There have been numerous attempts to locate the long, lost lands of the Book of Mormon over the years. As each new theory surfaces, we gain fresh hope of acquiring additional insights into it ancient location, but are all too often disappointed. Perhaps the time has come to concentrate more heavily on those lands surrounding the only known landmark we have of the Book of Mormon saga – the Hill Cumorah in New York State, the very place the record of the Nephites were deposited by Moroni, the son of Mormon, the last Nephite prophet to walk the land after the destruction of his people. Both the Nephites and Jaredites described the territory around the Hill Ramah/Cumorah as being a land of many waters; a description that fits the lands around the Hill Cumorah perfectly, for the entire region is simply filled with water, including the eleven beautiful Finger Lakes. But of importance is the fact that the Jaredite Prophet Ether informs us that their final battles took them eastward toward the Hill Ramah from what can only be western New York.
Unfortunately, our view of Book of Mormon territory has often been too grand, thinking it must surely have been greater than what is implied in the text. But, without the modern means of transportation and communication we take so for granted today, documenting the history of an enormous area would have next to impossible for individual scribes, especially in those regions where prophets were not welcomed. Thus, only the history in the small territory of western New York, the religious center of the Nephites throughout their sojourn in the promised land, was recorded on the gold plates for those of our day.
In light of the sheer number of artifacts found in western New York, and the comments of those who excavated the territory before the encroachment of civilization wiped the land clean of its ancient relics, it is clear that New York was once occupied by a long-forgotten people. Artifacts abound, numerous fortifications similar to those described in the scriptures dot the landscape, and all the animals, grains and minerals mentioned in the Book of Mormon can be successfully reconciled with the region. But, of even greater significance, nowhere else can we find more successful correlations between the topography of a given land and those described in the Book of Mormon. For this reason, and because the lands in question were located in the promised land (United States of America), the territory of western New York is worthy of serious consideration in the search for the lost lands of the Book of Mormon.
While the Latter-day Saints asked the Lord for, and was granted, permission to name a site in Iowa Zarahemla, and while they then went on to name sites in Utah other Book of Mormon names, such as Bountiful, Lehi, and Manti, the site of ancient Zarahemla existed in western New York not far from the Hill Cumorah, as the following video will show. It has taken 20 years to refine this setting with modifications made along the way with this newest version the most accurate of all.
Book of Mormon Geography Near Cumorah Mapped Scripture by Scripture
As an addendum to this work, a brief review of the archaeological evidence of some of the things mentioned in the scriptures, such as elephants, horses, silk, grains and metals seems appropriate here for those who have been told that none of these things can be found in North America.
video-Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
Nephite/Hopewell Ties-The Rise of the Hopewell
Sometime around 500 BCE, new immigrants began to filter into the Adena-held Ohio Valley which anthropologists have now proven through DNA were of Algonquin stock, a stock we can now trace back to the Mulekites who settled both western New York and lower Ontario where they moved south into southern Ohio and merged with the local Adena populations.
Some believe this new influx of people in Ohio initiated the onset of the Hopewell culture, which Olaf Prufer maintains “were something added to and to a limited extent, integrating with pre-existing local cultures.” However, Stuart Struever maintains that “the increasing body of radiocarbon dates availed suggests 100 B.C. as the inception of the Ohio Hopewell tradition. While the Mulekites appear to have made up a large percent of the local Adena populations once the two people merged, it may well have been a second influx of people who actually added the fluorescence which archaeologists say initiated the rise of the Hopewell. Moreover, the Hopewell have proven to be sun and serpent worshipers. Thus, we can leave out the Nephites and Mulekites and look to outside sources for its inception, likely the sun-worshiping Celtiberian tribes who, together with their Druid Priests, settled in West Virginia and Tennessee and Kentucky around 250 B.C., and from there into Ohio, a people we might better recognize as the dreaded Gadianton Robbers.
The timelines given in the Book of Mormon reveals that it was around 100 B.C. that various anti-Christs show up in the land. Korihor, for instance arrived around 74 B.C, and spent his time ridiculing Christ, the atonement of Christ, and the spirit of Prophecy. Nehor, who arrived in the land even earlier, around 91 B.C., may even have been a sun-worshiping Druid. In fact, the Order of Nehor was very much like the Druidic Order known in both of England and Ireland. The order of Nehor extended beyond religious instruction just as the Druidic Order did, with the interesting word “Order” used to describe both. Alma was the first to use the word when he said: “Now this judge was after the order and faith of Nehor, who slew Gideon” (Alma 14:16).
The Book of Mormon makes it clear that the Nephites made every effort to keep the order of Nehor out of Zarahemla. Thus, it is no surprise that the archaeologists Don Dragoo found it difficult to explain why so few Hopewell traits found their way from Ohio back into New York, including the construction of large burial mounds such as those built in Ohio which were readily adopted by the populations in Illinois.
Video-The Hopewell and The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon and the American Indian
The Book of Mormon is more than a history book of two ancient civilizations, it reveals the covenant land of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, (Israel) who was sold into Egypt by his brothers –that being the promised land of America. The following short video reveals just who his descendants are and where they settled in the promised land, and how they fared over the centuries, with their initial homeland being in western New York, not more than 80 miles from the Hill Cumorah where their ancestors destroyed their wicked Nephite brothers who forgot the God of their fathers and were thus utterly destroyed.
Both the Nephite and Jaredite Nations experienced terrible famines, storms and plagues in their day, all destined to help rid the land of the wicked. Those of these latter-days are destined to endure such trials again as the Lord begins the terrible task of cleansing His vineyard before His triumphant return to rule the world for a thousand years of Millennial peace. Yet warnings always come before the storm, with the prophets of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ making it crystal clear that the time has come to be prepared, both physically and spiritually, for the Great Day of the Lord.