American Book of Mormon Map
Reviewed by David A. Palmer
Professor Paul Dean Proctor of Brigham Young University has produced a colored map of Book of Mormon geography. He is a man of great faith and distinguished service. He also shows insight, as the following statement indicates:
The depository of the plates which Moroni buried after his many years of wandering is not the Cumorah of the ancient Nephites or the doomsday hill of the Jaredites. A multitude of sacred records still lies buried in a cavity in the rock of that ancient site under heavenly protection, yet to come forth in the due time of the Lord.
This statement would certainly seem to be true.
However, the map that he has produced does not really contribute to Book of Mormon geographical studies. He frankly states, “Present day geography was not considered in the make up, only internal descriptions within the book.” Actually, taking that approach, a very insightful and much more accurate reconstruction based entirely on the text has been published by Clark.1 Clark’s reconstruction is in basic agreement with the geographies published by Palmer2 and Sorenson.3 Those volumes not only place the setting in Mesoamerica, where the important ruins dating to Book of Mormon times are found, but specifically suggest identifications of the places and some of the ruins with Book of Mormon names. There are extensive references to field reports giving detailed correlations between the ruins and the history as related in the Book of Mormon.
Although Professor Proctor is acquainted with major organizations doing research in this area, he has elected to construct an internally consistent geography not dependent on actual sites. The maps are attractive, but I would have found them more useful had they been configured with respect to the real world.