Book of Mormon Geography

An introduction to Book of Mormon Geography
Presented by Rick Brunson on 04/12/2023

Where did the Book of Mormon take place? Believe it or not, this question has actually caused some pretty intense debates in many LDS circles over the years, even to the point of contention in some cases.[1] But does that mean that there isn’t anything to gain from studying this topic? If you ask me, nothing could be farther from the truth.  LDS author Joseph Allen agrees:

“Of what value is Book of Mormon research?  The answer is simple…the more we understand about the culture, language, history, and geography of the Book of Mormon, the better we understand the Book of Mormon.…

From personal experiences, we know that our understanding and motivation for studying the Bible increases as we walk on the Mount of Olives and as we sail on the Sea of Galilee.  Likewise, our hearts are touched and our thoughts are enlightened regarding the history of the restored gospel as we stand in the Sacred Grove and as we ponder at Carthage.  These same kinds of experiences await us concerning the Book of Mormon.”[2]

Before we examine some of the possible locations for Book of Mormon geography however, I would like to stress the fact that as of today, the Lord has not revealed where the Nephites or Lamanites lived, and as such, the LDS Church has taken no official stance on anything related to Book of Mormon Geography;[3] and until this changes, this subject will remain in the fallible hands of academic scholarship at best. Therefore, if you happen to be on the other side of this particular debate, and disagree with any of the conclusions I make in this article, all the better.  All it means is that we are both students trying to piece this puzzle together to the best of our ability, and hopefully, we are each coming to appreciate the Book of Mormon more in the process. 

With that said, I now enter the controversial arena of Book of Mormon geography.  Wish me luck.

Lehi’s Route in the Wilderness

Thankfully most scholars at least agree on the general locations that Lehi traveled after he left Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon states that when Lehi left Jerusalem, he traveled with his family to the “borders near the shore of the Red Sea” (1 Nephi 2:5).  From there, Lehi and his family “traveled three days in the wilderness” and made their camp “in a valley by the side of a river of water” (1 Nephi 2:6). Lehi named this valley Lemuel (1 Nephi 2:10) and the river Laman (1 Nephi 2:8).

As one might suppose, there are not very many places in this region that have a running body of water within a three day journey from the boarders of the Red Sea. In fact, we can very quickly narrow it down to about three. LDS scholar Brant Gardner summarizes the three best candidates for the valley of Lemuel:

“[Authors] Hilton and Hilton propose wadi al-Bad.[4] George Potter and Richard Wellington argue for wadi Tayyib al Ism.[5] Chadwick prefers Bir Marsha[6]… Each has the important virtue of having accessible water, but only wadi Tayyib al-Ism appears to meet the most difficult requirement, a continually running river (1 Ne. 2:9).”[7]
In other words, Wadi Tayyib al Ism is the only one of these three locations that has a river that runs “continuously” [i.e., year round] into the Red Sea, which is a Book of Mormon requirement (1 Nephi 2:9). It was likely at this location that Lehi and Nephi beheld the vision of the tree of life, and also where Lehi found the Liahona. 

 Wadi Tayyib al-Ism (Valley of Lemuel)
Wadi Tayyib al-Ism (River Laman)


After returning to Jerusalem a few times from this location, the Book of Mormon tells us that Lehi and his family left the valley of Lemuel and traveled in a “south-southeast direction” to a place they called “Shazer” (1 Nephi 16:13).  Shazer is a little more difficult to pinpoint on the map because there is not as much information about the area.  However, the Book of Mormon does give us a few clues.  First, the closest known Arabic word to Shazer means, “A valley or area abounding with trees and shrubs.”[8]  Second, Nephi tells us that there is good hunting to be had near this location:

And it came to pass that we did take our bows and our arrows, and go forth into the wilderness to slay food for our families; and after we had slain food for our families we did return again to our families in the wilderness, to the place of Shazer (1 Nephi 16:14).

