21. CITY NAMES
For anyone looking for current place names to match with Book of Mormon locations, they should not expect to find any, unless they had been named by the Lamanites. The Lamanites so despised the Nephites they said they would erase them from the earth (Enos 1:14, Alma 14:8, Helaman 3:15-16, Mormon 8:7, ). It is illogical to expect that any Nephite names were passed down by their enemies.
For anyone claiming Joseph borrowed names from existing towns – if parallels are found – they are coincidental. There are hundreds of words in The Book of Mormon not found anywhere else. The idea he borrowed some but not others is absurd.
The use of the Liahona implies that Lehi’s family traveled any way but along traditional routes, including the assumption they simply followed trade routes east of the Red Sea to Yemen. Or, that they simply followed the usual wind currents to Mesoamerica. Geographers need to explain what was peculiar about the routes in their model, or keep silent on the matter.
The record specifically says that God guided them by the Liahona (1 Nephi 18:12-13) to a land that was hidden (2 Nephi 1:7-9). Geographers need to explain how the land in their model was hidden. The Book of Mormon does not say they were ever discovered. Nor would they be discovered by the first explorers, i.e. not Columbus. Consider the following two maps, North America is absent while Central and South America are present.
Canerio Map – 1503
Indeed, the Iroquois (a conglomeration of Six Nations) who were the stewards of Book of Mormon lands when the Gentiles arrived were themselves hidden:
The Iroquois confederacy, existing in the wilderness, simple, pure, and powerful, with its capital 100 miles from the sea, and unknown until Cartier sailed up the Saint Lawrence, until Champlain penetrated its forests, and Hudson discovered the beautiful river that bears his name (Thomas Donaldson, Extra Census Bulletin. Indians. The Six Nations of New York, U.S. Census Office, 1892, p. 20).
If the lands in your model were discovered by the earliest explorers they are not Book of Mormon lands. “Hidden lands” would become known by later explorations, not the first ones, i.e. not Columbus!