Book of Mormon Geography

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Shulem
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Zosimus wrote:
Wed Feb 15, 2023 4:11 am
I served my mission in the mission that included the Comoros Islands. Although there were no missionaries there in the Comoros, I taught several migrants from the Comoros including some from the capital of Moroni. We always had a chuckle when we revealed those names in the Book of Mormon.

And this helps explain why you have passion and perhaps a calling to perform the work you’re doing in providing details, explanations, and hypothesis of how these matters are related to original Book of Mormon geography. And I commend you. The information you’ve given is invaluable and of interest to everyone who wants to know more. I do believe that there is still much to be pieced together and solved in order to better understand the mysteries of how Joseph Smith came up with the Book of Mormon.

I don’t deny the possibility that Smith had his eye on Malaysia with reference to both geography and terminology. But, as I’ve said in past posts, the Asian peninsula and maps of Smith’s time do not match specifics of the text in the Book of Mormon. I do believe to have demonstrated in my threads how Delmarva does match the text. I’m convinced that Delmarva was the peninsula selected by Smith to represent the land of Nephi on the American continent. Whatever Smith had in mind with Asia may have been an influence but did not come to fruition and ultimately does not represent the Book of Mormon.
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Zosimus wrote:
Wed Feb 15, 2023 4:11 am
I served my mission in the mission that included the Comoros Islands.

I’m curious, by any chance or possibility, could the architectural structure of the Nauvoo temple been influenced by that of the Badjanani Mosque in Moroni?

Just throwing it out there! Well?

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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Shulem wrote:
Wed Feb 15, 2023 4:02 pm
So, everything *in* the text of the Book of Mormon had already been expressed and manifested prior to that event. In my view the text within that very book supersedes everything said *about* the book
Yes, but to understand how the plates get to New York, we need to understand who the guardian of the treasure (as the angel later known as Moroni was described in all accounts previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon) was in the mind of Joseph Smith as he was translating the Book of Mormon. You can try and piece together a narrative of the prophet Moroni digging a hole in a hill in New York and placing the plates there in 421 AD, and the same resurrected Moroni visiting Joseph as an angel in 1823 to reveal the plates to him. But this doesn't seem to be the narrative that was in Joseph's head as he translated the plates. Based on the chronology of Joseph's written history, I'm not even sure this was the narrative in 1832.

Up until 1830, the only account we have is of a ghost of a man in bloody clothes visiting Joseph in a dream and telling him about a hidden treasure. This man would have been an evolved variation of earlier stories Smith told of a bloody ghost that had been murdered to protect the Palmyra treasure. If the treasure Joseph was digging for had come from Captain Kidd's loot, this would mean the guardian of the treasure - and the treasure itself - wasn't from New York, or even from America.
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Shulem wrote:
Wed Feb 15, 2023 4:24 pm
Whatever Smith had in mind with Asia may have been an influence but did not come to fruition and ultimately does not represent the Book of Mormon.
I can go into the primary influence for the story of the golden plates as I see it. The quick version is that the first Congregationalist and Baptist missionaries to serve foreign missions were inspired by an extremely popular sermon published in 1811 called the The Star in the East. The sermon references Jewish colonies that, according to the author, had escaped Babylonian captivity and spread throughout the Indian Ocean with their histories inscribed on brass plates in tow. These Jews separated into groups based on the color of their skin, white Jews and black Jews.

One of these American missionaries had raised a significant amount of money from American donors after baptizing a large number of people from a single tribe on the Malay Peninsula. The reason he'd given for their conversion was that this tribe had once had a golden book telling of their relationship with God. They had lost this golden book and they believed that the American missionaries were going to bring it back to them.

This story started circulating in America in 1828. The same year that Joseph Smith began his translation of a lost golden book of God.
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Zosimus wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2023 11:25 am
Yes, but to understand how the plates get to New York, we need to understand who the guardian of the treasure (as the angel later known as Moroni was described in all accounts previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon) was in the mind of Joseph Smith as he was translating the Book of Mormon. You can try and piece together a narrative of the prophet Moroni digging a hole in a hill in New York and placing the plates there in 421 AD, and the same resurrected Moroni visiting Joseph as an angel in 1823 to reveal the plates to him. But this doesn't seem to be the narrative that was in Joseph's head as he translated the plates. Based on the chronology of Joseph's written history, I'm not even sure this was the narrative in 1832.

Up until 1830, the only account we have is of a ghost of a man in bloody clothes visiting Joseph in a dream and telling him about a hidden treasure. This man would have been an evolved variation of earlier stories Smith told of a bloody ghost that had been murdered to protect the Palmyra treasure. If the treasure Joseph was digging for had come from Captain Kidd's loot, this would mean the guardian of the treasure - and the treasure itself - wasn't from New York, or even from America.

Let’s take a peek at the narrative, shall we?

D&C 3, July 1828 wrote:16 Nevertheless, my work shall go forth, for inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people−

So, the knowledge of a Savior first came into the world through the Jews and then in the last days the knowledge of a Savior would come to the Gentiles (“my people”) in America via Joseph Smith.

D&C 3, July 1828 wrote:17 And to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers−

Note how the testimony of their fathers would serve to convert their descendants. Those people who lived anciently lived in America just as their descendants do in Joseph Smith’s own time.

D&C 3, July 1828 wrote:18 And this testimony shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations.

Again, we see that testimony of ancient forefathers who once lived in America will convert their descendants, more especially, the Lamanites.

D&C 3, July 1828 wrote:19 And for this very purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records—that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people;

I think it’s plainly clear that the plates and the place in which they exist in ancient times as well as in 1828 is in America.

