Mormons- what archeological evidence is there to support some of the claims of the Mormon church?

A question from a reader: How do you reconcile that there is none, or that there is absolutely no DNA evidence to support the claims of the Jewish heritage?

Do you ever wonder if some of what your church believes is not true or accurate?

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22 Responses to “Mormons- what archeological evidence is there to support some of the claims of the Mormon church?”

  • Digital Effigy says:


    I have a question for you though question asker…

    What evidence is there of Christ? Some accounts written decades after the fact? hmmm… sounds familiar.

  • jdub says:

    church is crap so is god

  • Shaun L says:

    There are also wars that the Mormons say happened… and they have no proof of that either. But have faith, because blind faith is the way to go!

    (By the way, that last part was sarcasm… Not sure if everybody got that.)

  • Mickey B says:


  • ricochet27 says:

    In order to accurately test DNA, you need to have the original DNA you are looking for. We dont have it. We never have had it. its impossible to test for it. Because we have no clue what the DNA of the tribe of Manassah looks like. Let alone Lehi and Ismaels specific families. Nor do we have any clue what Zoram looks like. DNA tests are impossible.

    If you want archaelogical evidence, there is always the existance of a path from Jerusalem through the Arabian penninsula which is described in 1 Nephi, including names and descriptions of accurate places. Considering no one knew of these trails in the early 19th century its amazing this ends up in the BoM

    And no I dont wonder. Not anymore. I investigated everything years ago.

  • Dan -E- says:

    Why aren’t the Nephite and Lamanite civilizations taught in archeology or anthropology at universities? (Besides BYU)

  • Lil' Rascal says:

    Hey, they have those “golden plates” that the Book of Mormon was translated from …

    … uh, wait … that’s right …

    I forgot … the “angel Morony” came back down and took the plates away to Heavin’ …

  • Jersey Guy says:

    Open this and read it!

    Edit:—-Why does everyone want “PROOF”?

    If there was “Proof” of everything then there would be no need for “FAITH”!

    If You Have absolute Proof, then you have absolute Knowledge Whch requires nothing less than absolute obedience!

    Proud vet

  • Becca Lynn says:

    Or would you deny this.

    The problem with the whole show-me assumption is that it doesn’t work. That’s a weak thing to base faith on.

    A prime example was everything the children of Israel went through in Egypt and going out of Egypt. And they still didn’t believe. Now why was that? Because they didn’t have the faith to accept the mircles in the first place.

    I believe the Book of Mormon is true and I don’t need evidence to believe it.

  • Kerry says:

    Do you ever wonder if the information you receive about the Mormon Church is accurate?

    DNA research is totally inconclusive. DNA research cannot go back more than a couple of generations. It cannot be proven through DNA research that you are related to your own great-great-grandparents. So of course there is no connecting data. Additionally, there were more than one line of descendants that made up the ancient Americans in the Book of Mormon. And, Navajo Native Americans have DNA NOT consistent with any other tribe, suggesting that they came from a different gene pool than other Native Americans.

    There are many social traditions with the descendants of the current indiginous peoples of South America. In their social legends, a great white God came to their ancestors. This was confimred when the Conquistadors landed in the Americas and the Inca and Maya assumed that they were the White God’s of their ancestors who had RETURNED. This legend is consistent with history in the Book of Mormon.

    One only need to research the ancient ruins of North, South and Central America to learn of archeological evidence of an ancient people who lived and thrivted there. Just because there is no sign stating, “This way to Zarahemla” does not mean there is no connection.

    PS There is no ancient sign that says “This way to Bethlehem” either.

    You might do so more research before listening to only one side of the argument.

    There is more to find out there.

  • De Groote says:

    Three questions for the price of one, eh? 😉

    Don’t worry, just like the Bible, there isn’t enough archaeological evidence that would convince you that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. For example, the Book of Mormon describes a place called “Nahom.” This place has been found and matches Book of Mormon descriptions — including it being a place of burial. All were virtually impossible for Joseph Smith to know at the time the Book of Mormon was translated. And yet, even with strong archaeological evidence like this, many will still not believe. Thank goodness it isn’t that easy — Mormons can barely keep up with growth at the current rate as it is.

    The question of DNA hinges upon what sort of migration the Book of Mormon describes. If it describes that ONLY people from the middle east came to the Americas, then there may be a problem. Unfortunately for critics, the Book of Mormon makes no such claim. Mormons do not believe that the only migrations to the Americas were from the Middle East. I would be surprised, pleasantly I’ll admit, but still surprised if any of the current methods of measuring DNA descent found a strong middle east tie. If you are really interested in the DNA issues, I suggest the two excellent videos on on the “Mysteries of DNA” and the “Mysteries of Book of Mormon DNA.”

    The title page to the Book of Mormon acknowledges that there may be errors — so at the very beginning of the beginning it says “if there are faults they are the mistakes of men” and then comes the important part, “wherefore, condemn not the things of God.”

