Question: Does Izapa Stela 5 depict Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon?

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Question: Does Izapa Stela 5 depict Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon?

Extreme caution should be used in invoking Izapa Stela 5 as evidence for the Book of Mormon's historicity

Some Church authors have used Izapa Stela 5 as evidence for the Book of Mormon. However, at present, extreme caution should be used in invoking Izapa Stela 5 as evidence for the Book of Mormon's historicity.

Advances in our understanding of Mesoamerican art and iconography have led most LDS researchers with knowledge of the relevant disciplines to be very skeptical about a direct link between the stela and the Book of Mormon.

The history of the stela in LDS thought and writing is available here. We note that while some LDS members embraced this connection, other scholars (such as Hugh Nibley and John L. Sorenson) disagreed with its use even during this idea's "heyday."

A more accurate drawing of the stela has also tempered the initial enthusiasm for this concept

Nibley and Sorenson's view seems to have predominated over time; FairMormon has not seen any LDS author with a background in Mesoamerican studies raise this as a "point" for the Book of Mormon recently. A more accurate drawing of the stela has also tempered the initial enthusiasm for this concept.


Notes