The Errors of Norman David Brockenshire

Norman David Brockenshire (Lost Mounds of Western New York, 2006) is a convert to the Mormon Church and an admirer of Joe Smith. He is a native of western New York and has had the opportunity to roam the land. For this reason, we deem it appropriate to give Brockenshire his own page.

Error #1 – No Internal Map

This cannot be expressed enough for future modelers – DO NOT reverse engineer your Physical Map. Brockenshire chose the land in his model because he lived there. That was his first bias and is understandable, but lacks note beyond the more than one hundred models already put forth.

Error #2 – No Sea South

Had Brockenshire begun with an Internal Map as recommended by John Sorenson and John Clark his reasons for ignoring the Sea South reference(s) could be narrowed.

Error #3 – Narrow Neck Wrong Side

Again, had Brockenshire first constructed an Internal Map, he may have avoided the age-old mistake of placing the Narrow Neck along the east.

Error #4 – No 1.5 Day Distance East of the Narrow Neck

On the Line Bountiful is a stretch of land 1.5 days wide, or 50 miles, to the east of the Narrow Neck, and between the East and West seas.

Error #5 – No Plains Between the Narrow Neck and the Sea East

The Line Bountiful was the preferred way to cross Book of Mormon lands from east to west because there were flat plains.

Error #6 – Excessive Distances

Brockenshire took a stab in the dark (almost) and guessed 100 miles from Lehi’s Land of First Inheritance to Nephi’s Land of First Inheritance, and another 100 miles to Zarahemla, plus a third 100-mile stretch to the Land of Desolation. (Perhaps he envisioned a fourth 100-mile stretch from the southern border of the Land Desolation to its northern border?)

There is however a land measurement between the Land Bountiful and the Land Manti where the head of the River Sidon was – a day (for heavy-laden, fatigued armies).

Error #7 – Wrong Lamanite Line of Possession

With his exorbitant distances to try and incorporate “Kirtland, Ohio” (location of Lehi’s landing) for church historical purposes (similar to Coons’ attempt to incorporate Harmony, PA), Brockenshire chose the Allegheny Plateau (p. 36) as the strip that separated the Lamanites from the Nephites. This is too far south and his need to incorporate every archaeological site into his Book of Mormon map is a bias.

[Moroni said the Lamanites continued to war among themselves and we know that they were warring before the Nephites even showed up. Remnant fortifications may be of a different time and/or people.]

The Lamanite Line of Possession is known to be near the wilderness at the head of the River Sidon (Manti). The first and very significant east-to-west land barrier south of the head of Buffalo Creek (which Brockenshire concedes is the River Sidon) is, of course, Cattaraugus Creek/Gorge.

It is vital to first identify the River Sidon so Zarahemla and the river’s head can be located. Once those are pinpointed, the precise location of the two seas AND the cities along the Sea East can be identified.

Error #8 – Sea East Cities Too Far South

This error falls on the heels of the previous one. If he will concede that the true location for the Lamanite Line of Possession is Cattaraugus Creek/Gorge and move his Sea East cities north of it, this error as well as the previous will be fixed.

The distance from Zarahemla to the cities along the East Sea is known is less than a day.

Error #9 – Zarahemla Was Not Simply South of Cumorah

It is known that the few Nephites who escaped from the final battle escaped “south.” Since the enemy came from the land that the Nephites gave up (Narrow Neck and Land Southward), there is no way that Zarahemla was simply south. This is an error of the Mesotheorists and should be avoided.

Limhi’s expedition route does not work with a Narrow Neck in the northeast quadrant. The team left the City of Nephi which was along the West Sea and would have crossed through the Land of Zarahemla to get there and have met a Nephite. 

Error #10 – Hagoth Went North

The shipping that occurred in the Jaredite Land Northward was not from the Land Southward. The people of Hagoth were “never heard from again,” so they went beyond the Jaredite Land Northward, possibly to Toronto. Ancient Lake Tonawanda is not deep enough for his “exceedingly large ships” and their course was north not west.

This is why a neck along the East Sea won’t work, or the Sea That Divides the Land to the west of the Narrow Neck.

What is missed, yet makes sense in western New York, is the fact that the width of Book of Mormon lands was 1.5 days wide, and yet Omer traveled “many days” and crossed by “where the Nephites were destroyed.” Brockenshire (like other modelers) must either: a. allow for lands beyond the East Sea and another sea, or b. move their East Sea east of Palmyra.


The above Ten Errors are only the beginning of the errors in Brockenshire’s work. He tries to incorporate many archaeological sites but ignores those detrimental to his model. For example, outside of East Aurora (Zarahemla), the second richest archaeological site is Buffalo (Bountiful).

He ignores it and surrounding sites and has no explanation for why Nephites would have fled east from the Lamanites at the Narrow Neck instead of west since his Narrow Neck is halfway between the Niagara Gorge and the Genesee Gorge. He also lacks an explanation for how Hagoth could have gone north with Niagara Falls or how Lehi reached Kirtland, Ohio.

The Narrow Neck was “small” meaning not long, and “narrow” meaning skinny.

The lay of the land during Book of Mormon time is open to debate. Regardless of the size of Lake Tonawanda, two facts remain: a. Tonawanda Creek was the lowest part of the land, b. Tonawanda Creek/Lake would have prevented access to the Narrow Neck in Brockenshire’s model (see Lake Tonawanda and Not Batavia Moraine)

That’s not to say that subsequent Lamanite occupiers did not build forts on those lands in his model subsequent to the defeat of the Nephites.