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With this book we can celebrate noble women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with one hundred inspiring biographies of LDS women who have accomplished the extraordinary, leaving an indelible mark on history. By reaching up, these women have reached out to make a valuable difference. Your email address will not be published. All Rights Reserved. New date added! Save the date for August 4, Event will be held at the Davis County Convention Center.
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USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview Based on meticulous research from authoritative sources, this fascinating guide illuminates the origin, teachings, and significance of the Doctrine and Covenants in a unique question-and-answer format. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. In this engaging volume, renowned gospel scholar and teacher Susan Easton Black explores more than In this engaging volume, renowned gospel scholar and teacher Susan Easton Black explores more than questions - many inspired by her own students - about the life and times of the Savior.
Organized chronologically from the Nativity to the View Product. Answers to Gospel Questions. Wilford Woodruff was different from his predecessors and successors in one particular way - he Backman, Jr. So how can the critics explain this? They'll raise some red herrings about witnesses leaving the Church, laugh about the family relationships some of them shared, and even distort the abundantly documented record to infer that some denied their testimony - but the historical record is truly clear that the witnesses stayed true to what they had personally witnessed: the reality, authenticity, and divinity of the Book of Mormon.
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Background: Helaman indicates that cement as a structural material began to be used around the 1st century B. Critics once ridiculed this as wildly out of place for the Americas.
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But in recent decades, it has become well known that ancient Mesoamericans did in fact use cement in their buildings - and this appears to have begun about when the Book of Mormon says it did. Mesoamerican work with cement involved more than merely applying a veneer to buildings, as some anti-Mormons have alleged.
Important structural elements were made with cement. Parry, D.
Peterson, and J. No one in the nineteenth century could have known that cement, in fact, was extensively used in Mesoamerica beginning largely at this time, the middle of the first century B. One of the most notable uses of cement is in the temple complex at Teotihuacan, north of present-day Mexico City. According to David S. Hyman, the structural use of cement appears suddenly in the archaeological record. And yet its earliest sample "is a fully developed product. John Sorenson has further noted the expert sophistication in the use of cement at El Tajin, east of Mexico City, in the centuries following Book of Mormon times.
Cement roofs covered sizable areas: "Sometimes the builders filled a room with stones and mud, smoothed the surface on top to receive the concrete, then removed the interior fill when the [slab] on top had dried. Footnotes for the above passage: 1. See Matthew G. Wells and John W. David S.
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Nothing in Joseph Smith's experience could have suggested that Native Americans once built with cement. Now was that just a lucky guess? And getting the date right? How much faith does it take to ascribe that to luck, too? For details, see my Book of Mormon Evidences page. According to John Sorenson, Kirchoff "identified more than a dozen features - for example, writing systems, sacred temple towers, tribute-collecting governments, and bloody sacrifice - that were shared by cultures throughout this area" John L.
The term, meaning "in between America," was liked by other scholars and stuck. Mesoamerica is the only region in the ancient Americas where society was complex enough to merit the anthropological term "civilization. The Book of Mormon describes ancient societies unlike anything within New York and within the scope of Joseph Smith's knowledge, but which are quite at home in ancient Mesoamerica, where most LDS scholars feel is the location of the lands described in the Book of Mormon. Very little was known about Mesoamerica in Joseph Smith's day, certainly not much was known by Joseph when the Book of Mormon was published in The very existence of the great Mesoamerican civilizations was outside the knowledge of most people in the United States until the publication of a popular book by John Lloyd Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan New York, , which came into the hands of Church leaders in The biographer of Stephens wrote that:.
Thus, if he were making up the Book of Mormon, the descriptions dealing with geography and culture in lands joined by a "narrow neck of land" would not be likely to correspond to any real candidate for a narrow neck. Yet if the narrow neck of land is in Mesoamerica, specifically in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico, near the Yucatan peninsula, then the Book of Mormon account is consistent with modern knowledge of that area on numerous counts, and can be shown to have a self-consistent geography that actually fits the map see John L.
In this region, there are many things that correspond with descriptions in the Book of Mormon.
Susan Easton Black: Mormon Scholar
For example:. The basic connections between the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica are remarkably striking. Some critics argue that basic aspects of Mayan culture and Mesoamerica in general were known to Joseph Smith because they can find a handful of largely obscure books in print in Joseph's day that mentioned the existence of cities and civilizations in Central America.
Never mind that Joseph did not have access to these books or that there is no evidence he ever saw them before the Book of Mormon was published. We are to simply believe that knowledge of Mesoamerica was common in Joseph's day. What the critics overlook is that not even the scholars of Joseph's time were aware of many basic facts about ancient Mesoamerica that provide support for the Book of Mormon. How did Joseph leap ahead of the experts in so many matters? David Whitmer spoke of the expected rejection of the Book of Mormon when it was published because of the advanced civilization it described.
In an interview with James H. Hart, Whitmer said that. The civilizations of the Book of Mormon, with cities, temples, priests, judges, merchants, and organized religion, seem greatly out of line with the Native American culture that Joseph Smith was likely to have known. The Book of Mormon description was so out of harmony with popular understanding of Native Americans that the witnesses feared rejection of the book, but were given faith that in the future evidence for the plausibility and truthfulness of the book would be become known.
In this century, critics take it as common knowledge that there were the types of civilizations described in the Book of Mormon - civilizations like the Olmecs and the Mayans. In crying that there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon, how do they explain that our growing knowledge of ancient Mesoamerica has made the Book of Mormon increasingly plausible over time? At first the very idea of advanced civilizations with cities, temples, etc. As that became known, we reached a point where it was believed that the people of these ancient civilizations were peaceful and free of wars, challenging the Book of Mormon.
But in recent years, it has become widely known that ancient Mesoamerica was filled with wars, consistent with the Book of Mormon. Take the very basic issue of language, for example. The Book of Mormon describes people who kept and cherished written records, who recorded their history, who had priests and prophets and books of scripture and prophecy, and who used written language in their commerce. None of this was characteristic of the Native Americans in Joseph's area.
And while scholars today know that written language was central to ancient Mesoamerican culture, that knowledge only became available a few decades ago. Through the recent work of scholars like Linda Schele, we have come to learn that the Mayans had advanced writing systems and we have learned that they were a warlike people, offering human sacrifice and blood sacrifice in particular, consistent with Book of Mormon depictions of ancient peoples.
The existence of written language among ancient Native Americans is one more area that Joseph could not have easily fabricated. That part of the world also was plagued with wars of the kind described in the Book of Mormon. How do the critics explain these basics? Further, Mayan patterns of warfare bear many resemblances to the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.
The use of militias assembled from men and boys to fight specific campaigns, the challenges in providing food from villagers, etc. How did Joseph, being totally unfamiliar with war and especially with ancient warfare, manage to do so well? By the way, although the Book of Mormon refers to a species of animal with the term "horse" possibly as a food source , there is never any indication of horses being used in battle or of people riding horses at all, in contrast to what we might expect if Joseph had fabricated the Book of Mormon.
Some horse remains apparently have been found from Mayan times - see my discussion on the issue of the horse in the Book of Mormon on my page about problematic plants and animals in the Book of Mormon. Speaking of the complexity of Mesoamerican and Book of Mormon societies, Helaman in the Book of Mormon speaks of the prophet and religious leader Nephi, a descendant of the original Nephi who crossed the ocean, praying out loud on a tower in his garden "which was by the highway which led to the chief market, which was in the city of Zarahemla.
Recent discoveries now show that Helaman is entirely plausible for details, see the section on "Gardens, Towers, and Multiple Markets" on my Book of Mormon Evidences page. Thus, we can also ask the question, "How did Joseph Smith know about urban gardens, towers, highways, and multiple markets in Mesoamerica? This is another gem that critics have ignored, as far as I can tell. Yet the issue of volcanism in the Book of Mormon provides utterly compelling evidence of authenticity. Details are on my page of Book of Mormon Evidences.
If the Book of Mormon is true, then we should expect to find evidence of significant volcanic activity according to the description of events in 3 Nephi around 33 A. So we have a simple test that cannot be obscured by the tragedy of destroyed written records or the complexities of archeological interpretation of a fragmentary and complex record. We can simply ask: was there volcanic activity in Mesoamerica around 33 A.
Difficult Questions for Mormons to answer
This is something that ought to be hard to miss if it occurred. And the answer is clear and irrefutable: yes, there was impressive volcanic activity in Mesoamerica dating to that time , activity of the kind that would fit the Book of Mormon account remarkably well. There is even a city that was partially buried by the huge lava flow from that event. Please look at the detailed evidence on this issue and ask how Joseph Smith, who knew nothing about volcanoes, could accurately describe the results of volcanic activity, and manage to have the date of the event later be confirmed by scientists in a land that corresponds with Book of Mormon lands?
It will take a LOT of faith to ascribe this issue to luck. Details are on my page on Book of Mormon Evidences.
Critics, for example, long mocked the name "Alma" as being a Latin female name from "alma mater" and many women in Mexico, for example, carry the name Alma. How stupid could Joseph have been to pick that for the name of an ancient Semitic man? But over a century later, a find in Israel would confirm that Alma was a man's name in the area of Jerusalem around the time of Lehi and Nephi.