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I was recently referred to some articles explaining why the theories of Rod Meldrum should be revoked. I still don't quite understand the main reasoning behind why F.A.I.R is so against him and I was wondering if people could help me to understand why. Is the reason simply because Rod makes an emphasis on believing Joseph Smith above today's prophet? That's what I'm understanding, but maybe I'm wrong. Please help me :P

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I was recently referred to some articles explaining why the theories of Rod Meldrum should be revoked. I still don't quite understand the main reasoning behind why F.A.I.R is so against him and I was wondering if people could help me to understand why. Is the reason simply because Rod makes an emphasis on believing Joseph Smith above today's prophet? That's what I'm understanding, but maybe I'm wrong. Please help me :P

Its not so much that they should be revoked MoPyg. Its just that Rod Meldrum's scholarship is to say the least, poorly researched and flatly wrong. Rod isn't necessarily putting more emphasis on Joseph Smith than the current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, but maybe so for your prophet, J. Lamoine Jenson.

I've had Rod lie enough to me personally that I can't trust him on most things. The problem is that Rod simply ignores FAIR and claims that he's following a more true interpretation of Joseph Smith's teachings than those who disagree with him. When it comes to BoM Geography, Rod believes Joseph Smith's statements insofar as they agree with his theoretical assumptions.

Since you've proposed a rather ambiguous issue, what would you specifically like to discuss about Meldrum that you believe FAIR may be misrepresenting?

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Well first off, I don't want to just come out and say that F.A.I.R is "pointing fingers," because it may be that they are right in their assumptions about Rod Meldrum. However, as far as the personal character of Rod goes, it really doesn't concern me or anyone else as far as I see it. Whether or whether not he's a "good person" doesn't change it that his evidence is pretty compelling to say the least. To be honest, the mere fact that there are mounds in the Eastern states along with thousands of skeletons buried in ditches just next to those mounds, and with DNA evidence indicating that they came from the Eastern hemisphere, is all enough evidence to out do any other theory I've heard. There's only so many places the BofM could of taken place at, and so far, Rod's theories seem to be the most believable..at least they do for me at least. I guess it just feels to me like people are against his theories based upon his personal character...and if thats not the case then I want to be corrected in it. So any thoughts and other things that I might not be understanding that you could tell me, would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I'm not really sure what you were inferring when speaking about LaMoine...maybe you could clarify that a bit more and so I understand what you were trying to say. Thank you again.

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I must admit I'm only vaguely familiar with Meldrum's hypothesis. But ceremonial and/or monumental architecture with associated burials (like those of the ancient Hopewell culture) are found all throughout North and South America during BM times. As for the DNA evidence, if I remember right, he's talking about mtDNA haplogroup X (specifically haplotype X2a), which did indeed come from the eastern hemisphere, but then again, so did every other founding Native American haplogroup (A thru D)--thousands of years prior to BM times. I'd be happy to offer specifics to either of my comments--I work in both archaeology and ancient DNA.

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Well first off, I don't want to just come out and say that F.A.I.R is "pointing fingers," because it may be that they are right in their assumptions about Rod Meldrum. However, as far as the personal character of Rod goes, it really doesn't concern me or anyone else as far as I see it. Whether or whether not he's a "good person" doesn't change it that his evidence is pretty compelling to say the least. To be honest, the mere fact that there are mounds in the Eastern states along with thousands of skeletons buried in ditches just next to those mounds, and with DNA evidence indicating that they came from the Eastern hemisphere, is all enough evidence to out do any other theory I've heard. There's only so many places the BofM could of taken place at, and so far, Rod's theories seem to be the most believable..at least they do for me at least. I guess it just feels to me like people are against his theories based upon his personal character...and if thats not the case then I want to be corrected in it. So any thoughts and other things that I might not be understanding that you could tell me, would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I'm not really sure what you were inferring when speaking about LaMoine...maybe you could clarify that a bit more and so I understand what you were trying to say. Thank you again.

