Many models exist for the physical location of the Book of Mormon narratives. Dr. Griffin takes no position, but does lay out the relative locations for major and minor landmarks.
The geographical setting of the Book of Mormon has been the subject of serious study and casual speculation since before the book was first published. The Church has been neutral when it comes to issues relating to Book of Mormon geography. The articles and videos linked below will describe the various theories and examine the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Book of Mormon Old World Geography:
Summary: A discussion of the Arabian, or Old World, geography of the Book of Mormon enjoys many advantages over discussion of New World matters. Chief among these is the fact that we know we certainty where the story begins—in Old World Jerusalem. There is simply no way that Joseph could have obtained enough information about Arabia to fabricate more than a minute fraction of the travels described in First Nephi.
Book of Mormon New World Geography
JUMP TO SUBTOPIC:
- The Church’s position on questions related to Book of Mormon geography
- Evaluating Book of Mormon geographical theories
- Archaeology and the Hill Cumorah
The prevailing theory today is for a limited-geography model in Mesoamerica.
A clip from the DVD “Book of Mormon and New World DNA” produced by FAIR.
Reading Mormon’s Codex: List of Evidence of the Book of Mormon — John Sorenson.
Mark Wright in his 2013 Fair Mormon conference:
Lawrence Poulsen’s 2008 FAIR conference address:
After speculating that the Book of Mormon occurred in North America for years, Joseph’s opinion changed in 1842. The trigger was this book, by John L Stephens, that Joseph read and enjoyed: Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan.
Although Joseph Smith is listed as the editor at this time, opinions vary on whether it may have actually been either John Taylor or Wilford Woodruff who wrote this unsigned article.  John Taylor later became the editor of Times and Seasons. Regardless of whether it was Joseph Smith, Wilford Woodruff, or John Taylor who wrote this article, its publication occurred prior to the death of Joseph Smith. The subject being discussed is a very popular book by John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, which Joseph Smith:
Mr Stephens’ great developments of antiquities are made bare to the eyes of all the people by reading the history of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. They lived about the narrow neck of land, which now embraces Central America, with all the cities that can be found. Read the destruction of cities at the crucifixion of Christ…Let us turn our subject, however, to the Book of Mormon, where these wonderful ruins of Palenque are among the mighty works of the Nephites:—and the mystery is solved…Mr. Stephens’ great developments of antiquities are made bare to the eyes of all the people by reading the history of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. They lived about the narrow neck of land, which now embraces Central America, with all the cities that can be found. Read the destruction of cities at the crucifixion of Christ, pages 459-60. Who could have dreamed that twelve years would have developed such incontrovertible testimony to the Book of Mormon?(emphasis added)
GEOLOGY and the Book of Mormon
Jerry Grover, geologist:
1. Analysis of potential 3 Nephi volcanoes in Mesoamerica
2. Hazard assessment of description of 3 Nephi event
3. Analysis of volcano/earthquake/hurricane scenarios
Book of Mormon Central produced this podcast regarding geology and volcanic events in Mesoamerica: What Caused the Darkness and Destruction in the 34th Year?
Bart Kowallis gave a talk on the destruction in 3 Nephi 8: A Time of Darkness…A Time of Light.
LDS Truth Claims videos #12 – 20