Critics who claim that references to "silk" in the Book of Mormon are anachronisms ignore important contradictory evidences.

  • Linen and silk are textiles mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Alma 4:6). Traditional silk as harvested from the mulberry silkworm does not seem to have been present in ancient Americas.  However, wild silk, which is produced by caterpillars of other species like the Gloveria paidii, a moth, and the Eucheira socialis, a butterfly, have been found in the Oaxaca area of Mexico.
  • Historical documents from early conquerors include several references to "silk." One type was of thread spun from the fine hair on the bellies of rabbits.
  • Franciscan missionary Padre Motolinia reported the presence of a wild silkworm. Other reports indicate that wild silk was spun and woven in certain areas of Mesoamerica. Another type came from the pod of the ceiba tree.
  • An 1777 document, an excavation of a pre-Columbian burial site is described as containing wild silk.
  • Bernal Diaz, who served with Cortez, described that the native Mexican garments were made of "henequen which is like linen." The fiber of the maguey plant, from which henequen was manufactured, closely resembles the flax fiber used to make European linen.
  • Linens and silks in the Book of Mormon, whatever their actual composition, would not have endured well over the centuries. Hence, it is impossible to prove they did not exist. The process becomes more difficult if the translation of languages is involved because it may be impossible to accurately identify the thing reportedly absent.

Additional Resources:

pt 15, silk and archaeology in The Book of Mormon

Possible “Silk” and “Linen” in the Book of Mormon byJohn L. Sorenson

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 1: Fauna (Animals) (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 2: Flora (Plants) and Textiles (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 3: Warfare (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 4: Metals and Metallurgy (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 5: Christianity in the pre-Christian Book of Mormon (PFD) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 6: Compass, Coins, and Other Miscellaneous (PDF) by Michael Ash

Horses in the Book of Mormon by Michael Ash

Steel in the Book of Mormon by William Hamblin

Armor in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin

Metals of the Book of Mormon –  by Wm. Revell Phillips

Out of the Dust: Steel in Early Metallurgy –  by John L. Sorenson

Possible “Silk” and “Linen” in the Book of Mormon byJohn L. Sorenson

Prophets, Kings, and Swords: The Sword of Laban and Its Possible Pre-Laban Origin –  by Daniel N. Rolph

Swords and “Cimeters” in the Book of Mormon –  byMatthew Roper

Swords in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin, A. Brent Merrill

The Bow and Arrow in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin

A Scientist Looks at Book of Mormon Anachronisms,Neal Rappleye

Right on Target: Boomerang Hits and the Book of Mormon (2001 FAIR Conference) by Matthew Roper

Science and the Book of Mormon (2009 FAIR Conference) by Wade E. Miller

A Real People, Time, and Place: Contextualizing the Book of Mormon (2000 FAIR Conference) by Brant Gardner

A Social History of the Early Nephites (2001 FAIR Conference) by Brant Gardner

FAIR Issues 42: Dismissing Book of Mormon Geography Inaccuracies, Michael R. Ash, 0:07:22

FAIR Issues 55: Do Nephite Names find a “Home” in Middle East, Michael R. Ash, 0:07:54

Faith and Reason 11: Book of Mormon Politics Unlike Joseph Smith’s, Michael R. Ash, 0:08:52

Faith and Reason 19: Deseret and Bees, Michael R. Ash, 0:05:09

Faith and Reason 20: “Without a Cause”, Michael R. Ash, 0:04:35

Mormon FAIR-Cast 109: Response to criticisms of the Book of Mormon, Martin Tanner, 0:19:50

Ammon and the Mesoamerican Custom of Smiting off Arms

Barley and Wheat in the Ancient New World

Battles and The Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon 2 Why Anachronisms

Book of Mormon 3 Pre Columbian Horses

Book of Mormon 4 Elephants in America

Book of Mormon 7 Brass Iron and Steel

Book of Mormon 8 Gold Plates

Book of Mormon 9 No Pre Columbian Wheels

Cattle and The Book of Mormon

Coins and The Book of Mormon

Don’t Experts Say There is No Evidence of Silk or Linen in Ancient America

Glass and The Book of Mormon

Horses, chariots, and elephants in the Book of Mormon

Iron Ore – Book of Mormon Evidence

Linens and The Book of Mormon

Metal and Metallurgy – The Mines of Timna – Book of Mormon Evidence

Metals and Golden Plates in Mesoamerica, Daniel Johnsons 2010 BMAF lecture

Metals and The Book of Mormon

New Evidence for Pre-Columbian Horses

pt 2 Coins, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 3, Metals (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 4 Grains, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 5 Horses, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

Silk and The Book of Mormon

Swine and The Book of Mormon

Swords in The Book of Mormon

Wheat and Barley in The Book of Mormon