Iron Mine Discovery in Peru bolsters Book of Mormon

Many people have dismissed the Book of Mormon as non-historical because Nephi supposedly used iron, but no iron has been found (among many criticisms). I got an email newsletter from the Nephi Project about a new discovery by Purdue University researchers in Science Daily about an Iron Ore mine.

An excerpt from the article states, “The researchers determined that the mine is a human-made cave that was first created around 2,000 years ago. An estimated 3,710 metric tons was extracted from the mine during more than 1,400 years of use. The mine, which is nearly 700 cubic meters, is in a cliffside facing a modern ochre mine.”

It goes on to state that the Nasca people only used ore for ceramic and body paint. Now, I don’t mean to be critical, but 3170 metric tons is a lot of paint! It seems hard to believe that all the ore was only used for paint. The mine was used for 1400 years–couldn’t some trading have happened?

17 comments on “Iron Mine Discovery in Peru bolsters Book of Mormon

  1. Wow! Very interesting.

    I’m currently reading “Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon” Do you have any other good suggestions of books such as these?

  2. John L Sorensen is probably the pre-eminent scholar on the Book of Mormon, so I think any student should consider what he says on the subject. He’s written several books, some easy to read, some very scholarly (and “boring”). I’m not sure if you’re looking more at geography or evidences, but he’s written some on both subjects.

    If you want to get familiar with Geography Theories, I recommend “The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book.” published by FARMs. This can be hard to find, but I did find it on eBay. When I discovered the vendor “Confetti Antiques” was in Spanish Fork, I just went there to buy it to save on shipping. It is a hard book to find, and has no ISBN #. Of course, he has plenty of other books too.

    He is a proponent of Central American Theories, so understand that is his bias. I’m not sold on any one theory yet, but I respect what he has done.

  3. If you’re looking for Old World Evidences, http://www.nephiproject.com has some real interesting stuff. One of the researchers there seems to think a frankincense trail was probably Nephi’s trail, and claims to find the River of Laman, Bountiful, and thinks that Khor Rori is the port Nephi sailed out of (in Yemen.)

    Sorensen likes some of the Old World Work by these scholars, though they learn toward Peru, Chile, and South American “New World” models. There is some good shipbuilding information there.

  4. You have a good point that 3170 metric tons is a lot of paint. But, until scientists find evidence that the ore was used for more than body paint, we really can’t say this discovery bolsters our belief in the Book of Mormon.

    Even if (when) scientists find evidence that iron was used for weapons, all we’ll have is a parallel between archeology and the Book of Mormon. Parallels don’t prove anything but can increase the faith of those who already believe.

    My blog is on parallels between science and Mormonism, and there are quite a few parallels with the church. One of the active parallels is the search by scientists for other worlds.

  5. Even if (when) scientists find evidence that iron was used for weapons, all we’ll have is a parallel between archeology and the Book of Mormon.

    I think that most people will see it as corroborating evidence of the Book of Mormon’s truthfulness, rather than just a parallel. In the same way, archaeological evidence that does not corroborate the Book of Mormon narrative is seen as evidence of the Book of Mormon’s untruthfulness

  6. dpc, I think you’re right that most LDS will see it as corroborating evidence of the Book of Mormon. That’s too bad, though, since the evidence would be for the existence of an iron mine with no evidence about who created the mine. The Book of Mormon does not claim that the Nephites and Lamanites were the only peoples in the American continents. Thus, non-BoM people could have been here, and the iron mine could have been created by them.

  7. I tried to be careful in my word choice. I chose “bolsters” rather than “proves” because the discovery certainly doesn’t prove anything about the Book of Mormon. With the mining of that iron, there exists a possibility that the metal could have been used in more than just paint.

    If no mine discovery was made, then critics could continue to say there is no evidence of iron as mentioned in the BOM. This discovery forces them to soften that stance somewhat, because a mine was found. Now, if an iron sword inscribed with “Laban” was found, that would be pretty interesting, and further erode their claims….

    But as of yet, we can make no such claim. The mine discovery certainly does not weaken the Book of Mormon, is at least neutral, and could be shown to have a positive affirmation on the authenticity of the BOM.

  8. Thanks, MH, for clarifying your choice of words. And, thanks for using “bolsters” instead of “proves”. I think there is a significant difference between using iron for paint and foraging iron into weapons. I agree that the discovery of this mine is not only interesting but significant. I reported it in my blog under the label “migration”.

    I chuckled about your comment of finding a sword inscribed with “Laban”, although I would hope the sword would be discovered by a non-Mormon.

  9. WHEN do they figure this mining took place? 2000 yrs ago? about the time of Christ?

  10. From Science Daily.

    “The researchers determined that the mine is a human-made cave that was first created around 2,000 years ago. An estimated 3,710 metric tons was extracted from the mine during more than 1,400 years of use. The mine, which is nearly 700 cubic meters, is in a cliffside facing a modern ochre mine.”

    According to Wikipedia, ochre is an iron oxide that has been used as a pigment for thousands of years. I couldn’t find any articles that spoke of ochre in the context of making weapons. Maybe someone familiar with metals can comment on this.

  11. An iron mine does nothing for BoM authenticity. Now a smelter, on the other hand, that would be something to talk about.

  12. @tiredmormon

    Just because the critics laugh, does not make the Book of Mormon less truthful. It means those critics are very bad and very biased researchers who are not into truth, but into their own agendas.

    Said another way, these men and women are not into Jesus Christ, but they are servants of the enemy, either by ignorance or their own deception, or they willingly work to deceive men, that we might all be lost.