Once again, as I'd mentioned to you before, go and read Greg Smith's Review of Meldrum's "Rediscovering the Book of Mormon Remnant through DNA." Unlike Meldrum, who purports himself to be scientist and isn't (surprise surprise), Smith actually IS one. If you want to get to the nitty gritty as to why Meldrum is wrong....time and time again, Smith does a good job at laying it all out on the table in layman's terms. I don't know what they taught you in school about scientific method, but Smith's treatment shouldn't be too hard to figure out. It isn't just Meldrum's personal character. The fact that he's lied repetitively is only icing on the cake when it comes to his scholarship. If Meldrum's theories are compelling to you....I take it you haven't read much into BoM Geography have you? While his work has appealed to the Tea-Party/fundamentalist/homeschool crowd, I don't expect it to go beyond that.

As for Lamoine, here's where I'm coming from. You made the claim that Rodney Meldrum puts a stronger emphasis on the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith than Thomas S. Monson (the ONE man for you AUB folks). I disagree. I would suggest that Meldrum is selectively using Joseph Smith's words in order to produce a valid, but unsound theory. Meldrum is a quote-mining extraordinaire. He's not taking everything into consideration. When others point this out to him, he accuses them of apostasy and plugs his ears like a child. Now as for Lamoine, Meldrum may very well place a stronger emphasis on the teachings of Joseph Smith than Lamoine (your prophet) does. But, not President Monson. That is what I meant by my statements.

Now, go back and read Smith's article. I'll even make it easy for you and post it again.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=22&num=1&id=793

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FAIR is very specific why it has come out with reviews dealing with Meldrum's work when there are other theorists that have just as bad science, promote their ideas for money, etc. etc. There are a few things that Meldrum does that are seen as potentially harmful and inappropriate:

AIR provides an "Ask the Apologist" service to which people frequently send questions. In recent months many well-meaning individuals have asked why FAIR has not endorsed DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, a DVD created and promoted by Rodney Meldrum.<a href="http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/MisguidedS.html#en1">'>http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/MisguidedS.html#en1">1 To those unfamiliar with DNA science, population genetics, and the historical facts, the information presented in the DVD may appear plausible and welcome.After reviewing the material, examining the existing Latter-day Saint and scientific literature, and consulting experts in the relevant fields, FAIR cannot support or endorse Mr. Meldrum's theories or presentation. FAIR has unreservedly concluded the following:

  • Mr. Meldrum has attempted to assert revelation for those outside of his stewardship, and has used that revelation as a substitute for solid scholarship.
  • The DVD contains much material that is misrepresented because the author is unfamiliar with the large body of work that addresses the very topics he seeks to address.
  • The DVD plants erroneous concepts and expectations in the minds of viewers, making them easier targets for hostile critics when these errors are inevitably trumpeted by enemies of the Church.

Mr. Meldrum appears sincere in his beliefs about the Book of Mormon. We are worried, however, by the means Mr. Meldrum uses to promote his beliefs. We have therefore concluded that Mr. Meldrum's theories should be publicly addressed. The following sections provide a broad overview of some of the theological problems we see. For a more detailed examination, we commend the full paper, Misguided Zeal and Defense of the Church.....

FAIR is troubled by Mr. Meldrum's public claims to divine guidance and revelation to fortify his theories. We are also disturbed by the fact that such claims are outside the normal revelatory channels for the Church, and yet Mr. Meldrum seeks to apply them to the Church as a whole.

What Mr. Meldrum is doing is unique in our experience. Because of the likelihood that his presentation will mislead Latter-day Saints who are not familiar with the scholarship, it is within FAIR's mission to address Mr. Meldrum's claims. Were FAIR to be silent in the face of Mr. Meldrum's claims, error could be perpetuated and silence could be incorrectly viewed as consent and concurrence.

To be clear, FAIR advocates no particular theory of Book of Mormon geography. Some of our members subscribe to one or the other, but refrain from imposing their opinions on Latter-day Saints as matters of testimony. In the near future FAIR will examine and respond to the arguments put forth by Mr. Meldrum to support his theories. These responses will be consistent with FAIR's mission to provide "documented responses that are written in an easily understandable style" and to "use current scholarship, scripture, Church doctrine, historical literature and sound logic in constructing faithful, well-reasoned answers."

http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/MisguidedS.html

When someone confuses a person's spiritual state with a theoretical position and uses that to make claims about others' faithfulness, this is very problematic in my view.

