Book of Mormon Artifacts Pt II

Book of Mormon Artifacts Pt II




12 – Horses


2 Nephi 12:7; “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.”



     The verse above supposedly took place between 550 and 545 BC; however, this is a huge problem with archaeological studies and evidences according to researchers.  From the website of the Columbia Encyclopedia it said;


The Spanish conquistadors brought horses to the New World, where Native Americans soon acquired them from ranches and missions. The Plains Indians of North America quickly developed a horse culture that led to their ascendancy in numbers and power. Horses were used for hunting buffalo and other game, for warfare, and for pulling loads on a travois . Escaped Indian horses were ancestral to the mustang , the so-called wild horse of the W United States.”  (15)


    Now if you’re a Mormon and believe in the validity of the Book of Mormon then you’ve got a problem according to the website mentioned above.  If you believe that horses were in the Americas before the time of the Conquistadors then you have to believe in evolution. 

     If you look at the side in favor of Mormonism you’ll see what they continue to say at FAIR about the horse.  I find the majority of their insights to be totally lacking factual evidence based upon what their own apologists state.  The reader will also notice how they typically try to explain away the problems for the lack of evidence by making excuses for what the Book of Mormon actually claims.


From FAIR it says; “Non-LDS Canadian researcher, Yuri Kuchinsky, also believes that there were pre-Columbian horses…Unfortunately, however, such theories are typically seen as fringe among mainstream scholars. Due to the dearth of archaeological support, most scholars continue to believe that horses became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene period. Is it possible that real horses lived in the Americas during Book of Mormon times? And if so, why does there seem to be no archaeological support?

First, it is important to recognize that the Book of Mormon never states or implies that horses roamed the New World in large numbers–in fact, horses are mentioned very infrequently…”


     See what I mean?  The above explanation is case in point.



13 – Iron



2 Nephi 5:15; “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.” – BC 588 – 570.



     The findings for this particular subject matter are just as damning as all the others in Joseph Smith’s story of the Book of Mormon.  In the tenth chapter of a book called “History of the Manufacture of Iron in All Ages, pgs. 100-103, by James Moore Swank it says;


It would not be profitable to inquire minutely whether the mound-builders or any other aboriginal inhabitants of the United States, or the aboriginal inhabitants of any other part of the American continent, possessed a knowledge of the use and consequently of the manufacture of iron. It may be said with positiveness that it has not been proved that they possessed this knowledge even in the slightest degree, if we except the very rare vise of meteoric iron. Antiquarians have not neglected a subject of so much importance, but their researches have produced only negative results. Rude hatchets and other small implements of iron have been found in situations which give color to the theory ‘that they may have been of aboriginal origin and may have been made from iron ore, but the weight of much concurrent testimony is wholly against this supposition.  Foster, in his Prehistoric Races of the United States of America, says that “no implement of iron
has been found in connection with the ancient civilizations of America.”


     I highly encourage the reader to investigate this claim by the Book of Mormon in addition to reading the entire chapter of the book mentioned above.  It gives quite an extensive history of the early American Indians, the mounds throughout Mesoamerica and northern America regarding their use of iron.  The book was written in 1892.  You can read a pdf copy at the link provided or see the real thing at Stanford University Library.

     The Mormon Church will tell you of course the archaeologists have definitively found direct evidences of just the opposite of what all other researchers have to say.  In Milton R. Hunter’s book, Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, chapter six, pg. 127 it says;


“The inhabitants of ancient America not only used steel, but they also mined and refined numerous metals, including iron. After the colonists had arrived in America and Nephi had become the leader of the Nephites, he taught them many industries.”


     What is so incredulous about this is the fact that the LDS archaeologists are purportedly down in Mesoamerica in the temples of people who performed human sacrifices and they’re claiming these are the holy people of God in the Book of Mormon?!  If these are the people of their god I am utterly grateful that I got out of Mormonism!


14 – Millet


Ether 9:17-18; “Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;18 And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.”



