Why Mesoamerica?

Criteria for Book of Mormon Lands and People

There are several theories held among Latter-day Saints for the location of Book of Mormon lands. Some place the geography of the book in upstate New York or near the Great Lakes. Others look to Peru and South America, or to the Baja Peninsula, or Texas, and some even propose the Malaysian Peninsula. BMAF supports a Mesoamerican context for the major Book of Mormon sites. Other locations may meet some of the following criteria, but only Mesoamerica meets all these elements required by the book itself.  This list of criteria is not a cafeteria list.  Any Book of Mormon lands proposal must be able to demonstrate all.
  A Narrow Neck of land and 4 seas (east, west, north, and south)
  A major river running south to north from a narrow strip of wilderness
  A high civilization with cities, kings, artisans, military, and priests
  An agricultural base large enough to support several millions of people
  A highly literate (written language) society with scribes as important officers
  Functional calendar and dating systems
  A merchant class using weights and measures
  Engineers to build houses, temples, towers, and highways using cement
  Highly skilled craftsmen working with precious metals and stonework
  A warrior society involved in large battles using trained soldiers and sophisticated fortifications
  Legends of a white, bearded God


These Criteria must be in the Western Hemisphere but where Joseph Smith could not have known about them in 1829.

      For more information click here and browse through the articles
in section 2 "The Mesoamerica Model."



(1) No major river running South to North, Mississippi River flows North to South

(2) No mountainous strip of wilderness that can hide Gadianton robbers, defend against Lamanites and serve as military dividing line for Captain Moroni (Alma 22:33-34,50:11)

(3) Very little gold and silver east of the Mississippi

(4) No evidence of cement buildings anywhere in eastern U.S. or Canada, archaeologists have determined that the vast majority of discovered archaeological sites dating to the time period of the Book of Mormon are located in Mesoamerica

(5) No evidence that Adena and Hopewell co-existed for 250 years     

(6) Adena and Hopewell were not true civilizations, but were small, loosely knit, family related units with no evidence of a written language. The area in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec constituted the embryo for both the calendar system and the written language of the Americas. This fact alone virtually eliminates any other geographical area from being considered as “lands of the Book of Mormon"

(7) So-called DNA "Proofs" use unsubstantiated theories. Joseph Smith did not receive revelation where Book of Mormon lands were located, but his last statements about Book of Mormon geography point us to Mesoamerica  (

click here to see what Joseph Smith said about Mesoamerica)

(9)  Columbus was directed to "the promised land," yet he never visited North America.

For more information click here and browse through the articles in the section "The Heartland Model."