!! WARNING: THE H38 VIRUS HAS HIT BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY MODELS EVERYWHERE!!
What is the H38 Virus? H38 stands for Helamn 3:8 which says:
And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread and did go forth from the land southward to the LAND NORTHWARD and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the SEA SOUTH to the SEA NORTH, from the SEA WEST to the SEA EAST. (Helaman 3:8)
1. The Land Northward was a prized piece of land. The Jaredites lived there solely, and the Nephites protected it at all costs, living there exclusively just before their extinction in 400 AD. The land was considered “choice above all other lands.”
Ether truly told them of all things from the beginning of man and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord. (Ether 13:2)
2. The Land Northward was such a small piece of land, the scent of their dead covered “all the face of the land:”
And the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the face of the land; wherefore the people became troubled by day and by night, because of the scent thereof. (Ether 14:23)
3. The Land Northward was so small, they could see THREE of the FOUR SEAS standing on the Hill Ephraim, in the Land Desolation, by the Narrow Neck. (Ether 7:6-9)
4. The Land Northward was crossed by the Mulekites, they having first landed in the northern border then traveled south later to found Zarahemla. A true model must have a LAND NORTHWARD bordered by the SEA NORTH connecting to the “GREAT DEEP.” (1 Nephi 17:17; Omni 1:16; Ether 6:3, 2:25, 7:27, 8:9; Helaman 12:16; 2 Nephi 4:20)
And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, IT BEING THE PLACE OF THEIR FIRST LANDING. (Alma 22:30)
5. They believed they were on an “Isle of the Sea” which view would not have occurred with only two or three seas:”
We have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an ISLE OF THE SEA. (2 Nephi 10:20)
6. Book of Mormon “seas” were not “salt” seas. Did the Bible distinguish such seas? Yes:
…and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the SALT SEA EASTWARD: (Numbers 34:3)
7. Helaman 3:8 is not a metaphor. In the same book, we read:
And thus it did come to pass that the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began to build up their waste places, and began to multiply and spread, even until they did cover the whole face of the land, both on the northward and on the southward, from the sea west to the sea east. (Helaman 11:20)
Note, the Sea South and Sea North was not used here, though it was the same author. The reference was not a metaphor; there was a Sea North and a Sea South but they only bordered the Land Northward and thus the expression did not fit that verse. Had the expression been metaphoric as Clark claims, it would have been used here where such an expression has even more relevance.
The H38 Virus has systematically removed all references to Helaman 3:8 from Book of Mormon geography maps. Here is a list of its latest victims:
Randal S. Chase, PhD, Making Precious Things Plain: A Book of Mormon Study Guide (book), CFI, 2011.
Claims to be able to make “precious things plain” including the geography of the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, Chase endorsed the map of Daniel H. Ludlow, which had been infected with the H38 Virus. Notice, the virus succeeded in relocating the Sea North from on the north of the Land Northward to on the east and west. It also completly removed the Seas South, East and West.
How reciting the words and maps of the confused makes “precious things plain” is a mystery.
Joel Ricks, Helps to the Study of the Book of Mormon (book), 1916.
An early model that encompasses the entire continent, the H38 Virus removed references to both the North and South Seas.
Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Cumorah – Where? (book), 1947.
As can be seen, the H38 Virus moved the Sea North from north of the Land Northward to north of the Land Southward, and the Sea South from south of the Land Northward to south of the Land Southward.
Sadly, the H38 Virus did not stop at Ferguson’s map, but went on to remove references to the Sea North and Sea South from the book text. In a chapter of geographical references, Ferguson rightly cites all of Helaman 3:8 (p. 23), but later, when he extracts the more “important phrases and statements” from those references, Helaman 3:8 was attacked. All that remained after the attack was the following:
#28 “the land northward,” a place where the people did spread insomuch that they began to cover the entire area from the sea west to the sea east (note direction of colonization and note shipping was up coast) and where the people did “dwell in tents, and in houses of cement,” and where they had cities, temples, synagogues, sanctuaries, and all manner of buildings.
Typical as other modelers, Ferguson freely adds what’s not there, and removes what is as if The Book was his own. The Sea North and Sea South are removed, and his interpolations of “direction of colonization” and “shipping” are unfounded.
Ferguson may not have lost faith in the historicity of the Book of Mormon had he extracted the text before choosing a piece of land by which he filtered what the Book of Mormon did or did not say. Ferguson should have given up faith in Middle America not the Book of Mormon!
J.A. Washburn and J.N. Washburn, “An Approach to the Study of Book of Mormon Geography” 1939 – book.
The most convulted of geography models, with multiple seas’ North, South, East and West without a single piece of land surrounded by four. Despite such vagaries, the Washburn’s are sure they’re right:
Though much uncertainty exists regarding many details of the subject, the location of the lands of the Book of Mormon appears to be established beyond any question relatively speaking. Within a few hundred miles one might be wrong in suggesting locations, but there is little possibility that one can miss the whole land. (p. 194)
Funny how a model could miss ALL prophecies of the land, the Spiritual Geography! The following quote on the Narrow Neck reflects a bias throughout the book:
One of the foremost authorities in the Church placed it (Narrow Neck) at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and a number of other students have agreed with this. The present writers have no objection though this is the RESULT OF A FEELING RATHER THAN ANY DEFINITIVE EVIDENCE. (p 198)
The authors do not consider it their responsibility to answer this question (two Cumorah’s) even if it requires an answer, yet they are sincerely interested in the answer. If their conclusions are in error, as indicated in the introduction, there is no need to find an answer at all. (p. 208)
The authors are immune from learning. If they are not right, the truth doesn’t matter.
Source: A Key For Evaluating Nephite Geographies by John E. Clark.
Here, the H38 Virus removed the Sea South from the Land Northward and placed it south of the Land Southward. To miss this point demonstrates an overall lack of understanding of Book of Mormon geography. On the other hand, if your model doesn’t work, you can always revert to calling things “metaphors:”
The reference to north and south seas fits nicely into the Mesoamerican scene as part of a metaphor for the whole earth and was probably used in a metaphorical sense in the Book of Mormon.” (A Key For Evaluating Nephite Geographies by John E. Clark in FARMS Review: Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 20-70 A review of “Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon” by F. Richard Hauck Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1989, p. 65)
The H38 Virus has effectively removed the Seas North and South from the Land Northward. Clarke makes it clear in the following statement, that he, like Washburn will never adjust his thinking:
I am convinced that the reference to a north sea and a south sea is devoid of any concrete geographical content. All specific references or allusions to Book of Mormon seas are only to the east and west seas. Any geography that tries to accommodate a north and south sea, I think, is doomed to fail. (Ibid.)
John W. Welch & Morgan A. Ashton, graphics by Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon – Packet 1, FARMS, 1997
The virus is fond of John Clark. The mention of his name is enough to infect an article as occurred in “Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon, William J. Hamblin, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume – 2, Issue – 1, Pages: 161-97, Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1993:
North and South Seas
Wilson also raises the question of how the sea north and sea south fit with the Limited Geography Model (3b), a matter which has been fully analyzed by John Clark.(Clark, “Key for Evaluating,” 63–67) The north and south seas are mentioned only twice (Helaman 3:8; Alma 22:32), in a vague general sense. Clark rightly attributes these references to common ancient macrogeographical world-views of the earth surrounded by the primordial “ocean.” THUS THE MINOR AND VAGUE MENTIONS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH SEAS REFER TO MACROGEOGRAPHICAL COSMIC WORLD-VIEWS OF SEAS SURROUNDING THE ENTIRE LANDMASS, RATHER THAN SPECIFIC IDENTIFIABLE BODIES OF WATER.
