August 29, 2008

Welcome to the DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — The FIRM Foundation Blog @ 6:26 pm

This blog is dedicated to providing a forum for those who have seen the DVD presentation of DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography to discuss their thoughs, feeling, questions, and concerns about this research project. 

No crude, vulgar or unethical comments will be allowed, however views differing from the authors/editors will be allowed so long as they are not abusive. Should abuse occur, it will be deleted.  If it happens again, that poster will be permanently blocked.  This is for civil conversation and discussion only, not anti-Mormon rhetoric.  Postings will be made at the disgression of the editor. 

Thank you for sharing your posts!  Please come back again often.

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66 Comments »

  1. David Handy wrote: “The first issue that I looked into was the “Zelph” incident that occurred during the Zion’s Camp March. With a little effort I soon learned that there was much more to the story than you were telling in your presentation. The research studies on this incident that I read showed me that you were presenting only those parts of the incident that reinforced your belief. By not sharing the complete story and by leaving out those parts that were not supportive of your theory, I felt that you were misleading me with your presentation. You were leading me to a conclusion that was not fully supported by ALL of the facts related to that experience.”

    Hello David,
    One of the first mistakes was taking “little effort” to look into the subject more than superficially. I’m sure you probably googled ‘zelph’ and found the FARMS article which goes to great lengths in their attempt to discount yet another of Joseph Smiths revelations in their ongoing effort to brace up the sinking ship of Mesoamerican geographical theories.

    If you’d like a less bias perspective of the Zelph incident, try reading the actual journal entries of the men who were witness to the event and who participated in it. Then read the article by a REAL church historian instead of a biased Mesoamerican theorist titled “Zelph Revisited” by Donald Q. Cannon. You can read it online at http://emp.byui.edu/marrottr/341folder/Zelph%20Revisited%20Cannon.html which states just about the complete opposite of those who would dismiss evidence that doesn’t fit their Mesoamerican geography.

    When you have done more than a google surface scan of the material, then you can move forward with the understanding that I did do my homework and watch the remaining information with an open mind.

    I’ve found that one of the most critical things you can do when doing research is to get down to the original source material, not censored through the filters of others to the extent possible. It may be good advice for you as well. That helps you find the truth. Just a thought. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 6, 2008 @ 6:08 am | Reply

    • I really can’t remain silent any longer and I offer the following only in the most respectful manner. I have studied and taught the Book of Mormon for 35 years and I find much of what the FIRM Foundation purports concerning (evidence for the North American Model to be grossly lacking in credibility). I would think that to be credible one should use the inspired Book of Mormon itself when building a model for placement of the Nephites and Lamanites. For instance, claiming that the Zelph story is some how evidence for support of the N A Model is simply not on a firm foundation. I know some of your associates and think highly of them as tour guides and speakers but as researchers they are seriously lacking. For those who are interested in a complete and thorough look at the Zelph incident I would recommend Ken Godfrey’s voluminous research on this subject. As a respected historian and avid researcher, Ken gained access to the original statements, he read and recorded all the journal and historical accounts and statements about Zelph by those that were in Zion’s Camp and additional statements by many who were not. As a result of his exhaustive work on this project, he found out a very interesting thing not mentioned any where in The Firm Foundation literature. He found the statements to be inconsistent and contridictory. He also was unable to find any first hand accounts by Joseph, all statements were second, third or fourth hand accounts. This is not emperical evidence, this is hearsay only. But lets assume that Joseph did have a revelation about a white Lamanite named Zelph, I don’t really doubt that he did have some inspiritation on the subject. If there was a Zelph fighting under a great chief that reigned from sea to sea, he wasn’t mentioned in the Book of Mormon and likely lived well after the saga of the Book of Mormon closed. Therefore to use Zelph to support a particular theory is definately on shakey ground and I would think grossly misleading even if done innocently.

      For those who might be interested in an alternate location for the Book of Mormon setting based on Book of Mormon textual evidence I suggest reading the following authors: John L. Sorenson, R. Richard Hauck, Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Bruce W. Warren, John A. Tvedtness, John W. Welch, Kent Brown, David A. Palmer, Milton R. Hunter. Sorenson has published a paper intitled, “A Whole Bunch of Reasons Why Book of Mormon Geography Could Not Have Included North America.” All of his objections to the N A Model is based on the Book of Mormon Text. I have to go now but would like to write again offering some of Joseph Smith’s own statements identifying the heartland of the Book of Mormon. Bye for Now, Mont

      Comment by Mont Woolley — April 7, 2010 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  2. David Handy wrote: “I suggest that you squarely address the issues in a light of “discovering the truth” as opposed to an approach that is “how can I prove my theory.”

    David, I did not go into this research with any theory. I went into it fully expecting to find the DNA evidence showing up where I have been taught by seminary and institute instructors, in Mesoamerica. I was somewhat amazed by the complete lack of any positive DNA evidence in Central America that would at least give a glimmer of hope of vindicating the Book of Mormon’s claims, but when I found that indeed there was at least the preponderance of evidence in North America, I began to question the validity of the Mesoamerican theories, which led to researching what Joseph Smith actually said by revelation, and then back to the scriptures themselves. So I didn’t start with a ‘theory’ and try to build support around it, I started with an open mind and let the evidence lead me to my conclusions.

    It is so funny to keep hearing FAIR and others opining that I ‘left something out’. Please name me one single work in this world that does not leave SOMETHING out! The original presentation was over 5 hours long and I could have gone on for about 4 more hours with the information I have available to me, but I am limited to 4 hours on a DVD. FAIR’s and your continuous ASSUMPTION is that I am leaving important things out deliberately or trying to deceive people by not including a whole section of a book, rather than just quoting the pertinant parts. That is a strawman arguement and I think most people can see through it. Believe me, John Sorenson’s work sure left out a TON of evidence for the North American setting, and I don’t hear you or FAIR clamoring about how he left out all of Joseph’s statements that I bring out in my DVD. Why the double standard here? John Sorenson gets a ‘pass’ while leaving all the evidence out that supports a North American setting, while I get castigated left and right for the the same situation. This shows an obvious bias.

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 6, 2008 @ 6:42 am | Reply

  3. Actually, Rod, Sorenson does mention and bring out “all of Joseph’s statements” that you bring out in your DVD. They weren’t, as you say, “left out” of Sorenson’s work.

    I’m presuming that you have a copy of Sorenson’s “The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book” (FARMS, 1990, 1992). It lists all of your quotes, plus many others in Appendix A: “Statements, by Date, Relevant to the Geography of Book of Mormon Events, by LDS Leaders or Others Reflecting Views Current in the Church.” It’s 20 pages long, and a very good resource.

    -Allen

    Comment by Allen Wyatt — September 6, 2008 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  4. Brother Meldrum,
    I just wanted to say thank you for the work that you have compiled so far. From the first time I saw it, It completely made since to me and hit home as truth. I continue to read the Book of Mormon and pull little details out of it that I failed to pull out before. I have gained a greater appreciation for the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. To me Joseph’s actions and words concerning the Book of Mormon seal the deal for me on where the Book of Mormon took place. As far as what others are saying. You know where I stand on that subject 🙂

    Comment by Dan Lowman — September 6, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  5. Rod: It is so funny to keep hearing FAIR and others opining that I ‘left something out’. Please name me one single work in this world that does not leave SOMETHING out!

    Problem is, you left out EVERYTHING Joseph said or wrote that disagrees with you. That starts to look, well, suspicious. Especially when you claim to be thorough and tell both sides, and then you don’t. And then follow it up with a chaser of misrepresentation of what you do bring up.

    And, you leave out things the scientific papers say that disagree with you. That’s not a question of space–that’s misrepresentation and may be fraud.

    Comment by Greg Smith — September 6, 2008 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  6. Greg,
    Well I have read alot of what the prophet said about the Book of mormon setting and more of what he has says points to North America than rather then meso america.

    We cannot just arbitrarily except some of the things and not except the other things.
    For instance take these two statements by prophets:

    The camp passed through Huntsville, in Randolph County [Missouri], which has been appointed as one of the Stakes of Zion, and is the ancient site of the City of Manti…. [Sept. 1838] (The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, “History of Joseph Smith,” Vol. 16, page 296, May 13, 1854)

    The index of the present Book of Mormon under Manti, Land of, has: “most southerly land of Nephites” and under Manti, City of, it has: “chief city in land of Manti.” All this information leads to the conclusion that the Land of Manti is allegedly in the State of Missouri, in the United States. Mormon historian and Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith, in his book Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 3, pages 239-241, came to the same conclusion.

    How does that fit into mesoamerican theory?

    Sometimes people are so entrenched in a theroy their pride gets in the way of them being open to new ideas.

    You can twist the above words and discredit them all you want. Doesn’t change the fact this is what was said.

    Dan

    Comment by Dan Lowman — September 6, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  7. Hi Rod,

    I just wanted to say the video is great! You present an incredible amount of compelling information. I have for years struggled with the reality that the mesoamerican theory is false. I had looked into the Great Lakes theory somewhat but it was not until I saw your dvd that I began to really consider the possibility of the Book of Mormon taking place in the most obvious place. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedicated research. I hope to be able to attend one of your live presentations soon. I have many questions for you.

    Just to be fair (but not like FAIR), is there room for improvement? Yes. I would like to see a documentary style dvd instead of the recorded live presentation in a future edition. If you go that route and the video is longer than 90 minutes I would break it up into 2-3 DVDs. A 3 DVD box set would make for a very nice presentation.

    Lastly if you are heading out to New England at some point I’d love to host a presentation at my home. I could easily have 40-50 people attend.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by Matthew M. — September 7, 2008 @ 4:06 am | Reply

  8. We cannot just arbitrarily except [accept?] some of the things and not except the other things.

    For instance take these two statements by prophets:

    And yet, this is what you and Rod ask us to do by dismissing the T&S editorials.

    Let’s say something was written by Wilford Woodruff or John Taylor. They were both prophets too. Doctrines of Salvation was written before Joseph Fielding Smith was Church president.

    The answer, of course, lies with what the Church’s leaders have always said–there’s no revelatory geography outside the Book of Mormon text itself, and members may be of any view they like.

    You just don’t get to condemn others for “rejecting Joseph’s revelation” when someone disagrees with you.

