August 2010

Something came to mind the other day; while I was researching an entirely different subject; regarding pigs and dogs in the Book of Mormon. I am not sure where the thought came from but I first noted Ether 9:18. The surrounding verses are also interesting of course, as things mentioned did not exist in the Americas at that time. I have highlighted the ones which provably did not exist. For example, linen (fine twined or not), is made from flax which did not exist there during the Book of Mormon period, as established by all soil core samples ever taken from anywhere you care to mention. There are many other references to animals and crops in the Book of Mormon, but this one is funny because Smith managed to get everything entirely wrong. He was either completely ignorant about such things or he was including a joke at the expense of believers in his fictional narrative.

Ether 9:17. Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;

  1. And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.
  2. And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms. (God forgot to translate the last two, via Joseph Smith’s hat, into English).   

Whatever Smith (or anyone else for that matter) may have thought cureloms and cumoms may have been; as none of the other animals in the above list actually existed in the Americas at the time; undoubtedly they didn’t either. Full lists of animals and crops that did and did not exist in the Americas, compared with Smith’s Book of Mormon claims, can be found in TMD Vol. 2. Chapter. 12.

Against all the odds, out of everything he listed in each area in the Book of Mormon, Smith only got one of the crops and one of the animals correct. Even then, the animal is the dog, which, although referred to a few times in the Book of Mormon, ironically, it doesn’t categorically claim there were any actually in the Americas or that they domesticated any. It is the only animal he mentions at all that actually was there. When nomadic hunter-gatherers crossed the Bering Strait from Asia to North America, at least 12,000-14,000 years ago, they had dogs with them.

From TMD Vol.2. Ch.12. Pp. 225-26…

In 3 Nephi 7:8 there is a reference “…like a dog to his vomit, or like a sow to her wallowing in the mire”. (Incidentally; pigs are not dirty; they cannot sweat, so they roll in mud to keep cool). References to the habits of domestic dogs and sows (Smith separately claims in the BOM that they did have swine), infers knowledge and existence of them in America in 30-33 CE. It is perfectly clear that Smith plagiarised the phrase from the KJV – “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her own wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). Not only did domestic sows not exist in the New World in 30 CE, but the phrase that Smith virtually copied from the New Testament was actually written later (the earliest claimed date for 2 Peter being written is 63-64 CE); thirty years after this time, on the other side of the world.