48 Comments

Book of Mormon Geography

About 7 years ago, I was introduced to the idea that the Book of Mormon lands didn’t take place in Central America, but rather South America. Lately, I’ve been studying the issue again, and came across a theory that the Book of Mormon didn’t take place in the Americas at all, but rather in Malaysia (known as the Malay Peninsula.) Has anyone heard or studied this hypothesis?

So, I decided to learn more about the different ideas of BOM geography. James Sorensen has a book published in 1991 where he gives a short synopsis of the various (approximately 80) theories. Many are similar, and here are the major categories of theories.

(1) Internal Theories. These are maps which just read the BOM and ignore where they might have occurred, but try to figure out rough distances, and major landmarks that the true map must exhibit. This is a good starting point for “real-world” maps to compare themselves to.

(2) Hemispheric Models. Mormons originally thought that the Book of Mormon peoples covered the entire North and South America. Most serious scholars now doubt this, but many church members probably still believe this today.

(3) Central America Models. Most scholars support this general theory. While there are disagreements about where the “narrow neck of land” exists, such as Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, etc, these theories can be lumped into this category.

(4) South America Models. Joseph Smith is reported to have said that Lehi landed 30 degrees South of the equator, in what would be modern day Chile. There are several theories that try to confirm this, and most people who support this theory believe that most of South America was under water, and that the continent rose up during the major earthquakes mentioned in the BOM during Christ’s crucifixion in the Old World.

(5) The Great Lakes Theory. This proposes that since the golden plates were found in NY, the BOM lands must be nearby, and proposes that the Great Lakes were the Sea East, West, etc.

(6) The Malay Theory. This theory says it would have been much easier for Nephi to travel a 4000 mile journey to the Malay Peninsula than a 16000 mile journey in open seas to the americas. The author notes better language similarities, better DNA evidence, and other evidences to support his ideas, while clearly noting that he is not sure how the plates got to NY.

I’m not trying to promote one theory above another, although some seem more plausible than others, and was wondering what people think of these alternate theories. I know the Central American theory is the most accepted theory, but it does seem to have some flaws that are worth noting. Does anyone have any information pro or con on these other theories? I’m curious what people think, and if anyone has anything to say about this.

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48 comments on “Book of Mormon Geography

  1. Thanks for the link. Is this a real “scientific theory”. Do they map it out? Are there books? I’m no expert on Africa, but I have a hard time visualizing a narrow neck of land, and other major landmarks, so I have a tough time with this one.

    Incidentally, there’s no snow mentioned in the Book of Mormon, so the NY theory is a tough one for me as well.

  2. Scientific? No. But none of the other theories really qualify as scientific either.

    Melekin did write a book, but you will probably want to spare yourself the effort. Here’s what FARMS had to say about it.

    http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=383

  3. I understand that the Central American Theory has the most scholars behind it, but does anyone think the other theories have an merit? Here’s my analysis of alternative theories.

    (1) Internal–like them all–I learn toward Sorensen as the best model.

    (2) Hemisphere – probably not–Science seems to discount these.

    (3) C.A. – best researched, but doesn’t explain everything

    (4) S.A. – pros – fills in some of the gaps of CA, like metals, climate.

    cons – (A) not much archaeological data to support yet, (B) debatable theory about South America rising from underwater. Charles Darwin did mention seeing seashells in mountains, so this is not completely un-scientific, but I agree that most of the scientific community does not generally support the “rising up” theory. However, as I understand the rain forests are often below sea level, so (to me) it is not out of the realm of possibility.

    (5) NY/Great Lakes — probably not. No snow mentioned and I think the Seas are not Lakes.

    (6) Malay – this one intrigues me. pros – (A) Author notes it is more likely to comply with DNA evidence. (B) There are more semitic language similarities. (C) Thailand means “Land of Freedom”, which might be the “Land of Liberty” in 2 Nephi. (D) It would have been easier journey to go 4000 miles to Malay, than 16000 miles in open water to Americas. (E) Many animals an metals are native to area.

    cons – (A) Moroni said BOM about the inhabitants of this continent–Malay doesn’t seem to adequately explain this, though the author has a theory as to how plate got to Americas. (B) I don’t know how well this theory has been adequately critiqued–I haven’t found any FARMS stuff on it yet. (C) it flies in the face of conventional wisdom–not necessarily a bad thing, but it will be hard to get more people on board with the theory.

    (7) Africa – new to me, doesn’t seem logical, or well researched, so probably not a possibility.

    Does anyone else have a critique of any of these theories?

  4. Sorenson proposes that the Nephites were Mayans, and the Jaredites were Olmecs. I found a new link where George Potter believes Nephi may have been an Inca. Check it out here. (It is a MS Word doc.)

    http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014x_Fy0aNL4lw8c_MRQta5nBcPh8_o_ywyCcDewK3dO6YTvpitXmbnNzpQ-uB7XFisN3L2HR6Dr0nhTXmBeOU-aJ03xGEXH0R–LfyPl1-oz3oXR9iCG51j7yck5G5S67TrErR-8DFsuBLLaoL3UKxEF_u11ouVmETGDfD5TPY1YFHnor4124Xg==

  5. Here is a web site that fits all of the requirements, including “The Land of Promise” requirement.

    http://www.bookofmormongeography.info

    “Doesn’t mention snow.”

    Well it doesn’t mention oxygen either, but I am sure they were breathing it. 🙂

  6. BOMC, thanks for the link. I’m always interested in the different theories, and frankly I have not studies the NY theory very much, so you link is very much appreciated.

    I do have some questions. “Doesn’t mention snow” should not be so easily dismissed. Proponents of the other major theories all make climate comparisons. Nephi brought seeds with him, and the seeds grew. The Mediterranean area is MUCH more temperate than NY, and NY does not seem to be the same climate.

    The BOM does mention storms, famines, & droughts in weather. Having lived in the Northeast US myself, I know that there can be some nasty blizzards up there, and I have a hard time believing that droughts would be mentioned and blizzards would not in 1000 years of the BOM.

    As for other issues, I am not aware of any Native American languages resembling Semitic languages, let alone in the NY area. Perhaps I am wrong. Could you update me on this?

    One of Sorensen’s strengths is that he correlates Olmecs with Jaredites, and Maya with Lamanites. Who are the corresponding groups in the NY theory?

    I don’t want to sound like I accept everything Sorensen says, but he does seem to have the most science behind some of his theories, and I think any serious student should be familiar with his methods. Most of the theories believe in some sort of peninsula. Now this doesn’t prove them right or wrong, but I would think there would need to be some pretty compelling reasons to discard this feature. Interpreting Lakes as Seas seems to be a pretty big stretch to me, but I’m open to have my mind changed by convincing evidence or arguments.

    Now I haven’t had time to read through everything yet, and perhaps I am wrong in my assumptions, so I’ll continue to read up on it, but I appreciate any comments on any of these theories.

  7. Let me see if I understand this correctly, even though the ENTIRE geography of The Book of Mormon fits Western New York, it should be discounted because the word snow is not mentioned?

    What about hail (Mosiah 2:6), or thick garments (Alma 49:6). As I said, a lot of things are not mentioned. We should not assume they did not exist to the point of ignoring certain geographies, while embracing others that don’t fit for not fluctuating reasons.

