Phyllis Carol Olive’s work on Book of Mormon Geography has now spanned nearly two decades. Her work on the Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon series “provides a guide for readers searching to unravel the mysteries of a world that once played host to mankind’s ancient prophets. Her geographical descriptions, archeological insights, and sociological commentaries uncover the secrets of a land long lost to the forgotten annals of history, and her work proudly stands as the most comprehensive expose currently circulating in regard to ancient Book of Mormon scenes.” (CFI)
The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon
The geographical picture of the ancient lands of the Book of Mormon is found in great detail in The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon which was published by CFI in 1998. Read a few of the testimonials of those who read the book and have now joined the thousands who accept the Near Cumorah setting for the Book of Mormon in western New York as the most plausible location of Book of Mormon events.
*Before reading Phyllis Olive’s book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon, I was a deeply entrenched in the idea that the Book of Mormon lands were in Chili as anyone could possibly be. In fact, I almost didn’t read this book because I didn’t think the idea had much merit. I’m so glad I changed my mind and read it… Thank you Phyllis Olive for opening my eyes. You’ve made reading the Book of Mormon a more exiting and personal experience for me because I can now more fully picture the scenes describe in the scriptures, I look forward to reading anything more this wonderful author has to write and plan to share her books with my friends. – Judy O., Delaware.
*I recently purchased your book The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon and have found it fascinating. . . I must admit that I have always wanted the Hill Cumorah to be the one and only “Hill Cumorah” but have kept an open mind as to the possibility of there being two. . . .I must say your explanation has expanded my viewpoint. . . . Did I mention that I enjoyed your book? You must have done many, many hours of research. I wonder how many times the Lord led you to something unexpected that pushed you further as you sought reconciliation of all the difficulties. I see the Lord blessed your search and I hope He is continuing to help you discover information that will refine your most excellent theory. The truth will win out. – Joan O., Tucson, Arizona.
*I recently purchased your book at Deseret Book. I have been a student of Book of Mormon geography for some years now and used to be a firm believer in the Panama/narrow neck of land theory, until I read your book. Finally many unanswered questions were answered and theories I believe in made even more sense. If you did not hit the nail on the head you are very close. I now believe you did. Thank you for researching and studying something no others would attempt to in this day of established dogma where people of research and science are afraid to draw out of the lines. Thank you again for an enlightened book.- Thomas M.
*After teaching the Book of Mormon lessons in Gospel Doctrine Class in Sunday School for two years, I began to notice that the prophets were describing events that were occurring in and around Zarahemla. This caused me to realize that the Book of Mormon lands were in a relatively localized area. Since I am a scientist, I took the scientific approach and mapped everything in western New York as it was described in the Book of Mormon, but had difficulty identifying the sea that divides the lands, and the “narrow neck of land@. However, I sat down to begin writing my own book on the Book of Mormon lands when I stumbled onto Sister Olive=s books. Since I had previously extensively studied the Book of Mormon geography, the introduction of Lake Tonawanda by Sister Olive onto the New York landscape made the “narrow neck of land” and the “sea that divides the lands” fall into place like dominos. I have to agree wholeheartedly with her assessment and presentation of the facts. We both arrived at similar conclusions without ever knowing each other. Her writing style is easy on the eyes and makes for easy reading. Scott Hamilton, Principle Senior Scientist, ATK- Thiokol. –
*I really like this book! I’ve been interested in the theories of Book of Mormon geography for many years and have bought several and read many more. But for the first time I enjoyed reading the whole book without becoming more confused than when I started! For me this subject is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle, and over the years I could see a few pieces fit here and a few there, but it was and is far from finished. However, I feel as if reading this book has helped me find all the outer-edge pieces! I believe it encompasses the truth. My interest is once again heightened for the fun of searching out the complete picture. I truly believe the United States is the land choice above all others that is spoken of in the Book of Mormon and that the Hill Cumorah in New York is the only one. I believe the Lord delights in plainness (not complications). And I think the Lamanites did dwindle in unbelief as Phyllis Olive describes and their main ancestors are the American Indians.- Darla B.
*Yours is the third book I have read this year regarding Western New York being the Book of Mormon Lands. It is by far the most well researched and best written. I admire and thank you for your research efforts, for your faith in the Lord”s ability to lead His people, and for you get insight into geography, geology, antiquity, and history and the wonderful way you make it all fit together. . . . As I read your book, I kept thinking of how excited you must have become as each correlation between the Book of Mormon and the geography of ancient western New York became apparent. Is there still a roof on your house? Now when I read Helaman and other sections of the Book of Mormon, its exciting to visualize western New York. I realize, not only from your maps, but from having been in the Kirtland/Fayette/Niagara triangle in recent years, that we were driving through Book of Mormon country and didn’t know it except for the Hill Cumorah. Bless your efforts.- Stan E, Bountiful, Utah.
