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Book of Mormon geography stirring controversy


Zakuska

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It has been more than half a century since the last big shift in thinking about Book of Mormon geography.

Judging from the commotion in the blogosphere and on rival theorists' Web sites, a dramatically different -- and disputed -- theory is gaining traction among some of the LDS faithful.

The theory, popularized by Rod Meldrum and Bruce H. Porter in the past three years, suggests that Book of Mormon events took place in the heartland of the United States, east of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. They have popularized the idea at firesides and conferences, on tours of the Midwest and in DVD sets and books.

Next week, Meldrum, Porter and colleague Wayne May will conduct two conferences exploring the heartland model, which they believe answers the question that has enthralled generations of Mormons: Where did the historical events of The Book of Mormon take place?

Meldrum expects 300 to attend his conference Thursday and Friday at Zermatt Resort in Midway, just before the church's General Conference.

Porter says 600 already were signed up 10 days in advance for the conference sponsored by LDS Promised Land, a travel company, at SouthTowne Expo Center in Sandy. That conference also is Thursday and Friday.

The latter was promoted with an ad blitz, including blurbs by Mormon talk-show host Glenn Beck on the radio and the Internet.

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14750506

A penny for your thoughts...

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My one cent thought.

Preistcraft. Meldrum/cronies own both LDS Promised Land travel company and the Zermatt Resort in Midway. It is not held in a church meeting house because they are not allowed. The presenters are psudo-scholars at best. Those who know and associate with the real archeology experts such as Clark and Sorenson know its bogus. Also I know (no I cannot prove this) that many of the leaders of the church are not too pleased with Meldrum either.

The spirit will eventually make its way and confirm one way or another which side to take.

D&C 88:78

Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

President Thomas S Monson (then an Apostle) to Elder ***** while serving his mission in Guatemala told him he believed "it was in this land (referring to mesoamerica) where the Book of Mormon happened." President ***** is currently a Stake President and Director of CES in *****.

Edited to add; I cannot (yet) give the names and place until I get his permission to make public his privet conversation I had with him.

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Meldrum and Porter say they are careful not to make claims counter to church teaching and to ensure it is presented as a theory, not fact.

Nevertheless, they should not be holding firesides, as was reported by the Tribune, to promote or teach this theory.

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My one cent thought.

Preistcraft. Meldrum/cronies own both LDS Promised Land travel company and the Zermatt Resort in Midway. It is not held in a church meeting house because they are not allowed. The presenters are psudo-scholars at best. Those who know and associate with the real archeology experts such as Clark and Sorenson know its bogus. Also I know (no I cannot prove this) that many of the leaders of the church are not too pleased with Meldrum either.

The spirit will eventually make its way and confirm one way or another which side to take.

D&C 88:78

Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

President Thomas S Monson (then an Apostle) to Elder ***** while serving his mission in Guatemala told him he believed "it was in this land (referring to mesoamerica) where the Book of Mormon happened." President ***** is currently a Stake President and Director of CES in *****.

Edited to add; I cannot (yet) give the names and place until I get his permission to make public his privet conversation I had with him.

OK, just for fun, let's apply Brother Porter's test to your situation. From the article:

"Most of the people fighting it are people who have something to lose financially or by reputation," Porter says. "I feel for them. ... How would it be when you've spent your life trying to prove The Book of Mormon location ... if someone came along and said you'd ignored the statements of Joseph Smith."

Since you have stated your opposition to the theory, do you "have something to lose financially or by reputation?"

I oppose it and I don't stand to lose anything by doing so. How far do you suppose we need to look in order to find someone who fits the condition?

WW

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OK, just for fun, let's apply Brother Porter's test to your situation. From the article:

Since you have stated your opposition to the theory, do you "have something to lose financially or by reputation?"

I oppose it and I don't stand to lose anything by doing so. How far do you suppose we need to look in order to find someone who fits the condition?

WW

I also have nothing to lose neither financially or in reputation.

I know some feel that Mesoamerican followers have the archeology on their side and Meldrum has scriptures and Joseph Smith statements on his side. But that isn't all true the mesoamerican followers also have the later statements of Joseph and other leaders it is just as strong and in my opinion stronger than theirs. As far as scriptures the convergences that Brant Gardner has shown are brilliant. The connections that Mark Wright shows are also just as genius.

It is Meldrum and cronies that are being the critics of an LGT.

Is anyone here going to it? Please let me know how it was and if they use the Michigan relics (I bet they will it least show a clip of them).

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I think all Mormons should just accept the fact that the Book of Mormon does not deal with reality, that it is not even good fiction, and that whether it's Meldrum, Ash, or whoever believing to the contrary needs to get a life

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I think all Mormons should just accept the fact that the Book of Mormon does not deal with reality, that it is not even good fiction, and that whether it's Meldrum, Ash, or whoever believing to the contrary needs to get a life

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Quote

"Most of the people fighting it are people who have something to lose financially or by reputation," Porter says. "I feel for them. ... How would it be when you've spent your life trying to prove The Book of Mormon location ... if someone came along and said you'd ignored the statements of Joseph Smith."

