Q&A: Questions and Answers to Debatable Book of Mormon Geography Topics

Collection of Facebook and other social media conversations with other Book of Mormon Geography enthusiasts.

Q: Could John Sorenson’s logic concerning ‘Nephite North’ being an example of ancient Egyptian directionality be valid?

A: This highlights one of the primary weaknesses/problems of the Limited Mesoamerican models. Especially the Sorenson Grijalva Model.
You have to assume that the loose translation of the Book of Mormon changed the world pyramid to tower, and deer/etc to horse and all the other cultural world translations to modern equivalents, but then you have to also believe that the Nephite directional system was NOT translated to modern equivalents but left in a coordinate system rotated by 45 degrees, except when it wasn’t.

It’s especially problematic because as Sorenson fails to point out, neither the English, Hebrew or Egyptian roots match the limited mesoamerican 45 degree rotation very well in the ways you’d have to suppose.
For instance, the Dead Sea is called the “qadmoni” sea, i.e. the eastern sea in a few cases. Ezekiel 47:18, Joel 2:20, Zecharia 14:8 are examples of this. Hardly matching the 90 degree rotation ideas sorenson pushes.
In English the Germanic roots are
South = suð or sun
North = nórðrvegr or left way
East = austri or shine/ sunrise
West = vestri or sunset
In Egyptian they are
iAbtt – EAST, left side, left hand, sun birth, rebirth.
rsy – SOUTH, Ra/sun, head, in front, beginning, upper, elevated, up river.
imntt – WEST, right side, right hand, completion, death.
mHty – NORTH, feet, end, submerged, decline, behind, down river
In both the south is ‘sun’. (where the sun is most). In one north is left in the other east is left. In Hebrew east is front and North is left and south right… so again why wouldn’t the translators just translate the directions into our modern system using the same system as the bible with the rising sun being east? The Grijalva doesn’t even correspond to a cardinal direction, so to suppose they somehow followed the Egyptian system and named northwest, north doesn’t really make sense either.. (so what would they call the direction of the rising sun where the temples should face which would be southeast in sorenson’s system?)
Who knows… but Sorenson’s explanations are not entirely satisfactory to everyone.


Q: How could hundreds of thousands of Nephite and Lamanites travel so far (2-4 thousand miles) from Mesoamerica to Cumorah during the final exodus and battles? Dont the logistics of such a move make it impossible?

A: Let me give you some thoughts on logistics. And once again…

1. We have ZERO indication of how many of either Nephites or Lamanites came from Zarahemla to the final battle. For all we know, they ALL came from desolation or Jordan. In my model scientists are working on figuring this out with dental isotope studies–because the dead bodies are everywhere.

2. The Nephite exodus happened over a period of 50+ year period! Zarahemla to Sherrizah/Boaz 321-370, Boaz to Jordan 5-10 years.. to Cumorah another 8 years (370-374). Want to do the math of how far you’d need to travel each day? (and once again we have no idea how many traveled? Just a few little clues in a couple areas

3. WATER! Like the saints who came from england, the Nephites/Lamanites would have UNDOUBTEDLY used water for transport. In my model their cities are predominantly along water trade hubs (all but about 200 miles of the way) IN FACT, logic suggests thats why cumorah was the battle spot. ITS THE END OF THE ROAD (the road being the Mississippi they used their canoes to travel)

5. BEASTS OF BURDAN. I don’t think they had horses. But Sahagun may suggest they used deer as tranport animals. I think they especially used dogs for transport.

The thing is… like I said, none of this is rocket science. As far as logistics is concerned, if you’re going one hudred miles, the logistics of going a few thousand is no different. You just do the exact same daily logistical thing, for a much longer period. You know this. I’m not sure why you’re so bent on finding ‘logistical’ problems of the final battles, that honestly exist in ALL models.

I cover these issues and more in my critique article of the 2 cumorah theories. Which of course are possible modals. I just don’t think they fit the evidence nearly as well as a continental model like Joseph’s or mine.


Q: Was the Land Desolation called Desolation because it had no trees or because it had no people or because it was a desert or wilderness region?

A: I believe all three. The text says,

“4 And they did travel to an EXCEEDINLY great distance, insomuch that they came to large bodies of water and many rivers.

5 Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.

6 And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate.

7 And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.

8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.

9 And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.

10 And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping.

11 And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.”

Sounds like the best match in North America to me….

I see your reasoning of the idea that the Jaredites cut down ALL THE TREES & left some bodies laying on the ground and thats the ONLY reason it was called desolate. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, because it had been 100-250 years by that point. Plenty of time from trees to grow back. I think thats just one reason he states here of the obvious one he doesn’t state. Its desolate.

The valley of mexico works for the ‘large body of water’ (not so much for bodies, but maybe they were including west mexico lakes). The many rivers also not so much. (compared to where they were coming from anyway)

I’m not going to be so lame as to say “that eliminates the Land of Desolation from being the valley of mexico”

But I do think the heartlanders have so much support because the eastern us really is a better land of many waters.