Contact The Author

William Peter Midgley
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Phone: (913) 219-2934

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – Following are questions that have been asked as part of the question and answer period following the various lectures as well as questions that have been the subject of general interest.  Click on the question link to view the answers.


1.  Question: According to The North America Model, which locates the land of Nephi south of the Ohio River, a lecture attendee asked, "Why is the 'land of Nephi' not north of the Ohio River rather than south since Joseph Smith referred to traveling through the 'plains of Nephi' while on the journey of Zion’s Camp through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri?"

2.  Question: What about the great destruction at the time of Christ’s crucifixion in which, among other things, the city of Moroni sank into the sea, etc? Where was that city?

3.  Question: The North America Model requires greater travel distances than is typical for limited geography models such as Mesoamerica. What are realistic travel distances?

4.  Question: The Book of Mormon refers to buildings made with “cement”.  How does that fit into The North America Model?

5.  Question: What about that man, Hagoth, who built an exceedingly large ship and sailed away, eventually never to return. Where did that take place?

6.  Question: What about the tradition that Hagoth’s exceedingly large ship was related to the populating of the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific?  Does the North America Model address that?

7.  Question: What archaeological evidence is there that supports The North America Model?

8.  Question: What role does DNA play in support of The North America Model?

9.  Question:  Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

10. Question: What about all the stone cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon?  Where are these stone cities?

11. Question: Where is Mormon’s hill Cumorah? Is it in Mesoamerica or in New York? 

12. Question: What about cold and snow not being mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

13. Question: What evidence is there for the location of gold, silver, copper and other ores related to the lands of the Book of Mormon as defined in the North America Model?

14. Question: How did The North America Model from Jerusalem to Cumorah come to be? 

15. Question: What secular evidence is there for the location of the city of Zarahemla?

16. Question: How does the 1830 Book of Mormon foreshadow the 1861-1865 American Civil War?

17. Question: What geographic and archaeological evidence is there for the divine origin of the Book of Mormon?



1.  Question: According to The North America Model, which locates the land of Nephi south of the Ohio River, a lecture attendee asked, "Why is the 'land of Nephi' not north of the Ohio River rather than south since Joseph Smith referred to traveling through the 'plains of Nephi' while on the journey of Zion’s Camp through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri?"

Answer: There is no place referred to as the “plains of Nephi” in the Book of Mormon, like the “plains of Agosh”. When writing to Emma Smith, as reported in the Millennial Star, Joseph actually referred to the lands in which they were traveling as the 'plains of the Nephites”, not the "plains of Nephi". After Mosiah traveled north and discovered the Mulekites and they merged as “Nephites” in the north in the land of Zarahemla, the “land/plains of the Nephites” was in the land of Zarahemla in the north while the “land of the Lamanites” was in the land of Nephi in the south.  Joseph was referring to the land in which the Nephites resided.


2.  Question: What about the great destruction at the time of Christ’s crucifixion in which, among other things, the city of Moroni sank into the sea, etc? Where was that city?

Answer: The city of Moroni was near the east sea on the straight line between the Lamanites on the south and the Nephites on the north (Alma 50:8 & 13).  3 Nephi 8 describes great destruction from tempests, whirlwinds, thunderings, lightnings and earthquakes.  Some cities were burned, some sank into the “sea”, some were covered up with earth, and there was great destruction both north and south, affecting the whole face of the land from the sea east to the west, including the city of Zarahemla in the center of the country. The graphic description of the changes in the land was certainly influenced by the extent of the destruction across the land. However, it is not inconsistent with the destruction that the New Madrid Earthquake zone in southeast Missouri could unleash.  It is one of the most powerful seismic zones in North America that has affected the entire eastern United States, such as the 1811-12 earthquake which was felt from Missouri to Massachusetts to South Carolina and in which the course of the Mississippi River was changed and it flowed upstream as if a tsunami. The New Madrid Fault has a cycle of 300-400 years which is consistent with tracing back to the time of Christ.  In addition, concurrent with the earthquake destruction was the report of whirlwinds, which are an apt description of tornadoes, the occurrence of which are not uncommon in the land of The North America Model.

Also, the city of Moroni near the east sea may well have been on, or near, the Chesapeake Bay estuary system as the sea extension of the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the western extent of the Potomac River estuary before it turns north to Washington D.C., as shown in the Composite Map of The North America Model.  The entire Chesapeake Bay with its tributary estuaries is the largest sea estuary in the United States, all of which are the extension of rivers feeding into it, such as the Susquehanna River valley from the north and the Potomac River valley from the west to below sea level.  According to the USGS publication on the The Chesapeake Bay: Geologic Product of a Rising Sea Level, that location has been subject to a history of submergence due to rising sea levels over centuries.  (Quote) "Islands once populated in colonial time and during the past century have disappeared due to submergence and related shore erosion. The artifacts of early European settlers and prehistoric peoples are sometimes found by watermen working over land areas now covered by the shallow waters of the bay.  (Unquote).  It is entirely possible that such a submergence, or subsidence, could have been concurrent with, and/or precipitated by, a major New Madrid earthquake event causing shifting coastal sands or inundated from a hurricane (tempest) caused storm surge and resultant land erosion.   A location near Aquia Harbor, VA, at the end of the Aquia Creek arm of the Potomac estuary is at the sea east end of the east to west straight Nephite boundary line (Alma 50:8).


3. Question: The North America Model requires greater travel distances than is typical for limited geography models such as Mesoamerica. What are realistic travel distances?

Answer: Travel distances for the Nephites and Lamanites in The North America Model were no different than for Pre-Revolutionary 18th Century American colonists who traveled regularly between the British colonies up and down the entire length of the Atlantic coastline, than for Lewis and Clark in their Corps of Discovery traveling the entire width of the continent in 1803-06, or even for the early Saints during Zion’s Camp from Ohio to Missouri in 1834 and the multiple journeys from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley in the 1840’s to the 1860’s, all with no greater technology for speed of travel.   They were also consistent with the actual experience of Native American Indians according to the Indian Trails of the Southeast by William E Myers, which states on page 735,  “There are well-authenticated cases of Indians having gone on visits to a series of distant friendly tribes, covering from 1000 to 2000 miles, and being absent from home for two months or more. . . . In times of war or when on special occasions, they went much further. . . .They (the Indians) had covered the entire continent with a network of trails, over which they ran long distances with phenomenal speed and endurance. . . regularly more than 500 miles a week.”   

Indian travel mapThe following story of an example in the late 1600’s is found on page 736,  “Gabriel Arthur, who was captured by some Indians of upper East Tennessee, probably somewhere on the French Broad River, claimed to have accompanied them in a raid on the Spaniards in Florida. After their return and a short rest they raided an Indian town near the present site of Port Royal, S.C., and after another short rest they went on a visit to a friendly tribe on the Great Kanawha River, about a day’s march from the place where it empties into the Ohio.   When they started on their return trip, they could not resist the temptation to go out of their way to attack a Shawnee village near the present site of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Thus, from December, 1673, to May, 1674, or a little over five months, they went from the French Broad to Florida, a distance of about 450 miles; from the French Broad to Port Royal, a distance of about 350 miles; and from the French Broad to Portsmouth, Ohio, a distance of about 200 miles. They also made a hunting trip of about 200 miles by canoe during this period. Nothing in the story of these forays indicates that the Indians regarded them as extraordinary.”  

The above distances are one way. Therefore, the total distance was about 2400 miles. It was done over a period of about 160 days. Allowing 40-80 days for rest, raiding, and visiting, that pace averages about 20-30 miles per day, which was not regarded as “extraordinary”; and as with averages, some days could double that average.


4.  Question: The Book of Mormon refers to buildings made with “cement”.  How does that fit into The North America Model?

Answer: First we need to make a distinction between “cement” and “concrete”. Cement is a binding agent that is used in many products, including concrete, stucco, bricks, plaster, etc. It is certainly not referring to “reinforced concrete" as we understand it today. The primitive construction technique of “wattle and daub” is a system that uses wood slats as a base covered by material that resembles plaster made out of fine aggregates, mud, dung, etc with a cement binder of lime or other similar material. It is not a particularly permanent material that can withstand deterioration under normal weather cycles over long periods of time unless compounded per highly technical processes and mixtures. Since it refers its use in the land of Desolation, which had experienced serious deforestation under the likely impact of being a seasonally cold climate, it also gives credibility to the land of Desolation being located in the north country where it is shown in The North America Model surrounded by seas on all sides.  Helaman 3 further describes the construction technique utilizing cement as follows. (v. 11) ”And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.” Or, in other words, wattle and daub. It is not a particularly permanent material that can withstand deterioration under extreme weather cycles over long periods of time unless compounded per highly controlled technical processes and mixtures.


5.  Question: What about that man, Hagoth, who built an exceedingly large ship and sailed away, eventually never to return. Where did that take place?

Answer: The story of Hagoth explains lots of things. It confirms the locations of Bountiful, Desolation, the narrow neck which led to the land northward, and the issue of a shipping industry in the Book of Mormon. Alma 63:5 explains, ”And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders (boundaries here) of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward.” 

North America ModelRefer to the map to the left of the Niagara River narrow neck that connects western New York (Bountiful) from the south with Southern Ontario (Desolation) to the north between the East Sea (Lake Ontario) and the West Sea (Lake Erie).  The North America Model brings all of those lands and features together along with the land of Zarahemla abutting the land Bountiful at that point (Alma 22:31). Helaman 3:10 explains that there was a shipping industry that must have been on the Great Lakes serving the “land northward” due to the scarcity of timber.  10 "And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping."

The reason for a ship building industry at the present day Buffalo NY location is that one had to build ships there due to the Niagara Escarpment that discouraged bringing boats, especially extremely large ships, from the east sea, Lake Ontario, to the west sea, Lake Erie, and the rest of the Great Lakes.


6. Question: What about the tradition that Hagoth’s exceedingly large ship was related to the populating of the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific?  Does the North America Model address that?

Answer:  While the Book of Mormon does not directly support that tradition,that is not to say that other events involving descendants of Lehi not recorded in the Book of Mormon may have occurred outside of the narrative, or the time frame, of the Book of Mormon that could have resulted in that tradition. However, the role of the author of The North America Model is to only address what the Book of Mormon narrative describes, not to speculate about other possible narratives. The only potential source for that tradition from the Book of Mormon is found in Alma 63.  The following is from the North America Model book describing Hagoth and the events of Alma 63, more specifically verses 4-10.  

Alma 63 (56-52 B.C.) – Hagoth and his ships describe “the west sea” located between the land of Zarahemla, southward, and the land Desolation, northward.   After Moroni died (v. 3) in 56 B.C., a large number of Nephites migrated northward. (v. 4) ”And it came to pass…there was a large company of men … with their wives and their children, departed out of the land of Zarahemla into the land which was northward (Desolation).” To facilitate that large migration, Hagoth “…built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led to into the land northward” (v. 5). Launched at the east end of the west sea (Lake Erie) near the narrow neck, along with “…other ships…” built by Hagoth (vs. 7), they sailed many people and their provisions from the land of Zarahemla on the south to the land northward (Desolation) and to return later for many more people and more provisions for “…the people who had gone forth into that land.” (vs. 4-10)  After the first ship returned for more people and provisions, they apparently sank and “…were never heard of more…”, as did another ship later. (vs. 7-8).  Shipwrecks on Lake Erie are not uncommon. 

The above does not describe a situation where ships would end up in the Polynesian Islands far to the west by first sailing north and then returning for more people and provisions to again return to their destination in the north.    The Book of Mormon narrative does not support a direct connection to the Polynesian Islands on the other side of the Pacific Ocean to the west.  

7.   Question: What archaeological evidence is there that supports The North America Model?

Answer:  In addition to significant artifacts found over the past two centuries throughout the eastern United States that are on exhibit at the US National Park Service's Hopewell Culture National Park at Chillicothe OH, the existence of a well researched advanced culture, the Hopewell Culture (the Mound Builders) which left 1000’s of earthen mounds throughout the Midwest from Nebraska, to Virginia, from Minnesota to Mississippi, and centered in the Ohio valley, and which existed anywhere from 1000-200 B.C. until it disappeared around 400-500 A.D for unexplained reasons, is significant archaeological evidence that anyone can access for their own study.  

More specifically, a network of many pre-colonial native American trails throughout the south and the north in the United States have been documented in the 20th century by independent researchers and groups which have since proved to be consistent with Book of Mormon events as located by the "North America Model for the Book of Mormon" long after the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830. A major document of many trails throughout the southeast USA is a book by William E. Myers "Indian Trails of the Southeast" in association with the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institute in 1925. 

Another pertinent example of significant direct archaeological evidence for Book of Mormon stories is the Seip Earthworks of the Hopewell Culture in southern Ohio which has been dated in the 20th century by the National Park Service as existing from 200 B.C. to 400 A.D which matches the exact dates from when Mosiah discovered the Mulekites in the north to the time of the destruction of the Nephites around 400 A.D. and describes exactly the events of Mosiah 2 where king Benjamin spoke to the people from the tower as they are gathered around the temple in their tents.


8.   Question:  What role does DNA play in support of The North America Model?

Answer: According to “Book of Mormon and DNA Studies”,, population bottlenecks and genetic drift “…make those markers nearly impossible to detect.” Since current DNA studies neither conclusively confirm nor deny Hopewell Culture’s genetic ties to Middle East Semitic populations, DNA is not a primary factor defining North America Model geography; the written word is. However, there are DNA studies that do connect Native American DNA with other than just East Asians which many assert is the primary genetic source based on the simplistic, but illogical, suggestion that native American aboriginal populations arrived in the Americas by way of the Bering Strait land bridge between Asia and Alaska rather than by sea which all other island lands such as Japan, Australia, Hawaii, etc., were populated without land bridges. If seafarers discovered Hawaii by chance, they certainly ran into North and South America for many years.  

A November 2013 National Geographic article by Brian Handwerk, titled “Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins”, explains, “Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought”. While West Eurasia includes the Middle East, shared physical characteristics may be even more compelling.  One artifact found in 1925 in the Seip Earthworks in Ohio is the bust referred to in the NPS brochure as “the famous clay Seip head”.  It has been on display in the past at the Ohio History Center in Colujmbus OH and as an image on a brochure at the Hopewell Culture Historical Center in Chillicothe.    It is most likely of a person of importance, maybe even Mosiah. It has distinctive features of shape and proportions, including hairline, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth and chin similar to present day young men from Hebron Israel today, like in the adjacent image, suggesting genetic connections in support of the 2013 article, and the most compelling preserved visual anthropomorfical evidence from over 2000 years ago as possible.

In forensic science, there are two sources of evidence that are significantly conclusive in determining a probable connection to a subject, i.e. DNA and fingerprints.  The presence of either, without the other, can result in a conclusion of high probability.  The more important factor in The North America Model is the geographic fingerprint provided by the written record.  That is not to say that DNA evidence does not now exist, nor that it may not become more evident in the future; but it is just not a factor in the conclusions of this work. 

However, the apparent inconclusive nature of DNA now does not diminish the evidentiary value of the written geographic fingerprint.  It takes only a few features in fingerprints that are shared in common by all people, such as loops, whorls, ridges, valleys and arches to identify with certainty an individual out of millions when the relationships and patterns are studied.  So can the fingerprint of the geography of land features, such as hills, valleys, bodies of water, narrow necks of land, etc., which are common to many land masses, be used to determine the geographic fingerprint of the Book of Mormon from Jerusalem to Cumorah by the analysis of the relationships of direction and distances, along with other keys for interpretation.  The lecture and the book address that fingerprint in a compelling way that has resulted in the comments included elsewhere in this website.     

Recently, Rod Meldrum of FIRM produced a video on the link of Hebrew DNA to North America Indians; and while, as he says, it is not required to prove the Book of Mormon is true, it does support that premise.


9. Question:  Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Answer:  There is no disagreement that the Book of Mormon exists. But the question among skeptics is, “Where did it come from?” Or “What is its actual origin?” It is a fact that it was published in Palmyra, New York, in 1830 for and on behalf of Joseph Smith Jr.; but for the non-believer, the debate ever since has been, “But who wrote it?”  

In reality, there are only two options. It is either: 1) as described by Joseph Smith Jr., a product of divine intervention, or 2) the work of actual early 19th century authors who fabricated it. Regarding the second option, the two questions are: 1) was it written by an, as yet, unidentified author of which none has been found; or 2) was it, as many antagonists claim, a product of Joseph Smith Jr himself independently or in collusion with individuals such as Sydney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery, as examples, or by borrowing from works of Solomon Spaulding, Ethan Smith, or other writers at that time? No other options have been suggested.

Certainly Solomon Spaulding, Ethan Smith, nor any other contemporary writer, has been suggested as the direct author of the Book of Mormon; nor has there been a direct connection made of their work with the Book of Mormon other than the common fascination during that time period with the origin of the American Indians, a fascination that may actually derive from oral traditions handed down by Native Americans themselves further enhanced by Biblically educated curiosity originating from the colonists.

No evidence has surfaced that would suggest any author, or combination of authors, wrote the Book of Mormon as a complete work, such as original handwritten manuscripts, or edited pages of the work-in-progress as one would expect from an author writing such a complex work from scratch in the 1800’s. The only extant full manuscript is the printer’s manuscript that Joseph Smith’s principal scribe, Oliver Cowdery, copied from the original manuscript which Oliver and other scribes recorded while Joseph was translating. Absent direct corroborating evidence of collaborators, many rely on innuendo and conjecture to suggest potential opportunities for Joseph Smith to co-author the work with any one of several other individuals in the course of his young teenage and early twenties life in frontier America.

Regardless of claims of questionable literary value as was derided by Mark Twain, there is no dispute that the Book of Mormon is a complex literary work with integrated stories and time lines from beginning to end, overlaid by flash backs, consistent genealogies, a mix of detailed military conflicts along with religious teachings, and an internal geography that is surprisingly accurate in both Arabia and North America as described hereinafter when tested against information not readily available until the late 19th through to the 21st centuries, long after the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830. It is to this subject that this discussion provides focus.

