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.

BMC in Spanish vs English

Book of Mormon Central (BMC) claims to be neutral on geography questions. Obviously, their Mayan logo contradicts neutrality, but that's what they claim nevertheless. 

Book of Mormon Central Policy on Book of Mormon Geography – June 2016

Book of Mormon Central at this time is officially geography neutral. We seek deep understanding of the Book of Mormon text. We hope diligent students work together to achieve working consensus on the geographic correlation issue. 


But on their Spanish page, it's a different story. 

There, they are anything but neutral. They focus specifically on archaeology in Mesoamerica and use an interactive map to indoctrinate Spanish speakers.

This is not a surprise, given their Mayan logo.

No doubt, their donors are proud to promote M2C exclusively. 

To be sure, some of the more prominent donors and supporters have also declared their "neutrality" on the geography issue. But by participating with Book of Mormon Central, they are misleading people just as much as Book of Mormon Central is.


Naturally, they never inform Spanish speakers of the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah. They don't tell their English-speaking readers about those teachings, either, but at least English speakers have access to the Joseph Smith Papers where we can all read the original documents.

Some time ago I discussed this with a former Stake President from Guatemala. He had read the Spanish version of my Letter VII book and said he had never heard of that before. He asked why these things were never translated into Spanish.

He was also upset that the missionaries and Church leaders had never told him about this aspect of Church history. 

BMC continues to mislead and misinform Spanish members of the Church by teaching them the M2C (Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs) model without also informing them of actual Church history and the scenarios that corroborate the teachings of the prophets. As a consequence, Latter-day Saints in Latin America are deprived of the ability to make informed decisions.

I understand the problem. Faithful Latter-day Saints in Latin America have been told for decades that they live in the lands of the Book of Mormon, that they are Lamanites, etc. And that's all fine. People can believe whatever they want.

But it does no one any good to censor the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah. It's condescending to deprive non-English speakers of these teachings just to facilitate M2C. And ultimately it's counterproductive, because sooner or later educated Latter-day Saints everywhere come to find out what the prophets have taught. 

If nothing else, BMC should fully disclose the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah to inoculate their readers, regardless of what language they speak, read, and write.


You can see the BMC Spanish page by going to the BMC English page here:


Then scroll down the menu, as shown here (click to enlarge):

You get to this page, which features ARCHAEOLOGY along with revolving images from Mesoamerica. 


(You can translate the page into English if you don't know Spanish.)

It's pretty amazing that anyone falls for this. They show Chichen Itza, which (like the references in the 1842 Times and Seasons that the M2Cers attribute to Joseph Smith) is post-Book of Mormon era.

Wikipedia: Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic period (c. AD 900–1200). 

The best part is their interactive map. 

The only reference to Cumorah on the entire site is their map of M2C, showing Cumorah in southern Mexico just as RLDS author L.E. Hills speculated back in 1917. 

L.E. Hills map showing Cumorah in southern Mexico

L.E. Hills map showing M2C in southern Mexico

Like our modern M2C scholars, Hills rejected what Joseph and Oliver taught about Cumorah. 

Hills' theory was rejected by the RLDS leadership. It was rejected by Church historian and Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith. But it was eventually accepted by our BYU/CES scholars, and now our scholars are raising and spending millions of dollars to enshrine M2C in the minds of the Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints.

The interactive map lets you discover the locations of numerous Book of Mormon sites. You need to look at it here:

Book of Mormon Central map showing Cumorah in southern Mexico

M2C had to put Cumorah in southern Mexico to make their interpretation work, but the model still doesn't amount to anything more than circular reasoning. They designed "246 tests of our Book of Mormon Geography Model" to provide an illusory justification for M2C, then "applied" the tests to the real world. Lo and behold, the tests produced an M2C model...

It's laughable, but tragic. Imagine being a Latter-day Saint in Latin America and believing all of this, without ever learning what the prophets have taught about Cumorah. When Latin American members do eventually learn what the prophets have taught, the impact is akin to the shock of the DNA analysis that contradicted what missionaries had told them for decades. 

It's tragic, but also completely avoidable. If Book of Mormon Central adhered to their "English" position of neutrality, and changed course to inform Latter-day Saints of all the facts instead of merely indoctrinating them to believe M2C, the Latter-day Saints in Latin America could make informed choices. 

Some of them might choose to believe the teachings of the prophets instead of the speculations of the scholars. 

Continuing with the map...

Naturally, like L.E. Hills, they show Lehi making the highly improbable journey through Indonesia and across the Pacific through the doldrums to arrive in Guatemala--just where M2C needed them to arrive. 

Lehi crossing the Pacific?

L.E. Hills - Nephite crossing to Mesoamerica (1917)

L.E. Hills - "Nahuas" crossing to Mesoamerica (1919)

Notice how they also show the Jaredites making the journey across the Pacific, but after somehow missing the entire west coast, they incredibly arrive in southern Mexico right where M2C needed them.

Jaredites crossing to Mesoamerica

I live on the coast in Oregon. Stuff lands here from Asia all the time, including a dock that floated over from Japan after the tsunami. Anything is possible, of course, but it defies credulity to think the Jaredites, assuming they left from Asia, could or would bypass the entire west coast and defy the currents to land on the coast of Guatemala from the north.

Especially when First Nations people in British Columbia say their ancestors arrived on boats illuminated by "glowing pearls."  


To persuade Spanish-speakers, BMC experts offer their credentials: "Over many years, many people have contributed to this project. The work presented here is the result of more than 60 years of study, research, and analysis. Learn more about the researchers and scholars who made this important work possible."

Of course, the teachings of the prophets are nowhere to be found here.

We'll finish by mentioning the awesome Spanish blogs, designed to reinforce M2C. You can see these here:

Translated into English:

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