Limited Geography Model

The “Limited geography model” was proposed in 1926 to better correlate to the topographical descriptions found in the Book of Mormon with known geography. It is clear from the text that the events described did not occur throughout an area as big as North and South America.

While the early Saints may have thought of Book of Mormon events in hemispheric terms, neither the prophecies in the Book of Mormon nor Joseph Smith’s account of Moroni’s visit requires such an interpretation of Book of Mormon geography.

Just as the Bible contains an account of the former inhabitants of the Asian continent, the Book of Mormon contains an account of the former inhabitants of the American continent. The Bible, however, is only concerned with a limited region of Asia and is largely confined to a small area. Similarly, the Book of Mormon, while an account written by ancient American prophets, may also have been limited to a small area, although the blessings promised in it may extend well beyond those boundaries.

While the early Saints may have thought of Book of Mormon events in hemispheric terms, neither the prophecies in the Book of Mormon nor Joseph Smith's account of Moroni's visit requires such an interpretation of Book of Mormon geography.

There is no revelation declaring Book of Mormon geography. Early leaders offered their own speculations, which did not always agree. But no leader claimed a visionary source for their opinions.

Joseph Smith said very little about the geography of the Book of Mormon. What little he did say suggests that he may have shared the view held by his associates, that the Book of Mormon narrative describes events occurring in North, Central, and South America.


See:

Limited Geography and the Book of Mormon: Historical Antecedents and Early Interpretations-  by Matthew Roper

Additional Resources:

Articles of Faith 11: Neal Rappleye – “War of Words and Tumult of Opinions”: The Battle for Joseph Smith’s Words in Book of Mormon Geography, Neal Rappleye

FAIR Issues 20: Book of Mormon geography may be smaller than you think, Michael R. Ash

FAIR Issues 40: Two points about Book of Mormon geography, Michael R. Ash

Fair Issues 79: A consistent Book of Mormon map, Michael R. Ash

Fair Issues 78: What is the correct Book of Mormon geography?, Miachael R. Ash

Fair Issues 77: What is the correct geography for the Book of Mormon?, Michael R. Ash

Book of Mormon Geography (PDF) (2008 FAIR Conference) by Larry Poulsen

Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography (2013 FAIR Conference) by Mark Alan Wright

A Key for Evaluating Nephite Geographies –   by John E. Clark

Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon –  by William J. Hamblin

Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography, Mark Alan Wright

Axes Mundi: Ritual Complexes in Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon, Mark Alan Wright

“War of Words and Tumult of Opinions”: The Battle for Joseph Smith’s Words in Book of Mormon Geography,Neal Rappleye

Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon –  by Mark V. Withers

Interpreting Book of Mormon Geography –  by Randall P. Spackman

Joseph Smith, Revelation, and Book of Mormon Geography –  by Matthew Roper

Book of Mormon Geography in the Old World

Book of Mormon Geography in the New World

The Book of Mormon in a New World Setting by Brant Gardner

Journey of Faith: Book of Mormon Documentary

Journey of Faith: The New World video

Summary of Book of Mormon evidence and Geography by Steve Carr

Truth about Joseph Smith’s Beliefs on Geography of The Book of Mormon

LDS Temple dedicatory prayers and Book of Mormon geography

Ancient Mayan city Lamanai and The Book of Mormon

BOM Geography debate — 3 Unique Characteristics with Jerry Ainsworth

Book of Mormon 10 No Confirmed Locations by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon cities match Maya cities

Book of Mormon Geography

Book of Mormon Geography

Book of Mormon Geography, Old World

Geography of The Book of Mormon: the river Sidon

Heartland as Hinterland: Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography

In Search of Ancient Cumorah Segment 1

In Search of Ancient Cumorah segment 2

In Search of Ancient Cumorah segment 3

Indians of the Great Lakes region and The Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon Geography

Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon geography

Joseph Smiths Book of Mormon geography