Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Superpowers and Not So Super Powers

Anyone who knows me well or even just reads most of my blog entries knows I have Asperger's syndrome. I've made a few posts over the years on facebook about this subject and I feel the need now to do a post about it here. It's not meant to be just about me, though. My goal with this one is to promote awareness and provide some understanding.

When you speak to someone about the condition who knows more than a little about it, one thing you'll likely hear someone often is that when you've met one person with Asperger's you've met one person with Asperger's; meaning this: There are similarities between all people with it but it also can manifest very differently from person to person. One Aspie [person with Asperger's] may be extremely anti-social or even completely non-verbal, go into utter panic mode when routine is broken and yell and scream when something bothers them or be heavily developmentally delayed. Another, however, may be extremely intelligent and high functioning, but have the social skills of a gnat. Yet another may not be as bothered by disruptions in routine and be very independent and capable, but have extreme difficulty putting thoughts and feelings into words that accurately and tactfully convey the message.

There are several different degrees of the condition. The most common (although not universal) symptoms I am aware of are
  1. Either non-verbal or excessive, burdensome verbal communication, 
  2. Great irritability and loss of capacity to function properly when something familiar is altered or routine is unexpectedly changed.
  3. More developed intelligence and/or creativity within a very limited area of interest that surpasses most others in the same demographics as the Aspie.
  4. Extreme difficulty understanding social cues and reading between the lines in a conversation and 
  5. Heightened senses or sensitivities in one or more areas.

There may be more but I'm no psychologist (although I do like psychology) and wouldn't be able to come up with a conclusive list of typical symptoms in the moment. I can't speak for anyone with Asperger's but myself, but as a part of my efforts to help others understand what it's like and thereby encourage more compassion and comprehension of what to expect from and how to help one of us, I can at least explain what it's like for me. Some of our abilities feel superhuman to us and some it feels utterly crippling so I'll try explain some of the differences there as well.

If you've ever seen the movie Fight Club (which I actually don't recommend), the most memorable quote from it might be "First rule about Fight Club. Never talk about Fight Club." In my mind, the exact opposite is true of Asperger's. "First rule about Asperger's. Talk about Asperger's." So here we go.

Symptom numbers 1 and 4 go hand in hand for me, I'm obviously on the talkative side of number 1 that and it often gets me into trouble. Something you should know first is that I. LOVE. PEOPLE. I really love people, easily, always, with a depth human words can't explain, especially when they reciprocate my expressions of love (friendly, familial or romantic). Whether they do or not, the "superpower" behind this is I can focus on how much I care about a person so much that even if I am absolutely livid at them or terrified, I feel emotionally incapable of blocking them out. I care enough to think "I'm so scared/hurt/angry at them but the thought of not making this right and helping them feel better scares/hurts/frustrates me even more." This causes problems with how hard I try to resolve contention between me and anyone else. The harder I try to resolve it the more overwhelmed they feel.  Another reason my talkativeness gets me in trouble and becomes not so super is frequently because of how much I try to "fix" what I'm saying. I feel everything I feel so strongly that I perceive a constant need to keep readjusting my wording, tone and body language to make sure my ideas and intent are being conveyed to someone else flawlessly so there is no room for misinterpretation.

I grew up in an environment where I was often misunderstood because my lack of tact and sense of social cues. I was, therefore, often bullied in school for coming off as weird, rude or breaking social "rules" that I either didn't understand or thought were just plain stupid. Out of desperation to correct my mistakes, my efforts to make up for my unintentional tactlessness were often in excess, overwhelming others and driving them further away from me emotionally. This still happens today and I struggle with it every day. On top of this, when I'm doing my best to listen to people when they talk to me, more often than not I have to look away from their face in order to really take in what they are saying. I process spoken words like a computer analyzes a chess board. I almost always completely miss body language and facial expressions and therefore, according to my wife, miss 90% of what they are saying. I get so focused on words, their definitions and how they fit together with the tone of voice to gather the meaning and intent of what I hear that anything they communicate with their body or face

As for number 2, have you ever been working on something so intensely and with so much deep focus that if someone says "hello" to you it throws you completely off? You know, when you're "in the zone"? Well I get "in the zone" with every single thing I do to the point where I literally forget to shower, sleep and eat, even when I'm hungry. Who do you know that can literally skip a meal only because they were so focused what they are doing that they could "turn off" innate impulses for the sake of their masterpiece? This "superpower" proves both super helpful but also extremely dangerous.

