cinepro Posted November 28, 2009 Share Posted November 28, 2009 Recent discussions on Book of Mormon geography scarcely prepared me for this weekend. While staying with some friends for the Thanksgiving holiday, we were enjoying some BoM reading on Wednesday evening when the a verse under consideration (in Helaman 3) caused the father to comment on the probable location of these events being in the northeastern portion of what is now the USA. By way of background, this family is very, very "TBM" (the father is serving his second call as Bishop), and they are especially well read in "Deseret Book" type stuff.Intrigued by his comment, I asked where that came from. He then told me how a member of his ward had lent them a DVD that argued for a "Great Lakes" location for the BoM, and he was very convinced by it. The DVD was produced by "Wayne May", apparently a precursor to Rodney Meldrum. I was able to watch about 25 minutes of it (it's 2 hours long!), and found it to be very interesting.Then, this afternoon, a book came in the mail. Turns out the video had been convincing enough for my host to order one of Wayne May's books! It's about 200 pages, with lots of pictures, but I found the most interesting points to be in the introduction. Here are some excerpts:A major question in Book of Mormon studies is, "where was the Land of Zarahemla really?" There can be no real Book of Mormon Archaeology until the true real world setting of the Book of Mormon is identified. It will not do to just dig up any arcaheological site in the Americas and call it a Book of Momron site. there have been many theories in the past about this, but none has been able to answer the question to the satisfaction of the authors. the theory that is presented in this book harmonizes things that were previously misunderstood. This book shows that the Hill Cumorah where the Nephites were destroyed really was in New York, an that the heartland of the Npehite culture, being the land of Zarahemla, was not too far from it. For over 100 years, the majority of people did not doubt that Cumorah was really in New York, and the prophets were consistent in their teachings about that fact. The only thing that was ever in doubt was how far south the rest of the lands mentioned in the Book of Mormon were from Cumorah in New York. the popular theory that the Land Southward including Zarahemla was in Mesoamerica started in 1842 with some speculation in the church. Later, certain people identified the Isthmus of Panama as the "obvious" narrow neck mentioned in the Book of Mormon. From this promiscuous mix of speculation spawned the idea the the Book of Mormon Lands covered the whole hemisphere.Then the Mesoamericanists came along with the idea of a theory that the Book of Mormon Lands only took up a few hundred miles. They believe that Cumorah and all the rest of the lands were actually down in Mesoamerica, so they have dispensed entirely with a Cumorah in New York state. .....Unlike previous researchers, we have directly challenged the notions of the Mesoamericanists and taken their dogmatism head-on that it was impossible that the Book of Mormon Lands could be in the Great Lakes region. Previous researchers seemed to not dare to take on the Mesoamericanists, but seemed to pretend that there was no need to challenge them. They seemed to believe it was enough that prophets said Cumorah was in New York, so that was all the evidence they needed, when it was only one of the spices in the soup, not all the ingredients. The fact is, if the Mesoamericanists are never directly challenged, their theory will always dominate the scholarly opinion in the church. If there is never a paradigm shift in the scholarly opinion of the church towards a Great Lakes setting, the church will forever be held in the clutches of an incorrect theory.If any revelation is ever to be had on the geography by a prophet to tell us finally how it is, surely some kind of research would have to come out some time beforehand to show the plausibility of such a revelation, to prepare the minds of the people for it. Otherwise, such a revelation would probably be doubted because "everybody knows it's in Mexico". Such a thing would be a preparatory work. We make no special claims ,but we do see the potential need for such a thing. If so, perhaps this book will fill the void, and who the need for further research in this long ignored area of North America. If FARMS is going to spend large sums in their research in Mexico, all we ask is that they spend an equal amount of money on the United States. What they will find just may surprise them. Perhaps if they won't take it seriously yet because of their pet theory, eventually someone will have to give them a good enough reason."This Land: Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation - Only One Cumorah!" by Edwin Goble and Wayne MayIntroduction2002Beyond the introduction, the book goes into great detail arguing for the different aspects of the Great Lakes theory, but most surprisingly (and disturbingly), it is very, very dependent on the Michigan Relics. Not a good sign. (Also, you can read this review by Mesoamericanist Brant Gardner.)Beyond the DVD and book, I was also surprised to peruse the latest issue of the LDS-targeted newspaper "Mormon Times", and found two ads for Great Lakes-promoting books (including an ad occupying no less than a half-page of space for Rodney Meldrum's latest and something called "Choice Above All Other Lands" by Vincent Coon).These are definitely interesting times for Book of Mormon archaeology, and it's been an interesting couple of days for Cinepro! 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