Today, I want to illustrate what I said in a much earlier post about the Book of Mormon being misunderstood. I'm going to respond to a statement I read online recently:
I think it could be a historical record. It's possible. It just doesn't seem to be what I was raised to think it was. It might not be the historical record of the Native American Indians.
Answer: The book itself never makes that claim.
I personally believed something similar to the limited geography model LONG before I ever heard that phrase, and I also believed that we have absolutely no idea where it occurred in the
. None whatsoever. (I think the research into the Old World location is compelling, but not the Americas New World research as to any specific location.) I also believed that the "principle ancestors" phrase was wrong at a very early age, and I'm glad it was changed. (I think the Jaredites might be the Principle ancestors, and that they were Asiatic, so I believe the most recent DNA research actually comes close to validating the Book of Mormon [and I believed the Jaredite connection long before I knew of the DNA controversy] - but that is for another discussion.)
So, just because it isn't what members assumed it was doesn't mean it isn't what it actually claims to be.
Honestly, I have never encountered an actual claim within the pages themselves that I believe is demonstrably false. There are numerous assumptions of people on both sides of the validity debate that I think are incorrect, lame, ludicrous and even frightening - but there's no actual claim of the book itself that I have found to be indefensible or preposterous. Over the decades I have been reading it, on the other hand, there are numerous things that have snapped my head back and made me realize I had misunderstood it previously.