George: My theory is that the Book of Mormon took place in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, parts of Chile. Why? I was a missionary in Bolivia and Peru, so naturally that’s where it took place.
When the Spanish got to Peru, they looked at alpaca, they said these sheep are beautiful. The wool is better than our sheep, they taste better than our sheep. They had no idea that the alpaca is actually a cameloid. What did the Incas think of the horses? They are big alpacas. What would Nephi have called an alpaca? He probably would have called an alpaca or a llama a horse.
Anything with a tooth was described as an elephant by the Greeks. That was the language by Nephi’s time. Nephi never saw an elephant. But there are boars in America that had tusks, and anything with a tusk was an elephant.
The Book of Mormon describes the fact that they went into the wilderness and found gold, and silver, and copper in abundance. For heavens’ sake, in Potosi, Bolivia they have taken enough silver to make a rod all the way from Potosi to Spain and back. I mean when the Spanish got there, they went to the homes of the poor people and there is just gold sitting there.
But actually, if you look at the archaeology that’s been discovered in the last 15 years, there were civilizations that took place in the Andes Mountains that had most of the attributes of the Book of Mormon in them in the Book of Mormon times. If you go north of Panama in Book of Mormon times, there is nothing that resembled the Jaredites.
The Maya ruins, most of those classic ruins took place well after the Book of Mormon. They Book of Mormon was written on golden plates. There is no gold north of Panama in the Americas before 700-800 A.D. There were no sheep, no horses, no animals you could refer to as the animal in the Book of Mormon described by Nephi.
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