From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by: Michael R. Ash
When we compare Book of Mormon cultural history with what is known of Mesoamerican history for the same period, we find some amazing similarities and no areas of serious conflict. A list of common cultural traits includes a belief in the cosmos with multiple realms, an underworld, flood legends, mountains as holy places where man connected with deity, and mounds…symbolizing the ascent to heaven. Modern archeology also verifies that the level of civilization depicted in the Book of Mormon generally agrees with Nephite and Lamanite chronology. When we compare this picture to what we find in Mesoamerican archaeology and historical research, the similarities fit the Book of Mormon in ways that Joseph Smith could not have known. In addition to this, Mesoamericanists now agree that native inhabitants built seagoing rafts and traveled from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both northward and southward in trading expositions…yet another interesting connection.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a media personality in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.