Snippets from The Mormon Delusion
Vol. 2: pp. 239-241.
Various foodstuffs were grown or were available and used during the Book of Mormon timeframe in different parts of America and included three main crops; corn, beans and squash. Other food (not all in the same locations) used by various peoples and cultures, included such things as: amaranth, eaten with chili peppers; chicham (like a turnip); chicozapote, a fruit; gourds; lima beans; manioc or cassava; yucca; peppers; peanuts; various plants; pineapples; potatoes; pumpkins; sunflowers; sweet potatoes and tomatoes. The Mayans grew cacao trees for chocolate, avocado trees and also papaya trees.
Against all odds of at least getting some of them right, Smith manages only one. He includes corn, but mentions not one of the rest of the above in his BOM at all, other than the cover-all statement ‘all manner of fruits’. Instead, he claims that they cultivated barley and wheat (which did not exist there) using manufactured implements, including ploughs made from metal (none have been found), pulled by draught animals which did not exist there at the time.
“And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts.” (Ether 10:25-26).
Smith here combines three errors into proof positive fiction. Clearly, the ancients did not make ploughs (or any other implements) with which to work their beasts, in order to plough, sow, reap and hoe, or thrash [thresh], as they did not have any wheat and they did not have any beasts of burden of any description with which to work such implements, for which there is equally no evidence. There couldn’t be, as there was no use for them. No wheat, no barley, no ploughs and no draught animals – equals a story of pure (and very obvious) nineteenth century fiction.
He also mentions ‘neas’ and ‘sheum’ (see below) which are just nonsense words, supposedly given by God to Smith in the 1820s in an understandable form for the people of the day, without further need for interpretation. No one then or now has a clue what they actually mean. Apologists claim ‘sheum’ was an old Assyrian word relating to barley (which they didn’t have), grain or other things such as pine-nuts and it was hardly a word Smith would have ‘known’ in his day as the relevant language was not then interpreted. But, why would God translate ‘reformed Egyptian’ into ancient Assyrian for Smith to see in his hat and then have written down, when no one would ever understand it? It is utter apologetic nonsense, just as is Smith’s use of the word which he just made up.
Pathetically, apologists cling to the idea that a few grains of a type of small barley of some description may have been found in one or two minor locations dating to the BOM time period. Unfortunately, Arizona does not help the geography associated with the BOM, so one problem always leads to another. Additionally, it is completely different to the species of domesticated barley claimed to have been introduced from the Near East by BOM characters. Remember, Smith claims it as a staple and it had to feed millions of people. The reality is that the Spanish introduced barley to South America in the 16th century. British and Dutch settlers introduced it to the United States in the 17th century. Soil core samples from across the continent show nothing prior to that.
Wheat was known to Smith, so he included it, yet it was never a part of the diet of any culture in the Americas any more than barley was. It simply did not exist there before it was introduced, centuries after the end of the BOM era.
Again, it would have had to have been vastly cultivated, as Smith’s nations were of a major size. Apologists suppose that ‘wheat’ must have meant some other crop. Pick one from the list and call it what you like; it will not alter the fact that Smith made it up. The concept that God revealed the word ‘wheat’ to Smith in his hat when it really meant a different crop is simply preposterous.
The staples of Smith’s BOM people were wheat and domesticated barley, no remains of which have ever been found. Had his nations grown wheat and barley (or flax, see below), soil core samples from somewhere would include pollen from the plants (which all flower); thus we can be absolutely certain that they did not exist in the Americas during supposed Book of Mormon times.
“And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war – yea the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.” (Jarom 1:8). 420-361 BCE. (Emphasis added).
“And we began to till the ground, yea, with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits…” (Mosiah 9:9). 200-187 BCE. (Emphasis added).
Smith’s glaringly obvious faux pas continues in the many other things he also included. The BOM speaks of grapes and figs which did not exist in the Americas (3 Nephi 14:16) and whilst it may be claimed they were only spoken of, rather than being claimed to have actually existed there, how in the world would they have known about them in order to reference them in the Americas in 34 CE? It was hundreds of years and many generations after the supposed migration there, and no one would have had a clue what they were unless they were familiar with them.
Smith claims they had silk production and fine twined linen (mentioned several times) and made cloth from it. (E.g. Ether 10:24). These are another couple of impossibilities for which apologists list no end of claimed possible and yet totally ridiculous parallels which ‘silk’ and ‘linen’ might have meant.
God was supposed to have given Smith the correct words to use in his work. Whatever apologists say, silk is silk, and Smith said God gave him the word, yet silk did not exist there. Linen (fine twined or not) is made from flax which also did not exist there during the BOM period, as established by all soil core samples ever taken from anywhere you care to mention.
What they did have was cotton and the ancient Mexicans made cloth from that, five thousand year ago, long before the claimed BOM era. Nevertheless, Smith’s people apparently did not have cotton.
It is not just that there is something wrong about the Book of Mormon which leans toward the possibility of some detail it portrays as truth coming into question. The reality is that everything in the Book of Mormon is wrong, very wrong, in every dimension. There is nothing that lends toward the possibility of it being a true account of a real people; and everything, absolutely everything, points towards a hoax and a completely fraudulent claim by Smith. The evidence is overwhelming in every area, in more aspects than we can even begin to count.