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“While some people chose to make claims for the Book of Mormon through archaeological evidences, to me they are made prematurely, and without sufficient knowledge. I do not support the books written on this subject including The Messiah in Ancient America, or any other. I believe that the authors are making cases out of too little evidences and do not adequately address the problems that archaeology and the Book of Mormon present. I would feel terribly embarrassed if anyone sent a copy of any book written on the subject to the National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution, or other authority, making claims that cannot as yet be substantiated…there are very severe problems in this field in trying to make correlations with the scriptures. Speculation, such as practiced so far by Mormon authors has not given church members credibility.”

~Ray T. Matheny/Mormon scholar and BYU professor of anthropology, letter dated 17 December 1987~