Scientists recently used LiDAR to scan the jungles of Guatemala. Using this technology, “scholars digitally removed the tree canopy from aerial images of the now-unpopulated landscape, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.”
The results are very interesting:
In addition to hundreds of previously unknown structures, the LiDAR images show raised highways connecting urban centers and quarries. Complex irrigation and terracing systems supported intensive agriculture capable of feeding masses of workers who dramatically reshaped the landscape.
The images and results of this exploration are very interesting but of course they are not new to those who study The Book of Mormon. The book teaches of large cities and populations among the “ancient inhabitants of the Americas.”
Testimonies should be based on “the Spirit of truth” because “he will guide you into all truth.” We shouldn’t base our testimony (or lack thereof) on science. Regardless, it’s interesting when science and religion cross an intersection of truth to meet each other.
A true believer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ should always welcome scientific findings.
Henry Eyring, a renowned scientist and the father of Henry B Eyring taught:
“Since the Gospel embraces all truth, there can never be any genuine contradictions between true science and true religion…. I am obliged, as a Latter-day Saint, to believe whatever is true, regardless of the source.”
President Russell M. Nelson, the current President of the LDS church and a renowned heart surgeon, has taught a similar teaching:
“There is no conflict between science and religion..Conflict only arises from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion, or both. … Whether truth comes from a scientific laboratory or by revelation from the Lord, it is compatible.”
Recently, the Mormon Channel released a video about Discovering Truth in a story told by Elder Uchtdorf:
I believe that honest seekers of truth can find it. Often it will take time and effort but it’s a worthwhile process.