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Now Here -- Discussion of The "Times and Season's" Zarahemla in Guatemala
We appreciate all of the comments sent in. Next week we will compare Zarahemla in Guatemala with the proposed model. 

This is in reponse to comments and questions thats have been submitted.

Times and Seasons, July 15, 1842, edited by Joseph Smith:

If men, in their researches into the history of this country, in noticing the mounds, fortifications, statues, architecture, implements of war, of husbandry, and ornaments of silver, brass, &c.-were to examine the Book of Mormon, their conjectures would be removed, and their opinions altered; uncertainty and doubt would be changed into certainty and facts; and they would find that those things that they are anxiously prying into were matters of history, unfolded in that book. They would find their conjectures were more than realized-that a great and a mighty people had inhabited this continent-that the arts sciences and religion, had prevailed to a very great extent, and that there was as great and mighty cities on this continent as on the continent of Asia. Babylon, Ninevah, nor any of the ruins of the Levant could boast of more perfect sculpture, better architectural designs, and more imperishable ruins, than what are found on this continent. Stephens and Catherwood's researches in Central America abundantly testify of this thing. The stupendous ruins, the elegant sculpture, and the magnificence of the ruins of Guatamala [Guatemala], and other cities, corroborate this statement, and show that a great and mighty people-men of great minds, clear intellect, bright genius, and comprehensive designs inhabited this continent. Their ruins speak of their greatness; the Book of Mormen [Mormon} unfolds their history.-ED

Author's response to addtional statements attributed to Joseph Smith:

John Lund in his 2007 book describes Joseph Smith's response to Stephen's and Catherwood's book, Travels in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan as; "He (Joseph Smith) identified the location of the land of Zarahemla, and the small neck of land.  The ruins of Palenque and the ruins of Quirigua and other mesoamerican ruins were named by Joseph Smith as on time cities of the Book of Mormon."  (Lund, John L. ,J.D.; Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon-is this the Place?, The Communications Company, 2007; p. 21-23.)

The Times and Seasons article (Oct 1, 1842; 3:927) is exuberant that Quiriqua is Zarahemla.  Because Quiriqua is north of Darien, the article states that the Book of Mormon occurred north of Darien.  There was no other indication of where the narrow neck might be.  It also says, "We (indicating that it is not Joseph Smith who is speaking) are not going to declare positively that the ruins of Quirigua are those of Zarahemla, but when the land and the stones, and the books tell the story so plain, we are of opinion, that it would require more proof than the Jews could bring to prove the disciples stole the body of Jesus from the tomb, to prove that the ruins of the city in question, are not one of those referred to in the Book of Mormon." (Times and Seasons, October 1, 1842; 3:927.)  (emphasis added)

Alternate theory (Submitted by a visitor to this site)
Wayne May has convinced me that the Book of Mormon land is not in Central or South America, but in the Ohio Valley in North America.  After all, that is where Joseph Smith said it was.  He backs it up with research and artifacts, as well as structural ruins and piles of bones.
    In addition, studies show that DNA groups match the Indian tribes of North America east of the Mississippi with the DNA of Israeli groups in the Middle East. Note also the physical traits of these Indians.
    I am of the opinion that, although there may be some Nephite influences in meso-America, there is more evidence of far east influence.  The armour, dragons,structures, and historic cultural evidence of central America resemble more closely those of ancient Japan or China.
    We may have to wait until we find something that says \"made in Zarahemla\" before the whole truth comes out.   -Ruth Lehenbauer

Anonymous Posting From a Visitor

Some things you missed:

1. The Narrow Neck/Passage was on the west side, not east.

2. The City of Bountiful was on the west side, not east.

3. Mulek landed in Jaredite lands.

4. Alma 46:40 refers to a COLD season. There is NOT an herbal cure for Malaria.

5. When they migrated into the Land Northward, the \"exceeding long distance\" was measured from the \"Land of Zarahemla\" not the Narrow Neck.

6. The battle of Mormon 3:8 refers to the Narrow Neck, which was along the Sea West. Thus, the bodies were thrown into the West Sea.

7. Alma 22:27 refers to a stripe of wilderness running \"east to west,\" not the River Sidon. Incidently, where is your Sea East?

8. The eastern wilderness in your model is a swamp. Why would Moroni care about a swamp and remove Lamanites?

9. We do know where the Jaredites landed, they laned on the south shore of Ripliancum, but you don\'t have a Sea North.

10. Volcano\'s are not a pre-requisite for BoM lands. The darkness was called a \"mist\" (different from \"smoke\") which did not affect water or crops. Jesus blessed the faithful. Ash would have been a long-term curse.