    Seasons change, climates change, if our current condition doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what will except Creationists do have PLENTY of research to back up sudden and repeated climate changes.

    You forgot to mention volcanoes. They are not in NY either, but they aren’t mentioned in The Book of Mormon, only inferred to be there.

    Instead of going point by point on things having NO bearing on geography whatsoever, I suggest you review our site for that first. Then we can discuss the others.

    If you can match the geography of The Book of Mormon, no amount of ancillary evidence will negate it.

    “Interpreting Lakes as Seas seems to be a pretty big stretch to me”

    Well, then you are not taking things at EYE LEVEL. The “Sea” of Galilee is hardly a sea for example. It is not salt water, in fact, it is smaller than the bodies of water we suggest in Western New York and yet it is still called a “sea.”

    Please, identify the internal geography first, then find where it matches second. The reason we found it was because we respected what the angel said – “It is about the people of THIS LAND.” Such a silly thing to overlook we know.

    For those not willing to read our site, may we point out some other facts overlooked by ALL geographers.

    1. There were two Rivers Sidon, or one river with two branches.

    2. The Hill Ramah is NOT the Hill Cumorah.

    3. Both battles did not occur around Cumorah.

    4. The lands of Nephi (not first inheritance) and Zarahemla are not north and south of each other, but east and west of each other.

    5. The City of Bountiful is NOT on the east, it is on the west.

    6. The Narrow Passage runs north and south, not east and west.

    7. The Narrow Passage is on the west, not on the east.

    8. North means north.

    9. Your map MUST show FOUR SEAS surrounding the Land Northward – FOUR. Not one with two areas – FOUR.

    10. You must identify the two biggest cities – Zarahemla and Bountiful, and there must be archaeological evidence to back it up.

    Now, this is all born out on our web site, with maps, GROUND level pictures, etc.

    Have we made it past hurdle one – Correct Understanding of the Internal Geography? Yes.

    And did we match that geography with a location in Western New York as the angel said? Yes, we made it past hurdle number two as well.

    There are many other hurdles, such as “The Promised Land” and the Gentiles buying it from the Lamanites.

    And most of all, we identify the exact location where our Lord first descended from heaven in a cloud of glory, and we encourage everyone to get there so they can receive a witness for themselves. If you ever felt the glory of God in Jerusalem at the Garden Tomb, we assure you, you will also feel it here.

    The sooner we all agree on the geography, the sooner our critics will have less to attack The Book of Mormon with.

    Thanks for reading.

  8. On your web page when you are mentioning the merits of the various theories you only mentioned a couple of Ralph’s 180 advantages of the Mala Hypothesis over the Meso Hypothesis! For instance, animals in general are mentioned as one of the 180 items and ALL animals mentioned in the BofM can be explained– & are indigeneous to Malay. Why only mention the easier journey (not only easier– it would be impossible to build a barge at the south end of Arabia and get it to hold together & have enough food etc to make it to America), language, better DNA evidence–better than better. DNA works for MALA and doesn’t at all for MESO.
    They have looked and looked and haven’t found ANY Egyptian or Hebrew writing in CentralAmerica.

    The Karen group in southern Burma has an inscription plate with some Hebrew lettering on it and a lot of other things about those people (Nibley has written much about them) –Bible, Moses, and other Mideast beliefs… Nibley thought there was a link between them & the mideast.

    It is quite interesting that still today the peninsula is divideded in half. The north/east is Thailand which means “Land of the Free” and it has never been ruled by any European power (ie UK) never had dictator, never be conquered, etc, like was promised for the Land of Promise in the BofM… A problem with Meso is that they think the land of Liberty is the United States but Meso is in Central America Not the United States.

    Also on your web page you mention animals & metal… ALL are indigenous to Mala and NONE are indigenous to Meso… Even the cureloms & cumons (which are more useful than elephants) could be water buffalo or guar or other work animals/bovines around in Mala and NO useful work animals existed in Mesoamerica… they were still using human power when the Spaniards came.

    Mala DOES explain Moroni’s statement –WAY bETTER than Meso!

    The people from Polyenesia came from Southeast Asia and went east… not visa versa like we have been taught. Hawaii was one of the Last places settled, not the first. This works perfectly with Mala. The Hawaiians (read about Hawaii being settled… the story of the first to arrive there) were lucky when they traveled the 2000 miles and almost died from lack of food & water, they barely made it. So anyone who thinks anyone could have made it 16,000 miles —it’s impossible! The Polynesians were some of the best natural navigators of all time. Some landlubbers from Jerusalem couldn’t have done it.

  9. BOMC,

    It looks like I struck a nerve–sorry, I’m not looking to pick a fight, but I am all for discussing both strengths and weaknesses of the different theories. That is an interesting point about the Sea of Galilee–I had not considered that. I’ll concede a “gotcha” on that one.

    I do want to take issue with a few things. Every scholar thinks their theory is the best, and that their “ENTIRE geography of The Book of Mormon fits [fill in the theory]”.

    As I mentioned at the beginning, I am interested in comparing the different theories to see which one fits the best. From Voni, we see someone who has a different take on geography, and I’m happy to discuss the merits and deficiencies of these theories.

    I don’t know if you have read the book by Sorensen titled, “The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book.” It lists 12 internal models, 13 Hemispheric Models, 39 Central American Models, 5 South American Models, 2 NY models, and 1 North American models. Now since the book was published in 1992, I have learned of a Malay Model, and and African Model. I do not know if your theory is closer to Holley’s 1983 NY Theory, Curtis 1988 NY Theory, or if you are a newer Theory. Could you clarify, and have you compared your theory with either Curtis or Holley? If so, what are the major differences?

    As I mentioned before I haven’t perused your website as deeply as I would like. Do you have a book? It seems to be that websites aren’t always easy to navigate, and a book can be very helpful, especially when I don’t have internet access. I would be happy to send you my home address via email. Just send me an email at mormon heretic at gmail dot com.

    Anyway, Voni, as I understand the Malay Theory, you believe that Moroni possibly left for Madagascar, and then around the Cape of Africa to the NY area. Is it possible that your theory could link in with BOMC’s NY theory? As I understand it, you both are proposing an Atlantic crossing for either Nephi, or his descendants.

    As I understand it, most of the other theories are selecting a Pacific route, with disagreements about landing in Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, etc. I’m just wondering if some of these theories might appear divergent, but upon closer examination, perhaps they might be able to team up to explain some similarities. Is it possible that the Malay and NY theories might be able to “team up” on areas of agreement?

    BOMC, I’m not going to argue the snow thing for now; I need to read up on your theory so I can be better versed in it. However, I did leave some questions that I don’t think you answered. Specifically,

    I am not aware of any Native American languages resembling Semitic languages, let alone in the NY area. Perhaps I am wrong. Could you update me on this?

    One of Sorensen’s strengths is that he correlates Olmecs with Jaredites, and Maya with Lamanites. Who are the corresponding groups in the NY theory?

    One final question for BOMC. With the latest DNA evidence, it seems to hurt all of the “American” theories, be they NY, Central America, or South America. The Malay Theory seems to be mostly immune to the DNA argument. How do you respond to DNA evidence as it relates to the NY theory?