Their argument fails for the same reason they justify its use – the lack of repetition. If the meaning they attributed to the expression were true, the expression would occur MORE often when warranted. Consider the following verse:
And thus it did come to pass that the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began to build up their waste places and began to multiply and spread even until they DID COVER THE WHOLE FACE OF THE LAND BOTH ON THE NORTHWARD AND ON THE SOUTHWARD FROM THE SEA WEST TO THE SEA EAST. (Helaman 11:20)
And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were SPREAD UPON ALL THE FACE OF THE LAND and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ. (4 Nephi 1:23)
But behold, the land was filled with robbers and with Lamanites; and notwithstanding the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil doings; therefore there was blood and carnage SPREAD THROUGHOUT ALL THE FACE OF THE LAND both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites; and it was one complete revolution throughout ALL THE FACE OF THE LAND. (Mormon 2:8)
And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH FROM THE WEST TO THE EAST BOTH IN THE LAND NORTH AND IN THE LAND SOUTH were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth. (3 Nephi 1:17)
Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the WHOLE EARTH except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen! (3 Nephi 9:2)
The author (Mormon) is expressing “ALL OF THEIR LANDS” yet failed to use the so-called metaphor: “from the SEA SOUTH to the SEA NORTH, from the SEA WEST to the SEA EAST. “
Vernal Holley, Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look
“The Book of Mormon is supposed to be a history of real people living in a real place. For the first 150 years of Mormonism’s existence, everyone thought it was a story about a people who left the Middle East and came to South or Central America, and who fought wars clear up into New York state where their history was hidden in a hillside, inscribed on gold plates. Joseph Smith, in 1830, translated those plates, he said, by “the gift and power of God,” into 1611 English from “Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics.” Or so the story goes.
However, one needs to look no further than New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to find the setting of the Book of Mormon. Whoever pieced the Book of Mormon together had a land in mind which was very similar to the Northeast United States and Southeast Canada.
My friend, the late Vernal Holley, originally published these maps in his book Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look in the early 1980s. I was fascinated with them then and remain so today. Basically, the two maps compare a “proposed map” constructed by Vernal from the internal descriptions of the Book of Mormon and comments, over the years by Latter-day Saint scholars, with a map showing actual place names on maps of the area around Palmyra, New York, where the Book of Mormon originally was published.” (Maze Ministry)
Unfortunately, Holley failed to recognize the most basic “local evidences” there was – zero “lake” references. Whereas Joseph was surrounded by a host of lakes, he never used the word “lake” in any geographic reference.
Click for a review: A North American Setting by J Theodore Brandley
C. W. Clark, “The Mound Builder and the Book of Mormon,” Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. 26, January, 1917, pp. 267-292)
Like Brandley, Elieson, and plenty others, Clark has no concept how small Book of Mormon lands are, or that there were pre-existing peoples on them before the arrival of Lehi or Mulek. It’s a “hemispheric model” in other words. Really a regurgitation of the old school nonsense.
As for the mounds, Clark attributes the large “effigy” mounds to the Jaredites; the “higher class” mounds to the Nephites; and simple “burial” mounds to the Lamanites.
Clark circumscribes the progress of Book of Mormon events to mound locations with the overall view they were constantly moving north from Peru to Ohio. He does not say whether they went to Cumorah in New York or not. He forgets that the Nephites migrated only three times, thus, there should only be three populated areas – Land of Nephi, Zarahemla, and the Land Northward. And the Jaredites stayed solely in the Land Northward.
Without understanding the size of Book of Mormon lands, how one interprets the geography verses, and the archaeological record can be wrong. Only then can one interpret which mounds belonged to whom. We know that not all Lamanites were reckless, therefore, the mounds outside of Book of Mormon lands were Lamanite mounds.
Lynn Rosenvall & David Rosenvall – Baja / “Book of Mormon Evidence in the Baja Peninsula” by John P. Livingstone
The H38 Virus succeeded in placing the Sea North (Salton Sea) in place of the Sea East in their Land Northward; and the Sea South, south of the Land Southward.
Having an isolated Sea North does not work. The Mulekites came to the Land Norhward via the Sea North/Ripliancum, which was connected to the Great Deep, (which they crossed to get there) which is impossible with their model.
The Sea South is only cited in reference to the Jaredite Land Northward. To make the Baja model work, they interpret “land round about” to mean the Sea South:
“Mormon in his description of the land of Nephi also includes a noteworthy phrase—’the regions round about’…The southern sea boundary of their land—possibly a ’round about’ shaped cape.”
The twisting of scripture is often employed by geography enthusiasts. This is how it actually reads in full:
And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land who were in all the regions round about which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided. (Alma 22:27)
They misuse a second verse as well:
“This description of a circular land area is reinforced by the concept that the Nephites had ‘hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north’” (Alma 22:33).
The actual text:
32 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.
33 And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward. (Alma 22)
As can be seen, the “hemming in” occurred in the Land Bountiful just south of the “small neck of land” that led into the Land Northward. What was south of this line of fortification they made in the Land of Bountiful? Was it a body of water as they propose, even the Sea South?
No. South of the Land Bountiful was the Land of Zarahemla, Land of Nephi, the Lamanite Lands of Possession and the Land of First Inheritance. They were “hemmed in” by those Nephite lands, not a fictitious sea.
There is an irresistible tendency by some to claim that a sea existed south of the Land of First Inheritance since, “no one went there,” they surmise, “there must be nothing there.” There was something there – Native American tribes who Laman and Lemuel aligned with.
Nephi was told by God (2 Nephi 5:5) to go north, not because there was a sea south of the Land of Inheritance, but because He wanted them to merge with the Mulekites and then to inhabit Jaredite lands.
Ripliancum is the Sea North. The final Jaredite battle originated at the West Sea and they fought easterly AWAY from it. Then, they went north to Ripliancum, and from there they fled “southward (Ether 15:10).” Ripliancum is on the north, not west.
Regarding Salt Seas
The Rosenvalls prefer a modern dictionary to define the word “sea” instead of the scriptures:
But what is meant by the term “sea” when describing a body of water? The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a sea as “the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface and surrounds its land masses.” The term “sea” is sometimes incorrectly used to describe a fresh water lake, for example, the Sea of Galillee, which today is more accurately called Lake Kinneret.
That is not correct. The Biblical use of the word “sea” in reference to an inland fresh water lake is indeed “sea:”
OT – “Even unto the edge of the sea of Chinnereth (Galilee) on the other side Jordan eastward. (Joshua 13:27)
NT – “Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.” (John 6:1; see Mark 1:16; Mark 7:31; Matthew 4:15,18; Matthew 15:29)
To buoy their approach, they try and claim that “many waters” means “salt water:”
“Obviously, the Book of Mormon people would have readily understood that the expansive sea they “beheld” from their camp along the Arabian sea coast, and called “Irreantum” or “many waters,” was salt water and not fresh water. Thus Nephi’s record appears to define “many waters” as a large body of sea water.”
Rosenvall(s), like many geography enthusiasts, confuse the expression of “many waters” for the name of a substance (salt water), or the identification of a certain body of water (near the Land Northward and Cumorah), while ignoring its use to describe something volumnous:
And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters. (Ether 6:7)
Clearly “the deep” identifies the salt water ocean; and “many waters” was (as Nephi stated) merely an expression of volume. If the Rosenvalls wish to maintain their interpretation, they must apply it to the prophecies as well:
10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.
12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.
13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.
29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them. (1 Nephi 13)
Obviously 1 Nephi 13 is about America, the Puritans, the Pilgrims, the Colonists, the Colonial War, Great Britain, France, Spain, the American Indians, etc. and the Atlantic Ocean – not the Pacific!
The salt water oceans on the other hand are described as “the great deep:”
…he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. (2 Nephi 4:20)
…bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; (Ether 7:27)
…our fathers brought across the great deep? (Ether 8:9)
This title however is never used to describe any bodies of water surrounding Book of Mormon lands. The “great deep” did not border Book of Mormon lands. Baja cannot be Book of Mormon lands.
The Rosenvalls spend an inordinate amount of time drawing connections between the climate of Israel and that of Baja. They fail to understand matching the climate of Israel has little relevance to identifying promises of the Book of Mormon, already fulfilled. For example, Nephi said they were led to a “better land.” The Rosenvalls fail to show how Baja is “better than” Israel. (2 Nephi 10:20)
Notable deficiencies: Why they consider this dry, rocky, desert area worthy to be called: “choice above all others”? Or where the “many rivers are?” Or how they “sent forth by way of shipping” for timber? Early in their modeling we encouraged them to abandon the Baja model due to its Land Northward and Spiritual Geography deficienceis, but so far they haven’t heeded the warning.
Few points of geography can be twisted or ignored, but a sea south and north of the “land choice above all others” are not one of them. Baja will never work, but it’s a fun place to visit.
Alan Miner – Ancient America Foundation – “Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica” (Slideshow)
Miner, like most models infected with the H38 Virus is missing the Sea South directly to the east of the Narrow Neck and a Sea North of the Land Northward.