  • tcoJCoLDS member says:

    what is it with all these archeology questions. We take our beliefs on FAITH not archeology. did you understand it that time.

  • Ender says:

    Actually there are tons of things that offer supporting evidences.

    stone boxes
    warlike maya that practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice
    Mayan knowledge of astronomy
    use of cement
    large cities with interconnecting highways
    tribes of caucasion indians
    Hebrew writings found in the Americas
    Hebrew roots in most indian languages
    Haplogroup X in 3% of native americans
    Ancient indian beliefs in a “trinity like” godhead
    The ledgend of the fair-skinned descending white god
    The ledgend that their ancestors were fair skinned and that they sailed across the waters and were “sons of Abraham”.
    Cities burried in earth and water.
    Wordprint authentication

    I could go on and on. There are loads of things that offer support to the book of Mormon. Many of these can’t be explained by scholars.

    Perhaps the better question is, “Why do you choose to ignore the evidence that does exist and pretend that it does not”?

  • colebolegooglygooglyhammerhead says:

    I am not a very learned person, admittedly. When I was a little kid, though, I remember being entranced by the story being of the conquistadors who came from Spain and were greeted by Native Americans–who were estatic to see the white men. It was promised to them through the generations that a “white God,” who had once visited, would return to them someday. They were sadly deceived by these white men, though, as history teaches us.

    (edit–ok, I see that Kerry already said all that)

    Same thing happened when Captain Cooke came to Hawaii. (I AM a big enough nerd that I studied ancient Hawaiian history–I was helping (doing) my son’s homework.) These people, too, were promised that a white God would come to them. The Englishmen were received as diety–of course, when the Polynesians realized how faulty and mortal they really were, it was a huge let down.

    Now–why would several groups of people on the other side of the world from where Jesus was born and died would speak of a white God who had visited and would return to them someday? Is it just coincidence?

    I, myself, don’t think so.

  • Pinkadot says:

    OK, first off, religion, no matter which, requires faith to TRULY believe in it. There is absolutely no proof Christ was sacrificed for sin, or especially that He was resurrected, yet millions of people believe so. No proof that Noah built an arc. No proof Moses parted the Red Sea.

    Secondly, there IS evidence, IF you know where to look for it AND what you are looking AT.

    Just because “science” can’t find a way to prove religion, doesn’t mean it’s not true. God is MUCh smarter than any scientist will ever be.

    I have plenty of evidence, and it comes from God not man. I trust Him to give me the truth and He has.

    Let me ask you this – IF there were some undeniable evidence, whatever it may be, to prove 100% without a doubt the Book of Mormon was true, only one thing would happen: you would have no choice BUT to believe, therefore your free agency would be taken away and that is not fair. And God IS fair. He has to be.

    Do I think there will ever be undeniable proof? No. At least not for those who wouldn’t accept it anyways.

    For me, there IS undeniable proof, and it came from the Lord. It’s my testimony. And no, I never wonder if some things are true or not, I already know the gospel is true and I have come to that knowledge for myself.

  • caedmon says:

    DNA is only the most recent nail in the coffin of the Book of Mormon as history. It joins the nails of archeology, anthropology, and linguistics.

    But don’t take my word for it:

    “Let me know state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not
    one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing to be true, …
    nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World
    excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon… is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.” (Michael Coe*, Yale University, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1973, pp. 42, 46

    “I’m afraid that up to this point, I must agree with Dee Green, who
    has told us that to date there is no Book-of-Mormon geography…. you
    can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere – because it is
    fictional and will never meet the requirements of the
    dirt-archaeology.” (Thomas S. Ferguson, Mormon archaeologist, Quest
    for the Gold Plates, “Letter to Mr. and Mrs. H.W. Lawrence,” dated
    Feb. 20, 1976)

    From the Smithsonian:

    1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.

    2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern. central, and northeastern Asia. Archeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World – probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age – in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

    3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around A.D. 1000 and then settled in Greenland. There is nothing to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.

    4. One of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific finding that contacts with Old World civilizations if indeed they occurred at all, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations, is the fact that none of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre-Columbian times. American Indians had no wheat, barley oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, camels before 1492. (Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, but all these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time when the early big game hunters spread across the Americas.)

    Of course, none of this will mean anything to a true believer.

    “The faith of most Latter-day Saints is anchored by an emotional, feeling-based “knowledge” that the Book of Mormon is a true history of the Americas–a knowledge that is unencumbered by the facts.” –Losing a Lost Tribe, Simon Southerton, p. 206

    *Coe is the Charles J. MacCurdy professor emeritus of Anthropology at
    Yale University and curator emeritus of the Division of Anthropology at
    the school’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is an expert on the Maya, who inhabited the same part of Mexico and Central American where Mormon scholars say the events of the Book of Mormon took place. Read an interview on PBS here:

  • oceanwoman78 says:

    They can dig their heals in and continue to defend the historicity of the Book of Mormon. This will only buy them time.