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While his work has appealed to the Tea-Party/fundamentalist/homeschool crowd, I don't expect it to go beyond that.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=22&num=1&id=793

The gratuitious back hand tothose who may not agree with you politically puts you in the same catagory with Meldrum himself. I am sorry for you that you can not abide and have a low opinion of those who disagree with you politically.

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While his work has appealed to the Tea-Party/fundamentalist/homeschool crowd, I don't expect it to go beyond that.

Wait!! I'm a "Tea Party" member (such as membership in this amorphous group goes) and a Family-Centered Educator. I am not a "fundamentalist" (whatever you may mean by that), but as you seem to be equating them, it makes no difference: in your mind, I must be one.

I do not find Meldrum's arguments appealing.

However, I resent your implication. I'll take my education and research, my intelligence, my experience, and my positions and match them against people who are not "Tea Party" members, fundamentalists, and who use the government to fulfill one of their primary duties to God any day.

It is interesting to note that those who flaunt their self-identified superiority are usually the so-called "liberals" among any group. As they have few compelling arguments, they must resort to ad hominum to feel good about themselves (their primary goal in any case).

I'm Lehi, and I approved this message.

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It is interesting to note that those who flaunt their self-identified superiority are usually the so-called "liberals" among any group. As they have few compelling arguments, they must resort to ad hominum to feel good about themselves (their primary goal in any case).

Apparently you think assumptions of intellectual superiority by a few on the left are more egregious than right-leaning assumptions of moral superiority.

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Apparently you think assumptions of intellectual superiority by a few on the left are more egregious than right-leaning assumptions of moral superiority.

One is forced, from time to time, to illustrate the absurd by being, uncharacteristically, absurd himself.

Lehi

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The gratuitious back hand tothose who may not agree with you politically puts you in the same catagory with Meldrum himself. I am sorry for you that you can not abide and have a low opinion of those who disagree with you politically.

Easy now ERay. I work in conservative talk radio. You're putting words in my mouth. I use "Tea Party" merely because Meldrum has, at least for the past year, used his website as a platform FOR the Tea Party movement. Check it out:

http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org/

I use "Tea Party" because the overwhelming majority of Meldrum supporters are Tea Party members, but that is not to say that everyone in the Tea Party movement will agree with him.

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I use "Tea Party" because the overwhelming majority of Meldrum supporters are Tea Party members, but that is not to say that everyone in the Tea Party movement will agree with him.

Let's not use any modern political references.

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I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, but could we just stay on the topic for this thread? lol I'm really curious about it and I wanna know what everyone thinks about the issues, and not about little phrases or words that some person chose to use in a blog lol..though it is entertaining lol. Anyways, I'm still reading the article Kolipoki directed me to..though naturally it will take some time to read lol. So far though, its hard for me to make a choice as to what I believe in regards to BofM geography. So are people opposed to Rod based upon his personal character? Why is F.A.I.R making such great attemps at disproving his theories? Since the location hasn't been dictated by revelation, why aren't we all trying to build up each others views on the subject, while pointing out the holes that need to be answered. I guess I still don't understand why we shouldn't try to help prove his theories, as well as the Meso-American theories. Aren't we all trying to help each other to build strong apologetics for the anti-Mormon individual? I've heard a couple say that Rod has lied and used deceit...lets be real...isn't it much more likely that Rod was simply mistaken or mis-understood? I mean, I don't know the guy, but I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. I guess I'm just hoping that people can agree to uphold all the views, whether or not we may personally agree with them...I still think we should help each other, since the real enemy here in Mormon apologetics is the anti-Mormon...NOT Mormons themselves. Anyways, just some thoughts...thanx again for the help..I'll continue to study it.

