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The "Heartland Theory" (?)

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I'm not even sure this is a real thing, but if someone has heard of it, would you be so good as to explain it to me, please?

Thanks very much,

Dan

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1 hour ago, oklds said:

I'm not even sure this is a real thing, but if someone has heard of it, would you be so good as to explain it to me, please?

Thanks very much,

Dan

Would a map and any kind endorsed by the church, or archaeological evidence, change how you feel about the BOM?  

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My theory about Heartland? 

It's the best show broadcast on CBC.  Especially if you like horses and Alberta. 

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6 hours ago, Lagrange said:

My theory about Heartland? 

It's the best show broadcast on CBC.  Especially if you like horses and Alberta. 

have you taken leave of your senses???!!!!!! The Beachcombers was the best thing to hit CBC

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On 5/30/2018 at 2:15 PM, snowflake said:

Would a map and any kind endorsed by the church, or archaeological evidence, change how you feel about the BOM?  

Short answer: No.

Long Answer:  I have a couple of maps, both drawn by Joseph Smith himself.  I also have several artifacts which came from those map locations.  I also have 114 other sheets of written text, mostly written by his Wife from his dictation.  You may have heard of them.  None of that changes my opinion of the Book of Mormon either.

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114 or 116?

Where did you get them?

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On 5/30/2018 at 11:22 AM, oklds said:

I'm not even sure this is a real thing, but if someone has heard of it, would you be so good as to explain it to me, please?

Thanks very much,

Dan

There is a great book by Bruce Porter and Rod Meldrum entitled  "Prophecies and Promises" That you can get at Deseret Book that presents the theory very well. Scriptural and Joseph Smith based for the most part. Be ready for some push back if you end up thinking it is credible. There are many in the church and specifically at BYU who have based their reputations on Mesoamerica and now cannot back down when new evidence comes to light. The new Book of Mormon videos being produced by the church, similar to the Bible Videos, show a North American setting and I have heard some rumblings that the Seminary and Institute curriculum is eliminating all references to Mesoamerica as the place where the Book of Mormon takes place. There is sure to be an uproar if this happens. Personally I am open to changing my mind on this topic as I have never been completely sold on Mesoamerica or any place as being the Book of Mormon Lands as the church has said they don't know. If they find out something more I am sure they will let us know.

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There is a great book by Bruce Porter and Rod Meldrum entitled  "Prophecies and Promises" that you can get at Deseret Book that presents the theory very well. Scriptural and Joseph Smith based for the most part. Be ready for some push back if you end up thinking it is credible. There are many in the church and specifically at BYU who have based their reputations on Mesoamerica and now cannot back down when new evidence comes to light. The new Book of Mormon videos being produced by the church, similar to the Bible Videos, show a North American setting and I have heard some rumblings that the Seminary and Institute curriculum is eliminating all references to Mesoamerica as the place where the Book of Mormon takes place. There is sure to be an uproar if this happens. Personally I am open to changing my mind on this topic as I have never been completely sold on Mesoamerica or any place as being the Book of Mormon Lands as the church has said they don't know. If they find out something more I am sure they will let us know.

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On 6/17/2018 at 9:47 PM, oklds said:

Short answer: No.

Long Answer:  I have a couple of maps, both drawn by Joseph Smith himself.  I also have several artifacts which came from those map locations.  I also have 114 other sheets of written text, mostly written by his Wife from his dictation.  You may have heard of them.  None of that changes my opinion of the Book of Mormon either.

Oklds, saw you have peeked in recently, any info available on this text?

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5 hours ago, GBT said:

The new Book of Mormon videos being produced by the church, similar to the Bible Videos, show a North American setting

As they should as Mesoamerica is located in North America. :)

They are trying to be geography neutral which is proper as the church has no official stance on where Book of Mormon events took place.

