Book of Mormon Geology and Geography

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.

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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.

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Book of Mormon New World Geography

JUMP TO SUBTOPIC:

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:

 

Image result for John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan

Joseph Smith considered several locations for Book of Mormon geography.  

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.[9] [10] 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

 

Uto-Aztecan language family: Book of Mormon linguistical evidence for the Book of Mormon

This evidence won’t prove the Book of Mormon to be true.   Nothing, in fact, proves the Book of Mormon is true.  Testimony and learning line upon line is the way to increase your belief.

However, I’ve heard critics exclaim that no a pinch of evidence exists for the Book of Mormon. Not so! Share this story — along with the many other evidences — of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Uto-Aztecan is a very exciting piece of the overall Book of Mormon narrative.

 

 

 

DNA & the Book of Mormon

Awesome summary video below.  Key points to this discussion:

  •  founding Lehite population DNA uncertain
  • American indigenous populations were decimated after 1492, changing the genetic composition
  • descendants can’t be genetically linked to ancestors after 100s of years pass

Episode 6: DNA Detective Work – Ugo Perego

No, DNA evidence doesn’t (and cannot) refute the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.  This is worth watching!
 
Michael Frank Whiting is the director of the Brigham Young University (BYU) DNA Sequencing Center and an associate professor in BYU’s Department of Integrative Biology. Whiting received his bachelor’s degree from BYU and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Whiting is a widely respected expert on DNA and genetics.
 
Whiting has also written on why the critics of the Book of Mormon on DNA issues have overstated their case.  He gives a superb speech below:
 

Dr Ugo Perego, a respected population geneticist, speaks at the FairMormon Conference in Kungsbacka, Sweden, 18 June 2016.

Ugo is a world expert on DNA and Native Americans.

More from Ugo on DNA, the Book of Mormon, and Native American Genetics: