The New Jerusalem

There are 3 New Jerusalems prophesied in The Book of Mormon:

  1. By Lehi & Mulek’s descendants—at the time of Jesus.
  2. By Gentiles and Seed of Jacob (Colonists & Indians) pre-publication of Book of Mormon (gov. of USA).
  3. House of Joseph (of Egypt; another Remnant)—post-America on BoM lands (WNY).

Pertinent prophecies:

1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to finish my record concerning the destruction of the people of whom I have been writing.
2 For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;
4 Behold, Ether saw the DAYS OF CHRIST, and he spake concerning A New Jerusalem upon THIS LAND.
6 And that A New Jerusalem should be built up upon THIS LAND, unto the REMNANT OF THE SEED OF JOSEPH, for which things there has been a type.
8 Wherefore, the REMNANT OF THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH shall be built upon THIS LAND; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall BUILD up A HOLY CITY UNTO THE LORD, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall NO MORE BE CONFOUNDED, UNTIL THE END come when the earth shall pass away. (Ether 13)


22 But if THEY [Gentiles] will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
23 And THEY [Gentiles] shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that THEY may BUILD A CITY, which shall be called THE New Jerusalem.
24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.
26 And then shall the WORK OF THE FATHER COMMENCE at that day (3 Nephi 21)

A closer look reveals these prophecies are not speaking of the same New Jerusalem:

  A New Jerusalem -v- The New Jerusalem
Remnant House of Joseph -v- Remnant of Jacob + Gentiles + House Israel
No Longer Confounded -v- Work of the Father (1Ne.14:6-7)
Post-BoM -v- Pre-BoM

The promises of the seed of Joseph (of Egypt) differ from those of Jacob. The part that speaks of Joseph’s descendants on ancient Book of Mormon lands never becoming confounded also states God will intervene on their behalf.

Their turn to build A New Jerusalem on their lands will only come if the former New Jerusalem built by the Gentiles and Seed of Jacob comes to an end (i.e., chooses wickedness).

The only other mention of the House of Joseph is when the Lord confirmed this was their land (tribe of Jacob went north with Hagoth into Canada).

11 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen:
12 Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are A REMNANT OF THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH.
14 And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.
15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. (3 Nephi 15)


The prophecy of a New Jerusalem in America was hi-jacked by Joseph Smith when he attempted to build it in Independence, Missouri. The prophecy reads:

22 But if they [Gentiles] will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob [Indians], unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
23 And they [Gentiles] shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob [Indians], and also as many of the house of Israel [Jews] as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem..
24 And then shall they [Gentiles] assist my people [Indians] that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.
26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. (3 Nephi 21)

This New Jerusalem would be in place prior to the Book of Mormon coming forth and is easy to identify: the government over the land where the Book of Mormon came forth (United States of America with her inspired Declaration of Independence, Constitution, & Bill of Rights, etc.).

Joseph’s attempt to build that prophesied New Jerusalem failed because:

  1. The New Jerusalem was already built and in place. (3 Nephi 21:22-26)
  2. He threatened to have the land in Missouri “by purchase or by blood” which the Missourians resented and responded to by kicking out the Mormons. (D&C 63:29)

Mormons are still waiting to build Joseph’s idea of the prophesied New Jerusalem in Independence, Missouri, which they claim must be done before Jesus returns.


Book of Mormon prophet Ether prophesied that the New Jerusalem from above would descend to the 3rd New Jerusalem built by the “House of Joseph” on Book of Mormon lands:

2 After the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands a chosen land of the Lord wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him which dwelleth upon the face thereof
3 and that it was the place of the New Jerusalem which should come down out of Heaven and the Holy Sanctuary of the Lord (Ether 13)

Mormons who believe that Book of Mormon events took place in Mexico or Guatemala or Malaysia, etc. should expect this heavenly Jerusalem to descend there, and get ready by moving to those places—but they are not, for they are not “choice above all other lands” (i.e., those theories are false).

Book of Mormon Christians, on the other hand, recognize that ancient Book of Mormon lands are where the record came forth—western New York.

Book of Revelation

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down from God OUT OF HEAVEN, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21)

Using the word “city” has proven a stumbling block for Mormons to accept that the New World New Jerusalem is the United States of America and not what Joseph attempted in Independence, Missouri. The heavenly Jerusalem, however, is quite large, measuring 1500 miles square and is also called a “city.”

See also:


The Buildings Of

One of the keys to obtaining a true understanding of The Book of Mormon is to know what kind of buildings the people made and lived in.

The predominant mindset of Book of Mormon scholars is that Book of Mormon events occurred in Mesoamerica, in buildings made of stone, which remain to this day. The Book of Mormon however says that their buildings were primarily made of wood, and that they were destroyed by fire.

Nephi Taught Wood Working

15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. (2 Nephi 5)

Houses, Cities, Temples, Synagogues, & Sanctuaries Were Made of Wood

9 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. (Helaman 3)

As can be seen from the foregoing accounts, the buildings of The Book of Mormon bear no resemblance to the buildings of Mesoamerica.

Wicked King Noah Built With Wood

8 And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;
9 And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.
10 And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass. (Mosiah 11)

Zarahemla Was Made of Wood and Destroyed

The largest city in The Book of Mormon was made of wood and destroyed by fire:

3 Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof. (3 Nephi 9)

Other Cities Were Burned

9 And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness…
10 And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness. (3 Nephi 9)

No Evidence Remains

Prior to the final battle when the followers of Christ were wiped out, they were all gathered in to the Land of Cumorah. As they left their homes and cities behind, the Lamanites burned them:

5 And it came to pass that whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire; (Mormon 5)

As can be seen from the foregoing accounts, the buildings of The Book of Mormon bear no resemblance to the buildings found in Mesoamerica.

The People Of

Arrogance led to beliefs and statements that the people of The Book of Mormon populated all of the Americas. Now, with no DNA evidence to substantiate those claims, and no archaeological evidence, Book of Mormon scholars are liking theories that limit the geography to a smaller area – that of Mesoamerica.

As stated on our “The Geography of” page, The Book of Mormon does not support a geographic model located in Mesoamerrica. To substantiate our claim that everything occurred near the Hill Cumorah in Western New York, in a relatively small area (Erie to Rochester), we will show that the book says their people were more of a subset than anything else. And when they referred to a sudden or large population growth, they were calculating their integration with the locals – the American Indians – just as the French and Colonists did during their wars.

After a mere 55 years after landing near Erie, PA, a man by the name of Sherem came in among the people:

1 And now it came to pass after some years had passed away, there came a man among the people of Nephi, whose name was Sherem. (Jacob 7)

Jacob says he was knowledgeable and knew their language and tried to persuade their beliefs:

4 And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil. (Jacob 7)

After Jacob confounded this man and his teachings, Sherem confessed the error of his ways to “a multitude.” Where did this multitude come from? Lehi’s family did not produce them after a mere 55 years. Those people were already present.

17 And it came to pass that on the morrow the multitude were gathered together; and he spake plainly unto them and denied the things which he had taught them, and confessed the Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels. (Jacob 7)

It was also during this time that Jacob spoke out against polygamy. How could that come about unless there were more women? No doubt the locals were fascinated by these white men, and would have been easy to take advantage of:

24 Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines which thing was abominable before me saith the Lord
26 Wherefore I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old (Jacob 2)

Obviously there was a greater indigenous population compared to the Nephite population. This is what Jarom said:

6 And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land and the Lamanites also and they were EXCEEDING MORE NUMEROUS than were they of the Nephites. (Jarom 1)

In fact, later when the Nephites moved to the city of Zarahemla and joined with their numbers, together, they were not half as numerous as the locals:

3 And there were not so many of the people of Nephi and of the people of Zarahemla as there were of the Lamanites; yea, they were NOT HALF SO NUMEROUS. (Mosiah 25)

Jacob also said that wars had already occurred, and that they had armies their numbers were so great.

24 And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually.
25 Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies. (Jacob 7)

In the end, after 1000 years of history among the American Indians (600 BC – 400 AD), the Nephites (Believers in Christ.) were hunted down, destroyed, and all traces of them and their religion purposely removed:

14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would DESTROY OUR RECORDS AND US, and also ALL THE TRADITIONS OF OUR FATHERS. (Enos 1)

8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they SHOULD BE CAST INTO THE FIRE; and they also BROUGHT FORTH THEIR RECORDS which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire. (Alma 14)

13 And now there are many records kept of the proceedings of this people, by many of this people, which are particular and very large, concerning them.
14 But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work.
15 But behold, there are many books and many records of every kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites.
16 And they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites, even until they have fallen into transgression and have been murdered, plundered, and hunted, and driven forth, and slain, and scattered upon the face of the earth, and mixed with the Lamanites UNTIL THEY ARE NO MORE called the Nephites, becoming wicked, and wild, and ferocious, yea, even becoming Lamanites. (Helaman 3)

7 And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, EVEN UNTIL THEY ARE NO MORE; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites. (Mormon 8)

This outcome was even foreknown and prophesied of:

16 For those who SHALL be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust. (2 Nephi 26)

10 And these are the words: Behold, I perceive that this very people, the Nephites, according to the spirit of revelation which is in me, in four hundred years from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest himself unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief.
11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, even UNTIL THE PEOPLE OF NEPHI SHALL BECOME EXTINCT
12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge, yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before this great iniquity shall come.
13 And when that great day cometh, behold, the time very soon cometh that those who are now, or the seed of those who are now numbered among the people of Nephi, shall no more be numbered among the people of Nephi.
14 But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites pursue even until they SHALL BECOME EXTINCT. And now, because of iniquity, this prophecy shall be fulfilled. (Alma 45)

Q. If all the people were either destroyed or integrated with the Native American Indians, what became of the promises associated with the tribe of Joseph as given by Jacob and Moses?

A. Lehi’s family was only one of the many descendants of that tribe. Joseph Smith himself fulfilled prophecy through that tribe, and yet he was not born a Native American Indian. Those prophecies can easily be fulfilled outside of the descendants of Lehi.

Q. What about the promises pertaining to this land?

A. All promises offered to the families of Jared and Lehi remain with whomever inhabits the land.

Q. What about the promises associated with the Lamanites, and the remnant of Jacob?

A. The Nephites always viewed the Lamanites (Native American Indians) as God’s children, their brothers, and through integration, they became heirs of the promises as well.


Q. If the Book of Mormon people were nothing more than a subset of a larger pre-existing population – the American Indians, why won’t Book of Mormon scholars study the Native American Indian nations of Western New York?

A. Book of Mormon scholars are tied to the Mesoamerican framework and until that changes they will not look at the North American Indian tribes.

If any one of Joseph’s churches had committed even one-tenth of their time, money or energy to the study of the tribes surrounding the Hill Cumorah, they would have already discovered supporting evidence for The Book of Mormon.

As it stands, the Lord did not want them to find supporting evidence while The Book of Mormon was solely associated with the Mormon Church. The Book belongs to the body of Christ, and as soon as it is no longer associated with the Mormon Church, the evidence will come.


The Geography Of

Even though the Mormon Church formally denies endorsing any geographical theory regarding the location of Book of Mormon events, its many Book of Mormon editions, film strips, pamphlets and professors using images and references exclusively of the Mesoamerican area speaks otherwise. It is precisely those real life endorsements to the exclusion of all others that has merited the Mormon Church a wide sweeping criticism regarding the lack of DNA evidence to support those assumptions.

Had they not endorsed such fantastic claims through the pictures in different editions of the Book or Mormon, as well as in films that missionaries use to proselytize with; plus the multitude of church approved books, sponsored journals, and magazine articles; the number of believers who have stopped believing would not be so large.

Here is a typical “non-endorsing” statement from BYU:

Statement on Book of Mormon Geography

Since the early twentieth century, many scholars and other serious students of the Book of Mormon have come to favor the limited geography model, with Mesoamerica (extending from southern Mexico to Guatemala) as the Book of Mormon homeland and New York’s Hill Cumorah as the repository of Mormon’s record but not the scene of the final Nephite-Lamanite battles. Notwithstanding its various permutations regarding real-world correlations, this interpretation, with antecedents apparent in the 1840s, seems to best match the complex requirements of the scriptural text itself while remaining tenable after years of rigorous examination in light of the archaeological and cultural record of ancient Mesoamerica (

Even though LDS Church Presidents and apostles affirmed that the final battle occurred in Palmyra, New York (Church News, February 27th, 1954, p. 2; Conference Report, April, 1953, pp. 83-4.), Book of Mormon scholars know they can’t have it both way – a final battle in New York, with everything else in Mesoamerca. So, they chose to ignore those statements by prior church leaders and manufactured a “Second Hill Cumorah” theory instead.

Sadly, all other Book of Mormon believing denominations are following the lead of the LDS Church and believe in a Mesoamerican model as well.

We at Book of Mormon Christian believe that if you take the record alone without any alleged statements by Joseph Smith, the truth will speak very loud and very clear. And there will be no contradictions with DNA (see DNA & Hagoth ).


The Hill Cumorah, located near Palmyra, New York, is the one location no one can dispute. It is the final resting place of the gold record, just as Moroni left them there, and where he told Joseph to find them. It is from there that we can begin to trace the outline of Book of Mormon lands (see One Cumorah ).


Scholars cannot reconcile the story of Zelph – a deceased white Lamanite warrior who according to Joseph Smith was buried in Illinois – which is too far from Mesoamerica, and does not fit within the Mesoamerican framework.

Joseph described his travels to that area from NY/Ohio thus:

…wandering over the plains of the Nephites, recounting occasionally the history of the Book of Mormon, roving over the mounds of that once beloved people of the Lord, picking up their skulls & their bones, as a proof of its divine authenticity… (Dean Jesse, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 1984, p. 324).

Wilford Woodruff who was with Joseph recorded this:

While on our travels we visited many of the mounds which were flung up by the ancient inhabitants of this continent, probably by the Nephites & Lamanites. We visited one of those Mounds and several of the brethren dug into it and took from it the bones of a man. Brother Joseph had a vision respecting the person he said he was a white Lamanite, the curse was taken from him or at least in part, he was killed in battle with an arrow, the arrow was found among his ribs, one of his thigh bones was broken, this was done by a stone flung from a sling in battle years before his death, his name was Zelph. Some of his bones were brought into the camp and the thigh bone which was broken was put into my wagon and I carried it to Missouri. Zelph was a large thick set man and a man of God, he was a warrior under the great prophet that was known from the hill Cumorah to the Rocky mountains. The above knowledge Joseph received in a vision (Scott Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’ s Journal, 1983, 1:10).

Though Joseph was anxious to claim those fantastic ruins in Mesoamerica as Book of Mormon, he never actually went there to confirm it. What did Joseph confirm?

  1. The Hill Cumorah
  2. The Plains of the Nephites
  3. The Warrior Zelph in Illinois

These are more than enough reasons to study the Mound Builders, the Iroquois and their areas of influence.


Somehow, certain believers, (In trying to reconcile claims that Lehi landed near Chile.) try to frame all Book of Mormon events in Mesoamerica, except the deposit of the plates in the Hill Cumorah. They, therefore claim there were two Hill Cumorah’s – one for their final wars, and the other for the depositing of the record. The Book of Mormon makes no such claim.

Here is a typical drawing representing the two Cumorah’s theory by Warren and Ferguson in The Messiah in Ancient America, p. 332:

Two Cumorah’s Theory

We know for a fact that the final Nephite battle did occur around the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra New York, and when the Book of Mormon is no longer associated exclusively with the Mormon Church, we will identify the location of an actual Nephite camp that was last used during the final battle and has been untouched to this day.

Up – Down – Over

One of the keys to understanding Book of Mormon geography is Mormon’s use of “up” “down” and “over” to describe how they traveled. A study of these words alone can paint a very clear picture of what the ancient Book of Mormon terrain looked like.

In regards to the Hill Cumorah, the use of the word “over” tells us that it was not north or south of where the people lived, but in an entirely different area that they had to go “over” to. The Nephites and Jaredites lived in a land that was longer north to south than it was east to west. So if they were traveling either north or southward they would use the terms “up” or “down” depending on whether the terrain was higher or lower. And if they would travel east or west, they generally used the term “over” instead of “east” or “west.”

And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land; wherefore Omer departed out of the land with his family, and traveled many days, and came over and passed by the hill of Shim, and came over by the place where the Nephites were destroyed (Cumorah), and from thence eastward, and came to a place which was called Ablom, by the seashore, and there he pitched his tent, and also his sons and his daughters, and all his household, save it were Jared and his family. (Ether 9:3)

Omer obviously came from the west to get to Cumorah, and then continued on toward the “east” after leaving Cumorah. “Over” in this case may refer to an obstacle running north and south like the sea on the east that he had to go “over” to get to the land of Cumorah. Another clue Mormon left us regarding the location of Book of Mormon lands is this reference to the Hill Cumorah:

And it came to pass that there were ten more who did fall by the sword, with their ten thousand each; yea, even all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their mother earth. (Mormon 6:15)

Notice how those who escaped went “south.” It is important to note here that Cumorah lay outside of the borders of Nephite lands. The core Nephite lands were relatively small occupying only western New York and were completely surrounded by water or “seas”:

32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. (Alma 22:32)

These seas still exist. By using satellite images, the original seas can clearly be seen in the following map by switching between map view and satellite view. Look for:

West Sea = Lake Erie/Niagara River-Gorge

East Sea = Letchworth State Park / Genesee River-Gorge

North Sea = Lake Ontario

South Sea = Lake Tonawanda

Western New York Satellite Map

We have highlighted the boundaries on the following road map:

Road Map (468 kb)

During the final battle, those who “escaped south” did not go back “over” to the Nephite lands and then travel south (For they had been overrun by their enemies.), but immediately traveled south from the land of Cumorah, being on the eastern side of the East Sea outside of Nephite lands.

People ask why Cumorah was not part of Nephite lands, or why it was chosen for their final battle? Simple, no one wanted to bury the dead, so they needed a remote area no one lived in or traveled through.

Cumorah was also treeless having been used for their lumber industry making it exceptional for open warfare:

And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping (Cumorah). (Helaman 3:10)

It was a large barren piece of land, with many drumlin hills and plenty of water. Old pictures of the Cumorah area are a good representation of what it must have looked like two thousand years ago – treeless.

Having established that Cumorah was “over” to the east from the land of the Nephites, and far north, suffering the same treeless fate as the land northward, let us look at the land of Nephi next.

The following maps are attempts by different authors to identify the Internal Geography of the Book of Mormon:

Lynn Layton Map

Daniel Ludlow Map

Duane Aston Map

John Sorenson Map

By superimposing the Daniel Ludlow map on top of the Road Map, we see that the location where Lehi’s family landed (Land of First Inheritance) was at Erie, PA and from there they migrated North – North East.

Superimposed Internal Map

Based on the same map, we see that the main river in the Book of Mormon called Sidon, is the Buffalo River. These are the core areas for the history of the Book of Mormon and is called the Western New York” model. For detailed maps see our Book of Mormon Geography site:


It is important to note that the natural boundaries of this area were used in the Holland Land Company Purchase of 1793.

Holland Land Company Purchase Map

The Morris Reserve is part of that area, and together, the Morris Reserve and the Holland Land Company Purchase did secure for the Gentiles the core area of the Promised Land as foretold:

And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord that it was upon the Gentiles and they did prosper and obtain (buy) the land for their inheritance. (1 Nephi 13:15)

And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations. (1 Nephi 13:19 – Peace of Paris 1783)

The Holland Land Office is still there today and can be visited:

Holland Land Office and Museum


The Iroquois Nation are/were the current inhabitants of ancient Book of Mormon lands and thus heirs of its blessings and promises, and joint founders with the Gentiles, of the United States government.

Iroquois Map from Richard Wright, "Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas"

(source: Richard Wright, Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas, 2005, p. vix)

The core Iroquois Nation area mirrors that of the core Book of Mormon area; which mirrors the Holland Land Company Purchase; which was a fighting area between the Colonists and Britian; and the French and Indians; and the Nephites and Lamanites; and the fighting area of the Six Nations before they were united by the Peace Maker.

They fulfilled Book of Mormon prophecy when they fought (primarily led by the Oneidas) along with the Colonists to secure their lands to be free of a king. They also assisted and inspired Benjamin Franklin to form a new nation by forming the Albany Plan of Union, which later became the foundation of our Constitution. See also:

The Iroquois and the Origins of American Democracy

Haudenosaunee Confederacy

Treaty of Canandaigua

H.Con.Res. 331 (100th) – Oct 21, 1988: A concurrent resolution to acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution.

Executive Order 13336 – April 30, 2004

Memorandum September 23, 2004


The predecessor to our Constitution was made by Benjamin Franklin in cooperation with the Iroquois Nation. It was a joint effort, just like the war was a joint effort. This plan of union was formalized in the eastern corridor of Book of Mormon lands in Albany, New York.

For information on Benjamin Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union:

BOMC-Albany Plan of Union

Wiki Plan of Union


In 1784, five years before George Washington was inaugurated in New York City as the first president, he envisioned New York as the ‘seat of empire,’ thus giving rise to its nickname–the “Empire State.” ‘New York has completely fulfilled the expectation that Washington expressed to the state’s first governor, George Clinton’ (Compton’s Encyclopedia).

The first Capital of the United States of America was in New York City at Federal Hall:

Federal Hall


George Washington made the first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in New York City, on October 3, 1789:

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be— That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions— to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discretely and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Signed: George Washington

George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation 1789


By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations. the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. Our exemption hitherto from foreign war, an increasing prospect of the continuance of that exemption, the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed, the recent confirmation of that tranquility by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it, the happy course of our public affairs in general, the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens, are circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the Divine beneficence toward us. In such a state of things it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.

Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next, as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the Great Ruler of Nations for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation, particularly for the possession of constitutions of government which unite and by their union establish liberty with order; for the preservation of our peace, foreign and domestic; for the seasonable control which has been given to a spirit of disorder in the suppression of the late insurrection, and generally, for the prosperous course of our affairs, public and private; and at the same time humbly and fervently to beseech the kind Author of these blessings graciously to prolong them to us; to imprint on our hearts a deep and solemn sense of our obligations to Him for them; to teach us rightly to estimate their immense value; to preserve us from the arrogance of prosperity, and from hazarding the advantages we enjoy by delusive pursuits; to dispose us to merit the continuance of His favors by not abusing them; by our gratitude for them, and by a correspondent conduct as citizens and men; to render this country more and more a safe and propitious asylum for the unfortunate of other countries; to extend among us true and useful knowledge; to diffuse and establish habits of sobriety, order, morality, and piety, and finally, to impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind..

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 1st day of January 1795, and of the Independence of the United States of America the nineteenth.



As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredation on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas–under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.

I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens, and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.

And finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this 23d day of March, A. D. 1798, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.



(Read more at the American Presidency Project: John Adams: Proclamation 8 – Recommending a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer


On the very same day that George Washington was inaugurated at Federal Hall did the spiritual inauguration of the New Jerusalem begin. Where? St. Paul’s Chapel:

St. Paul's Chapel

That’s right, directly after George Washington was inaugurated as first president of the United States did he and other elected official walk to St. Paul’s Chapel to offer up thanks and commit themselves and the nation to God.


Washington along with New York Governor De Witt Clinton worshiped at St. Paul’s Chapel.

Washingtons Pew - St. Paul's Chapel


Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend (George Washington: “Inaugural Address,” April 30, 1789; other addresses by all presidents at The American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara).

St. Paul’s Chapel was protected by God when the British captured New York and destroyed one-fourth of the buildings including two churches. Likewise was it protected on 9-11 when buildings around her were falling to the ground [Washington’s Prayers].

.St. Paul's Welcome Sign

Thus the spiritual center of the New Jerusalem is St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan and is the place to where pilgrims can go on their pilgrimages of the New Jerusalem:

St. Paul's Chapel - the Place For Pilgrimages 

 [A Revolutionary War Day Trip]


It was discovered by Rabbi Johnathan Cahn that “9/11” was a sign by God that America had been judged and the allowance of a hit on the Twin Towers a harbinger of things to come if America continues to ignore God. Rabbi Cahn identified a total of  8 Harbingers associated with 9/11:

  1. The Fallen Bricks
  2. We Will Rebuild
  3. Bigger and Better
  4. A Hewn Stone
  5. Spirit of Defiance
  6. Sycamore Tree
  7. Cedar Tree
  8. Vows of Arrogance

Source: Isaiah 9:10


Olympia, Greece

Like ancient Olympia [Greece] was hidden for 1100 years (600 AD – 1776 AD) buried under alluvial deposits up to 8 meters deep, so too is a significant part of Book of Mormon lands, the location of which we will reveal when the Book of Mormon is no longer solely associated with the Mormon Church. 


The Translation Process


Due to ignorance, many people believe that Joseph “translated” the record using his own words. The prophecy however said he would only “read the words”:

20 thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee

22 when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee

24 shall read the words that shall be delivered him (2 Nephi 27) 

Apparently, Joseph had an aptitude for peering into a “peep-stone,” much as Joseph of old did with his silver cup (Genesis 44:2,5,15). Thus, God did allow Joseph the use of this interest – not for gold digging anymore – but rather for bringing forth the already translated English words of the book, from heaven to earth.

