Source:LDS Department of Education Study Manual:1940:There is a tendency to use the Book of Mormon as a complete history of all pre-Columbian peoples...The book does not give an history of all peoples who came to America before Columbus

Table of Contents

LDS Department of Education Study Manual (1940): "There is a tendency to use the Book of Mormon as a complete history of all pre-Columbian peoples...The book does not give an history of all peoples who came to America before Columbus"

There is a tendency to use the Book of Mormon as a complete history of all pre-Columbian peoples. The book does not claim to be such an history, and we distort its spiritual message when we use it for such a purpose. The book does not give an history of all peoples who came to America before Columbus. There may have been other people who came here, by other routes and means, of which we have no written record. If historians wish to discuss information which the Book of Mormon does not contain but which is related to it, then we should grant them that freedom. We should avoid the claim that we are familiar with all the peoples who have lived on American soil when we discuss the Book of Mormon. . . There is safety in using the book in the spirit in which it was written. Our use of poorly constructed inferences may draw us far away from the truth. In our approach to the study of the Book of Mormon let us guard against drawing historical conclusions which the book does not warrant.[1]

Notes

  1. Roy A. West, An Introduction to the Book of Mormon: A Religious-Literary Study (Salt Lake City: LDS Department of Education, 1940), 11.