    Section 43 D&C the ” witnesses of the enemy ” were in the church 1831.

    James Brian Marshall

    Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ. ( I.E. Not the C.O.C. )

  13. James,

    What are you talking about? tiredmormon said nothing about critics laughing.
    You are grouping all critics into a group that serves Satan and hates truth and Jesus Christ.

    That’s ridiculous. Critics are people that are skeptical. They want proof. If anything, they strive for truth.

    Faith does not further the cause of truth. It furthers the cause of doctrine. Doctrine doesn’t always equate to truth.

    You seem like someone that is afraid of truth unless it supports your paradigm.

  14. James, good to see you again. I wish you well in your beliefs, and hope you continue to serve Christ to the best of your ability.

    Bishop Rick, James and I tangled about Joseph Smith’s polygamy a while back. (He believes Joseph never practiced polygamy, and he has lots of 100 year old affidavits to prove it.) He certainly has great fervor for his beliefs, but I wouldn’t waste time debating him. He prefers bearing testimony over science/reason and doesn’t let pesky things like facts deter him from his beliefs. It works for him–more power to him.

  15. Bishop Rick, (I like the nick name with the spin)

    Tiredmormon’s statement, when heard through my filters, sounded skeptical. I never said Tiredmormon spoke about laughing critics… Yes being a Farrier and Blacksmith, a smelter would be a nice discovery.

    But with metal working experience of 15 years under my belt, I can tell you finding a smelter is not likely after 1000 years. Most iron that is heated, looses it’s fibrous grain. Hand wrought iron is like wood, it has a grain.

    Natural Iron heated to melting temperatures looses the grain,(cast iron) therefore it rusts much more quickly. Which is why I say a smelter may be very hard to find.

    The knowledgeable critics know this, the dumb ones do not. Which is why iron mines are a wonderful discover, because is does prove the Book of Mormon correct, that people had access to iron in America.

    Of course how did all that Mayan Stone art happen? What did they do carve stone with their finger nails?

    Perhaps the Mayan had specially trained stone eating carving rats? Go figure!

  16. Mormon Heretic,

    As we speak Joseph Smith’s Polygamy is being disproved by the Utah Mormon Church and those affiliated such as the LDS Church Publication the Deseret News. Click below link.


    I thought perhaps you might like some facts, though not conclusive by any means, it does back Joseph Smith’s statements in his Sermon Against Polygamy, as see below.

    “I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives…. I am innocent of all these charges…. What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.”

    — Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church of
    Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6:410-411

    Brigham Young admitted there were liars in the Church. His statement admits there were liars in the church.

    “Some of the Elders seem to be tripped up in a moment, if the wicked can find any fault with the members of this Church; but bless your souls, I would not yet have this people faultless, for the day of separation has not yet arrived. I have many a time, in this stand, dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can; we can beat them at anything. We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character that you can mention.

    “We can pick out Elders in Israel right here who can beat the world at gambling, who can handle the cards, cut and shuffle them with the smartest rogue on the face of God’s foot-stool. I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers, and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game.” – Journal of Discourses 4:76-77 (Nov 9, 1856)

    The courts of the United States declared Brigham Young started the doctrine of polygamy.

    Court Rulings Joseph Smith Did Not Teach But Fought Polygamy

    February 23, 1880, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by its attorneys, appeared before the Court of Common Pleas, Lake County, Ohio, (see journal entry, February term, 1880) as plaintiff, asking for possession of the Kirtland Temple, an edifice erected during the early days of the church, and prior to the death of Joseph Smith the Martyr. The church in Utah, then presided over by John Taylor, was named with others as defendants.
    Judge L. S. Sherman rendered the following decision:

    “That the said Plaintiff, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a Religious Society, founded and organized upon the same doctrines and tenets, and having the same church organization, as the original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, organized in 1830, by Joseph Smith, and was organized pursuant to the constitution, laws and usages of said original Church, and has branches located in Illinois, Ohio, and other States.

    That the church in Utah, the Defendant of which John Taylor is president, has materially and largely departed from the faith, doctrines, laws, ordinances and usages of said original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and has incorporated into its system of faith the doctrines of celestial marriage and a plurality of wives, and the doctrine of Adam-god worship, contrary to the laws and constitution of said original Church.

    And the Court do further find that the Plaintiff, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the True and Lawful continuation of, and successor to the said original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, organized in 1830, and is entitled in law to all its rights and property.”

    In a case tried before Judge John F. Philips, in the Circuit Court of the United States, for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, at Kansas City, Missouri.

    In his decision, rendered March 16, 1894, Judge Philips said:

    The Book of Mormon itself inveighed against the sin of polygamy…. Conformably to the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants expressly declared “that we believe that one man should have but one wife, and one woman but one husband.” And this declaration of the church on this subject reappeared in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, editions of 1846 and 1856. Its first appearance as a dogma of the church (the dogma of polygamy) was in the Utah Church in 1852.

    Claim is made by the Utah Church that this doctrine is predicated of a revelation made to Joseph Smith in July, 1843. No such revelation was ever made public during the life of Joseph Smith, and under the law of the church it could not become an article of faith and belief until submitted to and adopted by the church. This was never done ….

    (History of RLDS Church Vol 5 pp. 238-239)

    As for Baptism of the dead? Section 124 declare the church which continues to baptize the dead “will be rejected as a church”- which implies there to be at least one other church, claiming to be Christ’s church.

    There Mr. Heretic, I’ve been historical and factual…

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