Criteria for Book of Mormon Lands and People – BMAF

As will be seen, not a single reference to fulfilled Bible or Book of Mormon prophecies are mentioned. What is more trustworthy, fulfilled land prophecy or cultures that change?

Criteria for Book of Mormon Lands and People – BMAF
There are several theories held among Latter-day Saints for the location of Book of Mormon lands. Some place the geography of the book in upstate New York or near the Great Lakes. Others look to Peru and South America, or to the Baja Peninsula, or Texas and some even propose the Malaysian Peninsula. BMAF supports a Mesoamerican context for the major Book of Mormon sites. Other locations may meet some of the following criteria, but only Mesoamerica meets all these elements required by the book itself.  This list of criteria is not a cafeteria list.  Any Book of Mormon lands proposal must be able to demonstrate all.
  (1) A Major River flowing from South to North (Alma 2:15, 22:27)

(2) A Major River originating from a mountainous narrow strip of wilderness that runs from “the sea east even to the sea west” and serves as a natural feature providing protection from the Lamanites (Alma 50:11)

  (3) Two High Civilizations with Kings and Priests and City-States with scribes as important officers and evidence of many major cities surrounding the Narrow strip of mountainous wilderness.  No other theory can show this fact.
  (4) The area of the northern culture must contain evidence of many cities made out of cement. (Helaman 3:3-18,)

John W. Welch, one of the original founders of FARMS, current Editor in Chief of BYU Studies and the discoverer of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon makes the following statement, January, 2010:
When people approach me with questions about the Great Lakes model of Book of Mormon geography, this is my standard response:

“Helaman chapter 3 requires a vast area north of the narrow neck where cement was the primary construction material because timber was scarce. Large cities were built almost entirely of cement. Cement structures deteriorate slowly, so even after hundreds or thousands of years, some ruins remain. In the Central Valley of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, I have visited the ruins of enormous cities dating from Book of Mormon times that were built almost entirely of cement.
Show me the ancient ruins of large cement cities around the Great Lakes. There are none. So, we can categorically dismiss the Great Lakes model because we are only interested in concrete Book of Mormon evidences.”
John W. Welch
[See our Refute]

  (5) Two Highly Literate (Written Language) Societies living adjacent to but separate from each other between 550 BC and 200 BC, one of which lived “far northward” from the other.  They must have coexisted for at least 250 years
  (6) A small, narrow neck of land dividing the land Northward from the land Southward (Alma 22:32, Heleman 3:8, Ether 10:20)
  (7) Multiple, functional Calendar and Dating Systems
  (8) A Merchant Class Using Weights and Measures tied to gold, silver and grain     (Alma 11)
  (9) Engineers to Build Temples, Towers, and Highways, using Cement  (Click to see statement by John W Welch)
  (10) Highly-skilled Craftsmen – working with Precious Metals, Stonework (Hel.6:11)
  (11) A Warrior Society – Great Battles, Structured Armies, Sophisticated Fortifications
  (12) Legends of a White and Bearded God
  (13) Must be in the Western Hemisphere but where Joseph Smith could not have known about it in 1829
  (14) The winter climate must be bearable enough for Lamanite combatants to wear loin-cloths and shaven heads (Alma 3:5, 20-25)
  (15) The land must show evidence of susbstantial gold and silver in the Land of First Inheritance, the Land of Nephi, the land of Zarahemla and the land of the Jaredites. (Helaman 6:9)
  (16) An Agricultural Base to support several millions of people, Columbus having visited the area.     (1 Nephi 13:12)

As can be seen, not a single reference to fulfilled Bible & Book of Mormon prophecies – not one. What is more trustworthy, fulfilled land prophecy or cultures that change?        


(1) no major river running South to North, Mississippi River flows North to South
(2) no mountainous strip of wilderness that can hide Gadianton robbers, defend against Lamanites and serve as military dividing line for Captain Moroni (Alma 22:33-34,50:11)
(3) very little gold and silver east of the Mississippi
(4) no evidence of cement buildings anywhere in eastern U.S. or Canada, archaeologists have determined that the vast majority of discovered archaeological sites dating to the time period of the Book of Mormon are located in Mesoamerica
(5) no evidence that Adena and Hopewell co-existed for 250 years     We make a grave mistake in trying to piece together the historical puzzle of the Book of Mormon if we ignore the traditional history of Mesoamerica.
(6) Adena and Hopewell were not true civilizations, but were small, loosely knit, family related units with no evidence of a written language. The area in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec constituted the embryo for both the calendar system and the written language of the Americas. This fact alone virtually eliminates any other geographical area from being considered as “lands of the Book of Mormon.”
(7) So-called DNA “Proofs” use unsubstantiated theories
(8)  Joseph Smith’s last statement about Book of Mormon geography points us to Mesoamerica  (click here to see what Joseph Smith said about Mesoamerica) 
(9)  Columbus was directed to “the promised land”, yet he never visited North America [Source]

As can be seen, not a single reference to fulfilled Bible & Book of Mormon prophecies – not one. What is more trustworthy, fulfilled land prophecy or cultures that change?

The truth is, Guatemala is the antithesis of Book of Mormon prophecy:

  1. 16% white.
  2. 50%-60% Catholic.
  3. 40% Protestant.
  4. Lowest literacy rate of all Central American nations.
  5. Between 500,000 and 1.5 million Guatemaleans fled their lands to go to America.
  6. Its largest source of income are funds sent back from America by immigrants there.
  7. There is not a single natural harbor on its western border (where Lehi and Hagoth docked).
  8. 56% of its population are living under the poverty line.
  9. A “Pariah State” due to its “legacy of societal violence, and dysfunctional law enforcement and judicial systems.”
  10. According to the State Department, Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America.
  11. “Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for Guatemalans and Central Americans trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.”
  12. In 2005, cultivated 100 hectares of opium poppy after reemerging as a potential source of opium in 2004; potential production of less than 1 metric ton of pure heroin; marijuana cultivation for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem. (CIA World Fact Book)
  13. The annual rainfall is 70 inches in the south to a wopping 200 inches on the north. Such rain is not consistent with the type of fortifications mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
  14. The catastrophes that occurred at the time of Christ where “never known before” which excludes volcanoes, violent earthquakes, hurricanes and tropical storms – all frequent occurrences in Guatemala and surrounding areas.

With these facts (and more), how can anyone confuse those fruits as being from a Promised Land? It is too late in the game to conceive of any nation other than the United States of America as fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy, and to deny the obvious, is to admit prejudice.