It's dangerous when it comes to sinful impulses of the natural man (see Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon) but wonderfully helpful during scripture study, cleaning up the house, writing music, blogging :) and practicing piano. The biggest not so super social problem with this for me is when I'm super involved in what I'm doing and something with my wife's pain goes haywire or someone arrives at our home unannounced or whom I had just forgotten was coming or something like that. Nothing around here is ever boring, but we still manage to keep things at least predictable enough for us to keep our sanity and when something "throws a wrench" in our plans or, for me, interrupts something I'm super zoned into, I have a really hard time dealing with it emotionally. You should have seen the last time we had to go to the hospital unexpectedly. It has taken me almost 10 years to get to the point where I can even remain in a somewhat rational head-space while getting everything she needs ready for us to go, whether by ambulance or just riding there.

The "superpower" behind number 3 comes in when I am hyper-focusing on one of my niches. My wife sometimes gets annoyed and tells me how badly I need to 'change the channel' from these four things: Religion and Religious Literature, Technology, Music and Movies (especially sci-fi, marvel and dystopian). When I get zoned out in any of these areas, I retain what I am learning, comprehend what I'm doing and perceive it all in context of my life so clearly that others often get annoyed with the intensity of my excitement about it. I see hundreds of gospel parallels in everything I see and hear and understand how all the individual details of the principles shown therein would most effectively and optimally fit, enhance and enrich the greater whole of life and reality. Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to explode with wonder and joy when I see things that clearly. The only not so super part of that is when I "come back down to earth" I almost never know how to put what I now understand into words that won't offend or sound like gibberish to the listener and still accurately represent what I know, think and feel. I often tell my wife and my closest friends that english (or any mortal language) is stupid because none of it is sufficient to explain how I really feel, what I really understand and what I'm really thinking.

I wrote a historical fiction yet to be published called The Stripling Warrior about the 'might-have-been' son of Abish (see Alma 19:16 in the Book of Mormon) as he grows up to fight in Helaman's army of stripling warriors (Alma 53, 56-58) and there's a part in there where I snuck in a little sci-fi where two of the characters accidentally find a way to communicated their thoughts and feelings to each other telepathically and directly from heart to heart without audible words or facial expressions. I have felt for a long time that that kind of communication, when God shows us how to do that, is the only way I'll ever be able to show people what I'm really thinking and feelings.

When I'm trying to discuss something I'm quite passionate about and someone disagrees with my perspective I immediately feel an insatiable urge to understand their contrasting viewpoint and, more importantly, find out what our different viewpoints have in common. In my efforts to do this, I have to have all other distractions silenced. In the case of number 5, in our place the TV is usually on just for noise if Lorraine isn't watching a cooking show and I have to have the TV and sometimes even the AC turned off just so I can even focus on what she's saying without being overwhelmed by too much information at once. I often get way too easily confused about what someone might mean by a phrase that could be taken, like, 5 different ways and 3 of them are really mean so I have to find out which way they meant it and that doesn't often go well. I hate shows like Dr. Phil because he always lets people talk over each other and argue about the stupidest things. There's rarely any "one person at a time" or "speak calmly or don't speak" or anything else that is actually conducive to a civilized conversation. I get overwhelmed extremely fast when one person is talking over another.

Another helpful analogy that paints a picture of Asperger's is a brain that processes small pieces of information so fast and so in depth that too much stimulus from too many different directions at once is totally overwhelming. If a computer had Asperger's syndrome, it would probably have a few TB of RAM, a 5 PB HD and processor that runs at several TeraHertz. You'd only be able to run 1 program at a time, perhaps with one more running idly in the background, but you could accomplish more with that one program in 5 minutes than most other computers could in a day. If a car had Asperger's you'd have more horse power, better fuel efficiency and navigation system than most other cars, but less than average handling and really shoddy brakes.

