Discovering The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon

 It was in what has come to be known as the Sacred Grove in Palmyra New York, not far from the now famous Hill Cumorah, that Joseph Smith Jr. changed from nothing more than a simple farm boy into a Prophet of God. “In spring 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith prayed in faith and was answered by God and Jesus Christ in person. This remarkable vision is foundational to Latter-day Saint history. You can read these accounts at under the heading The First Vision.


The Hill Cumorah

Throughout the centuries the records of God’s dealings with his children were kept and preserved by various old world prophets and can now be found in the Bible. Yet, the record of those living in the new world had not yet been revealed, something now rectified by the Angel Moroni who revealed to Joseph Smith that some golden plates containing the history of his ancient people were located in the Hill Cumorah not far from Joseph’s home in Palmyra. Strangely,the name of the hill has  been a matter of discussion. . . .(Read More)

Evidence of Ancient Warfare Around Cumorah

It is the opinion of numerous scholars that western New York was the scene of a terrible exterminating battle. It was said: “There is more evidence of a well-planned defensive warfare in that locality than there is in any other region on the American continent. It is the opinion of most scholars that the defenses on the drumlin hills were prepared by a people more civilized than the Indians and were exterminated by the inferior race who were still in possession of the country when Columbus discovered the land.” (1)  (READ MORE)

Mormon’s Map

While the Nephites and Mulekites obviously spread out over a great expanse of territory over their near millennial-long sojourn in the land, the Book of Mormon is the history of those who lived in their heartland in the lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Bountiful, with offshoots settled in what they called the land of many waters which we can take to be the Finger Lakes region bordering the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It is in the land of many waters that we find the Hill Cumorah, the site of the terrible exterminating battle that totally exterminated the Nephite Nation.  A map with all the cities and lands noted in the Book of Mormon is presented here for those so interested. (READ MORE)

Putting It To The Test

There have been numerous attempts to locate the lands of the Book of Mormon over the years, but as of yet, there has been no direct revelation on the matter. As each new theory arises, we gain fresh hope of acquiring additional insights into the location of the lost lands of the Book of Mormon, but all too often we are disappointed, especially with new theories surfacing all the time. In fact a war of sorts has arisen over Book of Mormon Geography by those vying for support of their various theories. At times it gets uncomfortable for all concerned (READ MORE)

Were the Nephites the Hopewell Mound Builders?

A popular notion has arisen over the past decade which suggests the Hopewell living in Missouri and Illinois were the Nephites of the Book of Mormon, and that this was the area the Book of Mormon saga took place, not in the regions around New York’s Hill Cumorah. When European colonists began to expand west beyond the Allegheny Mountains they found tens of thousands of mounds scattered all across the northeast. Massive structures of every conceivable type were found, including . . .(READ MORE)

The Promised Land of  the Book of Mormon

The very first thing in outlying Book of Mormon territory is to identify the land the Lord led both the Nephite and Jaredite nations-a land described as being choice above all others. Theories have surfaced in a variety of regions, but not all meet all the requirements noted by various ancient and modern prophets.   In his book, Faith Precedes the Miracle, (p. 316), the Prophet, Spencer W. Kimbal, cites 10 identifying characteristics of the promised land, several of which are critical in isolating the land from all others-namely, . .    (Read More)

The Lamanities: “We Too are Israel”

The story of the Lamanites (Indians) does not end with the battle of Cumorah, for they continued to war amongst themselves for power and dominion for centuries. It was the white man who finally brought an end to their wilder ways and began the process of civilizing them again. Little did they know that the Indians were part of the House of Israel, a warlike people to be sure, but promised a place in the promised land forever-for they, along with their  Nephite brothers,were Israel-a branch of Joseph that had been broken off and brought to the promised land by the hand of the Lord many centuries ago. (READ MORE)

The Shifting Focus of Book of Mormon Geography

In the introduction of the Book of Mormon we read: “The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterwards separated into two nations, one known as the Nephites, and the other the Lamanites. . . after a thousand years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”    Unfortunately, the Saints were not too interested in earth works found in the area for they believed they were not grand enough to be those left by the Nephites. Thus, the Saints began to look elsewhere for the lands of  the Book of Mormon which led the noted intellectual and LDS archaeologist, Hugh Nibley, to say: ” Blinded by the gold of the pharaohs and the mighty ruins of Babylon, Book of Mormon students have declared themselves . . . (READ MORE)

The Nephite’s Ancient Type Writing Found

It was not until our modern age that a language tie to the ancient writings of the Nephite’s was found. After extensive study of the Micmac Indians’ hieroglyphics, the epigrapher Barry Fell noted a definite connection between the Algonquian language,of which the Mcmac were a part, and Egypt. He first noticed the similarities when he was studying a document found on a sheet of paper containing The Lord’s Prayer written in Micmac Hieroglyphs. Being an authority on ancient languages he was not only surprised but mystified to note that the meaning of the signs in Egyptian were the very same as those found on the English translation of the Micmac text. In fact, he was so amazed by the remarkable similarities that he was surprised that no one else had ever noticed it before. (READ MORE)

Silencing Book of Mormon Critics

The critics of the Book of Mormon claim there are too many unanswered questions relative to the Book of Mormon to be true.  For example, they say there is no evidence of the horses or elephants in Central America where so many Mormon scholars have placed Book of Mormon territory, nor are the grains noted in the Book of Mormon found, such as corn, wheat and barley. Even their directional designations are squawked.
Mesoamerican theorists aim their attacks on those who espouse a Great Lakes setting, arguing that none of the metals mentioned in the Book of Mormon can be found to the east of the Rocky Mountains, that the weather was too cold, and that it was likely one of the volcanoes around the Pacific Rim near Central America that caused the three days of darkness noted at the time of the Savior’s death. Each of these subjects can be successfully reconciled in the western New York Setting-(READ MORE)

