The following comes from Rian’s About page:
Rian Nelson has always loved the Book of Mormon and its heroes, and after 40 years of searching for the location where Nephi and Moroni lived, served, and fought for their freedom has finally been realized. They lived right where the Prophet Joseph Smith said they did, in the United States of America.
Rian loves the Lamanites. He served a mission to Fiji and Kiribati, his parents met each other while each serving the Navajos, Apaches, and Hopis in New Mexico and Arizona, and his son served his mission among the Lamanites of Alaska. Discovering about new heroes, Zelph and Onandagus has inspired him. New found secondary evidences (Archaeology and Geology) has added to his previous testimony and inspired him to CREATE ART, MAPS, and handmade relics, to inspire others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
His passion for truth has been ignited by the description of a “mound” from Rod Meldrum, the location of the “narrow neck of land” from Jonathan Neville, the amazing “finds” from Wayne May, and the inspiration of the James Stoddard family. Rian thanks his friends Val Chadwick Bagley, Ken Corbett, and Kendra Burton for creating art, and cartoons of Rian’s favorite heroes, and a special thanks to Steve Blake who taught Rian a new talent; creating “cool relics.”
Rian is an author, editor, and speaker. In April 2019 he and Pam Bolla edited a book titled, “Joseph’s Remnant: Lamanites in today’s America”, by Allen Christensen. Purchase here. Rian also published in Sept 2018 a book titled, Moroni’s America-Land Bountiful Edition. He has written a previous book in it’s 6th printing titled “Moroni’s America-Map Edition“, edited by Jonathan Neville. Also with Val Chadwick Bagley as cartoonist, Rian is also the editor of “It Came to Pass Where? “, and a coloring book series titled “The Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland.” He has also been a major contributor to the newly published 600 page “Annotated Book of Mormon” by David Hocking and Rod Meldrum.
Rian enjoys working with his good friend Rod Meldrum of The FIRM Foundation. Rian is the event coordinator for the Book of Mormon Evidence Conferences which are held twice each year. In April 2019 the event was held at Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah where over 7,000 guests attended and listened to over 91 amazing speakers and 161 different presentations on subjects such as, Book of Mormon, Church History, United States Constitution, Signs of the Times, New Millennial Science, Self-Reliance and other LDS topics of importance.
Rian is married to his eternal companion Stacy, has two married children, Kinley (Tim) and Caden (Shireen), and a two-year-old grandchild named Brooklyn. He currently serves as a Sunbeam Teacher in Bountiful, Utah.
His Maps – Conglomerated and Enhanced
Maps were created by utilizing information from Jonathan Neville, Rod Meldrum and Wayne May. The main pin on the map is the only Hill Cumorah (D&C 128:20), in upstate New York. The next pin on the map is Zarahemla, across the river from Nauvoo. (D&C 125:3) Two other important keys on the map are the letter that Joseph Smith wrote to Emma, Jun 4, 1834 HERE, and the Vision Joseph Smith had of the White Lamanite Zelph, HERE. These keys with added archaeological verification, BofM text, geological surroundings, and common sense, lead us to believe the Book of Mormon events took place in the Heartland of Moroni’s America in the United States of America. (https://web.archive.org/web/20220307000643/https://bookofmormonevidence.org/bookstore/product/150-maps-of-the-book-of-mormon-in-north-america/)
As shown in the above map, Rian Nelson believes Book of Mormon lands cover half the United States flowing into Canada. The reason for this is to account for statements by Joseph Smith that Manti is in Huntsville, Missouri, Zarahemla is direct across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois and Cumorah is in Palmyra, New York. For similar reasons, early modelers sought to include Chile or Panama because of statements attributed to Joseph Smith.1
Remove statements by Joseph Smith (put Christ first); what would Book of Mormon geography look like? It’s possible Rian, May, Meldrum, Neville, etc. would “lose their testimony of the Church if Joseph’s statements were proven wrong.” Could this be why they ignore the plain reading of the text?
As early modelers matured in their understanding of the geography, they conceded it occurred in a relatively small area, and instead of giving up the fantastic ruins in Mesoamerica; they invented a second Cumorah. What accommodation will Heartlanders invent when they come to the same realization?
If their motives are to bring people to Christ as they often proclaimed, why not give priority to what the Book of Mormon says? It appears this is a test to see which modelers will choose Jesus because all they’re doing is adding confusion with these outlandish maps based on Joseph and the Church.
- Seas confusion.
- No Land Northward surrounded by four seas.
- Their Sea South is EAST of their Sea West.
- No Sea West directly west of Zarahemla.
- No Sea East directly east of Zarahemla.
- Reinterpreted river “head” to mean “confluence” contrary to the clear meaning demonstrated in the Tree of Life vision and Bible verses.
- Jaredite lands are entirely ignored.
- Land distance statements ignored: 1.5 days or 50 miles from the Sea West to the Sea East. Less than a day (less than 30 miles) Bountiful to Manti. Less than a day (less than 30 miles) from the City Zarahemla to the Sea East.
- Land prophecies were fulfilled in Colonial America, which excludes Missouri.
- The American New Jerusalem would be in place before the record came forth, which excludes one being built in Missouri.
Our advice to Rod Meldrum is to stick to doing Expos. To Wayne May, continue doing research on Lamanites by birth, i.e., the pre-existing peoples. David R. Hocking, remove outlandish maps from the next edition of the Annotated Book of Mormon and all references to Meldrum, May, and Nelson (no offense). You have a brilliant book they are riding the coattails on, which will limit its reach. And Rian, keep assisting Meldrum with the Expos and make maps for games.