Does Book of Mormon Geography Matter?
Does the geography of the Book of Mormon matter? The book is true no matter where it happened. Right? This is a response I have heard many others say and one I have said myself many times. But reading in 3 Nephi this morning made me change my mind. I think the Book of Mormon geography does matter.
When Christ appeared to the Nephites as the resurrected Savior, He blessed them, He taught them He prayed with them and for them. He also quoted to them the words of Isaiah. He reminded them that they had been given THIS LAND for their inheritance and were warned that they would not be allowed to remain on THIS LAND if they did not remain faithful. This emphasis shows the significance of the LAND to the Book of Mormon people, and the people who would be brought by the hand of God to THIS LAND and now occupy THIS LAND.
Christ himself said, "great are the words of Isaiah" and He commanded the Nephites and all who read the Book of Mormon to search his words. If the words of Isaiah are great and we are commanded to read them and study them and ultimately understand them, then I believe we most certainly should understand where THIS LAND is and we should understand who the Lord is taking to when he talks about the inhabitants of THIS LAND. Because he is in fact talking directly to those who are on THIS LAND and if you don't know where that is you can't fully understand the message.
Does the geography of the Book of Mormon matter? With over a 1400 references to "this land" in the Book of Mormon I'm not sure how the Book of Mormon prophets could have made it clearer. THIS LAND matters. Geography matters. Those of us on THIS LAND the "promised land," the Land of Freedom, the Land of the New Jerusalem need to know who we are. America is THIS LAND. America is a covenant land. I live on THIS LAND. Even the chapter heading of 3 Nephi also confirms this truth.
Israel will be gathered when the Book of Mormon comes forth--The Gentiles will be established as a free people in America--They will be saved if they believe and obey; otherwise, they will be cut off and destroyed--Israel will build the New Jerusalem, and the lost tribes will return.
I am learning more each day about what the prophecies say about me, my fellow Gentiles and my House of Israel sisters and brothers on THIS LAND. I desire to understand my covenant that I have made with the Lord and the Book of Mormon is the “voice crying from the dust” helping me understand it. The geography of the Book of Mormon matters to me.
Where are the Ten Tribes of Israel?
The Ten Tribes of Israel
The following is from Alexander’s Messenger, page 16. Published in 1883, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A government officer stationed at Lake Superior, at an early day, before any white settlers had invaded that part of the country, after becoming acquainted with a number of the Indian tribes, found one tribe in possession of a copper tube, tightly soldered; and when asked what it contained they said they were not able to tell, but they had received it from their ancestors a long time ago. The officer finally prevailed upon them to let him open the article, and when he did so he found it filled with parchment, with inscriptions that he could not read, but be sending the parchment tot Washington City where it was examined by competent Hebrew scholars, it was declared to be part of the five books of Moses.”
Here we have another link in the chain, proving the Heber were here many years before the white many came to this continent, and that the present North American Indians are their descendants.
Visit from the Potawattomie Indians to Joseph Smith Jr. at Nauvoo, IL
From the History of the Church Vol. 5 July 1843
At length, on the 2nd day of July 1843, President Joseph Smith and several of the Twelve met those chiefs in the court-room, with about twenty of the elders. The following is a synopsis of the conversation which took place as given by the interpreter: --
The Indian orator arose and asked the Prophet if the men who were present were all his friends. Answer -- "Yes."
He then said -- "We have been driven from our lands many times. We have been wasted away by wars, until there are but few of us left. The white man has hated us and shed our blood, until it has appeared as though there would soon be no Indians left. We have talked with the Great Spirit, and the Great Spirit has talked with us. We have asked the Great Spirit to save us and let us live; and the Great Spirit has told us that he had raised up a great Prophet, chief and friend, who would do us great good and tell us what to do; and the Great Spirit has told us that you are the man (pointing to the Prophet Joseph). We have now come a great way to see you, and hear your words, and to have you tell us what to do. Our horses have become poor traveling, and we are hungry. We will now wait and hear your word."
The Spirit of God rested upon the Lamanites, especially the orator. Joseph was much affected and shed tears.