When it comes to emotions it's a similar thing. We can do a lot in some areas and not much in others. Sometimes we appear to have very little empathy or concern for others opinions and feelings, but this is not true at all. As one person on Tumblr put it, "We lack cognitive empathy: the ability to predict others thoughts and intentions, including the ability to "read between the lines" during communication. We have plenty of affective empathy: the ability to share another person's feelings with them. We have plenty of compassionate empathy: the desire to help others (although we may not always know how). Many of us have [FAR] too much affective and compassionate empathy which can be overwhelming for us." The good part about this for those without it who have difficulty with our quirks is that we never have a hidden agenda. There are no "lines" to read between in our verbal communication. We mean what we say, which is why I'm always correcting myself to make sure my wording is 100% accurate. Communicating online is so much easier for me because I can see what I've said and adjust it all I want before hitting 'send'. I can't do that in verbal communication. But seriously, honesty is paramount for us (unless we are scared to tell the truth for fear of being misunderstood).

In a nut shell, we love. We love A TON. We just don't always know how to direct that love the right way or express it in ways others understand and we almost never have ulterior motives.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ten Of The Most Powerful Scriptures About Our Savior Jesus Christ

Every time the question "what is your favorite scripture?" comes up, my answer is usually the same the last few years; something like "I don't have one, but I do have a few." I didn't used to be like that. Sure I used to switch off every so often to a different favorite scripture for a few months or even years, but now that I've spent so much time in them over the last ten years there is no possible way I could ever pick just one that I prefer to all others.

My home made scripture case has a picture of Jesus calming the storm on the back, Greg Olsen's "The Gentle Healer" on the front and key verses about Christ and His atonement on all the sides. I couldn't fit ten different passages about that on the sides because the length of the passages I chose were too long to fit more than 7, and even now, my perception regarding which scriptures about Jesus are the best has changed. Either way in this one I'll be explaining why the following ten passages are among my absolute favorites about our Savior and Redeemer.

1. Jacob 4:11-12

  • "Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto [God] through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh. And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?"
My favorite part of this is the question at the end. According to Tad R. Callister, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a doctrine for all seasons as well as the "most sacred and sublime event in eternity. It deserves our most intense thoughts, our most profound feelings, and our noblest deeds."
Also, "it should be paramount in our intellectual and spiritual pursuits." So thus Jacob's invitation to speak of it, in as proper a frame of mind and heart as possible, as often and as intentionally as we can couldn't be more fitting.

2. Isaiah 53:4-5

  • "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Something else Callister mentions in The Infinite Atonement is that "He took upon him infinite suffering, but chose to defend with only mortal faculties, with but one exception - his godhood was summoned to hold off unconsciousness and death (i.e., the twin relief mechanisms of man) that would otherwise overpower a mere mortal when he reached his threshold of pain. For the Savior, however, there would be no such relief. His divinity would be called upon, not to immunize him from pain, but to enlarge the receptacle that would hold it. He simply brought a larger cup to hold the bitter drink." So when Isaiah says He has "surely" born our griefs and carried our sorrows, that is not a metaphor, nor is it oversimplified.

Also, for a long time I didn't understand what the phrase 'the chastisement of our peace was upon him' meant. In order to maintain good spiritual standing with God when we sin, we must repent and often be chastised by God in order to experience the change of heart we need to have peace. So the chastisement that we need in order to change and have the blessings of His atoning sacrifice extended to us? He took that upon Himself. Because of this, He didn't need to repent in order to know what it's like to be in our shoes through the repentance process.

