Discovering the Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon
The book of Mormon is more than a historical record of the ancient Nephite civilization, it is the record of the Savior’s visit to His new world flock after His death and resurrection. Thus the land He walked on in the new world is just as sacred as those He walked in the old world. It is no wonder so many keep searching for it. Gratefully, enough research has emerged in the past few decades to finally conclude that the ancient lands of the Book of Mormon existed in the regions around New York’s Hill Cumorah – the very place the latter-day Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place in upstate New York.
Knowing through dreams and visions of America and the part Israel would play in the formation of the Lord’s latter-day kingdom, the Prophet Lehi gathered up his family and those of Ishmael and his family, whose daughters would ultimately marry Lehi’s sons, and headed out into the wilderness where after several years of trials and hardships, including the building of a ship, they set out into the boundless sea toward the promised land. Various scriptural references to their movement from Jerusalem have them moving south to the Indian Ocean where, after building a boat sturdy enough to withstand the mighty deep, they were carried around the tip of Africa, which is likely where they encountered the terrible storm the scriptures tell us they went through, and then north along various natural currents that ultimately swept them northwestward to North America,where a nine century-long saga took place which today makes up the bulk of the Book of Mormon.
The first book I put together on the subject of Book of Mormon Geography, for the Book of Mormon saga obviously took place somewhere, quickly became a best seller (CFI) because so many of things fit together so perfectly. It is still being sold and can be found on Amazon at: http://amazon.com/The-Lost-Lands-Book-Mormon/dp/1555175104
The Lost Sheep of Ancient America
While those familiar with the Book of Mormon will recognize the ties of the Book of Mormon saga’s founding father, Lehi, Chiefly the tribe of Joseph, the son of Abraham–he who was sold into Egypt by his brothers, in my newest and most comprehensive book, The Lost Sheep of Ancient America, we will learn of even others of Israel who made it across the sea to the promised land of America.
While various tribes of Israel have spread throughout the Americas, both north and south, our search for the lands of the Book of Mormon centers on North America–a land choice above all others. In studying prehistoric America from the time of the flood onward, it becomes increasingly evident that America’s pre-history is linked to that of the old world. Although information on the ancient post-flood world is minimal, it is amazing how much has been gleaned from local legends and the documents written by early Bronze Age historians who helped identify many of the families who descended from Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Trying to reconcile the history of the ancient occupants of the New World has been difficult at best, since nothing prior to the sixth century can be documented with any sense of reliability. Moreover, a lot of conjecture and supposition has come into play as various early writers attempted to make sense of the complicated subject of America’s pre-history.
Gratefully, the Book of Mormon has cleared up some of these misconceptions, such as the long-standing notion that no one arrived in America prior to Columbus, and the few who did so traveled by foot from Asia across the Bearing Land Bridge into western America. Moreover, it explains why so many Hebrew traditions exist among the Indian tribes of eastern North America, they being offshoots of two main colonies that escaped the destruction of Jerusalem, namely the colony of Lehi, a descendant of Joseph, and Mulek of the royal house of Judah, who together formed a mighty civilization whose tentacles spread across much of the country.
Because of the complexity of things, I made an extensive study of the ancient inhabitants of the world, Israel in particular, and began my work with the arrival of the Jaredites from Tower of Babel, some of which were giants. Other old world kingdoms were also set up by the royal seed of Zarah-(the twin brother of Perez who fathered the Mulekites) throughout Western Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico, along the east coast of America in New England, and throughout the ancient Atlantic. How the people of the Book of Mormon fit into the historic record of ancient North America and Mexico is a story that can finally be told, for at long last all the missing pieces of the puzzling disposition of some of Gods’ most choice children can now be knit together in a story that flows together from Babylon to the Restoration in The Lost Sheep of Ancient America. Find on Amazon at-http://amazon.com/Lost-Sheep-Ancient-America-Bringing/dp/1462116612
The Jaredites of The Book of Mormon
When the blossoming nations of Europe first began to realize that the tales they heard of strange new people, and even strange animals and plants never before seen in the old world actually existed in lands far beyond the western sunset, the subject of the new world suddenly became a matter of much discussion. “How could all this be?” They wondered. How could people and animals exist on a continent cut off by vast oceans from the rest of the world? They could only surmise that the biblical account of the flood of Noah’s day must have some validity, with the post-flood populations migrating out in all directions once the Ark landed, but before the earth was divided in the two or three centuries thereafter. Theories about which families migrated here and there over the years have been the source of continuing speculation, but few Christians dispute the ideology that the distant ancestors of every people and nation on earth stemmed from the common stock of those who descended from Noah once the Ark rested, and the flood waters abated.