    Comment by Greg Smith — September 8, 2008 @ 3:38 am | Reply

  9. Greg Smith wrote:

    Problem is, you left out EVERYTHING Joseph said or wrote that disagrees with you. That starts to look, well, suspicious. Especially when you claim to be thorough and tell both sides, and then you don’t. And then follow it up with a chaser of misrepresentation of what you do bring up.

    And, you leave out things the scientific papers say that disagree with you. That’s not a question of space–that’s misrepresentation and may be fraud.

    Greg, anyone that has seen the DVD presentation knows that I did in fact bring up 4 primary documents that have been claimed to support the Mesoamerican theories, and dealt with them, so your claim that I left out EVERYTHING is blatantly false. You continue to make insinuations (“chaser of misrepresenations”) and even go so far as to accuse me of fraud.

    I am, as the moderator of this blog, blocking all further comments from you until you can do so without inflammatory rhetoric. Go to the FAIR blog to spew your hate and accusations if you wish, but I will not allow it here.

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 9, 2008 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  10. Mr. Meldrum and others,

    I was the champion of the Manti in Missouri statements for some time back in the day. But I have retracted it all. As it turns out, it is clear from the evidence that they simply planned on building a city of Manti in the area of Huntsville in our day and those that heard Joseph Smith say so mistook his statement and started thinking that it was the ancient city of Manti. The same with the city of Zarahemla across from Nauvoo. It is NOT the ancient site of Zarahemla. It was merely a place named after the ancient city, not unlike Bountiful or Nephi Utah. Furthermore, even if it was an ancient city, it was not the Manti near the Sidon in the Book of Mormon, but was a Manti in the land Northward named after the one in Mesoamerica. Joseph Smith’s clear statement in the Hancock Journal that the area in question was the Land of Desolation shows that this is the case. Mr. Meldrum, how can you go on not addressing Joseph Smith’s statement about the Land of Desolation where your land Southward is? How can you go on denying its existence. It blows away your whole geography. Not that I put any stock in what any authority said on geography, but you do. So then, how can you deny Joseph Smith said it!?

    Comment by Ed Goble — September 9, 2008 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  11. Dear Brother Goble,
    There is a huge difference in veracity between a second hand report, like Joseph’s alleged statement that the Huntsville area was the ancient city of Manti, (which you are correct was never written by Joseph nor said to have been received by revelation), and D&C 125:3 which WAS revelation in which God (not men) gave the name of Zarahemla to that location. This is nothing at all like the naming of Manti, UT or Nephi, UT which were names given to these places by people wanting to commemorate the place-names of the Book of Mormon.

    The Manti quote was Levi Hancocks clear statement, not Joseph’s (you are referring to from his journal).

    How do you back up your definitive statement that where God indicated Zarahemla was located was “NOT” the ancient site?

    Joseph may or may not have said it, and Levi Hancock may or may not have understood what it was he thinks Joseph said. That is why I have tried not to use second hand reports to the extent possible. I have not used this source in my presentations for this very reason. To me, first hand sources written by revelation in the authors own hand trump any and all second hand sources.

    Your statement “Not that I put any stock in what any authority said on geography” is interesting. Do you have the same anti-authority views in other aspects of your life?

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 9, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  12. Meldrum,

    Where does God say it WAS the ancient site? He doesn’t. He named it Zarahemla. You read into it something it doesn’t say, just like you read into anything that you want anything to say. Duane Erickson came up with that theory long before you ever did, by the way. Its not YOUR theory about Zarahemla Iowa!

    Comment by Ed Goble — September 9, 2008 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  13. Ed, The land of desolation may of been near the zelph mound. Rod never claimed that his geography was perfect. He even mentioned it to be speculative. What he is saying is that joseph smith said north america is the lands of the book of mormon and not mesoamerica. There may need to be some changing of the geography as this is a best guess for now given the information.
    I don’t think he is trying to throw out any info that doesnt agree with his geography, he is just trying to stick with things that are written as revelation from the prophet, in his own hand writing, or is highly corraborated. One account by levi doesn’t fit that, neither does the manti statement.. So he left it out.

    Comment by Dan Lowman — September 10, 2008 @ 3:30 am | Reply

  14. I don’t know what kind of Buddah you are on, but the statement on the *Land of Desolation* was from the Levi Hancock Journal. Furthermore, the Manti statements are from (1) the Millenial Star, Vol. 16, p. 396, (2) The Samuel D. Tyler Journal, Sept. 23, 1838, and (3) Andrew Jenson’s History of the Church, Vol 7, No. 7, and the first two are quoted in Doctrines of Salvation Vol. III.

    In Andrew Jenson’s account, it says “We came through Huntsville, the county seat of Randolph county . . . we found Ira Ames and some other brethren near the place where the city of Manti IS TO BE BUILT . . .” There is no indication that the city of Manti in Missouri was anything other than exactly the same situation as Zarahemla in Iowa, and the same as Manti Utah. These brethren misunderstood the prophet thinking it was the ancient site of Manti. NONE of the Manti statements are actual quotes from Joseph Smith, only accounts in the words of people reporting stuff they thought they heard. The Desolation statement from the Levi Hancock journal presents itself as an actual quote IN THE WORDS OF JOSEPH SMITH. Now Meldrum, what is really second or third hand here and what is not? The Manti statements are not in the words of Joseph Smith, but the Desolation statement IS. Get off your buddah and get a grip.

    Comment by Ed Goble — September 10, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  15. Meldrum,

    I see that you have deleted one of my entries on your blog that you didn’t like. I will replace it with this one. You wrote:

    “Do you have the same anti-authority views in other aspects of your life?”

    Again, I say, how dare you try to say that I’m anti authority and bring up all other aspects of my life. You are the one clinging to dead prophets, yet you don’t even have a handle on these statements. I was the pioneer on these statements that you stole from my book, you forget. I started writing my parts of THIS LAND in 1996, long before your DVD’s were even concieved of, back when my initial book was entitled A Fair Trial For Cumorah that was on my web site for a long while before my association with Wayne May, ever since 1996! Brant Gardner can attest to how early on I sent him my first rewrite. So can John Tvedtnes who got one of the first rough drafts. So can John Sorenson who dismissed the whole thing when he got one of the first rough drafts as being “like a perpetual motion machine.” HE WAS RIGHT!!!! And now you carry on the torch of the whole mess, perpetuating the perpetual motion machine. You simply don’t even have a handle on the information at hand, as your sloppiness with the source material shows.

    You are the one with the problem with anti-authority, Mr. Meldrum. You are the one that finds fault with the BYU Trustees who are prophets and seers and revelators. You are the one that won’t let go of these historical statements from prophets that are DEAD!! You are the one that wont give heed to the current views of LIVING prophets that have told us that there is no revealed Geography!

    Comment by Ed Goble — September 10, 2008 @ 4:05 am | Reply

  16. I’m sorry, I’ve gone too far. Too emotional. Too much nonsense going on. I apologize that I lost my temper again.

    Comment by Ed Goble — September 10, 2008 @ 5:50 am | Reply

    • The fruits of your labor are ripe. Nobody should ever be angry nor lose their temper while in the constant search for truth and light.

      Comment by J Mac — August 16, 2009 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  17. Thanks to Bro. Meldrum for a thoughtful DVD presentation on the North American location for Book of Mormon theory. I very much enjoyed it! I am still objective enough to realize that it is just a theory as is the ever-popular MesoAmerican theory. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me because I know the Book of Mormon to be true (wherever it actually took place)! I have had friends leave the church over the DNA issue and it makes me sick. If all the answers were truly in, then I would understand. But since there is still room for debate on the subject, I will have faith and I will praise individuals like Bro. Meldrum for stating his opinions.

    Comment by Bro. Shane — September 11, 2008 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  18. Dear Ed,
    Please calm down before you have a stroke or coronary or something. I mention in my DVD, (which BTW I doubt you’ve seen yet) that ‘most of this information is not new’, but that no one had put so many of the peices together in one cohesive package. I find it rather interesting that you are so eager to claim your place as the inventor of this theory and in the same breath tell everyone how wrong you were.

    I did not every say in my DVD that the Lord ever came out and said that Zarahemla was the ancient site, I simply used reasoning that there is no precedence for the Lord just casually naming some place for no reason. I hope you feel that I am allowed to reason. He has only given his children a name for a specific location a hand-full of times, and each was very specific. As an example, so as not to confuse ‘Jerusalem’ with its symbolic counterpart in North America, he named it ‘NEW Jerusalem’ to distinguish them from each other. You may have noticed he did not do that here. If ancient Zarahemla was in Mesoamerica, why didn’t God name the one across from Nauvoo ‘NEW Zarahemla’, so as not to confuse us? So to answer your question, I agree that God did not specifically say that the revealed Zarahemla was the ancient one, but it should be deducible that it very well may have been. You would certainly agree that he also did not specifically indicate that this was NOT the ancient one, or give any indication that naming it so was only symbolic. He called it Zarahemla and told us exactly where it was to be located.

    I hope this helps to calm you down, I was getting kind of worried about your blood pressure ;-D

    In an effort to keep you alive, I am going to have to give you a warning that any more rants such as the post earlier will result in my banning you as Brother Greg Smith has been from this site. This site is for discussion of the issues, not name-calling and spewing forth hate. I won’t tollerate it. Be civil or you are out. Do you agree?

    I am working on my response to FAIR’s reviews and don’t have time to answer every post. I will do what I can, but I am only one (at this time), and FAIR has many right now, but that will change drastically in the coming months.

    Rod

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 11, 2008 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  19. Ed Goble (sorry for the misspelling earlier, I promise, it was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again) said:

    You are the one with the problem with anti-authority, Mr. Meldrum. You are the one that finds fault with the BYU Trustees who are prophets and seers and revelators.

    Rod: I do not believe in evolution or geologic time because I cannot personally reconcile them with the scriptures (see D& C 77), but do not make the incorrect assumption that I do not agree with the brethren who approved its being taught at BYU. My understanding is that in order to maintain academic accreditation, federal guidelines (read ‘rules’) force all institutions wanting accreditation to comply with the teaching of evolution. Besides, it is important for students to know the dominant theories before they go out into the world so as to be conversant with their non-LDS peers. Do not make the mistake of assuming that approval of the teaching of evolution is tantamount to an endorsement of it. I am not aware of any statement whatsoever from any prophet of the church that endorses evolution. If you know of one, please post it here so we can be informed. I am quite confident you won’t find one because if there was one, it would go against nearly every prophet’s words in this dispensation on the subject over the past 175 years or so.