3. Alma 34:14-17
  • "And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;"
So many people get caught up in saying things like "I know the church is true" or "I know the gospel is true" and both of those are good things. They are essential. But people forget why it matters. This scripture helps to answer that. The very first sentence tells us that the purpose for any commandment we are given by God, "every whit" of it "point[s] to that great and last sacrifice... the Son of God." The Jews had largely forgotten that fact, as evidenced when almost all of them rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

The other awesome parts about this are where we are taught that Jesus was the only one who could see to it that "mercy ... satisf[ies] the demands of justice..." and the invitation at the end: "Therefore, ... begin to exercise your faith unto repentance... that he would have mercy upon you." Fantastic verses right there.

4. John 17:3, 19-22
  • "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

I should have put this verse in my one of my entries (here and here) about misconceptions about Christianity, because it puts to rest one of the most widely misunderstood and most pivotal doctrines ever taught in Christianity, whether or not we can ever understand the mysteries of God and truly know Him. In Romans 6:23 we are taught that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." If we are supposed to have eternal life though Him and He Himself says that eternal life is "to know ... God[] and Jesus Christ," it doesn't make sense to assume that we can't know everything He knows as well as know Him. He even explains how when He says "that they also might be sanctified..." and "that they all may be one; as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee." This is not the supposed metaphysical identity which many think God has. He does not expect us to physically merge with Him and He is not physically the same person as Jesus. That would mock the sanctity of Jesus' submission of His will to another person, the Father. He expects us to be united in love, purpose, will, understanding, action - heck, just about everything short of our identity. These few versus carry such a powerful clarification of what Christ really wants us to become and it can be accomplished via His atoning sacrifice.

5. 2 Nephi 26:24-28
  • "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay."
This specifies, in action, the truth behind number 7 in this list. It offers an... I'd say almost a dare... to the reader to find any place where the Savior said that the blessings of His atonement are only offered to certain people, that repentance was ever off limits to any of God's children. Any place where the people are forced a distance away (physically or spiritually) from the Savior's power or presence was when they chose on their own to walk away, whether by their habits, beliefs or anything else unholy and impure. There is not one place in all the inspired words of prophets or Jesus Himself where He is partial to anyone out of bias. His invitation is utterly saturated with perfect, divine love, to "come unto me... and [have good things] without money and without price." We are the ones who reject Him, He NEVER rejects us. Even sons of perdition haven't been rejected.

As Callister puts it, "The unpardonable sin is an informed, calculated, irreversible rejection of the Savior and his atoning sacrifice.  To then claim that the Atonement is not infinite would be to argue that the son who rejected his father's bequest was robbed of his inheritance.  Suffice it to say, to reject a gift is not to disprove its existence.  The sons of perdition have chosen to spiritually disinherit themselves, to make of themselves spiritual orphans."

He never abandons us

6. Helaman 5:12
  • "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
The closest example I can think of (in the moment, though I'm sure there are many others) in mortality to a completely fail-safe "switch", if you will, is in the movie The Core. In the movie, a team of super smart people have to dig down to the outer core of the earth and "jump-start" the flow of hot liquid iron and nickle to stabilize the electro-magnetic field around the earth by using nuclear bombs. In doing so, they end up having to come up with a plan B and a plan C, which is to intentionally sabotage a part of the ship that wasn't built to be sabotaged in order to save the world by turning a switch that is normally not physically accessible to the crew. It was meant to be a completely fail-safe mechanism and they find a way around it.

The reason I mentioned this verse is because, unlike the almost fail-safe switch in The Core, this teaches us that our Savior provided us an actual fail-safe switch which cannot fail. There was nothing Christ left un-suffered, un-experienced, un-thought of, unplanned, or in any way shape or form reversible in God's plan for our redemption on His end. The only "switch" in mortality than isn't fail-safe is our agency. This is why this verse can promise us that if we "build [our] foundation [upon Chris, we] cannot fall."

7. Romans 8:38-39
  • "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Pretty simple, but also profoundly powerful. Similar to the previous verse in principle, Christ's love is all encompassing and there is no way to escape it in all eternity, period.

8. Alma 7:11-13
  • "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

Alma talks here in a little more detail about the what and the why of the atonement of Christ and he is quite exact about his wording. There are no qualifiers on the phrase "every kind", which means, as already shown, that He left nothing undone. There is also a comforting reassurance that He really does understand us both from a Godly perspective as well as a totally mortal one with the phrase "according to the flesh". A firm reminder is also included that, in response to our repentance, it is "the power of His deliverance" to save us, not our own, that frees us from sin and it's effects.