This is what Emma told her son Joseph III about the process:

When acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible (Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, 1:542).

Young William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith said this: 

That the statements given in the preceding lines concerning the strange visions shown to Joseph Smith, are true; and the translation of the record as found by the brother as stated, is also true, and in no other way did Joseph Smith compile, or compose the Book of Mormon only as stated by the gift and power of God. The story that Joseph Smith made up his revelation of the Book of Mormon out of a romance written by one Solomon Spaulding, like many other falsehoods told on the character of the Prophet, by the deceitful and lying stupidity of the age in which we live, must fall to the ground with the rest of their refuge of lies (William Smith on Mormonism, 1883, p. 28).

Martin Harris was one of the first (non-family related) scribes to write for Joseph Smith. He was later chosen to be one of the prophesied Three Witnesses to testify they saw an angel, heard the voice of God, saw the gold plates, urim and thummim, liahona, and sword of laban. This is what he said about the dictation process:

He said that the Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone.

Martin explained the translation as follows:

By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say, ‘Written,’ and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used.

Martin said, after continued translation they would become weary and would go down to the river and exercise by throwing stones out on the river, etc. While so doing on one occasion, Martin found a stone very much resembling the one used for translating, and on resuming their labor of translation, Martin put in place the stone that he had found. He said that the Prophet remained silent unusually and intently gazing in darkness, no traces of the usual sentences appearing. Much, surprised, Joseph exclaimed, ‘Martin! What is the matter? All is as dark as Egypt.’ Martin’s countenance betrayed him, and the prophet asked Martin why he had done so. Martin said to stop the mouths of fools, who had told him that the Prophet had learned those sentences and was merely repeating them. (“Harris’ Statement to Edward Stevenson,” Millenial Star, Vol. XLIV, pp. 86-87)

Royal Skousen

This is what Royal Skousen of the Critical Text Project of The Book of Mormon said:

I began to see considerable evidence for the traditional interpretation that witnesses of the translation process claimed: (1) the text was given word for word, (2) Book of Mormon names were frequently spelled out the first time they occurred in the text, and (3) during dictation there was no rewriting of the text except to correct errors in taking down the dictation. Joseph Smith was literally reading off an already composed English-language text. The evidence in the manuscripts and in the language of the text itself supports the hypothesis that the Book of Mormon was a precisely determined text. I do not consider this conclusion apologetic, but instead as one demanded by the evidence.

The opposing viewpoint, that Joseph Smith got ideas and he translated them into his own English, cannot be supported by the manuscript and textual evidence. The only substantive argument for this alternative view has been the nonstandard nature of the text, with its implication that God would never speak ungrammatical English, so the nonstandard usage must be the result of Joseph Smith putting the ideas he received into his own language. Yet with the recent finding that the original vocabulary of the text appears to be dated from the 1500s and 1600s (not the 1800s), we now need to consider the possibility that the ungrammaticality of the original text may also date from that earlier period of time, not necessarily from Joseph’s own time and place. Joseph Smith is not the author of the Book of Mormon, nor is he actually the translator. Instead, he was the revelator: through him the Lord revealed the English-language text (by means of the interpreters, later called the Urim and Thummim, and the seer stone). Such a view is consistent, I believe, with Joseph’s use elsewhere of the verb translate to mean ‘transmit’ and the noun translation to mean ‘transmission’ (as in the eighth Article of Faith).

Stanford Carmack

This is what Stanford Carmack said:

Stanford Carmack
Stanford Carmack

Stanford Carmack has a linguistics and a law degree from Stanford University as well as a doctorate in Hispanic Languages and Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in historical syntax and textual analysis. He currently researches Book of Mormon syntax and lexis as they relate to English usage and contributes to aspects of the Book of Mormon critical text project carried out by Royal Skousen (

(@36:50) I’m thrilled to be able to study The Book of Mormon and TO SEE WHAT A WONDERFUL THING IT IS and to know that it was revealed words that did indeed come to Joseph Smith word-for-word (“Stanford Carmack – Exploding the Myth of Unruly Book of Mormon Grammar,” YouTube,

The punctuation was added by the printer, and the LDS versification by Orson Pratt. Only the paragraphs in the 1830 edition were as indicated on the plates:

It appears that Joseph Smith himself specified the placement of the original chapter breaks. In the translation process, Joseph seems to have seen some visual indication at the end of a section that the section was ending; perhaps the last words of the section were followed by blankness. Recognizing that the section was ending, Joseph then told the scrip to write the word chapter, with the understanding that the appropriate number would be added later. Scribal evidence from the original and printer’s manuscripts supports this interpretation. Oliver Cowdery’s Chapter is always written rapidly and with the same ink flow as the surrounding text. But his chapter numbers are almost always written with heavier ink flow and more carefully. In many cases, Oliver took time to add serifs to his roman numerals. And in one case, the chapter number was written in blue ink while all the surrounding words (including the word Chapter) were written using the normal black ink.

The use of the word chapter and he corresponding numbers is not part of the original text and can therefore be considered noncanonical. But the breaks that Joseph Smith apparently saw can be considered a part of the original text and should be indicated in the [critical] text, perhaps by placing white spaces between sections. (Royal Skousen, “Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part One: 1 Nephi 1 – 2 Nephi 20,” FARMS, 2004, p. 44).

Stan Spencer

Caractors Transcript

MacKay Characters Document - Hicks Collection
MacKay Characters Document – Hicks Collection

Commonly called the “Anthon Transcript,” the above picture is of the “Character Document,” and the “caractors” were originally copied directly from the plates by Joseph, and then on the above document by Christian Whitmer. There are seven lines of characters. A translation of the document was completed by Jerry D. Grover Jr. in 2019 and reads thus:

That little scrap of yellowed paper sat peacefully for more than a hundred years, just waiting for someone to take it seriously (Jerry D. Grover, TRANSLATION OF THE “CARACTORS” DOCUMENT REVISED AND UPDATED, 2019, p. 374).

Grover gives details about his translation of the characters:

Now that all the terms have been translated individually, the translation of the full text can be rendered. There are always different possibilities for final prose in any translation. The scriptural style and language of the Book of Mormon will not be duplicated in this translation. The translation is meant primarily to discern the complete meaning of the text, so I will not attempt to preserve all of the elements of the time and calendar marking system (such as potentially ten “it came to pass” clauses) or express the multiple meanings of the names, places, and tribes. The translation is in contemporary English, leaving in place some of the original structure where it makes sense. Bracketed words or phrases are not a direct translation per se but provide context (p. 309). 