     The reason I bring up the subject of millet is because of what the Book of Mormon claims they used.  As you can see in the passage above they claim they grew grains of all kinds.  Millet is a grain that has been around since BC 4,500 so it stands to reason they would have this on hand coming from the Middle East.  (17)

     Yet once again here we see how the experts from the Church speculate on what Smith may have meant when he “translated” the plates while downplaying a written work by Deanne Matheny about the topography of the Tehuantepec Geography called “Does the Shoe Fit?”  In FARMS review of Books, vol. 6, no. 1 (1994): pg. 337 it says;


“…millet, introduced by the Spaniards in Yucatan and said in the sixteenth century to grow “marvelously well,” could not be located at all in the Carnegie Institution’s botanical inventory of the area early this century. The same might have been the case with the seeds brought with Lehi’s party and planted (but, realize, only after at least nine years of being hoarded through the Arabian desert; they may or may not have been healthy by then, and the new moist tropical environment would hardly welcome desertic Near Eastern grains). Yet realize that nothing is said in the text about the species those seeds represented…”


     It is one thing to have to defend the works of what you believe in, but why do you have to defend every single thing that continually defies logic and the historical truth?  While mankind will never be able to explain every single thing in the Bible, I believe there’s a huge difference between taking what God says on faith and because He’s proven Himself time and again; to defending things over and over that never prove themselves to be true at all.  It must be exhausting to say the least.



15 – Pigs/Swine


Ether 9:18; “And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.”


     There are times when I go out of my way to try and give Smith the benefit of the doubt; this is not one of those times!  Every time I see the above verse I am reminded of an eye-opening experience I had with my mother in Ogden, Utah while ordering an Egg-McMuffin of all things at a McDonald’s.

     We pulled up to the drive through window and I placed our order, with the direction that I wanted only the egg with no meat on my sandwich.  When we got to the pick-up window I checked my order and sure enough my sandwich had a slice of ham on it, so I gave it back for them to rectify the situation.

     While they were exchanging my order, I made an off-hand comment out loud.  I said; “What if I were Jewish and I couldn’t eat it”?  I had never seen such a blank look on my mother’s face before.  After a few moments of silence she told me that I was being very rude to the Jews. 

     I then asked her what she meant by that and she told me she couldn’t explain it, but wondered what the Jews had to do with my order.

     This is when the absurdity of the Church irritates me to no end.  Here I have my own mother not knowing enough about Jewish culture to know that they don’t eat pork, good grief.  Thanks a lot Joe.

     Shouldn’t a man of God who is supposedly translating a holy work for the people know that Jews don’t eat pork?  And why wouldn’t you be teaching your congregants about Jewish culture if you’re proclaiming that you’re the true Jews?  (See Mormon Doctrine, pg. 311.)

     It is well documented historical fact that the swine came to America from Europe through the Spanish explorers.  (18)  From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources it says this about the domestic pig in America;


“Domestic pigs were introduced from Europe to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Over time, some pigs escaped or were intentionally released into the wild. Subsequently, free-ranging, feral populations established themselves on American soil.”


     I also found further information on the domestic pig on a Google timeline website and it said;


     1493 – North American pigs originated from wild stocks still found in European, Asian and North African forests. Wild pigs are not truly native to North America but are believed to have been introduced after Columbus’ second journey in 1493. Domestic pigs are North American pigs originated from wild stocks still found in European, Asian and North African forests. Wild pigs are not truly native to North America but are believed to have been introduced after Columbus‘ second journey in 1493. Domestic pigs are categorized according to three basic types: large-framed lard types with a thick layer of fat; bacon types that weigh about 150 pounds; and pigs prized for their meat.”  (19)



16 – Rice


Enos 1:21; “And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats and also many horse.”


     Now in the above description provided by the Church, you’d have to believe the Nephites had all types of grains; rice included. 

     If someone in the Church tells you there is no proof they had rice ask them what grain exactly they are talking about.  Have them be specific, just as the Bible is!

