Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sorenson on Geography

Not everyone agrees with John Sorenson on Book of Mormon geography. Some people would rather locate the Book of Mormon in the Mississippi valley, or in the Great Lakes area, or in Peru, or around the isthmus of Panama, or on the Baja Peninsula, or in Malaysia, or in any number of other places. Everyone should, however, agree with this point Sorenson makes on geography in his new book:
Heretofore the study of Book of Mormon geography has mainly consisted of making more or less random guesses as to one modern location or another where events portrayed in the Book of Mormon supposedly took place. For the most part such unsystematic studies have been undertaken after examining only some of the 600 references to geography found in the text. That is, a typical investigator peruses a map of the Americas, finds what he or she intuits to be a correlation, then proceeds to select from the Book of Mormon statements thought to support his correlation of choice. But a valid geography must do more than this. In order to have a realistic hope of establishing a real-world location for Book of Mormon events, one must reconcile everything the text say or implies about geography. (John L. Sorenson, Mormon's Codex [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013], 17.)