Therefore, when looking for a possible candidate for Shazer, we need to look in a “south-southeast direction” from Wadi Tayyib al Ism (the valley of Lemuel), we need to find a place with wild animals nearby, and hopefully this place will be “abounding with trees and shrubs” as its name likely suggests.  George Potter and Richard Wellington are credited for finding a location that fits each of these requirements, which is a region called Wadi Agharr.[9] To this date, it is the best candidate for Shazer.

  Wadi Agharr (Shazer)

The Camp of the Broken Bow

From Shazer, we are told that Lehi’s party “traveled for the space of many days” and pitched their tents “for the space of a time” (1 Nephi 16:17).  It was at this new location where Nephi broke his bow (see 1 Nephi 16:17-18).  As it turns out, this broken bow gives us our only clue as to where this camp might have been located; for after Nephi’s bow was broken we read:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, and arrow (1 Nephi 16:23).  

This small detail is helpful because, in the words of Hugh Nibley:

“According to the ancient Arab writers, the only bow-wood obtainable in all Arabia was the nab' wood that grew only “amid the inaccessible and overhanging crags” of Mount Jasum and Mount Azd, which are situated in the very region where, if we follow the Book of Mormon, the broken bow incident occurred.”[10]


From the camp of the broken bow, it was onto a place “which was called Nahom” (1 Nephi 16:34).  It is interesting to note that Lehi and his party did not name this location like they did previous locations along their journey (such as the valley of Lemuel[11] and Shazer[12]).  Instead, the record states that Lehi’s party came to a place “which was called Nahom” (1 Nephi 16:34). This suggests that this place was already in existence at the time of Lehi. 

If this is true, is there any evidence of an ancient place in this region with the name Nahom?  As it turns out there is. In 1994 archeologists began excavating this area and discovered several ancient temple ruins that date back to this very time period.  At one of these temples was an altar with the word Nahom inscribed on it. 
The Altar at Nahom

What is more, we have since learned that this area was an ancient burial ground for the locals in this region.[13]  This is significant because this is where Lehi’s party carried Ismael to be buried when he died:
And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom (1 Nephi 16:34). 

As far as we can tell, this ancient place of Nahom is the best (and
possibly only) candidate for the Book of Mormon’s Nahom.


When Lehi’s party left Nahom, the record states that they “did travel nearly eastward from that time forth” (1 Nephi 17:1) until they arrived at the sea.  This route would have taken them across Arabia’s Empty Quarter.
The text then states:

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful (1 Nephi 17:5). 

Here is what we know about this land Bountiful, as taken from, Lehi in the Wilderness:[14]

(1)   It was “nearly eastward” from Nahom. (1 Nephi 17:1)
            (2)  It had abundant and a wide variety of fruits. (17:5; 18:6)
            (3)  It had wild honey. (1 Nephi 17:5)
            (4)  It had an accessible seashore. (1 Nephi 17:6)
            (5)  It was adjacent to “many waters.” (1 Nephi 17:6)
            (6)  There was a mountain nearby. (1 Nephi 17:7)
            (7)  There was ore available. (1 Nephi 17:7)
            (8)  There were stones available to make fire. (1 Nephi 17:11)
            (9)  There were beasts (“skins”) available for Nephi to make bellows. (1 Nephi 17:11)
            (10) There was “meat from the wilderness” available. (1 Nephi 18:6)
            (11)  Such things as were required to build & sail Nephi’s ship. (1 Nephi 17:8)
     (a)  A harbor to build it and launch it from.
                        (b)  A protected port to outfit the ship.
                        (c)  Materials to construct the ship…
            (12)  Cliffs directly above deep water. (1 Nephi 17:48)

As it turns out, there is only one area in this entire region that fits all of these descriptions.  This satellite photograph below shows a small green area known as Dhofar, which is completely surrounded by desert.

Satellite Photograph of the Land Bountiful

Dhofar (The Land Bountiful)

Because this small oasis is the only area in the entire Arabian Peninsula that matches the description found in the Book of Mormon, it is the best on virtually only candidate for the land Bountiful.  It was at Dhofar where Nephi built the ship that carried him and his family to the Promised Land.  But after the ship was launched, where did it go from there?  What route did they take?  

