Comments about ‘Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Geographical inconsistencies in Great Lakes model’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 17 2011 6:30 a.m. MST

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Lehi, UT

Thanks Mike.

You included several details Ive never noticed. Ill have to reread with my computer and Google Earth, something Joseph never could have done.

Location knowledge isnt crucial but it helps me progress in knowledge of BoM realities. As you search for and enlighten on locations of absolutely real BoM PLACES, you also enliven real events and the human struggles of ancients trying to apply and learn of Christ.

Understanding His visit with real Native Americans, in historic space and time, helps lead to the very real Christ of the Bible and establishes His Divinity for honest searchers or those who believe He's a prophet only etc.

The BoM establishes Him, the same Lord over all.
Anyone may find its truth.

Understanding His Divinity, reality, love, calls for peace, etc, never hurt anyone.

However, those conversely sowing seeds of doubt are leading from Him and His Atonement. Certainly, when we reject His reality, His historicity as reported in scriptures given by Him, we reject Him, and His goodness.

As interest in Him grows we live more, love more, serve more (loved that Catholic guy reporting LDS giving on BYU; see that?), etc.

Thats crucial.

So thanks again, Mike

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

Again, Mike Ash is the poster-boy for the new "Cafeteria Mormon". His theories and articles stand for the proposition that very little, if anything, is official Church Doctrine. Hence the term "Cafeteria Mormon", as one can pick and choose what to partake.

Also, one really does have to wonder why Mike spends any time on whether or not the BoM is historical. As Mike's articles have shown, the Savior certainly doesn't care if we believe the BoM is historical or not. If the Savior thought that it was important for us to believe the BoM is historical, He wouldn't have allowed his Apostles and Prophets to give the Church erroneous teachings regarding the events, geography and people of the BoM for the last 170 years, or have allowed an erroneous Introduction Page to the BoM, etc. etc.

I know He can't be pleased with all the wasted time and resources by apologists and LDS members (and their many various factions) trying to prove their many different theories on the BoM.

The Church would be much better off and perceived by the rest of the world if our energy, efforts and resources were focused elsewhere.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT


With all due respect, I find the discussions on BOM geography interesting. That there is no direct revelation on exactly the answers doesn't mean to me that the subject is irrelevant. Granted, a person can do just fine without even knowing the BOM geography issues. With all the wasteful things that I can do today, reading BOM scholarly or apologetic issues is certainly not on the "waste of my time" list. A rated-R movie might make that list, but Ash's articles to me are thought-provoking, interesting, and, if nothing else, show what a remarkable book the BOM really is. If somebody else doesn't see that, then no problem. Nothing in Church doctrine precludes that the Savior must reveal the actual locations of BOM places, nor must the Savior prevent any mistakes by leaders or scholars. Gratefully, he allows us to learn.

"The Church would be much better off and perceived by the rest of the world if our energy, efforts and resources were focused elsewhere."

And yet President Monson attended a recent BOM geography conference. Don't let your lack of interest dictate what others should think of the subject.

Truth or Consequences, NM

Michael Ash makes early prophets, including Smith, seem unreliable. Do we follow Ash or Smith? If Ash is right, was Joseph Smith a prophet?

Mormon in Michigan
Detroit, MI


Joseph Smith was a prophet, but almost everything he did or said was only his opinion and not official doctrine. That is what is so great about being a caferteria Mormon. You get to decide what to follow and choose. Everything is just opinion to a cafeteria mormon. I love being a cafeteria mormon and am thankful for Mr. Ash's articles supporting cafeteria mormons.

Crispy Lips
Sugarhouse, UT

If you are going on strictly which evidence "fits the best" then you have to go with the Great Lakes/North American traditional model that our prophets believed and taught about.

For more info I would recommend visiting bookofmormonevidence dot org to learn more about why the Great Lake's model is much more superior than the other models.

Crispy Lips
Sugarhouse, UT

Also FIRMLDS dot com is a GREAT resource for those wanting to learn more about the Great Lakes model. There are several Mormon Scholars and General Authorities on this site that support this model. It really is the only model that makes real sense in light of what we know about The Book of Mormon and what our prophets have taught us.

Lehi, UT

Mike compares GL THEORY to REVELATION and Otis believes God cant allow theory???? Hmmmm.