    Did you know that no less than 12 of our past prophets and many apostles, including our current acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Boyd K. Packer, have made clear, concise statements irrefutably against evolution?

    Ed, you should see a brand new DVD called ‘Creation and Evolution: A Witness of Prophets’ (right after you actually see my DVD ;-D ) that provides direct quotes from nearly all of our past and current Prophets, Apostles, and General Authorities of the church on the subject of evolution. Each in their turn refutes it and in concert it is sobering to witness their words. My feeling is that every student at BYU should see this video as a counter-balance to the teaching of evolution in the classrooms. As one who takes the words of the Prophets and Apostles very seriously, I wholeheartedly endorse this work and hope to help this into the hands of as many as will watch it. I have offered to make it available on my website at http://www.BookofMormonEvidence.org for those interested. As far as I know, it is the most comprehensive treatise on the subject available to members of the church. It is powerfully and beautifully done and I am recommending it to all I can.

    Ed said:

    You are the one that won’t let go of these historical statements from prophets that are DEAD!! You are the one that wont give heed to the current views of LIVING prophets that have told us that there is no revealed Geography!

    You are correct Ed, I will not let go of past Prophets historical statements that were declared by them to have been received by revelation, any more than I would those that were declared to be received by revelation that made it into the Doctrine and Covenants. I believe they are valid, so long as they are historically verifiable. Ed, you need to understand, as I posted to Brother Robert White several days ago, I believe that Joseph Smith did receive revelation on the matter of geography as he clearly states in the Wentworth letter, however, Joseph did not divulge the information to the rest of us directly, only leaving behind some clues for us to search out. So I do believe the current Prophet’s when they say that WE don’t have a revealed geography, but that does not mean that Joseph Smith did not know it. His revelatory words indicate he did.

    You really need to see my ‘Hierarchy of Evidence’ slide in the DVD so that it will be clearer which evidence has more validity than other evidence. I sincerely hope you’ll take the time to see it before you continue on in your posting things that show your lack of knowledge about it. (please note that I am NOT saying you have a lack of knowledge on the subject, just a lack of knowledge about my research). I respect your knowledge, even if I don’t agree with it.

    Rod

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 11, 2008 @ 6:17 am | Reply

  20. It was nice to add your dna knowledge and other insites to my understanding of BofM geography. Has any research been done concerning the submerged cities in the midwest? Rocklake Wisc. ect.
    Jason

    Comment by JASON — September 11, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  21. Mr. Meldrum’s theory is by far the best argument for placing the BOM in North America that I have seen. The seminal component for his thesis (in my opinion) is the addition of mitochondrial DNA evidence found among the Hopewell Indian culture, and its direct link with people of the Levant. This DVD will cause no small stir among anti-Mormon groups!

    I’ve looked at most of the verbiage above and do not think Brother Meldrum wished to be disingenuous, or create animus between proponents of various scholarly thought. I have been brought up to believe that Central America was the venue for the Book of Mormon history. I too struggled with the narrow neck of land issue. His ideas were presented in a refreshing way, replete with copious footnotes to help the audience look at BOM history is a new way: Could it be that the narrow neck of land was actually located in North America? Why is that idea so radical? What “pray tell” did he say that was so misleading? Many of his quotes came straight from Church History, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Times and Seasons, etc.

    The only way the Central American theorist can realistically look themselves in the mirror at night, is to totally ignore science, and fall back on the notion that there was no geography indicated in the Book of Mormon (and then totally ignore logic with respect to geography, and also grossly exaggerate the capabilities of the average Nephite crossing a narrow neck of land. In their opinion, the narrow neck of land is about two hundred miles wide, and would take a day and a half to traverse! Yeah right!) I realize the general authorities by necessity stay out of this discussion because it is strictly conjecture on the part of each individual, or is it? Joseph Smith did say some things that leads one to believe the Nephites lived in North America. The additional DNA evidence only supports that conclusion. If Joseph were not a prophet, then how did he know the people around the Great Lakes region were related to people of the Levant? How is it they came to have haplogroup X DNA? Maybe because Lehi had that type of DNA! Have you ever heard of Occam ’s razor? The most logical answer is most often the true one. Maybe the naysayers should give Brother Meldrum a bit of respect. As for me, I thought he did a fine job. I understand it is a theory, but a very good one that makes more sense than the Central American theory.

    Thanks (no responce needed, these are just my thoughts on the subject.)

    Al

    Comment by Al — September 13, 2008 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  22. Dear Ed Goble,
    After more of your false accusations of plagarism, swearing, calling me another word for ‘donkey’, “little Napoleon” another wording for ‘female dog’ and other things, and as a result of others who have complained about yoru comments on this blog, I have taken down your worst filthy language and rude comments. I was going to leave them up, allowing the world to see your extensive vocabulary, Christ-like attitudes, and the fine example you have set of those who are trying so desperately to undermine this information and research. However, that would not be the right thing to do, so I have removed your highly offensive material.

    I don’t understand your seething hatred of me, even though you have neither met me, nor taken the time to even watch the information of which you are speaking. It demonstrates your character.

    As the editor of this blog, you are hereby banned from making further comment. I will not allow name-calling, disparaging remarks or character assasinations. You have violated all of these and I am well within my rights to censor your hostile and offensive comments. Go to the FAIR blog for spewing your filthy language, I will not allow it here.

    Rod

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 15, 2008 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  23. I just want to say I’m very disappointed with this blog. There are many comments on here that remind me of the scripture “contention is of the devil.” I really think that everyone should take a step back and look at what they are saying and decide if this is a very Christ-like way to handle this subject. I personally think that this blog should be canceled seeing that it is just elevating into huge arguments. This website is not how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints should be represented.

    Comment by K C — September 16, 2008 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  24. Hi Rod, I am in agreement with KC, in that many of the above comments should be deleted. I have viewed the DVD in question many times, shared it with many people, have attended your symposium in Provo, hosted 2 evenings for people here in my area, and am now going on the tour to discover and see for myself those areas mentioned in the DVD. I personally and many of my friends have always felt that the BofM Geography was here in the USA…I have traveled extensively in Mexico and Guatamala and have enjoyed the sights of the ruins and know that Jesus Christ was there with no doubt. Teaching those people, including the 3 Nephites. There is much evidence our Beloved Saviour was in other parts of this world as well. The Book of Mormon is true, I have no doubt! Where it happened one day will be given to us by our Prophet. In the meantime we enjoy all the scientific and archealogical evidences from all sources, knowing that we are closer and closer to knowing the true location of the great Nephite Nation as well as the great Jaradite Nation and that of the Malakite Nation. Truth is coming forth a little here and a little there. Thanks for a new look!!

    Comment by Deanne — September 17, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  25. Rod, I just watched the DVD today and I really enjoyed it. I had always thought the BofM had taken place in Mexico and South America.Now after watching your DVD it makes me want to rethink all that. As far as all negative comments I thought this was the United States of America where everyone was entitled to his or her own opinion. The way I see it you are giving your opinion the way you see it. If some people on here don’t like it they sure don’t have to get nasty about it. If your ever in the Nauvoo IL area to give a lecture I sure would enjoy attending. I have always been interested in the mound builders and would like to know more. Again thanks for a very good DVD it has gotten me to rethink about everything and even to start to read the BofM again.

    Comment by Jay Pierce — September 18, 2008 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  26. Hello Rod,

    I noticed your DVD on Amazon, and I wound up on your site. While reading your FAQ, I read the following (which I am sure you are familiar with):

    “Previously it did not really matter much to most members of the church where the Book of Mormon history occurred, as everyone should have based their beliefs on spiritual witnesses and not physical proof. As it is written in the Book of Mormon itself, we must exercise faith first (see BoM Alma 32:27-36), but ultimately we should be seeking ‘knowledge’ which then replaces faith and it (faith) becomes ‘dormant’ (“in that thing”). Initial faith in Jesus Christ was replaced by knowledge of him and his literal existence when Joseph Smith walked out of that sacred grove of trees that early spring morning.

    “The belief that it did not matter where The Book of Mormon took place, is now being challenged because of DNA testing. Because the book is a literal historical record, there should be physical, tangible evidence of the existence of these great civilizations. For the first time in history, knowing the geography of The Book of Mormon is critical to defending the validity of The Book of Mormon itself, for if we are looking in the wrong geographical location, what chance is there of finding this evidence and dispelling the false claims of those who would tear the church and its members down? In contrast, what if the scientific DNA evidence pointed us in a geographical location that was then found to be validated by Joseph Smith, and is internally consistent with The Book of Mormon itself? That is what DNA evidence for Book of Mormon Geography is all about!”

    I know that God answers prayers, and have had Him answer my prayers regarding the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I am thankful that He gave me my testimony of this sacred record. The truths of God stand the test of all time, regardless of the situations man can create.

    My question, then, is why do you feel that “for the first time in history, knowing the geography of The Book of Mormon is critical to defending the validity of The Book of Mormon itself”? You yourself stated that Previously it did not really matter much to most members of the church where the Book of Mormon history occurred, as everyone should have based their beliefs on spiritual witnesses and not physical proof.” Does this not still hold? If it does, then why is knowing the geography of the Book of Mormon critical to defending the truthfulness of a record that God Himself will verify is true? If this has changed, and a spiritual witness from God is no longer enough, what hope have we?

    Confusedly yours,

    Doug C.

    Comment by doug314 — September 21, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  27. Hi Doug,
    Thank you for your post. I appreciate your forthrightness. It is lucky for you that you are not talking with FAIR because your admission of having prayers answered to FAIR is tantamount to receiving direct revelation by talking with God! You could be attacked in the same way I have been for no less. I on the other hand have also admitted that I have felt my prayers have been answered, so we do not deny the spirit as FAIR is wont to do.

    To your question. Knowing the geography to me has nothing whatever to do with ones personal testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. When I say ‘critical’ I mean that if we are to have a hope in defending the validity of the Book of Mormon TO OTHERS, it is going to be critical to be looking for the evidence in the right place. This is not to be misconstrued to mean that it is critical to know the geography in order gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is only critical if we are attempting to defend it to others. I hope this is little more clear.

    Thanks for an excellent post, Doug. I hope you have a chance to actually see the information, rather than taking FAIR’s biased reviews at face value. You will be glad you did!