Regarding Joseph Smith’s potential for being its secular author, a time line, as described in the “Joseph Smith--History” in the Pearl of Great Price, is instructive. Joseph was born in December 1805 in Vermont. In 1815 when he was 9 (his 10th year), his family moved to Palmyra NY; and in 1819, they moved to the Smith farm near Manchester south of Palmyra where the family of 11 lived in a small log home with an attic. It was shortly after that in 1820 when Joseph was 14 that he had the experience of the “First Vision” followed three year later in September 1823 by the visit of the angel Moroni while Joseph was still a teenager at the age of 17.   It is certainly not reasonable for someone like Joseph Smith, at such a young age with only a home school education and living in a small log home with 11 people along with the rigors of daily farm life existence in the frontier world of western New York, to even consider writing something as complex as the Book of Mormon, or even have a reason to do so.

In October 1825, when Joseph was 19 years old, he traveled to northeast Pennsylvania where he was employed by Josiah Stoal to help find an old rumored Spanish silver mine in Susquehanna County, during which time he lived with the Isaac Hale family, whose daughter, Emma, he married in January 1827.   He and Emma returned to Manchester in 1827 to help Joseph’s father farm for the season after which he obtained the plates in September 1827 at the age of 21. Again, such experiences of travel, employment and getting married does not suggest any sort of rigorous searching of literary or other resources, or the time or place to do so, sufficient to write something at the level and complexity of the Book of Mormon.  If Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon on his own, it would have had to have been done by the age of 21, an accomplishment not likely for someone of his education and life’s experiences in frontier America.  

After obtaining the plates in September 1827, Joseph was subjected to extreme persecution which caused him and Emma to return to Pennsylvania to the home of Emma’s father in December 1827; and in April 1829, Oliver Cowdery showed up at the Hale home after learning about Joseph and the plates from Joseph’s father in Palmyra. Oliver was immediately interested in helping with the translation which began in earnest leading up to the manuscript being delivered to the Grandin Print Shop in late 1829 and eventually its publication in April 1830. During this time, outside of the much discussed, documented and debated description of the translation process, there is no indication of rigorous academic research by anyone into other literary works of dubious relationship or into subject matter on geography and archaeology, both in Arabia and North America, which would indicate awareness to the extent and detail necessary to seamlessly integrate them into the fabric of the narrative, of which much was not even available until the late 19th century and into the 21st century.  

The purpose of this article is to summarize geography and archaeology issues that would be problematic for anyone, especially a young man from early 19th century frontier America, with limited education, lack of travel experience beyond western New York and northeastern Pennsylvania or access to extensive academic and literary resources such as large research libraries or opportunities for collaboration with others who may be more educated, experienced or literate, necessary to write such a work. Following are some things that any author in 1820-29 would have had difficulty in knowing, either in its totality or of things that were not even known at the time. These items are as documented by “The North America Model for the Book of Mormon”.

In Arabia

  • A continuously flowing river of water from Arabia, the river Laman, into the “fountain of the Red Sea”, the Gulf of Aqaba, through a 2000’ deep granite canyon, the valley of Lemuel, was not discovered and documented until 1999 by George Potter.
  • The description of the journey to the river of water as following the shore of the Red Sea where the mountains are “near the shore of the Red Sea” and then traveling in the mountains for 3 days where the mountains were “nearer the Red Sea”, even to its shore (1 Nephi 2:5-6) was implied in the George Potter 1999 article and further supported by 21st century Google maps technology.
  • The location of Nahom south-southeast from the river Laman about 700 miles to the present state of Yemen was documented by S. Kent Brown in 2001.
  • The location of the land of Bountiful in Arabia was documented by Warren P. Aston in 1998 from where Lehi’s family sailed to the land of promise, and that it is located very specifically “nearly east” (not just east or directly east) from Nahom.

Lehi’s Sea Voyage

  • The direction of Lehi’s voyage being east to west clockwise around the African Cape of Good Hope to the east coast of North America was confirmed with a high degree of probability by the History Channel documentary of a replica of a 600 B.C. Phoenicia ship expedition conducted in 2009, though that was not its purpose. The Book of Mormon narrative for Lehi’s sea journey is compatible with that 2009 expedition to within 400 miles of land in the Americas, in addition to inclusion in the narrative of a major storm shortly before landing consistent with south Atlantic tropical storms coming from Africa to the east coast of North America.

In the Land of Promise – Land of Nephi

  • The location of a series of ancient “Indian” trails in southeast United States was documented in 1925 by Wm F Meyers in the 42nd annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institute, almost 100 years after publication of the Book of Mormon. While the Smithsonian has stated unequivocally that the Book of Mormon has never been used in any of its archaeological studies, which it hasn’t, the 1925 document does unwittingly connect major Book of Mormon sites described in The North America Model for the Book of Mormon, such as the city of Lehi-Nephi in North Carolina, the waters of Mormon in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and three important trails through Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia which extend into the north that are called the “Great Indian Warpath”.  The one through Kentucky has been called the Path of the Armed Warriors by Emmett A. Conway of the Old Forrester website leading to and through the Scioto Trail to Chillicothe, Ohio, on the Scioto River, where the city of Zarahemla has attacked by a band of armed Lamanite warriors led by Coriantumr (re: Helaman 1:14-19).
  • The location of the Linville Gorge in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the city of Lehi-Nephi qualifies as the waters of Mormon and would also serve as a place of resort for the Nephites and a place of refuge for Alma from the priests of Noah near an ancient trail referred to as “The Old Cherokee Path to Virginia”.
  • The city of Lehi-Nephi at a distance of 235 miles in from the coast, the equivalent of a “space of many days”, is located in the Piedmont, which is a land full of gold, silver, copper and iron as described by Nephi and which is intersected by several trails, including one that intersects a trail where Limhi, Ammon and Gideon “bent their course towards the land of Zarahemla.” (Mosiah 22:11)
  • A stand along mountain group near the city of Lehi-Nephi that qualifies as Mount Antipas.

In the Land of Promise – Land of Zarahemla

  • The Hopewell Culture centered in Ohio extending from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from Nebraska to Virginia, was discovered in the late 19th century and was dated by the National Park Service and the Ohio Historical Society in the 20th century as existing anywhere from 1000 B.C. to 500 A.D. (more specifically 200 B.C. to 400 A.D.) with no explanation as to why it disappeared. The Hopewell is described by the National Park Service as the most advanced culture without equal in the eastern United States before the colonists arrived.
  • While the 18th century colonists were aware of earthworks throughout the east constructed by Native Americans, since referred to as the Mound Builders, the earthworks were not scientifically studied nor documented thoroughly until the late 19th century and early 20th century.
  • Several major earthwork complexes have been documented in southern Ohio by the National Park Service, of which they have no idea why so many (two dozen) were constructed by the Hopewell. They describe the Seip Earthworks near Chillicothe, Ohio, as enclosing 120 acres, including a large circle of about 50 acres with a 30 foot high mound a little smaller than a football field in the center. The mound in the center was fully excavated in 1925 by the Ohio Historical Society, and the floors of two very large connected buildings with a small building between then and burn pits were exposed. The date of the Seip complex is from 200 B.C. to 400 A.D., and the timing of the mound in the center is from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D. The National Park Service can only conclude that they were not for living in but were for “large ritual gatherings”, and they do not know what happened to the people who constructed them so long ago.  Mosiah 2 with a date of 124 B.C., and Mosiah 25 later, describes events that fit exactly the results of the scientifically conducted studies of these earthworks. Mosiah 2 describes a gathering of the people in tents around a temple (the two large connected buildings) with a tower from which king Benjamin spoke to them (the small building between them) and how the people brought the firstlings of their flocks for sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the Law of Moses (Mosiah 2:3). Mosiah 25 describes how Alma later went and preached to the people who were assembled in large groups called “churches” throughout the area, of which seven were constructed by the time of Mosiah 25.  

Joseph Smith in context with other literary giants - Aside from the paucity of historical, archaeological and geographic evidence regarding the subject matter of the Book of Mormon that was available to Joseph Smith at the time, it is instructive to compare Joseph Smith with other major literary figures throughout history.   How does Joseph Smith, with limited education and life experiences at the age of 24 in frontier America when the Book of Mormon was published, compare with other authors with more extensive academic background and credentials in producing other major literary works?   As an exercise, the following list of major literary works, along with their authors, their publishing dates, and their ages at the time of publication, is compelling as to the illogical claim that Joseph Smith could have penned, even with help, a literary product of such complexity and societal impact.   

Literary Work                                       Date Published          Author       Birth date       Published age

Lord of the Rings/Fellowship


J.R.R. Tolkein



Les Miserable


Victor Hugo



Plutarch's Lives



46 AD


The Chronicals of Narnia


C.S. Lewis



7 Lectures

335 BC - 323 BC


384 BC


The Hobbit


J.R.R. Tolkein



Crime and Punishment





Birds of America


J. J. Audubon



Tom Sawyer


Mark Twain



The Quran



579 AD


Pride and Prejudice


Jane Austin



The Grapes of Wrath





Special Theory of Relativity


Albert Einstein



War and Peace


Leo Tolstoy



Catcher in the Rye


J. D. Salinger



Jane Eyre





The Great Controversy


Ellen G. White



A Farewell.../The Old Man…





Sermon on the Mount (Speech)


Jesus Christ



Hunchback of Notre Dame


Victor Hugo



Harry Potter/Sorcers Apprentice


J.K. Rowling



23 plays





Book of Mormon

1830 Apr

Joseph Smith

1805 Dec


ConclusionJoseph Smith could not have known in 1830 and leading up to the age of 24, any, and/or certainly not all,of the important geography and archaeology facts outlined in the above article.   Without conclusive evidence that would identify an individual, or individuals, who actually wrote the Book of Mormon as a commercial enterprise for glory or profit who also had the life experiences, knowledge and the clairvoyance to see things yet to be discovered, the only conclusion as to who wrote the Book of Mormon has to rely on the explanation provided by Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith – History, as included in the Pearl of Great Price. In other words, the author of the Book of Mormon is really Mormon who abridged the records of several ancient writers who recorded the history of the Jaredite, Nephite and Lamanite peoples over a period of centuries ultimately to be translated by the gift and power of God through the latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith Jr.