D&C 10, April 1829 wrote:48 Yea, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.

49 Now, this is not all—their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land;

50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life;

51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.

America!
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Zosimus wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2023 11:25 am
You can try and piece together a narrative of the prophet Moroni digging a hole in a hill in New York and placing the plates there in 421 AD, and the same resurrected Moroni visiting Joseph as an angel in 1823 to reveal the plates to him. But this doesn't seem to be the narrative that was in Joseph's head as he translated the plates.

Let’s see what the character Moroni says in the Book of Mormon as Smith is dictating the stories therein. I think it’s quite clear that it takes place in the land of promise (America) where Joseph Smith lived.

  • I [Mormon] made  this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were  these few plates which I gave unto my son  Moroni.
  • Behold I, Moroni, do finish the  record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father.
  • Therefore I will write and  hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.
  • And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have  sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; And unto  three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall  know of a surety that these things are true.
  • And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph

The New Jerusalem is specifically identified in Book of Mormon prophecies as being in America which is the same promised land in which the chosen seer would translate the ancient records as a blessing to the inhabitants who descended from the original Lamanites.
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Re: Book of Mormon Geography

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Shulem, could you help interpret this new facsimile from the Church's agreement with the SEC?
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
Let’s take a peek at the narrative, shall we?
Sure, but let's go direct to John Whitmer's writings in 1828, instead of the narrative that came after the publication of the Book of Mormon.

"Nevertheless, my work shall go forth, for inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people−"

Was originally:

"for as the knowledge of a Saveiour hath come to the world so shall the knowledge of my People the Nephities & the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites"
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
So, the knowledge of a Savior first came into the world through the Jews and then in the last days the knowledge of a Savior would come to the Gentiles (“my people”) in America via Joseph Smith.
Not in the original. In the 1828 version there's no mention of knowledge of the Savior coming into the world through the Jews. No mention of the gentiles being "my people". No mention of America. Next.

"And to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers−

was originally:

"the Nephities & the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites come to the Lamanites knowledge of the Lamanites"
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
Note how the testimony of their fathers would serve to convert their descendants. Those people who lived anciently lived in America just as their descendants do in Joseph Smith’s own time.
Nope. There's no mention of testimonies of their fathers in the original. Nothing that suggests America. Next.

"And this testimony shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations."

Was originally:

"& the Lamanites & the Ishmaelites which dwindeled in unbelief because of the iniquities of their Fathers who hath been suffered to destroy their Brethren because of their iniquities & their Abominations"
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
Again, we see that testimony of ancient forefathers who once lived in America will convert their descendants, more especially, the Lamanites.
Again, we see that in the 1828 version there's no mention of the testimonies of their fathers. There's nothing that suggests America over anywhere else in the world. Next.

"And for this very purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records—that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people;"

Was originally:

"& for this very Purpose are these Plates prepared which contain these Records that the Promises of the Lord might be fulfilled which he made to his People"
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
I think it’s plainly clear that the plates and the place in which they exist in ancient times as well as in 1828 is in America.
Although there's no difference between the original and the published version here, its not at all plainly clear that America is uniquely referred to in the original revelation. Next.

"Yea, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions. Now, this is not all—their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land; And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life; Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be."
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:19 pm
America!
Er, as far as I can find, the earliest extant manuscript we have of D&C 10 was typeset between 1 Nov. and 31 Dec. 1832, two years after the publication of the Book of Mormon (source). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems we don't have the original from 1829. If we do I'd like to see it, because considering the critical differences between the phrasing in the original revelations that became D&C 3 and the phrasing that came after 1830, I'm skeptical that we're getting what Joseph was thinking in 1828-1829. In any case, D&C 10:6-70 would have been received after Alma through Moroni had been translated, just before Joseph and Oliver went back to work on the small plates. In other words, all the geography had been written into the book already.
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Zosimus
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Re: Captain Kidd Strikes Again!

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Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 7:55 pm
Let’s see what the character Moroni says in the Book of Mormon as Smith is dictating the stories therein. I think it’s quite clear that it takes place in the land of promise (America) where Joseph Smith lived.

  • I [Mormon] made  this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were  these few plates which I gave unto my son  Moroni.
  • Behold I, Moroni, do finish the  record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father.
  • Therefore I will write and  hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.
  • And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have  sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; And unto  three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall  know of a surety that these things are true.
There's nothing here that describes anything uniquely American. There's nothing that identifies a specific location in the world. Moroni himself tells us that it doesn't matter where he went.
Shulem wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 7:55 pm
  • And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph
The New Jerusalem is specifically identified in Book of Mormon prophecies as being in America which is the same promised land in which the chosen seer would translate the ancient records as a blessing to the inhabitants who descended from the original Lamanites.
Perhaps in post-1830 Book of Mormon prophecies. But as you mentioned in relation to the 1830 Cowdery/Pratt statements (that probably came from Joseph) about the Lehites landing in Chile, we're not considering commentary that comes after the publication of the Book of Mormon. Where is the New Jerusalem specifically identified in the Book of Mormon as being in America?
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Re: Book of Mormon Geography

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Moksha wrote:
Fri Feb 24, 2023 1:30 am
Shulem, could you help interpret this new facsimile from the Church's agreement with the SEC?

Moksha,

I regret to inform you that your post has been placed in the wrong thread wherein the Facsimile No. 1 is unrelated to Book of Mormon geography, especially that which exists in the United States. Therefore, I will copy and place your post in the appropriate thread and comment therein.

Facsimile 1 as a Sacrifice Scene

Shulem
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