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 26, 2008 @ 4:50 am | Reply

  28. I recently asked a member of Fair how the population exibiting x could survive the great flood. I was informed that there is plenty of scientific evidence which suggests the flood was regional. I next mentioned Ether 13:2 which says, “…and after the waters had receded from of the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord….” He wouldn’t give up his position that science supports the position that the flood was regional. Personally I will stay with the Book of Mormon. No population survived the flood even if it hurts the meso-american theory.
    I rather not sign this in fear of retribution from Farms.

    Comment by JASON — September 28, 2008 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  29. Hello Jason,
    You bring up an excellent point! One I had not thought of before, but which makes perfect sense to me. In order to maintain their belief in Haplogroup X arriving in the America’s 17,000 – 30,000 years ago (as indicated by the assumptions of phylogentic dating methods), FAIR must admit their disbelief in the flood being a real or world-wide event. This then requires them to disregard the scriptures such as the one you brought out.

    My question again is…since FAIR claims to be ‘Defending Mormonism’, I would think that they should be defending the scriptures and the prophets, but instead they are busily defending nearly every “theory of men” out there. We need better defenders…IMHO

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — September 29, 2008 @ 4:27 am | Reply

  30. I meant to say fair not farms.
    Jason

    Comment by JASON — September 29, 2008 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

  31. I have had some contact with the individual at fair and would like to report that he hasn’t made up his mind about the flood and is open to all possibilities. That is all I can ask in this discussion and I would like to commend him for having an open mind in this instance. I’m looking forward to hearing fair’s official explaination if they choose to comment. Everybody keep the the faith. The Book of Mormon is the most amazing treasure we have!

    Comment by JASON — September 30, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  32. Re: Post 28

    Thank-you for answering my question! That certainly clarified my misunderstanding. I’m glad you were willing to take the time to answer my post.

    I don’t get why FAIR is getting such a hard rap here, I must confess. I am someone who tries to study both sides of an argument before making a decision (I am currently doing that for global warming as well, but that’s another hot debate :). There certainly is a lot to read on this subject both on this blog and FAIR’s. Nothing I’ve read in either location from anyone has said I shouldn’t pray and listen to the spirit. In fact, the opposite is true. I have seen time and again reference to the important of receiving truth through the spirit.

    In your post, you said “It is lucky for you that you are not talking with FAIR because your admission of having prayers answered to FAIR is tantamount to receiving direct revelation by talking with God!” Of course receiving an answer to prayer is receiving direct revelation. Perhaps you meant “receiving direct revelation for the church” given the context of the discussions I have read.

    I gather from the various posts and threads I have read that this is one of FAIR’s concerns: that you are stating you have received personal revelation regarding a subject upon which the Church has no official position. Am I correct in this understanding?

    Comment by doug314 — October 4, 2008 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  33. Hi Doug,

    In your post, you said “It is lucky for you that you are not talking with FAIR because your admission of having prayers answered to FAIR is tantamount to receiving direct revelation by talking with God!” Of course receiving an answer to prayer is receiving direct revelation. Perhaps you meant “receiving direct revelation for the church” given the context of the discussions I have read.

    I gather from the various posts and threads I have read that this is one of FAIR’s concerns: that you are stating you have received personal revelation regarding a subject upon which the Church has no official position. Am I correct in this understanding?

    That is precisely the problem. FAIR has claimed that I have said or ‘implied’ that I think I have received revelation from God for the church. That is a blatant untruth that they have been propogating without a shred of evidence, because none exists. I have never thought, claimed, nor said that I have ever received revelation for the church. Ever. They intercepted an email where in I said that I felt that I had had some prayers answered, and they have tried to make that into ‘getting revelation directly from God for the church’. That is their FAIRytale. That is the problem with their attacks, they claim things that are absolutely untrue in order to castigate my character.

    Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — October 4, 2008 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  34. Thanks again for responding. You have helped me decide my stance on this issue between you and FAIR.

    I haven’t read a single thing that attacks your character, only the way in which you support your research. According to FAIR, you use personal revelation to support your public claims. I would personally be horrified to use such personal experiences in this manner!

    You yourself said that you had received answers to prayers. In context, this would be regarding Book of Mormon geography. The Church has consistently declared no official position on this subject, yet you are publically sharing the answers to your prayers and using them as proof to support your theory. It is one thing to receive personal revelation that fits your own personal situation (for example, receiving revelation on whom to marry or where to make a living). It is another thing entirely to publically share personal revelation as you have done. If the leaders of the Church have not shared a revealed location to Book of Mormon geography, and have said time and again that there is no revealed location, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that someone declaring the Lord has answered prayers regarding that subject be contrary to what Church leaders have said?

    I confess that I am unable to follow the science of this debate. Genetics is far from my strong suit. Your theory could be right. It could be wrong. Your use of sacred revelation, however, leads me to not wish to support this endeavor. I ultimately conclude that FAIR is, indeed, being fair. I would encourage you to answer FAIR’s remarks rather than side-stepping their questions. It would do much to encourage people like myself to eagerly examine your work and learn.

    Sincerely,

    Doug

    Comment by doug314 — October 5, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  35. Rod,

    I am much amazed by the comments that I have been reading this evening. Some of this is heated like a good Texas Chili. I was very impressed with your presentation and bought a DVD for myself to review. I liked a number of things:
    1)I liked the Joseph Smith quotes. The only one I am not familiar with was the naming of the location of Zarahemla. But, if that is wrong, it would have no impact on your theory in my estimation. What I mean is, if you left out the Zarahemla location no one would have noticed.
    2)I liked the Book of Mormon quotes that name the Nephite lands as a choice land, a land of liberty. My understanding of central American history tells me that the governments have not been all that good. Not my first choice of a place to live. But the USA, including the original 13 colonies have been free lands, and continue to be so. And the LDS Church teaches that this (USA) is a God chosen land for freedom. It had to be so, so that the B of K could come forth!
    3)I believe that Moroni physically hid the B of M in Western New York with his own hands. The easiest way he could have done so was to be living in the area at the time he was alive, walking around in an area he was familiar with. The golden book was not very portable, so a short distance would be best. Also, lugging it around at a time of anarchy would have been very dangerous to his life. So, I believe that God brought Joseph to the B of M, not the other way around. Cumorah is therefore in New York, and so were the Nephites.
    4)I like the DNA evidence as it shows Caucasians in the New World. This is in fact a MAJOR breakthrough. Up to the time that this DNA study was made available not a one archaeologist would have bought into the idea that any Jews were ever living in the Americas at the year of 600 BC, or the time of Christ. This is in fact a major blow to the detractors of the LDS faith.
    5)I liked the photos of the mounds, their walls and the findings in the mounds. Of course, if the artifacts are not found by “authorized scientists”, we should be dubious of the finds. The dug up earth walls with timber palisades look like the type of things in we read about in the B of M. I have not seen anything like these in the Central American theories. The city walls laid out in the pattern of a manora, oil lamp and Mason symbols are impressive. If this is false find, it was a lot of effort moving a lot of dirt for nothing. And lastly, the photos of the artifacts with cuneiform on them was certainly a surprise! If this is correct, it means these people were the only people outside of meso-America that could read or write! And they were using a system from the middle east. This is also a major find.
    6)I liked your ocean currents map. Have you ever tried to follow the ocean currents from Saudi Arabia to Central America? I get lost trying to do so. But, your mapping of the currants was easy to North America. The odds are that you have a better route.

    Overall, I want to see more and I have scheduled myself to visit one of your presentations. For the last 30 years I have been a fan of the meso-American approach. As a retired engineer I have been aware of the problems with paradimes and professional pride. That awareness has allowed me to drop the old and accept the new. I still have many questions growing. When I get these fleshed out in my mind, I will write.

    When I shared this with my wife I started with section 3. She has a testimony of the church, but not one of science. All the discussion on this blog about the DNA was sad. You have a better case for North America as the B of M lands without the DNA evidence than FARMs has for meso-America with all their years of research. But none of this is an open and shut case. I told Dr. Pate, “The day you dig up the sign that says WELCOME TO ZARAHEMLA is when you have a real good case for your map”. That holds true for this theory as well. Good Luck

    Chris

    Comment by Chris Putnam — October 6, 2008 @ 7:04 am | Reply

  36. I served a mission in Guatemala/El Salvador back in the 70’s. On p-days we would of course visit the many local ruins when we had the time (there were so many down there that didn’t show up on any maps or guidebooks).

    Many of us missionaries never could reconcile the geographic realities (that we lived in and around) with some of the popular beliefs promoted in the US. It just makes zero sense that of the literally thousands of discovered ruins over the years, the uses of the structures either don’t match the timelines or the purposes of BofM descriptions, i.e. temples built for lavish public ceremonies, buildings for human sacrifices, etc. Again, many time periods are represented–they just don’t square down there with the BofM. Not only that, but the narrow neck of land being a day-and-a-half journey through 180 miles of C.A. jungle? Riiiiiight. I’ve trudged through those jungles and I can tell you that ain’t it.

    Geographic C.A. inconsistencies have always been tough to try to explain to others, and even tougher to try to justify for myself. I’m personally weary of trying to come up with implausible explanations as to the absence of physical evidences in C.A., if all of these events really took place in the small geography I grew to know so well over 2 years.

    On the other hand, if DNA evidence can actually be tied to American indians living in the Great Lakes region, if the Adena or Hopewell mounds are seriously the right time period, if the Zelph incident is true, if the narrow neck could really be in the Great Lakes area, and since church leaders have apparently left this particular topic entirely up to me to decide for myself, I have NO problem hitching onto the direction of this wagon for a time as I study more about this fascinating subject.

    Thank you, Brother Meldrum, for the effort of compiling and presenting this in a logical, reasoned fashion sufficient to spark my interest in discovering more.

    Comment by Royce — October 6, 2008 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  37. This if for general consumption and not in response to anything specific written here.

    I just finished watching Mr Meldrum’s DVD (DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography) and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve also read several of Wayne May’s publications supporting the midwestern and northeastern US as the land of the Book of Mormon people. The insights Mr. Meldrum and Mr. May have provided are useful and to me compelling. When I consider their insights in light of my faith, I find it easy to support their work. I appreciate what they’ve done.

