This blog documents the war over Book of Mormon geography, focusing on the Mesoamerican theory vs the Heartland theory.
I have the book "Mormon's Codex" here in my office. It was written by John L. Sorenson, a retired BYU professor from whom I took a class around 35 years ago. The book presents in considerable detail Sorenson's thesis that the Book of Mormon events took place in Mesoamerica. Most of the BYU faculty seems to agree with that thesis.
Actually, I once did, too.
But now I think the whole concept is fundamentally flawed, for several reasons. I'll be commenting on at least these:
- the fallacy of Sorenson's theory of directions; i.e., that the Nephites didn't know, or use, actual cardinal directions (N,S,E,W) but referenced directions based on the western coastline of Mesoamerica.
- the fallacy of Sorenson's theory of translation; i.e., that plants and animals named in the Book of Mormon actually referred to different species
- the fallacy of Sorenson's approach to the covenant aspects of the Book of Mormon (the word "covenant" does not even appear in his index)
- the lack of discussing the practice of the law of Moses among the Nephites
- the lack of the Book of Mormon fortifications, construction methods, and other details in Mesoamerica
- recent archaeological finds in the Heartland that vindicate the Book of Mormon and undermine the Mesoamerican theory