10.   Question: What about all the stone cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon?  Where are these stone cities?

Answer:   The Book of Mormon does not mention “stone cities” at all, certainly not as one might think of cities in the Mideast.  Buildings within Book of Mormon “cities” were likely built with typical “Hopewell Culture” construction, most of which was less than permanent wood and wattle and daub (cement).  And the Book of Mormon does not mention “stone walls” as one might envision around Jerusalem or in one of the famous Arnold Friberg paintings such of Samuel the Lamanite upon the wall. According to the Book of Mormon, besides just earth embankment enclosures, or no embankments at all, there are two types of enhanced walls mentioned around different city, ceremonial and/or defensive sites.

  1. The only Book of Mormon reference to “walls of stone” is as follows: Alma 48:8 “Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.” This does not describe massive hewn stone walls. This describes fortifications similar to the following:
    1. Hopewell (Mound Builder) Spruce Hill Earthworks in Ohio according to the National Park Service brochure is described as follows: “Built primarily of stone, a low perimeter walls (sic) encloses the 140-acre plateau of the mesa-like ridge top.”
    2. The following is from Wikipedia on the Redstone Old Fort in Pennsylvania. “Col. James Burd ordered construction of the fort in 1759 on an earthwork mound left behind by prehistoric Indians called the Mound Builders.  The American colonists called these mounds “old forts”, and this one had large red sandstone blocks that had been placed at the top suggesting the site had been a fortress of some kind.”
  2. The second type is likely how a few other walls were constructed. Alma 53:4 ”And he caused that they should build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch; and they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers; and thus they did cause the Lamanites to labor until they had encircled the city of Bountiful round about with a strong wall of timbers and earth, to an exceeding height.”  An example of a strong wall of timbers and earth is documented at the Pollock Works Hopewell site in central Ohio: ”Robert Riordan, an archaeologist with Wright State University, has directed many seasons of excavations at the Pollock Works revealing a complicated site history. The works appear to have been constructed in five major stages beginning as early as AD 50. One of these stages involved the erection of a large, timber stockade along the top of the earthen embankments. Later, the stockade was burned down and the charred remnants were buried. Apparently, this enclosure was used both for ceremony and as a defensive fortification at different times.”  These were the kinds of walls that could be scaled, stood upon, climbed over with ropes and ladders, etc.  

The problem is that people have been conditioned unfortunately by the absolutely wonderful fine art work produced by Arnold Friberg in the 1950’s and which is on display in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. They are what one would call “artist’s conceptions”.  For some history regarding the genesis of these paintings, refer to the following link from Deseret News.  Since he was producing the paintings for the General Primary President who also personally funded the work, Arnold Friberg did not have much content oversight by the Church. paintings.html   

After over 60 years, it is hard to not visualize Samuel the Lamanite standing on a 50’ high hewn stone wall with a bunch of warriors shooting arrows at him. That was just Friberg’s attempt to go heroic without attention to reality.


11. Question: Where is Mormon’s hill Cumorah? Is it in Mesoamerica or in New York? 

Answer: While the philosophical rule of Occam’s Razor would suggest that it is in New York due to the 3000+ miles between Mesoamerica and New York where the plates ended up, there is ongoing debate over its location.   As many as 7-8 stand alone hills in Mesoamerica have been identified as potential candidates, but none have been determined as the final one by concensus.  However, many Mesoamerica researchers have agreed that the Book of Mormon narrative should provide important clues.  One researcher, David Palmer, in his book “In Search of Cumorah” pp 42 and 53, has provided a list of criteria that is generally accepted as determinative.  It has 13 bullet points along with related Book of Mormon scriptural references.  It can be found in the following website.

While most of the focus has been using the criteria to identify the hill Cumorah in Mesoamerica, the following commentary looks at the New York hill Cumorah in context with “The North America Model for the Book of Mormon” to see how it fits the itemized criteria summaraized by David Palmer.  

  • It was near an eastern seacoast.
    a.   Ether 9:3 - Verse 3 refers to “seashore” not “seacoast” and the direction of travel is “eastward” not to an “eastern seacoast”.  The “hill of Shim” is located in the “land Desolation” (Mormon 4:19 & 23) in southern Ontario.  Omer “passed by the hill of Shim” and then “came over” the Niagara River at the “narrow neck” that separates Desolation from Bountiful (Alma 22:32 see below), then by the place where the Nephites were destroyed near Cumorah.  The hill Cumorah in New York is about 90 miles east of the “narrow neck” and less than a day south of the waters of Ripliancum (Ether 15:8-11 see below). Omer then continued to travel eastward along the south seashore of the waters of Ripliancum (Lake Ontario) to a place where they pitched their tents by the Ripiancum seashore.   The hill of Shim in Desolation may have been a glacial drumlin type hill in Ontario similar to the hill Cumorah in New York. 
  • It was near a narrow neck of land.
    a.   Not all places referred to as a narrow neck, narrow pass, narrow passage or small neck refer to the same place. Related modifier phrases help to indicate the differences. Most refer to the neck of land that is located at the Niagara River between the east sea (Lake Ontario) and the west sea (Lake Erie).  Another one refers to the “narrow neck” of the Maryland Delaware Peninsula further south described as being located “where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10).  Lib and others traveled south along the Susquehanna River to the Chesapeake Bay, which is the largest sea estuary that “divides the land” in North America.  This defines the southern extents of the Jaredite culture in the northeast. 
    b.   Alma 22:29-32 - Verse 32 calls the Niagara neck a “small neck of land between the land northward (Desolation) and the land southward (Bountiful)”. The width of it is described as a “day and a half’s journey for a Nephite”.  It is in the north where the Nephites lived. 
    c.   Mormon 2:29 – The Niagara neck is also described as a “narrow passage” that separates the “land northward” (Desolation) from the “land southward”.
    d.   Mormon 3:5 Here the Niagara neck is described as being “the narrow pass which led to the land southward” from Desolation.
    e.   Alma 43 Alma 43 does not have anything to do with the narrow neck of land or Cumorah. This chapter discusses the Nephite and Lamanite battles between Moroni and Zarahemnah from Jerson in the east over to Manti along the river Sidon near the city of Zarahemla. 
    f.    Alma 56 - Alma 56 does not have anything to do with the narrow neck of land or Cumorah. It describes Helaman’s 2000 stripling soldiers coming from Jerson in the east to battle with the Lamanites in the land of Manti, the head of the river Sidon. 
    g.   Alma 50:33-34Here the 30 mile wide Niagara narrow neck is described as “the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward (Desolation), yea, by the sea, on the west (Lake Erie) and on the east (Lake Ontario).”
    h.   Alma 52:9Here the description of the Niagara neck is “the narrow pass which led into the land northward” separating Bountiful on the south from Desolation on the north.
    i.    Mormon 3:5-7 Mormon and the Nephites gathered in the “land Desolation” northward of the “narrow pass which led to the land southward” to defend against the Lamanites. “Northward” and “southward” imply the general direction of the overall land areas of Desolation to the north and Bountiful to the south, not in the direct cardinal directions of north and south.  Alma 63:5 below confirms that the “narrow neck” is described as leading to the land northward, i.e. Desolation.    
    j.    Alma 63:5 This reference brings the major Book of Mormon lands and features of the “land Bountiful” (the state of New York), the “land Desolation” (southern Ontario), and the “west sea” (Lake Erie) together at one location, all around and on either side of “the narrow neck which led to the land northward”. It is different from the “narrow neck” described as the “narrow neck of land where the sea divides the land”. That is where the Jaredite, Lib, built a “great city”. (Ether 10 see below) 
    k.   Ether 10:19-28-- Ether 10 explains that many generations after the arrival of the Jaredites, Lib and others traveled south from where they lived for the most part in the north near the “waters of Ripliancum” (Lake Ontario), They followed the Susquehannah River from New York through Pennsylvania to the head of the Chesapeake Bay, “the sea that divides the land”. 

    With the "narrow neck" or the "small neck that leads to the land northward" being the Niagara neck of land between the land northward, Desolation, and the land southward, Bountiful, the New York hill Cumorah being only 90 miles from that neck of land certainly makes more sense than from a "narrow neck" more than 3000 miles away. 
  • It was on a coastal plain, and possibly near other mountains and valleys.
    a.    Ether 14:12-15 The hill Cumorah is located on the glacial plains south of Lake Ontario. All large bodies of water were referred to as “seas”.  The land of Moron (Ether 7:6) is located likely along the waters of Ripliancum next to the narrow neck which leads to the land northward (Desolation).  The Finger Lakes with “borders (mountains) upon the seashore”, such as on Lake Canandaigua, are 30 miles south of Ripliancum and 10 miles south of Cumorah.  

