OGDEN -- An Ogden resident has published a historical novel based on the possibility of finding archaeological proof of the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Paul Rimmasch, a graduate of Weber State University, has published "The Lost Stones: Chasing Down This Treasure Could Cost Everything" (Bonneville Books of Cedar Fort Inc., $13.99).
It's the story of a BYU student and a veteran of two deployments to Iraq who search for both an alternative energy source and archaeological finds kept from mainstream science.
"BYU student and Iraq war veteran Ammon Rogers and the enigmatic adventurer John Byrd are searching for the glowing stones that helped the brother of Jared cross the ocean on his way to the promised land -- but for very different reasons," states the book's back cover.
"Ammon wants to study the stones, hoping to derive a new energy source and save the earth. John wants to prove to the world, once and for all, that the Book of Mormon is true."
Also part of the adventure is John's daughter as they race across North America following clues that lead them closer and closer to the lost stones.
The three are followed by a sinister man as they learn the relationship between truth and faith.
The book also addresses modern-day concerns for alternative sources of energy and the worries some people have about the war in Iraq being based on oil reserves.
Another theme is an effort on the part of scientists to keep secret the findings that back claims made in the Book of Mormon about ancient people coming to North America before the Bering Strait was formed.
The book is loosely based on an article in the April 5, 1909, issue of the Phoenix Gazette that reported an archaeological discovery in the Grand Canyon. "The article described how a group of scientists from the Smithsonian Institution examined the site and found artifacts that challenged conventional notions of the pre-Columbian colonization of the New World," states the book, which includes a printing of the article in the appendix.
"If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistorical peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved," according to the article.
But Rimmasch states in the book that, to this day, the Smithsonian officially denies the find ever took place.
Rimmasch explains in the introduction that the book is the result of several years of research as he has remained fascinated by the prospect of archaeological evidence that the people of the Book of Mormon existed.
He states that he has discovered a large community of researchers who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have argued in the face of mainstream academics and the traditional view of New World colonization.
"Berry Fell, Henriette Mertz, Thor Heyerdahl and others have brought to light amazing discoveries showing that numerous groups of ancient peoples reached the New World by boat like Lehi and his family did," he writes.
He also chronicles the career of Virginia Steen-
McIntyre, a doctor of geology from the University of Idaho who was an accomplished tephrochronologist and anthropologist.
"(Steen-McIntyre) had no hidden agenda, religious or otherwise, and was simply using established and trusted archaeological and geological techniques to follow where the evidence took her," he writes.
Rimmasch states that Steen-McIntyre's research showed human habitation of Mexico tens of thousands of years before the accepted Bering Strait theory claims they should have been there.
Information about the book is available at loststonesbook.com. The novel is available where LDS books are sold.