by Joe V. Andersen  
October 2008   modified March 2010

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The book Prophecies and Promises omits the paramount “Prophetic Marker” located in 1 Ne:13:12.  Why?  Because it contains the prophecy and promise that gives direction and specificity from the Book of Mormon itself that Central America is the promised land.  It directly refutes the Heartland Theory.  On pg. 27 of Prophecies, Rod Meldrum states that one must “include an unbiased review of all passages that might pertain to this subject.”  He quotes 13:13 many times but never 13:12 which says that Christ guided Columbus to the promised land to the “seed of thy brethren” (Lamanites in Mesoamerica).  Columbus never visited the U.S.  This was the same promised land He guided Nephi to. 


The Voyages of Columbus showing he visited the Central America area but not the United States area is shown on the map 


Alma 37:44-45 says:“…This compass which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land…for just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.” It’s the far better land of promise we seek not just the promised land.

Map showing Lehi’s possible voyage: & where the “Spanish etc.” and “English etc” Gentiles initially landed and settled.

The Lord guided “other Gentiles, who came out of captivity,” to the U.S. part of the land of promise. where those gentiles scattered but did not “destroy the mixture of thy [Nephi’s] seed (1 Nephi.13:30).”

The Lord guided Columbus, Nephi, and the brother of Jared to the promised land in Mesoamerica. Joseph Smith stated at page 927, Times and Season, Oct. 15 1842, “ Guatemala…the city of Zarahemla stood upon this land.” The demonstrative “this” refers to Guatemala, not where Joseph was standing. 
Three websites that give accurate and helpful information are:——

Eight Mandatory Criteria for Locating Book of Mormon Lands

Prepared by Joe V. Andersen

1. There must be evidence of two extensive cultures each using a written language and living adjacent to but separate from each other sometime between the years 580 BC and 200 BC (Omni through Ether). One of the two cultures must have lived “so far northward” from the other culture (Alma 22:30). They must have co-existed for at least 250 years. (Therefore, the Adena/Hopewell cultures could not have been the Jaredite/Nephite people because the Hopewell followed the Adena in same area). 

2. The area must have been visited by Columbus because he was led by the Lord to “the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land (1 Nephi 13:12).” It was the same promised land where the Lord guided the Nephites:  “…we did arrive at the promised land…and we did call it the promised land (1 Nephi 18:23).” (Columbus never visited any part of the United States). 

3. The land must contain a narrow strip of mountainous wilderness:

a. that runs from “the sea east even to the sea west” (Alma 22:27-28);

b. that runs “in a straight course from the east sea to the west [sea]” (Alma 50:8-11);

c. that could have provided a military defensive line dividing the Nephites on the north from the Lamanites on the south (Alma 22:33-34 & Alma 50:8-11 & Hel. 6:9-10); 

d. that was mountainous; (See also 3 Nephi 4:1, and Omni 1:13 and Mosiah 11:13),

1. Helaman 11:31 “retreat back into the mountains”

2. 3 Nephi 3:17 “let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness…”

3. Alma 22:27 “through the borders of Manti by the head of the river Sidon”

(There is no such narrow strip of mountainous wilderness going from the east sea to the west sea in the U.S.)

4. The narrow strip of mountainous wilderness must be surrounded by evidence of many cities, that existed between 200 BC and AD 400, where a written language was used (Omni through Mormon).  There is no such evidence in Northeast U.S. The Hopewell culture did not have a written language.

Talmage declared the claimed Cuneiform of the Hopewell as “a story of Deception and Fraud.” 

5.  A major river must flow north from the narrow strip of wilderness (Alma 22:27 & Alma 2:15).

(The Mississippi river cannot be the river Sidon because the Mississippi flows south).

6. The winter climate must have been bearable such that the men could have worn only loin cloths and shaven heads to battle (Alma 3:5, 20-25). For example the Amlicite battles occurred in the winter months. (See Dr. John L. Lund’s Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon: Is this the place? published in 2007 by The Communications Company, pages 207-209).

7.  The land must contain evidence of substantial gold and silver in a variety of locations:

a. the landing place or the first inheritance: “gold, silver, and copper” (1 Nephi 18:25);

b. the land of Nephi: “copper, gold, silver in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15);

c. the land of Zarahemla: “gold, silver, precious ore” (Helaman 6-9-11);

d. the land of the Jaredites: “all manner of gold, silver, iron” (Ether 10:23).

(The eastern half of the United States contains a lot of copper, a little silver but almost no gold).

8. The area of the northern culture must contain evidence of many cities (that date to about 100 BC) made out of cement (or perhaps materials like rocks cemented together, etc) (Helaman 3:3-16) (see Dr. John Welch’s statement on the home page of entitled Concrete Book of Mormon evidence). (There is no evidence of ancient cities made of cement in Northeast U.S. or in Canada).

Any proposed Book of Mormon geography that does not meet all of the above criteria cannot be the land of the Book of Mormon.

Andersen, Joe V.