As the children of Noah began to migrate out into new territory, the children of Ham settled along the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt, the children of Japheth settled around the Black and Caspian seas and the Caucuses, with Shem’s descendants the first to enter Mesopotamia where they settled chiefly in southern Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
While some apologists suggest the Jaredites had ties to the line of Noah’s son, Ham, all the evidence suggests they were the first of Shem’s Patriarchal line to make it to the promised land of America from Babylon during the Confusion of Tongues. Even their long ocean voyage has been somewhat of a mystery. Yet with enough research and persistence, many of the questions about the Jaredites can now be answered, including the possible material used to construct their water-tight barges, and where they landed and lived out their days in the promised land prior to their ultimate destruction around the Hill Cumorah, although it was called Ramah by the Jaredites. Follow their journey from Babylon to the pristine regions of ancient New York in the following video.
The Jaredites were denied continued existence in the land because of their unrelenting use of the secret works of darkness which the Lord strictly forbade, and because of their unrelenting wickedness. Thus, by 600 B.C. the entire region was shattered, nations were fractured, and the entire Jaredite population was completely wiped out as the Lord began the terrible task of cleansing the vineyard in preparation for the arrival of still another people in His continuing efforts to raise up a righteous people in the promised land-this time Hebrews, the Nephites and the Mulekites. Thus, the world of the Jaredites would now become the world of the Nephites.
The Nephites of the Book of Mormon
The next to inherit the promised land after the Jaredites all destroyed themselves in a terrible civil war around the Hill Ramah/Cumorah were the Nephites and Mulekites, both of which came to settle essentially the same region as the Jaredites. Two routes inland from the Atlantic would have been available to the Nephites, one up the Mississippi, and one up Chesapeake Bay. Entrance into the land of Promise by way of the Mississippi River initially seemed the most reasonable since a detour east along the Ohio and then north along the Allegheny led directly to southwestern New York in the proposed western New York setting for the Book of Mormon. Yet, as research continued, and more and more pieces of the puzzle fell into place, a more likely route was inland through Chesapeake Bay and west along the Susquehanna River, the oldest or second oldest river in the world, predating even the Atlantic Ocean. It was along the Susquehanna River that Joseph Smith Jr. and Oliver Cowdery were baptized by the resurrected John the Baptist and given the Aaronic Priesthood, and where they later received the Melchizedek priesthood from Peter, James and John during the early years of the Restoration. If indeed it was also along the fertile banks of the Susquehanna that Lehi’s family first settled, its historical importance is even greater.
Now the Susquehanna River has two forks, one of which extends north and south, and the other east and west through most of Pennsylvania. Today boats of all sizes and shapes sail the Susquehanna from canoes to fishing boats to steam driven double-decker paddle boats used to take tourists along the river. Those who sailed the river during colonial days used the river as a connecting link to the Ohio River, with the Allegheny River bringing them directly into western New York. How far the Nephites initally sailed inland before they stopped and settled is unknown, but perhaps somewhere near the beautiful Susquehannock State Forest which is filled with a great variety of wildlife, for we read in 1 Nephi 18: 25:
And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forest of every kind . . . And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper (1 Nephi 18: 25).
Once they began to explore the region, they found it rich in natural resources, particularly along the lowlands bordering the Allegheny Mountains which stretch from north to south all across eastern Pennsylvania. As the Nephites grew and prospered, they settled all along all the various creeks in the area and northward into southwestern New York where they are known in the archaeological record as the Point Peninsula culture, a culture that emerged in western New York in 600 B .C.—the very time the Nephites set sail for the promised land, with the Mulekites not far behind.
Tying today’s topography of the area with the descriptions provided in the Book of Mormon was easier than I thought, for the geography of the area fit the scriptural descriptions provided in the Book of Mormon like a hand in a glove. The land of Nephi, a lands said to be between two seas, can be reconciled in the area sandwiched between Lake Erie on the west and an ancient glacial lake that left ponded in the southern course of the Genesee River after the last Ice Age on the east. Although the Point Peninsula populations (Nephites)were spread over a wide area, the Book of Mormon saga follows the patriarchal line of the Nephites northward from the land of Nephi in southwestern New York into the land of Zarahemla further north along the Lake Erie Plains in the region of today’s city of Buffalo, with the Buffalo River matching in every way the Book of Mormon’s river Sidon. Zarahemla, Bountiful, and the East borders so often mentioned, can all be reconciled in the vast western New York landscape, as can the land northward and Desolation, with Zarahemla remaining their cultural and spiritual heartland throughout most of the Book of Mormon saga. The following video provides more interesting information.
