Book of Mormon/Geography/Statements/Nineteenth century/Joseph Smith's lifetime 1844

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Nineteenth Century: Statements on Book of Mormon geography made during Joseph Smith's lifetime: 1844

A FairMormon Analysis of: Statements about Book of Mormon geography, a work by author: Various

Nineteenth Century: Statements on Book of Mormon geography made during Joseph Smith's lifetime: 1844

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LDS missionary tract (1844): "where has the seed of Joseph gone to?...There is no place except North and South America to which they could have gone"

[16] We come now to inquire where has the seed of Joseph gone to? If they had taken up their residence in any part of what is technically called the old world would not history have informed us of the fact? There is no place except North and South America to which they could have gone, if the old world furnishes no trace of them. The Continent of America is the only place where the prophecies concerning Joseph and his seed could be fulfilled....

[18] After the Book had been published a few years, what then took place? Why learned men go forth on voyages of discovery, and what do they discover in Central America? Magnificent ruins of cities bearing all the evidences of a high state of refinement. Cities nearly 60 miles in circumference, idols, antiquities, &c., such as are described in this Book of Mormon. I refer here to the discoveries of Catherwood & Stevens in Central America, made nearly ten years after the publication of the book.

A great and standing argument against Joseph Smith is, that he is an ignorant man. Allowing this to be true, the argument of his opposers proves too much. How could an ignorant man unless inspired with the spirit of Alm ghty God produce a work like the Book of Mormon accurately locating cities, &c., &c. which has afterwards been proven true by the careful researchers of learned antiquaries?...

[21] The Book of Mormon informs us that Christ visited this continent after the resurrection, and we believe it, because it is in perfect accordance with the glorious attributes of Jehovah. He would never leave one half of the world in darkness on the subject of revelation, and then punish his creatures eternally for not believing what they never heard. Let orthodox preachers and believers in that doctrine make the most they can from this statement....

[22] The Book of Mormon informs us that Christ visited this continent after the resurrection, and we believe it, because it is in perfect accordance with the glorious attributes of Jehovah. He would never leave one half of the world in darkness on the subject of revelation, and then punish his creatures eternally for not believing what they never heard. Let orthodox preachers and believers in that doctrine make the most they can from this statement.[1]


Times and Seasons (1 Jan 1844): "We have been informed by a gentleman who has traversed a large portion of the Indian country of Northern Texas...that there are vestiges of ancient cities and ruined castles or temples"

Every day adds fresh testimony to the already accumulated evidence on the here was very little known about ruined cities and dilapidated buildings. The general presumption was, that no people possessing more intelligence than our present race of Indians had ever inhabited this continent, and the accounts given in the Book of Mormon concerning large cities and civilized people having inhabited this land, was generally disbelieved and pronounced a humbug. Priest, since then has thrown some light on this interesting has thrown in a flood of testimony, and from the following statements it is evident that the Book of Mormon does not give a more extensive account of large and populous cities than those discoveries now demonstrate to be even in existence. ED

(From the Texas Telegraph, Oct. 11.)

We have been informed by a gentleman who has traversed a large portion of the Indian country of Northern Texas, and the country lying between Santa Fe and the Pacific, that there are vestiges of ancient cities and ruined castles or temples on the Rio Puerco and on the Colorado of the west. He says that on one of the branches of the Rio Puerco, a few days travel from Santa Fe, there is an immense pile of ruins that appear to belong to an ancient temple....Neither the Indians residing in the vicinity, nor the oldest Spanish settlers of the nearest settlements, can give any account of the origin of these buildings. They merely know that they have stood there f rom the earliest periods to which their traditions extend. The antiquarian who is desirous to trace the Aztic or Toltec races in their migrations from the northern regions of America, may find in these ancient edifices many subjects of curious speculation.[2]

Notes

  1. George J. Adams, A Lecture on the Authenticity & Scriptural Character of the Book of Mormon (Boston: J. E. Farwell, 1844), 16, 18, 21.
  2. "ED" [John Taylor], "ANCIENT RUINS.," (1 Jan 1844) Times and Seasons 5:390-391.