What Book of Mormon Geography should I believe?

I have been resisting the urge to post arguments on why other Book of Mormon theories are wrong and to show why mine is the most correct. Personally, I don’t believe this is a good way to promote ideas and learning. It seems to me like a war going on out there in the research world, both LDS and non-LDS, into the origins of Native Americans of North, Central, and South America. Everyone has staked their claim on  evidences and discoveries to support their theories. I have periodically searched the internet for something new and once in a while I would find a posting to suggest an alternative idea. It seems to me that everyone is rehashing the same old information or trying to convince others that their theories are correct, as is shown by the comments made on this blog. I have gathered quite a list of commenters who instead of asking me questions try to convince me why I am wrong in my beliefs. I don’t doubt that what they have discovered is a good possibility in the locations of the Book of Mormon lands and honestly believe they have found the true interpretation. What I have a problem with these theories is that they are closed for further research and expansion and are instead gathering information to prove that they are right. No one can be absolutely sure of the correctness of ancient history and all evidence is based upon personal interpretation and background. There are so many theories out there on the origins of ancient Americans, both LDS and non-LDS, that we are often left in confusion on what to believe. Who do we believe? The PHD professor with 40 years of research or the arm chair researcher with no schooling? Or the LDS researcher with years of experience and learning? There are researchers who have built whole industries surrounding  their beliefs and trying to gather support for their ideas. For LDS members, will your faith in God and the Church be crushed when we finally learn about the Nephite history? Some will say no and yet some others will stand by their convictions. So, who do we believe and where do we go from here? Faithful LDS members stand by the Prophet and Church authorities. We are warned not to engage in scriptural hobbies because they tend  to create friction between members. Non-LDS researchers look towards their schools, professors, internet, religion, etc. for information. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between religious bias, as in promoting the Book of Mormon or the Bible, and mainstream, accepted theories promoted by professors and various schools of learning. Theories should not be treated as accurate facts. Theories change over time as more information is gathered and new ideas are presented. My impression on Book of Mormon geography theories presented are treated as facts and there can be no other possibility to where the Book of Mormon events took place. And mainstream non-LDS theories leave no room to question other possibilities, the author’s reputation is at stake.  Changes in theories take a long time to be accepted. This usually done by archaeologists discovering something new to add to the theory or a new interpretation is presented and accepted by an authority in a particular area. The Book of Mormon is generally difficult to prove true outside the LDS Church circles. To accept the Book of Mormon as a true record means to accept the origins of the Book of Mormon as a true account involving angels, magical stones, etc. which puts it into the realm of unprovable beliefs. To the LDS researcher most archeological discoveries prove the Book of Mormon to be true, depending on how the evidence is interpreted by the researcher. North American theorists are gathering evidence to support their conclusions that all the events took place there but cannot adequately explain the Mayan and South American traditions and Joseph Smith’s comments, in my opinion. The same is true with Central and South American theorists. They cannot explain how the plates of Mormon ended up in upstate New York without adding another Cumorah, angels, etc. All Book of Mormon theorists, as far as I know, do not accept the Land Bridge theory and are just begining to accept the idea that there were other peoples in this New World when Lehi landed. The ideas presented on this blog are my attempt to bridge the gap between LDS and non-LDS resources. Each time I work on this project I learn something new about the Book of Mormon and how it relates to the “real” world. I prefer to present possibilities not facts and let the reader to decide to believe it or not. Ancient American history needs fresh ideas to be explored and discovered and a compromise is needed between researchers in all areas of historical research.

Until my next posting…….

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2 thoughts on “What Book of Mormon Geography should I believe?

  1. uft36 Post author

    Thanks, Greg, for your comment. Until that time when we finally do get the answers to our questions about Nephite history and other things I will continue to research the Book of Mormon and Native American origins. I prefer the journey of discovery and learning new thoughts and ideas and how they can be applied to difficult questions and mysteries. My theories and thoughts may not be entirely correct but it is a start for me and something to build upon. My spirituality is not totally dependent on this research but I am learning that there may be something far deeper and intangible going on than people moving from one place to another. I know people can say that it is all in God’s plan but this is an easy answer. To actually see God’s plan unfold and working in moving people around in ancient history for a specific purpose would be even more amazing and wonderful to me. The challenge would be to find the right pieces and put them in the right places.

    Reply

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