9. Mosiah 15:7-9
  • "Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father. And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men—Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice."
During this part of Abinadi's sermon (who is my absolute favorite prophet in the Book of Mormon) to wicked King Noah, He reminds us of the power of the Son submitting His will to the Father in the supreme expression of love to Him and to us. That is followed by the effect flowing from such an act.  "Thus God break[s] the bands of death... giving the Son power to make intercession for [God's children]... having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice."
Only a God could do that and only one who was willing, capable and in a position where He could.

10. Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-19
  • "Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

Yes, the only recorded testimony we have in the Standard Works of the Savior's own testimony of what happened that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. The first part of this can sound like a stern parent point his finger in our faces, but I can think of nothing more earnest and pleading and loving than the Savior's own words begging us to really pay attention, to repent and using the memory of how bad it was for Him to say "how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not." He's saying, basically, "please, I can make this so much easier for you in the long run. Please, repent, so that I can spare you from what I had to go through." You'd be hard pressed to find a more loving statement anywhere else in scripture.


Obviously there are many, many more examples of wonderful scriptures about Him, but these ones stick out to me as ten of the most concise, beautiful and complete explanations of Christ's atonement, God's plan for us and the true power and role Jesus Christ has in our lives.

I love Him. I do my best to be like Him, to repent and follow His example. I'm not at all where I want to be yet, but I'm learning more every day. Layer by layer I unfold more spiritual depth, more layers of understanding and truth as I pray, search the scriptures and look for ways to more effectively keep my covenants. My hope is that something I have said here will convince someone else to increase their obedience to and faith in Jesus Christ and search the scriptures themselves for the same understanding God has blessed me with... and more! Much more!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

5 Truths About The Book of Mormon That Most People Aren't Aware Of

In 2015 and 2016 I wrote two articles - here and here - about common misconceptions about Christianity. Each one was designed to help people better understand the life and teachings of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

For my third round of clearing up misconceptions I decided to make it about the one book I know is most likely to bring the reader closer to Christ and instill in them a desire to change to become more like Him, the Book of Mormon.


The Book of Mormon is a replacement for the Bible.


From the Introduction, the very first line: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible." Notice that it doesn't say "that replaces the Bible". The subtitle of the Book is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", not "better testament of Jesus Christ." There are four volumes of scripture that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints use, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I am currently going through a new years resolution I set for myself to read through all 2476 pages of these books before the end of 2018. Today I will likely be finishing Isaiah and I'll tell you what. With what I've been through so far, I have been reminded of - as well as found - some of the greatest and most wonderful evidences of the love of God and the benefits of keeping His commandments I could have imagined. I had in my mind a huge stigma through much of my life about how hard the Old Testament is to understand and good heavens! It's amazing! I've made more footnotes about lessons I've learned from the Book of Mormon that are solidified by the Bible and vice versa than I ever thought I would. From the story of Joshua "cleansing the inner vessel" if you will to Kings Saul, David and Solomon to Kings Hezekiah and Josiah and the stories of Mordecai and Nehemiah (who happens to be a lot like Captain Moroni from the Book of Mormon), I LOVE both books. Every four years in sunday school we rotate between studying each of book of scripture. All of them have eternally pivotal importance to us.


Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon.


Nope. As mentioned in the Introduction, it was "written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon." The reason why it's called the Book of Mormon is because the physical hand of the prophet named Mormon literally wrote every single word of it, quoting many ancient American prophets as well as abridging much of the history of his people in the process. Joseph Smith was called of God to translate Mormon's writings into the English language and did so by the power of God. The Book of Mormon is, similar to the Bible, a record of many sermons and stories of ancient prophets who taught the gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Book of Mormon has no archaeological evidence to support it.


I could go on for hours about this one, but I'm sure you don't have hours to read this so I'll just point out a few archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon.