Translation of the First Four Lines of the Caractors Document

In the nineteenth regnal year of Mosiah I, the Nephites exited over the mountains to the foreign speaking people of Mulek. These twenty thousand “children of Mosiah1” traveled over the mountains for eleven days and then downriver on the east side of the River Sidon [Grijalva River] for eighty days reaching Zarahemla. And then it came to pass that after eleven years thus began the Period of the Seven Tribes.

After the space of twenty-one more years had passed, Zeniff, with sixty of his people, departed. Fifty-three more years then passed; then the Limhites departed and obtained the Twenty-Four plates from the West in the Land of Desolation, returning upriver on the River of Lamanite Possessions [Usumacinta]. Seven years from the date of the departure to obtain the Jaredite plates, the Limhites traveled west, bringing the pure gold Jaredite plates to Mosiah2, which he translated.

Previous to the arrival of the Limhites, Benjamin was made king in the second month of the four hundred and thirtysixth year after Lehi left Jerusalem. At the age of eighty-three, king Benjamin ascended to eternity, which was four hundred seventy-nine years after Lehi left Jerusalem. King Benjamin’s death occurred one and one third years before the arrival of the Limhites. Four years before the arrival of the Limhites, the Period of the Seven Tribes ended in conjunction with the Jubilee Year (p. 309).

Translation of the Second Three Lines of the Caractors Document

Sixty and one half months [prior to the coming of Christ]—Samuel the Lamanite came to the Nephites and the Lamanites prophesying of darkness—The Nephite primary count calendar was shifted from the 1,000 Year Calendar to the Coming of Christ Calendar, effective retroactively nine years after the Coming of Christ Calendar started—The 600 year Lehi Departure Calendar period ended; in the ninety-second year of the Reign of the Judges, the First and Most High King, Christ the Son, came to the Land of Jerusalem; while he was born occurred two days of brightness—The Gaddianton tribe arose; Nephi2 departed—Siege of the Gaddianton robbers, praise voiced to God; a Jubilee Year takes place, which completes the Twelfth Jubilee Period of the 1,000 Year Calendar

On the first month of the one hundred and twenty-fifth year of the Reign of the Judges Calendar, Christ came at the time of darkness to the people—After remaining fifty weeks, in the twelfth month of the thirty-fourth year of the Coming of Christ (the Most High) Calendar, Christ ascends upward to heaven; the Reign of the Judges Calendar period ends; thus commences a period of truth and prosperity—Nephites seek after riches; the rise of the Fourth Generation is complete—Nephites retreated downriver on the River Bountiful [Coatzacoalcos] to the north countries; Three Disciples departed—Innumerable multitudes of Lamanites came—The Nephites and the Lamanites are without Christ and God the Father, now choosing to be led by Satan—Moroni and Mormon are in the hands of Christ—three hundred eighty-four years (p. 309).

Chapter 10 A River Runs through It—Nephite Directional System There are multiple glyphs related to directions found in the Caractors Document:

To start the analysis, it is assumed that the Grijalva River (upon which the Sorenson model is based) is the River Sidon. Figures 98–100 show the geography of the Sorenson model. As becomes apparent, the East Sea and the West Sea do not look be east and west at all but are more north and south. This fact is geographically puzzling; in addition, the Book of Mormon text indicates that there is a sea to the north (Alma 50:15). In fact, the Book of Mormon seems to encapsulate in one brief verse some indication that there are seas on all sides (Helaman 3:8):

And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.

Unless one is on an island, a literal interpretation of this verse is difficult to apply to any known geography; as a result, some individuals have attempted in their models to have the entire Yucatan peninsula as part of the land northward, just to try to make this one verse work. Is there something in the water that the Nephites are drinking that is causing them confusion? The answer is yes (p. 249).

There are three glyphs for going upriver, with two being identical and incorporated into the glyph for “Lamanite” (C-108 and C-217). A third appears to have the same top element, but the bottom element is different (B49a, [Usumacinta River]) (p. 255).

The glyph for “Jaredite” already referenced is related definitionally to the land northward and the Land of Desolation, so the probable candidate for this directional glyph is the River Bountiful. Perhaps it is a form of the upriver directional for the river. If not, then perhaps the Papaloapan River could be considered, but there is no etymology or reference in the Book of Mormon for that river, so nothing can be assessed in that regard (p. 258).

The directional basis for the Book of Mormon is based on the alignment of the River Sidon (Grijalva River). It needs to be noted that the northern extent of the Grijalva anciently was further to the west, but in general, current orientations are the same for this analysis. The Nephites primarily occupied the upper Grijalva or above (along the blue line in the figure) until 500 years after Lehi’s departure, when they expanded to the north (Alma 50:15). Until that point in time, there was no reference to a north or south sea, only the east sea and the west sea (see Alma 22:27; 50:8). After the expansion to the north, since the alignment of orientation based on the river was different in the northern reach of the River Sidon (along the red line in the figure), those populations would refer to the seas as being on the south or the north. Hence approximately 552 years after Lehi’s departure, when the Book of Mormon mentions a north and south sea for the first time in Helaman 3:8 (for persons on the lower portion of the river), as well as the east and west sea (which were mentioned previously and continued to be the case on the upper river), the statement was accurate from a river directional point of view.

In addition, the River Bountiful (Coatzacoalcos River) also runs nearly directly south to north. In later times, as this area became populated with Nephites, the north sea would be directly north where it discharges and the headwaters would be directly south.

As explained, in order for the directions to make sense in the Book of Mormon, there must be a river that changes course in the right location and reflects the correct relationship to settlement patterns. The Grijalva River is the only river in the Isthmus that meets these criteria, so the Caractors Document does provide definitive directional evidence that the Grijalva River is in fact the River Sidon (pp. 267-268)


Additional Reading

MacKay, Michael Hubbard; Dirkmaat, Gerrit J.; Jenson, Robin Scott. “The ‘Caractors’ Document: New Light on an Early Transcription of the Book of Mormon Characters,” Mormon Historical Studies, vol. 14, No. 1.

Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, From Darkness unto Light (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015)

The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799, in Rosetta Egypt, and is now housed at the British Museum. The stone dated 196 BC is significant because it was the key that unlocked the ancient Egyptian language and culture. In the following picture you can see three different languages inscribed – hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek:

Rosetta Stone

As can be seen, the hieroglyphs take up less space than the other two languages to say the same thing. This was the reason Book of Mormon authors wrote in Reformed Egyptian – to save space. When Joseph dictated the already translated Egyptian into English, it is reported he saw the Egyptian characters on one line with the English words underneath – just like we see on the Rosetta Stone.

Altered Text

The accusation that Joe Smith or someone in the Mormon Church altered the text of the Book of Mormon is correct. Many changes were made to make the text more “grammatically” correct to our or Joe’s time. Some changes did alter the meaning of the text. Luckily, unmodified first edition copies of the Book of Mormon are available in our Bookstore and is searchable in our Scriptures on the Menu.

No matter how rigorous a publishing team may be, human error does occur. For example, the book of Isaiah found among the Dead Sea Scrolls had over “2600 variants”:

Great Isaiah Scroll Version: The text of the Great Isaiah Scroll generally conforms to the Masoretic or traditional version codified in medieval codices (all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version, in the same conventional order). At the same time, however, the two thousand year old scroll contains alternative spellings, scribal errors, corrections, and most fundamentally, many variant readings. Strictly speaking, the number of textual variants is well over 2,600, ranging from a single letter, sometimes one or more words, to complete variant verse or verses (Versions and Translations of the Book of Isaiah; Aleppo Codex).


The Gold Plates

Like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library, The Book of Mormon was stored away for over a millennia. To make sure the record would not deteriorate over time, the record keepers used gold or an alloy of gold to engrave their writings upon.

Though the word “plates” was often used to describe the record back in 1830, a better word was used by Joseph’s wife Emma to correctly describe the nature of the record – thick paper:

I once felt of the plates, as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metalic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumbs the edges of a book. (Vogel, Early Mormon Documents 1:541)

The size of the plates was described by Book of Mormon witness Martin Harris:

The plates were seven inches wide by eight inches in length…they were altogether about four inches thick.

I hefted those plates many times, and should think they weighed forty or fifty pounds. (Tiffany’s Monthly, August 1859, 4:163)

Joseph’s neighbor (Mr. Beman) who made a box for them said he heard them “jink” when they were placed in the box. (Ibid.)

Dead Sea Scrolls

The outcome of the Dead Sea Scrolls provides a warning of what could happen when additional Book of Mormon records come forth. How will they be interpreted? Will there be a consensus? Who will have access to them? These have been the challenges with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Israeli government has put some of the scrolls online: Dead Sea Scolls Online, (9/27/11)


Genizah means “a hiding place” which was and is used by Jews as a storeroom or depository for important records, particularly those containing the names of God, also called shemot. The most famous Genizah (so far) is  the Cairo Genizah which has a collection of over 280,000 manuscript fragments.

In the collection was found the first ever Hebrew copy of the book of Ecclesiastics. Many of the documents were written in the Aramaic language using the Hebrew alphabet. This discovery is of equal importance to that of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Every so many years, burials of “shemot”  take place in which the records are buried in the ground and covered with a stone.

The Book of Mormon followed that pattern:

a. Record keeping

b. Record storing

c. Record burial

d. Records covered with a stone

And now there are many records kept of the proceedings of this people by many of this people which are particular and very large concerning them…but behold there are many books and many records of every kind and…they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites (Helaman 3:13-16)

And I was about to write more but I am forbidden but great and marvellous were the prophecies of Ether but they esteemed him as nought and cast him out and he hid himself in the cavity of a rock [i.e. the Genizah] by day and by night he went forth viewing the things which should come upon the people (Ether 13:13)

When Joseph Smith retrieved the plates from the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, NY, he reported that they were buried under a rock. Later, Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer described a second Genizah in the same area that contained many more records. The promise that additional records would come forth IF the receivers of the first part were faithful, has not been realized due to the Mormon Church-wide curse (D&C 84:54-58). Until the “believers” in the holy record follow its contents, no archaeological or scriptural support will come forth in support of that church.

6 And now there cannot be written in this book (Book of Mormon) even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;
7 But behold the Plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.
8 And these things have I written (Book of Mormon) which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.
9 And when they shall have received this (Book of Mormon) which is expedient that they should have FIRST to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall BELIEVE these things THEN SHALL THE GREATER THINGS BE MADE MANIFEST UNTO THEM.
10 And IF it so be that THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE THESE THINGS (Book of Mormon) THEN SHALL THE GREATER THINGS BE WITHHELD from them, unto their condemnation. (3 Nephi 26) 


The Witnesses

Who saw the gold record?

  1. Joseph Smith Jr.
  2. Martin Harris
  3. Oliver Cowdery
  4. David Whitmer
  5. Mary Whitmer (51 years old)
  6. Christian Whitmer (31 years old)
  7. Jacob Whitmer (29 years old)
  8. Peter Whitmer Jr. (19 years old)
  9. John Whitmer (26 years old)
  10. Hiram Page (29 years old)
  11. Joseph Smith Sr. (57 years old)
  12. Hyrum Smith (29 years old)
  13. Samuel Smith (21 years old)

Who recanted their testimony?

No one.


Test Your Knowledge

The Bible &

The Book of Mormon is to bear witness to the truthfulness of the Bible.

The Bible can bear witness of itself, but most people will want a second or third witness from another source. This is the reason Jews and Muslims have not embraced the Bible. It contains the New Testament, and as of yet, there have not been any external sources to confirm the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But God does not leave Himself without witness (Acts 14:17), and the sooner Christians realize this, the sooner they can embrace The Holy Book of Mormon.

It is NOT a substitute for the Bible, it is the external source for confirming what the New Testament says – that Jesus rose from the dead. It’s what the world has been waiting for.

To show how this was planned out in advance by God, we will quote from The Holy Book of Mormon what it says about itself and the Bible.

Plain Removed

The following contains a vision by the prophet Nephi 600 years before Christ. In it, he is shown what will occur after the Bible goes forth from the Roman Church, to the Protestants, on the American continent:

34. And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel — and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father — wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles (White man comes to America.), and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly (Many denominations.), because of the most plain and precious parts (Method of Baptism and Communion) of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb — I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.

35. For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things (Book of Mormon) which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious (Contain instructions for baptism and communion.); and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.

36. And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.

38. And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God (Bible), which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.