  • It was one day's journey south (east-south-east in modern coordinates) of a large body of water.
    a.    Ether 15:8-11Verse 8 mentions that the final Jaredite battle would start “on the morrow” which implies that it was likely less than a day from Ripliancum, a large body of water. The New York hill Cumorah, which is also the hill Ramah, is located less than 19 miles south of the seashore of Lake Ontario (Ripliancum).  The center of the campsite for the sizeable Jaredite army would have been less.    

  • It was in an area of many rivers and waters.
    a.    Mormon 6:4There is no place in the entire North America Continent that fits that description better than in and around the New York hill Cumorah with the Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes, the many rivers and water falls along the Niagara Escarpment that extends from New York through the “narrow neck”, including Niagara Falls, into and through southern Ontario (the land Desolation) which is surrounded by seas in all directions (Helaman 3:8), north, south, west and east, i.e., Georgian Bay, and Lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario.

  • It was in the presence of fountains.
    a.    Mormon 6:4 – Fountains appear to be referring to water falls. See above.

  • The abundance of water apparently provided a military advantage.
    a.    Mormon 6:4 The final Nephite/Lamanite battle narrative does not suggest water as being an advantage. However, the description of it being in a “land of many waters, rivers, and fountains”, does place it in the same location as the hill Ramah where Limhi’s men found the bones of the Jaredites and the 24 gold plates, the location of which is also described by Mosiah as being ”… in a land among many waters,…” (Mosiah 8:8).  Any military advantage would probably be from it being a hill that provided a view of the land for several miles around. 

  • There was an escape route to the land ("country") southward.
    a.    Mormon 8:2 South of the hill Cumorah and Lake Ontario are the glacial plains with many north/south oriented drumlins which extend south to the Finger Lakes, all of which are also oriented north and south, providing valleys and corridors that lead further southward.

  • The hill was large enough to provide a view of hundreds of thousands of bodies.
    a.    Mormon 6:11 - The hill Cumorah is 110 foot high surrounded by relatively flat plains interspersed with “drumlin” glacial hills throughout central and western New York. A 110 foot high observation point can see 12 miles to the horizon in all directions.  Even at a viewing distance with a radius of only 2 miles, one would be able to observe about 12 square miles or about 3,000 hectares, a sizeable battlefield.       

  • The hill was apparently a significant landmark.
    a.    Ether 9:3 – In the Jaredite’s days, where “…the whole face of the land northward (of the Chesapeake Bay) was covered with inhabitants” (Ether 10:21), and in Mormon’s day where the “land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous as the sand of the sea” (Mormon 1:7), it is likely that forests of timber were not as extensive as today since wood was the primary building material for cities and houses, and for warmth and cooking. As such, the area around the hill Ramah/Cumorah may have been more open like in photos of the hill Cumorah from the early 1900’s before the industrial age of electricity, coal, gas and oil technologies.  With fewer trees, the drumlins would have been visible from a distance. 
    b.   Mormon 6:6 Mormon hid the plates in the hill where the final battle was to take place. He gave Moroni a few plates to write upon so that he could deposit them in the same hill years later and from where Moroni delivered them to Joseph Smith in 1829.

  • The hill was apparently free standing so people could camp around it. 
    a.   Mormon 6:2,11 - Refer to comments above for Mormon 6:11.

  • The climate was apparently temperate with no record of cold or snow.  
    a.   Enos 1:20The book of Enos was written while the Nephites were still in the land of Nephi in the south around 420 B.C. before Mosiah was warned to travel north around 225. B.C. where he discovered the Mulekites in the land of Zarahemla. The Lamanites remained in the south from where they attacked the Nephites in the north from time to time, likely in seasonal battles. In addition, the description of the dress of the Lamanites was not much different from Native American Tribes that inhabited the eastern United States in precolonial times.    
    b. Alma 46:40 Actually Alma 46:40 confirms that there were serious illnesess, including death, related to an environment subject to four  climate seasons.
  • The hill was located in a volcanic zone susceptible to earthquakes.
    a.    3 Nephi 8:6-23 3 Nephi 8 does not refer to volcanes. It refers to earthquakes and tornadoes. This is consistent with the New Madrid Seismic zone in Missouri, the most powerful earthquake zone in North America, and extreme weather typical of the eastern United States. 

Conclusion: The New York Hill Cumorah meets all of the criteria summarized by David Palmer; and it is, therefore, the hill Cumorah/Ramah of the Book of Mormon since it meets one additional and final critria as being from where the plates were delivered by Moroni to Joseph Smith Jr. in 1829.


12. Question: What about cold and snow not being mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

Answer: Actually, Nephi mentioned snow while in Arabia.  The purpose was to make a point about the beauty of the tree that his father had seen by describing “the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of driven snow”.  Snow does occur in the land of Jerusalem, but it was noted here for its beauty, not being cold.  However, while cold and snow are not mentioned directly in the land of promise, there is scriptural evidence of seasonal climates that would include cold, especially for the Nephites as they lived in the north, the land of Zarahemla.

In Alma 43, in the borders of Jershon, which was north in the land of Zarahemla, the Nephites under the command of Moroni met the armies of the Lamanites coming from the south from the land of Nephi. According to Alma 43:20, the Lamanites were “naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins.” The Lamanites lived in the south, the land of Nephi, which was generally a warmer climate, which would partially account for less than full dress clothing. 

Alma 43:19 describes that the Nephites living in the land oif Zarahemla in the north were dressed for more seasonally colder wheather.   19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing—“  The reason for the thick clothing was not for warfare, although it may have offered more protection in deflecting harmful blows. It was also a protection from a relatively colder climate of the lands in the north. 

Alma 46 describes the time when Moroni raised the title of liberty against Amalickiah and his supporters. This occurred in and around the city of Zarahemla, which was located in Ohio according to the North America Model.  Actually Alma 46 offers a couple of hints as to the nature of the climate in that area.  First, much of Alma 46 describes how Moroni “rent his coat” and made it into “the title of liberty”, and how the people who supported Moroni were “rending their garments” and how they “cast their garments at the feet of Moroni” as “a covenant”.  Obviously, the Nephites had sufficient clothing, including coats and garments that were necessary from a more extreme climate which would include cold and snow.    

Also, in Alma 46:40, we are told that the climate in the land of Zarahemla was seasonal and was the cause of serious health problems from seasonal extremes.  40 And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate—“

Another hint can be found in Helaman 3 where the land Desolation was separated from the land southward, Bountiful, by “the narrow neck which led into the land northward” (Alma 63:5).  It was described in Helaman 3:5 as “desolate”.   Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land."  The reason that it was delolate of timber was because the earlier inhabitants  used all  the timber for shelter and fires for heat and cooking because of it being so far northward (Alma 22:30)


13.  Question: What evidence is there for the location of gold, silver, copper and other ores related to the lands of the Book of Mormon as defined in the North America Model?

Answer:  The task is not to prove that North America Model lands are where the greatest deposits of such ores are located anywhere, but it is necessary that these ores are at least present according to credible geological and historical resources.  The following includes an analysis of the scriptural references with the related lands in the Book of Mormon (Section A) and evidences for the presence of the referenced ores in, or near, the subject lands (Section B).

The following six scriptures describe the presence of gold, silver, copper and other ores in Book of Mormon lands.   Book of Mormon lands relating to each scripture, along with actual locations according to the North America Model for the Book of Mormon, are described. There are two basic locations indicated.  1) In the south in the Piedmont area at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.  2) In the north in and around the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania and New York (including the Adirondacks), the glacial plains between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes in western New York, and in the vicinity of the Great Lakes.  There is evidence of gold, silver, copper and iron located to varying degrees of abundance in both general locations.

1 Nephi 18:25 (About 589 B.C.) “And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness,…  And we    did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper".
      Book of Mormon Lands: The land of Nephi wilderness where they journeyed to from where Lehi first landed in the south, Lehi’s land of first inheritance (Hel 6:10).
      Actual Location: Somewhere in the Piedmont at the base of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina about 235 miles from the coast.

2 Nephi 5:15 (About 588-559 B.C.) “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.”
      Book of Mormon Lands:  The land of Nephi where Nephi called the land and the people, Nephi, a space of many days in from where they landed (v.7-8).
      Actual Location:
In the Piedmont at the base of the southern range of the Appalachian Mountains, likely near Morganton NC.

Jacob 2:12 (About 544-421 B.C.)“And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.”
Book of Mormon Lands:   Still in the same location in the land of Nephi where Nephi settled in the wilderness in 2 Nephi 5:7-8.
      Actual Location:
In the Piedmont at the base of the southern range of the Appalachian Mountains, likely near Morganton NC.

Hel 6:9-12 (About 29-23 B.C.) “And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north.”
Book of Mormon Lands:  The land of Zarahemla where Mulek landed in the north and in the land of Nephi where Lehi landed in the south (v. 10).

