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I can vividly remember when I learned that there was no Santa Claus. During the weeks leading up to Santa's nightly visit my family had erected a Christmas tree that we decorated with plastic and glass ornaments, aluminum foil tinsel and threaded popcorn garlands.

I was just 7 years old and my heart was set on getting an erector set from Santa.

Sorenson in associating Book of Mormon lands with Mesoamerica (pp. Miller then discusses with considerable brevity matters such as steel and glass (pp. Matters of translation are complicated, however, and very often fuzzy notions of “literal” translation hinge more on unexplored assumptions than actual data. Throughout his discussion, Miller draws on evidence that hints at the presence, in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, of Old World species called by these labels but also points to possible candidate species for which Old World labels may have been applied by either the Jaredites or the Nephites. What’s more, Miller explains, “The Columbian mammoth of North America, based on studies of its fossils, is more closely related to the Indian (or Asian) elephant than the Indian elephant is to the African one! was a common animal from Alaska through Central America in the Pleistocene epoch. If mammoths can be called “elephants” by scientists in the late 20th and early 21st century, then what objection remains for Joseph Smith using the label for an American species in 1830?

to New World species, then those were the “correct” labels within Nephite taxonomy. In doing so, Miller shows no hesitation in drawing on species thought to be extinct by Book of Mormon times (though, in most cases, he also points to animals that still have living populations today). There is still the issue of when the mammoth went extinct.

Sure enough, the conversation of Mom and Dad alluded to their purchase of my "erector set" and discussed where to place the wrapped boxes and who would take the bite out of the cookie left for Santa. I remember thinking that if Santa Claus was a hoax then maybe I had also been deceived about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy! When I returned to my second grade class after the holidays I was determined to reveal the truth about Santa to my classmates.

While some confided to me that they knew this already, others had a look of horror and disbelief. "Fat Johnny" sat on me while Billy put sand in my mouth.

The Institute used to send out a long response listing several perceived inaccuracies in the Book of Mormon but has Nonetheless, the impulse to test the Book of Mormon against science continues, and Miller seeks to contribute to the discussion. Then the remainder of the book discusses animals (pp. The first is that, “We can’t be positive that each animal with its translated name corresponds exactly to our present understanding of that animal” (p. This important point has long been derided by critics of Mormonism on the Internet, but I’ve yet to see anyone else explain just what Nephi, with his Hebrew or Egyptian language, was supposed to call a tapir or any other species discovered in his new environment for which his native language had no words.

“The intent of this book is to add to the body of knowledge relating to science and the Book of Mormon using my paleontological and geological background” (p. Miller also takes time to clarify that he follows John L. Both loan-shifting and translator’s Some protest that the Book of Mormon is the “most correct book,” “translated by the gift and power of God,” and hence should not manifest such “incorrect” labeling. Miller has personally been involved in excavating mammoth remains in Mexico (p. He explains, “The Columbian mammoth (actually a true elephant) … In light of this, it seems that insisting that there were any true “elephants” in the Americas, as indicated in the critic’s quote above, is entirely untenable.


Fair Mormon and outside experts have examined the views of some enthusiasts on this point.

It was designed to monitor a baby's cries from an adjacent room.

My brother had placed this under the Christmas tree, disguised under fake cotton snow, and we tuned it in from our upstairs bedroom on Christmas eve. Would some modern technology eventually also prove even these to be fake?

Doing so would require us to misrepresent the current state of scientific evidence.

This claim also fails to interact responsibly with a fairly large body of literature which has led most LDS scholars to reject the Great Lakes region as a feasible match to the Book of Mormon's requirements.However, the issue isn't so much that God doesn't reveal all truth, but that so many early church leaders taught (and still teach) as truth things that are wrong.


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