*I bought your book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon. . . . You are honest and insightful regarding your subject matter from what I am able to tell. I have to believe that one of the strongest points, which supports that the lands of the Nephites and Jaredites were located in the United States, is that of Cumorah being identical to the ancient Cumorah and Ramah. . . . I am quite convinced that Cumorah is Cumorah, and this is the weakest of the arguments that the Mesoamerica theory deals with. Don R. H.
*You do not know me, but you have made me think and ponder and deliberate sooooo many things. I have been so stirred by your book (I got to finish it yesterday) that my night was filled with ideas. I am convinced that you are right. I prayed yesterday morning particularly about it, and all of these ideas seem to be reinforcing my conclusions. I think that I want this location to be true simply because of the facts that not only was the gospel restored here, but this is the land of promise! We have never had a king. There are so many reasons that I am absolutely excited about it. . . . I shall wait for the next book. Thank you so much. – Polly.
*I found reading your book was truly exciting. It not only helped me visualize where the events in the Book of Mormon took place better, but actually helped me keep the events in chronological order. All the pieces fit together perfectly, like a giant jig-saw puzzle. And more than that, everything makes sense. Thank your for doing the Lord”s work to bring us this gift.- C. J. S. Las Vegas, NV.
*I am one of those who was sure that the Book of Mormon lands were on the west coast of South America, and because of that had been very skeptical of other opinions in the matter. One thing that had always bothered me though, was that the Hill Cumorah wasn’t nearby to that locale. That by itself was important enough to allow room for the consideration other possibilities. Through a slow process of changing deeply rooted beliefs, I’ve come to know that the geographical location for the Book of Mormon peoples had to be as described by Mrs. Olive in her book. I don’t see how any reasonable person who seriously reads and considers the material in that book could come to a very different conclusion.- Joe L. Yorba Linda, CA.
*Regarding your book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon, I enjoyed every chapter and verse. I have never been spiritually gifted, but I do feel the spirit with rich abundance when I read your book. Things I have received by reading it: 1- I received a “renewed” desire to read to the scriptures. 2- I received the ability to really understand what I read once again. 3- I received real help for my daily reading of the Book of Mormon. 5-I found added insights for my Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School. 6-I found that I can at least converse a bit about the Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon. – Barbara L. Green Valley, NV.
*FINALLY! The simplicity of truth. I was excited to finally read a book that has been researched so completely that it cannot be disputed by anyone of reputable intelligence. There are many who are looking for proof positive of the location of the lands described in the Book of Mormon and while that may never be what the Lord has in mind, I feel this author has touched on so many important facts and findings that this is the most logical and believable theory to date. One needs only to get through the first chapter before realizing what should have been obvious from the beginning. The simplicity of the truth is often the most difficult for learned men to believe. Her use of ancient maps, scripture, and prophecy combine to create a literary symphony never before seen in this field of study. I offer my gratitude to the author for all her hard work. -Linda C. Texas
*When I first received this book I was only curious about it: however, during the first chapter I became a serious reader. This book made sense. From start to finish. I felt the time well spent. I will never read the Book of Moron in the same light. Thank you Sister Olive. Frederick J. H., LV, NV.
*I have to tell you I am truly enjoying your amazing book! in fact, I started it Friday and I can hardly put it down. I do not know what I expected, but it is very thought provoking. I am on page 55 and I’m becoming a covert. – Candy K. Las Vegas. NV.
*I had given up on the reality of the Book of Mormon in consequence of there being no scientific evidence to many of its claims, especially no DNA connection to Israel. Your books are of inestimable value to any member of the Church. They should be more advertised. I became aware of them by sheer accident when browsing the internet. Thank you for your good work. You are what this Church is in desperate need of . . . Helmet F.
*I really appreciate the scholarly efforts that you have made in writing your books on the Book of Mormon lands in the New York and Great Lakes area. I am personally convinced that your extensive research has yielded correct answers. However, I feel like I am in a strange minority on the subject. The assumptions and traditions of many decades are difficult to overcome. For example next month a High Priests social in my ward will feature a theme on Book of Mormon lands. One of the proponents of the Mesoamerican theories is invited to “teach” the group. After all that I have read and researched as a result of your books, it will be difficult to remain silent. . . Thank you again for your great work. I hope that it is soon appreciated and embraced by those who seem so lost or ambivalent. Mel. B.
*I just want to thank Phyllis for the excellent book The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon. I read it years ago and have recently re-visited it and wanted to thank you for your research. I have always been intuitively drawn to the Niagara escarpment location based solely on internal textual evidence from the BOM itself, most notably those that prophesy about the future of the land. I first read the Delbert Curtis book “Christ in North America” in 1993. You have developed the concept in a much more scholarly manor and provided far superior maps as well. . . . You should consider doing a presentation at education week with your material; it could potentially raise the awareness of this concept to those unaware and drowning in the swampy kaleidoscope of Sorenson’s work. Thanks again. Jason. H.
*Thanks for all your hard work. As a convert to the church I have always thought that the lands of the Book of Mormon were not consistent with what I was reading and what people within the church and my wife’s family was telling me. It just didn’t hold no substance. I decided to further investigate this matter and read about different ideas of the “lands.” I have found your book and concepts to be more correct than any other. It’s especially hard to see people lose their testimonies in the Restored Gospel because they “see not”. Keep up the good work.-Robert V.
