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Book of Mormon Gazetteer .

6 Dec

I have been writing this book for the last 4 years it is almost complete. but still has some work to be done on it. I have decided to offer a draft edition on the net so that I can get some feed back on how to improve it.
I hope people appreciate  the work that has gone into it over the years . I hope that it will be of use to people. I wouldn’t have written it If I didn’t feel that some one would find a use for it. Gazateer

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Reshaping the paradigm.

26 Sep

i’ve been writing an article now for abt 5 years outlining why the isthmus of Teauntepec cannot be the narrow neck as outlined in the Book of Mormon

but the more I researched the longer the article got. over the coming days and weeks I will be posting the  article in small segments so as not to over whelm the reader.

Since the 1981 publication of John Sorensen’s An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, a paradigm has been held amongst LDS scholars that has remained largely unquestioned.   Dr Sorensen is to be applauded for the work that he did in gettting the study of the Book of Mormon onto a more professional footing.It is now time for a new generation of scholars to build upon the work that he has done and take Book of Mormon studies in a new direction.

Dr. Sorensen is analgous to the the Mayan scholar Eric Thompson, Mesoamerican studies had been hindered by the attitudes of the  Thompson.  Anthropologists and archaeologists had such respect for Thompson that they were unwilling to challenge his assumptions about the Maya,such as that the Maya were a peace priestly society and that they did not have a real writing system.

Linda Schele and Tatiana Prouskouif were some of the first art-historians whose views had not been shaped by Thompson’s dogma, and as their expertise and research gained respect amongst Mayanists, scholarly ideas about the Maya  began to change.

Dr Sorensen’s work relating to Book of Mormon geography can be seen as foundational, but similar to Thompson’s work, outdated and uninformed by more recent research and thinking in the field.  Book of Mormon geography studies are at the same stage now that Mayan studies were in the late 1970s.  Perhaps the respect which Dr Sorensen has been held in for the ground-breaking work that he did has influenced LDS scholars to be less willing to challenge the assumptions that underly his work.  The heavy influence of Sorensen’s conclusions on further Book of Mormon studies, however,  is gradually dissipating.  Sorrensen’s concept of “Nephite North” has been challenged for a long time and will not be included in this paper.  Likewise, Kirk Magelby (ref) has clearly proven that Sorrensen’s theory that Sidon is the Grivelja River cannot be correct, so this also will not be discussed.

There is one assumption of Dr Sorenson’s that everyone still accepts, and has yet to challenged, and that is that the Ithimus of Tehuantepec is the “narrow neck” mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  While this assumption makes working out the real-world geography of the Book of Mormon so much simpler, it is hoped that  the evidence that  will be presented in the rest of this article will prompt further investigation by LDS scholars outside the existing paradigm.

There  will  be as attempt to demonstrate that the political landscape at the time of the destruction of the Nephites precludes the Ithimus of Tehuantepec or anywhere near the ithimus. as being the “narrow neck”   This  will  be done  by examining  the cities of Teotihuacan and Monte Alban and their growth, as shown in the archeological record.  also  to be discussed will be  the impact that the growth of these two cities had on the Maya, of whom the Nephites were an ethnic-religious group.   While it is outside the scope of this paper to explain the complex evidence for cultural influences between the Maya and the Nephites, it is a fundamental assumption of my work that these two peoples interracted freely.   Also some  of documented character attributes of the military leader, Mormon, will  show  that he would not have led his people through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and it therefore cannot be the “narrow neck of land”.

Finding Zarahemla

12 Aug

One of my next book projects is to write a book critiquing the current candidates for the land of Zarahemla. I hope to have it ready for The BMAF conference next year.

Why Mesoamerica.

9 Aug

Thanks to a question asked on Book of Mormon wars website. Ive been thinking about how I came to accept Mesoamerica as the place where the Book of Mormon took place.

It started when i read the book of mormon for seminary when i was 17. I have always loved looking at maps and had a good sense of spacial awareness. I drew a rough internsl map.

At the time i thought that Cumorah was in the eastern us  so I went to the library and got out a book on the archaeology  of the Eastern US.

It was obvious to me pretty early on in my reading that nothing that i”d been reading in the Book of Mormon for seminary was in the eastern us at the time the Book of Mormon was happening.

Mormon 6 was the Scripture that changed everything.  I had a similar experience to Joseph Smith. That never had any scripture  come with more power to my heart yhan that one did.

It seemed clear to me that there had to be two Cumorah’s one where Moroni had buried the plates and one where Mormon had hid up the rest of the plates.

Few years later i was attending the temple . The only one in OZ was in Sydney at the time. I happened upon the the book by David Palmer In search of Cumorah. I got my parents to buy it for me. I liked the list of criteria that he laid out. but wasn’t convinced that he had the right Cumorah. His book lead me to examine the Mesoamerican case for the Book of Mormon. A few years after that I saw Sorensens book ” An ancient american setting for the Book of Mormon” at the same bookstore. then just before going on my mission I found Hauks book “Deciphering Book of Mormon Geography”

Then  went on my mission. I had discussion with several American Missionaries. To me a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon just seemed logical. it matched with what archaeologists were saying.

They mentioned people and sites that i hadn’t really looked into before,When i got home from my Mission in the decade since id first looked at the eastern US a lot more information had come out.  Having read the Book of Mormon several times on my mission I was way more familiar with it than i had been when i was in seminary.

but looking at everything again it still didnt match with the fundamental basics of what the Book of Mormon proposed.

it was about this time that I first read Clarkes review of Haucks Deciphering the geography of the Book of Mormon. I thought in general that his critique was a harsh on Hauck. but one thing that i did like was his depiction of needing to draw an internal map before correlating any external locations.

I have since done this exercise many times.

At this time i thought about studying Archaeology at UNI but decided to do environmental science instead.

all the knowledge that i’ve gained over the years solidifies my initial leanings towards Mesoamerica.

Article published

7 Jul

This website published an article I have written about names in the  Book of Mormon.

With all the health issues that I  have had of late. It was good that I could do something positive.

http://www.bmaf.org/node/514

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