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There is no mention in the entire Book of Mormon that Lehi’s travelers encountered any human beings… 

“And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land. And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance. And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.”

1 Nephi 18:23-25, Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, September 2008), 43. 

Wouldn’t this be a perfect place to acknowledge there were people present when they landed? Why would it be more important to mention the ores and the animals as opposed to humans populating the land?

There is an abundance of evidence to prove the Americas were populated with the Maya Civilization (and others) during this pre-classic period. It is not possible that a group of people could have landed on these coasts and have not been aware of these great cultures.

Yet, the Book of Mormon seems to claim the hemisphere was empty at the time of Lehi’s arrival.