The Lincoln Hypothesis
The author states, “As you read, you will, 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 weight it 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.”
DVD - Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth President of the United States during a very dark time in America's history. In this fascinating DVD, author Timothy Ballard explores the crucial role that President Lincoln played to bring this nation closer to heaven. You 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. In addition, The Lincoln Hypothesis Documentary DVD reveals documented evidence that Abraham Lincoln did, in fact, check out the Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress as he struggled with making some of the most critical decisions of his presidency. Did he read it? Did it influence him? Was the Book of Mormon a key factor in Lincoln's success and the healing of a nation?
Unabridged audio book
By Heather, Submitted on 2016-07-18
Amazing references! Wow! Loved the comparison of Joseph Smith with Abraham Lincoln......things, of course, I really did not know.
By Peter, Submitted on 2015-02-25
It wasn't too bad, when taking in mind this was only a thesis. The author takes us along on his journey of discovery, and while there were many interesting parts, most of the evidence was indirect and circumstantial, and thin at best. Even though Lincoln checked out a copy of the Book of Mormon, and it was in his possession for many months, this didn't change his stance on the Mormons from what I know. He just let them be, as he certainly had bigger problems to worry about.
Another thing that bothered me about this thesis, was the lack of information of the LDS community, at the time, regarding their position on slavery and servitude. From my own studies it would appear that (some of) the LDS people at the time considered certain races to be of lesser stature and that they would perhaps be better off in a capacity of servitude. Brigham Young, while addressing the Utah Territorial Legislature on January 5th, 1852, said:
"It has long since ceased to become a query with me, who were the most amenable to the laws of righteousness: those who through the instrumentality of human power brought into servitude human beings, who naturally were their own equals, or those acting upon the principle of nature's law, brought into this position or situation, those who were naturally designed for that purpose, and whose capacities are more befitting that, than any other station in society. Thus, while servitude may and should exist, and that too upon those, who are naturally designed to occupy the position of "servant of servants." Yet we should not fail into the other extreme, and make them as beasts of the field, regarding not the humanity which attaches to the colored race: nor yet elevate them, as some seem disposed, to an equality with those whom Nature and Nature's God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors;"
This, in my opinion, would contradict the theory that while the Latter-Day Saints were safely tucked away in the mountains (Utah), the rest of the country (i.e. all the states, North and South) would have to wage war in order for them to humble themselves, and 'repent' ('National Repentance' is what the author calls it) of the sin of slavery, as it would appear the Latter-Day saints weren't entirely blameless here (despite their own persecution before they headed west) when looking at their own ideas and beliefs about slavery at the time.
This would seem like an important topic that perhaps should have been included in the narrative, as it would paint a more honest picture about the latter-day saints in regard to the question of slavery and emancipation.
Whether or not the Book of Mormon (pretty much the main selling point of the book) actually made a difference in Lincoln's life remains unknown. The book does not provide a definitive answer to that question. All it offers are speculations based on Lincoln't actions and writings afterwards. So who knows.
By Heidi, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Abraham Lincoln has long been a hero of mine that I love to read about, so when I heard about this book I really wanted to read it, especially when I found out the topic. Did Abraham Lincoln read the Book of Mormon? I really wanted to know. The book did not disappoint. In fact, it's one of the most amazing, thought-provoking books that I've ever read. The evidence that Ballard presents is compelling although not definitive. The book is very readable with lots of quotes and stories, many of which I hadn't heard before, despite my extensive reading about Lincoln and the Civil War.
The major focus of the book is on the United States as a covenant nation under God. As such the blessings of righteousness are tremendous, but the consequences of sin are horrible. While there are many sins in our past, Ballard chooses to highlight two: slavery and the horrible mistreatment of the early saints (as well as other minorities). He states his belief that the Civil War was the consequence of the refusal to repent of these sins. But God isn't eager to punish His people if they'll repent, so He sent Joseph Smith to give them a chance to do so. Ballard goes through the prophecies and efforts that Joseph went through, including a run for the presidency, that were intended to lead to national repentance. When those chances were ignored, the Civil War became inevitable.
The scriptures, quotes, and stories that Ballard shares are fascinating. My perspective on Joseph's run for the presidency has shifted significantly. I'd long believed it was mostly to give the saints someone to vote for, but Ballard has convinced me that there was a lot more to it than that.
The stories about Lincoln I found very touching, as the author tracks the changes in belief and action that Lincoln underwent during his time as President. Lincoln really learned to rely on the Lord as he dealt with his very heavy burdens and griefs. Ballard makes his point that Lincoln did in fact read the Book of Mormon and use what he learned very plausible. Of course, there is no way to know for sure, but Ballard really does a good job making his case.
An absolutely fascinating book that I highly recommend you read if you are at all interested in the topic. Beautifully written and well-thought out, I will never look at Joseph Smith, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War the same way again.
By Melanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I'm not a historian but the premise of this book is too compelling to not read. As Mr. Ballard states in his introduction, he presents the evidence he's found and it's up to each person individually to come to their own conclusions. I learned a lot while reading this book. Some stories I had heard but most of them were new to me. It makes sense that something significant had to happen for the church to start experiencing growth and the heavy persecution to end. I like the way he presented his case and there is a lot to digest. I have always loved Abraham Lincoln and, after reading this book, I feel an even deeper love for him and the sacrifices he made for freedom. I'm still processing what I've read so don't have much to say except buy it and read it!!
By Jeremy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
In this treatment of the story behind Lincoln's difficult struggles through his administration and the role that the Book or Mormon may have played is typical of Ballard's other excellent historical books. "The Lincoln Hypothesis" is a much-reduced version of Tim's earlier work published by another publisher under the name: "The American Covenant" Volumes 1 and 2. Those two books comprise over 900 pages of his original research and history. They form the complete library from which Tim selected the content for "Hypothesis." If you have read "The American Covenant" then you have been able to see the full picture as it began from long before the founding of our nation and how its establishment was a direct fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, "through thy seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." That series begins with Abraham and the promises made to his posterity (especially Joseph's) and the special blessings which would be a branch that would flourish "over the wall." His treatment in those two books covers the time period from Columbus though Washington (with a long treatment on Washington and the incredible influence he wielded over our nation's founding (under sacred Covenant) and then goes on to relate the miracles behind the Revolutionary War and its many similarities to the divine protections that were accorded Ancient Israel. The history in Volume #1 goes on to discuss the appearance of the early founders to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Temple. Volume 2 picks up with the divine hand of guidance that directed the formation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then on through the breaking of the Covenant through the sin of Slavery and the persecution of minorities (including LDS) by means of "states rights" run amok (which Joseph Smith called "a stink in the nostrils of the almighty.") Those violations led to the horrors of the Civil War. In that section, Ballard introduces the detail behind the Lincoln years and his likely use of the Book of Mormon for guidance during those darkest days as he sought divine guidance, what better instrument than the pure Word of God from out of the dust of the very land upon which rested the firm and everlasting decrees which were bringing down the curses? The last volume of "The American Covenant" is itself nearly 450 pages long brings the reader up to the present day to discuss the challenges that we are facing as a nation today and what we can do to preserve and protect "the Covenant."
"The American Covenant" Volumes 1 and 2 are also available at Deseret Book and wherever LDS books are sold.
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book brings out things I have never even thought about before...
Connections made to our history that I have never put together before...
"As you read, you will, 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 weight it 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."
Abraham Lincoln was president during a very difficult time not only for our country, but personally too.
He had lost a son...the country had lost thousands during the civil war.
President Lincoln found himself being humbled...
"The Lincoln Hypothesis reveals documented evidence that Abraham Lincoln did, in fact, check out the Book of Mormon as he struggled with making some of the most critical decisions of his presidency. Did he read it? Did it influence him? Was the Book of Mormon a key factor in Lincoln's success and the healing of a nation?"
Interesting facts are brought to light...
Great stories are told...
Patterns are given showing the unfolding of prophecies...
SOME INTRIGUING THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!
YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY THE SAME AGAIN!
THIS BOOK IS DEFINITELY WORTH READING!
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I wasn't sure what to make of this book...I'm still not exactly sure what I make of it? Did Lincoln read the Book of Mormon?? In his book, The Lincoln Hypothesis, author Timothy Ballard takes a look at the evidence that points to the idea that Abraham Lincoln did not only read the Book of Mormon, but that many of his leadership decisions were directly influenced by what he read. Starting with the birth of our nation Ballard examines George Washington and how the country was founded to give us an idea of where nation started. Then using first hand accounts from a prime witness, Lincoln's secretary of state, William Henry Seward, he investigate the leadership decisions that Lincoln makes comparing them with scriptures, stories and heroes from the Book of Mormon itself. He also makes comparisons between Abraham of old and Abraham Lincoln himself demonstrating how he relied heavily on God to assist him in his life. An easy to read, conversational tone makes this book easy to understand and a treat to read. Not only do you learn a lot about our 16th president, you learn a lot of history about the church and what the nation was going through during this pivotal period in time.
Did Lincoln read the Book of Mormon? I suppose we may never know for sure, but after reading through this book it may be easier for you to decide for yourself!
By Mark, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Wow, terrific book with insights into history I have never heard of or considered. I am not a history buff but I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed how the book weaved significant events together with perspective of the gospel. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a good read.
By Crystal, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This beautifully articulated account of Lincoln's journey through the Civil War, and his conversion to the cause of righteousness dives into the life of our beloved President Abraham Lincoln in ways that have as-yet been largely ignored. Ballard has clearly observed worked very closely with the history of this great president. Ballard's book highlights the many similarities between the life of Abraham Lincoln and Prophets of Old. Highlighting his Spiritual journey during his presidency from wanting to leave the slave issue alone during the war, to making the sin of slavery a defining issue of the war. I have always loved Honest Abe, but now I love him even more after reading Ballard's book. A MUST read for Lincoln fans, and US History Buffs alike!
By Marie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Much has been written about Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, but this book 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, 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.
I found this book 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.