      Actual Location: The land in and around the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains in the south, including the Piedmont where the Lamanites lived, and the land in and around the Appalachian Mountians in the north including the Adirondacks.   

Ether 9:17 (Jaredites)“Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;..” 
Book of Mormon Lands: (v. 3) They departed out of the land, passing by the hill of Shim (in Desolation) over into the land of Zarahemla where the Nephites were destroyed eastward by the seashore near the hill Cumorah.    In a land, (v. 20) “…which was choice above all other lands…”, the land of the United States of America.

       Actual Location: This land is upstate and western New York in the glacial plains between Lake Ontario and the Finger lakes. 

Ether 10:23  (Jaredites)  – “And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.”
Book of Mormon Lands:  The land where the Jaredites lived and died extended from the waters of Ripliancum south to the narrow neck of land by the place where the sea divides the land (vs. 19-20).
       Actual Location:
The land of the Jaredites includes most of New York from Lake Ontario and the Adirondacks on the north, south into northeast Pennsylvania and to the Chesapeake Bay and the narrow neck of land of the Delaware/Maryland Peninsula.  

The following documentation is from internet sources with the title of the article or blog, the URL for the document, the date of the article or the date of the last edit, quotations from the article and commentary where appropriate. The material is organized into mining located in the north (the land of Zarahemla) and in the south (the land of Nephi).   


Gold, Mining and Prospecting Blogspot
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gold Occurrences in New York State

“Looking at a geological map of New York State it is easy to see that there are several environments in the state that are likely to contain both lode and placer gold. Probably the most likely place where you can find lode gold is in the Adirondacks”

“There is likely to be gold found in placer deposits across the length and width of New York that were brought down by the action of continental glaciers in at least three glaciations in the past 1 million years. Immediately to the north of New York State lies the Abitibi Gold Belt of Québec and Ontario. This extends for over 500 miles from Wawa, Ontario to Val ‘Dor, Québec. The scouring action of the glacier removed any gold that was loose in the soil of these provinces and took it south to be deposited across the width of New York State.”

Copper Mining in the United States
This page was last edited on 19 July 2018, at 01:04 (UTC

“Native Americans mined copper from small pits on the Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan as early as 3000 BC.”  This time frame includes the Jaredites.  This source in the north provided copper for copper breast plates on display at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe Ohio which documents the people who resided in that area from about 200 B.C. to 500 B.C., the Nephites.   

Silver Mining in the United States
This page was last edited on 18 May 2018, at 10:18

“The Pequea silver mine near Conestoga in Lancaster County was worked from before the Revolutionary War to 1875.”  Comment – Lancaster County is located along the Susquehanna River in SE Pennsylvania, a river that serves as a primary path of travel between the Chesapeake Bay on the south to the lands of upper and western New York where Glacial deposits of gold were found. 

Oroblanco Wordpress, Legends of Lost Silver mines in Pennsylvania

“….there is evidence and documentation to support the fact that there are indeed several lost silver mines scattered across the state. Not massive veins like the famous Comstock mind you, but small deposits and these are not against the rules of geology by any means.”
“The actual records from the colonial period show that these mines were known to the native tribes that lived in and contested over the land.”   
Comment – While Pennsylvania does not purport to be a location for the largest amount of silver ore in the world, there is evidence that it does exist in the Land of Zarahemla according to the North America Model in broadly dispersed quantities according to early Native Americans. 


Gold in North Carolina  
Accessed 14 May 2015

Gold in North Carolina states, “North Carolina was the nation’s only gold-producing state from 1803 until 1828, and continued as a leading producer until 1848 when gold was discovered in California.” 

Silver Mining in the United States
This site was last modified 20 April 2015

Silver mining in the United States notes, “North Carolina, The Silver Hill Mine in Davidson County, also known as the King mine and the Washington mine, was discovered in 1838…..It produced silver, gold, lead, copper, and zinc intermittently from its discovery until the mid-1870s.”  Davidson County is located in the Piedmont region, which means “the foot of the mountains.”

Iron Ore Mining and Forging
Iron Ore Mining & Forging,  2007 copyright

According to Iron Ore Mining and Forging, iron ore was discovered at the Big Ore Bank, Lincolnton, North Carolina. Lincolnton is located 10+ miles southeast of the foot of the South Mountains. Davidson County is between Greensboro and Lincolnton, NC, in the Piedmont region. 


14. Question: How did The North America Model from Jerusalem to Cumorah come to be? 

Answer:  In the 1990’s while living in Kansas and serving as a Bishop at the time, out of curiosity on my daily drive home from work I would listen to a Christian apologetic radio program, The Bible Answer Man with Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute (CRI).  He focused on evangelical Christian theology while attempting to discredit other religions, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Much of the material was related to the Book of Mormon with the usual complaints about its origin and its historicity.  I felt impressed to write to Hank, thanking him for giving the Church and the Book of Mormon publicity while I offered several suggestions challenging many of his positions as being without substance. 

Within a couple of weeks, I received a letter from CRI which thanked me for my letter. It was written by a CRI staff member, Marian Bodine, who indicated that Hank asked her to respond.  She announced herself as being an ex-Mormon whose job it was to straighten out the “Mormons” who wrote in, obviously because she would know what arguments to make.

While dancing around a few issues over a couple of exchanges, Marian threw out her killer argument that was right up there as being assumed to be unassailable at the time.  She wrote, “There is no continually flowing river of water into the Red Sea from Arabia, and everybody knows it.  Arabia is a desert without rivers flowing into the sea”. The “everybody knows it” argument was supposed to be unimpeachable.  While it was intriguing, I did not bite since I had an Atlas that gave an impression that there might be one at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, the closest that the “fountain of the Red Sea” came to Jerusalem. I wrote back that the argument wasn’t convincing, and we would just have to disagree. 

Fast forward 20 years to 2013.  Reading some articles from the BYU Neal A. Maxwell Institute, I noticed an article titled, “A Candidate in Arabia for the ‘Valley of Lemuel’” by George Potter, written in 1999.  If the Valley of Lemuel had been found, then the river Laman was also found.  With Marian Bodine’s words still bouncing around in my head, I read George Potter’s article with great interest, after which I decided to do what I had attempted to do 30 years earlier, use the scriptures to trace Lehi’s journey from Jerusalem.  I originally thought that Lehi’s  journey of 3 days in the wilderness was from Jerusalem to the river Laman, which at the time seemed to be at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba, the closest that the fountain of the Red Sea was to Jerusalem. At the time I did not realize that it was 200 miles from Jerusalem to Aqaba, which, of course, could not be a 3 day journey for even the pony express. This time, I had George Potter’s finding to test the scriptures; and doing so opened up the reality of the Book of Mormon as a credible source for geography when none of it would have been possible to know in 1830.  It also helped that there was the new research tool of Google Maps not available until 2005 which would allow viewing real geography from above to evaluate how the scriptures related to the geography without having to travel to the location. 

The key scripture is 1 Nephi 2:5-6.  It is a scripture that did not make much sense to me for as long as I could remember; but in light of the new information and Google Maps, it was like a light switching on. 

1 Nephi 2:5 And he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.  6 And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water.

With the realization that “borders” could refer to mountains, the verses made perfect sense.  Google Maps showed a range of mountains following near the shore of the fountain of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, for about 45 miles south until they came to a place where the mountains are nearer, even out to the sea. There they blocked the path along the seashore, causing travel to follow wadi’s that extended into the mountains where one would then travel in the mountains for 26 miles further south to where Potter located the river of water and the impressive Valley of Lemuel.  The 3 days for a slow moving caravan was where they traveled “in the wilderness in the borders” until they came to the “valley by the side of the river of water.”   Also, the 3 days could have been from the afternoon of the first day to the morning of the 3rd day the same as the three days the Savior was in the tomb.   

This level of detail also followed the journey heading “SSE”, twice "for a space of many days", from the river Laman to the location called Nahom discovered in Yemen by S. Kent Brown in 2001 and then “nearly eastward” to the luxuriant place called Bountiful discovered by Warren P. Aston in 1998 along the southern coast of Arabia.  With an almost perfect scriptural description of Lehi’s journey through Arabia, a course which no one in 1830 frontier America could have known, I prepared a paper with a description of the journey along with maps taken as screen shots from Google Maps overlaid with graphics outlining the paths of travel with special reference to my new analysis from Aqaba to the river of water.

At the same time, I read an article by Rodney Meldrum, of the FIRM Foundation, written in 2010 about an expedition of a replica of a 600 B.C. Phoenicia ship that sailed in 2009 clockwise around Africa from east to west from southern Arabia to within 400 miles of the American continents on their way back to the Mediterranean Sea.   Interestingly, this was the same time frame as Lehi’s journey; and for Lehi, the last 400 miles carried by prevailing winds and storm systems to the southeast coast of the United States would suggest that was a high probability of where Lehi’s family could have landed in the “land of promise”.  Therefore, with the complete journey of Lehi’s family from Jerusalem to the “land of promise” documented by credible research studies and articles and supported by the scriptures, I summarized the findings in what eventually became Parts I and 2 of "The North America Model for the Book of Mormon from Jerusalem to Cumorah", based largely on the written word backed by the independently documented discoveries. 