It is obvious that not all the Nephites remained in New York. Thus, the next video takes us beyond the bounds of Book of Mormon territory and into the Hopewell Mound culture of Ohio and Illinois where we can finally gain some sense of just how the Hopewell are tied to the people of the Book of Mormon. Step by step the whole picture slowly come into view, with each of the pieces of the puzzle adding significantly to the conclusion that New York is the only viable candidate for the lost lands of Book of Mormon.
New findings in DNA and recent archeological discoveries has now brought to light an impressive body of new evidence that a number of other immigrants from the old world also made it to America from the Royal House of Judah, a line of immigrants through Zarah, the son of Judah. Judah had twin son, with Zarah, known as the son of the scarlet hand, for his little hand protruded from the womb first. A scarlet thread was tied around it to show him to be the birthright son, but then he pulled his hand back in and Perez emerged first who then got the birthright. It was Perez who fathered the Mulekites. Yet Zarah was a royal son too, and became a seafaring man who fathered various nations in the old world. It was quite likely those of Zarah-Judah who transported the Mulekites across the sea to America. (Ever wonder where the name Zarahemla came from?)
The merger of the two royal lines of Judah in America, along with the seed of Joseph, he who held the birthright in Israel through his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, became some of America’s first empire builders, some of which affiliated themselves with a foreign people who initiated a mound-building culture in Ohio called Hopewell. Thus, the pre-history of America is not a simple one. A great deal of controversy surrounds the subject of the Hopewell. Those who have studied the subject in depth know that a number of cultures and people influenced their far reaching culture, and not surprisingly, for the trade network of the Hopewell stretched from the Gulf Coast to Canada along every major river in eastern North America.
Olaf Prufer maintains that “Hopewell elements were something added to pre-existing local cultures, with these changes the link that gave to the rise of the Hopewell sometime between 100-50 B.C.-not 600 B.C. as some have suggested. In fact the skull type of the Majority of the Hopewell was bracycephalic, or round, a skull type more in keeping with the Mulekites and various Celtic tribes than the Long headed Nephites of New York. This would of course include their offshoot Indian descendants , such as the Iroquois, who have the traditional long narrow skull type of all the Semitic tribes of Shem.
Two Royal Lines Merge–Warren King Moorehead found enough evidence to suggest that the brachycephalic race (of Judah) who encountered the doliocephalic race (of Nephites) in southwest Ohio ultimately absorbed them into their own cultures and tribes, and why not, for they may have been unsuspecting cousins, one line carrying the merge seed of Lehi and Mulek, and the other perhaps carrying some of the blood of Mulek’s sisters from either Iberia or Ireland- (another fascinating story found in the book.) If so, the Hopewell may prove to be a people of royal blood from the royal house of Judah– both the Perez line of Judah (the Mulekites), and the descendants of Perez’s twin brother Zarah mingled with the royal seed of Joseph, the Nephites.
DNA evidence taken from the skeletal remains found in Hopewell mounds prove that as the regional expression of the Hopewell grew and spread, the Hopewell living in Ohio then moved west into Illinois and intermarried with the existing cultures in that region, most of which were already physically and culturally related. Ties between the people in Illinois and those in New York have never been doubted. Dragoo claimed the similarities shared by the people in Illinois and Point Peninsula people of New York who arrived NY in 600 B.C. (The Nephites) were neither accidental nor the result of trade, but the result of a common physical and cultural heritage. You can read more about this fascinating subject in my book, The Lost Empires and Vanished Races. fin on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Empires-Vanished-Races-Mormon/
Book of Mormon Geography: In Defense of Cumorah
Deseret News published an article a year or so ago about a war going on between Book of Mormon geographers, a war which I have avoided like the plague, for contention is not the way of the Lord. Yet anti-Mormon antagonists keep fueling the flame and continually pitting one against the other. Because of some health issues, I have not had the privilege of speaking out in public forums, Book of Mormon conferences, or promoting tours to BOM lands and popular Church sites. Thus, my only hope of reaching the public in defense of the western New York setting as the most plausible location of Book of Mormon events is through my books, the latest of which is The Lost Sheep of Ancient America. None of my books address the differences in settings, but focus strictly on the ties between the ancient Nephite civilization and North American Empires. Yet, those differences need to be addressed, for far too many searching for answers to the controversial subjects relevant to Book of Mormon geography find little time to search them out and weigh them one against the other. Thus, I have prepared a video which addresses some of those issues and how different theorists view and interpret the scriptures. I in no way intend to demean or diminish the good intentions of those who favor other theories, some of which I consider friends, but to simply defend the Near Cumorah Setting as the most plausible location of Book of Mormon events. t
DNA & The Book of Mormon
Not only does the topography of New York fit the geographical descriptions given in the Book of Mormon, but recent DNA evidence now links many of the ancient occupants of the region to the Near East, which includes Israel, just as the Book of Mormon claims
Prophets, such as Samuel the Lamanite Prophet, have not only spoken in the Book of Mormon, but have spoken in our day as well. As wild as the Iroquois have been described as being, there were a great many righteous among them, and prophets, just like there had been during their ancestral past. The Book of Mormon’s Samuel the Lamanite Prophet was sent to call the wayward Nephites to repentance by the Creator around 5 B.C.
