A fair chance

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Accepting and living the gospel can be a challenge, so I continue to wonder why we make it harder for investigators (and members) than it needs to be. The Mesoamerican and two-Cumorahs theories are ubiquitous in the Church, thanks to the Arnold Friberg paintings and Christ Visiting the Americas featured in meetinghouses, temples, and the […]

Serious obstacle to consensus-Translations of the Book of Mormon obscure meaning

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One obstacle to consensus is changing the text of the Book of Mormon itself. I’ve referred to the “Sorenson” translation before, when Brother Sorenson and like-minded people use terms that aren’t actually in the text. The best known example is replacing the phrase “head of Sidon” with “headwaters of Sidon.” Another is the phrase, “narrow strip […]

Current state of the consensus

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I continue to think it would be possible to reach a consensus about Book of Mormon geography if everyone sat down and discussed the issues openly. But that isn’t happening. The proponents of Mesoamerica don’t even want Church members to know about the North American setting. This is easy to understand._____________ As it stands today, […]

Zombie geography at BYU

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Some ideas just won’t die. They’re zombies. They don’t know they’re dead, and they are mere shells of living beings, but they keep on coming. The Mesoamerican theory of Book of Mormon geography is a zombie. It continues to prowl around BYU. The textbook definition of a zombie is: a will-less and speechless human held to have […]

If ye are not one

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One oft-quoted scripture on the topic of consensus is this: “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” D&C 38:27 I’ve heard this quoted many times to support the idea that people should agree on doctrinal matters, including interpretations of geography of the Book of Mormon and […]

Sharing posts

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I’ve been asked how to share my posts on social media. I had forgotten about my twitter account, so it was a good reminder. At the end of every post on this blog there is a sharing icon. It looks like this: You just have to click on the icon for the social media you […]

Book of Mormon Translation

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I get a lot of questions about how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I have a section on that topic in the Whatever Happened book. Today I want to mention three points to consider. 1. Only the Title Page is a literal translation.  Joseph Smith’s History, circa June – October 1839 [Draft 1], here, reads, […]

the first question to ask

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If you’re interested in Book of Mormon geography, the first question to ask is this: Where is Cumorah? The answer, of course, is in western New York, where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery said it was. If someone tells you it’s somewhere else, or that there are “two Cumorahs,” you know they are repudiating Joseph […]

"From a hill in Manchester Township"

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Even when the Joseph Smith Papers editors quote Letter VII, they won’t identify the hill in New York as Cumorah. The reason, apparently, is that they favor the Mesoamerican setting which requires that Cumorah be located in Mexico. Here’s the latest example: footnote 5 to the Preface to Book of Mormon, circa August 1829. It […]