Many people then encouraged me to continue the analysis of Book of Mormon geography using the conclusions of the arrival of Lehi to the east coast of the United States of America; and I was also encouraged by the high degree of assurance that the written word held clues to the location of cities, lands, events and paths of travel.  I sent Parts I and 2 to the Neal A Maxwell Institute as a confirmation of the work by Dr. S. Kent Brown regarding his selection of George Potter's choice for the Valley of Lemuel along with his location for Nahom.   Shortly afterward, Dr. Brown wrote to me encouraging me that my new analysis of the portion of the trip from Aqaba to the river Laman was credible; and it made more sense than his initial analysis of the three days being from the town of Aqaba at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

That is how it started.  After completion of Parts 1 and 2, the balance of the 5 Parts of the Model which addressed the overall configuration of the model and all of the major events of the Book of Mormon including the locations of cities, lands, etc., with 38 appendices, took only 6 months to complete, indicating how well the written narrative was able to reveal its clues supported along the way with additional geographic and archaeological evidence that had already been documented by secular sources such as the National Park Service, the Ohio History Central, the Bureau of American Ethnology (a department of the Smithsonian Institute), etc. 

As I proceeded into Parts 3, 4 and 5 as well as the 38 appendices, I approached Dr. Ronald W. Walker, my brother-in-law, to see if he would be interested in following the development of the balance of the manuscript. Dr. Walker was a well respected academic within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a long time tenured history professor at the Brigham Young University, past president of the Mormon History Association and author of several books on Church history, including Massacre at Mountain Meadows, The Prophet and the Reformer, Wayward Saints, etc.   He was delighted to offer his oversight, and he reviewed all of the 38 appendices as they were developed. Near the end of the process, Dr. Walker wrote the following, "Please keep going with your research. It looks promising. Certainly we need new perspectives. You've done fine work. I hope that your project may go successfully forward."

After completing the manuscript, I then approached my brother, Dr. James E. Midgley, to see if he would be interested in reviewing it. Dr. Midgley, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a tenured professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Dallas, was eager to do so. His academic credentials included achieving three engineering degrees with a 4.0 grade point average in four years at the University of Michigan Engineering School and a PhD in plasma physics at the California Institute of Technology. While he was enthusiastic about doing so, he warned that he had studied every Book of Mormon model that existed. Within a week, he wrote back, "It's a winner! You have a great thesis and it couldn't be presented more convincingly. It should be published, and I have no suggestions for changes."

With completion of the manuscript that met the test of credible peer review, the next task involved finding an illustrator who could create maps and illustrations that not only would replace all of the Google based maps which would have been problematic in terms of copyright use but also met publishers stringent printing requirements. After a search of potential graphic illustrators, I was impressed with the work of Chuck Carter of Ellsworth, Maine, who had done illustrations for such publications as the National Graphic, etc. I was pleased that he was willing to take on the commission; and Chuck has been an invaluable participant throughout the process, providing skilled graphic work as well as offering suggestions and advice from time to time that has had a positive impact on the final product.

With an illustrator on board, the next task was to secure a publisher who would be interested in the project. After sending out feelers to several publishers over the next year with no positive responses, Page Publishing of New York, New York, enthusiastically responded with the following communication in August 2014.   “Hi William, (we) got some great news for you. The review board responded very well to your book.   They thought it was very well thought out. (They) loved the fact that you not only tell the reader about locations and events, then you go into and illustrate that and made it a good read. It plays to both the traditional reader and one that is more visually stimulated. And it is obviously something that we haven’t seen before.”

Page Publishing has provided extremely professional as well as patient assistance in helping to translate the original manuscript into the final product over the next five (5) years as new and significant material was developed in response to ongoing research, including creation of new and exciting graphics, such as the art work prepared by Bruce Brainard of Saratoga Springs, Utah, of the event surrounding king Benjamin speaking to the people from the tower as well as the material related to these Miscellaneous Issues. All this was accomplished while the model was introduced to the general public during those five (5) years through over forty (40) PowerPoint lectures presented across the country from Florida, to Utah, to Maine and all points in between, including five (5) years at Palmyra NY during the Hill Cumorah Pageant. That is how the North America Model came to be.

In conclusion, it is serendipitous that the root catalyst for the North America Model for the Book of Mormon from Jerusalem to Cumorah, was a throw away comment by someone who had focused on what was not known at the time, throwing away what may have been known by the witness of the Holy Ghost at another time. 

One must be careful relying on the argument, “Something doesn’t exist, and everybody knows it; so it must not be true”.  It may eventually be found.


15.   Question: What secuar scientific evidence is there for the location of the city of Zarahemla?

Answer:   INDEPENDENT SECULAR RESOURCES - Scientific analyses and conclusions by the respective research institutions were conducted and reached based on primary independent scientific methods without any reference to the stories and/or events in the Book of Mormon.  [Parentheses represents author’s interpretation of the Book of Mormon application]  Refer to map below for location in southern Ohio related to descriptive criteria provide by the various reports.  

Chillicothe map.png

National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Hopewell Cultural National Historical Park brochure on Seip Earthworks
“Between 200 B.C. [Mosiah travels north to discover the Mulekites - Omni 1:13 in 225 B.C.] and 400 A.D. [Book of Moroni, 401-421 A.D.], an extraordinary blossoming of cultural development occurred in southern Ohio…”.

“Two thousand years ago, the area that stretched between Seip Earthworks [Mosiah 2, King Benjamin speech 124 B.C.] and Chillicothe [in Ohio about 16 miles] was one of the most important cultural centers in all of North America, for hundreds of years.” [From 225 B.C. when Mosiah discovered the Mulekites to the final battles 421 A.D., or 600+ years ]

“At nearly equal intervals along the Paint Creek and Scioto River valleys, almost two dozen giant geometric earthwork complexes were constructed by prehistoric people referred to as the Hopewell Culture”…… “However, why they built so many enormous earthwork complexes in this area remains a mystery.” [Mosiah 25:14-23, Alma preached to seven “churches” since there being so many people, they could not hear the word in one assembly.]   

“There is no evidence that people lived within these earthworks. Rather these huge architectural wonders appear to have been designed for large ritual gatherings.”  [Like Mosiah 2]

The burial mound [240’ x 160’ x 30’] in the center of the Seip Earthworks was excavated and reconstructed in 1925.  “It covered the floors, fire pits [Mosiah 2:3 – “they took the firstlings of their flocks” … for…. “burnt offerings according to the law of Moses”] and burials of two very large connected buildings [a temple?] with a small building between them.” [The base of a tower?]    For the record, the Ohio History Central, which conducted the excavation of the Seip Earthworks in the 1920's, documented the results of that excavation in the Ohio History Journal along with artifact plans of what was exposed.  Both the journal and the plans described specifically an area as "burnt offering", something, including the building, that would not have been known in 1830.       

National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Hopewell Cultural National Historical Park brochure on Hopewell Mound Group (New Science Section)
“The culture discovered at this site was new to the science of archaeology in the late 1800’s.”    This “… remarkable American Indian culture, which is believed to have stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, is named after an otherwise obscure Chillicothe land owner, Mordicai Hopewell.”  [Chillicothe  OH is thus the cultural center of Zarahemla].   “The tribal names of these people were lost over the millennia, but the prehistoric American Indians who built this sprawling structure were part of a cultural golden age that flourished in this region between 200 B.C. and 500 A.D. The monumental architecture and artifacts of the Hopewell Culture reflect a pinnacle of achievement in the fields of art, astronomy, mathematics and engineering, the likes of which was seldom seen again in eastern North America.“

An article titled The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta-Road - The Olde Forester website by Emmett A. Conway
Chillicothe is described thusly. “It [Chillicothe] was the capital of their empire or whatever you want to call the region in the Scioto Valley where we find the greatest number of magnificent Hopewellian ancient earthworks.” The following is a description of an historic Indian trail system only 45 miles from a crossing of the river Sidon [Ohio River at Portsmouth, Ohio] to Zarahemla [Chillicothe]. “The most important was and still is the north south route.  In Ohio this trail is called The Scioto Trail. In its entirety, this trail is called The Path of the Armed Warriors or Warriors Path.” [Helaman 1:14-19, Coriantumr’s march on Zarahemla].   The website also describes three other ancient Ohio trails including the south Scioto trail leading to and from the city of Zarahemla, SSE, SE and East, connecting all of Book of Mormon events with the city of Zarahemla just as all roads lead to Rome in Italy.  

Ohio History Central Website -
“Around 200 B.C, the beginning of the Middle Woodland period, a new Native American culture developed that spread throughout the Midwest…identified as Hopewell. There was not a specific tribe that can be accredited with the establishment of the Hopewell principles, instead Hopewell is more of a culture and way of life that was experienced throughout multiple areas spanning from places including: Nebraska to Mississippi, Indiana to Minnesota, Virginia to the epicenter area of Ohio. Specifically in Ohio the culture was heavily influential in the Southeastern region that consists of the Ohio Valley, the Scioto Valley, and the Miami Valley.” … “Around 400 A.D Hopewell culture began to decline for an unknown reason.”

