Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Michael R. Ash: Models for Book of Mormon geography
Some of Joseph’s statements, for example, appear to support the traditional Hemispheric Geography. After reading news of discoveries in Central American, however, he suggested that the land was once inhabited by the Nephites. Since the Nephites primarily occupied lands south of the "narrow neck," Panama couldn’t possibly be the "narrow neck" if the Nephites lived in Central America.
It’s hard to know if Joseph Smith realized this fact or if it altered his general views on Book of Mormon geography. It’s also ironic that, while critics claim that Joseph was smart enough to write a fictional Book of Mormon — a book that is amazingly consistent in keeping track of wars, stories, people and internal geographic features — he was apparently not familiar enough with his own work to know positively where the events took place.
When we really dig into the Nephite scripture, we find that a Limited Geography better fits the text. Some textual examples and analysis will be discussed in the next installment.
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