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Episode 25
LDS Podcasts: The Chroniclers of Cumorah
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Proof of Book of Mormon Historicity

 Oct 26, 2017

Here at last we have physical evidence of the Book of Mormon. Is that enough?

Ladies and gents, here it is: one of three altars located in the Mārib region of modern Yemen with the distinct inscription of NHM (the Hebrew language did not include vowels--so Nahum? Nahim? Nuhom? Nihem? Nehum? Theoretically, any of these pronunciations might be accurate). All of the trade routes across Arabia lead through this site. At a particular place called Nahum (1 Nephi 16:34), which the Book of Mormon suggests had already been named BEFORE Lehi ever arrived, Lehi and his family buried their dear friend and fellow traveler, Ishmael. Coincidentally, NHM has existed as a traditional burial ground for the last 3000 years. All the more appropriate that it became the final resting place of Ismael. To this day to local tribes pronounced it Nahim. The word MEANS "mourning" or "place of mourning" (Warren Aston, “The Origins of the Nihm Tribe,” 147). This site has been dubbed the "...first actual archaeological evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon." (Teryl L. Givens, "By the Hand of Mormon" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 120.) Journey due east from Nahom and you reach the coastline commonly associated with the land called Bountiful, where Nephi constructed his ship to travel to the New World. Few other sites proposed for geographic locations mentioned in The Book of Mormon have more blatant evidence than this Arabian landmark. Joseph Smith, when he translated the plates, couldn't possibly have known that a site of this name might be found in the precise vicinity described in the Book of Mormon. And the chances of successfully "guessing" such a name? Astronomical. So for those seeking "physical proof" of the Book of Mormon's authenticity, well, I suppose you just got it. Still, I wouldn't rely on it. Rather, follow Moroni's spiritual admonition in Moroni 10:3-5. THAT exercise of faith (and it often requires sincere effort and sacrifice) promises the kind of "witness" that never diminishes with time or trends in earthly knowledge. Only SIN can dissipate that kind of witness (sin without repentance, that is). In the meantime, ponder and enjoy. Keep studying "out of the best books" and relishing this kind of knowledge to enhance and "add spice" to your EXISTING testimony. OR . . . I suppose it might encourage you to seek one. Just don't let such things serve as any kind of foundation. Testimonial FOUNDATIONS are a significant and sacred thing only available from the Holy Ghost. Sound like reasonable advice?

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