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Is the Book of Mormon a historical account?

Some or all Latter-day Saints believe that the Book of Mormon contains a historical account of God's 
dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continents - specifically the group of people referred 
to as the Nephites and Lamanites.

Some articles report to make the case for or against archaeological evidence.

Non-LDS position:

LDS position:

But just to give you an example, Michael R. Licona, author of "Behold, I Stand At The Door And Knock" 
wrote this:

"Hill Cumorah is located in New York, southeast of Rochester. Joseph Smith claimed that when Moroni 
appeared to him, he was told that Moroni’s father, Mormon, buried the gold plates upon which the Book 
of Mormon was based on the hill Cumorah just before the great final battle there (Mormon 6:6). In the 
Pearl of Great Price, Smith writes that the day after his second vision, he went to a large hill outside of the 
village where his family lived (the hill Cumorah) and found the gold plates.  This identifies the hill where 
Smith dug up the plates as the same hill where Mormon buried them and where the great battle took place. 

In Mormon 6:10-15, it is claimed that hundreds of thousands of people were killed on or near the hill 
Cumorah during that final battle. It says that “their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, 
being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to 
their mother earth” (Mormon 6:15). In other words, their bodies were left there, unburied.

To help you understand the magnitude of casualties at hill Cumorah, let’s consider another major battle. 
During the Battle of Gettysburg of the American Civil War there were 55,000 soldiers wounded, 6,000 of 
them killed on the battlefield and 4,000 more whose wounds were mortal. Eyewitnesses said that there was 
so much blood from the dead and injured that there were parts of the battlefield that seemed like streams 
of blood. So many men and horses died that all could not be buried at once and many corpses were left on 
the battlefield until a few days later when others were hired to do the task.

If 6,000 men died on the battlefield at Gettysburg, what would a battlefield look like with hundreds of 
thousands dead? Since they were left unburied at hill Cumorah, wouldn’t there be some artifacts made of 
metal and stone? Bullets by the thousands are found at Gettysburg. Nothing however has been found at hill 

University of Rochester palaeontologist and stratigrapher Carl Brett has worked in the Palmyra, New York 
area where hill Cumorah is located and is familiar with the hill and its geologic conditions. He says that if 
hundreds of thousands were slaughtered at the hill and not buried, there would still be skeletal remains on 
the surface today, even after 1,600 years. Scavengers and weather conditions would account for why much 
is gone, but there would still be quite enough left to look at. Metallic artifacts from weapons and armor would 
also be easily found.  But nothing has ever been found at hill Cumorah.

Add to this all the people and cities that were destroyed before the risen Christ supposedly appeared to the 

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