Hopewell Cultural National Historical Park: A document titled Seip Mound by Deb Platt in 2012
This document describes a complete excavation of the central mound in the 1920’s. It included a log crypt at the bottom with the remains of a few individuals. The roof of the crypt had collapsed and the document reports that as many as 87 other individuals were buried around the site, all “over a relatively brief period of time” [Helaman 1 – 52-50 B.C.].   It also refers to evidence of buildings at the site that were built out of wood and estimates the time of the construction of the mound to be “somewhere between 100 B.C. [Mosiah 2 king Benjamin speech, 124 B.C.] – A.D. 400;” and it offers the following assessment regarding the potential use of wood buildings on the site. “Archeologists now believe that the wooden buildings must have been used for rituals whose purpose will remain a mystery.”

The Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution has taken a proactive position that it has never used the Book of Mormon for any archaeology studies.  It issued the following letter.  "The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book."   While that may be so as an official subject of Smithsonian Institute studies addressing specific narrative subject matter in the Book of Mormon, a department of the Smithsonian, The Bureau of American Ethnologies, under the direction of William E. Meyers in 1925 produced its Forty Second Annual report to the Smithsonian Institute titled Indian Trails of the Southeast, in a Gustavs Library 2009 Facsimile Reprint which documented all ancient Indian trails throughout the southeast US.  In other words, while the Smithsonian can say that they have never used the Book of Mormon as a scientific guide for Smithsonian archaeologists, the work product of the Smithsonian has inadvertently served as evidence for the geography of the Book of Mormon, which is more compelling than if it did the study with a pro or con pre-study bias .  Indian Trails of the Southeast corresponds directly with the paths of travel and connecting the lands and cities described in the North America Model, the configuration of which was determined based on the written narrative of the Book of Mormon prior to the author becoming aware of either the Wm E. Meyers report to the Smithsonian or the trails in Ohio documented by Emmet A. Conway referenced above, which is also more compelling than if the author had been aware of those studies in advance.    

The North America Model for the Book of Mormon  -  Refer to Appendix B – Hopewell Geography and Roads to Zarahemla, pages 41-43 and Appendix F – Mosiah, Alma, Helaman – Location of the City of Zarahemla, pages 50-51 of The North America Model for the Book of Mormon for map descriptions relative to the overall internal narrative of the Book of Mormon.     


16.   Question: How does the 1830 Book of Mormon foreshadow the 1861-1865 American Civil War? 

Answer: While the publication of the Book of Mormon predates the events of the American Civil War by over 30 years, and Joseph Smith never suggested eastern United States beyond the Hill Cumorah area and the upper Midwest (The Plains of the Nephites) for the lands of the Book of Mormon, the North America Model for the Book of Mormon, based on the revealed Book of Mormon narrative, describes many battles in the East between the Lamanites from the South with the Nephites in the North which correlate almost directly where major Civil War battles between the North and the South that were yet to be waged, especially in the Shenandoah Valley and on the eastern coastal plains, i.e., battles such as Bull Run, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Gettysburg, etc.  It is compelling that The Bureau of American Ethnology in a 1924-25 report to the Smithsonian Institution labeled the ancient Native American trail system that connected the South and the North in the East, and which were likely used in the conduct of the Civil War, “The Great Indian Warpath” (Appendix B).  

Then, in December 1832, two years after the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith revealed the 87th Section of the D&C which prophesied that a civil war between the South and the North would commence with the rebellion of the State of South Carolina, and “…will terminate in the death and misery of many souls.”   Refer to Appendices Y, CC and DD, pages 73, 79 and 80 for related Book of Mormon battles in Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania. 

Also of interest is the name Antietam, which is a small obscure stream in the Shenandoah Valley in the state of Maryland, which was not likely known to Joseph Smith in 1830 since it only became historically significant as the location for the Civil War battle known as the deadliest one-day battle in American history.   While The North America Model locates the land of Antionum in the Delaware/Maryland Peninsula not far away, and the meaning of Antietam in the Native American Algonquin language is “swift water”, it does raise the question if there is a Native American language linguistic connection with Antionum in the Book of Mormon. Also, other Book of Mormon references to bodies of water include the Indian Ocean at Bountiful in southern Yemen, Irreantum, meaning "many waters", (1 Nephi 17:5) and Lake Ontario north of New York and the land Bountiful in the land of promise, Ripliancum, meaning "large, or exceeding all" waters (Ether 15:8).  


17.  Question: What geographic and archaeological evidence is there for the divine origin of the Book of Mormon? 

Answer: Following are bullet points of correlation between Book of Mormon scriptural references and events that describe actual locations, geography and functions that have been discovered post 1830 confirming the witness of the Holy Ghost, documented by The North America Model for the Book of Mormon, and which most likely would not have been known to potential early 19th century writers, including Joseph Smith, Jr.   Refer to the related articles under the Home Page Links Tab and the I hour PPT lecture for details.

  • I Nephi 2:5-6 – Lehi’s family travel by the borders (mountains) that are “near the shore of the Red Sea”, and then travel in the borders (mountains) that are “nearer the Red Sea”.
  • The valley of Lemuel and the river Laman discovered in 1999 on the Gulf of Aqaba (“the fountain of Red Sea”) in Arabia.
  • Nahom discovered in 2001 in Yemen 1500 miles SSE from the river Laman, I Nephi 16:12-33.
  • Bountiful documented in 1998 “nearly eastward” (I Nephi 17:1) from Nahom on the southern coast of Yemen.
  • The replica of a 600 B.C. Phoenician ship sailing west to east around Africa on the 2009-2010 History Channel documentary to within 400 miles of the east coast of the Americas mirrors Lehi’s voyage to a landing in the south of the land of promise (Hel 6:10).
  • Ether 2:7 - Jaredites sailing through the “sea in the wilderness” (the Mediterranean) and then on toward the land of promise, the United States of America, to a landing in the north (Hel 6:10) followed later by the Mulekites who ran across the bones of the Jaredites.
  • I Nephi 18:25 - After landing in the south, Nephi and his people journeyed into the wilderness a space of many days to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Piedmont where there was all manner of gold, silver and copper and the eventual location for the city of Lehi-Nephi in the land called Nephi.
  • A highly credible location for the waters of Mormon, Linville Falls, is located 30 miles from the city of Lehi-Nephi in the Blue Ridge Mountains 1 mile from an ancient Indian trail that leads north through the mountains to Book of Mormon lands of Helam and Amulon.
  • The city of Lehi-Nephi in NC is located 21 days (400+/- miles) south of the location of the city of Zarahemla in the heart of the Land of Zarahemla north of the River Sidon (the Ohio River) in Ohio on ancient Indian trails documented by the Ohio History Central, the website, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of American Ethnology.
  • The Ohio History Central and the National Park Service both date the mound building Hopewell Culture centered in Ohio from 200 B.C. to 4-500 A.D. which mirrors Mosiah finding the Mulekites in 225 B.C. and the final Nephite/Lamanite battles around 421 A.D. 
  • The National Park Service documents the Seip Earthworks 16 miles from Chillicothe, Ohio, as dating from 200 B.C. to 400 A.D. and the central mound dated from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D. excavated to its base in 1925 exposing evidence of buildings and fire pits, the function of which are described in Mosiah 2 of the Book of Mormon in 124 B.C., 24 years before they were covered up.  This bullet point is the most credible of all of the multiple proposed Book of Mormon models throughout the world in that it is evidence of one of the most iconic Book of Mormon events which ties the North America Model to the Book of Mormon's most quoted spiritual message, king Benjamins address to the people (Mosiah 2), and an event with a specific location which that has been studied by credible scientific methods conducted by multiple scientific archeaological institutions indepedently of any reference to the Book of Mormon; and it fits exactly the time, place and function of extant archaeological and artifact evidence pertinent to the Book of Mormon, all of which would be highly coincidental for it to be so accurate on so many levels. It is also related to similar archaeological earthworks referred to in Mosiah 25 which answers the question of the USNPS as to why the Hopewell built so many similar earthwork enclosures in southern Ohio during the same time line.  

While the above bullet points provide compelling physical evidence that affirms the Holy Ghost witness of the historicity of the Book of Mormon as told by its ancient writers, Occam’s razor principle of parsimony in which the simplest possible explanation of multiple hypotheses serves as icing on the cake in which the North America Model for the Book of Mormon is the most logical of over 100 proposed models for the Book of Mormon from anywhere else on the earth, based on the following parameters. 

  • The ancient records of the Book of Mormon, the plates, should have been located where the Book of Mormon described the final events and where they were placed by Moroni, rather than anywhere else in the world without any Book of Mormon narrative describing Moroni relocating them, which is clearly the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York, which brings together all elements of the Restoration, i.e., the Jaredites, the Nephites, the Lamanites, Christ’s 34 A.D. appearance to the Nephites, the First Vision in 1820, and the organization of the Church in 1830.
  • The simpler solution for Joseph Smith being called of God to usher in the Restoration would be to have Joseph Smith live where God knew that the records were located. With Joseph having been born in Vermont, it was not problematic for the Smith family to eventually move from Vermont to Palmyra NY and then ultimately to within 4 miles from the Hill Cumorah.
  • The North America Model is not a “limited geography” model required of either a Mesoamerica model or a tight “Great Lakes model”, nor is it an expansive “hemispheric wide model”; but it is just right in terms of reasonable travel distances and interior map model relationships as tested with maps of every Book of Mormon event against the overall base model.