My question is

Can anyone name someone that proposes a Mesoamerican location for the BofM and has ignored the statements of Joseph Smith. I have not and as far as I know neither Sorenson, Gardner nor Clark have either.

One of the first things I did before suggesting a possible location for the BofM in Mesoamerica was to read all of the statements known to have been made by Joseph Smith including his translation of the gold plates. Sometimes people tend to forget that Joseph Smith was the instrument God used to carry out this marvelous work and wonder. To my knowledge it is the only writings of Joseph Smith that can unequivically be determined to have come by revelation. For everything else, it is conjecture to claim it was revelation solely on the basis that Joseph Smith was a prophet and therefore it must have been revelation or he would not have made any such statement. All of his statements about the BofM culture must be interpreted in the light of what is found in the text of the Book Of Mormon. One can not ignore the geographic information contained in the book and then propose a location that can only be made to appear to fit by ignoring some of the text and then searching for obscure meanings of words used to describe geographic features in order to make the text appear to fit a theory.

I have tried to stay out of the controversy between Meldrum and those at the Church sanctioned Neal A Maxwell Institute. Everyone, right or wrong has a right to their own opinions and theories about Book of Mormon geography.

It is interesting that Meldrum has been refused permission to use Church properties for his lectures but to my knowledge no such restriction has been placed on those at the Maxwell Institute.

Larry P

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I'm sorry, your opinion does not constitute fact, no matter how strongly or unpleasently you try to push it.

But, was not Zakuska asking for an opinion?

Besides, just where are all those "facts" supporting Book of Mormon geography?

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This is the lamest dis I have seen here for some time. Congratulations Alfred.

Lame? What's so lame about it? The article did not provide anything meaningful, and I seriously doubt that Meldrum will do anything more than what the LDS have been doing for years, and that is throw out another theory to try and excuse a glaring reality, namely that the contents of the Book of Mormon is nothing more than fiction.

Now, if you have something that you think will win the day when it comes to convincing everyone just where Zarahemla and Bountiful are located, then I know that you have at least my attention. Otherwise, to sarcastically "dis" my opinion on the whole matter, when that is all Zakuska was asking for, is, well, just plain "lame."

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Ideally, the friction between two camps of equally devout believers might create a situation where God finds it appropriate to lend revelation on the subject.

President Monson will probably be speaking for at least 45 minutes in the coming Conference sessions. It would take him 90 seconds to put it to rest.

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You mean like answer you give when you're asked how much evidence you've come across to support Book of Mormon geography?

No, I mean like your understanding of history, historcal geography, historiography, and archaeology.

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Ideally, the friction between two camps of equally devout believers might create a situation where God finds it appropriate to lend revelation on the subject.

President Monson will probably be speaking for at least 45 minutes in the coming Conference sessions. It would take him 90 seconds to put it to rest.

It would probably take him less time than that, since there isn't anything in the real world to support either "theory." Again, the Book of Mormon is fiction, no matter if one looks for evidence in New York, Central America, the Middle East, or Mars. So, if Monson were to get up and say anything true

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No, I mean like your understanding of history, historcal geography, historiography, and archaeology.

Then tell us where Zarahemla or Bountiful is. Relay to us where this museum of Book of Mormon archaeological artifacts is located, where according to David B., there is more physical evidence for the Book of Mormon than the Bible. If you think my understanding is so deficient, then here's your opportunity to play the teacher. Don't just sit there and throw rocks. Prove yourself by providing something, that if exhibited in a court of law, would win the day. If you can't do that, then attacking me won't make your case either.

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Then tell us where Zarahemla or Bountiful is. Relay to us where this museum of Book of Mormon archaeological artifacts is located, where according to David B., there is more physical evidence for the Book of Mormon than the Bible. If you think my understanding is so deficient, then here's your opportunity to play the teacher. Don't just sit there and throw rocks. Prove yourself by providing something, that if exhibited in a court of law, would win the day. If you can't do that, then attacking me won't make your case either.

http://en.wikipedia....gical_fallacies

And next you'll say "Stop avoiding my questions".

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It disturbs me that they hold firesides about this stuff. Also, I think that Meldrum is wrong. The geography doesn't fit, the archeolofy doesn't fit, and they ignore comments by Joseph Smith about the book about Mesoamerican ruins. What the church has said about geography is that it is official nuetral.

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My comment was phrased under the perspective of the promoters of each geography, wherein there is one (and only one) correct geography that can be "true". Obviously, a disbeliever in the BoM would disagree on there even being one correct geography, but I'm assuming President Monson still believes.

But, why would anyone disbelieve in the historical verity of the BoM, if what it reports is a genuine piece of historical fact?

That being true, it's kind of sad to see the time and effort being expended by LDS to study and promote incorrect geographies to their fellow saints.

And why wouldn't it be equally sad to say the same thing about the guys and gals at FARMS and FAIR who do the same thing?

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I do say the same thing. Whether or not it's "equally sad" is up to you.

Excellent! And I think it is equally sad. So much time, money, and effort is being wasted on trying to turn fiction into non-fiction, but why? The reasons are probably legion, but one of them isn't a pursuit of the truth. And that's what makes it even more sad.

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