. Actually, as Christopher Munson has discovered, a brittle, carbonized iron called Martensite-a primitive steel-was commonly produced in the Near East before the time of Lehi. Nephi's bow may have been made of this alloy, for although the metal was strong, Nephi still broke it.
Munson also examines what kind of alloy may have been used in the plates of brass. Brass, a compound of copper and zinc, is durable but quite hard. It is thus difficult to inscribe. Although high-quality brass contains a high percentage of zinc, lesser amounts of zinc would produce a brass more like bronze (an alloy of copper and tin). Such a bronze-like alloy would be soft enough to inscribe but more tanish-resistant than common bronze. It would be well suited for record-keeping and would weather time well. Lehi was inspired to say that the plates of brass would not "be dimmed any more by time." (1 Ne. 5:19.)
#8. Coins - Weights and Measures in the Book of Mormon.
Alma Ch.11, 3 Nephi 12:26
So, here we have a situation where the Book of Mormon mentions measures of gold and silver, which might explain why anyone looking for evidence of coins might be disappointed.
Pennies and Farthings
Pennies: Matt 20:2,9,10,13 and 20:19, Mark 6:37, 12:15, Luke 20:24, John 6:7, Rev 6:6
Farthings: Matt 5:26, 10:29, Mark 10:1, 12:42, Luke 12:6
Mites: Mark 12:42 - "And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing."
Yet the Bible mentions coins such as pennies, farthings, and mites which are the coinage of 16th century England.
Suffice to say that the BoM needs no more explanation than what has been given, and the Bible can simply be said to be suffering from a translator's efforts to make the coinage familiar to [his] contemporary readers.
I hope this small sampling of evidence in many cases from non-LDS sources will help you understand why we can believe as we do.
Do you really believe that Joseph Smith wrote that book? Evidences Language Post.
That is to me one of the most amazing things concening the Book of Mormon.
How an un-educated farmer could write in Hebraic forms, both poetic and idiomatic before the moden scholars even knew of them! And some say he wrote in an epileptic fit... give me a break. They seek knowing they will not find, and grasp seeking to justify their unbelief!