Book of Mormon/Geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum 2003
|Model Name||Date Proposed||Scope||Narrow Neck||Land North||Land South||Cumorah||River Sidon||Nephi's Landing||Religion||Type of model|
|Meldrum 2003||2003?||LGT||Niagara Peninsula||Upper Canada||Mississippi river system to Gulf of Mexico||New York||Mississippi||Gulf of Mexico||LDS||External||edit|
This geography was originally based on a DVD presentation (which is in turn based on fireside presentations) produced by Rodney (Rod) Meldrum: Rodney Meldrum, DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography: New scientific support for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon; Correlation and Verification through DNA, Prophetic, Scriptural, Historical, Climatological, Archaeological, Social, and Cultural Evidence (Rodney Meldrum, 2007), mail-order DVD. ( Index of claims ).
Other works and sources include:
- Bruce H. Porter and Rod L. Meldrum, Prophecies and Promises: The Book of Mormon & The United States of America (Salt Lake City, UT: Digital Legend, 2009), 1–.
- Rod Meldrum, Rediscovering the Book of Mormon Remnant through DNA (Honeoye Falls, NY: Digital Legend Press, 2009), 1–.
- The FIRM Foundation
- LDSPromisedLand.com [this company was formed by Meldrum, Bruce Porter, Wayne May, and LDS Travel president Brian Mickelsen]. Despite being president of this group, Meldrum has opted to conduct his own seminars in competition with this group because of financial reasons. According to Bruce Porter:
- (Meldrum) felt that he needed to pull away from that company [ldspromisedland.com] because he could make more money doing it on his own. And that was a business decision that he made…. but it's what Rod does for a living, and everybody has a right to earn a living.
Related FAIR wiki articles
- Alternate theories are "apostate"?—
Meldrum makes it clear that he regards those who disagree with his model as "apostate." (Link)
- Disdaining Joseph?—
Do LDS scholars "disdain" the statements of Joseph Smith related to Book of Mormon geography? (Link)
With regard to the location of Book of Mormon lands, it is sometimes claimed that "[t]here's a North American continent and a South American continent in Noah Webster's  dictionary," and that this means that all references to "this continent" must refer to North America. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines a ""continent"" as follows: "1. In geography, a great extent of land, not disjoined or interrupted by a sea; a connected tract of land of great extent; as the Eastern and Western continent. It differs from an isle only in extent. New Holland may be denominated a continent. Britain is called a continent, as opposed to the isle of Anglesey." Therefore, Webster's definition of a "Eastern and Western continent" is equivalent to today's definition of "Eastern and Western hemisphere." (Link)
- Location of Zarahemla—
It is claimed that the location of the city of Zarahemla was provided to Joseph Smith through revelation and that it was located on the Mississippi River opposite where Nauvoo is located today. (Link)
- Borders of the Lamanites—
Critics claim that the proposal of a Mesoamerican limited geographical Book of Mormon setting contradicts D&C 54:8, which discusses the "borders of the Lamanites" being in North America. (Link)
- Hoaxes related to Book of Mormon geography—
Sometimes falsified artifacts are used to promote a Book of Mormon geography (Link)
- Bat Creek Stone—The "Bat Creek Stone" purports to a stone written in Paleo-Hebrew reading "for the Jews". A preponderance of the evidence available argues that the stone is a modern forgery. (Link)
- Burrows Cave artifacts—The Burrows Cave collection is a group of "artifacts" supposedly found in a Cave in Illinois, named after Russell Burrows, the person who initially found the cave. To this day, Burrows Cave enthusiasts have never demonstrated the existence of the cave. The artifacts contain many obvious hallmarks of modern manufacture, including the so-called "mystic symbol" found on artifacts in the Michigan artifacts collection. This is offered as evidence that the hoaxers deliberately meant to associate these artifacts with the Michigan collection. Some LDS people have fallen prey to those who push these artifacts as genuine. (Link) [needs work]
- Michigan artifacts—The "Michigan Artifacts" or "Michigan relics" are a group of "artifacts" produced by hoaxers in the late 19th century and around the turn of the 20th Century from Michigan. They wanted to produce "proof" of the existence of the ancient civilization known in 19th century lore as the Mound Builders. Many contain scenes from biblical stories. Some LDS members have been misled into believing that the artifacts are genuine. Not surprisingly, advocates of the Michigan artifacts also push the Burrows Cave collection. (Link) [needs work]
- Newark Decalogue Stone—These items, which were presented to the public in 1860, have Hebrew writing on them. Some have used them as evidence for the Book of Mormon, but this is problematic on two grounds: (1) the items may be modern forgeries; and (2) even if authentic, the writing dates to around AD 100-300, which is too late to represent the 600 BC Lehi colony. (Link) [needs work]
Statements made by Church leaders, members, and publications about Book of Mormon geography issues (Link)
- No revealed geography—A collection of statements indicating that there is no revealed geography for the Book of Mormon (these quotes are also in the collections below, by date). (Link)
- Statements by Hugh Nibley—LDS scholar Hugh Nibley is sometimes cited out of context by advocates of the Heartland theory who wish to claim his support for their ideas. They do this to disguise that Nibley argued for Mesoamerican involvement in the Book of Mormon. All of Nibley's statements should be considered if one wishes to know what he thought. (Link)
FAIR has a review of some of the contents and tactics used by this presentation.