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I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, but could we just stay on the topic for this thread? lol I'm really curious about it and I wanna know what everyone thinks about the issues, and not about little phrases or words that some person chose to use in a blog lol..though it is entertaining lol. Anyways, I'm still reading the article Kolipoki directed me to..though naturally it will take some time to read lol. So far though, its hard for me to make a choice as to what I believe in regards to BofM geography. So are people opposed to Rod based upon his personal character? Why is F.A.I.R making such great attemps at disproving his theories? Since the location hasn't been dictated by revelation, why aren't we all trying to build up each others views on the subject, while pointing out the holes that need to be answered. I guess I still don't understand why we shouldn't try to help prove his theories, as well as the Meso-American theories. Aren't we all trying to help each other to build strong apologetics for the anti-Mormon individual? I've heard a couple say that Rod has lied and used deceit...lets be real...isn't it much more likely that Rod was simply mistaken or mis-understood? I mean, I don't know the guy, but I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. I guess I'm just hoping that people can agree to uphold all the views, whether or not we may personally agree with them...I still think we should help each other, since the real enemy here in Mormon apologetics is the anti-Mormon...NOT Mormons themselves. Anyways, just some thoughts...thanx again for the help..I'll continue to study it.

The FAIR articles and Greg Smith's FARMS Review aren't just "attacks on his personal character." When Rod Meldrum came on the scene a few years ago, a number of people began questioning his theories' validity. Eventually a few scholars in fields where Meldrum claimed expertise began evaluating his work. It was poorly done, and at times deliberately deceptive. Meldrum began profiting from his ventures by publishing books and holding conferences on the subject with the promise that he was "restoring" Joseph Smith's place as the premier authority on Book of Mormon Geography. He even enlisted the help of an emeritus General Authority, Hartman Rector Jr. which brought more people in. "If a G.A. supports it....it must be true!" With every Meldrum supporter I've met, that has been the rally cry.

As mentioned before, Rod's personal character is only icing on the cake. There's nothing really to disprove with Rod's work when it was wrong in the first place. Meldrum's work is full of holes. Pointing out those holes is what FAIR has done. It doesn't take a vast education to figure it out. Yes, PhD's have reviewed and given unfavorable comments toward his work, but what I'm saying to you Josh is that it doesn't take a PhD to figure out where Meldrum is getting it flatly wrong, time and time again. I don't think Rod is mistaken or misunderstood. That may have been the case when he started out, but once he got his business going and competent scholars began reviewing his work, Meldrum ignored where critiques were being given to him and accused his critics (even in public) as being guilty of apostasy.

In regards to apologetics, Meldrum's work is really a case of friendly fire. Here we have a well-meaning person claiming to have scientifically proven that the Book of Mormon is true using shoddy scholarship to do so. This isn't helping anyone....only making the target easier for "anti-Mormons" to shoot at. The underlying issue is whether one can receive a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon. We can gab about archaeology all we want, but when we're going to evaluate it, honest scholarship needs to be at the forefront. Meldrum doesn't use that. He claims to have received personal revelation about Book of Mormon geography that he can then impose on regular church members. When diving into this issue, I think Mike Ash nailed it on the head in a recent Mormon Times article.

"We should be wary of any person or group who tries to foist a [book of Mormon] geography on members by stating or implying that their theories are based on revelation and that those who disagree with their views are out of step with the words of the prophets."
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[it] doesn't change it that his evidence is pretty compelling to say the least.

His evidence is very weak, mostly because of the lack of evidence and the evidence he does speak of is fraudulent (Michigan collection, bat creek stone etc.). It is the least compelling when they are fake.
the mere fact that there are mounds in the Eastern states along with thousands of skeletons buried in ditches just next to those mounds,
What thousands of skeletons? CFR on thousands of skeletons. This again is evidence made up to support his model. There are mounds in both North and South America, interesting yes, evidence of Book of Mormon people, no. Why do I say no? Well, ask any respectable archeologist or anthropologist, and ask how large was the population of these mound builders, you will instantly see that they do not match what the Book of Mormon requires. It is my opinion that these mound builders could have had some type of incremental trade system with, perhaps some of the people of the Book of Mormon.
and with DNA evidence indicating that they came from the Eastern hemisphere
Very bad evidence, again, ask any reputable DNA expert. Once again the Meldrum dvds are either twisting and omitting what their evidence is saying or outright incompetance. Ask some real experts and you will come to a differnt model, and definately not Meldrums. I would suggest start with Ugo Perego.
is all enough evidence to out do any other theory I've heard.
Yes it is, if you are willing to accept forged/fraudulent evidence, bad science.

