Critical Criteria for Identifying the New World Lands of the Book of Mormon by Ted Dee Stoddard

4. On the assumption that Mormon expected readers to relate to his map, a valid geographic setting for the book must be possible. Therefore, I fully expect the pieces of the puzzle of Mormon’s map to fit together, and I personally have experienced the increased understanding of all messages of the book by being able to relate to a consistent, valid geography based on my travels throughout what I think are the New World lands of the Book of Mormon. (A) Thus, a combination of what’s in the book about geography along with personal visits to proposed lands of the Book of Mormon provides a frame of reference that literally brings the events of the Book of Mormon to life. (B) An equivalent frame of reference results when visitors explore personally the lands of the Bible and then read it from the frame of reference of having seen personally the lands and sites of the Old and New Testaments.

A. How does wandering through a third world country have any relevance to fulfilled promises? Is that where Jesus made appearances? Is that where ancient Moroni visited Joseph? Is that where the record(s) were stored and retrieved? Is that where the Three Special Witnesses saw a heavenly messenger and plates? Is that where the Twelve Special Witnesses saw and handled the plates? Is it near where a Nephite spoke and told David, Oliver, and Joseph that he was “on his way to Cumorah,” i.e Palmyra, a word Whitmer had never heard before.

B. Indeed “frames of reference” are filters, which filter content, and in Mesoamerica there has been zero awareness of fulfilled prophecies. They were not fulfilled in Mesoamerica consequently, what’s there to talk about?

“When I returned from my mission and took a Book of Mormon class at Brigham Young University, I was turned off to Book of Mormon geography because my professor taught “hard-core” geography via the “upright hourglass model.” Using paper and pencil, we as students were expected to locate and label all Book of Mormon lands and sites on the hourglass model.”

In other words, Stoddard missed his chance to discover the size and distance discrepancies by creating an Internal Map.

“A major point of this article is to declare boldly and authoritatively that all the above first-step approaches (Read the geographic statements in the Book of Mormon, and then attempt to find a match for those statements somewhere in the New World.) to identifying the New World geography of the Book of Mormon are off target and are incorrect and therefore are ineffective in their final results. Frankly, one reason we have so much confusion today about identifying the New World location of Book of Mormon lands can be attributed to the first step followed by most readers and scholars.

I disagree and support Sorenson, Clark and FAIR’s requirement of an Internal Map. The “first step” was NOT followed and THAT is the reason there is confusion. For example, there is not a single Internal Map that shows the Land Northward surrounded by FOUR SEAS. [Source]