    Although I don’t give the same credence to their work, I also appreciate the position of FAIR. Mr Meldrum is relatively new to the scene when compared to the decades of work done by the scholars at FAIR. It’s easy for me to see how it would be difficult for FAIR to essentially abandon all the work that’s been done in support of a Mesoamerican origin of the Book of Mormon peoples.

    And though I believe that they are sincere and in a large part correct in their conclusions, neither Mr Meldrum nor Mr May speak exclusively the language of scholarship. They also speak with the language of faith. I think this is considered a serious weakness by the supporters of FAIR.

    There is a savage battle being fought between science and religion and science gives no place to faith. This makes the work of Mr Meldrum and Mr May easy to reject by the scholar and the scientist. This brings me to my point.

    Mr Meldrum, you are at a disadvantage when speaking to FAIR. Not because you conclusions are incorrect or untenable, but because you are challenging an established belief system. The people blogging here that are supporting the work of FAIR are as religious about their conclusions as they accuse you of being about yours. You cannot convince them by attacking their motives or their integrity.

    Wouldn’t be better for you to use your energy and intelligence in proving your position and in persuading others of the validity of your work? I think you’ll find that taking the higher road will put you in better company and will eventually silence your critics.

    After all, the DNA evidence is singularly and overwhelmingly in your favor. Added to the internal evidence of the Book of Mormon and the fact that it is very hard to accept that there are two Hill Cumorahs, your position is very tenable.

    A friend of mine told me that you should never wrestle with a pig because you’ll get dirty after a while no one is able to tell you apart from the pig.
    Best wishes in your research. I look forward to viewing more of your work.

    Sincerely,
    Don Roell

    Comment by Don Roell — November 9, 2008 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  38. I have to apologize for my previous post. I was referring to FARMS, not FAIR.

    Don

    Comment by Don Roell — November 11, 2008 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  39. Brother Meldrum,

    Thank you for the work you’ve done. From what I understand, it’s probably and understatement to say you put a great deal of effort into retrieving and presenting the information in your DVD. I believe what you’re saying is true. I feel like I’ve only seen the tip on an iceberg, and that makes an enormous iceberg since your DVD is nearly four hours long. I hope you uncover the rest of it. You already know this I’m sure, but missionaries(generally, in my experience) don’t tend to focus on bringing up external evidences in discussions, and I suppose that in post mission life that may bring taboo to bringing up some of these facts in discussion with our friends. I feel however, that as the Lord reveals more and more of the evidence that many of the concrete doors of several hearts will be opened to the truth, like the gentleman you mentioned towards the end of your presentation.

    I look forward to learning more.

    -Mark

    Comment by Mark — January 30, 2009 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  40. Disclaimer: That’s not to say that missionaries should emphasize what they know about external evidences. I personally feel that, perhaps until a later time, missionaries in general should avoid teaching about the external evidences.

    Comment by Mark — January 30, 2009 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  41. I was first exposed to the availability of your DVD about a year ago, while living in Arizona. A friend had invited me to attend some occasional firesides on the Book of Mormon and the topic of your DVD was mentioned. Being that the individual was prepared with a few copies, I immediately bought one. In addition, the person teaching vouched for the information and research.

    I was impressed immediately with the veracity of the information–it simply made sense from step one to the final arguments for North America as the proper setting. Repeated viewings have only reinforced my conviction all the more that this is the correct approach.

    What also struck me was that my family was so interested in the information. Those whom I expected to have their eyes glaze over with the sheer volume of detail, actually asked me to back it up and replay some of the details so they could absorb it more fully. You have done a great service to the LDS community with this work. I applaud you whole-heartedly and know that with time the base of available information will grow even more, until it fills the earth, as prophesied. May the Lord bless and keep you always.

    Comment by Steven O'Dell — February 1, 2009 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  42. I recently went to the Cherokee web page just to see what some of the tribes of N. America were doing. It’s impressive, a very spiritual people. I think the time may soon be here when the Lamanites are ready to hear the gospel and recieve the promises spoken of in the BofM.

    Comment by jason — April 28, 2009 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  43. I found your DVD on eBay while looking for B of M story DVDs for the children. I had to read the auction info a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t about to buy something that was anti-Mormon. I gathered that it was not and bought it. I feel like I found a hidden treasure.

    What a fantastic labor of love you have produced. I too would agree with a previous post here that a more documentary style of DVD, that may end up being a multi-DVD set, would be a great next project. I would be willing to donate my time and voice-over talent to the project if you would like. Any ideas of where they got the gold to make the plates? And any ideas on the gold that the Indians in the Unitas let the Church mine to use to create the Moroni on the Salt Lake temple?

    I am somewhat surprised to see that there are not that many comments on this blog. You need to do more advertising or something 😉 Anyway, good luck on future efforts. You’ve convinced this member in Murray, Utah.

    Comment by John Kirton — April 30, 2009 @ 7:08 am | Reply

  44. In case people are not aware, in the upcoming FAIR conference August 6-7, Ugo Perego from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation will be speaking on the topic “Haplogroup X in Light of Recent Book of Mormon Claims”. In his talk he will undoubtedly present evidence from his own research that the X lineage has been in the Americas for just as long as the Asian A, B, C and D lineages. In other words it entered the Americas with the initial founders over 16,000 years ago.

    As uncomfortable as it may be for some Mormons, humans have lived in North America for about 16,000 years. It is not just DNA evidence that supports this age depth. There is abundant archaeological evidence scattered across hundreds of archaeological sites in North and South America that is entirely consistent with such an early entry.

    The use of the X lineage as support for the Heartland Geography model relies on the following arguments

    1. American Indian X lineages are closely related to Middle Eastern X lineages
    2. Dating (16,000 years) estimates for the X lineage are flawed.

    All molecular scientists (both Mormon and non-Mormon) who understand the research to date would reject both of these arguments. It is well understood that American Indian and Middle Eastern X lineages are not closely related. They are estimated to have shared a common ancestor well over 20,000 years ago. Perego’s dating work has shown that the X lineage was brought into the Americas from Asia by the earliest founders. It is inevitable that the X lineage will soon be conclusively identified in ancient bones many thousands of years older than the proposed entry date of Book of Mormon people.

    If you are prepared to dismiss all dating evidence, yet still claim the X lineage as proof, you are just picking the evidence you like and rejecting the evidence you don’t. You can prove anything you like by doing that. It is therefore misleading and an inappropriate use of the scientific evidence to base the Heartland Geography on the X lineage.

    Comment by Simon Southerton — May 17, 2009 @ 2:08 am | Reply

    • Simon,
      Has anyone found remains which contain both Haplogroup X2 and can be carbon dated to before the time of the Book of Mormon timeline? please provide references to these finds rather than your personal veiws on the matter.

      Comment by jason — June 8, 2009 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

    • Hello Simon,
      I am aware of Ugo Perego’s paper in Current Biology, and thank you for alerting me to his speaking at the FAIR conference. Unfortunately, they have not invited me to speak at their conference, yet… I doubt, however that such an invitation will be extended any time soon.

      You are correct in that the use of haplogroup X for the Heartland Model geography relies on the two arguments you mentioned. However, both of these are based on the dating aspects of mtDNA. The relatedness is simply a function of how long ago it is thought to have occurred (hence the 20,000 years ago MRCA). If the theoretical phylogenetic dating is shown to be divergent and incompatible with observation-based pedigree dating, thus causing a significant shift in the mtDNA mutation rates, then neither of these arguments remain as cause for dismissing haplogroup X as a Book of Mormon related lineage.

      As a side note. It is always appropriate to accept certain aspects of evidence and reject others, Simon. This is how science is done. As an example, data such as empirical sequencing of DNA can be accepted as factual, while the interpretation of the data (the theories) can be challenged and evolve over time. I am confident you understand the difference. No scientist or researcher is limited to accepting every aspect of a theory if they accept one part of it. To think otherwise is to misunderstand how science works. My impression is that you believe I am ‘cherry-picking’ evidence I like and rejecting out of hand all other information. Simon, this is not the case. I am rejecting portions of theories that I feel cannot be reconciled with the revealed word of the Lord in the scriptures. As it turns out, there is good reason to question the dating of mtDNA, as I have outlined in the soon to be released paper.

      It is neither misleading, nor inappropriate to challenge the mtDNA dating based on scriptural or revelatory understandings (as I see it), thereby making haplogroup X a potential support for the claims of the Book of Mormon.

      BTW, I have not and do not use the word ‘proof’ anywhere in my research pertaining to this subject. It is simply evidence in support of, or in favor of the claims. To me, ‘proof’ would require divine edict, which has not happened in this matter. For example, in a court of law ‘proof’ such as DNA matching, video tape, witnesses, can lead to a swift decision, however, most cases do not enjoy such ‘proof’ but rather they are decided based upon the strongest evidence one way or another. This is evidence in support of, or against, the accused. This is more along the lines I am coming from. I believe that there is evidence that potentially supports the claims of the Book of Mormon, I have never claimed that DNA ‘proves’ it.

      Regards,

      Rod

      Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — June 9, 2009 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  45. Hi Jason,

    A number of research groups have uncovered evidence of the X lineage in ancient samples that have been radio-carbon dated.

    There are two ways that the X lineage is identified, one is by detecting X-specific DNA mutations in the D-loop or control region of the mitochondrial DNA and the other is by identifying another X-specific mutation in the coding region. The control region is subject to a higher rate of mutation than the coding region of the mitochondrial DNA. As a result scientists prefer to unambiguously confirm lineage identity by also sequencing the more stable DNA outside of the control region.

    In the control region, the X lineage is characterised by the occurrence of a “T” instead of a “C” at two points, base positions 16,223 and 16,278. If a DNA lineage has a “T” at both positions it is very likely to be an X lineage. To be absolutely certain that a lineage is the X lineage, scientists prefer to determine the sequence in the coding region at base position 14,465. If a lineage is suspected of being X by the occurrence of a T at 16,223 and 16,278, in most cases it is found to be an X lineage based on its sequence at 14,465.

    The most complete study was reported by Malhi et al in 2002. They conclusively demonstrated the presence of the X lineage in ancient remains from the Columbia River in Washington dated to about 6-700AD. They determined the DNA sequence at all three of the positions described above.

    https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/malhi/www/MalhiLab/downloads/Malhi%20and%20Smith%202002.pdf

    Several groups have identified DNA lineages in ancient samples that are very likely to be the X lineage. This is mentioned in the paper by Malhi.

