Why Book of Mormon Geography?
Physical evidences of Book of Mormon people in the Americas.
Latter-day Saints know that the ultimate and most satisfying proof of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is to follow the admonition of Moroni, the man who about 421 A.D. hid in the ground the one thousand year record of a group of Jews from Jerusalem who were led by a prophet to the Americas.
Centuries later Moroni appeared to a young boy in upstate New York as a resurrected being, and showed the boy, Joseph Smith, where the record was hidden, and the means for it's translation.
Moroni shows Joseph Smith where the plates are buried.
About 421 A.D., Moroni, then one of the last remaining Nephites, wrote:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Book of Mormon, Moroni: 10:4)
Millions of Latter-day Saints since the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830 and the publication of The Book of Mormon have successfully applied Moroni's admonition and gained a testimony of the truthfulness of that book.
Be sure to visit "The Reading Room" to view many articles by Dr. Ainsworth
Statement by Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stated in 2004:
"The evidence for [the Book of Mormon's] truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical analysis, though these may be confirmatory. The evidence for its truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. Reasonable people may sincerely question its origin; but those who have read it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines saving truths of the everlasting gospel." Gordon B. Hinckley, "Four Cornerstones of Faith," Ensign, February 2004.
The Book of Mormon is true, that spiritual testimony I will always bear.
Most Latter-day Saints are not looking for archaeology to "prove" the Book of Mormon is true, they already know that. But we want to know more about the Nephites and the Jaredites, the people of the Book of Mormon. That's why Book of Mormon Geography studies is emerging.
Who's been doing Book of Mormon explorations south of the USA border?
Although the Senior Brethren who lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have chosen to not take a public position on geography, prominent members of the Church supported the Mesoamerica view of Book of Mormon geography as early as the 1950's when renowned religion professor Sidney B. Sperry and others from Brigham Young University supported the founding of the New World Archaeology Foundation.
John Tvedtnes reports in a footnote to an article that appeared in Meridian Magazine March 23, 2006:
"One of Elder Howard W. Hunter’s (a now deceased President of the LDS Church) assignments was to oversee the work of BYU’s New World Archaeology Foundation (NWAF), which performs archaeological excavations in Mesoamerica. The organization was founded by Thomas Stuart Ferguson and others, but later became associated with BYU." (Brigham Young University.)
To this day, BYU (NWAF) maintains an archaeological facility in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico, but is always careful to point out that the objective is not to "prove" the Book of Mormon. NWAF is known for academically accepted unbiased scientific reporting of pre-classic Maya findings.
Here's a link to an excellent article on the history of Book of Mormon Geography, written by John Tvedtnes.
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Allen C. Miner of the Ancient America Foundation concludes about Mesoamerica and Book of Mormon geography:
"A close scrutiny of the words of the Book of Mormon coupled with the scientific studies of the geography, archaeology, language, ancient history and other cultural aspects of Mesoamerica during the time period of the Book of Mormon that have come forth in recent years provide strong evidence that the geography of both coincide with each other in a manner that cannot be duplicated in any other location in either North or South America. These criteria provide strong evidence that Mesoamerica is the land of the Book of Mormon."
FAIR weighs in on where Book of Mormon events took place.
Article by Dr. F. Richard Hauck Ph.D. anthropology/archaeology.
Jeff Lindsay has compiled a huge amount of information.
Were there two Cumorahs? An article by Sidney B. Sperry
"Thought you might be interested in this article in NY Times. We are finally getting good data fom the Book of Mormon time frame." (Email from Dr. Lawrence Poulsen.)
Renowned Book of Mormon scholar Hugh Nibley wrote: "What of the mighty ruins of Central America? It is for those who know them to speak of them... It is our conviction that proof of the Book of Mormon does lie in Central America." (An Approach to the Book of Mormon p.376.)
Jerry L. Ainsworth is among "those who know them" and on this website he "speaks of them".
The first and top priority of Mormon Sites is a project called:
FINDING CUMORAH! Click here for the next page.
Read the fascinating story of how "The Lives and Travels of Mormon & Moroni" came to be.
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