     It is a known fact that rice didn’t make an arrival to the Americas until 1694.  It was imported through Madagascar and grown primarily in South Carolina and Georgia where there was an abundance of slaves.  The slave owners did this purposefully as they knew full well they’d have someone to cultivate this crop at a prolific rate considering the slaves already knew how to grow rice.  (20)


17 – SILK



Alma 4:6; “And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of the judges, that the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel.”



     Surfing around on the net I found many interesting facts about silk but I think the most concise explanation of it came from the official site of the Silk Road.  With the information I was able to glean, it became painfully obvious there was no way the Nephites had the ability to have silk in their possession in 37 BC. 

     What also convinced me this was impossible is when I learned how arduous of a process it was to produce silk.  You have to wonder how Nephi could’ve kept this up and then passed down the traditions all the way to Alma which is where we see the first sign of the people in possession of silk.

     According to reports silk was first produced in China circa 3,000 BC and could only be used for the emperor, his family and selected dignitaries.  This went on until 550 AD when two Nestorian monks smuggled some of the silkworm eggs out in hollow bamboo staves.  Once this took place China’s complete monopoly on the silk trade was done and allowed the industry to spread to the Middle East.

     This website reports that silk was a very demanding process which needs very close attention and while this takes place two things must be adhered to; perfecting the diet of the moth and prevention of the hatching out of the moth.  The eggs had to be kept at 65 degrees Fahrenheit being raised gradually to 77 degrees so they could hatch. 

     While maintaining the same temperature once the baby worm hatches they must be fed every half hour around the clock on fresh hand-picked white mulberry leaves which are unique to China.  At this time they said the baby worms are kept on trays stacked on top of each other while it multiplies its weight 10,000 times within a month and sheds its skin several times.  (21)

     On the contrary this is what the Church says in FARMS Review of Books, vol. 4 (1992): pg. 209 while denouncing the Tanners work Mormonism, Shadow or Reality.  Once again we have an explaining away of the evidentiary truth.  


“The term silk is not limited to the fiber produced y the Asian moth, but can also refer generally to something silk-like.  There were a number of substances in pre-Columbian Central America that would have fit this Book of Mormon description.  Silk-like fiber was gathered from the pod of the Ceiba tree in Yucatan and spun.  The wild pineapple plant in tropical America produced a silky fiber that was greatly prized by Mesoamericans.  The Aztecs even made silk-like fabric from rabbit hair.  Some of the earl conquerors referred to these substances as “silk”.  Certainly, any number of such substances could fit the Book of Mormon designation of silk (Alma 1:23; 4:6).


     If the material that the Nephites made were silk-like then why doesn’t it say so?  How difficult would it have been to include such a thing?  You really think that someone like my mother would know that it wasn’t really silk?



18 – Steel


Jarom 1:8; “And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.”


     According to the Wikipedia website on the history of ancient steel it says;


“Some of the first steel comes from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC.[10] In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the Falcata were produced in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel was used by the Roman military.”  (22)


     The article goes on to say this about modern steel making in America;


“The modern era in steelmaking began with the introduction of Henry Bessemer‘s Bessemer process in 1858[20]. This enabled steel to be produced in large quantities cheaply, so that mild steel is now used for most purposes for which wrought iron was formerly used.



     There doesn’t seem to be getting around this one!  How would the Nephites have the knowhow to make this type of steel here in America circa BC 420?  Another great website on the history of steel making can be found at the link below.


     As you can see from all the items I’ve listed here I did not use all items the National Geographic Society or the Smithsonian cited in their letters about the Book of Mormon.  I left out just a few items that are easy enough for anyone to do a search for on the internet for further study.

     If you are LDS and have questions there are other resources available to you that goes into much greater detail than what I’ve provided here.  We have a DVD that we can send you at no charge if you’re interested in taking a look at what the experts have found, it’s called DNA and the Book of Mormon.  Above all, know that we provide this information to you out of love and we pray for you daily.


With Love in Christ;


1 Cor. 1:18



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Citation for this page

Trentinella, Rosemarie. “Roman Glass”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The MetropolitanMuseum of Art, 2000–. (October 2003)

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