    “Ancient samples from the Norris Farms site (Stone and Stoneking, 1998), the Windover site (Hauswirth et al., 1994), and the Amazon Basin (Ribeiro-Dos-Santos et al., 1996) exhibit the characteristic HVSI control region markers found in individuals assigned to haplogroup X, but they could not be confidently assigned that haplogroup because they were not tested for the AccI restriction site at np 14,465.”

    Two of the papers Malhi cites have sequenced DNA from ancient samples that pre-date the Book of Mormon period. Two individuals analysed by Ribeiro-Dos-Santos were dated to about 4,000 years before present and one to about 1000 years before present. The ancient remains were identified at a site in the Amazon known to have been occupied (by numerous radio carbon dates) for at least 4,000 years.
    You can get the Ribeiro-Dos-Santos research paper by clicking the link to the paper in the references at the Wiki site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_X_(mtDNA) (after clicking the reference link click on the Full text “Pdf” link to get the full research paper.)

    The X lineage had not been named at the time of this or the other study. Individuals that were most likely X lineage were classified as lineage V in the Ribeiro-Dos-Santos paper (see Figure 1).

    The oldest sample likely to have the X lineage was identified at the Windover site in Florida by Hauswirth et al (1994). I can’t find a free link to this paper, but I can send you a pdf if you contact me directly (simon.southerton@csiro.au).

    In this study the remains analysed were dated to between 7000 and 8000 before present. One of the fourteen individuals had both control region mutations that are diagnostic of the X lineage (Table 3).

    Given that two studies have independently identified evidence of the X lineage in remains from three individuals dated to between 4000 and 8000 years ago, it seems almost certain that the X lineage was present in the Americas well before the Book of Mormon period. This is confirmed by the X lineage dating research published this year by Mormon scientists Ugo Perego and Scott Woodward in Current Biology. I can also send you this paper if you like. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions.

    Regards
    Simon

    Comment by Simon — June 9, 2009 @ 11:12 am | Reply

    • Hello Simon,
      Thank you for the overview of the mtDNA lineage X markers (positions) for those coming to this blog site. Your non-combative approach is also very much appreciated.

      There are a couple of clarifications to add to your comments. The Malhi paper, in the Abstract, states, “The skeletons were excavated in different archeological sites of the Brazilian Amazon region, with dating estimated at 500-4,000 years before the present. ” I have not retrieved the full article yet, but do not find how this dating was accomplished (carbon or other). Yet, 500-4,000 years seem only partially consistent with your comment “dated to about 4,000 years”. It would appear the dating was more of an estimate than a carbon-date with the associated +/- a certain # of years. Without the full article it cannot be determine which dating method was used. If you could post the relevant section about how the dating was accomplished, that would be helpful.

      I have reviewed the pertinent information on mtDNA dating and recently completed a paper on the subject of haplogroup X and potential relationships to Book of Mormon populations. One of the areas that I go into extensively is the dating aspects, which I believe most people, especially LDS will find interesting. The paper is being reviewed by two knowledgeable experts on DNA (both LDS) for clarity and accuracy, and then it will be made available as a free download from the website at http://www.BookofMormomEvidence.org .

      I have read Ugo Perego’s paper in Current Biology (the two Beringia migration routes) and understand where he is coming from, although when it comes to the dating, I am in disagreement with him based on scriptural timelines as I understand them. He is working with a non-LDS team that is certainly heavily invested in the Beringia migration theories and their relationship with the peopling of the Americas. Their pre-or post-glacial migration route between the two proposed ice sheets leading into the Great Plains of North America could more easily be explained by a migration by boat to the Gulf of Mexico and then a migration route following up the Mississippi River (as proposed by Fix et al., 2005)into the heartland of America, once the dating is corrected by applying empirical pedigree dating rates, rather than the theoretical phylogenetic rates.

      Comment by The FIRM Foundation Blog — June 9, 2009 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  46. Hello Rod,
    Just some quick responses and clarifications in response to your post.

    You said: “There are a couple of clarifications to add to your comments. The Malhi paper, in the Abstract, states, “The skeletons were excavated in different archeological sites of the Brazilian Amazon region, with dating estimated at 500-4,000 years before the present. ” I have not retrieved the full article yet, but do not find how this dating was accomplished (carbon or other). Yet, 500-4,000 years seem only partially consistent with your comment “dated to about 4,000 years”. It would appear the dating was more of an estimate than a carbon-date with the associated +/- a certain # of years. Without the full article it cannot be determine which dating method was used. If you could post the relevant section about how the dating was accomplished, that would be helpful.”

    SGS: This is what it says in the Ribeiro-Dos-Santos paper. “In all cases, the bones were from skeletons buried in fetal position in sambaquis or in anthropomorphic urns, and the age of the sample was estimated on the basis of the period to which the pottery belonged.”

    As you know it is common for archaeologists to develop time series of pottery designs that are established by stratiography. I suspect organic material has been carbon dated for some of these layers to calibrate them but I don’t have any references to support that.

    In this study three individuals most likely had an X lineage. Two were from deeper layers and estimated to be 4,000 years old. This is why I state that. The other was dated to about 1000 years old but I didn’t refer to that one.

    The individual with an X lineage recovered from the Windover bog in Florida (Hauswirth et al) was carbon dated to in excess of 7,000 years before present. They had plenty of dates in the 7-8000 year range so we can be pretty confidant that these dates are accurate.

    You said:
    I have reviewed the pertinent information on mtDNA dating and recently completed a paper on the subject of haplogroup X and potential relationships to Book of Mormon populations. One of the areas that I go into extensively is the dating aspects, which I believe most people, especially LDS will find interesting. The paper is being reviewed by two knowledgeable experts on DNA (both LDS) for clarity and accuracy, and then it will be made available as a free download from the website at http://www.BookofMormomEvidence.org.

    SGS: I would be interested to read the paper and to know who the LDS scientists are.

    You said: I have read Ugo Perego’s paper in Current Biology (the two Beringia migration routes) and understand where he is coming from, although when it comes to the dating, I am in disagreement with him based on scriptural timelines as I understand them. He is working with a non-LDS team that is certainly heavily invested in the Beringia migration theories and their relationship with the peopling of the Americas. Their pre-or post-glacial migration route between the two proposed ice sheets leading into the Great Plains of North America could more easily be explained by a migration by boat to the Gulf of Mexico and then a migration route following up the Mississippi River (as proposed by Fix et al., 2005)into the heartland of America, once the dating is corrected by applying empirical pedigree dating rates, rather than the theoretical phylogenetic rates.”

    SGS: Might I suggest that the non-Mormon team is heavily invested in discovering truth. Most scientists I know deal honestly with the facts they uncover. If you don’t you’ll get caught out. The Beringian migration theory is on very solid ground because there is abundant evidence for it.

    Do you accept that American Indians have lived in the New World for in excess of 14,000 years? This has been confirmed by hundreds of radiocarbon dates of organic matter adjacent to Clovis spear points. Do you accept carbon dating evidence? If you did accept that the A, B, C and D lineages have been in the Americas for 16,000 years then how do you explain the similar genetic diversity in the X, A, B, C and D lineages?

    I’m not sure at times why you are looking at the science. If you dismiss data because it doesn’t fit the timelines of the Book of Mormon can you see how this could color your interpretation of the science? Perego is simply drawing the most rational conclusions he can from the data he has, which is a considerable amount of data. American Indian X lineages are about as old as the other four DNA lineages because they harbour similar levels of diversity to the other lineages.

    I would be interested in the empirical pedigree dating rates you mention. Are these based on complete mitochondrial sequences or the D-loop? Control region dating is very unreliable.

    I’m not aware of the Fix study but I suspect they believe that any migration after the glacial period was roughly 14,000 years ago.

    Simon

    Comment by Simon — June 10, 2009 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Simon and Rod for your thoughtful responses and references on the matter. It’s very refreshing to get both sides without irrelevant personal attacks. I’m not sure I’ve been provided with carbon dates but I’ll try to dig up the article for my personal study.
      What I don’t understand is if A,B,C,D, and X all crossed at the same time in the same population, then why is the most concentrated living population of X in the Eastern parts of the United States and Canada with only a small isolated population in Brazil. Shouldn’t X be mingled thoughout North and South America similarly to A,C, and D?
      Thanks again
      Jason

      Comment by jason — June 10, 2009 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  47. Jason

    Perego’s Current Biology paper partly answers your question. It is widely accepted that before American Indians entered North and South America migration routes south from Beringia (Alaska) were cut off by ice. It is now believed that as the ice thawed they migrated down the pacific coast and through an ice free corridor that opened up in central Canada.

    The frequencies of DNA lineages in populations are not stable. The X lineage is relatively rare compared to the other four lineage. It seems likely that the populations that migrated through central Canada and that colonized eastern North America had a higher frequency of the rare X lineage that the ones that took the coastal route. It is likely that it became even rarer as the migrations reached South America. While the X lineage has not been found in living South American Indians, it is likely to be there at a very low frequency.

    I believe the molecular evidence is much more compatible with this sort of migration scenario than a migration from the Gulf of Mexico, either 3,000 or 14,000 years ago.

    Simon

    Comment by Simon — June 11, 2009 @ 5:26 am | Reply

  48. Simon
    That could very well have been the case. This could also explain the lack of much B showing up in Alaska. But when you consider everything that would have had to occur in West Asia, Cenrtal Asia,Siberia and America for X to present itself predominantly among Eastern Native Americans other possibilities could be considered. Perhaps an Atlantic crossing would offer a more direct route. After all, Polynesians colonized the Pacific thousands of years ago and Phoenecian and other mediterranian technology was probably as advanced as theirs. Just food for thought. I certainly respect your expertize on the matter. I guess that’s why this subject is so fascinating.
    P.S. I was under the impression that X had been Identified amoung a small village complex of Yanomami natives in Brazil.
    Jason
    Jason

    Comment by jason — June 11, 2009 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  49. When I watched the DVD I was very skeptical, since a lot of personal research tends to be biased and production seems to be very pointed, etc., etc. Perhpas you know what I mean, kind of like patiently listening to the weird uncle with the wacky ideas about this or that… To my surprise, I was very much impressed. I will admit I looked up a few things, and perhaps there are some holes in the research. However, good research always leads to more, and at least some of the questions that I’ve always had privately have attempted to be addressed. Some of the statements seem very speculative. However, what else can a person do, when history took place some 2000 years ago? One can only provide conjecture, trying to come up with the most logical solutions based on limited facts or anectodal evidence.