There are both brief executive summaries and more detailed information.
- Full Review Click here
- Jerry L. Ainsworth, Dr. Ainsworth responds to Rod Meldrum DVD, mormonsites.org blog, 20 September 2008. FAIR endorses no Book of Mormon geography, and does not necessarily endorse all the conclusions in this off-site link. It is provided to properly credit the source.
- Anonymous, "Errors of Rodney Meldrum," bookofmormongeography.info (no date, circa April 2009). FAIR endorses no Book of Mormon geography, and does not necessarily endorse all the conclusions in this off-site link. It is provided to properly credit the source.
- Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, "Great Lakes 'Heartland' Model" (summary page)
- Joe V Andersen, "A critical Review of Wayne N. May's This Land: Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation."
- Douglas K. Christensen, "The Hopewell Culture of Eastern North America."
- Chris Heimerdinger, "Revelatory Stewardship and the Book of Mormon."
- John L. Lund, "Where Was Joseph Smith between March 1, 1842 and Nov 15, 1842."
- John L. Sorenson, "A Whole Bunch of Reasons Why Book of Mormon Geography Could Not Have Included North America."
- Ted Dee Stoddard, "'Thick Darkness,' 'Vapor of Darkness,' and 'Mists of Darkness': Indications of Weather and Climate in the Book of Mormon."
- Ted Dee Stoddard, "'The Whiteness of the Driven Snow': An Evaluation of the Word 'Snow' in the Book of Mormon."
- Ted Dee Stoddard, "Joseph Smith and John Lloyd Stephens."
- Ted Dee Stoddard, "The Need for Evidence of a High-Level Written Language in the New World."
- Ted Dee Stoddard, "'I Write unto All the Ends of the Earth': The Need for Evidence of a High-Level Written Language in the New World."
- John A. Tvedtnes, "A Brief History of the Limited Geographic View of the Book of Mormon."
- Brant Gradner, "This Idea: The "This Land" Series and the U.S.-Centric Reading of the Book of Mormon (A review of "This Land: Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation; This Land: Only One Cumorah!; and This Land: They Came from the East" by: Edwin G. Goble and Wayne N. May; Wayne N. May; and Wayne N. May)," FARMS Review 20/2 (2008): 141–162. off-site PDF link wiki
- Matthew Roper, "Joseph Smith, Revelation, and Book of Mormon Geography (A review of "Prophecies and Promises: The Book of Mormon and the United States of America" by: Bruce H. Porter and Rod L. Meldrum)," FARMS Review 22/2 (2010): 15–85. off-site PDF link wiki
- Matthew Roper, "Losing the Remnant: The New Exclusivist "Movement" and the Book of Mormon (A review of "Prophecies and Promises: The Book of Mormon and the United States of America" by: Bruce H. Porter and Rod L. Meldrum)," FARMS Review 22/2 (2010): 87–124. off-site PDF link wiki
- Gregory L. Smith, "Often in Error, Seldom in Doubt: Rod Meldrum and Book of Mormon DNA (A review of "Rediscovering the Book of Mormon Remnant through DNA" by: Rod L. Meldrum)," FARMS Review 22/1 (2010): 17–161. off-site PDF link wiki
- Ugo A. Perego, "The Book of Mormon and the Origin of Native Americans from a Maternally Inherited DNA Standpoint," FARMS Review 22/1 (2010): 191–227. off-site PDF link wiki
- FAIR Blog: Allen Wyatt, "A Faulty Apologetic for the Book of Mormon" (3 July 2008) FAIR link
- FAIR Blog: Gregory L. Smith, "Advice from a Nobel Prize Winner" (6 July 2008) FAIR link
- Mormanity: Jeff Lindsay, "Misguided Zeal: DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography," (4 July 2008) off-site
- FAIR Blog: Allen Wyatt, "Examining the Secular Side," (3 Sept 2008) FAIR link
- FAIR blog: Scott Gordon, "Helping Those Struggling with Anti-Mormonism," (3 Sept 2008) FAIR link
- Dr. Jerry Ainsworth responds to DVD, blog, 20 September, 2008.