Unfortunately, the Book of Mormon gives us virtually no information that helps us answer this question.  All we can do is make our best educated guess. While there are many possible routes Lehi’s party could have taken, there is one route that seems more logical than others, which is that Lehi and his family followed the coastline for as long as possible, before making the long voyage across the Pacific Ocean. Why? According to Joseph Allen, “they stopped for provisions along the way.”[15] Similarly, LDS historian Kelly DeVries stated:

“Nephi, no doubt, kept close to shore when he could.  This was not something that was just tradition among shippers, this was used for safety, and also used for re-supply purposes.”[16]

LDS anthropologist John L. Sorenson agreed:

“Did they stop on the way?  Surely!  Why go without water when you can go ashore and get it?”[17]

On a second occasion, Sorenson also added:

“Since boats routinely had to be beached for repairs after storms, or to have their bottoms scraped, or to await favorable winds, it is reasonable to assume that Lehi’s party would have stopped from time to time on their journey [along the coast line and] through [the Pacific] islands.”[18]

Thus, Nephi’s route to the Promised Land may have looked something like this:[19]
Once Nephi’s ship left the last island in the Pacific Ocean, it becomes much more difficult to predict where they would have landed in the New World, and as such, there are countless theories that range from North to South America and everywhere in between. 

Different Geography Models in the New World

Because there are so many different models pertaining to Book of Mormon geography in the New World, it can often become overwhelming for most people to try and sort through each of them. However, for me personally, this is where the fun begins. Why? Because it forces me to really know my Book of Mormon.  In other words, each new proposed model of Book of Mormon geography brings with it a new set of ideas, and new challenges to sort through.  Whether it is Orson Pratt’s Hemispheric model,[20] George Potter’s Peru Model,[21] Rod Meldrum or Wayne May’s Heartland/America model,[22] John Sorenson and BYU’s Mesoamerica model,[23] or any of the many others countless models out there, one thing is certain: if you do not know your Book of Mormon, you will not get much of anything out of any of these proposed models. That is where the fun lies for me.  I have studied
Mesoamerica Map
each of these models over the years and have had an enjoyable time coming to my own conclusions.  My conclusions at the current time, favor a Mesoamerica model. This does not necessarily mean that the conclusions I have come to over the years are correct; after all, I am still in the process of learning my Book of Mormon. All it means is that I currently favor a Mesoamerica model, and here is why.  

The Jaredites

The main reason for my belief has to do with the Jaredites.  In fact, it is much easier to locate where the Jaredites lived in the New World, than it is the Nephites or Lamanites.  After all, the Jaredites were a massive civilization numbering in the millions (see Ether 15:2) and occupied the Promised Land from approximately 1500 B.C. to approximately 250 B.C.  How many civilizations could there be in the Americas that fit both of these criteria? As it turns out, there has only been one civilization that archeologists have been able to locate: the Olmec’s of Mesoamerica.[24]  For example, LDS anthropologist John Sorensen stated that “Southern Veracruz [Olmec territory] is perhaps the only area that ecologically would have likely have supported so large a population in the centuries shortly after 1000 B.C.”[25]

As it turns out, there are some other striking similarities between the Olmec’s and the Jaredites as well. For example, both are said to come from a great tower in the Old World.  In 1568, the famous Catholic priest and Mexican historian Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, wrote that after the great flood, the ancestors of the Olmec’s “built a Zaucalli very high and strong, which means the very high tower to protect themselves against a second destruction of the world…. As time elapsed, their language became confounded, such that they did not understand one another; and they were scattered to all parts of the world.”[26] Furthermore, it is interesting to note that both civilizations ended suddenly, around 250 B.C., by a violent internal civil war that destroyed millions on both sides.[27] Needless to say, each of these examples show striking similarities between the Olmec’s and Jaredites, and until a better candidate for the Jaredites is discovered, the Olmec’s remain the best fit in my opinion.  

