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  • Historical documents from early conquerors include several references to "silk."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.