First, gold plates. Many have scoffed at the idea of gold in the ancient Americas, but if you recall in the early 1500's when the Spanish Conquistadors were after gold when they came to the temples of Cajamarca in the Incan nation, Atahualpa, the emperor, offered to fill a room with almost 85 cubic feet of gold in return for being liberated from Spanish captivity. It took him only a few days.

Second, horses. People thought for the longest time that the first horses were brought to the Americas by the Spaniards even before the ransom of Atahualpa, but if you look at the research papers on the La Brea tar pits in California, you will find evidence of ancient american horses.

Third, Lehi and the Jaredites leaving from the Middle East for the Americas at 600 BC and around the time of the tower of Babel, respectively. Again, many have scoffed at this idea, mainly because the Bible, they say, doesn't mentioned Lehi leaving at all. However, if you look at 1 Nephi 16, verse 34 mentions that they stopped (on their way to the ocean, where they built a boat to sail to the Americas) in a place called Nahom where Ishmael, who's family had come with Lehi, died. At this point they had traveled for "many days" in "nearly a south-south east" direction from Jerusalem. If you look many days journey in that direction (without modern transportation of course) you will see the modern day city of Marib. There you can find inscriptions at the temple of Bar'an where sat the Queen of Sheba that date back to the 6th century BC. Some of those ancient Semitic inscriptions talk about people from the ancient city of Nahom. As for the Jaredites, the writings of Josephus make it quite clear that just after the destruction of the Tower of Babel there were many who "passed over the sea" toward the ancient Americas. (Josephus Bk. 1 Chapter 5)

There are a TON more evidences than that but there are a few for starters.


Joseph Smith was simply a well educated man who was intelligent enough to come up with a religious text, the Book of Mormon, that happened to sound a lot like the Bible.


Of his own admission, Joseph Smith was not well educated even into his adulthood when he finally began translation of the Book of Mormon. He had a the equivalent of what today we would consider a mere 3rd grade education and had little understanding about the world outside of where he lived in New York. Now, in order for someone to even write a secular history book and remain both truthful and contextually accurate, a person would usually needs to travel the world and spend years in research first. Lloyd C. Douglass, the author of The Robe, spent ten years in research before he even started and that book didn't even have to be true. It just had to sound like it was true. In this case, the first draft had to stand. Yet, as a man named Douglass Brian once said, "yet, the language is quite perfect. You will find no discrepancy between names and dates and places. Famous attorney's have declared that in this respect the whole book if as perfect as the finest of legal documents. Any author will tell you that for even the greatest scholar to write such a thing in one draft would be absolutely and utterly impossible."

I can also tell you from my own efforts that this is true. I wrote a historical fiction (that I still need to publish) with a part of the Book of Mormon as historical background that's over 300 pages long and almost 125,000 words. It was purely imaginative and it was crazy difficult to get all the details contextually accurate without messing up the timeline or contradicting character traits, appearances, relationship and familial details, who had which conversation with whom and when, etc. It's really difficult and I've been to High School and College. Joseph Smith didn't have that. At one point he was translating a passage about Jerusalem where it mentioned the city walls and he said, in surprise, "Jerusalem has walls?"


The Book of Mormon isn't Christian


This is probably the biggest slap in the face to the Book of Mormon as well as a complete falsehood.

Jesus Christ is mentioned an average of every 1.7 verses, in connection with Mosaic law, Isaiah's prophecies, King Solomon and more and most importantly, for His unmatched life and atoning sacrifice on multiple occasions. Here is just a few verses from the Book of Mormon:

2 Nephi 25:26 "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

and another

Mosiah 15:7-9 "Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father. And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men - having ascended into heaven; having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice."

and there are TONS more. There's a reason why it's called Another Testament of Jesus Christ.


I can tell you from my own personal experience and thousands of hours of study of this book that it will bring you closer to Jesus Christ than you've ever been. I know that it is 100% truth because the Holy Ghost has witnessed it to my heart on multiple occasions.

Study this book. You've got absolutely nothing to loose and everything to gain by doing so.