Decoding Ancient America: A Guide to the Archaeology of the Book of Mormon by Diane E. Wirth
(Springville, Utah: Horizon/Cedar Fort Inc.), August 2007 (paperback, 119 pp, list $12.99). For a signed copy by author, send a check to Diane Wirth, 1625 S. Agate Circle, St. George, UT 84790, for $10.50. This price includes shipping and handling. It can also be purchased through Seagull Book, LDS bookstores throughout the country, Cedarfort.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com.
Decoding Ancient America by Diane E. Wirth is reader-friendly, has 72 illustrations, and is packed full of new and exciting information that ties the world of pre-Columbian America with the Jaredites and the descendants of Lehi in the Book of Mormon. Diane Wirth explains one festival in particular that is nearly identical in practice for the ancient Maya Indians, the Lehites (under King Benjamin), and Israelites in the Middle East. The eight requirements of this festival are unusual, but fit like hands reaching across the waters from the Old World to the New World. Each festival has been studied independently by scholars, but Diane Wirth has put the two together in an unparalleled way to make the identification a positive force in the field of researching the Book of Mormon.
Some of the chapters in Decoding Ancient America include the following topics: the most probable location of the lands in the Book of Mormon; the Egyptian language and influence it made on the people of the Book of Mormon; parallels between Hebrew and Book of Mormon peoples and the cultures of ancient Mexico and Central America; knowledge of the creation and Genesis-type legends in ancient America; a discussion of the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl and Jesus Christ; and much, much more.
The author closes after ten chapters with an Appendix that sets forth new developments that have been recently discovered in Guatemala that may have a bearing on the descendants of Lehi. These are exciting times in the field of archaeology, religion, and traditions that may be compared with the Book of Mormon. This book is easy to understand for the layman and has some of the latest research and ideas on the subjects discussed, and will clarify many questions the general public may have as well as those affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints