Question: What role do horses ''not'' play in the Book of Mormon?

FairMormon Answers Wiki Table of Contents

Question: What role do horses not play in the Book of Mormon?

Horses are never ridden or used in battle

Conspicuously absent is any role of the horse in the many journeys recorded in the Book of Mormon. Nor does the Book of Mormon text indicate that horses or chariots play any role in the many Nephite wars (despite a popular classic Book of Mormon painting by Arnold Friburg depicting Helaman leading the 2000 stripling warriors while astride a battle-ready horse); this is in stark contrast to the Biblical account, in which the chariots of Egypt, Babylon, and the Philistines are feared super-weapons upon the plains of Israel.

Nor do we see a role for the horse in gallant cavalry charges that were the romantic warrior ideal in Joseph Smith's day. Nor is there any sign of the rapid war of maneuver and skirmish favored by the cavalry of the western nations. These are not the horses of the nineteenth century's practical realities or fanciful dreams.

There are societies in which the horse was vital, such as among the Hun warriors of Asia and Eastern Europe, for whom horses were a sign of wealth and status, and for whom they were essential for food, clothing, and war. Yet, there is no known horse bone from this period in the archaeological record.[1]


  1. S. Bokonyi, History of Domestic Mammals in Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1974), 267.