Sunday, October 26, 2014
Much has been written about Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, but The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard is an account unlike any other.
It is not a biography, it is not a political history, and it is not a religious history.
It falls somewhere in between all three.
Timothy Ballard, the author, calls this book in his preface an “investigative journey—an exploration.” While there are certainly many historical facts in this book, and much historical context, it also explores Mr. Ballard’s “unsubstantiated, yet compelling ideas that [he believes] are also worthy of serious consideration.”
I believe reading the preface and introduction are really essential to understanding the book and the theories he presents. In short summary, the book jacket offers this: “A modern-day abolitionist investigates the possible connection between Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and Abraham Lincoln.”
Mr. Ballard researches and gathers evidence throughout the book to support his hypothesis that Abraham Lincoln may have read the Book of Mormon and that his understanding of it may have influenced the decisions he made during his presidency—and during the Civil War.
Once I got used to the writing style, I did find the subject matter interesting and learned quite a bit about Lincoln and his presidency that I did not know before. I have read many books about Lincoln and the Civil War over the years and I have never failed to be impressed by the enormity of the trials he faced, the decisions he made and the way in which he conducted his life.
Did Lincoln read the Book of Mormon? We’ll probably never know for sure—at least not in this life. But it would not surprise me. More importantly, the evidence presented in this book at least for me overwhelmingly points to a man of great faith who had a sincere desire to do what he felt was right before God. Now it’s up to you to read it and see what conclusions you draw from the evidence.