long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Joseph Smith Papers - New 1842 material

Just a head's up for those interested in Church history. The Joseph Smith Papers recently released their collection of 1842 documents, here: http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/the-papers/documents/1842.

Several of these I hadn't seen before, and they are very important for those interested in the Book of Mormon geography question.

For years, Mesoamerican advocates have claimed Joseph Smith i) wrote the anonymous articles in the Times and Seasons that linked the Book of Mormon to Central America and ii) wrote a letter to Dr. John Bernhisel of New York that suggested Joseph read Stephens' books about Central America and approved of those books as evidence of the Book of Mormon.

I think both of those claims are false.

I explained my reasoning and the detailed historical evidence in my books The Lost City of Zarahemla, Brought to Light, and The Editors: Joseph, William, and Don Carlos Smith. For those not familiar with those books, they discuss the detailed historical evidence that supports my assertions that:

1. Everything Joseph Smith taught about Book of Mormon geography related to a North American setting.

2. Joseph never connected Central America to the Book of Mormon.

3. Everything that links the Book of Mormon to Central America cannot be linked directly to Joseph Smith.

These new 1842 documents support the positions I took in those books.

I blogged about the detail here:


and here:


I don't know how many people still believe the Mesoamerican theory that is being promoted by Book of Mormon Central and a handful of scholars. I expect the number to continue to dwindle, for many reasons.

It's fascinating to watch as the Mesoamerican theory just keeps disintegrating before our eyes.


  1. The evidence for a North American setting for the Book of Mormon keeps piling up. Thanks for your untiring effort to "Make Cumorah Great Again."

  2. The 1842 material is awesome. There are things in there that fit right into my book The Editors: Joseph, William and Don Carlos. I held off releasing that book publicly, and I didn't know why until now.

    I don't know of a single rationale for non-New York Cumorah theories that retains any validity in facts or logic. If not for Mesomania, the entire Church would be united on the New York Cumorah. Hopefully that day will come soon.