Book of Mormon geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum 2003/Section 11:Nephite Structures

Table of Contents

Claims made in section 11: Nephite Structures

Page Claim Response Author's sources

DVD

  • The DVD claims that Mesoamerican cities are primarily built of stone.
  • This indicates a misunderstanding of the extant knowledge about Mesoamerica. There are certainly impressive stone cities and ruins in Mesoamerica, but it is a mistake to conclude that these made up the whole city. Regional centers tended to have a core of buildings made of more durable materials, such as brick, stone, and earth. Most of the rest of the city was made of wood and mud ("waddle and daub") construction.
  • For example, although the Church produced video "The Testaments" places the Book of Mormon in a Mesoamerican setting, one notes that the houses being lived in are made of wood. It is also important to note that many of the iconic Mesoamerican stone ruins date to after the Book of Mormon period, despite the unfortunate tendency of some graphic designers and movie makers to use images of these cities as if they were Nephite.
  • FAIR Review Section 9: Nephite Structures
  • None

DVD

  • The DVD claims that stone structures cannot be burned.
  • Stone buildings and cities can and do burn. A stone city is not only made of stone. There are many other materials within buildings, used as part of the structures' construction and furnishings. Once fires are started, masonry can become unstable and stones can shatter from the heat, leading to further destabilization of the building. A modern day example is when arsonists burned the Nauvoo Temple. The temple was constructed of stone, yet is was destroyed by fire just the same. What was left after the fire became unstable and collapsed during a tornado. Clearly, a stone building is not immune to fire.
  • FAIR Review Section 9: Nephite Structures
  • None

DVD

  • The narrator claims that "if we're looking for temples made out of stone, then we're looking for the wrong kind of temples. Because these temples were made from timber."
  • The narrator bases this assumption on Helaman 3:9.

And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.

  • It should be noted that the people described in this verse do not represent all of the Nephites—only those who moved north.
  • Scholars supporting the Mesoamerican location do not insist that temples must have been made from stone.
  • FAIR Review Section 9: Nephite Structures

Heartland (Meldrum) Geography claims