  10. “Every scholar thinks their theory is the best, and that their ‘ENTIRE geography of The Book of Mormon fits [fill in the theory]’.”

    But wouldn’t it be wrong of us not to say so if it was?

    I want to thank you for admitting you were wrong regarding lakes and seas. You are the first person to give a concession – pathetic I know, but that is how insecure these theorists are. They are heavily invested in their church, their professors, and their theories, that truth has taken a back seat.

    On our site at http://www.bookofmormongeography.info we spell out the Errors others have made, they are:

    1. The angel said to Joseph Smith:

    “On them is contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land. (Joseph’s account as reiterated by Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps in Messenger & Advocate, October 1835, 2:195-198)”

    We respect what the angel said, no one else does.

    2. The Promised Land Boundaries

    We identify that the government of the United States of America is fulfilling BoM prophecies of a “New Jerusalem” to be built upon BoM lands.

    You cannot look at Malay, Canada, S. America, Mexico, Mesoamerica, Israel, etc. That is why we say, those who have the theology of the record wrong, will never get the geography right.

    God does not want the Mormon Church to receive credit, i.e. support for proving the BoM is right, because He does not want their doctrine to be confirmed or supported in any way. Thus, He turned them over to silly theories, and as you point out by Sorenson, those are just a few, all of which represents the wide darkness that has prevailed.

    We on the other hand represent the body of Christ. We respect The Book of Mormon, but not the teachings of the Mormon Church. All this information is born out on our http://www.jsfellowship.com web site.

    Joseph was never called to start a church, in fact, Jesus told Joseph that his church was already on earth.

    Joseph was to perform a “reformation” not a restoration, a word he later removed from that revelation.

    In all, the power of The Book of Mormon became disguised as “priesthood.” But I digress. The point is, we respect the Promised Land, other theories do not.

    Now, even before they try and consider a geographical model – it must be in Western New York – where the record was buried.

    Next, they must find the piece of land that the Gentiles purchased from the Native Americans. That is a requirement to fulfill prophecy. We prove that as well with the Holland Land Purchase – nobody else does.

    The geographical boundaries we have, with the correct distances described – nobody else does. As we point out, the core BoM area described is SMALL, only 75 miles x125 miles.

    Everyone espousing the Western New York area so far have including area BEYOND that size. For example, both Curtis and Ashton go into Canada – that never happened, except perhaps by Hagoth. Curtis is a good example of a person confusing bursts of logical thought patterns with the Holy Spirit. His theories, conclusions, and arrogant statements are laughable.

    These people (LDS) are embarrassing themselves by filtering their models by what Joseph said. Joseph made mistakes, and if you follow him to the exclusion of scripture, either for salvation or BoM geography, you will be very sorry.

    We defend The Book of Mormon, and Joseph’s work as far as bringing it forth. We used it alone to find the geography, and it wasn’t hard at all. And who should received the credit for The Book now? The body of Christ.

    Now, to answer your other questions, we do have a book and dvd in the works, but don’t hold your breath. Go to the web site when you get the chance. I have posted a lot of info here, which I don’t normally do, so you already have a leg up.

    The work of Wayne May which shows a match between the Jaredites and Nephites with the Hopewell and Adena’s is an easy substitute for the Maya and Olmecs.

    You will find that the numbers mentioned during BoM wars do not reflect the numbers who lived on those lands. Most of the influx came from the Ohio and Mississippi areas, where we know there were very large populations.

    For Mormons to comprehend this, The Book of Mormon was like the Deseret News, not USA TODAY.

    Have artifacts with Semitic languages been found in those areas? Yes they have. There is a great deal the populace does not know, but May’s magazine Ancient America has done a favorable job over the last 13 years to share it.

    And DNA, well it is a wonder anyone is bothering with that anymore, since European markers were found in the Great Lakes area years ago. Since LDS scholars were vested in support for Mesoamerica, they ignored it.

    See the new work by Rodney Meldrum at http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org for support of this.

    In the days to come, it will become clear how abused, and how darkened people have been to The Book of Mormon. And as I said in my last post, the most important part of our geography is the place where our Lord first appeared in glory, descending out of heaven there in Western New York.

    Again, thank you for reading, and for having an open mind so far.

  11. BOMC,

    If you want people to respect your ideas, please refrain from statements such as,

    “turned them over to silly theories”,

    “His theories, conclusions, and arrogant statements are laughable”,

    “These people (LDS) are embarrassing themselves”

    These types of insults generally turn people off from listening to you. If you want people to believe your theories, you need to show more respect for theirs. (Isn’t that the Golden Rule?) Your own arrogance closes minds, when you need to keep them open if you want others to give your theory a chance.

    Don’t you see that you are “heavily invested in [your] church, [your] professors, and [your] theories” just as much as others? You are blind if you don’t see this.

    I am quite surprised how much you disparage Curtis. I would think you would prefer to build and clarify, rather than tear down someone who could be an ally. Have you studied Holley?

    Have you spoken with Simon Southerton regarding DNA? If the European DNA has been found in the Great Lakes area, that does not help you–you need Mediterranean DNA. Nephi came from Jerusalem, not Europe. Let me say that DNA hurts all of the “american” theories, so that is a strike against you, Sorensen, Kocherhans, and any others who think the landing was anywhere in North or South America. I am not saying it disproves any of these theories, but it is certainly not helpful information.

    Does May have an online magazine? I’ve not heard of him.

  12. BOMC
    1. but where is this land the angel speaks of?
    2. where does an angel say anything about the united states?
    3. where does it say that Christ said his church was already on the earth?
    4. Joseph Smith was a man… everything out of his mouth was not from (angel or God or whatever you believe). Yes, if you follow all he said exactly you may not have the whole picture correct
    5 how do you know of the ohio & mississippi populations?
    6. who is wayne may & where can i read more?
    7. darkened?
    8. why would WHERE our Lord appeared have anything to do with the location of lamanites? i think he appeared there because that is where a guy was praying to find out what was right. . .

  13. what sorts of evidence allows him to compare to olmecs or aztecs or ??? why do you think it hppened in malasia?

  14. To Mormon Heretic,

    I will justify what I said about Curtis:

    Page 12 “THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that the locations presented here are the true sites of the land where the Nephites — or the believers in Christ — whose record we have, the Book of Mormon, lived.”

    Later, he cites the Holy Spirit in support of his theory. He is very sure of himself, both in logic and in Spirit. If his theory lined up, I would say more power to him. But they do not. His assuredness becomes arrogance.

    The first thing to notice is that he puts The Book of Mormon geography IN CANADA. He is not respecting the boundaries of The Promised Land. This is what goes with the Land of Promise:

    a. Choice above all other lands.
    b. No kings upon the land.
    c. Jesus Christ is their king.
    d. New Jerusalem to be built there.
    e. The record would come forth there.

    When we consider which country the Gentiles were fleeing from, it is a HUGE contradiction to claim Canada as their place of refuge controlled by the same government they fled from.

    Page 251 “Moroni went to Mesoamerica to get more plates.”