39. And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books (Book of Mormon), which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

40. And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records (Book of Mormon), which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first (Bible), which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things (Method of baptism and communion.) which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

41. And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth. (1Nephi 13)

Points to Consider:

  • No Christian can deny that there has always been contention over Baptism and Communion.
  • Without explicit instructions, there will always be a variety of interpretations.
  • For something so pivotal to the gospel of Jesus Christ, surely Jesus left his disciples with explicit instructions how these were to be performed.
  • Not only who could perform them, but who could receive them.

For example, how old must one be to receive baptism? An infant, adult, or child? Or does it matter? What about the mentally challenged, the insane, or the comatose?

In Communion, is Jesus really being re-crucified every time it is performed? What is the Communion Prayer? Who can receive it? Who can administer it? These are the plain and precious details that were kept out of the Bible. No one can dispute this, and that is why Book of Mormon prophets included those instructions in their writings – they had a foreknowledge they were going to be lost.


The whole point of having a Second Witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is so there won’t be any contention. By following the Bible and The Book of Mormon, matters that currently divide the Christian community can be solved.

12. Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins (Tribe of Joseph) shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins (Book of Mormon), and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah (Bible), shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. (2Nephi 3)

The Jews &

Christians should have a great love for the Jewish people. It is from them our Lord came, and it is to them our Lord will return.

God knew and prophets foretold that Jesus would not be accepted as the Messiah. For this reason, God purposely planned for a Second Witness to be provided. The Book of Mormon IS that Second Witness, and by it, the Jews may begin to believe Jesus’ words – that he is the Son of God, that he died for their sins, and rose again.

12. Now these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob (Book of Mormon); and they are written after this manner, because it is known of God that wickedness will not bring them forth unto them; and they are to be hid up unto the Lord that they may come forth in his own due time.

13. And this is the commandment which I have received; and behold, they shall come forth according to the commandment of the Lord, when he shall see fit, in his wisdom.

14. And behold, they (Book of Mormon) shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go — that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant; (Mormon 5)

Jesus &

By reading Jesus’ own words, we can learn how he felt about those people in The Book of Mormon. The following excerpt is from his visit to the America’s, shortly after he left his disciples in Jerusalem, after his resurrection:

4. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles (Book of Mormon), that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. (3 Nephi 16)

4. Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles (Book of Mormon).

5. And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.

6. And now it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he said unto them again, after he had expounded all the scriptures unto them which they had received, he said unto them: Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not.

7. And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept.

8. And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:

9. Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

10. And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.

11.And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?

12. And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

13. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.

14. And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them. (3 Nephi 23)

1. And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi — Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. (3 Nephi 24)

Greater Things of Jesus

The Book of Mormon does say that “Greater Things” will be forthcoming from Jesus IF the people will believe The Book of Mormon first. Those greater things will include all history from the beginning to the end, as Jesus taught it to the believers in America:

3 And he did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away;
4 And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
5 If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.
6 And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;
7 But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.
8 And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.
9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.
11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people. (3 Nephi 26:3-11)

Those “Greater Things” should not be confused with the “Sealed Portion” or the writings of the brother of Jared. The “Sealed Portion” will not come forth until AFTER the Greater Things of Jesus are revealed:

4 Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.
5 Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.
6 For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.
7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are. (Ether 4:4-7)

The difference being, to receive the Greater Things of Jesus one must only believe in The Book of Mormon. To receive the Sealed Portion, one must have faith as the brother of Jared, which faith allowed him to meet the Savior.

The Purpose Of

1. It’s the Handbook for Turning to God

“Mormon” actually refers to the place where people chose God. The title “Book of Mormon” translates “Book of Turning to God.” See Name Of.

2. It is the Handbook for America – A Standard Unto My People

Just as there have been promises made to the City of David, and the tribe of Judah, so too have there been promises made to the land of America, that God would use the Book of Mormon as a Standard for its people:

1 But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel; (2 Nephi 29:1-2)

Only the Book of Mormon details the destiny of this great nation; its promises and blessings; its mandate and God given stewardship over ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH.

3. Restores Lost Doctrine

Where are the plain instructions in the Bible for Baptism and Communion? They are nowhere to be found. For this reason the body of Christ has been divided, and for this reason has The Book of Mormon been given.

4. God will establish Every Doctrine in the Mouth of Two or More Witnesses (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Where is God’s Second Witness to the Bible? The Book of Mormon is God’s Second Witness to the Bible:

a. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this. (Isaiah 37:32)

b. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold. (John 10:16)

c. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed. (Isaiah 29:11)

d. Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. (2 Nephi 29:8-9)

5. To prove to the Jews that Jesus is The Christ

God knew, and prophets foretold that the Jews would reject the Messiah. This is why God, in His infinite wisdom prepared a Second Witness – to help their unbelief.

6. To perform a “REFORMATION”

Instead of embarking on a life of preaching, i.e. evangelizing using the Holy Book of Mormon, Joe started a church and added all kinds of doctrine and requirements to get to God. One of the primary purposes of the Book of Mormon was to perform a “reformation,” which makes sense only if there were a pre-existing church.

Joe went beyond his call and had to change the “word of God” and removed the word “reformation” to cover his tracks.

The word “reformation” was removed by Joe Smith from an early revelation having to do with the Book of Mormon. Mormons would be shocked if they knew that Joe altered revelations:

Errors of the Saints: It would be unreasonable to suppose that the members of the church fell into no errors. Some time in the summer of 1830, while the prophet was still living in Harmony, Penn., and Oliver Cowdery was with the Whitmer family in New York, he received a letter from Oliver informing him that he [Oliver] had discovered an error in one of the revelations , and added: “I command you in the name of God to erase these words [D&C 20: “And truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of sins.”] that no priestcraft be among us.” (Elder B. H. Roberts, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, 1893, pp. 338-339)

Below we show the evidence that Joe altered revelations and in this case he removed the word “reformation”:

Earliest Sources


Source: “Revelation, March 1829 [D&C 5],” p. 1, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed March 26, 2020,

To see the word “reformation” highlighted click here.

Removed: (see where it says pages “3-10 missing”)

Source: “Revelation Book I:

Published Sources

Included: Book of Commandments IV:5 (1833)

Source: Book of Commandments IV:5

Excluded: Doctrine & Covenants (1835 to the present)

Source: LDS Scriptures

The “testimony of three” verse preceded the reformation verse:

Source: LDS Scriptures