Larry Poulsen, another retiree with time to spare, prides himself in attending forums and posturing ideas unsupported by scripture. Here the virus has removed the Sea South from the Land Northward, and has placed it south of the Land Southward. Unfortunately the Land Southward did not have a Sea South. Likewise, his River Sidon does not flow into the sea.
Poulsen, and his cohorts, vested in the Mesoamerican delusion are incapable of accepting the impossibility of finding a Land Northward in Mesoamerica surrounded by FOUR SEAS. Instead of humbling himself before God, he continues to establish his ideas, blatantly counter to the prophecies and promises, i.e. the New Jerusalem of the government of the United States, and the geography upon which the Book of Mormon came forth.
Pity the souls who stretch forth their hands to “fight against Zion” and are incapable of learning sound doctrine.
How skewed? No Sea South, south of the Land Desolation, and no Narrow Neck going north. Embarrassing.
Here the virus has removed the four seas from the Land Northward, and has placed them around the Land Southward. Unfortunately the Land Southward did not have a Sea South.
Mormon’s Clues, A New Look At Book of Mormon Geography, 2006 (Internet edition 2001), James Warr
Aside from lacking four bodies of water, Warr exemplifies how blinded one can become when fixated upon a physical model before extracting the internal. Here are several contradictions:
The key to Book of Mormon geography is the narrow neck of land. It is the most important clue that the prophet Mormon left us. (p. 11)
It should be a unique feature which ought to be easily identified, and around which we could assemble the remainder of the geography. Most researchers consider it to be an isthmus that connected the land southward and the land northward. If this geographic feature could be positively identified, it would solve the riddle of Book of Mormon lands, and all else would naturally fall into place. (p. 11)
How did this feature appear to the Nephites? First of all, it’s narrowness would have been observable from the ground. Remember, the Nephites didn’t have access to modern maps or aerial views of landscape, so they described what they could actually see. (p. 11)
Notice how in one breath Warr acknowledges the narrowness from eye level and in the next contradicts:
It could be traversed in 1 to 1.5 days. This would make it approximately 15-40 miles wide (See discussion on distances in chapter 9; see also Alma 22:32; Helaman 4:7). (p. 12)
At one time in Jaredite history, the narrow neck was blocked by a plague of poisonous serpents so that neither man nor beast could pass (see Ether 9:31-34). (This could only occur in a warm climate, with a water barrier on both sides of the narrow neck.) (p. 12)
From eye level, how is even a street block considered narrow, let alone 15-40 miles? Does he honestly believe snakes blocked a 15-40 mile stretch of land? Why a warm climate? As we document on the Land Northward page, Lockport, New York was notorious for rattlesnake infestations. A unique specie that adapted to the snow, perhaps evidence of a once warmer climate.
It should have a separate feature called the “narrow pass.” This “narrow pass” is described as leading from the west sea to the east sea and from thence into the land northward (Alma 50:34; 52:9). (p. 12)
As will be seen from the scriptures he cites, they don’t describe a west-to-east direction, let alone a 90 degree turn north:
And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation and there they did head them by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward yea by the sea on the west and on the east. (Alma 50:34)
And he also sent orders unto him that he should fortify the land Bountiful and secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side. (Alma 52:9)
Usually it is the uninspired punctuation or incorrect physical geography that causes one to misinterpret verses. In either case, those two verses hardly support what Warr claimed.
The city of Bountiful was some distance south and eastward from the narrow neck – probably at least a day’s journey (see Alma 50:32-34). (p. 12)
Again, the verses do not support what he claims:
32 Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton and unite with his people, and thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty.
33 Therefore Moroni sent an army, with their camp, to head the people of Morianton, to stop their flight into the land northward.
34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east. (Alma 50)
John Sorenson – “Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book” (See a video further down the page.)
I admit that my own model was tainted by preconceptions. (John Sorenson, The Geography of Book of Mormon Events, pp. 209-210)
The following example proves Sorenson did not overcome his confessed preconceptions:
An isthmus, “the place where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10:20), connected the two major blocks of land. Alma 22:32 pictures “the land northward and the land southward” joined by “a small neck of land between.” In Alma 63:5 and elsewhere it is labeled the “narrow neck.” This isthmus had sea to the west and to the east (see Alma 50:34; 63:5; Helaman 4:7). These seas had to be the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, respectively, because Lehi arrived from the Old World across the west sea (see Alma 22:28), and the party that brought Mulek from the land of Judah came “across the great waters” (Omni 1:16) to the “borders by the east sea.” The city of Mulek was located in that area and was presumably near the location where they first settled (see Alma 51:26).2 [Source: Mormon’s Map/Overall Configuration]
The presumptions exhibited were:
- The seas had to be the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
- Lehi arrived from the Old World across the west sea.
- The party that brought Mulek from the land of Judah came “across the great waters” (Omni 1:16) to the “borders by the east sea.”
Anyone who reads the passsages knows that such conclusions are not justified. Yet there they are, unquestioned by hundreds for decades, thanks to Johnn Sorenson.
We detail on our Great Deep page the name of the ocean each group crossed (including the Jaredites), and never is the term “West Sea” or “East Sea” used.
The fact the ocean they all crossed is not mentioned after they arrived, is proof it did not border their lands.
How wide was this narrow neck? One historical anecdote makes clear that it was wide enough that a party passing through it could not detect seas on either side. Limhi’s explorers traveled northward from the land of Nephi trying to locate Zarahemla but wandered on through the narrow neck. When they returned home they thought they had been in the land southward the whole time.
The “lack of evidence is not evidence.”
Being unfamiliar with the Land Northward and the Narrow Neck, seeing it meant nothing to them, they did not mention it. Only after arriving in Zarahemla would it be explained, after the records were translated.
…it was well-known among his people that it was “the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite” across the isthmus (Alma 22:32).
Again, that’s not what the text says. The land’s Bountiful and Desolation were, not the Narrow Neck. Thanks to John Sorenson, hundreds have been misled on this for decades. Details on Narrow Passage
And so it goes all throughout his work, interjecting his bias, as he admitted above, whether misinterpreting a cold and flu season for malaria, or a single reference to heat as the tropics.
All in all, he ignores the reason anyone should be seriously studying the geography – the land promises:
One of Sorenson’s few references to the “promised land” occurs in his comment on Ether 6:12 in A Source Book, 307… (Earl M. Wunderli, “Critique of a Limited Geography for Book of Mormon Events,” Dialogue, vol. 35, no. 3, FAll 2002 p. 182, fn. 47)
Without rehearsing the twists and turns of my thinking and accommodation to the scientific facts, I simply say that the Book of Mormon is an ancient Mesoamerican record, derived ultimately from a codex or native book written in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Over 400 elements of the book’s text are written in a manner and display content that cannot be accounted for except by supposing its Mesoamerican origin. Of all the theories of origin for the Book, the only acceptable explanation for how it came to be published in English in 1830 is that offered by Joseph Smith. No nineteenth-century person (nor any twentieth-century individual) could have known enough about ancient Mesoamerican civilization to account for the depth and breadth of the “Mesoamericanisms” the scripture contains. Reference
“I’m doing my last book,” Sorenson said. “At age 85 it ought to be my last.” The book is “Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book.” Sorenson said the book will cover “at least 420 points at which the Book of Mormon has Mesoamerican material in it, material that could not possibly have been included by anyone except an ancient Mesoamerican writer of the fourth century A.D.” He said there was no publisher for the book yet, but hoped to find one soon.
***No publisher for the capstone of his life’s work containing “420” evidences of the Book of Mormon?? ****
“Finally there will be an answer to those who say, ‘There’s no archeological evidence of the Book of Mormon.’ There will be hundreds of pages of it in spades.” “It is what it is,” Sorenson said. “It is exactly what it said it is.” Reference
Patrick L. Simiskey – The Zarahemla Puzzle – January 2004
After Simiskey performed a computer search for the word “seas” he then lists what he found:
There are four named seas in the Book of Mormon:
2. West Sea
3. East Sea
The virus eradicated the Sea North and Sea South from Simiskey’s summation.
Oh what a tangled web we weave
Rodney Meldrum – DVD Presentation
The H38 Virus shuffled his four seas so they are in conflict with one another.
