About 10 years ago, before any hints of disaffection, I got into a fairly heated argument with a friend and co-worker about the historicity and archeology of the Book of Mormon.
He was a very intelligent guy and had been dating a Mormon girl so he started doing research into the church. He argued that, not only was there no archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, but that most Mormon scholars (I remember him mentioning Nibley) agreed that there was no archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon.
His contention seemed absurd to me. I countered with my understanding that South and Central America were literally filled with Mayan and other ruins that proved that the Book of Mormon was historical.
A few months ago I was thinking about that argument and wondering why I was so sure that the Mayan ruins and other ruins in Meso America were proof of the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Last week I was browsing the religion section of a local used book store and I literally tripped on my answer. I looked down to see what I had stumbled on and staring back up at me was the enlarged version of the Book Of Mormon I had grown up with in our house. It is the 1957 enlarged version of the Book of Mormon. It is filled with the usual Book of Mormon pictures (Lehi guiding the ship to the Promise Land, Nephi rebuking his brothers, Abinidi testifying to wicked king Noah), but also about 18 pictures of Mayan ruins and artwork. There are pages proving that there were in fact horses, elephants, wheels and concrete. Other pages proved that there were light and dark skinned people, baptisms by immersion and Lehi’s tree of life. All of this had been proven by archeological finds in Meso America.
Suddenly it all became clear why I had made a fool of myself arguing with my friend. I had flipped through these pages countless times as a kid. What other conclusion would I have drawn than Mayan ruins point to the historicity of the Book of Mormon? Guess that is just my childhood naïveté getting the better of me.
Below are a few of the highlights I am talking about. There are about 18 scans I made of the images, if anyone wants all of them just let me know and I will email a zip of all the images.http://i53.tinypic.com/k0ljxt.jpghttp://i51.tinypic.com/w8vo02.jpghttp://i51.tinypic.com/mlsdq9.jpghttp://i54.tinypic.com/a2lxi.jpghttp://i53.tinypic.com/2lvcjk5.jpg
Edited to Add: If anyone wants all the scans I uploaded them here:http://www.megaupload.com/?d=URQT7LVZ