Edited by ksfisher
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On 5/30/2018 at 4:52 PM, Calm said:

The heartland has some issues with it.  From what I have seen, it appeals to people who want the prophecies' blessings to apply primarily to the US rather than a more widespread approach.  They claim they are the ones trusting what Joseph said, but choose to ignore some of his comments that place some events elsewhere.  They also pick and choose their science, ignoring what timelines are attached to stuff they see as evidence for their claims.  A few people have chosen to make their career promoting this theory along with attaching anything else that can make them a buck, so it makes it difficult for them to deal with criticism, imo.  I am a member of FM and was around when the FIRM Foundation got going and was able to observe how Rod Meldrum just blew off any attempts to help him adjust to the science where he was misusing it.  He overdid 'this work has been revealed to me' bit making geographical belief a matter of faithfulness when the Church has officially come our and said it endorses no theory.  Scholars are in apostasy, etc, in many heartlanders' views and are regularly attacked.  (BYU is viewed as in apostasy for teaching evolution by Meldrum...he never did answer my question of why BYU regents, which include apostles, are allowing our youth to be led into apostasy by teaching scientific theories he says are lies)  He got banned from giving presentations in Church buildings for promoting his product, I believe (I am actually certain of it, but wasn't party to the conversation, so I admit I may be wrong).  Iow, while I have no problem with him sharing his ideas even though I find them to be low quality on the science side, I think he and others like him go way too far in tying them to Faith and turning the whole endeavor into an allegedly God directed, spiritual movement.  

The MesoAmerican theories do have the issue that while the geography works best with the text, it does not appear Joseph saw it as so localized and of course it contradicts the traditional hemispheric model (though I believe the hemispheric model doesn't work with the timelines in the text).

This approach is probably the most up- to-date one, imo, if you are not already aware of it:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/heartland-as-hinterland-the-mesoamerican-core-and-north-american-periphery-of-book-of-mormon-geography/

 

Perfectly said.

I have read many experts on the theories... You just wrapped it all up and succinctly done. Well done.

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On 7/25/2018 at 10:39 AM, GBT said:

 There are many in the church and specifically at BYU who have based their reputations on Mesoamerica and now cannot back down when new evidence comes to light.

This seems pretty questionable. If anything doing apologetics isn't typically appreciated if Dan Peterson is to be believed. BYU much prefers people making an impact in their field in the noted academic journals. Apologetics is at best viewed as a hobby that might distract from academic respect.

While the mesoAmerican model definitely has a few problems - metal being the key one - the heartland model has far, far, more problems. Further those pushing it by and large just don't particularly care about the scientific issues. Indeed as Calm noted, the main proponent, Meldrum, seems to be the one turning it into a business - not BYU professors. Further he's not exactly been embracing of science to say the least.

 

On 7/25/2018 at 10:39 AM, GBT said:

The new Book of Mormon videos being produced by the church, similar to the Bible Videos, show a North American setting and I have heard some rumblings that the Seminary and Institute curriculum is eliminating all references to Mesoamerica as the place where the Book of Mormon takes place. There is sure to be an uproar if this happens. 

I confess most of the images I've seen from the videos have been old world locations. However the recent images at lds.org recently seem to take place in the new world. They were filming near Springville but brought palm trees suggesting a much more southern location than the heartland model uses. i.e. great lakes this isn't (as one might quickly presume given the Utah region where they filmed) However even the second season which they just completed only deals with the period up to Enos. So perhaps one shouldn't read too much into it. However look at the pictures and decide yourself if this is anything like Hopewell culture in the great lakes region.

Now to be fair it's clearly not embracing the typical views on mesoAmerican archaeology either. So it's more ambiguous than trying to say "mesoAmerica it is." However the palm trees strongly push it south. The quote at Church news suggests villages modeled on central America. "I have been in small towns in Latin America, and I just … feel like I’m in one of them." 

The bow and arrow obviously avoid the semantic shift issues some, like myself, have noted. (There's no evidence for bows and arrows at the relevant times in the Book of Mormon -- although to be fair the film thus far focuses in on Nephi and Jacob not later periods)

It's interesting Elder Echo Hawk is apparently helping oversee things. Given his native American background I look forward to what perspective that brings to the project. Sister Aburto is also overseeing it and she's from Nicaragua and hopefully brings that central American perspective. I've noticed in at least many photos they're trying to avoid the "everyone looks European" problem that has beset previous projects. (IMO)

 

On 5/30/2018 at 3:45 PM, Lagrange said:

My theory about Heartland? 