There's only so many places the BofM could of taken place at
No, there is only one place it could have taken place. Do we know where? No we do not. Has the church came out where? No, the church has not came out against or for any theory. Can we theorize? Yes, we can and are asked to, through study and prayer. Now if we recieve a answer to our prayers, I would suggest you keep that personal, unless you are President Monson you don't have the authority to officially speak for where the Book of Mormon lands were.
and so far, Rod's theories seem to be the most believable..at least they do for me at least.
Good for you have you studied in depth other theories? If you have I would like you to discuss in specifics why Meldrums theory is better than a LGT in Mesoamerica or even why his is better than a hemispheric theory.
I guess it just feels to me like people are against his theories based upon his personal character..
. I have based my opinion of him solely based on the evidences he uses, the experts he uses and his style of presentation, an example is if you disagree with him he will say in a nut shell your a bad member who doesn't follow the Prophet. Ask yourself why he isn't allowed to give his firesides in the church buildings anymore.
and if thats not the case then I want to be corrected in it.
okay, consider yourself corrected.

Seriously Book of Mormon geography is a wonderful thing to study. I have some personal opinions on the matter, I would be happy to discuss them with you. Drop me a PM or email.

Anijen

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Alright everyone, thank you so much for all your input on the issue :P naturally, it will take me some time to actually determine if I'm for or against Rod Meldrum after learning these knew points that I should be considering. But just to keep things going on this, what do you think about all the quotes of Joseph Smith indicating that the Nephites were in those very lands? And how in the world am I supposed to believe in the "two hill Camorah" theory? It just doesn't sound reasonable to me. If it IS reasonable, then please point me in the right direction again ;) Love you all.

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Alright everyone, thank you so much for all your input on the issue :P naturally, it will take me some time to actually determine if I'm for or against Rod Meldrum after learning these knew points that I should be considering. But just to keep things going on this, what do you think about all the quotes of Joseph Smith indicating that the Nephites were in those very lands? And how in the world am I supposed to believe in the "two hill Camorah" theory? It just doesn't sound reasonable to me. If it IS reasonable, then please point me in the right direction again ;) Love you all.

Here's how I look at it. I've been open to a two Cumorah theory for a while, simply because it makes more sense. Does the Book of Mormon itself state that the plates were buried in precisely the same place where the great final battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites took place? Go ahead and read through it again with that question in your mind. Here's a good start as well:

Was there one Cumorah or two?

Joseph Smith was just as open to theorizing where the Book of Mormon events took places as anyone else was. There were was no historical exegesis coupled with a "Thus saith the Lord" saying where this place and that place was. What we've found from Joseph Smith (in a larger context than what Meldrum proposes) is that Joseph Smith not only allowed room for speculation into a MesoAmerican theory, but encouraged other members to study it out and do the same.

Here are a few links that I've found helpful through the years in understanding Joseph Smith's statements on BoM in a better context:

Do LDS scholars "disdain" the statements of Joseph Smith related to Book of Mormon geography?

Joseph Smith's statements about Geography

Most of Meldrum's assertions about BoM Geography come from statements attributed to Joseph Smith during the Zion's Camp march. He leaves out virtually everything Joseph Smith said AFTER 1841 when Joseph and other Latter-day Saints encountered the literary work of John L. Stephens in Central America.

I certainly hope you find these helpful Josh.

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Alright :P I'll give that some thought too. However, you mentioned that Joseph Smith never said where the BofM took place as a "thus saith the Lord," and it seems to me that your asserting that because of this, we can't take it as doctrine or absolute truth. Doesn't the Church teach that it doens't matter HOW the prophet says it, its still doctrine and should be followed? I absolutely hate it when people tell me about my own religion and find it to be absolutely annoying, so I'm not trying to do that. But I HAVE been going to the LDS Church for about five years now, and I'm pretty sure im correct in my stating that...again...please correct me if I'm wrong in that assertion. Also, its been awhile since I've seen the DVD by Rod Meldrum, but I do distinctly remember him talking about several other statements from Joseph Smith as well as his responses to other people trying to justify Meso-America as the land of the Nephites. In regards to that..another question...if its in Meso-America, what are we to do about all the stone monuments that directly contradict the buildings that the Nephites built? Also, as a side question, how do Mormons respond to anti-Mormons saying that there is no DNA evidence for the BofM? Thanx again.

