Source:Wickersham:Examination of the Principles of Mormonism:the ruins of Central America...the existence of such ruins were known long before the publication of the Book of Mormon

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A critic of the Book of Mormon (1843): "the ruins of Central America...the existence of such ruins were known long before the publication of the Book of Mormon"

I will now briefly notice those other proofs which Squire Appleby says were brought forward in the discussion. The ruined cities and temples described by Mr. Stephens in his “Researches,” in central America were identified, says he as those mentioned in the Book of Mormon. I will examine one of those identifications that the learned Squire considered the most conclusive. Mr. Stephens describes the ruins of a Temple which bore some resemblance to the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem. This, Squire Appleby says was the temple built by Nephi, and described in the Book of Mormon, page 72....

But again, Squire Appleby says that the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, and Mr. Stephens did not discover the ruins of Central America until 1840, so that because the Book of Mormon speaks of cities being builded somewhere by the Nephites, the ruins which Mr. Stephens discovered must be the same. But if Mr. Stephens did not visit Central America before 1840, extensive ruins were known to exist in Guatamola, Yucatan and Chiapa long before that period. Even as early as 1787, the ruins of Otolum a city built of stone, 32 miles long and 12 miles broad, full of palaces, monuments, &c., was discovered and surveyed by Capt. Del Roi, and a description of it published in English in 1822. So that the existence of such ruins were known long before the publication of the Book of Mormon, and the writer of that Book being acquainted with the fact, all he had to do was, to accommodate his descriptions thereto.[1]

Notes

  1. Amos H. Wickersham, An Examination of the Principles of Mormonism, as Developed in the Recent Discussion Between the Author and Elders Wharton & Appleby, With a Brief Statement of Facts in Regard to Said Discussion (Wilmington, DE: Allderidge, Jeandell, & Miles, 1843), 1–20. off-site Reply