    This is plain silly. To spend all that time writing a book defending a North American model, only to betray it when it comes to Moroni needed more plates to write on.

    Page 255 “The important thing to remember is that THERE IS A VAULT IN THE HILL CUMORAH. One day it will OPEN TO THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, and all the world will know without a doubt where Lehi, Mulek, and Jared landed and where the Nephites lived. When that day comes, THIS WORK WILL BE A PROVEN FACT.”

    Once again, he is very sure of himself, and the references he cites regarding an alleged vault are speculation and have no basis in scripture. In fact, The Book of Mormon says that GENTILES will find other records NOT the First Presidency, and not from the Hill Cumorah. You can speculate, but to state it as a fact is a stretch.

    Page 258 “In the year A.D. 400, Moroni needed three things. First, he needed to get away from the smell of the millions of dead around him, and as the wind comes from the west, he would set out to the west; this would also take care of his second need, to get away from those who would kill him. His third need was to procure more gold plates. Perhaps he could find them in the southwest. In Mesoamerica, there was a people living in peace and harmony; they had many sacred records on gold plates. He could get more plates and be able to complete the record.”

    If that line of thinking speaks to you, then you should be glad you have a friend. 

    P. 260 ” Lehi and Jared were promised a land of promise, a land choice above all other lands. That land is the United States of America.”

    Here he admits our premise above, but his whole book betrays it and is a HUGE CONTRADICTION! His entire map betrays what he just said.

    The Jaredites ONLY lived in the Land Northward, which for him is Canada. He also places Zarahemla in Canada as well.

    Epilogue: “The work of these many scholars has not been in vain. The many publications have proven beyond doubt that the people of Central and South America were of the SAME ORIGIN AS THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.”

    What? I don’t get it AGAIN.

    p. 264 “As I was pondering those statements from the Ensign, into my mind came some passages from Ether. ‘The Jaredites started fighting on the narrow neck of land; they fought eastward to the seashore, then south to Cumorah.’ With the above passages came the thought, ‘Reverse those directions and see what you find.’ I got a map of the state of New York; north of Cumorah was Lake Ontario, and west along the lake shore was a narrow neck of land. What A WONDERFUL FEELING FILLED MY BREAST. (Adrenaline, not the Holy Spirit.) There is a narrow neck of land, right where the book of Ether suggested it should be.”

    Here, he is confusing logical thought patterns with the Holy Ghost. Obviously he relied on that through the duration of his research and writing, which he never should have done. An error in judging the Holy Spirit.

    I stand by my original statement regarding Curtis.

    Continuing with Heretic: “Don’t you see that you are “heavily invested in [your] church, [your] professors, and [your] theories” just as much as others?”

    I am not filtering the contents of The Book of Mormon for doctrine or geography, therefore I am not invested. LDS and others use statements by current or past professors, church leaders and Joseph Smith to arrive at their conclusions. That is a filter, a framework they trust in, which I see as an investment. Can’t you see that?

    Go to any of our web sites and you will see across the board, our allegiance is to the word of God and not a church or its pillars.

    Regarding DNA, yes the proof specific to Israel – the Druze to the American Indians – the Ojibwa tribe HAS BEEN PROVEN!

    See these reports:

    http://class.csueastbay.edu/anthropologymuseum/2006IA/DNA_PDFS/mtDNA/Eshleman2003.pdf

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1810519#supplementary-material-sec

    Since by your logic no dna disproved The Book of Mormon, now we have it, you will concede that it proves it?

    Now there is no longer an excuse why people like Holley, Southerton, or you should not RESPECT the original witness you received from God that The Book was true.

    Yes, they will be labeled a Thomas, but it would have been better to be labeled a Peter. (We are talking about The Book, NOT A CHURCH!)

    The link for May is:

    http://www.ancientamerican.com/

  15. Mike, regarding

    1. “but where is this land the angel speaks of?”

    “On them is contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land.” (Joseph’s account as reiterated by Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps in Messenger & Advocate, October 1835, 2:195-198)

    This land = Western New York. Back then, it was surrounded by water, we have maps on our site:

    http://www.bookofmormongeography.info

    This land = Where Jesus himself taught the people his gospel as recorded in 3 Nephi. It occured in Western New York. The ancient city Bountiful where Jesus appeared and taught is modern day Buffalo. The archaeological evidence is on our site, plus the internal and external geographical model for The Book.

    2. “where does an angel say anything about the united states?”

    The United States was started as Benjamin Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union. It was a joint effort by him and the Iroquois Nation he was learning their government from. That people were the current occupiers of Book of Mormon lands. The Albany Plan became our Constitution, and the Gentiles did purchase those Book of Mormon lands from the Six Nations (Their other name.) thus fulfilling all Book of Mormon prophecies to the “T.”

    3. “where does it say that Christ said his church was already on the earth?”

    D&C 10:

    46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work (The Book of Mormon Joseph was yet to transcribe after he lost the 116 pages.) does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.
    47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers;
    48 Yea, and this was their faith— that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.
    49 Now, this is not all— their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land;
    50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life;
    51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
    52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I DO NOT BRING IT TO DESTROY THAT WHICH THEY HAVE RECEIVED (Their churches, scripture, etc.), but to BUILD IT UP(Reform).
    53 And for this cause have I said: If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish (Don’t confuse with set up.) my church among them.
    54 Now I DO NOT SAY THIS TO DESTROY MY CHURCH (Already present.), but I say this TO BUILD UP MY CHURCH (Summer 1828 before Joseph transcribe The Book of Mormon or anything else.);
    55 Therefore, whosoever belongeth to MY CHURCH (Already present.) need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
    56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil— yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.
    57 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not.
    58 I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
    59 I am he who said— OTHER SHEEP HAVE I which are not of this fold— unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
    60 And I will show unto this people that I had other sheep, and that THEY WERE A BRANCH OF THE HOUSE OF JACOB;
    61 And I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name;
    62 Yea, and I will also bring to light MY GOSPEL which was ministered unto them, and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the TRUE POINTS OF MY DOCTRINE, yea, and the ONLY DOCTRINE WHICH IS IN ME (HELLO?).
    63 And this I do that I may establish (Don’t confuse with set up.) my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.
    64 Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery;
    65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;
    66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
    67 Behold, THIS IS MY DOCTRINE— whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is MY CHURCH.
    68 WHOSOEVER DECLARETH MORE OR LESS THAN THIS, THE SAME IS NOT OF ME, BUT IS AGAINST ME; THEREFORE HE IS NOT OF MY CHURCH (Hello Joseph, Sydney and the entire LDS Church following the D&C to the exclusion of The Book of Mormon.).
    69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
    70 And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God.

    This revelation was dated SUMMER 1828!!

    Note that he stated his church was already present; was simple; and NOBODY should add anything to it!

    4. “Joseph Smith was a man… everything out of his mouth was not from (angel or God or whatever you believe). Yes, if you follow all he said exactly you may not have the whole picture correct”

    Actually, that revelation just cited in D&C 10, given before everything is a most pure revelation and a good example that the Lord was speaking to him. We don’t say the same for the others – use your discernment.

    5 “how do you know of the ohio & mississippi populations?”

    You can learn of them by reading about the Hopewell’s.