Wayne May – This Land Reviewed
V. Garth Norman, Archaeologist *THE DEFINITIVE MESOAMERICAN BOOK OF MORMON LANDS MAP* *40 years in the making* *Book of Mormon–Mesoamerican Historic Geography* An Introduction to Book of Mormon History. Ancient American Foundation (AAF)
John Lund – Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon, Is This the Place? (book)
Stephen Carr – BMAF – Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum
LDS Organized Products – Scripture Creations, Book of Mormon Geography Map (map)
Claims to be the “best selling Book of Mormon Geography Map in the Church” with 17,300 copies sold. Also, “is not meant to match any current geographic location. It is designed to be consistent according to the scriptures.” Fascinating how similar it is to other models that ignore Helaman 3:8! Proof, the H38 Virus can infect wall maps.
“While doing the research for this Book of Mormon Geography Map I found that most maps were made with a limited set of scriputres.” Really? “Kettle said to the pot…” “Coincidentally” it matches Sorenson’s model. Interesting, evidence that the H38 Virus is a book born virus transferable by books!
Dr. F. Richard Hauck – “Deciphering the geography of the Book of Mormon : settlements and routes in ancient America” (Deseret Book, 1988) – Archaeological Research Institute
Hauck, like most (if not all) academicians invested in Mesoamerica, would die before admitting their life’s work had zero relevance to the geography of the Book of Mormon. Like we mentioned with other ancient societies and their ruins, they are fascinating, but they are not Jaredite, Mulekite, or Nephite.
Due to his efforts to prepare a new volume to correct the errors of his first, we will watch each segment as he posts them on the Meridian Magazine web site. As far as we know, he is the first to claim that part of the Spiritual Geography was fulfilled in Guatemala. He is certain, absolutely certain that his view is right:
“The only possible location where events of the Book of Mormon occurred was within Central America, specifically the region of eastern ancient Mesoamerica, which comprises Guatemala, southeastern Mexico, and Belize. This is because it is the only locality in the world that meets the geographic and cultural criteria as specifically stated in the Book of Mormon. I can state this without equivocation because of years of analytical experience and field testing in Guatemala and Mexico.”
That is nonsense. What he meant to say, was, “According to my Book of Mormon cultural interpretations, and geographical extrapolations, I have a match.” No one doubts that he successfully reverse engineered his model. What is debatable however, are his extrapolations.
“In addition to the consistency of the text and of the setting, there is a second compelling witness that this area of Mesoamerica was the homeland of the Jaredite, Nephite, and Lamanite people: it is the central location where the restoration of the Lord’s covenant promises are being reestablished among the remnant of His ancient peoples of the Book of Mormon.”
What an odd thing to say. The first Guatemalan conversion occurred in 1948, yet the Book of Mormon came forth in 1828! What was the Book of Mormon doing for its first 120 years if not fulfilling prophecy?
“Nephi spoke of this restoration of covenant blessings in 1 Nephi 22:5-12 wherein—citing the prophecies of Isaiah—he prophesies that his descendants and the descendants of the Lamanites would lose their knowledge of the Gospel and become scattered and later gathered together by the Gentiles. He states in verses 8 and 12 the following:
And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed…. Wherefore he will bring them out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
Can a similar experience be identified among native indigenous peoples in the variety of alternative North American locations for the setting of the Book of Mormon?”
What part of that prophecy was fulfilled in Guatemala? Did religious refugees flee their mother countries and go to Guatemala? Were those refugees white, and did they come by the “multitudes?” Do they own said Book of Mormon lands in Guatemala? Is the largest demographic on those lands white? Are those white Gentiles who are inhabiting Book of Mormon lands greater than all other nations? Are they free of oppression? Did those white Gentiles scatter, but also gather the indigenous peoples of those lands? Together, did they found a new government that respects religious freedom and Jesus as their head?
The truth is, Guatemala is the antithesis of Book of Mormon prophecy:
- 16% white
- 50%-60% Catholic
- 40% Protestant
- Lowest literacy rate of all Central American nations
- Between 500,000 and 1.5 million Guatemaleans fled their lands to go to America
- Its largest source of income are funds sent back from America by immigrants there
- There is not a single natural harbor on its western border (where Lehi and Hagoth docked)
- 56% of its population are living under the poverty line
- A “Pariah State” due to its “legacy of societal violence, and dysfunctional law enforcement and judicial systems”
- According to the State Department, Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America
- “Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for Guatemalans and Central Americans trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor“
- 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)
- 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.
- 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. We suggest Hauck abandon any idea of confirming Book of Mormon events in Guatemala, focus entirely on Mesoamerica or archaeology.
Until modelers respect the Internal Geography – all of it, they only muddy the waters for first time investigators to this holy book. As one person put it, to claim those short South American Indians are kin in any way, shape or form to the mighty men of the Book of Mormon is preposterous. The Iroquois (who were the current inhabitants of Book of Mormon lands when it came forth) and bone discoveries in Western New York are.
For a full review go here: Joseph Lovell Allen
On the Trail of the Plates of Mormon by uft36.
In conversations, uft36 has said he does not believe that a group of people would stay in one area for hundreds of years as the Jaredites, Mulekites and Nephites did. He argued, they must have been separated by hundreds of miles or else they would have “run into each other.”
- People move to look for food or water, they had plenty of both.
- People move for safety reasons. Take the example of Alma and “the people of the Lord” (Mosiah 18:34-35) who fled from the armies of King Noah. They traveled a mere eight days and there built a city. (Mosiah 23:3,20)
- They were surrounded by thick wildernesses.
- They were surrounded by deadly animals.
- They were surrounded by Lamanites and later Gaddianton Robbers.
- God appointed the time they would “run into” each other.
- The Pilgrims (as an example) did not go anywhere for a hundred years.
Perhaps the greatest evidence that people do stay put, for hundreds of years is the fact that Native American Indians were diversified in languages so much that one tribe could not understand another less than 20 miles away:
It is worthy of remark that so great a diversity of language exists among the numerous tribes. They vary frequently not over 5 or 6 miles; (The Dutch mile is equivalent to 3 and a fraction English miles.) forthwith comes another language; they meet and can hardly understand one another. There are some who come 60 miles from the interior and can not well understand those on the river. (William A. Ritchie, Pre-Iroquoian Occupations of New York, Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences, Rochester, NY, 1944, p. 20)
If their needs were being met:
If his habitation had been at all fixed previously, it was due to favorable shelter or protection or a perennial food supply as fish, game, etc. Now there was a further incentive to live in or near one locality. He must remain to gather the fruits of his labor. (Lyman Carrier, The Beginnings of Agriculture in America, 1923, p. 7)
The believers in the Book of Mormon were sustained through agriculture, which was reason enough to stay locally, and reap the bounty of their crops (2 Nephi 5:11; Enos 1:21; Mosiah 9:9, 10:4).
Just Marlene Newell – Joseph Smith Model – Web site
“I became intensely interested in this subject while living in Provo, UT, and attending BYU. After reading several theories, I decided that I would find out for myself if the Book of Mormon provided enough information to precisely locate its key cities. This is the result of that effort.”
The H38 Virus has removed any mention of the Jaredite Land Northward on the site:
- The Joseph Smith Model
- Macro Mapping
- ZARAHEMLA’s borders and the River Sidon
- Bountiful and Manti
- Zarahemla and Gideon
- Minon, the hill Amnihah and the Wilderness Hermounts
- Melek, Ammonihah, and Noah
- Jershon and Antionum
- the Hill Riplah
- The wilderness near Ammonihah
- Moroni, Nephihah, and Aaron
- Lehi and Morianton
- Omner, Gid, and Mulek
- Cities in Jershon
- 2-Front Lamanite Invasion
- Capital Parts of ZARAHEMLA
- NEPHI’s Northern Border
- Zeniff’s Colony
- Alma’s Colony
- The Expedition to find ZARAHEMLA
- The Sons of Mosiah
- Lamanites become a cohesive society
- Nephite colonization of the land northward
The virus was so thorough, if one does a search for “Helaman 3:8,” it’s no where to be found.
“In summary, these 21 articles provide the following six key identifications:”
- “the hill Cumorah in New York state is where the Nephites and Jaredites fought their last battles and where Mormon buried the plates “
- “the Jaredites occupied most if not all of present day United States and Mexico”
- “Lehi landed just south of the Isthmus of Darien”
- “the Land of Zarahemla was located in the former Kingdom of Guatemala”
- “the Maya Ruins in Stephens’ Incidents of Travel are primary candidates for cities named in the Book of Mormon”
- “the Nephites spread throughout the United States”
The H38 Virus removed the Seas South and North. Though this model may be congruent with statements made (or approved) by Joseph Smith, it bears little resemblance to the geography of the Book of Mormon.