Find the Jaredites, Find the Nephites

The reason why this is relevant is because once we locate the Jaredites, locating the Nephites becomes much easier.  The Book of Mormon states
that the Jaredites lived in the land Northward in proximity to the Nephites.[28]  Later on in Nephite history, the Nephites were driven by the Lamanites into this land northward,[29] into Jaredite territory.  In fact, the Book of Mormon tells us that the Jaredite hill Ramah “was that same hill where…Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord” (Ether 15:11).  Because the Jaredites and Nephites occupied much of the same area, locating Jaredite lands means that we also locate Nephite lands.  

So was there a civilization that proceeded the Olmec civilization in the land southward from approximately 600 B.C. to 400 A.D.? As it turns out, the Maya civilization satisfies each of these requirements, making them a great candidate for the Mulekite/Nephite, and Lamanite civilizations.

A Written Language

A second reason why I currently prefer the Maya civilization as the Nephite civilization is because archaeology has been able to determine which large ancient civilizations located throughout North and South America had a written language between the years of 600 B.C., and 420 A.D., and which civilizations did not.  As far as I know, the Maya civilization is the only known civilization to date that can pass this test.  LDS scholar Joseph Allen stated:

“The Book of Mormon was made possible as a result of a written language… Scholars have determined that the only place on the American continent where a written language was in use during the time period in which the Book of Mormon history, coupled in the context of a high civilization, was in Mesoamerica….This fact alone virtually eliminates any other geographical area from being considered as lands of the Book of Mormon.”[30]


One last reason I currently favor a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon is that the geography in this area fits very nicely with what is described in the Book of Mormon.  

While I do not have the time or space to go into much detail on this subject here, suffice it to say that every known city, lake, river, hill, sea, wilderness etc. mentioned in the Book of Mormon is in great relation to one another on our present Mesoamerican map.  In fact, Mesoamerica is the only place in North and South America that has a “narrow strip of wilderness” [i.e. narrow mountain range[31]] that fits the requirement in Alma:

[The land of the Lamanites] was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west…and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided (Alma 22:27; emphasis added).

Joseph Allen explains:

“Without question, the most reliable and significant geological statement regarding Book of Mormon geography is a narrow mountain range that runs from the east to the west and touches two oceans. The Book of Mormon says that the Lamanites were divided on their north from the Nephite land of Zarahemla “by a narrow  strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west” (Alma 22:27; emphasis added)…. The only place in the New World where a narrow mountain range runs in an east-west direction and touches two oceans—both Book of Mormon requirements—is the Cuchumatanes Mountains.[32]

The Cuchumatanes Mountains, or
"Narrow Strip of Wilderness”

If we are correct in our interpretation that a “narrow strip of wilderness” is a narrow mountain range,[33] then we can say with relative certainty that the Cuchumatanes Mountains in Mesoamerica was the “narrow strip of wilderness” spoken of in the Book of Mormon.  If true, the Nephites would have occupied the land north of this mountain range, and the Lamanites the land south.

Proposed Book of Mormon Sites

Based on the reasons I listed above (as well as others), I currently favor a Mesoamerica setting for Book of Mormon geography, similar to the map presented below:

I would recommend that the reader keep a Book of Mormon map close bysuch as the one shown abovethe next time you read through the Book of Mormon.  Doing so may help its contents come to life.

A Note on the Heartland Model

Recently, a new model of Book of Mormon geography has been gaining some traction among some Latter-day Saint circles, which has come to be known as the heartland model.  Heartland, refers to the heartland of the United States of America.  In other words, those who advance this model believe that the majority of Book of Mormon sites are located in the “heart” or middle of America.

After I had finished writing my book Before the Second Coming, I was approached by Digital Legend, a publisher interested in publishing my book.  What made this publisher interesting to me was the fact that Digital Legend also publishes the books of Rod Meldrum, the main proponent of the heartland model.  While in discussion with Digital Legend Press, I was asked to become more familiar with Rod Meldrum work and the Heartland theory before publication, which I gladly accepted.  Over the next few months I very much enjoyed my time studying this model, and although I ended up using a different publisher for my book, it was nevertheless a worthwhile investment of my time.

