Rusty, these topics have been covered for years in easily available sources. I discuss some of these on my page on plants and animals at www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_BMProb2.shtml. You'll be happy to know, for example, that barley was used by ancient Americans, though the evidence for that was only recently found. Dig into the literature and let me know what you think. Check FairMormon, mi.byu.edu, and MormonInterpreter.com. Plenty of interesting material to ponder.
Now that you've looked at horses, how about looking at sheep, goats, cattle, grapes, wheat and barley...all of which HAD to be used for the Law of Moses sacrifices. You might also look at where these were found in ancient America...in the Yucatan and Guatemala? Or in the eastern U.S.? The answers to those questions can point to the most likely place where the Book of Mormon unfolded. Food for thought!
Near the city of Tapachula in the state of Chjaprs in southern Mexlco is located the Olmec and Mayan ruins of Izapa (The name Tapachula comes from Nahuatl and means "between the waters".) In the 1940's, Doctor Wells Jakeman,a BYU archeologist, discovered a rock carving which he interpreted as illustrating Lehi's dream.
I visited the site several years ago, and among other works I found two other carvings, one which was possibly depicting a horse, but was nearly obliterated by the harsh tropical weather. The other to my mind clearly was that of an elephant. The trunk and tusks were very clear. I don't know if anyone else has made the same observation or if it has ever been professionally analyzed, but I am convinced that the carvings were representing a horse and an elephant. This is merely my observation and not offered as proof of the existence of horses or elephants in Mesoamerica, which of course is not necessary to establish the truth or fallacy of the Book of Mormon.
Very well written! Thank you for this information! I first heard this argument many years ago, but I've decided that there needs to be some room for us to have faith in such a remarkable book as The Book of Mormon is. Look at Hebrews 11:6 (in the KJV) and you can see that having faith is pleasing to God (as the opposite has the reverse effect). Thank you again!
National Geographic very recently aired (and BYU Professor Daniel Peterson has commented on) a documentary showing how LiDAR (“Light Detection And Ranging”) technology now reveals long abandoned Mayan civilization "whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated.” It will take literally generations to excavate the tens of thousands of structures that have to date been discovered, let alone those still be revealed. It will be interesting to see if horse images turn up. Stay tuned.
Thank you for this insightful article. I believe the issue of horses, elephants, cureloms, and cumoms in the Book of Mormon will be resolved as was the previously held criticism that the ancients did not write on metal plates or build dwellings with cement. Joseph Smith would have had to be an incredibly brilliant farm boy who has successfully duped millions of people; or he is, indeed, the Prophet of the restoration who truly translated the ancient record by the power and gift from God. I firmly believe the latter is the truth.
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