Brant Gardner, an aficionado of Mesoamerican studies, has some carefully considered thoughts about New World evidence pertinent to the Book of Mormon. I recommend all five parts of his video (a hat tip to Robert). If you only have a few minutes, see Part 5 (or Parts 4 and 5). The concluding reference to “seeing the dog” is about a partial image of a Dalmatian provided as an array of dots and blobs, shown in Part 2. Once you recognize that they are taken from an image of a dog, it’s easy to see the dog – otherwise it can just look like random noise. Piecing together evidence from the past is often that way.
In this video, he discusses the “stupid story” of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their weapons of war, and the response of the Lamanite army after attacking them. Why do they have to go attack a Nephite city 3 days away to have a real battle and get some prisoners? What good does burying weapons do? Why do the converts – women included – all feel that they are “murderers” based on the involvement of the men in war? When viewed at without the “lens of faith,” it really is a puzzling and even bizarre story – until you bring in modern knowledge about the ancient culture, religion, and practices of Mesoamerica. Then it’s a remarkably sensible story. There are several “stupid stories” of this nature in the Book of Mormon which make little sense when read in the context of 1830 or our modern culture, but which make much more sense when understood to be occurring in ancient Mesoamerica. Enjoy.
Here’s Part 5 of “New World Evidence for The Book of Mormon.” Enjoy.