It's the best show broadcast on CBC.  Especially if you like horses and Alberta. 

Ugh. My daughters watch that non-stop on Netflix here in the states. On the other hand it's nice to hear accents from home. I have to admit I was always a Beachcombers fan like a few others mentioned, although that's dating me somewhat. That and Wayne and Shuster. (Also dating me)

Edited by clarkgoble

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:47 PM, oklds said:

Short answer: No.

Long Answer:  I have a couple of maps, both drawn by Joseph Smith himself.  I also have several artifacts which came from those map locations.  I also have 114 other sheets of written text, mostly written by his Wife from his dictation.  You may have heard of them.  None of that changes my opinion of the Book of Mormon either.

I personally do not believe Joseph Smith drew those maps. The handwriting is not his, and the tell-tale is the city in Utah (Moroni) that didn't exist in his day being on at least one of them. I chalk them up to another Mormon fable. They were obviously drawn well after the Saints went to Utah supposedly based on what Joseph had said, and then promoted as being his maps later.

I am interested in his wife's alleged dictation notes, but dubious of those as well.

When I moved to Utah I became somewhat interested in the geography of the Book of Mormon, and began to suspect that the "Hopewell" were somehow directly connected to the BoM. At the time I began to suspect that their DNA might tell a different story which would illuminate the Book of Mormon. This hope has proven somewhat premature. The mtDNA X haplogroup has been shown to pre-exist the BoM era in the Americas to my satisfaction. Rod Meldrum took this, and ran with it, but I am fairly convinced that his mtDNA X haplogroup pre-existed the BoM, whereas he has held onto it, and began to promote young earth science. I view him as a one horse pony show. I am not saying his ideas are completely wrong, but he seemed to latch onto this one idea, and build everything around it, even as scientific evidence against it continued to mount. For example a study of DNA samples from a Hopewell village showed very little haplogroup X mtDNA. They were primarily haplogroup B mtDNA - a very old lineage in the Americas. However, there is lots of evidence to consider besides just DNA. DNA of a small population can become "overwritten" when it is introduced into a much larger population. I believe Meldrum has hung his hat on the wrong tree, although I do believe the native Haplogroup X mtDNA originated in the Middle East. Its mutation history just doesn't fit the BoM narrative. It is probably too ancient by all accounts.  IMHO Meldrum has bent over backwards to resist this evidence. Again, I am not saying the Heartland idea is wrong, but I find Meldrum's model of it unconvincing - as I do Wayne May's. So presently, there is not a published "Heartland model" I support. However, there is almost nothing about any MesoAmerican model I find convincing at all. Quite the contrary, I believe the reliance of scholars on it has hurt the Church, as proponents become convinced there is no "in the dirt archaeology" to support the BoM there.

To answer your OP more succinctly, I believe the name "Heartland model" became connected to Rod Meldrum and Wayne May, and to their ideas. For instance, May promotes  Big Spring (in Carter County, Missouri) as being the Waters of Mormon.  While I do not accept many of their ideas including geographical ideas, this does not necessarily mean I completely discount some of the main thrusts of the Heartland model. I believe there is much to be said for it - just differently than they say it.

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The foundation for the Heartland Model includes pertinent points from Joseph Smith -- Zion's March over the plains of the Nephites and roving over the mounds of that once great people, Manti in Huntsville Missouri, Zelph the white Lamanite whose superior was known to the Rocky Mountains, etc.  There is much to be said for remnants of the Book of Mormon in North America, but my question is, can we drew a circle around it?  If so, where?  Science is even aware of Mound Builders in the American southwest and into Yellowstone.

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50 minutes ago, Tajara said:

The foundation for the Heartland Model includes pertinent points from Joseph Smith -- Zion's March over the plains of the Nephites and roving over the mounds of that once great people, Manti in Huntsville Missouri, Zelph the white Lamanite whose superior was known to the Rocky Mountains, etc.  There is much to be said for remnants of the Book of Mormon in North America, but my question is, can we drew a circle around it?  If so, where?  Science is even aware of Mound Builders in the American southwest and into Yellowstone.

