How Does Your Concept of Book of Mormon Lands Differ from Maps Drawn by Others? Jerry L. Ainsworth

Besides ignoring fulfilled land prophecies (1), church leader statements (2), and where the sacred Book of Mormon came forth (3), we see the curse that has been placed on Mormons (D&C 84:54-57) in full effect with the recent speculations of Jerry L. Ainsworth, author of The Lives and Travels of Mormon and Moroni, in his paper “How Does Your Concept of Book of Mormon Lands Differ from Maps Drawn by Others?”

Here is a sample:

Two Book of Mormon geographical markers are either ignored or misinterpreted by nearly all current cartographers:

And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. (Alma 22:32; emphasis added)

And they built a great city [San Lorenzo, in my opinion] by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land. (Ether 10:20; emphasis added)

A Place “Nearly Surrounded by Water”

Alma 22:32 says that if it were not for the narrow neck of land, the lands of Zarahemla and Nephi would have been completely surrounded by water. That means there was water on the east, south, and west sides of these lands.

And then to the north, there was a narrow neck of land connecting to a mainland, which prevented the lands of Zarahemla and Nephi from being completely surrounded by water.1

Because Mr. Ainsworth chose the land in his model before learning what the record said, he, along with other Book of Mormon Geography Modelers are left trying to shove a square peg (their preconceived notions), into a round hole (what the record actually says).

Case in point, Alma 22:32 says the lands of Nephi and Zarahemla were “nearly” surrounded by water. The word “nearly” leaves the door wide open for personal interpretation, which Ainsworth inserted here: “there was water on the east, south, and west.” But what about the north? The following points were ignored:

1. The Jaredite Land Northward, i.e. the land north of the Narrow Neck, was surrounded by Four Seas, which means, there was a sea on the north of  the Nephite lands in the Land Southward, i.e. “nearly” surrounded by water meant on the north, east, and west, not the south.

2. We are never told what was south of the Land Southward. All migrations were north.

3. The “Narrow” “Neck” was not 1.5 days wide, entire Book of Mormon lands were that wide.

4. The Sea South of the Jaredite Land Northward was the Sea That Divides the Land, with a “short” “narrow” “neck” along the West Sea connecting the Land Northward to the Land Southward.

5. There is no single body of land surrounded by four seas in Mesoamerica. There is in Western New York where the true Book of Mormon Geography lands are.