11. Hagoth sailed \"north.\" There is no room north in your model for him to sail.

12. Where are the four seas surrounding the Land Northward?

13. Where is the \"sea that divided the land?\"

14. What fruits can you show that out shine the blessings of the United State of America - that it is God favored?

FOR POSTING:  What do you think they learned and retained... or what truths did they leave behind that might still be evident among the peoples who line the Silk Road? My grandfather used to always suggest that the departure was from China so that just seems right to me even 60 years later! He even espoused the Central America scenario as discussed but warned me that when the time is right, that knowledge will come forth as the Book of Mormon did and not to get too caught up in opposing viewpoints lest I miss out on the real reason we live by faith. I may not be sure what that really means but I will continue to study and compare with an open mind in order to not miss any of the truths found through research and hard work. My biggest curiosity I think is who did Lehi\'s Group find already living in the Americas when they arrived... other than the Jaredites, etc. whom they didn\'t find until later. RichardM in Nebraska

Another View of Lehi's Travels
Dear Douglas

While I sincerely welcome ANY attempt to throw light on where the Book of Mormon took place and to force our thinking out of the ruts, you must first master what the scriptures say about the matter and then master the research already done. For your theory to have any plausibility you must correct the numerous errors of fact and errors of logic on your website. Anyone who has followed the research published in the past two decades will immediately note the errors made when you discuss Bountiful in particular. Why do you say there is no suitable timber and no fruit there, to pick just 2 examples, when the Maxwell Institute has published many pictures and details of the timber trees at Kharfot and the edible fruits growing there?  The ore deposits there are more than enough to easily fashion tools. And where does Nephi say his vessel had a keel? Of oak or teak?
Choose a China or Hong Kong Bountiful if you must (and you should acknowledge the earlier proposal for China made by Eugene Peay in 1993) but it\'s not honest to misrepresent and falsify FACTS.  The facts are not hard to come by - just google and the references will pop up quickly.

Warren Aston

Authorís Response:

Dr. Aston,

Most of the postings I have not responded to, but as you have done a fair amount of research and published some excellent works in this field, I will respond to a few of your points.   It has been postulated that Lehi's group needed a boat about the size of Columbus's Nina.  You could build a raft that size without hardwoods, but Nephi "worked the timbers", and his thus rigid boat was able to weather at least one significant storm.  As I'm sure you're aware, such an ocean going vessel built without hardwoods for the keel would fold-up like tissue paper even in calm seas. 

As to brother Peay's book, I'm aware of at least 2 Lehi in China models that pre-date his.  I'm a little surprised that you didn't cite them, especially in light of the fact that they were much stronger than Brother Peay's proposals.  Brother Peay's proposal was that Lehi's company built a raft to cross 45 miles of open ocean at the Strait of Hormuz, a feat much more difficult than it sounds (and absent from the record).

The fact is, that everything else aside, a voyage across the Pacific from the Saudi peninsula is at least 3 to 4 times more technically difficult than a voyage from China, and they did travel 8 years nearly eastward in the wilderness before they came to America.    Author.

Speculation, speculation, speculation!
It would be nice to be able to visualize the geographic area of the Book of Mormon, but apparently our leaders did not find it necessary to reveal this. I wonder why?  When President Monson says, \"You are absolutely right, Dr. .... or Mr. ..... and the Saints need to know where these exact locations are on the map because it will affect their eternal salvation,\" I\'ll sit up and pay attention.
Besides, have any of these so-called experts taken into consideration the great changes in the face of the land when the Savior was crucified?
If we get hung up on geography, we might forget to internalize the beauty of the doctrines taught in this marvelous book.  Perhaps this is why it\'s not necessary to visualize the geographical location of these teachings.
Nola Collier

Thoughtful speculation
For Posting (if you wish)
I find the discourse and energy in this type of website exhiliarating.  I know more than a handful of people whose testimony of the gospel has been re-energized by such discussions, sending them time after time to the scriptures to obtain or verify answers to any number of questions about geography and other topics, and in the process, discovering many other truths found in the Book of Mormon.  For these reasons, I say Bravo to passionate research, thoughtful speculation, and respectful discussion on a very interesting topic.  Looking forward as more research and information comes forward.
Lenore,  in WI

Problem Printing Pages
I need help again, Rob.  The 3rd map under the title of \"Captain Moroni\'s Defense of the Land\" does not print and again the printed words are printed on top of each other.  Thanks for your previous answer.

For some reason some printers don't agree with some pages.  I am slowly trying to PDF each page.  The page mentioned in this post now has a prienter friendly link in the top left as does the comparison page.
-Rob Kiester (Webmaster)