Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Matthew Roper


Ancient Church, Worship, Ancient Near East, Civilization, Religion, Book of Mormon Books, 3 Nephi, Criticism, Freemason Influence, Mesoamerica


Roper examines the use of the terms sword and cimeter in a Mesoamerican setting as well as in the Book of Mormon text. The macuahuitl was a fearsome weapon consisting of a long, flat piece of hardwood with grooves along the side into which sharp fragments of flint or obsidian were set and glued. Our knowledge of this weapon comes more from written accounts than actual artifacts because few specimens have survived. The Book of Mormon sword of Laban was used as a model for making swords, but they were not necessarily made of the same material. The discussion in Alma 24:12 having to do with stained swords would make particular sense with wooden swords. Cimeters, or scimitars, differ from swords in having curved blades. Several kinds of swords and cimeters that were in use in ancient Mesoamerica are plausible candidates for Book of Mormon weapons.