    You’ve got Mormon apologists in their own publications rejecting what prophets have been saying for decades. This becomes very troubling for ordinary members.

    ***At a Bolivian temple dedication in 2000, church prophet and President Gordon B. Hinckley prayed, “We remember before Thee the sons and daughters of Father Lehi.” And in 1982, the church’s then-President Spencer Kimball told Samoans, Maori, Tahitians and Hawaiians that the “Lord calls you Lamanites.”

    But DNA does not!

    Mormon missionaries seek Indian converts by claiming that the book of Mormon tells about their ancestors. The introduction describes the Lamanites in this fantasy story as “the principal ancestors of the
    American Indians.” (Also D&C 3:18-20; 19:27; 28:8; 32:2-3; 54:8; & 57).
    The book of Mormon says those marrying Lamanites get the same mark and have dark children (2 Nephi 5:21-23; Jacob 3:3-9; Alma 3:6-10; Mormon 5:15-17). If true, there would never be part-Indians, only full-bloods! The book of Mormon is genetically false. Where are all the white Native Americans who lost the Mormon curse by converting to Mormonism? Time is a really great enemy to lying prophets! (More prejudice: 1 Nephi 11:13,23; 13:15; Alma 3:6-19; 23:18; 3 Nephi 19:25).


    **FARMS articles, are “confused” with what the LDS church leaders are teaching. They are sugarcoating and compleating rejecting what LDS leaders teach and have taught.

  • jujukitty says:

    There is none that’s accepted by non-LDS scholars. As you can see, though, to true believers this is meaningless. Their faith and warm fuzzy feelings are more important than facts.

  • Sir Network says:

    Science would strongly disagree with the “there is absolutely no DNA evidence to support the claims of the Jewish heritage” idea.
    Recent (non-Mormon) studies of DNA markers found in Native Americans show that many tribes carry a genetic marker that did not come over the Bering Land Bridge migration and are strongest in Israelis.
    From Wikipedia’s article on Haplogroup X:
    “This relative absence of haplogroup X2 in Asia is one of the major factors causing the current rethinking of the peopling of the Americas.”
    Here’s a pro-LDS site on it also:

    Here’s more non-Mormon support, starting with the American Institute of Archaeology, last year:
    Solar observatory dating to 300 BC in Peru “built by a still unnamed culture”, in the area where the Jaredites are believed to have lived:
    (additionally, my speculation is that it could have been built as a functional memorial to what happened in Ether 3)

    Another solar observatory from Jaredite times. From the article:
    “That discovery indicated that a priestly political power structure had formed to keep track of farming information that was important to the community”

    Two quotes from the next article:
    “What’s surprising are the construction methods, the architectural design and most of all the existence of murals that could be the oldest in the Americas”
    “The discovery of this temple reveals evidence suggesting the region of Lambayeque was one of great cultural exchange between the Pacific coast and the rest of Peru,”

    Polynesian/eastern chicken remains found in possible Jaredite lands (Peru/Chile), proving that South America was colonized well before the Spanish arrived:
    (Note: these chickens came from Polynesia, where they were also a non-native species)

    (Press release on a news site in New Zealand:
    “A distinctive type of pottery…was carried through Melanesia and into the Pacific by a mysterious group of people”… coincidentally right at the time of the Jaredite migration:

    Agriculture starting in Peru at the same time as in Europe:

    When I was looking into the church 2 years ago, these were my biggest questions, and I was able to answer them:

    The hill where the massive Lamanite-Nephite battle was fought was most likely in central Mexico (Cerro Viggo [sp?]). The church owns the place from which the angel Moroni revealed the plates to Joseph Smith. Further excavation of that hill would be useless, as there are no other artifacts expected to be there.

    Horse remains have been found, and they definitely did exist before the Spanish reintroduced them. The question is what year they went extinct in the Americas. The bottom of this page will show you some pictures:

    Additionally, metallurgy was extensively used in the Americas. Here’s ScienceDaiy (non-LDS) on it this year:
    Look on Amazon for
    “Miskwabik, Metal of Ritual: Metallurgy in Precontact Eastern North America” (Non-LDS author)

  • Jimbo says:

    I wish my faith told me that I would inherit a planet and start my own world one day…it sure would be nice.

    Maybe I could get a scientologist and a mormon together and then we’d have a real party

  • Ron Hales says:

    Doesn’t is seem a little strange that non of the doctrines later “revealed” to Joseph Smith that are unique to the Mormon faith are not found in the Book of Mormon? None of those neat ideas about eternal progression, polygamy, spirit world, three degrees of glory, marriages for eternity, anything unique about Mormonism except the book itself is in the book itself. So in the Mormon viewpoint how is it the most correct book ever written if it does not contain any of your unique doctrine? It is a very simplistic book written by a very simplistic person with a big imagination but does not extend beyond the limited theology of 1820 Christianity of New England.

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