After researching this particular model however, while interesting, I was unable to be convinced that the Book of Mormon could take place in North America, mainly for the same reasons that Sorenson outlined on the Book of Mormon Archology Forum a few years ago. Here are a few of the reasons Sorenson cited that I am in agreement with:

1. The “promised land” occupied by the Nephites was characterized for many centuries as an area of “civilization.” As indicated by archaeology and related studies, no place in North America in the period of  Book of Mormon history contained any cultures at the level of “civilization.” 

2. The population of Book of Mormon lands over much of the period of its history totaled from hundreds of thousands up to millions. The areas of North America touted as occupied by Nephites, Lamanites and Jaredites cannot be shown from objective evidence to have been anywhere near that level.

3. Many “cities” and even “great cities” are reported by the Nephite record between 1500 BC and AD 400. Not a single such city has been documented in North America in that period.

14. People of Book of Mormon areas were frequently literate, in fact several scripts are reported. No North American cultures have been shown to have had any system of writing whatsoever.

15. At least the Nephites are said to have possessed “many” books covering many subjects. No ancient North American books at all are evidenced.

19. There is no mention nor even hint of cold, snow or ice in the Book of Mormon account of its peoples. In the Great Lakes or Prairie regions winter storms are and were so common that it is unthinkable that they would not be a prominent mentioned feature of the climate.

20. It is obvious from the description of the great catastrophe at the crucifixion of the Savior that volcanism must be involved as a natural cause (of at least the “darkness”). In eastern North America that is out of the question; there are no volcanoes there.

24. The land of Zarahemla is said to be “nearly surrounded by water” (i.e., seas). No North American geography qualifies.

25. The land northward supported a population of millions (Ether 15: 2) in late Jaredite times. Not only is it manifestly absurd that any “land northward” around the Great Lakes, given the climatic conditions there, could have supported even one-hundredth as many people, but also the archaeology of that region shows only a tiny fraction of the history’s stated number ever to have dwelt there, let alone in Jaredite times when no one lived there but a few hunting tribes.

30. The hill Cumorah in New York could not plausibly have been a refuge for the 23 survivors of the final battle who were found atop it on the day after the great battle. Had they so much as sneezed their presence would have been detected by the Lamanites.

31. Had New York’s hill been the site of the final battle, the 230,000 Nephite dead (not to mention a large number of Lamanite dead—up to half a million total corpses) would have left behind over half a million weapons. Remains on any such scale would have become obvious long since to archaeologists. In fact no weapons of the right period have been found near the place.

37. Any attempt to put a land northward in, say, Ontario, must face the fact that there is no trace of anything approaching what the Book of Mormon represents as Jaredite society in that area.

An Overlap Between Models?

However, with that said, I do believe that there can be some overlap between the Mesoamerica and the heartland models, and that there is truth to be found in each model.  In short, I am in agreement with Dr. Mark Wright who spoke on this subject at a FAIR conference in 2013.  Here is an excerpt from his talk:

“My basic thesis is this: The core locations and events detailed in the text of the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica, but many Nephites and Lamanites migrated and established settlements far northward of the core area and are thus simply outside the scope of the text.

[After siting several examples of Nephite and Lamanite migrations to the lands northward, Wright continued:]

“To be clear, I am not arguing for a return to a “hemispheric” model of Book of Mormon geography. Hemispheric models take specific, named cities in the Book of Mormon and disperse them far and wide across the whole of North and South America. I am very much a proponent of a more limited geography, and I believe the best available evidence places the core narrative of the Book of Mormon squarely in Mesoamerica….

“What I am suggesting is there were likely countless Nephite and Lamanite settlements spread across the continent, including within the so-called “Heartland,” whose history is not contained in the Book of Mormon; they are simply external to the text. It doesn’t make them any less Nephite or Lamanite, it just means their history is not recorded in that book.” 

For those who are interested in learning more about Dr. Wright’s thesis, I recommend you reading the entire excerpt as there is some common ground to be found between these two models of Book of Mormon geography.