The main problem is the lack of writing and that they were largely a hunter/gatherer society without the buildings the Book of Mormon describes. The period that corresponds to the Book of Mormon timeline would be the Hopewell of the early Woodland period. While lining up weapons in the Book of Mormon with mesoAmerica isn't perfect, it's far, far more problematic for the Hopewell. There's nothing like say the macuahuitl to explain sword references for instance. On the other hand bows could be taken literally rather than as describing atlatals or darts although most date them to after the Book of Mormon era for the Hopewell. So most likely the Hopewell also used atlatls but not other weapons. (I know some apologists have claimed bows in mesoAmerica during Book of Mormon periods but after checking the primary references I found them wanting) While there are a lot of problems with metals in mesoAmerica there's even far more with the Hopewell or nearby groups like the Adena. The other problem is with numbers which work for mesoAmerica (if problematically in a few places) however the numbers for the Hopewell are much, much smaller than for the Mayan. One finds villages but not cities. 

MesoAmerica is far from perfect with our current knowledge. But it does have key elements such as fitting closer for war, weapons and armor descriptions, sizes and cities, and while problematic, at least some semblance of metal use. The key issue is writing though.

 

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On 5/30/2018 at 2:52 PM, Calm said:

The heartland has some issues with it. 

<snip>

The MesoAmerican theories do have the issue that while the geography works best with the text,

<snip>

The great things (or worst things) about the Heartland model and the Mesoamerican models are that if you take all the reasons why either one probably isn't true and put them together, you have a pretty good idea of why a lot of people don't  believe the Book of Mormon really happened.

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The best indictment of the Heartland Model is Meldrum’s endorsement.......as soon as you read what else he has endorsed.

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The best indictment of the Heartland Model is Meldrum’s endorsement.......as soon as you read what else he has endorsed.

The heartland theory is not particularly troublesome. People are free to believe what they want. Meldrum's making it into a worthiness shibboleth is.

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36 minutes ago, USU78 said:

The heartland theory is not particularly troublesome. People are free to believe what they want. Meldrum's making it into a worthiness shibboleth is.

And the horribly bad arguments that he and his supporters use to support it. If you use bad science and bad archaeology to support something you are encouraging people to build their house on the sand.

Those who believe it while ignoring the horribly bad arguments are fine. I suspect they are wrong but I think that about a lot of things without condemnation.

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I agree that the Heartland model is not particularly troublesome.  If you dig deep enough (no pun intended) the evidence of war, weapons and armor are all present--except maybe the bow.  The numbers do seem to be down until you consider items such as the great Hopewell road -- completely unnecessary for a few hunter-gatherers. 

There is evidence of metallurgy including brass, iron and steel if you know where to look, and as far as the issue of writing...  Many are unaware that the Taliwa, Navajo, Cherokee, Muskogee (Creek and Shawnee), Iroquois, and many others had pre-Columbian, written records on bark, clay, stone, lead, copper, silver, and even gold plates.  

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12 hours ago, cinepro said:

The great things (or worst things) about the Heartland model and the Mesoamerican models are that if you take all the reasons why either one probably isn't true and put them together, you have a pretty good idea of why a lot of people don't  believe the Book of Mormon really happened.

It's fairly easy to understand why people are skeptical of the Book of Mormon. Most people aren't familiar with linguistic shifts, although if you start reading descriptions by the Spanish of native species and tools such shifts become expected. Likewise there's no positive evidence that demands the claims are true. Further the whole story is grounded in a supernatural event that makes most people's eyes roll. That is without some experience suggesting it is true, why on earth would anyone believe?

But the question is more based upon what public evidence there is which model explains the most. I'd never say either can yet explain everything. By the same token there's lots of scholars who pretty much dismiss pre-monarchal Jewish history as fanciful and myths since there's no positive evidence for it. Many even are suspicious of most of the monarchal accounts as exaggerated at best and most likely legendary and unhistorical.

When the criteria is what one has to believe lest one be irrational, then skepticism and disbelief will always be the first choice.

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