I’m working on a presentation on the various Book of Mormon geography theories, and will be presenting on May 10, 2021 at 7 pm MT/8 pm CT via Zoom. I also an editing an interview with K.C. Kern who wrote some blog posts at Wheat & Tares a few years ago discussing the Malay Theory by Dr. Ralph Olsen. Unfortunately, Ralph passed away a while back, but his daughter gave me permission to post the PDF of his first manuscript of the theory. If you are interested, you can download it here. We will be referencing it in the future.
If you are interested in attending, I’ll see if I can post the Zoom link. You can also email me at gospel tangents at gmail dot com, and I’ll see if I can forward you the Zoom link.
Dr. Thomas Murphy describes the strengths and weaknesses of the Church’s DNA essay.
Thomas: To the credit of the Church, the DNA essay acknowledges, basically, that that research that I surveyed back in 2001-2002, plus some more up to date stuff. They summarize that and acknowledge that the evidence clearly shows that the ancestors of the American Indians are coming from North and East Asia, or that’s where the closest affinities are between native DNA and the DNA from the old world. So they acknowledge basically what I got in trouble for saying. They say it. The Church says it.
GT: So that’s a strength of the essay. (Chuckling)
Thomas: Yes. Well, maybe it’s a biased perspective. I’m feeling vindicated myself. So that’s a major strength is that they acknowledge the DNA evidence that exists, and that DNA evidence provides no support for the Book of Mormon. The other strength is, I think it’s the first or second paragraph, but right at the very beginning, anyway, they say basically, the Book of Mormon is more spiritual than historical. That’s where the Church is going to end up. Right? I wish they had gone deeper with that. But, the evidence is just so compelling that that’s the only sustainable position for the Church to take is that the Book of Mormon is scripture, not history. They didn’t quite go that far. They acknowledge that it’s more spiritual than historical. It’s not historical at all. They could have said that, but they don’t go that far.
The Book of Mormon purports to be a record of ancient Native Americans. Have we compared Indian stories to look for parallels in the Book of Mormon? Dr. Thomas Murphy asks that question, and we’ll find out his answer. Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our previous conversations with Dr. Murphy!
It’s been a fun interview with George Potter, and it’s been fun learning more about the Frankincense trail that Lehi likely followed in the Middle East. In our next conversation, I’ll ask George where he thinks Lehi and Nephi landed after they left the Frankincense Trail? George thinks it was probably the Andes Mountains in South America.
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.
What does George think of the Mesoamerican model?
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.