@Searching, twa

Fun Baal theory additions:
ME/Israelite/Baal syncretism and primary American themes share everything FROM: Mother- divided becomes heavenly and earthy, associated with feminine life/death tree, primordial hill/temple, throne, serpent, sacred river imitating heavenly Milkyway river (symbolized as crocodiles in both (Tiamat (Biblical Tehom/Leviathan), Yamm etc Heavenly feminine, Eve, 2ndEve (Maryamm, bitter/primordial sea, 2Adam source) Mayan tree on skull/primordial-hill tomb/womb flowing with waters healing filthy river (ME DeadSea) etc- TO details like king/Adam head in/below tree; foreskin blood-smoke offerings, cutting; halting snake/rain dances calling upon cloud riding/cloud storm-Baal; cyclically dying hibernating (Elijah says sleepeth) god/king sun etc, ascending 3 levels through/as tree; imitative rites; sacred prostitution (Critics argue Lamanite Itzabel (extant Mesoamerican place) was JS blunder, now know means Baal harlot, like Jezebel (brought Sidon Baalism); etc etc(much more)
Detailed Christian details are far more miraculous and testify of adulterated Christian knowledge. Ill refrain, since overwhelming evidence would possibly bring further hardening and thus condemnation. Dont want that : )

Please return from fallen paths, and we can share knowledge.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To Mormon in Michigan and Otis:

It is not important as to where the Book of Mormon took place. What is important is that it did take place. We must understand that the Book Of Mormon is the Lord's dealings with the people of the Americas We have been instructed by Joseph Smith that if we were to live by the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon we would get closer to our Heavenly Fathe.

That is what is important about the Book of Mormon. Not where it took place but that it did take place. We can in some ways identify with certain aspects of the Bible but we can trace almost to the T what was happening with the Nephite People for about a thousand years.

We have in the Book of Mormon the visit of the Savior to the American Continent after his resurrection. We know that the destruction of many cities in the American Hemisphere is significant as it gives us a warning of what will be happening at the time of the Second Coming throughout the world.

It is time to quit sitting on the fence as to the Book of Mormon.

kaysville, ut

The foundations of Christianity that stem back to the Old Testament have expereinced doctrional changes and shifts as time has marched on. We no longer live Mosaic laws, just as we no longer have the same structure to the Priesthood (remember the Quorum of the 70 in each ward). Just because the things that prophets say change over time and new knowledge and inspiration comes to light does not make a person a "Cafeteria Mormon". You can't pick and choose principles, and not all teachings are 'doctrine'. A lot of what is taught by General Authorities is really great advise and can help you live those principles better, but not all is revelation or 'doctrine.'The principles of salvation never change. Too many here on these boards and comments seem to confuse this issue. Men are falable...even prophets. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not.

That said. The Great Lakes model is build up on bad information, mis-informed people and fraudulent artifacts to bolster their ideas and sell their tours. They claim that people who don't adhere to their claims are literally 'heritics' (including Church leaders who support Mesoamerica).

Isn't that the definition of Preistcraft?

kaysville, ut

Great Lake beleievers. Please provide answers to the following:

1)Show proof that Moroni or Joseph Smith said that the "Hill" in NY is Cumorah.
2)Tell me why the River Sidon, that starts at Manti and flows past Zarahemla...NORTH of Manti, can be the Mississippi.
3)Tell me why Ether hid in caves on the hill Ramah (Cumorah) and then explain how a drumlin can have a cave in it (it can't by the way).
4) Show me credible proof of ANY written language among the natives of the Great Lakes area. BTW-Michigan artifacts, Kinderhook plates, etc. are out...proven frauds by James E. Talmage.
5)Explain to me how current prophets have been duped into authorizing production of many films, books and artworks that depict Book of Moromon events in a Mesoamerican setting...we believe that they are inspired too don't we?
5)Explain to me why we have scriptural proof of several promised lands, even up to the pioneers leaving he settled United States for the Promised Land in Utah...but yet every reference in the BOM only refers to one place (I guess the promised land of Jaredites doesn't count)

Provo, Ut


In response could you please provide answers to my following questions:

1) Show proof that anything in The Book of Mormon is either true or likely true.