- Steven Danderson, Using and misusing scholarship and revelation…. (October 5, 2008)
- Robert White The Truth Will Out At Last (October 7, 2008)
- Steven Danderson, A look at Meldrum’s revised DVD…. (March 31, 2009)
- Kristen Moulton, "Book of Mormon geography stirring controversy," Salt Lake Tribune (25 March 2010) off-site.
- Michael De Groote, "Mormon geography conferences to compete this weekend," Deseret News (29 March 2010) off-site
- Rod Meldrum/FIRM Foundation homepage off-site
- LDS Promised Land off-site
Note: Goble has since retracted his old belief in the US Heartland Model in favor of a new setting, the "Two Heartland" theory (Goble-2004). Also, more recently, Goble now realizes that his initial charge against Meldrum's model was too emotionally-based, and that excessive fault-finding about minutia is unproductive. Also, Goble now realizes that any new geographical model based in any particular setting is bound to build upon the former models, and it is understandable how it is that it can be difficult to give credit where each idea one builds upon comes from.
After the initial charge had been made about Meldrum's geography, the head of the FIRM Foundation (Rod Meldrum) replied:
- “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” would be a good idea for this last post. You have obviously not seen Meldrum’s DVD as he has no Michigan artifacts in it and he came to his DNA conclusions long before encountering Wayne May.
The former claim is false, since the Michigan forgeries are in the presentation (see screenshot image)
The head of the FIRM Foundation later told Goble:
- This geography was not plagerized [sic] from you at all, as you so indicated in your rant. You called ALL of the Great Lakes ‘Sea West’, you claim the ‘Nephite North’ is a highly skewed angle nearly making Lake Ontario and Lake Erie north/south of each other (see p.75 of your book) which completely changes your geographic ideas. I do not espouse either of these arguements [sic]. If you had seen the DVD, you would have known that out [sic] geographies are substantially different, if not unrelated. Your unsubstantiated claim that I copied your geography is not true. I began to research North American geographies after I had worked on the DNA evidence. I had come to many preliminary conclusions prior to my meeting Wayne May. I found his geographic ideas were the closest to what I had found, and so went to one of his presentations to learn more. Again I am being accused without evidence in fact. I agree with you, your geography doesn’t work and I don’t blame you for abandoning it. The proposed geography of my DVD has many things that need to be addressed as well, and I am hoping for competent help in establishing a more complete understanding.
It has, however, been pointed out that Meldrum's enthusiasm for Goble's book was much greater than his statements might lead us to believe, from a testimonial posted on Wayne May's website:
- “Wayne May’s book series provides the 'most comprehensive compilation of Book of Mormon background history, geography, logical research, and artifacts (complete with photographs), of any book on the subject to date….Open your mind and heart to the information contained in these books, and you will gain a renewed love for the prophet and the Book of Mormon itself. Truth will prevail.”
Goble has pointed out that one of his ideas is quite unique, and matches the Heartland model's claim:
- “The idea of a confluence of rivers making up the head of the Sidon is lifted from MY book, Mr. Meldrum. That was MY idea.”
This can be compared with The FIRM Foundation's identical idea.
Index of geographical claims made in the DVD DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography
The following tables respond to specific geographical claims made in the DVD. Only the geographical claims are treated here. For other issues related to this DVD and the presentation "Introduction to Book of Mormon Evidences," see the following:
A note about DNA claims
It is claimed in the DVD and associated seminars that criticisms related to DNA and the Book of Mormon have not been addressed by LDS scholars. This is incorrect. For a detailed discussion of DNA related claims, see the following:
|Heartland (Meldrum) Geography claims|
- DNA_Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography (DVD)
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 1:DNA
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 2:Geography
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 3:Joseph Smith
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 4:Promised Land
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 5:Prophesies and Promises
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 6:Tents, Temples, and Teepees
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 7:Weather and Climate
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 8:Buffalo Evidence
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 9:Chronological Evidence
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 10:Nephite Defenses
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 11:Nephite Structures
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 12:Mound Builders
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 13:Nephite Culture
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 14:Nephite Implements
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 15:Book of Mormon Lands
- Book_of_Mormon_geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum_2003/Section 16:Travel Indications
- [note] Michael De Groote, "Mormon geography conferences to compete this weekend," Deseret News (29 March 2010) off-site
- [note] Ed Goble, comment on FAIR blog, (5 Sept 2008, 20h22) off-site
- [note] DNA Truthseeker [Rod Meldrum], MADB message board post (12 May 2008, 2h11) off-site
- [note] Rod Meldrum, comment on FAIR blog, (8 Sept 2008, 19h24) off-site
- [note] Rod Meldrum, (date?) off-site
- [note] Ed Goble, comment on FAIR blog, (5 Sept 2008, 20h22) off-site
- [note] "The Book of Mormon index indicates the Sidon River flows north into a sea, is this correct?," FAQ, bookofmormonevidence.org (accessed 9 April 2009) off-site