WHERE ARE BOOK OF MORMON LANDS?
WHAT DOES THE BOOK ITSELF SAY?
During the past 4-plus decades thousands of articles and books have been published by the brightest scientific and scholarly minds supporting the Limited Tehuantec model which places Book of Mormon lands in Mesoamerica. BMAF's work has complemented and added to the work done by FARMS, FAIR, Neal A. Maxwell Institute scholars and independent researchers and archaeologists.
However, within the past few years, several groups have chosen to ignore this corpus of Mesoamerica material and, proposing alternative geographic areas, have launched campaigns to gain followers. To our knowledge there are no supporters of these proposals with applicable professional degrees or credentials, and proponents often tell their followers to ignore the materials from reputable groups like FARMS.
John W. Welch, founder of FARMS, current Editor in Chief of BYU Studies and the discoverer of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon makes the following statement, January, 2010:
Concrete Book of Mormon Evidence
When people approach me with questions about the Great Lakes model of Book of Mormon geography, this is my standard response:
“Helaman chapter 3 requires a vast area north of the narrow neck where cement was the primary construction material because timber was scarce. Large cities were built almost entirely of cement. Cement structures deteriorate slowly, so even after hundreds or thousands of years, some ruins remain. In the Central Valley of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, I have visited the ruins of enormous cities dating from Book of Mormon times that were built almost entirely of cement.
Show me the ancient ruins of large cement cities around the Great Lakes. There are none. So, we can categorically dismiss the Great Lakes model because we are only interested in concrete Book of Mormon evidences.”
John W. Welch
We will not attempt to analyze proposals for Peru, Texas, the Malaysian Peninsula and others because these authors have ignored many if not most criteria the book requires. Our examination of the Eastern US/Heartland model will, however, be fairly exhaustive because some quantity of Church members seem to find this model appealing. While we would agree it has some appeal, the Heartland model is fatally flawed.
The Great Lakes or so-called "Heartland" model is currently being promoted by Wayne May, Rod Meldrum, Bruce Porter and others through conferences, tours, books, dvd's, etc. Some of their claims require rebuttal and explanation. The contents of this section address these statements and more by Heartland supporters :
!. Anyone who does not accept their geographical model is "discounting and disdaining" the words of Joseph Smith
2. Rainy and dry seasons do not occur in Mesoamerica
3. DNA evidence proves there is no genetical presence of Middle Eastern people in Mesoamerica but there is among Native Americans
4. Book of Mormon lands can only be in the place where Joseph Smith stood (United States)
5. The location of Zarahemla was given by revelation to be on the opposite side of the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois
6. The North American Adena tribes were the Jaredites and the Hopewell were the Nephites
7. The wild beasts mentioned in the Book of Mormon were buffalo
Please feel free to e-mail us with your questions and comments about any map or proposal as long as you comply with the 13th Article of Faith. Responsible, good-faith e-mails may be listed on this site. Insulting e-mails will ban the sender from any future e-mails reaching us. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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