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Archive for September, 2007

There has been much controversy over whether there is evidence that the people in the Book of Mormon existed or whether the book is fictional. This article is to set the facts straight that the people in the Book of Mormon did live in Central America and that there is plenty of evidence supporting that fact.

Book of Mormon Map

Book of Mormon Geography

If you read Alma 22:26-35 of the Book of Mormon, it gives a pretty good description of the land and how the Lamanites and Nephites were divided. There was a narrow neck of land on the North, and one on the South and the land was nearly surrounded by water. There was also a narrow strip of wilderness (a mountain range) stretching from the East sea to the West and then up along the west coast. The river Sidon has to flow from the South to the North, since the city of Manti was located at the head of the river and was South of the city Zarahemla, which was on the west bank of the river Sidon at one point further down the river. Another interesting thing in the Book of Mormon is that the words “up” and “down” refer to elevation and are accurate and consistent throughout the whole Book of Mormon (Mormon’s Map).

Alma 22: 27-28, 30, 32

27 And it came to pass that the king (The Lamanite King in the Land of Nephi) sent a a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east (Atlantic Ocean) and on the west (Pacific Ocean), and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness (Mountain Range), which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore (It goes from the east to the west and then turns up along the west coast), and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla (They were living in the mountains at the northwest of Zarahemla as well), through the borders of d Manti , by the head of the e river Sidon ( The Maya Nile flows north out of the mountain range and is likely the river Sidon), running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.

28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers’ first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore (Pacific Ocean).

30 And it bordered upon the land which they called a Desolation, it being so far northward (Not North, but “northward”) that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing.

32 And now, it was only the a distance of a day and a half’s journey ( about 120 miles) for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east (it doesn’t say East Sea, so it might be less than 120 miles) to the west sea (Pacific Ocean); and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small b neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.

So, is there an area that fits this description in the Americas today? Yes. The location of the Nephites and Lamanites was in Guatamala, Belize, and Mexico (Mostly the Yucatan Peninsula). The City of Nephi was likely where Guatamala City is today. The Narrow strip of Wilderness was likely the mountain range that goes from the Atlantic Ocean in Southern Guatamala , to the West and then turns upword along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It goes north to the Narrow Neck of Land where it is about 120 miles to go from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean (some people argue that 120 miles is too long to go in a day and a half, however, I have ran in a 178 mile relay race that lasted a day. You also have to remember that Mormon was a military commander and probably measured distances by how quickly a Nephite soldier could travel that distance). The Mountain range goes down at the narrow neck, so there is a narrow pass between mountain ranges, because the mountains go back up again in Mexico. That area where the Lamanites and Nephites live is thus nearly surrounded by water (Alma 22:32), with a narrow strip of land to the South before going into South America and a Narrow Strip to the North before going into the rest of Mexico.

Google Earth Coordinates

Here are a bunch of the Google Earth Coordinates for cities and lands.

City of Zarahemla 16*53’20.84″ N 90*58’02.52″ W (in the center of the land on the West Bank of the River Sidon). City of Nephi 14*37;39.59″ N 90*31′ 44.87″ W Narrow Neck of Land 16*28′;13.43″ N 95*19’37.90″ W (This is the narrow pass between the mountain ranges on the narrow neck of land between the seas)

Book of Mormon Map

The “Land of Zarahemla” likely encompasses nearly the whole Yucatan Peninsula, East of the Mountain Range. The “Land of Nephi” is likely the West Coast, west of the mountain range, up to the Narrow Neck of Land, and then South below the mountain range, it also included parts of the mountain range where some of the Lamanites lived.

The River Sidon is likely the rivers flowing North out of the mountain range (narrow strip of wilderness). It is referred to today as the Mayan Nile. There are a bunch of Mayan ruins along it, especially where I have Zarahemla marked. The river creates the border between Mexico and Guatamala at some points. The narrow neck of land divides desolation (the larger part of Mexico to the North) and the land bountiful the part just south of the Narrow neck, which is where Christ appeared.

Mexico City, which is sitting on some ancient ruins, is a likely place for the Jaredite Capital. Mormon probably grew up on the Eastern side of Mexico. Notice that Mexico is a Mountainous region that slopes down to plains on the East Sea or Gulf of Mexico. That is also were the Hill Cumorah likely is, and where both the Jaredites and the Nephites were destroyed.

The South and East parts of Mexico, Belize and Guatamala, are likely the areas on the east sea, where the city of Moroni was built and where the Lamanites also lived on the South, near the East Sea. There were also Mayan cities there where there were 300 foot high walls for barriers, like Moroni would have built, so the Lamanites arrows couldn’t hit them.

If you look at maps of the Omecs and the Mayans, they settled where the Mulekites and the Lamanites/Nephites were at. Archaeologists have probably messed up by saying the Jaredites were part of the Omec civilization, since they have some in that area, but the dates match the Jaredite dates.

Similarities Between Israel and Meso-America

The First Spanish Settlers Interpreted the History of the Land in Line with The Book of Mormon. There is a good book to read, called “Ancient America Rediscovered: The First English Translation.” This book was written before Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (and don’t think it influenced him in anyway, because there is no possible way he would have known about it). Click on the link and you can browse through the table of contents and the index and you will see that the history written in the book matches exactly the history given of the people in the Book of Mormon, that the first group was led over to this land after the changing of tongues at the Tower of Babel, and another group was led over from Jerusalem later. It also talks about how the white, bearded man visited them and taught them the Gospel which the author said was very similar to Christianity.

Fiery Flying Serpent. They also refer to this man, or God, Quetzelcoatl, as a fiery, flying serpent.  Central America is full of references to the serpent.  Similarly, the Israelites had a flying serpent that Moses held up, and if people looked upon it they would be healed from their snake bites.   The Israelites had this flying serpent symbol for then next 500 years as a symbol of their God, until they began to treat it as a graven image and then it was destroyed.  The serpent was a symbol of Christ who would come and if people would look to him they would be forgiven of their sins and saved from sin and death.

Names of Cities and Rivers. TSidon in Hebrew means fish river, while the main river in the map in Mayan also means fish river or fishery.

Ancient Temples

Many ancient civilizations had the same or similar religion.  Through time they have been distorted and changed.  You may also be interested in reading about Ancient Temples. I am attaching some information about them by Hugh Nibley. Many Ancient Civilizations had the same religion, including the Hebrews in the Old Testament and studies have found the Mayans also had the same religion as other civilization throughout the world. You can find these things by understanding how they built temples.

DNA

Most likely there were other peoples already located on the American Continent when the Nephites and Lamanites arrived.  This would explain the rapid growth of the Lamanites who most likely mixed with them more, since the Nephites probably married within their religion.  It would also explain the change in skin color if the Lamanites intermixed with the locals.  The fact that some people in the Book of Mormon are described as descendant of Nephi, implies that others are not, and also suggests that there must have been other peoples on the continent, perhaps some left from the Jaredites, perhaps smaller groups that branched out over different parts of the Americas forming small communities.  The people of Mulek also came over and landed North of the land of Zarahemla, but then traveled south to that land where they later combined with Nephites about 300 years later around 300BC.

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