2) show proof that....well...er...

Actually number 1 say's it all. There really isn't any need for advanced studies when the principle question has yet to be answered. Yeah, answer that question and I'll get busy worrying about your list.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

Mormoncowboy wrote:

"It is not important as to where the Book of Mormon took place. What is important is that it did take place."

Why? Why would the Savior care in the least whether we believed the BoM actually took place? If it was really important to the Savior then why did He allow his Apostles and Prophets to give the Church erroneous teachings regarding the events, geography and people of the BoM for the last 170 years? Why did He allow an erroneous Introduction Page to the BoM, etc. etc?

It's clear that the Savior could care less about whether or not we believe the BoM is historical. It is not important to Him in the least, and it certainly should not be important to us either.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

Sorry, I meant Bill in Nebraska, not Mormoncowboy.

Miami Area, Fl

As a logical thinking person, for me to be a Mormon, I would need to know EXACTLY what was revelation and scripture and what was not.

Anything that was not explicitly one of those 2 things, I would treat as advise by wise old men.

I would consider it nothing more.

That is why I do not understand how people constantly quote church leadership as if it proves a point.

Doesn't that make the vast vast vast majority of anything they say is just their opinion? Nothing more, nothing less.

Am I missing something?

Somewhere in Time, UT

The events of the BOM are NOT eroneous or ficticious and the Saviour does care that we know that. The BOM is the true account of the Savior's dealings with the people of this continent and of his visit to them. I testify of that.

How do I know this? through the truth of the principles taught in the BOM and through personal revelation! I'm sorry that some on here have not yet received this witness or having chosen to reject it, but it is nevetheless true.

Anyone can receive this knowledge if they will ask God with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Only if you are unafraid of truth can you find it. It is there for all to receive if they will just open their hearts.

In the meantime, the very earth is beginning to testify to the truth of it. It will continue.

Provo, Ut

"It is not important as to where the Book of Mormon took place. What is important is that it did take place."

I actually see the two as going hand in hand. In a strictly literal sense, how can one say that they "know" that the events in The Book of Mormon took place, if they are completely uncertain as to where? Granted, Mormons will claim that God reveals the "truth" to them, but until we can get some consensus on what that actually means, seeking proof in the ground seems wise. From a non-believers standpoint, I can appreciate that some people want to believe this stuff without final evidence, but if your going to take your religion seriously then how can you say that learning "where" BoM events occurred is "not important"? Quite to the contrary, I think it would be of utmost importance. How is the "keystone of your religion" not worth basic empirical validation? Yes, the content may matter, but how one views the content and integrates it with their spirituality directly rests on whether the things taught therein are literal or figurative. This line of reasoning is just poor rationalization for lack of defense.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

JM: Thanks for the examples and concern. The link between Tiamat and Tehom was interesting, and Tiamat guarding a tree of life and offering fruit that would bring death (google "tiamat crocodile") suggested a connection between Babylonian/Baal mythologies and Judaism, but I couldn't find anything connecting any of it to Mayan mythology. Of course, my research was limited to what I could find through Google. Are you making these parallels yourself or are you going from other research that can be cited? If you have found an article that explains the syncretism of Mayan and Semitic mythologies and practices and how they could have happened, I'd love to read it and form my own opinion about it.

Also, you say that Itzabel is a Meso-American place. I couldn't find that either. Is it spelled correctly?

layton, Ut

Bill in Nebraska: What is important about the Book of Mormon. Not where it took place but that it did take place? A tree fell in the forest.

The object of faith is only as good as the object of that faith( in the Biblical Jesus). If you have to create your own reality, through theories of the BoM and speculation then you become your own God right inline with theosophy or new age thought, which all want to be God while Christians want to be with God.

But the Bible is verifiable history. "Lukes gospels is a history of the first rank ,He seizes on the important and critical events and shows their true nature at great length Luke( a gentile) should be placed along with the greatest of historians." William M Ramsay,the archaeologist.

The Mormon faith stands or falls on JS,a non-historian, which is on very shaky ground.

Murray, UT

Aggresive snakes are mentioned in the Book of Ether. There are no aggressive snakes in the great lakes area. I also think there would be some mention of cold weather if the setting was in the great lakes area.

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