How do you prove something that is entirely spiritual?
I like to read about archaeological finds around the world as they relate to our understanding of scriptures. This pursuit has me looking at finds in both the Americas as well as in the middle-east and Asia. As I have looked at these finds, I can't help but wonder what difference it all makes. A lot of people make a big fuss about the "lack" of archaeological evidence for the lands of the Book of Mormon. I won't go too far down that road, except to point out that there is a great deal of evidence that fit well into the time frame of the Book of Mormon. I might also add that there is little evidence in support of the existence of some Biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, and Enoch. That being said, I often wonder what would happen if someone were to dust off a sign in Central America that said something along the lines of: "Zarahemla: 10 miles", or "Laman was here and Nephi is a jerk." That would be some pretty powerful evidence for the Book of Mormon. Or would it? The Book of Mormon, as a historical volume, could be proved by standard scientific methods, as could the Bible. What can't be proven is that the spiritual accounts found in the pages of these books ever really happened. How can you prove that Nephi saw a vision of the tree of life, or that Paul saw the resurrected Savior? How can one truly know that the chariots of fire seen by Elisha and his servant weren't really flying saucers? There is only one way to prove a spiritual experience, and that is by the Spirit of the Lord. In both the bible and Book of Mormon we are given the way to verify spiritual matters. In James 1:5 we read: 5 aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him. This method of proving spiritual experiences is repeated by Moroni in the Book of Mormon: 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things. That we may find evidences of the validity of the Scriptures is true, but if we have already proved them by the Spirit of the Lord, they simply enhance our understanding of what we already know to be true.