    I first started to change my thinking about the history of the Book of Mormon when Kevin Costner came out with his video series on the native Americans. At that point in time, I was a die-hard South America theorist. However, I was always perplexed by the fact that the plates were in New York, wondering how a person could tote a heavy book, under cover, and go from Central America to North America. To me it just didn’t make sense, from a practical standpoint. It could be done, it may have been done, but does that make the most sense?

    I had no idea that a complex civilization had actually existed in the mid-west until watching Kevin Costner’s production. I have always known there were many tribes, but not to the extent as described in his series. From that point on, I’ve gradually catalogued things in my mind, adding and subtracting up the evidence, and have since come to the conlusion, prior to seeing this dvd that the Book of Mormon took place in North America. I have heard a few stories by non-mormons about ancient religous items found in the upper midwest, which also confirms what I believe. This dvd only confirms to me that it’s possible and cleared the way for some of the doubts I’ve had in accepting the idea.

    Whether right or wrong, I sure did appreciate the dvd’s questions, answers, and supporting information. I couldn’t agree with everything, but it did at least solidify my personal beliefs that the Book of Mormon took place in North America. The one thing that I am skeptical about, which perhaps could be clarified, is how solid is the intrepration of the DNA evidence that is posed in the dvd? Is the DNA evidence being presented “correctly”. The reason I say that, is that it seems like people will “intrepret” things to fit what they want. Since I’m not a DNA researcher, I can only accept the DNA evidence from the perspective that the intrepretation is correct. I would only suggest that there be more “witnesses” to corroborate the interpretation of what is being presented in the dvd. As a jurist of the information, that was the biggest question mark in my mind. Is the DNA evidence being presented actually being presented in the manner that is correct and irrefutable by other qualified DNA scientists? I guess that’s the technical side of me maintaining the skeptisicm. If the technical information that is being presented is correct, I think the argument that the Bood of Mormon took place has much more validity. Again, my suggestion is that actual DNA scientists be presented that support the interpretation of the evidence being presented. Until that can be done, I think I will reserve some skeptisism about accepting the DNA information as completely true. I want to accept it, but to be intellectually honest, I can’t unless other scientists confirm it to be accurate, or I do the homework to be semi-fluent in understanding how to interpret DNA research. Since I doubt I will ever have the time to become technically aquainted with DNA research, I’m left to rely on others and how well I believe or disbelieve them.

    Thanks for the fun nature of this research! It really doesn’t matter where the history took place, as I’m sure we all would agree. However, it sure is fun to think about and even more fun if it is figured out! Although we should not place our faith on a foundation of science or research, when such science or research confirms what we believe, our faith is that much stronger. It’s sort of like a sign. Signs are reserved for the believers to their benefit and to the non-believers as a detriment. When we have physical confirmation of our faith, our faith is strengthened. Just to be clear, please don’t think I’m advocating that this is how to increase our faith.

    God deals with truth and light. So whenever we discover truth or light, be it revealed to us by God, or discovered by our own work, or by the work of someone else, we then have truth and light. Truth and light adds to faith. I hope that makes sense.

    Thanks again!

    dwilkins

    Comment by dwilkins — August 30, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  50. Its been said that the Lord reveals enough truth to keep the wolves at bay. If your claims are true it certainly will help to quiet them. I’m anxiously awaitng the more truths that will be discovered. Thank you for research.
    Phil

    Comment by Phil — November 12, 2009 @ 4:44 am | Reply

  51. I am concerned about the position that some intellectuals and those from academia take on the origins of the Book of Mormon. It seems to me that we as Latter-day Saints ought through personal revelation believe the Prophet Joseph Smith about what he said about the Book of Mormon and how it came to be including the Hill Cumorah. Personally, I think people who take issue with this are beginning a state of apostacy. After all, the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith are the foundation of our religion and he should know what he is talking about since he was in fact there and we in this latter-day some 200 years later were not! Academia and science are not the purveyors of absolute truths and I say that from an educated position since I have spent over 10 years in graduate school studying methodology. Any good scientist recognizes that scientific endeavor has limitations. I remember being at Iowa State right after the atom was split and hearing in chemistry class those professors involved explain the limitations that their so called “scientific exploration” posed for them. I do not believe that academia has the right to second guess the Lord’s word or the Prophets’on matters as important as the Book of Mormon and claim they KNOW better. Those that do ought to carefully examine their position and carefully considered what will happen when they are shown to be wrong. But then, I also believe that we limit ourselves more times that we may care to acknowledge when we don’t recognize ALL the senses in obtaining truth including personal revelation as well observation, good judgement, being open to all possibilities etc. Elder Holland’s testimony of the Book of Mormon last conference was remarkable and I agree with him totally!

    Comment by L. Karen Platt — November 23, 2009 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  52. Well I am becoming more of a supporter of the Hopewell/Nephites after watching the DVD with my former Bishop, who is absolutely persuaded by the evidence presented on this subject.

    My main question, which is simply a matter of reconciling where Moroni went with the plates, and where we should start looking for the brass plates, which Father Lehi said would be published to all of his descendants, as recorded in 1 NE 5:18: that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people who were of his seed…

    That sounds like the whole earth would become filled with the descendants of Lehi!

    I have no doubt that the people of Asia are related; we may be looking at the migrations from the wrong end of the telescope…perhaps the people of Mongolia are also descended from Lechi? Heyerdahl showed that we have a very narrow vision of the migrations of peoples; and something that Louis Lamour discovered and wrote about: the Chukchi have been back and forth to Alaska countless times, as well as many other Native tribes.

    Now here is another piece to fit into the migrations patterns puzzle…the research and account of Gavin Menzies called 1421: the Year the Chinese Discovered the New World…the web site is: http://1421.TV

    I have personal knowledge that there are Asians among the Caribe Tribes’ descendants, from my work with the Wayuu or Goajiro in Venezuela, who spoke with a very distinct tonal sound in their language, which I can still recall from 1982 the sound of their conversations as tonal and sing-song like asiatic tribes.

    Just a few of the reasons that we as a people will probably feel a little silly making DVDs on the current evidence – a bunch of gentiles trying to piece together the history of tribes, without seriously consulting said tribes as to their own knowledge of history!

    Thanks to Rod and company for some very solid research. If the foundations are solid we can all be confident in the soundness of the final building.

    Comment by VinBeazel ApprenticeTeacher — January 7, 2010 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  53. I have been impressed with the many books and stories concering the peoples of Mesoamerica and South America, but I never understood how the pyramids could be considered temples, and why the people stayed in such a confined place when it is the natural desire of human beings to want to know what is beyond the next hill and spread out. In the last chapter of Alma there is the story of thousands of people moving up further north, There were 5,400 people leaving at first ( they apparently walked ), then a man named Hagoth, being a curious man, built a large ship and many people got on board and they sailed northward. There were about four such trips then they were heard of no more. Are the Eskimos, Inuits and others descendants of them ? Also I read in the book of Ether( ch 15 ) about a place called Ogath. I wonder if that actually is Olathe, Kansas. And the waters of Ripliancum which means ” to exceed all” is Lake Superior, which Hagoth and companies sailed on to go northward. Also in one of the other chapters there is mention of the “east wind”. I beleive that is the ‘nor’easter” winds the northeast states experience from time to time.
    However, it is known that the earth has experienced many catastrophies and pole shifts, so we can’t say for sure if present day north is the north that ancient peoples knew, or if the land shapes remained the same in all those violent upheavals where lands sank into the sea, mountains came up from valleys, etc. Perhaps this land was once in a warmer climate where it seldom snowed, for the Book of Mormon does not talk about snow at all, only hail.

    It seems like many people have been looking in the wrong places for the Book of Mormon peoples. For example, the Native American Indians do not look like the people in the Pacific islands, but one prophet has said they are the people of Lehi, so I believe that all that research and discovery are not all in vain, for the Lord has sent many people out of different countries into new lands and when He comes we will all know about each other and our histories.

    Comment by Sybil Hendricks — March 18, 2010 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

    • Sybil,

      Were you responding to my post which disappeared? I think there are alot of things we don’t know precisely, but Rod sure has me convinced the Hopewell are the real Nephite thing. I am with you on the pyramids in Mesoamerica. I don’t buy that they were somehow Nephite Temples. There is way to much human sacrifice there for me. Anyway, thanks for the reponse if you were responding to my questions.

      Comment by Howard — June 5, 2010 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  54. Well, I’m back for just one more effort. This effort is only for the sincere seeker of truth about this matter. I read some of the diaologue above between Greg and Rod. They were refering to some of Joseph Smith’s statements. One says the statements indicate support for the N A Model and the other says the statements indicate support for the Mesoamerican Model. They are probably not refering to the same quotes. One way to solve this dilemma is to look at some of the quotes but before we do here is some background. In 1842 Joseph was living primarily in Nauvoo. While there Joseph received a gift from a friend from New York, John Bernhisle, anyway this book was a New York best seller, “Incidents of Travel in Central America.” by John Lloyd Stephens. Joseph enjoyed reading the book along with the drawings of the Central American ruins that Stephens had explored. He became very excited about what he was reading and decided to publish in the official church publication “Times and Seasons”, some extracts of Stephen’s book along with his commentary about the book. Now if anyone could tell us where the Book of Mormon Lands are, Joseph would be the one. So Joseph’s statments along with those extracts are most valuable and informative. Joseph actually wrote four articles during this time frame about this subject in the “Times and Seasons”, the first appears in Volume 3, Sept. 15, 1842, page 911. He simply begins by printing an extract from Stephens'”Incidents of Travel in Central America, and then on page 914 says:

    “The foregoing extract has been made to assist the Latter-Day Saints, in establishing the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God. It affords great joy to have the world assist us to so much proof, that even the most credulous cannot doubt. We are sorry that we could not afford the expense to give the necessary cuts referred to in the original.”
    “Let us turn our subject, however, to the Book of Mormon, where these wonderful ruins of Palenque are among the mighty works of the Nephites:–and the mystery is solved.”
    “…Mr. Stephens’ great developements of antiquities are made bare to the eyes of all the people by reading the history of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. They lived about the narrow neck of land, which now embraces Central America, with all the cities that can be found. Read the destruction of cities at the crucifixion of Christ, pages 459-60. Who could have dreamed that twelve years would have developed such incontrovertible testimony to the Book of Mormon? surely the Lord worketh and none can hinder.”