    6. “who is wayne may & where can i read more?”

    http://www.hillcumorahhistory.com/index.html

    7. darkened?

    Yes, just like the blind leading the blind in the dark. If they followed the teaching in The Book of Mormon, they would have never sought for things like a New Jerusalem in Independence; Mesoamerica for Book of Mormon Lands; etc.

    8. why would WHERE our Lord appeared have anything to do with the location of lamanites? i think he appeared there because that is where a guy was praying to find out what was right. . .”

    It doesn’t have anything to do with the Lamanites. It has everything to do with the Nephites, meaning true believers. If you want a witness first hand that Jesus appeared to people here in America, and you aren’t willing to take the word of The Book of Mormon, then that is a very wonderful option to have. (Are you confusing that with the appearance of God to Joseph Smith? I hope not, that is not what we meant.)

    Again, thanks for reading.

  16. I see BOMC is ignoring the DNA in favor of answering some other questions he feels more comfortable with. BOMC, I have no problem with scripture quoting when it is short and to the point–yours seems more like a rant.

    Ed in answer to your question, we know that the Nephites lived from approximately 600 BC to 400 AD. According to Sorensen, this time period is roughly equivalent to the Aztecs. Off the top of my head, Sorensen gives similar parallels with the Olmecs and Jaredites, but I can’t remember exact dates, except to say that both the Jaredites and Olmecs ended approximately 600 BC.

    Now Ed, I think Sorensen’s ideas are intriguing, and I like the fact that we is willing to go out on a limb and identify specific people. He freely admits it is not a perfect comparison, and the Olmecs and Aztecs do not have good connections with Semitic peoples, so that point also needs to be taken into account. (I like the fact that Sorensen is willing to admit some weaknesses, unlike some others who think their theories are perfect.)

    I’m not completely sold on Malay, but let me point out some positive aspects of it. Transoceanic journeys were very difficult–that is why Columbus journey is so amazing–he is the first documented person to attempt an open water journey. (Now you may say Vikings, the Chinese, or other people did it, but they are not nearly as well documented as Columbus. Either way, it is an amazing feat of seamanship.)

    The Malay Theory states that it is more reasonable to assume a 4000 mile journey than a 16000 mile journey. While not proof, this seems very plausible to me. The DNA evidence also seems to support Malay much better. Many animals and plants seem to be better supported in Malay. There are some language similarities that need to be explored further.

    Now, the weakness of Malay comes from the fact that, as BOMC points out, Moroni said the BOM is an account of inhabitants of this continent. Also, if we’re going to be consistent with the difficult journey across an open ocean, the descendants of Moroni would have had to still cross 12000 miles across the Pacific, or go around the Horn of Africa and the Atlantic. Either way, another difficult journey lay ahead. Olsen (of Malay fame) says Sorensen doesn’t adequately explain how the plates got from Guatemala to NY, and I agree, but the Malay journey is equally hard to swallow on this question.

    This is why I am geography neutral. No theory answers all the questions, but each theory answers certain questions better than others. I like to study them all.

  17. Heretic, you only read my posting to poster Mike.

    I responded to you before his, and I have links to two research articles on the DNA – it has been solved.

    Regarding lengthy posts. Someone gave me the impression they don’t go online much and preferred a book. By the nature of the questions I am being asked, it was obvious to me no one was willing to read the information on our web sites. That is why I copy and pasted, only what was essential.

    Sounds like the folks here aren’t interested in “knowing,” only in discussing. If ever you want to “know” and step out of the here-we-go-again of discussing, then come over to our site and read.

    We are way beyond these circles of conversation, and are trying to alert people to what is new.

    And, Heretic, do us a favor, don’t state “no theory answers all the questions” when you haven’t looked at our information. After looking, if you have questions – ASK; state them; do something more than filling blogs.

  18. saying “people on this land” does not describe which land it is. you did not respond to my question… you just repeated what you already said which was nothing. i did go to your web site and noticed there are places i’m not allowed to respond & if i do respond you have the right to not post it… now that is tempting. it doesn’t say anywhere that this land is western U.S. or united states…. it is just talking about this land being talked about in the book.. it could be anywhere.

    i looked at your lake map & what years did it look like that? was it 1000 yrs ago? or 13,000 yrs ago when the jaredites & etc weren’t even there?

    when Christ talked to people he talked in parables that used things that they could relate to . if he was talking to people in eastern U.S. why would he have been talking about “other sheep”? they didnt know what sheep were. they would not have understood what he was talking about.

    just because someone compares a group of people to olmecs doesnt mean they match. what makes them comparable? just the same time in histrory? inversely, if the time period doesn’t match it doesnt work either.

  19. All the plants and animals work with Mala. (both animals mentioned in the BofM or not mentioned)

    Moroni said that the book “is a history of the American peoples and the SOURCES FROM WHENCE THEY SPRANG.” They could easily have come from Malay Peninsula, Isles of the Pacific (the uninhabited quarter–most of that area was unknown until relatively recently–explorers), etc. We don’t know what the rest of the book was about.

    Remember Joseph did not translate ALL the plates. Remember Mormon buried the gold plates in Hill Cumorah and Moroni took off with some of the plates. In the Mala theory, Nephites or others hived off and left and sailed (perhaps some on Hagoth’s ships) east. they did not go all the way at once. They could have sailed a few hundred miles, found an island, lived there for a length of time and then another group sailed east again and found another island… etc etc… eventually one at a time groups landed in varying places in America… perhaps Chili, Peru, Guatemala, etc… whereever tiny bits of evidence have been found… (and the time frame of items found in Chili, Peru, etc match Mala… not Meso) but the location doesn’t match the BofM places, names etc overall.

    Don’t you think that it would be hard to transport 200 lbs (?) of gold plates from Guatemala to NY with no horses, no oxen, no beasts of burden, no carts, no wagons, no wheel, no handcarts…???

  20. It looks to me like the map on Mays site is all of eastern U.S. Where is the narrow neck of land? How would it have been hard to get around Bountiful? What is the land like in the narrow strip of wilderness? not mountainous…?? Did you find any names of places or towns that are similar to BofM names?

  21. One nice thing about the Mala Hypothesis is that it fits nicely with all the archelogical evidence found by all of the other theories.

    It also has many names of towns & geographical place names (in appropriate locations) that are still similar on current maps. Mountains & rivers and areas able to have desolate places match. The timeline of when things happened (between 600 BC & 400 AD) match with archelogical findings.

    etc. etc.

    The migration or movement of plants and animals match timelines and directions that archeologists/scientists have discovered/determined…

  22. BOMC–my apologies. Apparently your DNA response was awaiting moderation for some reason, so it didn’t appear on the website until I just approved it. (Apparently you put in some links, and it tripped the “spam” filter.) Anyway, it definitely is not spam, and thank you for the links.

    Of the 2 links you sent, the 2nd link referencing the NIH website seemed to support your position better. When I looked at the 1st link with the PDF doc, it seemed to show Asian DNA with possibly a European DNA link, but not Middle Eastern DNA, so I’m not sure why you posted it.

