Book Review: The Pilgrim Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Not too often do I find a nonfictional history account that checks almost all the boxes that I find intriguing in a history book, namely: theories, first-hand accounts, personal stories of the present along with stories of the past, and accounts that tie into Christian history (a subject I enjoy studying as well). However, this one happens to do so.

Summary

In this book Ballard relates the connections between the Book of Mormon and the European pilgrims that voyaged across the sea to America. In this hypothesis, through the symbolism, accounts, and personal testimony and travel experiences of the author, we learn about how the events that led up from the Great Apostasy down to the arrival of the pilgrims set the stage for the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in America.

Author

from C-SPAN.org

Tim Ballard had written a lot of books concerning American History that have a focused perspective regarding doctrine found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An ex-government agent, he left his lofty government job to pursue a life of service as the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that coordinates operations to save children from human trafficking. In addition to this account, he has written two other books that focus on his “hypotheses” concerning American History, The Washington Hypothesis and The Lincoln Hypothesis.

Strengths

  • Knowledge of colonial history: specifically how it ties to the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in America.
  • Specific accounts of the founding fathers, who have ties to the church, like John Adams’ grandson obtaining a copy of the Book of Mormon and showcasing it in the library on the Adams’ estate.
  • Ballard mentions in the introduction that the hypothesis is biased.
  • Inclusion of symbolism, mainly concerning the unique hypothesis that England housed the “covenant people” descended from the biblical Isaac.
  • The fact that he narrated his own audiobook.

Weaknesses

  • Not very organized thought-process. Sometimes it seemed like he went from one point to another and then back again.
  • Sparse stories from or about colonial settlers. More accounts would have been neat to read about. It seemed like he breezed through them a bit.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed learning about different connections between history and scripture that Ballard lighted upon in this book. After reading it, I realize there are a lot of places I need to still visit and pay attention to concerning the symbolism and history mentioned in this book. Well done, Tim!

Published by Ashley Weaver

I am a writer, reader, student, and teacher of literature and the English language.

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