Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fantasy vs real-world maps of the scriptures

For an excellent contrast between fantasy and reality, look at what BYU is doing.

There is a wonderful map of the scriptures that integrates the text with Google Maps. It puts a pin on the map for every location mentioned in the scriptures. Here's a screen shot from Matthew, Chapter 2.

You can try it yourself:

I encourage you to check it out. I can't recommend it enough. The BYU team did an amazing job. It's very helpful for many reasons if you're studying the Bible or the Doctrine and Covenants.

For some reason, though, the Book of Mormon isn't integrated with Google Maps.

I even went to Mormon 6:6, but there is no pin on Google Maps for Cumorah.

Seems strange, doesn't it?

Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith told us exactly where Cumorah was--in western New York. If you travel south from Palmyra, along the road to Canandaigua, you pass the hill before arriving at Manchester. 

They explained that the final battles of the Jaredites (involving merely thousands) and the final battles of the Nephites (involving tens of thousands) took place in the mile-wide valley west of Cumorah. They even cited what is now Mormon 6:6 when they explained that Mormon's depository of Nephite records was in the same hill in New York.

You can read the description of Cumorah's location right in Joseph's history, 1834-1836, here, in the Joseph Smith Papers:

It's also known as Letter VII.

Here's what the map would look like if BYU didn't reject what Joseph and Oliver taught:

Cumorah, how it should appear on the Scriptures, Mapped
Comparison between the real world and the BYU fantasy world:

Real-world Cumorah, according to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery
Fantasy Cumorah, according to BYU
Fantasy Book of Mormon lands, according to BYU

You can see the full map here:

BYU is now requiring all students to learn this fantasy map of the Book of Mormon. 

People ask me lots of questions about this, which I'll answer in my next post.

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