*With the admonition of President Hinkley for us to read the BOM by the end of this year. . .I have been struggling lately with the central American location for the Book of Mormon events portrayed in the BOM. I have been plagued by an itch that the local that we (LDS) all subscribe to is wrong. Now I’m not a learned person nor do I have any authority to come to this conclusion except by the Spirit of our Heavenly father. Like I said, I have been hounded by thoughts of “something not quite right” and the more I read the more the Spirit tugs at my conscience. Maybe I’m wrong but it sure doesn’t feel like it. I just came upon your writings which put the BOM lands in the United States and in readying the New York Versus Mesoamerica, The Promised Land, I read it with tears streaming down my face as I knew, without a doubt, that this was correct. My heart is about to burst with happiness because this knowledge has allowed me to continue my reading of the BOM with a clear unencumbered mind that until now, has been parlayed or bogged down by the geographical issues. Now that a light bulb has gone off in my mind as well as my heart I can continue without further adieu, letting my thoughts run free, to ponder the magnificence of this chosen land in which we live! Thank you for all your research . . . -Jaynie R.
* I was given your book from my sister for Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed it, we live in NZ and we have been told that we come from the people of Hagoth that left from the west sea and traveled from the narrow neck of land. . . after reading your book I question that theory now where as before I didn’t. the lie or myth or theory I known know what to call it has gone so far as to peoples whakapapa or genealogy going back to Hagoth. . . So as I sit here I wonder what to think. I know how I felt as I read your findings, and they felt correct. . . knowledge is a wonderful thing, it sends you in a spin. . . I loved the book and I thank the author for her time and perseverance, for her labor of love . . . I am grateful for all the above things that she has research. . . so again, thank you. . . -Cecelia N. Whangarei Stake.
*I was stationed in New York while I was in the Air Force in the 80’s. . . . It never made much sense to me that the Nephites and Lamanites traveled thousands of miles from Central America to upstate NY to fight their last battles when human history almost always shows that we fall back to defend our homelands. As I took lots of walks in the woods of the area, I discovered there was almost a sorrow buried in the earth in places. I certainly felt that same feeling in the parking area cross from the Hill Cumorah. My Irish ancestors said that “landscape has memory.” Upstate NY certainly has memory as you walk its rivers and forests. Hummm . . . I guess its safer for some to place the Book of Mormon people in Central America . . .It requires a bit less of you. –Vance.
*I just can’t thank you enough for writing the book, The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon. I’ve become so burned out on the lie that is lived, pretending it comes from South America. It’s old news that the South America/MesoAmerica people were there long before 600 B.C., the entire race did human sacrifice, and that there was no “peace in the land” from 33a.d.to-200 ad., so it can’t be there’ not counting Moroni didn’t travel 6000 miles to bury the plates; what a crock that is. I have a solid testimony of the gospel, but I’ve always felt it was right there in the New York area. You answer the important questions, and I’m grateful for our answers. Thank you so much.- Mark
* The theory of two Cumorahs is in my opinion is a complete joke. I cannot believe educated people believe this nonsense considering the overwhelming evidence showing otherwise. Does Guatemala look like the promised land? America is the promised land not Mexico/Guatemala. Keep up the good work. – James B. Salt Lake, Utah.
*I have read both the Lost lands and the Lost Tribes and find both very well studied and written. The other books on the subject I have read just do not meet all the criteria set forth in the Book of Mormon. Your books pass the test for me. I have studied the Adena and Hopewell civilizations over the years and have always felt they were Book of Mormon cultures but could not make the full connection. You solved the puzzle for me. I have also looked at the world geography and wondered how much it must have changed since the time of Noah and the flood and how since the flood there must have been large lakes that have now become almost extinct. You show ever well how the land of the Nephites was probably very different from the land we know. . . Thank you for your research and wonderful writing. May the Lord Bless you. -Tom M., Lehi Utah.
* I bought your two books and have been studying them as time will permit. I will say that I was also one who had studied the Central America theory (pretty convincing) until I started to read your book. . .WOW! The Lord has given a great gift and I am so appreciative for your efforts to paint another picture. I was in NY this summer for the Hill Cumorah pageant, etc. My husband and I were moved to tears on several occasions as we felt that we truly were in the lands of the Book of Mormon. Had we not been studying your books, I wonder if I would have had those same sacred, reverent feelings. I’m guessing not. –Pepper D.
*I really like your reasoning here. The promised land in connection with Book of Mormon geography is just so obvious. How could anyone ignore that fact for a belief that the book of Mormon was in Mesoamerica.- Steve N.
*I am in the process of reading your book, “The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon.”. . . never has anything made more sense to my mind than this, and I was once an avid believer in the Mesoamerican theory. But not any more. The New York setting just makes too much sense, particularly the chapter on the promised land. . . . Ed S. (a very excited reader and a convert to the New York setting for the Book of Mormon.)