    The NIH link was better, implying that even most Saudi DNA comes from Asia. If so, I guess that might explain why it is hard to find Israeli DNA in the Americas. I’m a little confused about your DRUZE reference though. I hadn’t heard of them, and from what I can tell, the Druze came into existence well after the Book of Mormon period (like 1000 AD) and are related much more to Islam than to Judaism. If so, then we should find more muslim references in the BOM. The DRUZE don’t seem relevant to me in regards to BOM DNA, as they might have more Muslim roots than Jewish roots. Where did you find the Ojibwa-Druze DNA link? I didn’t see it in the articles you mentioned.

    I guess when it comes to studying an issue, I prefer paper over website. So, I decided to copy the information from your website into a Word doc, so I can make notes, and read it more easily. I must say there is much more information on your website than it appears at first glance. The document was 58 pages, so I will review it so that I can make more informed comments.

    And BOMC, this blog was made to discuss the theories. It sounds like you do not want to hear any criticism, and think you have all the answers. Honest people are always looking to improve their theories, and I think you would be wise to continue to monitor these discussions so that you can further strengthen your positions. I suspect that you will be continually adding new information to your website as you find new evidence which supports your theories. I hope that you don’t think your work is done on this theory just yet.

  23. BOMC–I forgot to mention–thanks for the critique of Curtis. I think you are being a little hard on some things, but I’m glad to see you’ve “done your homework.”

    Lengthy posts are fine–I just couldn’t figure out why you quoted so much scripture. It seems more “missionary” in purpose than “science”. You seemed to be advocating that the LDS, RLDS, or other “restorationist” religions are wrong. That’s fine for you to believe, but I couldn’t see the relevance to the geography question, as the scriptures you posted didn’t seem to reference geographic features.

    “The correct church”, is off topic for the geography question. If that’s of interest, I’ll put a plug for another blog, http://graceforgrace.com/ which is more into that type of dialogue. It does have some interesting angles.

  24. Mike said:

    “saying ‘people on this land’ does not describe which land it is.”

    Read the statement completely. The angel, who once lived on the land, said the land in which the record was buried IS where the people lived and where Jesus visited them:

    “On them is contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people ON THIS LAND.” (Joseph’s account as reiterated by Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps in Messenger & Advocate, October 1835, 2:195-198)

    Where was the angel when speaking to Joseph? Western New York. What did Western New York look like back then? It was surrounded by water, thus the other accounts of the angel using “this continent” makeS sense. It just was not Mesoamerica, nor Canada, etc.

    Mike said: “i did go to your web site and noticed there are places i’m not allowed to respond & if i do respond you have the right to not post it”

    You were supposed to come read, not speak. If you want to speak after reading, we will certainly post your questions/comments if they add substance. To say I disagree does not add substance. State what is wrong with our information and we will address it.

    Mike said “i looked at your lake map & what years did it look like that? was it 1000 yrs ago? or 13,000 yrs ago when the jaredites & etc weren’t even there?”

    Again, if you read, you would have noticed we did state on one map “what it looked like before the Jaredites arrived.” In another place, we show current day satellite images AND detail how it was to how it is. We are not concerned with how it looked between BoM years and our time, only then according to the record, and now, according to maps.

    ———————————————————-

    Heretic, we already gave the link for details on the DNA. Please get the DVD for futher details:

    See the new work by Rodney Meldrum at http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org for support on this.

    In the research report of the one link I posted, you will see a chart at the end showing the strict DNA relation between CURRENT Israelis (Druze) and American Indians (Ojibwa ). I said current. What these two groups were called 2500 years ago is anyones guess. The only thing that has to be shown is that they EXIST, thus silencing the critics over a lack of DNA evidence.

    What LDS/RLDS/COJC should be worrying about is why NO similar relations have been found. Will they? It is doubtful, but anything is possible. In the face of everything contrary to a Mesoamerican/Canadian model, why bother? If you can’t respect the Promised Land what’s the point?

    Heretic said: “Mike, from what I can tell about BOMC, it seems the narrow neck of land is between the Great Lakes.”

    Please, are you saying that is what our map shows? It takes less than five minutes to view a map. And if you read the site, maybe fifteen.

    Heretic said: “it meets the basic “hour-glass” shape.”

    This is an assumption, like volcanoes, that people should stop trumpeting. Do we really think Mormon had a satellite map by which he was plotting the towns, cities and lands?

    When he said a “Narrow Neck/Passage” he was referring to what he saw at EYE LEVEL. At eye level he said you could see a Sea on the East and a Sea on the West. How far can your eyes see for the wide view? Then, how narrow compared to that was the passage/neck?

    Secondly, the Narrow Passage/Neck was along the West Sea. Why is no one respecting that? When Hagoth put in his ship at the West Sea, along the Narrow Neck/Passage, it says he sailed NORTHWARD. If there was an hour glass shape to the land, he would have had to sail WESTWARD. Please, can we dispense with these ancient traditions and respect what The Book of Mormon says.

    Heretic said: “It seems more “missionary” in purpose than “science”. You seemed to be advocating that the LDS, RLDS, or other “restorationist” religions are wrong. That’s fine for you to believe, but I couldn’t see the relevance to the geography question, as the scriptures you posted didn’t seem to reference geographic features.”

    Your right, it does come across that way. Unfortunately these are the seeds that must be sown for respecting the geography in The Book of Mormon. I will be brief so the relevance is clear:

    1. LDS/RLDS/COJC believe in Joseph’s model that the New Jerusalem spoken of in Ether is their church and it will be done in Independence, Missouri.

    Why do they believe that? Because of what Joseph said, in D&C as mouth piece for the Lord (that is questionable). Other GA’s have propagated the same idea. Thus, Mormons have been waiting for a “Call” to go back to Missouri and build it up again. Now contrast that with our view next.

    2. The Book of Mormon says its land was full of promises, a N.J. to be built upon it was one of them. Where are BoM lands? Missouri? Don’t think so, and Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, etc. won’t work either.

    Thus, it all comes down to Joseph’s statements -v- The Book of Mormon.

    FARMS respects statements by or attributed to Joseph supporting Mesoamerica. Meldrum (so far), May, and Ashton are examples of those respecting only the uncontested statements by Joseph for things around NY and the mid-western states.

    It all comes down to “Can we trust everything Joseph said?” We wish that did not play into – of all things geography – but it has. That is the only reason we connect those dots. For us, it goes further into doctrine, but we won’t detail that here. People will find links off our geography site IF they are interested.

    So, we respect what The Book of Mormon says about the Promised Land, others do not. It’s both the theological and the geographical that must be considered together.

    http://www.landofpromise.us

  25. BOMC, in the future I plan to offer some more blog posts that exclusively deal with the different theories. Once I have read through your theory, I would like to offer my analysis, and then open it up to everyone to put their 2 cents in. I also plan to do this with Malay, and the South American Theory, and I hope that you will comment on those as well.

    In defense of Mike, that one map is viewed from “Satellite” level, and not “eye” level. At first blush it can be very confusing–there appears to be no narrow neck of land. I tried to point it out for him–thanks for clarifying. Mike, to really understand BOMC’s theory, you’ve got to go to his website. It is definitely a much different interpretation of the landscape than any of the other theories out there.