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Most every question you raise has already been answered in articles previously mentioned. FAIR has done an excellent job reviewing his work. You can find that review here: http://www.fairlds.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography/

If you have questions specifically about DNA, as well as the character of Meldrum (which DOES make a difference. If someone is known to be a liar, and yes, I have plenty of experience with this, you can probably guess that he isn't all that truthful in his work as well) http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=22&num=1&id=793

If those don't answer you questions (which they should), here are more articles on the subject http://www.bmaf.org/node/323 with this one being my favorite: http://www.bmaf.org/node/243

As for Joseph Smiths statements, he placed the Book of Mormon all over North and South America. But, Meldrum only uses the quotes which support his position, and ignores the many quotes which are contrary to his theory. How is that honest? How is that objective scholarship? If he was taking an honest look at what Joseph Smith believed, then he is completely ignorant of Church History. But since this stuff has been brought up to him numerous times, we can conclude that he does not care about truth, only about being right.

Here is a brief look at statements made in Joseph Smiths lifetime on BOM geography.

http://www.fairblog.org/2010/04/02/book-of-mormon-geography-in-joseph-smiths-day/

Joseph Smith placed The Book of Mormon in North America, outside of Meldrums geography, in Central America (in June (?), September and October 1842 Times and Seasons), and it can be argued that he placed it in South America as well. But does he acknowledge this? No. When I first met him, he was at a conference with a booth. I was waiting to speak with him while he was speaking to someone else. He was explaining why the BOM happened in North America, and explained that Joseph Smith taught and believed that it happened in North America. When I spoke to him, and brought up quotes of Joseph Smith counter to his theory, he agreed and stated that of course Joseph Smith taught that it happened all over the map. So, to someone who is not studied on the subject he states that JS taught a North American theory, but to someone who has studied the issue, will agree with them that he wasn't consistent in his teaching. This, of course, has changed. He now will argue to the grave that JS taught/believed it happened in N. America.

ANYWAY, Joseph Smith never corrected ANYONE in private or public, on their views on BOM geography. He allowed several geographies to be published in the Times and Seasons while he was Editor, and even later when John Taylor was Editor, who continued to publish a Mesoamerican setting for The Book of Mormon. If JS "knew", then why didn't he even let those closest to him know about it? Why wasn't some correction given if John Taylor was promoting a false view? Joseph Smith was not tolerant to those who preached against revelation and truth, why would he do so now (and over and over again)? Why has the Church not taken hold of JS revelation and continued to say that it has not been revealed? Why has there been several Temple dedications in Mesoamerica that say it is the land of the Lamanites?

Gordon B. Hinckleys dedicatory prayer at the Guatemala City, Guatemala temple, he stated, "Thou Kind and Gracious Father, our hearts swell with gratitude for Thy remembrance of the sons and daughters of Lehi... We thank Thee O God, for lifting the scales of darkness which for generations clouded the vision of the descendants of Lehi"

In his March 6, 1999 dedicatory prayer given at the Colonia Juar

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Here's how I look at it. I've been open to a two Cumorah theory for a while, simply because it makes more sense. Does the Book of Mormon itself state that the plates were buried in precisely the same place where the great final battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites took place? Go ahead and read through it again with that question in your mind. Here's a good start as well:

Was there one Cumorah or two?

Joseph Smith was just as open to theorizing where the Book of Mormon events took places as anyone else was. There were was no historical exegesis coupled with a "Thus saith the Lord" saying where this place and that place was. What we've found from Joseph Smith (in a larger context than what Meldrum proposes) is that Joseph Smith not only allowed room for speculation into a MesoAmerican theory, but encouraged other members to study it out and do the same.

Here are a few links that I've found helpful through the years in understanding Joseph Smith's statements on BoM in a better context:

Do LDS scholars "disdain" the statements of Joseph Smith related to Book of Mormon geography?