Norman David Brockenshire, Lost Mounds of Western New York, 2006 (Reviewed)
Choice Above All Other Lands: Book of Mormon Covenant Lands According to the Best Sources by W. Vincent Coon
Touted as being:
- “The Genuine Setting for the Book of Mormon”
- “Book of Mormon Covenant Lands”
- “About So Much More Than Geography”
- “A must read for those seeking solid answers”
- “Choice above all other lands”
- “According to the BEST SOURCES”
The H38 has wrecked havoc in this model. The very land that “covenants” made “choice above all others” IS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES:
“Conclusion 8, the Surrounding Seas of the Land Northward: Crossing beyond the Niagara River and traveling westward through the 20 mile wide isthmus between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, one arrives in a land where Lake Erie (the Nephite west sea) is on the south, Georgian Bay is to north, Lake Huron is on the west and Lake Ontario is east. Within and to the north of this region are ‘large bodies of water and many rivers’ (Helaman 3:4)” [Source]
The belief that the Niagara Gorge was being crossed as if it were a stream and that the Sea West doubles as a Sea South and Sea East is preposterous. When will modelers view their ideas from the ground level and stop hypothesizing from satellite images? According to Coon, Olive, Aston, and Curtis, the Nephites could have retreated westward across Ontario into Michigan or further; or north into the seemingly limitless reaches of Canada and escaped their enemy. The only escape route was “southward.” (Mormon 6:15)
To prove once and for all the area immediately north of the Narrow Passage was all of the Land Northward they had we see that they maintained ONE LINE OF DEFENSE NOT FAR FROM THE NARROW PASSAGE:
And it came to pass that they came against us again and we did maintain the city and there were also OTHER CITIES WHICH WERE MAINTAINED BY THE NEPHITES WHICH STRONG HOLDS DID CUT THEM OFF THAT THEY COULD NOT GET INTO THE COUNTRY WHICH LAY BEFORE US to destroy the inhabitants of our land. (Mormon 5:4)
This line of forts has been identified: Map
The Hill Shim was near this last line of fortification that protected the rest of the Land Northward:
And now I, Mormon, seeing that the Lamanites were ABOUT TO OVERTHROW THE LAND therefore I did go to the HILL SHIM and did take up all the records which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord. (Mormon 4:23)
Where was the Hill Shim? It was not far from the City Desolation:
19 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come down against the city Desolation; and there was an exceedingly sore battle fought in the land Desolation, in the which they did beat the Nephites.
20 And they fled again from before them, and they came to the city Boaz; and there they did stand against the Lamanites with exceeding boldness, insomuch that the Lamanites did not beat them until they had come again the second time.
21 And when they had come the second time, the Nephites were driven and slaughtered with an exceedingly great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed unto idols.
22 And it came to pass that the Nephites did again flee from before them, taking all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages.
23 And now I, Mormon, seeing that the Lamanites were ABOUT TO OVERTHROW THE LAND therefore I did go to the HILL SHIM and did take up all the records which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord. (Mormon 4)
Where was the City Desolation? It was by the Narrow Pass:
5 And it came to pass that I did cause my people that they should gather themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, BY THE NARROW PASS which led into the land southward.
6 And there we did place our armies, that we might stop the armies of the Lamanites, that they might not get possession of any of our lands; therefore we did fortify against them with all our force.
7 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and first year the Lamanites did come down to the city of Desolation to battle against us; and it came to pass that in that year we did beat them, insomuch that they did return to their own lands again. (Mormon 3)
The Hill of Shim was east of the Narrow Pass:
And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land wherefore Omer departed out of the land with his family and traveled many days and CAME OVER and passed by the HILL OF SHIM and came over by the place WHERE THE NEPHITES WERE DESTROYED and from thence EASTWARD (Ether 9:3)
From which direction did Omer come? From the west and north where the Jaredites first landed, near the Land of Moron:
Now the land of Moron where the king dwelt was near the land which is called Desolation by the Nephites. (Ether 7:6)
And he gave battle unto Shule the king in which he did obtain the land of their first inheritance; (Ether 7:16)
Omer departed out of the land [of Moron] with his family and traveled many days and CAME OVER and passed by the HILL OF SHIM and came over by the place WHERE THE NEPHITES WERE DESTROYED and from thence EASTWARD (Ether 9:3)
Which is why the final battle occurred in Cumorah on the east. If the alleged “further” lands northward “of the Land Northward” went into Canada, and if they somehow could cross the large Niagara Gorge, surely the Nephites would have retreated that direction not east which was bordered by the large Genesee Gorge, the Grand Canyon of the East.
This proposition lacks merit, whether from the Internal, Physical or Spiritual point of view.
Coon, like Olive, needs to produce an Internal Map.
Q. Did sacred events of the restoration not take place on land that was inhabited by peoples of the Book of Mormon?
A. “Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony Pennsylvania…“
This is part of his “Genuine Setting:”
Coon assures readers: “God is not the author of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33), and that his model makes sense because of these dots:
Peter, James and John…Susquehanna river (D&C 128:20, see Finger Lakes and Hill Cumorah Church history maps 1, 2, and 3 current edition of the LDS scritpures).
With the Finger Lakes region of Western New York in mind, consider the following verse:
“And it came to pass that we did march forth to the land of Cumorah, and we did pitch our tents around about the Hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers and fountains; and here we had hoped to gain an advantage over the Lamanites. (Mormon 6:4)
D&C 57:1-2 …the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. Wherefore this is the land of promise and the place for the city of Zion.
The following critique is from his web page: http://www.bookofmormonpromisedland.com/American%20Land%20of%20Israel.htm
Having a Narrow Passage on the east side is unworkable for a number of reasons: First, the City of Bountiful was on the west side by the Narrow Passage; Second, Hagoth sailed north not west; Third, there was a “sea that divides the land” east of it; Fourth, there must be a 1.5 day stretch of land to the east of it; Fifth, the Sea West was west of the Narrow Passage, which sea was likewise west of the land just south of it: the Land Southward, and west of the land just north of it: the Jaredite Land Northward.
Vincent Coon, Phyllis Olive, Duane Aston and Delbert Curtis have failed to respect the Narrow Passage/West Sea dynamic.
1. Because the Jaredite Land Northward declined toward the north, the Sea West and Sea East flowed into the Sea North.
2. There is not another set of seas in Canada. The Limhi Expedition did not cross a body of water to discover the abandoned Jaredite Land Northward.
3. Nor did Mulek sail through multiple great lakes landing “so far northward” only to walk back through Canada, build a second boat to cross the Niagara Gorge, then land on the other side and proceed to walk “up into the south wilderness” through the Narrow Passage when they could have sailed past it like Hagoth did:
30 And it bordered upon the land which they called DESOLATION it being SO FAR NORTHWARD that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed of whose bones we have spoken which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla IT BEING THE PLACE OF THEIR FIRST LANDING.
31 And THEY CAME FROM THERE UP INTO THE SOUTH WILDERNESS. (Alma 22)
4. Lastly, the prophecy of a New Jerusalem being built on Jaredite lands will not occur in a land ruled by a Queen(Canada), which prophecy was fulfilled with the United States. (See New Jerusalem)
Coon published a 284 page book in 2008 entitled “Choice Above All Other Lands.” The contents are as follows:
- About the Author
- Chapter 1 – Comparing the Book of Mormon with Veytia’s History of Ancient Mesoamerica
- Chpater 2 – Statements by the Prophet, Recorded by Others
- Chapter 3 – Unsigned Artices and a Popular Book
- Chapter 4 – Joseph Smith’s American Israelite Setting
- Chapter 5 – Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Leaf Ericsson, St. Brendon!
- Chapter 6 – Helmets or Head-plates?
- Chapter 7 – ARISE, Shine!
- Appendix: Book of Mormon Lands and the Times and Seasons, An Instance of Mormon Apocrypha, Relative Directions in Scriptural Lands
It goes without saying, an Index would have been nice to have, which is another feat entirely. Perhaps Coon will in another edition. Coon has a unique background with a master’s degree in physics, and Hebrew as his foreign language. He lived in Israel, and frequently references Israel and Hebrew throughout the book.
Coon claims a better knowledge of Joseph’s statements which he feels places his model above others based on Joseph Smith. Can there be so much variance based on what Joseph said?