    In reference to the LDS belief of Joseph’s statements on geography, I think that Sorensen documents some of Joseph’s inconsistent statements well. Not everything Joseph said was prophetic, and when it comes to BOM geography, Joseph definitely said some inconsistent things, such as (1) it was the Yucatan Peninsula, (2) it was in Chile, and (3) it was in Darien (now known as Panama.) This illustrates to me that first and foremost, Joseph really wasn’t sure where it was, and secondly he never received any revelation stating where the BOM took place.

    To me, the New Jerusalem (at first I thought your abbreviation was New Jersey 🙂 ) references another matter. I can’t find anybody who is advocating the BOM lands in Missouri. Perhaps I am wrong, but Sorensen doesn’t, Kocherhans doesn’t, BOMC doesn’t, etc. I’m just not following your line of logic on that one. Are you saying that May does and Ashton does?

    There are many different interpretations of the land of promise. BOMC, certainly yours could be correct, but it is certainly not a consensus opinion. I love your passion for the subject. It definitely makes me want to search more. Finding the time with everything else is my difficulty. I really need to read Meldrum’s info–I plan to.

    I also want to agree with Mike on one thing. From BOMC’s comments, it seems as if you do want to censor some of the things on your website. That is certainly your prerogative. I’m glad we can discuss ideas freely here, and Mike, feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. As long as it is not spam, or blatantly racist or disrespectful, I am happy to keep the lines of communication uncensored.

    BOMC, could I make a suggestion for your website? I didn’t see anything regarding Druze, DNA, etc. Perhaps you could add something for people wondering what your stance is on the subject? Some of those articles you gave are extremely long and technical, and it would be nice for you to summarize the info for the “layman” who don’t know the latest regarding mitochondrial DNA.

  26. Mike said: “I can’t find anybody who is advocating the BOM lands in Missouri.”

    Right, that is precisely the point. The New Jerusalem was/is to be built on BoM lands.

    LDS have two choices:

    a. Build a New Jerusalem in Mesoamerica, or

    b. Claim Missouri as Book of Mormon lands instead.

    Some have recognized the importance of this point, but, they fail to connect one more dot – their model must include Cumorah/Western New York – where the record was discovered.

    So, New Jerusalem will be built on Book of Mormon lands; Book of Mormon lands will not have a king; it will include Western New York/Cumorah area.

    For us, it was not hard to identify the whole geography with this as our lead-in.

    Add to that a small area as described by The Book, then look for archaeological evidences and that is how we did it. Of course one must spend time on the land, at eye level just like they did in order to appreciate statements like “Narrow Passage.”

    The greatest discovery was the place where our Lord first descended from heaven – in a cloud of glory. Have you ever been to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem? Did you feel his presence there? Well we assure any sincere seeker of truth, they will feel the presence of God there at Fort Niagara.

    We even identify where the Land was lifted up, just as it says was, there along the Niagara Escarpment.

    ———————
    The Narrow Neck is NOT shown on our satellite images, it is only shown on a Watershed area map on our Narrow Passage page. (So I don’t know what either of you were refering to.)

    To see it directly, here is a link:


    —————————————–

    Mike/Heretic said: “it seems as if you do want to censor some of the things on your website.”

    I understand what you mean now. We do moderate posts but not to “censor” anyone. We do this to prevent abuse. Just read the posts we let on, you will see we give a great deal of latitude, and patience.

    ———————-
    Regarding DNA, we have known these things for a while, but under our model it doesn’t matter. It will become known, and is already known that just like we are trading now with the whole world, back then, certian areas were likewise trading very far.

    What sense would it make to dig up one or two verifiables to that time? What does it show? Don’t get me wrong, they are already shown, and no doubt many more types, connections, dots will be as well.

    It proves nothing, but then again, we weren’t the ones claiming entire continents descended from Lehi.

    Joseph’s followers made those statements, now they are reaping the whirlwind for it.

    My advice Heretic is don’t waste your time on models that don’t respect the boundaries of The Promised Land.

    Good luck, and thanks for allowing us to post on your site.

  27. BOMC, you have some really interesting interpretations. I’ll let you have the last word. You’ve made some valid points, but we’ll agree to disagree on some of these other items. I look forward to discussing the matter further in the future.

  28. In New York there is a county called Onandaga, Joseph Smith called a Prophet in the story of Zelph, “Onandagus” (see the BYU farms paper on Zelph)
    in Onandagus county ny is a hill called Oneidah, there is a fort on top of it. Interesting , Solomon Spaulding’s wife remarried after his death and settled in Onandaga county, Smith took several names from New York and surrounding areas , changed them just a bit and used them as names for cities and people in the BOM, Smith was a phoney, Indians are not Hebrews., there were no horses in the New World until the Spanish brought them, the Bom does not even mention the NUMBER ONE FOOD OF THE INDIANS>>>MAIZE >>>CORN<<<<<

  29. Joseph Smith was a fan of Captain Kidd,it was thought by many that Captain Kidd buried treasure in new york, in books and magazines of that time they wrote about Kidd visiting the Comoros Islands, the main port of the Comoros is MORONI, Look for the BYU paper called Cave Cummorah, Google it, in paragraph 4 , Wilford woodruff calls Hill Cummorah,” COMOROS”, the Comoros was also a stop off for New England whalers, the Smiths did not live in isolation , Smith sr even tried his hand at exporting Ginseng to China. the ships would have passed very close to Comoros

  30. Digest, sounds like you have everything figured out. Why do you bother yourself with The Book of Mormon now?

    More than likely, you are one of those people who does not believe God could perform miracles. Remember, “miracles” cannot be scientifically explained. That’s what your saying isn’t it – The Book of Mormon cannot be scientifically explained?

    The Book of Mormon does not claim to be a scientific book. It does not claim to include evidences to satisfy the rational mind. In fact, it says it is a SPIRITUAL book, designed to satisfy the spiritually hungry.

    Are you spiritually hungry Digest? How is it you could read that spiritual book and take NO NOTICE of its spiritual worth???

    Have you ever experienced the Spirit of God? HAVE YOU?

    Have you ever fasted AND prayed for a single thing in your life? If God’s Spirit was knocking on your door, would you recognize it? Apparently not.

    —————-

    You apply a double standard. You charge that Joseph did not live in a bubble, yet, you will not allow the same leniency to others – whoever named the hill Oneidah, the county, etc.; Spaulding, the Holy Bible, Captain Kidd, etc.

    Does anyone live in a mental bubble? No, of course not. And yet it has been proven time after time that man receives his ideas from a place common to all – the Holy Spirit, the repository of ALL KNOWLEDGE.

    Instead of accusing an UNEDUCATED farm boy/man of producing something WAY BEYOND his ability, accept the true facts – everything that occurred was DOCUMENTED by his family, friends and local newspapers.

    You cannot produce a single shred of evidence that he was working and reworking a lengthy manuscript WHILE HIS CHILD WAS DYING.

    His life was under a microscope and we have PROOF he was dictating – PAGE AFTER PAGE

  31. His life was under a microscope and we have PROOF he was dictating – PAGE AFTER PAGE – days on end without correcting either a paragraph, sentence, page or book.

    No reworked stories, characters, locations, etc.

