The reason for confusion among modelers is two fold:
1. Modelers are not adhering to established standards
An Internal Geographical Map must precede a Physical Land Map. That standard was established by John Sorenson and reiterated by John Clark. Investigators should ask modelers:
a. Do you have an Internal Map?
b. Did your Internal Map precede your Physical Map?
To assist investigators we have designed Stamps of Certification to identify who has an Internal Map and whose Internal Map preceded their Physical Map. If you do not see our Stamp request the modeler to produce an Internal Map before proceeding further.
2. The fruit of condemnation is a darkened mind
There is a curse over Mormons for not following the Book of Mormon:
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the Book of Mormon…not only to say but to do. (D&C 84:54-57, 1832)
President Benson tried to get the church out from under the curse but subsequent Church leaders have confirmed the curse is still in place [further reading: Condemnation].
The Rosenvalls (Lynn Rosenvall & David Rosenvall) are a classic example of what not to do. The pattern is this:
a. Newly retired
b. Spare time and resources
c. Spiritual infection
d. Extreme arrogance
e. A disregard for official Church history
f. A disregard for Church canon
g. Ignore established standards
h. Disrespect those who went before
i. Have a pre-existing interest in their choice of land
The following questions can present a mirror to modelers and insight to researchers:
a. What is your interest in Book of Mormon geography?
b. Do you have any financial expectation for your project?
c. Have you committed resources to your project, financial or otherwise?
d. Have you received spiritual “guidance”?
e. Have you or someone you know visited the land in your model by way of a mission, vacation, military, job assignment, etc. prior to creating your model?
f. How high on your list is official Church History and Church Canon?
g. Is Book of Mormon Geography a serious matter to you or a hobby?
h. Do you believe Book of Mormon Geography is as important as Book of Mormon Doctrine?
i. Do you believe you will be held accountable for what you teach others?
j. Do you believe Book of Mormon Geography has a spiritual relevance?
k. Does your model uphold Jesus?