Moroni & The Hill Cumorah

In my opinion, one of the more confusing aspects of the Mesoamerica model is that of Moroni and Hill Cumorah.  It is often asked, “If the Nephites lived in Mesoamerica, how could Moroni have buried them in upstate New York?”  I thought it would be helpful for clarification purposes if I stated my current opinion on this subject, which is that I believe there were two Hill Cumorah’s. One in Mesoamerica, and one in Palmyra, New York.  I believe that before Mormon died, he buried all of the plates that he had in his possession in the Mesoamerica Hill Cumorah, except for the gold plates, which he would give to his son Moroni: 

Behold I, Mormon...made this record [the Gold Plates] out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni (Mormon 6:6; emphasis added).

This took place in 385 A.D.  However, Moroni did not bury the gold plates until 421 A.D.  During this 36-year period, Moroni stated, “I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life” (Moroni 1:3).

I believe that Moroni spent these 36 years “wandering” from Mesoamerica to New York.  We know from Brigham Young that Moroni did travel through the State of Utah, and dedicated the sites of the Manti and St. George temple grounds along his journey.[34]  

Sometime after this event, I believe Moroni continued his journey to upstate New York’s Hill Cumorah to bury the plates.[35]

In conclusion, I would like to repeat many of the same statements I made in the opening paragraphs of this article. As of today, the Lord has not revealed where the Nephites or Lamanites lived, and as such, the LDS Church has taken no official stance on anything related to Book of Mormon Geography.[36] Therefore, the conclusions I have made in this article does not mean that we have located the ancient Nephite and Lamanite lands.  It only means that this is what I currently believe based on the information I have been given.  If you are on the other side of this particular debate, and have disagreed with any of the conclusions I made in this article, all the better.  All it means is that we are both students trying to piece this puzzle together to the best of our ability, and hopefully, we are each coming to appreciate the Book of Mormon more in the process.

For more information on this “limited Mesoamerica model” of Book of Mormon geography, see:


Allen, Joseph and Blake, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon (revised edition).
Allen, Joseph L., Sacred Sites: Searching for Book of Mormon Lands.
Hauck, Richard F., Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon.
Hunter, Milton R., and Ferguson, Thomas S., Ancient America and the Book of Mormon.
Lund, John L., Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?
Miner, Alan C., Step-by-Step in the Book of Mormon.
Norman, Garth, Book of Mormon Criteria for the Hill Cumorah.
Palmer, David A., In Search of Cumorah: New Evidences for the Book of Mormon from
Ancient Mexico.
Sorenson, John L.  An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon.
Sorenson, John, L., The Geography of the Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book.
Sorenson, John L.  Mormon’s Codex – An Ancient American Book.
Sorenson, John, L. Mormon’s Map.
Sorenson, John L., Images of Ancient America: Visualizing Book of Mormon Life.
Warren, Bruce W., and Ferguson, Thomas S., The Messiah in Ancient America.
Washburn, J. Nile, Book of Mormon Lands and Times.
Welch, John W., and J. Gregory, Charting the Book of Mormon.


Clark, John E., “A Key forEvaluating Nephite Geographies,” FARMS Review, 1989.
Clark, John E., “Archaeology andCumorah Questions,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1-2, (FARMS).
Clark, John E., “Evaluating theCase for a Limited Great Lakes Setting,” FARMS Review, Vol. 14, Issue 1, pp. 9-78.
Clark, John E., “Searching for Bookof Mormon Lands in Middle America,” FARMS Review, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 1-54.
Clark, John E., “Two points of Bookof Mormon Geography: A Review,” FARMS Review, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 1-24.
Gardner, Brant, “Confusion ofTongues and a Map,” FARMS Review, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 15-24.
Pratt, John P., “Mormon’s MapPuzzle Solved,” Meridian Magazine.
Ritchie, William A., “TheArchaeological History of New York State During the Time of the Book ofMormon,” University Archaeology Society Newsletter #15.
Roper, Matthew, “Joseph Smith, Revelation, and Book of Mormon Geography,” FARMS Review, Vol. 22, Issue 2, pp. 15-85.
Roper, Matthew, “Travel Across the Narrow Neck of Land,” Insights, May 2000, (FARMS).
Smith, Joseph (Taylor, John), Times and Seasons, Vol.III, No. 22, p. 914, Sept. 1, 1842.
Smith, Joseph (Taylor, John), Times and Seasons, Vol.III, No. 23, p. 927, Oct. 1, 1842.
Sorenson, John, L., “The Book of Mormon Mapped,” An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, pp. 1-48 (FARMS).
Sorenson, John, L., "A Whole Bunch of Reasons Why Book of Mormon Geography Could Not Have Included North America"
Spackman, Randall P., “Interpreting Book of Mormon Geography,” FARMS Review, Vol 15, Issue 1, pp. 19-46.
Sperry, Sidney B., “Were There Two Cumorahs?,” Book of Mormon Compendium.
Stoddard, Ted D., “Joseph Smith and John Lloyd Stephens,” Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum. 
Wright, Mark A., “Heartland asHinterland: A Look at Book of Mormon Geography,” Meridian Magazine, Aug, 15, 2013.
Smith, Gregory, “Summary of Problems with Rod Meldrum's ‘Heartland’ Theory,” Book of Mormon Archeological Forum, located at



