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From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith

by Michael R. Ash

One reason that LDS scholars believed Book of Mormon events transpired in Mesoamerica is it’s the only place in the western hemisphere where a true writing system can be found for the Book of Mormon period. Since Joseph Smith’s day, however, critics have argued that there were no complex writing systems known in the New World during Book of Mormon times. Science has changed all that. Excavation of a tomb in Mirador uncovered the “remnants of two ancient bark paper books or codices”. An article in Science 86 explains that the Maya “wrote books on folded bark concerning historical, mythological, religious, astronomical, and mathematical matters”. Why have only four out of hundreds of Mesoamerican codices survived? Part of the reason, of course, would be deterioration with time. A second reason was that the Spanish priests destroyed these written records in their zeal to wipe out what they believed to be pagan superstitions.

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 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.

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