Doesn’t scientific evidence prove that the Book of Mormon couldn’t possibly be true?
No. The scientific evidence we have cannot prove or disprove the Book of Mormon. Archaeological or genetic research in the Americas, for instance, is ongoing and often raises more questions than it answers. So to draw absolute conclusions from it about the Book of Mormon (either for it or against it) is usually a bit of a stretch—and quite risky, since new evidence often comes along that refutes old conclusions. But more important, attacks against the Book of Mormon on scientific grounds are usually based on faulty assumptions about what the book claims to be. For instance, it does not claim to be a record of the ancestors of all of the native peoples across the entire Western Hemisphere, nor does it claim that the people described in it were the first or only people inhabiting the area described in it. And yet, many scientific criticisms seem to assume that the book claims exactly these things. Science is learning more and more about the ancient Americas, and that process will continue. But we shouldn’t assume that any of that research will give conclusive evidence for or against the Book of Mormon.
The ultimate proof of its truth comes through sincere study and prayer and by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.
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This article originally appeared in the March 2015 New Era.