The Iroquois Prophet Handsome Lake
Because of their sheer numbers and their skills as warriors, both the Iroquois and the Algonquins were considered formidable enemies when white European men first began to colonize the land. Their large settlements, which ranged from hamlets to villages of several hundred people, were large enough to ward off the white man’s advances in spite of his superior weapons, but some weapons the Indians could not hide from, nor even defend themselves-disease and hard liquor. Yet, while white man’s drink was deadly for the Indians, in one instance it brought about the reformation of not only the man Handsome Lake, but his entire nation, for during a three day coma, much like of King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon, Handsome Lake was transported through vision to the sky world of the Creator where he met three holy men and and conversed with the Savior Himself who gave him a set of laws similar to the Beatitudes to take back to his people.
As Handsome Lake’s story proceeds, he explained that while wrapped in vision, the three messengers led him along the great sky-road which led to the abode of the Creator. Handsome Lake noted the most marvelous and beautiful things along the sky-road, including delicious looking fruits growing on the wayside. He even noted smelling the fragrant odors of the flowers along the road, and that every kind of bird flew in the sky above. (Section 112, The Great Message.)
This great sky-road ultimately led them on a journey to the sky-world itself. Once they arrived, the three messengers told him that they would show him many things, including the works of those living on earth, the house of the punisher, and the lands of the Creator Himself. (Section 82, Code of Handsome Lake.)As they continued their journey along the sky-road they met a forth messenger, the Savior Himself who showed him the nail prints in his hands. Then after giving Handsome Lake a series of social, political and spiritual instructions, the messengers told them that it was time for them to part, for it was the intentions of the Great Spirit that Handsome Lake return and teach his people the things he had learned, first and foremost being that the Creator made every living creature, and that He and He alone should be worshiped. After Handsome Lake returned to the land of the living, he spent the next 16 years teaching and preaching and teaching to his people, with great success.
Other interesting Indian Prophets provide us with prophesies of the last days as well, such as the Hopi, Navajo, and Cherokee. The fascinating prophecies of the Iroquois Prophet Deganawida have also been included which expound on the turbulent times facing America and on into the Millennium. Sadly, we are seeing only the beginning of the woes yet to come. Prophecy, both old and modern, tell us that wickedness will worsen until the world is ripe for destruction. Yet it will be the wicked, not the righteous who are doomed.
The Prophesied Coming of Christ weaves together prophesies from the Book of Mormon, Native American Prophesies, and Latter-day prophesies in an effort to help the reader understand more clearly about America’s coming storm and what lay ahead for both the righteous and the wicked.This is a glorious time to live–a time when the prophesies of the Coming of Christ are unfolding before our very eyes. Whatever means the Lord chooses to destroy the ungodly before His Second Coming, we must trust that the righteous will be spared. Thus, we must not fear or wallow in despair. While the battle between good and evil continues to escalate, we must remember that God is at the helm. This is His war, not ours, and His strategies are not always ours to understand. Thus, we must trust in His mighty arm, and in His promise that the righteous need not fear if they are prepared physical, spiritually, and temporally, and let God direct His work in His own way, and in His own good time.
Find at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Prophesied-Coming-Christ-Latter-day-Prophecies/
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Relics of some lost race were found with nearly every turn of the spade in western New York during the early years of colonization. Thus, it was commonly accepted by scholars and laymen alike, and even by the early saints, that an ancient civilization once occupied western New York long before the Indians became lords of the land. “Could they have been the Nephites, they wondered?”
Subjects addressed in our sister website include more details on the following subjects;
- In search of the Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon
- The Jaredite’s Voyage to America
- America’s Ancient Horses & Elephants
- Niagara’s Cemetery of Giants
- The Book of Mormon’s Golden Age of Mining
- The Limited New York Setting
- The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon
- Nephite Ties to the Hopewell Mound Builders
- DNA & The Book of Mormon
- The Lamanites After Cumorah
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