The “purpose” Coon says is “not to pinpoint the location of Zarahemla, or any other Book of Mormon city” but rather to demonstrate “that the scriptures, together with verifiable statements from the Prophet Joseph Smith, are enough to bring the general location of Lehi’s covenant land into better focus.” (xi, emphasis added)
Here, as with the title, we take an interest. The subtitle of our site says: “Respecting the Boundaries of the Promised Land.” To date, we are the ONLY ones doing that, i.e. the United States. Many models begin, end, or extend outside of the boundaries of the U.S. It is ironic, because they are all claiming that America is fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy. If the land is the anchor, the boundaries are important.
The cover of the book has a picture of all things – Canada (Ontario), whose head is a queen – contrary to Book of Mormon prophecy. This error was previously overlooked by Vernal Holly (1983), Duane R. Aston (1998), Delbert W. Curtis (1998), Phyllis Carol Olive (2000), Wayne May (2002), Rodney Meldrum & Bruce R. Porter (2009).
Of those, Coon only cites Phyllis Carol Olive and Wayne May in his Bibliography. Coon used May’s books primarily to show pictures of fascinating artifacts, which, unfortunately, were discovered beyond the bounds of his model.
To make Canada work, several facts were not shown, the greatest of which was the promise there would be no kings/queens on the land (which Coon admitted on page 2, even listing the dictator’s of Mexico). Coon and Olive claim the Narrow Neck is the Batavia Moraine, thus, the Jaredite Land Northward begins south of Lake Ontario, but somehow skips the gigantic Niagara Gorge and crosses into Ontario. It’s weird, there’s no mention of how the ancients crossed this gorge, or how that land was “choice above all others.”
My guess is Coon never walked or traveled the areas he prescribes, and doesn’t know how farfetched it is to believe the gorge was not THE land barrier, which no one crossed but Hagoth.
To make this model work, certain verses had to be twisted:
Sister Olive points out, that there are formidable boundaries to the Book of Mormon “land northward” consisting of a “sea north” (Helamn 3:8, Georgian Bay), “large bodies of water” (Alma 50:29, Lake Simcoe etc.) and “the waters of Ripliancum” (Ether 15:8, 10-11, ancient Lake Iroquois/Ontario and the St. Lawrence). (p. 31)
By isolating expressions like “the furthermost parts of the land northward” and the “northernmost part of the land” Olive and Coon interpret those to mean the “Jaredite Land Northward” when in truth, it is referring to the northern parts of the Nephite Land Southward. This is the background for the verse:
21 …we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.
23 And the land which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation. (3 Nephi 3)
Note, Zarahemla was the “center” of the land – of the Land Southward. The expression “furthermost parts of the land northward” meant from where they were in the Land Southward:
21 And the Nephites were continually marching out by day and by night, and falling upon their armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by tens of thousands.
22 And thus it became the desire of the people of Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design, because of the great destruction which came upon them by night and by day.
23 And it came to pass that Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that they should withdraw themselves from the siege, and march into the furthermost parts of the land northward. (3 Nephi 4)
One must differentiate between the “Jaredite” Land Northward from the Nephite “land northward” (lower case) (Alma 22:29). The verse is referring to the furthermost parts of the Nephite land northward. Same is true for the “northernmost part of the land.” (3 Nephi 7:12)
The twisting of verse is apparent. Nowhere does it say after passing through the Narrow Neck that they had to cross a giant gorge, river, or sea to get into what they call the “further reaches of the land,” into Canada, which isn’t north – it’s west.
Coon touches on most criticisms against a Western New York setting including cold, barley, honey bees, silk, etc., and for those he should be thanked. Below are other deficiencies:
- Denies Missouri is Book of Mormon land, yet believes the New Jerusalem will be built there contrary to prophecy. (p. 131)
- Where the Mulekites landed and how they traveled to Zarahemla.
- Interprets the phrase “many waters” as a single location.
- Has the Narrow Neck on the wrong side – along the East Sea. (p. 29)
- Believes Book of Mormon people went to Guatamala. (p. 157)
- Moroni escaped into the country southward. (p. 158)
From his web site we find further attempts to defend Canada as Book of Mormon land:
Just as the expression “sea east” does not name a body of water, the relative expressions “land northward” and “land southward” do not name Book of Mormon lands. (Source)
It’s better to grasp the different references than to overshadow one with another. For example, shining the light so brightly on the land directional references at the exclusion of the land name references is shallow and untruthful. All references to lands north and south of the Narrow Passage are clearly referring to land names not directions, particularly when the Jaredite Land Northward is identified as being SURROUNDED BY FOUR SEAS AND THE LAND SOUTHWARD SURROUNDED BY THREE.
Coon persists to acknowledge the land prophecy that Book of Mormon lands would never have a king or queen, yet his book cover and web site still emphasize Canada. He is speaking out of both sides of his mouth just like Olive, Aston, and Curtis:
“No kings over the Gentiles would stand upon this land, distinguishing it from other countries, even in the Americas.”
“Seas are mentioned (not by name) in each of the cardinal directions bordering this land northward. (Helaman 3:8) The “land northward” or “north countries” comprise more than one country. Scripture does not indicate that all the “land northward” resides within the borders of the United States.”
“Omer…Cumorah…Ripliancum…Scripture indicates that the American territory of the Jaredites (near Lake Ontario) was sufficiently localized that the scent of the dead permeated ‘all the face of the land’.”
“Cumorah was so near to the land of Zarahemla, that travelers from the land of Nephi (south of Zarahemla) mistook the land of the Jaredites destruction for Zarahemla.” (Ibid)
Coon’s #9 Errors
9. A fortified line near the southern borders of the land of Bountiful, running from the west sea to the east, could be crossed by a Nephite in a single day. (Helaman 4:7) Apparently water was a natural barrier on the west and on the east of the land of Bountiful. (Alma 51:26-29, 32). The river Sidon, turning from its northward course toward an inland sea, could have formed part of the boundary between the lands of Zarahemla and Bountiful. (Alma 44:22) The river Sidon may be taken into account in the description of the land of Zarahemla being “nearly surrounded by water”. (Alma 22:32)
This is how Alma 44:22 reads:
And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea. (Alma 44:22)
As can be seen, Alma 44:22 has zero relevance to the River Sidon being a land boundary. In fact, both people and armies had little difficulty crossing the river at will, which river flowed down the middle of the land whereas both lands extended from sea to sea:
for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla. (Helaman 1:18)
Where was the City of Zarahemla in conjunction with the River Sidon? Right next to it!
from the church which was in the city of Zarahemla and went over upon the east of the river Sidon into the valley of Gideon (Alma 6:7)
the people of Nephi took their tents, and departed out of the valley of Gideon towards their city, which was the city of Zarahemla.
And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon (Alma 2:26-27)
The land that was “nearly surrounded by water” was BOTH the Land of Nephi AND the Land of Zarahemla:
thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water (Alma 22:32)
As the River Sidon ONLY ran through the Land of Zarahemla Coons’ hypothesis fails.
Coon’s #10 Errors
10. The land and city of Manti and the head of the river Sidon was near an eastern body of water called “the east sea”. (Alma 22:27, 29; 50:8-11; 51:25-26; 59:5-6)
Because Coons is inclined to cite verses having little relevance to his hypothesis we must check his references:
27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.
29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful. (Alma 22)
8 And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.
9 And it came to pass that when Moroni had driven all the Lamanites out of the east wilderness, which was north of the lands of their own possessions, he caused that the inhabitants who were in the land of Zarahemla and in the land round about should go forth into the east wilderness, even to the borders by the seashore, and possess the land.
10 And he also placed armies on the south, in the borders of their possessions, and caused them to erect fortifications that they might secure their armies and their people from the hands of their enemies.
11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by the head of the river Sidon—the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure. (Alma 50)
25 But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in every city to maintain and defend it.
26 And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore. (Alma 51)
5 And it came to pass that while Moroni was thus making preparations to go against the Lamanites to battle, behold, the people of Nephihah, who were gathered together from the city of Moroni and the city of Lehi and the city of Morianton, were attacked by the Lamanites.
6 Yea, even those who had been compelled to flee from the land of Manti, and from the land round about, had come over and joined the Lamanites in this part of the land. (Alma 59)
Of the 584 words cited, 2 refer to Manti, 0 to the City of Manti, 3 to the head of the River Sidon, and 5 to the Sea East.