The Limited New York Setting

Various Book of Mormon geographers have created settings for the Book of Mormon that take in thousands of miles between the various lands and cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon, with whole mountain ranges suggested as the narrow strip of wilderness that separated  Nephite and Lamanite territory. A careful reading of the scriptures, however, makes it clear that just a limited area of the Promised Land was utilized by the Nephite and Lamanite populations with landmarks clearly detailing the boundaries that were set and recorded upon their metal plates-a region that matches in every way the ancient New York landscape. (READ MORE)


The Nephite Saga

The Nephites Migration to the Promised Land

The saga played out in the Book of Mormon is simply a continuation of the saga played out in the Bible. Shem, one of the three sons of Noah, was given the Patriarchal birthright which was passed down through the ages to Abraham, the grandfather of Jacob, whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel–(Jacob’s name having been changed to Israel by the Lord). Specific lands were set aside as an inheritance for the twelve tribes of Israel, with Joseph’s seed (The favorite son of Jacob) given America as an everlasting inheritance. The saga played out in the Book of Mormon revolves chiefly around a lineal descendants of Joseph called Lehi, (Later called Nephites after Lehi’s son Nephi) who escaped destruction in Jerusalem around 600 B.C.–the very time a new people show up in western New York . . . (READ More)


The Jaredite Saga

The Jaredites Migration to the Promised Land

The story of Jared’s transition from the old to the new world begin with the story of the Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Tongues.  As the Lord began to scatter the people of Babel,  Jared had his brother plead with Lord to give them direction, for his brother was highly respected of the Lord. During that dialogue the brother of Jared was told that he and his family and friends would be led to a new land, a land described as choice above all others. Many challenges lay ahead for them, including the building of a ship to take them across the great deep-with new insights into its unique construction finally coming to light. . .(READ MORE)


About Phyllis Olive and her Books on Book of Mormon Geography

Phyllis Carol Olive, author of the best-selling book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon, resides in Las Vegas with her husband, Ron Olive. They have a combined family of seven children, seventeen grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren. She has held a wide variety of both teaching and leadership positions in the church, but her favorite has always been that of teacher which she feels has helped her in her authorship of the various books she has written.Writing did not come easy to Sister Olive, however,. . . (READ MORE)


Church History Sites & The Book of Mormon

It is interesting, if not significant, to note that the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A New Witness for Christ, took place in the very same location the Book of Mormon Saga played out over 2000 years ago—the same region Joseph Smith was visited by the Angel Moroni, the last of his people to walk the land after his nation was destroyed, who told Joseph where the sacred records of his people were hidden away these many years,  records that described in detail the very lands Joseph walked as  a boy, was later married, organized the Church, and gathered his followers–the lands of western New York. (READ MORE)

The Full Near Cumorah Setting

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7 thoughts on “Discovering The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon

  1. Managed WordPress Migration User

    Yes I have, and I explain it all in my new book, The Lost Sheep of Ancient America-Good luck. You are not that far off.

    1. Managed WordPress Migration User

      Thank you for the comment. I have already read all of Barry Fell’s books. In fact they helped me reach some of my conclusions. Thus, you might be interested in my latest book, The Lost Sheep of Ancient America which ties our work together. Good Luck, Phyllis

  2. Tomas Mitchell

    Phyllis I want to thank you for your work! I came to my own conclusions years ago based on Fell’s book and others that it all took place with in the bounds of the USA and maybe a small part of Canada. Imagine my surprise when I discovered your books and found you had tied all my thoughts together perfectly!! I own all your books accept The Lost Sheep and I just realized it has been out for a year. I am going to buy it! You are wise to not get involved in the debates and discussions on line and other places. I have and no matter how hard I try to keep them civil I get attacked in very vicious ways and have to just politely bow out. I think one day your work will be looked on as the ground breaking work that changed the LDS world.

    1. Managed WordPress Migration User

      Thank you so much Thomas. It is nice to know I have a supporter. This work has been twenty years in the making. I can only hope you are right and the setting will finally be accepted. I am currently working on a more comprehensive video on the Hopewell in hopes of diverting people back to the lands of the Book of Mormon. Watch for it. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me, for as you say-most comments are very mean-spirited. The Lost Sheep of the Book of Mormon ties Bary’s Fell’s work to the area. Since you have already read his work, you will probably enjoy the book. Good Luck, and Thanks again. Phyllis

  3. Tony Morgan

    Thanks Phyllis for this website and your videos in particular. I live in Wales, UK and have thought for many years that the Book of Mormon was set in North America and not Central America. I have read up on what Joseph Smith about it and as a Prophet of God has said it I am surprised the Church has not before come out and said it also at least to put to bed the central America theories. I have been sharing this knowledge with many friends in our Ward and in Utah and encouraging them to research this for themselves. I love the fact that when I read from the Book of Mormon I can now see in my minds eye of where this all took place. It never made sense to me that Moroni would travel a very long way to then bury the records in a Hill that he just happen to stumble across. I have been to Cumorah and the other Church historical sites and felt that was “The Place” I believe I was right. Many Thanks again!!

    1. phyllis Post author

      Thank you Tony, So nice to hear from you, and thank you for your kind comments. May they reach the ears of all those searching for answers.