Joseph Smith's statements about Geography

Most of Meldrum's assertions about BoM Geography come from statements attributed to Joseph Smith during the Zion's Camp march. He leaves out virtually everything Joseph Smith said AFTER 1841 when Joseph and other Latter-day Saints encountered the literary work of John L. Stephens in Central America.

I certainly hope you find these helpful Josh.

Just to clarify, Joseph was teaching a N. American setting at the same time he was teaching a Mesoamerican setting. His statements about the work of John L. Stephens was right on the heels (within months) of N. American statements. He held a hemispheric view.

I believe he would be ashamed of what Meldrum has turned his statements into.

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Just to clarify, Joseph was teaching a N. American setting at the same time he was teaching a Mesoamerican setting. His statements about the work of John L. Stephens was right on the heels (within months) of N. American statements. He held a hemispheric view.

I believe he would be ashamed of what Meldrum has turned his statements into.

VERY true Sevenbak. Joseph did not completely abandon a North American setting when he began teaching a Central American setting, but continued to find parallels in any civilization he could find them. He was not partial to *any* area. I am pointing to a Mesoamerican setting just for the fact that Meldrum is claiming that there is no evidence for it.

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Alright :P I'll give that some thought too. However, you mentioned that Joseph Smith never said where the BofM took place as a "thus saith the Lord," and it seems to me that your asserting that because of this, we can't take it as doctrine or absolute truth. Doesn't the Church teach that it doens't matter HOW the prophet says it, its still doctrine and should be followed?

If Joseph Smith meant for his statements to be authoritative and binding on the Church, then we would consider them to be "doctrine" or "absolute truth." Yet not everything a prophet has said is considered doctrine. While I don't know what your beliefs are among the Apostolic United Brethren, in the LDS Church we don't (or at least shouldn't) believe that our prophets are infallible. As Joseph Smith noted, "A prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as such." Did Joseph have a geography revealed to him by the power of the Holy Ghost? He may have. But when he never mentioned publicly that he did. Meldrum would have you believe that Joseph Smith did in fact have the geography revealed to him, and that Meldrum is "restoring" that idea through his own for-profit research.

I absolutely hate it when people tell me about my own religion and find it to be absolutely annoying, so I'm not trying to do that. But I HAVE been going to the LDS Church for about five years now, and I'm pretty sure im correct in my stating that...again...please correct me if I'm wrong in that assertion. Also, its been awhile since I've seen the DVD by Rod Meldrum, but I do distinctly remember him talking about several other statements from Joseph Smith as well as his responses to other people trying to justify Meso-America as the land of the Nephites. In regards to that..another question...if its in Meso-America, what are we to do about all the stone monuments that directly contradict the buildings that the Nephites built? Also, as a side question, how do Mormons respond to anti-Mormons saying that there is no DNA evidence for the BofM? Thanx again.

You're wrong in your assertion that the LDS Church believes in prophetic infallibility.

What stone monuments are you referring to that "directly contradict the buildings that the Nephites built?" I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here. Are you saying that the buildings described in the Book of Mormon could not have existed in Central America? I would suggest on good authority that Meldrum is no more than marginally familiar with MesoAmerican archaeology. FAIR has dealt with every single quote that Meldrum uses in his DVD. Feel free to review them here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography_%28DVD%29

There are literally hundreds of resources by reputable LDS scholars (rather than those that claim to be but aren't) that address the DNA issue.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/DNA_evidence

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VERY true Sevenbak. Joseph did not completely abandon a North American setting when he began teaching a Central American setting, but continued to find parallels in any civilization he could find them. He was not partial to *any* area. I am pointing to a Mesoamerican setting just for the fact that Meldrum is claiming that there is no evidence for it.

The thing that really puzzles me, is that some people try to dismiss Joseph's statements about N. America, as if he altered or changed his teachings, when he spoke of Mesoamerica.

In fact, when speaking of the discoveries of Central America, he supported N. America in the very same statement!! It's beyond my how some try to spin it.

Joseph taught a Hemispheric and migratory setting. Meldrum is nuts.

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