It is clear the head of the River Sidon is in the Land of Manti, but nowhere does it say that the City of Manti, the Land of Manti, or the head of the River Sidon is in the east. In fact, Alma 50:11 is void of an eastern reference altogether:
from the west sea running by the head of the river Sidon- (Alma 50:11)
And so this pattern of excessive, irrelevant scriptural citations continues all throughout his site. Coons, like Olive and the host of other arm chair Book of Mormon geography hobbyists are yet to: 1. State their motives. 2. Create an Internal Map. 3. State how prophecy was or will be fulfilled IN their models.
Phyllis Carol Olive – Lost Lands of The Book of Mormon (book), Lost Tribes of The Book of Mormon (book), Lost Empires of the Book of Mormon (book, dvd), Christ’s New World Flock (book)
Carol has conflicting maps. This map was taken from her web site and is presumed to be the most current. As can be seen, the virus has jumbled the seas around so there is not a single piece of land surrounded by four bodies of water. To make matters worse, she places most of the Land Northward (Choice above all other lands.) outside of the boundaries of the United States. Those Promised Lands would never have a king or queen, as Canada does.
Here she placed the Sea South south of the Finger Lakes area, which lands were never inhabited during Book of Mormon times. No one lived in Cumorah. (The Lost Lands of The Book of Mormon, p. 208)
Two more contradicting and confusing maps by Phyllis Carol Olive.
No map was present, but the H38 Virus was able to do damage conceptually by replacing the Sea South with the Sea North:
#29. The land where the majority of the Nephites and Lamanites spent most of their time was nearly surrounded by water.
Alma 22 contains what is probably the best description of the geography of the land of the Nephites and Lamanites in the Book of Mormon, however this chapter is complemented by other references that further reinforce and clarify the description given by Mormon. The book of Helaman indicates that there was not only a sea east and a sea west, but there were seas on the north and the south as well.
8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east. (Helaman 3:8)
The sea on the north was described as a divide between the lands. The land above this sea was where the Jaredites lived and called the Land Desolation by the Nephites and Mulekites. The land south was where the Nephites lived until they were driven northward into the Land Desolation.
Pearson failed to adhere to the principles he espoused on his web page and has ignored the text. The Sea North was “NORTH” of the Jaredite Land Northward. Where the virus moved the Sea South to is not mentioned. Pearson at least connected the fact that the Sea that Divides the Land is the same as one of the other seas – the Sea South however.
These are the other errors:
#3. The land of Nephi must be south of Zarahemla and Zarahemla south of Bountiful. There must also be a dividing line of some kind between the lands of Nephi and Zarahemla. (Alma 50:7, Alma 22:29, Alma 22, 27.) 
Wrong, Alma 50:7 makes it clear the Lamanites were driven “south” of the “Land of Zarahemla” into “THEIR OWN LANDS.” The uninspired verse division at verses 7 and 8 throws most modelers off.
#21. The only river mentioned in the Book of Mormon is the Sidon. Analysis of the extensive textual references to it and its relation to the land of Zarahemla shows that the land essentially constituted a major portion of the drainage basin of the river.
Because we are told there were hills on either side of the City of Zarahemla, the conclusion it was a “major drainage basin” is not supported. Obviously there were other rivers/streams on the other side of those hills.
#24. Nothing is said directly in the Book of Mormon about the houses of the Nephites, but a few inferences shed some light. That the city of Zarahemla “did take fire” (3 Nephi 8:8) from lightning (see 3 Nephi 8:7) confirms their perishable nature…  [p. 61]
This is hardly worthy of a concern, but signifies how Pearson fails to adhere to what he believes everyone else should. It does not say that lightning caused the fire, only that Zarahemla did take fire. The “quaking” in verse 6 could have been the cause of the fire as their candles and torches fell over.
Pearson goes on to repeat the mistakes of others as he misinterprets the current United States as the fulfillment of prophecy, rather than colonial America, which excluded Missouri. In other words, Missouri was not Book of Mormon lands and the New Jerusalem Joseph attempted was not the one prophesied of, that would be set up on Book of Mormon lands prior to the Book of Mormon coming forth. (3 Nephi 21:21-26)
Likewise does Pearson confuse the Line Bountiful that was a 1.5 days wide, with a 1 day wide line that was fortified. The key is one was located at the north side of Bountiful and bordered on Desolation and the other was on the south side of Bountiful. (Alma 22:32, 3 Nephi 3:23 ). [http://bookofmormongeography.org/book-of-mormon-geography-line-bountiful]
#32. The Jaredites landed on the shore of the land Desolation which implies that it was accessible, at least at that time, by ocean travel.
30 And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing. (Alma 22:30)
The Land Northward, in its entirety was called “Desolation,” which was surrounded by FOUR seas and was always “accessible.”
#33. Note that Jacob considers their location to be upon an “isle of the sea.” This being the case, any location in the Americas could be considered an “isle of the sea.”
Wrong! Their “isle of the sea” was unique, being surrounded by four seas on the north and three on the south, and their lands were only 1.5 days wide. It is infeasible how someone could willy nilly apply specific Book of Mormon land promises to “any” location in the “Americas,” no doubt his attempt to pander to the Mesotheorists, etc.
#36. Book of Mormon geography may have changed since the times of the Nephites and Jaredites. Theories claiming a limited geography in proximity of the Great Lakes region rely on this consideration. There is good reason to believe that the geography in that region has changed.
This argument should go away and never return. The boundaries, i.e. the seas, DID NOT MOVE, NEITHER DID THE NARROW PASSAGE CHANGE! (Mormon 2:29).
#41. There was considerable discussion among the early Brethren of the Church about the location of Book of Mormon Lands. Joseph F. Smith, John A. Widstow, B. H. Roberts, and others indicated that the location of the Book of Mormon lands as yet had not been made known and therefore no authoritative reference could be traced to revelation.
As we establish under the “Cumorah” menu link, Widstoe, Smith and MANY OTHERS confirmed that the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra is “The” Hill Cumorah. From there, the rest may be traced backwards.
Hamilton did a good job to identify Ripliancum as the Sea North. He also placed it where it should be – north of Cumorah. However, like most, he did not pass the H38 Virus unscathed. The virus diluted the Sea North to the exclusion of all others.
The Book of Mormon tells us it means “large or to exceed all”. This description fits Lake Ontario perfectly. However we also need to consider that they may have been referring to the whole system of the Great Lakes. This body of water would have also been known to the Nephites as the North Sea Helaman 3:8.
Book of Mormon lands were only 1.5 days wide, and “limited” in size, something Mesotheorists understand. Though the Great Lake levels have fluctuated, the archaeological record goes back to Jaredite times in the places that matter – borders, where Lehi landed, the City Bountiful, the Land Northward, etc.
Relief Map – Western New York
It is dishonest to claim this is a “relief map” as if it accurately reflects how the water looked. Like Book of Mormon models, this “relief map” has been altered to favor his/their interpretation. To accurately interpret the flow of water and the lay of the land, one must consult watershed maps. We use official watershed maps, and they do not support this artistic rendering. What’s more important, Hamilton/Olive trace the Narrow Neck to the east side of Book of Mormon lands, when it says it was on the west, with 1.5 days of land to its east, something impossible in their model(s).
Having previously shown that Book of Mormon geography is anchored in western New York and using the information discussed above, makes it possible to identify the bodies of water that were nearly surrounding the land of Nephi and Zarahemla. By shading the Genesee River Gorge and the Lake Carl region in blue the east and south seas become apparent (see figure 2). As we observe Lake Ontario to the north, Lake Erie to the west, the old East Sea to the east and Lake Carl to the South we see a land nearly surrounded by water. According to Alma 22: 32 within this region lie the locations of the land of Nephi and Zarahemla.
The H38 Virus struck a blow and moved the true location of the Sea South to south of the lands Zarahemla and Nephi instead of south of the Jaredite Land Northward. Another modeler has failed the test.
This is not to say that the Nephites and Lamanites did not spread out across the American Continent. Every indicator suggests that they did – but the Book of Mormon contains the history of those who lived in a specific area between the east sea and the west sea that were about 40 miles apart in western New York – see Alma 22:32 below. Additionally all of the history occurs in a localized region in and around Zarahemla.