    Then on page 921 – “FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS.” “From an extract from “Stephen’ Incidents of Travel in Central America,” it will be seen that the proof of the Nephites and Lamanites dweling on the continent, according to the account in the Book of Mormon, is developing itself in a more satisfactory way than the most sanguine believer in that revelation, could have anticipated.” He goes on to say that the Lord is proving the Book of Mormon true in the eyes of all the people. The rest of this article deals with Guatemala the Quinche,Cachiquel, and Toltecan Indians being descendents from the house of Israel. Then on Oct. 1, 1842, on page 927, Joseph writes another article which is even more direct in his discription of where the Book of Mormon Lands are, and I quote:

    “Since our ‘Extract’ was published from Mr. Stephens’…we have found another important fact relating to truth of the Book of Mormon. Central America, or Guatimala, is situated north of the Isthmus of Darien and once embraced several hundred miles of territory from north to south–The city Zarahemla, burnt at the crucifixion of the Savior, and rebuilt afterwards, stood upon this land as will be seen from the following words in the book of Alma…It is certainly a good thing for the excellency and veracity, of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, that the ruins of Zarahemla have been found where the Nephites left them: and that a large stone with engravings upon it, as Mosiah said; and the ‘large round stone, with the sides sculptured in hieroglyphics,’ as Mr. Stephens has published, is also among the left remembrances of the, (to him,) lost and unknown.”

    Joseph goes on to mention two of the ruins by name as Nephite cities, Copan and Quirigua. He mentioned Planque in the previous article.
    Well, I think that answers the question quite directly. Now there will be some that don’t like the answer that is given here and will try to say Joseph didn’t really make those statements. Anyone with that oponion hasn’t done their research. Joseph accepts credit for those statements and writes down that fact so people won’t get it wrong. First, he was managing director of the “Times and Seasons” at this time, so would have had to approve these articles. Second, he states that he is responsible on page 710 when he says: “This paper commences my editorial career, I alone stand responsible for it, and shall do for all papers having my signature henceforward.” Signed: Joseph Smith. His editorial career with the Times and Seasons was a short one, he began on March 15, 1842 and ends his work on the Times and Seasons when John Taylor takes over those duties in November 15, 1842. The articles I make reference to above appear in September and October of 1842 and is contained with the following statement on page 926. again I quote: “The Times and Seasons, is edited, printed and published about the first fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Illinois, by Joseph Smith. There is no way getting around the fact that Joseph identified Central America as the place where the Nephites built cities. Now to quote him, “and the mystery is solved.” p. 914, T&S. Now that is the truth about the matter and how each of us decides to deal with it is up to us.
    In one of the quotes above Joseph was pleased with the progress of proof supporting the Book of Mormon, but since then the evidence has been piling up mostly coming from the Central America area. Language evidence, Archaeologica evidence, Cultural Evidence, geographical evidence and of course the Statements by Joseph. By the way Joseph wasn’t the only sitting president to identify Central America as the place, John Taylor also knew where it was. I won’t give the quotes here, you will have to read his Bio for that. Also an appostle, the Apostle Moses Thacher identified Central America as the place in a talk to the youth in Ogden Tabernacle November 11,1888. “I wish to add something concerning that which was spoken of this morning on the life of Nephi; not so much of his life and character, as that of the people whom he led, their ruins, their buildings and temples as found in Central America and Mexico…” (Ancient American Civilizations and Their Lessons, Moses Thatcher, at a Y.M.M.M.I.A meeting held in Ogden, November 11, 1888) These arn’t all of the General Authorities, I haven’t even mentioned Milton R. Hunter and his two books on the subject but the truth is out there available for the honest seeker of truth to find. Joseph said: “It will be as it ever has been, the world will prove Joseph Smith a true prophet by circumstantial evidence, in experiments, as they did Moses and Elijah.” The circumstantial evidence Joseph Smith mentions is piling up in our day there is lots of it proving Joseph to be a prophet, but we have to look in the right place to find it.
    This is information I have learned on my own long before bmaf or fair or even farms, so please don’t accuse me of superficial research gleened from those sites, as was done with one of the above contributors. It also doesn’t prove anything by putting down those organizations and calling them names. (ex. fairytales) Their research is good research and I have enjoyed their serious investigation of the truth because they try to confine their efforts to the text of the Book of Mormon to support the Mesoamerican model. Lets not lose track in all of this, the main truth is that the Book of Mormon is true, regardless of where these events took place we are on the same page with our spiritually derived testimonies of the reality and authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Lets work together and go with the truth where ever it leads us, I’m sure this will bode well for us in the next stage of existence. If we dig our heals in a kick against the truth when we find it we may be regretting our actions in a future life. The Book of Mormon is True! Mont Woolley

    Comment by Mont Woolley — April 7, 2010 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  55. Rod,

    I went to the FAIR site and saw the rebuttals there. I still believe the only civilization that make it to the Nephite BOM standard is the Hopewell. FAIR said, however, that Hagoth could not have gotten out to the sea without the Erie Canal…Just wondering. They also mention Sidon flowing North. I did not exactly follow that part of their argument very well. For me, the distribution of X nails the geography. I loved the DVD.

    Comment by Howard — June 5, 2010 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  56. I understand when it comes to DNA, FARMS and its close relative FAIR have discovered Tapir DNA within the Book of Mormon. Nephi called it a horse.

    Comment by Stephen Reed — July 18, 2010 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  57. Correction. A few weeks ago, I left a short version of an spiritul experience I had concerning “The Waters of Mormon” abt 15 yrs ago. In your DVD, I though we were talking abt the same place yet when I took a friend of mine back over there to visit this past week, the name of the place I went to is Mammoth Springs just across the MO border in Thayer AR. Nothing has changed since my first visit there 15 yrs ago except the evidences you have presented.
    Also, 9.78 million gals of water per hr. springs from it’s well.
    There is a very nice website on it under http://www.Arkansasstatepark.com

    Comment by judith phelan — July 18, 2010 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  58. I would like to make a few points based on my observations on this whole topic of Book of Mormon geography. Though I have read much on the topic, and am partial to the limited Mesoamerican model (Sorenson’s model), I believe strongly in the following points:
    1) First and foremost we should always maintain the proper perspective that a spiritual testimony is what really matters, as it is the only kind of proof that will change our hearts towards desiring to follow the strait and narrow path which will return us to God’s presence.
    2) Regarding the different theories of Book of Mormon geography and the evidences which support them, since there is no definitive theory to which all can agree, we need to remain open minded and flexible, willing at any time to abandon or to re-think any theory that we may espouse.
    3) Point #2 also applies to any other facet of earth’s and man’s physical history, where there exist many different opinions and theories regarding any given period of earth’s and man’s history, about which little is known, and we are left to speculate. We need to keep an open mind. Science doesn’t yet have all the answers, and neither does any religion at this point in time, as far as all the intricate details of earth’s and man’s long history.
    4) The obscurity of the exact location of the Book of Mormon geographical locations is part of God’s purpose for that book. It forces us to look to God for proof of what is meant first and foremost to be a document that was meant to change people’s hearts. It’s primary purpose is not to instruct people regarding all the details of the location and cultural aspects of that ancient society and culture, but to know that the book is from God to help them draw closer to Him. So I feel that we may never know for certain the exact location of all the events in that book until Christ’s return, when all things will be revealed.
    5) This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to find physical evidences and locations of Book of Mormon lands, but as in any scientific endeavor of this nature, we should make sure that we use sound scientific principles and techniques, and that we keep an open mind to the theories of others. Too many religious adherents and scientists are too close-minded to accept or consider any theory other than their own, which is unfortunate, considering that we are left in the dark at this point regarding so much pertaining to earth’s full history. This flexibility needn’t apply to the basic tenets of our faith (such as the way we should live our lives). It should only apply to temporal knowledge, such as the details of natural history (earth’s history and the history of mankind). Science and religion can be compatible if we are flexible in the area of temporal knowledge. Some day it will all make sense, but now is not the time, and we may be surprised when we find out the way things really happened.

    Comment by Phil — August 3, 2010 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  59. Rod, I appreciate your work. It by far makes more sense than any other location.

    In all fairness, I’ve been looking at FARMS’s articles on their web site. The final “clue” that turned me away from their theory of a Mesoamerica location for the Book of Mormon is discovering their studied claim that the Nephites were not the Maya. They are adamant about it, yet use Maya icons/images on their site, refer to Maya artifacts, armor, etc., in their articles, including Maya calendars (10-13 day weeks) and glyphs neither of which match the “calender” in the Book of Mormon, (7 days to keep the Sabbath Day Holy-The Law of Moses) or the characters given to Martin Harris. Because of this, they know they have “been cornered” as they can’t seem to locate any Nephite ruins among all the Mayan, and have had to come up with this “others” people in the Book of Mormon theory to reconcile their overall location in Mesoamerica. Some of their arguments that they read into the text for “others” in the Book of Mormon are ridiculous at best (Lehi didn’t have animals to carry his tents and provisions, for example so keeping flocks was introduced to them in the Land of Promise by “others” so obviously Lehi’s and Ishmael’s families carried them on their heads). Nor can they even agree over two of the eight major river systems (Grijalva & Usamacintas) which flow north in southern Mexico/Guatemala for the River Sidon. The former flows through a very high-walled canyon out of the Guatemala highlands. I imagine very few who hold to a Mesoamerica location have even thought of the smallness of the area (the size of Utah) or why Nephites were constrained to it for over 1,000 years (including the Jaredites thousands of years) when Nephi and later Hagoth were able to sail long distances – and while early LDS Saints were able to travel the length of the North American continent by foot (see Mormon Battalion).

    Anyway, I could go on regarding their perversion of directions to reconcile an east-west isthmus as a narrow-neck, etc., and their disagreements among themselves about details, etc. all of which deal with more issues than just a geographical location. This coupled with their claims that the Prophet Joseph Smith didn’t know much about geography (but he did on other matters), when they themselves don’t even know?

    I’m using the process of elimination, if you will, and in my opinion all but your theory has been eliminated.

    Thank you very much for your efforts. It’s much appreciated.

    Comment by Stephen Reed — September 17, 2010 @ 4:42 am | Reply


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