    Joseph had never read the Bible – not even once. Wasn’t even baptized. Had never preached a day in his life.

    And yet what do we find in The Book of Mormon? All these things.

    The familiar names, ideas, and stories proves one thing – that they were inspired from the repository of the Holy Spirit which contains all knowledge, including the history of The Book of Mormon, or coincidence, or outright duplication by Devil to throw people like you off track.

    Our suggestion to Digest and anyone else wondering about the book is, approach it with respect. What if it was commissioned thousands of years ago by God? What if it was meant to confirm the Christian Bible which God knew Muslims and Jews would reject? Approach it with respect and see what an open mind can find within its pages.

  32. Digest,

    I’m not sure your intentions. It sounds like you have some issues with Central American theories. While Aztecs are known for consuming Maize, I believe other Native Americans might have consumed other foods. Have you looked at NY, South American, or even the Malay Theory? These might better address some of the concerns you have with the Central American Theory. I understand the C.A theory is most accepted by the LDS, but there are other theories that may address your concerns better.

  33. […] bookstores specializing on obscure Mormon books.)  I reviewed the theories.  I grouped them into basic categories, and discovered a 7th category when Last Lemming posted a comment at my blog about an African […]

  34. […] 10.  book of mormon geography […]

  35. BOMC says

    “Our suggestion to Digest and anyone else wondering about the book is, approach it with respect. What if it was commissioned thousands of years ago by God? What if it was meant to confirm the Christian Bible which God knew Muslims and Jews would reject? Approach it with respect and see what an open mind can find within its pages.”

    That’s exactly what I did. I approached the Book of Mormon with respect. Read it and prayed about it while deeply wanting it to be what it claims to be. The result was that I had more doubts when I was done than when I started even though my purpose was to gain a testimony.

    It is disheartening for those of us who have given our hearts, minds and souls to Mormonism to be categorized as some sort of spiritual leper just because we don’t get the same subjective “confirmation” that some others get.

    And, oh, it was not an “undeducated farmboy” but a man of 24 year of age when the Book of Mormon was produced. His mother wrote that he said he claimed to be able to learn much from reading his Bible as a child. So, yes he DID read the Bible. Even Mormon scholars defending the Book of Mormon say Joseph used “familiar” King James passages when things on the plates seemed similar. Joseph’s Father had worked as a school teacher. Joseph’s brother was on the local school board. Joseph’s mother said that the children were educated at home in addition to formal public schooling.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything in the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith could not have written. Given my experiences with the Book of Mormon and the historical/archaeological/linguistic background I don’t see how consideration of non-miraculous origins of the book is not warranted.

    I’m happy that you have found great Spiritual Truth from the Book of Mormon. But please don’t assume that those of us who didn’t suffer from some character defect.

  36. Baura,

    Just so you know, BOMC is not invited here anymore because of his over-the-top rhetoric. FYI, he is not a Mormon either–he is from a break-off Restorationist group. BOMC stands for Book of Mormon Christian, and he is affiliated with some other group outside of the LDS and RLDS traditions.

  37. Very nice summary of the “theories,” MH. Obviously this exercise has become great fun. Ultimately it turns out that none of the non-traditional theories is meaningful; none fit the internal geography of the Book of Mormon. Generally the theorists go wrong because they presuppose all sorts of knowledge that Joseph Smith wouldn’t have had access to. I think it’s quite clear that he meant to envision the traditional understanding (a hemispheric story) and it fails to “fit” the actual hemisphere because Joseph Smith had very little understanding of the extent of the hemisphere.

  38. yes john, I agree with everything you said. this is a pet topic of mine, and I still like to look into all the possibilities. I think it is clear that joseph didn’t always understand the revelations he received, so from a faithful perspective, I think it is entirely possible that he may have misunderstood some things about BoM geography.

    I hold out hope that these issues can be resolved satisfactorily, but I understand the issues you raise are excellent points that believers such as myself need to adequately address.

  39. Why would HF send a revelation that would not be understood?
    Seems like a waste of time.

  40. Why did Jesus speak in parables? According to Matthew 13:10-17 it’s not a waste of time. Revelation doesn’t to people with perfect understanding because humans do not have perfect understanding. The Book of Mormon — so replete with grammatical errors and anachronisms — testifies very clearly that the prophet who composed its text (Joseph Smith) was both human and fallible. See D&C 163:7a.

  41. John, Your Matthew reference does not support your premise. It better supports mine. Those scriptures seem to be stating that “prophets” have tried and failed to understand, what “Prophets” (disciples) understand.

    If JS was a “Prophet” he should have understood.

  42. Let me restate my question for clarification.

    Why would HF send a revelation to HIS “Prophet” (as opposed to any “prophet”) that would not be understood by HIS “Prophet”?

  43. Bishop Rick,

    Your question really deserves a post by itself. I read a book by Larry King called “Powerful Prayers.” Larry asks his rabbi, (paraphrasing) “Why can’t God speak English? Why all the hoops? If the person doesn’t understand the answer, has God really answered the prayer?” I think I’ll have to put something together so we can discuss this further.

    But briefly, the Bible is replete with prophets that didn’t fully understand God’s word. Here are some examples: Joseph, sold into Egypt–that didn’t make any sense for several decades. Abraham asked how he and Sarah could be a parents at such an advanced age. Jonah didn’t realize that God was practically forcing him to go to Nineveh. What I’m saying here is that a prophet doesn’t always get the complete picture here. There is a passage in the Book of Mormon that says the Jews asked for things they couldn’t understand and therefore stumbled. I’ll try to put together a post this weekend that addresses this topic of “Why can’t God speak English?” I think it’s a fascinating topic. A prophet is not a fortune teller that sees everything perfectly. As Paul said, “we see through a glass darkly.” Revelations are NOT in Hi Definition.

  44. My quote absolutely supports my premise because it explains that there are multiple levels on which to find truth in divine teachings. Your premise seems bizarre to me — are you imagining that Joseph Smith had some sort of perfect and complete picture of Nephite history and geography? Since all humans, including prophets, are mortal and possessed of imperfect knowledge, and since we process all information based on those imperfect understandings and incomplete pictures, we necessarily misunderstand everything to some degree or another. Joseph Smith clearly had limited knowledge of both geography and history — limitations clearly illustrated in his response to inspiration, the Book of Mormon. The fact that he knew so little of either doesn’t alter the book’s gospel message, however, any more than the fact the prophetic authors of Genesis and Jonah (to mention MH’s examples) lacked information about the time periods and places in which they set their inspired stories.

  45. I meant to write in my final sentence above something more to the effect of:

    “…even though the prophetic authors of Genesis and Jonah (in MH’s examples above) lacked information about the time periods and places in which they set their inspired stories, their works nonetheless remain scripture that can be understood on many levels.”

  46. Ok, I like your last explanation coupled with MH’s. That does offer a plausible reason for sending a revelation that is not necessarily understood by the receiver, but I still stand by my statement that the scripture in Matthew does not back that up. Sorry.

  47. […] received a surprising resurgence of activity from one of my oldest posts, Book of Mormon Geography.  In the latest discussion, Bishop Rick asked, “Why would HF send a revelation that would […]

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