Jun 04

The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard

Did Abraham Lincoln read the Book of Mormon?

Timothy Ballard explores the crucial role that President Lincoln played to bring this nation closer to heaven.

The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard.

The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard.

Abraham Lincoln checked out a copy of the Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress during the Civil War. That much is undisputed. But did he read it? Did it influence him as he was struggling to make some of the most critical decisions of his presidency? The evidence may surprise you.

Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth US president during a very dark time in America’s history. Readers will see Lincoln as a man inspired of God who invoked a covenant relationship between America and its maker — not unlike the national covenants invoked by righteous leaders in the Book of Mormon.

Was the Book of Mormon a key factor in Lincoln’s success and the healing of a nation.

My review:

The Lincoln Hypothesis grabs your attention from the very beginning pages and maintains it throughout the book. Ballard weaves little-known LDS Church history and American history together to tell a compelling story.

I knew that Joseph Smith had run for President before he was assassinated. However, I never knew why. Some speculate that it was a departure from his role as Prophet, that it was based on ego, or that he wished to create a theocracy. However, Ballard reveals the real reasons behind the run for the Presidency. Joseph Smith had two main goals: to eliminate slavery and to eliminate religious persecution.

Joseph Smith was killed before he had an opportunity to achieve those goals. However, Abraham Lincoln stepped in to accomplish them instead. As a deeply religious man, Lincoln chose the will of God over political expediency. He healed our country and created an environment where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could grow.

But was he influenced by the Book of Mormon? The author states, “As you read, like a prosecutor reviewing a case, or like a jury determining a verdict, identify valuable pieces of evidence that can be fully substantiated. You will also identify pieces of evidence that cannot. I ask you to consider all the evidence and weigh it all accordingly. Through this study, many questions regarding the interplay between the restored gospel and the Civil War will be answered. New questions may emerge that will not be so easily answered. Either way, in the end you will find yourself on a most exhilarating investigative journey.”

Ballard concedes that perhaps the only real connection between Smith and Lincoln is that both men were guided by God and given the same heavenly solutions to America’s challenges. Regardless of whether Lincoln was directly influenced by the Book of Mormon or came to those conclusions on his own, it is a remarkable testimony that God cares about His children and is watching over this nation.

I recommend this fascinating read to anyone who is interested in LDS and American history.

About the Author:

Timothy Ballard graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University in Spanish and political science. He then went on to receive an Ma (summa cum laude) in international politics from Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as well as an agent for the Department of Homeland Security. He is also the author of The American Covenant: One Nation under God. He lives in Southern California with his wife and six children.

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