The below video is entitled Journey of Faith - Book of Mormon Documentary.  It is an excellent presentation of Lehi and Nephi's probable route from Jerusalem:

Here is part-2 of this documentary, entitled Journey of Faith - The New World.  It discusses more of the geography associated with the Book of Mormon:


[1] Groote, “The fight over Book of Mormon geography,” Deseret News, May 27,2010, located at:

[2] Allen & Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, Revised Edition, p. 15

[3] See The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under Book of Mormon Geography, located at:
[4] Hilton and Hilon, Discovering Lehi, p. 50-53
[5] Potter and Wellington, Lehi in the Wilderness, p. 33.
[6] Chadwick, “The Wrong Place for Lehi’s Trail and the Valley of Lemuel,” p. 214.
[7] Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers, The Book of Mormon as History, p. 77.
[8] Groom, Dictionary of Arabic Topography and Placenames (cited by Potter and Wellington in Lehi in the Wilderness, p. 73.) See also Lindsay, “Book of Mormon Nuggets #17,” located at:
[9] See Potter and Wellington in Lehi in the Wilderness.
[10] Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, p. 61.
[11] 1 Nephi 2:6,10
[12] 1 Nephi 16:13
[13] Aston, “The Place Which Was Called Nahom: The Validation of an Ancient Reference to Southern Arabia” (FARMS, 1991).
[14] George Potter and Richard Wellington, “Discovering the Lehi-Nephi Trail,” p. 185, 209-223.  See also, located at:
[15] Allen and Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 526.
[16] Journey of Faith –Book of Mormon Documentary, located at:
[17] Journey of Faith –Book of Mormon Documentary, located at:
[18] Sorenson, “Winds and Currents: A Look at Nephi’s Ocean Crossing,” located at:   See also Journey of Faith –Book of Mormon Documentary, located at:
[19] See Journey of Faith –Book of Mormon Documentary, located at:
[21] Potter, Nephi in the Promised Land.
[23] Sorensen, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon.
[25] Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex, p. 713.
[26] Ixtlilxochitl:6-8
[27] See Allen and Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 124-126; Ether 15.
[28] Alma 22:31.
[29] Mormon 2:29.
[30] Allen and Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 245, 246; see also p. 28
[31] “We solve a problem in Book of Mormon geography in the New World when we designate the term “wilderness” as “mountainous region” instead of “desert.” Therefore, when Mormon refers to a narrow strip of wilderness, he is talking about a narrow mountain range. We know this because the land of Nephi was literally up in elevation from the land of Zarahemla and because the headwaters of the river Sidon were on the borders of Nephi and Zarahemla. In other words, all references regarding the dividing line of Nephi and Zarahemla have to do with rugged mountains and not with sandy deserts” (Allen and Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 556).
[32] Allen and Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 556-57.
[33] See footnote 31
[34] See “Moroni’s 36 year trek to New York,” Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, located at:
[35] For more information on this theory, see “Archaeology and the Hill Cumorah” Fair Mormon, located at
[36] See The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under Book of Mormon Geography, located at: