Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Language, Book of Mormon, History, Mesoamerica, Civilization, Language, Modern Church, Scholarship


The time-depth of the Romance language family (ca. 2,000 years) yields an abundance of similarities among languages descended from Latin: Spanish, French, Italian, and so forth. The time-depth of Lehi is not much greater (2,600 years), yet no similar abundance of accepted linguistic evidence for Lehi’s presence in the Americas has emerged. Is this because of a lack of evidence or a lack of looking? We cannot know until we look. The relative absence of effort in Native American languages relevant to Book of Mormon research is a huge void in Latter-day Saint scholarly endeavor. This paper discusses the value of and need to void this existing void, and presents from one Native American language family an example of the possibilities.