More confusion and double-speak. On the one hand Hamilton says Book of Mormon lands were small, but on the other he just claimed their people spread “across the American continent.” He goes on to claim the prophecies of the Book of Mormon were fulfilled by the United States, but fails to isolate “when” they were. Colonial America is “when” all land prophecies were fulfilled, which excluded Missouri. On Hamilton’s Bibliographical listing are several titles having to do with the Hopewells. By this we conclude, he wants to respect the text, but is unable to let go of old Hemispheric concepts.
Point in fact, Book of Mormon lands were hidden, isolated, and small.
Duane R. Aston – Return to Cumorah (book), The Other Side of Cumorah (book)
As can be seen, the virus has jumbled the seas around so there is not a single piece of land surrounded by four bodies of water. To make matters worse, he places the entire Land Northward (Choice above all other lands.) outside of the boundaries of the United States.
Delbert W. Curtis, “Christ in North America” 1993 – book.
The H38 Virus has moved the Sea West south of the Sea South and the Sea East north of the Sea West. Other deficiencies include the Niagara River/Gorge for the River Sidon. Obviously Delbert has not seen what he purposes from eye level. You can’t cross the Niagara Gorge like they crossed the River Sidon. It’s head or source was not a sea. Mulek’s landing was in the furthest point north of the Jaredite Land Northward – not Zarahemla.
The Narrow Neck ran north to south, not east and west. The neck was not 1.5 days wide, and it ran along the West Sea which is impossible in this model. Like others, Curtis claims America fulfills Book of Mormon prophecy, yet three-fourths of the Book of Mormon lands in his model are OUTSIDE America:
Lehi and Jared were promised a land of promise, a land choice above all other lands (1 Nephi 2:20, Ether 1:42). That land is the United States of America. (p. 260)
Moroni went to Mesoamerica to get more plates. (p. 251)
The work of these many scholars (John Sorenson, et al.) has not been in vain. The many publications have proven beyond doubt that the people of Central and South America were of the same origin as the people of the Book of Mormon.(p. 263)
There is no doubt in my mind that the locations presented here are the true sites of the land where the Nephites – or the believers in Christ – whose record we have, namely the Book of Momon, lived. (p. 12)
Paul Hedengren “The Land of Lehi” 1995, 2nd ed. 1999 – book or digital download.
The area identified as number 1 is the Land Northward. The H38 virus removed 2-3 of the 4 seas surrounding it.
Other deficiencies include:
- The River Sidon flows the wrong direction.
- The Land Southward is void of a Sea West.
- Book of Mormon lands directly border the Great Deep/Atlantic Ocean
Here, the virus has disguised itself under the quote of Helaman 3:8, but as can be seen, four seas are not present. Olsen has never set foot in the land in his model! This model is located within an Islamic state.
Aric D. Turner
Claims to be “very different” from other models. “The combination of internal model, world location, and travel maps provides a more complete picture of the geography.”
Turner fails to include border waters like the Sea North, Sea South, and Sea that Divides the Land in his Internal Map. Turners’ “world location” fails to not place the water that was crossed (the Atlantic or Pacific) directly next to Book of Mormon lands.
“All significant natural forces exist to describe those mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The data to verify tsunamis and volcanism“
Turner uses the fallacy of “common beliefs” to make a case for tsunamis and volcanoes. Unfortunately, it said the kind of destruction they experienced had “never before been known.”
Turner (like most modelers) ignores the land prophecies. One would think that common sense would dictate after two hundred years of fulfilled land prophecies to use them to cross-check Internal and External maps.
Eugene L. Peay, The Lands of Zarahemla: Volume One, A Book of Mormon Commentary, 1993 and The Lands of Zarahemla: Volume Two, Nephi’s Promised Land in Central America, 1994 (book)
P. Douglas Kiester M.D. “Where Was Mormon” (web site), Panama and Columbia
The virus has prevented a single piece of land from being completely surrounded by FOUR seas.
Besides lacking the four seas surrounding the Land Northward, the following two points are also wrong:
31. The City of Bountiful is on the eastern sea.
32. A narrow passage into the Land of Desolation along the sea just northward of the City of Bountiful (Alma 50:34). (Retrieved 9-12-9)
As stated on our Narrow Passage page, both the City of Bountiful and the Narrow Passage are on the west side.
His model is void of prophecy or land promises:
“The Book of Mormon is scripture. Scripture still trumps science.” -P. Douglas Kiester, M.D., May 2009
Del DowDell – Nephi Code Series Books
The H38 Virus effectively shifted the Sea South to south of the Land of Nephi where no body of water is ever referenced – neither directly or indirectly. Importantly, DowDell refuses to acknowledge that the land in his model is not hidden and his Internal Map fails to show the Great Deep which did not border Book of Mormon lands.
The accuracy of DowDell’s work is reflected by the following example of his powers of deduction:
“Thus, it can be concluded that the east seashore was altered considerably and, evidently, no longer in existence, for it is never mentioned after 34 A.D.” (What Happened to the East Sea, May 16, 2011)
According to his logic, the seas South and North must have also mysteriously disappeared as they are no longer mentioned either. Apparently, the H38 Virus is capable of not only rearranging seas but of earsing them also.
Sadly, his entire model is outside of the fulfilled land prophecy zone, having zero regard for official church history, church canon, and LDS prophets, apostles, and Book of Mormon witnesses who said the Hill Cumorah in Western New York was THE PLACE WHERE THE FINAL BATTLES OCCURRED!
Finally the virus has learned to eradicate models altogether:
The internal map does nothing to establish anything of value, and the hobbyist just ends up where he started. The bottom line is, the “internal map” looks just like what the hobbyist wants it to look like…Archaeologists didn’t find Troy by drawing an imaginary map. (Joshua B. Mariano and Edwin Goble, Resurrecting Cumorah, 2009, p. 13)
The reason to have an internal Book of Mormon geography map is to show that the modeler understands the text, and whether a bias virus like the H38 has infected it.
Ed Goble co-authored the book: This Land, Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation: Only One Cumorah with Wayne May (Colfax, WI: Ancient American Archaeology Foundation, 2002) which model he has since disavowed. Both of Goble’s works suffer from the “Filtered Text Syndrome” which prevents a researcher from accepting the text as it is written. For example, land distances are clear, Book of Mormon lands were only 1.5 days wide; something Goble continues to ignore.
This book (Resurrecting Cumorah) is, in part, Goble’s journey with Book of Mormon geography. He indicates how, at one time, he believed in the Heartland theory, then became skeptical of certain parts of that theory. Now he promotes the Hemispherical theory.
He is passionate about this theory, almost too passionate. At times he seems too emotionally wrapped up in this theory, to the point where it becomes difficult to distinguish between his logic and his feelings. He makes strident claims and statements, some more well-founded than others. I have the feeling that he believes he is David fighting Goliath (Limited Geography theorists). At times he seems to get so worked up in attacking Goliath that he loses some credibility. He may have been more convincing if he had more carefully, objectively, and logically presented the arguments for his theory and let the reader decide.
Instead his vitriolic attacks often detract from the arguments and logic that he is promoting. (Edwin Goble, Resurrecting Cumorah, Reviewed by J. Sherman Feher for the Association of Mormon Letters, 3/28/11)
Journey of Faith: The New World – Aired on TV BYU 2/15/08 and 4/5/9.
“Visiting Mexican and Central American locations in order to uncover the way of life for the Nephites and Lamanites.”
The H38 Virus is even capable of infecting video and TV programs.
Two more video’s have been infected:
They are both called “Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” the one is published by Deseret Book with Mark Mabry, Clyde Bawden, Cameron Trejo, Jason Barney, centered in Honduras, and is called “Reflections with Christ, Another Testament” with the usual incorrect stone structures in the background.
The second one is by Jason Bosarge with the ” Christ in America Foundation” which also uses Mayan temple glyphs and a Mesoamerican model.
What is the H38 Virus looking for?
It is looking for a single body of land surrounded by four bodies of water. It is particularly aggressive against models with a larger northern body of water. Here is an example of what the H38 Virus is seeking to remove from Book of Mormon Geography models:
Sometimes the virus is unable to remove one or more seas, so it jumbles them around instead. Like moving the Sea West to the south (Joseph Allen), or Sea West east of the Sea South (Richard Hauck and V. Garth Norman), or the Sea South east of the Sea East. (Phyllis Carol Olive)
If you see any models that have been hit by the H38 Virus please alert the owners and send them a link to our site for the antidote. Also, send us a link so we can add it to our growing list of infected models. Report An Infection