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CHOICE ABOVE ALL OTHER LANDS
 Book of Mormon Covenant Lands According to the Best Sources


The Book of Mormon

&
“Mound-Builder” America


A Comprehensive Comparison

W. Vincent Coon, MS

Male Bighorn Sheep

North America’s Kosher Bighorn Sheep


Can the Book of Mormon's setting be determined from things present and published, in the Prophet Joseph Smith's own country? Definitely!

In the comprehensive table below, yellow indicates a match between Book of Mormon elements on the left and important categories to the right. Lighter yellow indicates a possible correlation.

In the right most column, works from the "Mound-builder" genre are cited. This is the literary category or genre in which the Book of Mormon is classed by mainstream American History and Literature experts. (e.g. Robert Silverberg, The Mound Builders) Three works frequently cited from this genre are:


Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews (1823). Abbreviated VOTH followed by page number.
 
Josiah Priest's American Antiquities and Discoveries in the West (1833) . Abbreviated AA followed by page number.
  
Cornelius Matthews' Behemoth: A Legend of the Mound-Builders (1839). Abbreviated B followed by page number; with artifact notes (B Notes) followed by page number. Behemoth is the story of a hero - a sort of American Beowulf, who confronts a monstrous Mastodon. Matthews purports to support his fictional narrative with physical evidence.


The Book of Mormon's New World setting is separate from the Old World scripture it contains, but includes the Savior's sermons tailored to the mound building Nephites.
   
Leopards (Jaguars), monkeys, palm trees and hewn stone buildings are never mentioned in the Book of Mormon New World setting. It is not surprising that all of these are mentioned in John Lloyd Stephens' Incidents of Travel in Central America (1841), and in Old World scripture.
 
Camels (comparable to llamas) are "unclean" according to Mosaic Law and are not fit for eating or for sacrifice. (Deuteronomy 14:7) Camels are not identified in the Book of Mormon. Of course, not every Promise Land element is found in scripture, but it is reasonable to expect the mention of a few things unique to the scriptural setting.

The elephant is the only identifiable animal mentioned in the Book of Mormon that is not explicitly mentioned in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (KJV), Old Testament (OT) or New (NT). Elephants (mastodons and mammoths) feature in American literature treating the mound builders. If "elephants" are not the animals that the Book of Mormon means, then why doesn't the sacred translation use a biblical term like "behemoth", which is less definite? (Job 40:15-24 )

Some animals are inaccurately identified in the King James Bible, but "horses" are not misidentified. Horses also feature in "Mound-builder" literature. Those positing Central or South American settings for the Book of Mormon, insist that many animals named in the Book of Mormon (including the horse), must be different species. There is reason to be suspicious of this overused argument, especially when the KJV correctly identifies these animals. See "Horse (Steed)" in the listing below.

On the subject of sidestepping the obvious when it comes to things mentioned in the Book of Mormon, American historian and journalist Hampton Sides cites a respected anthropologist: “Yale's Michael Coe likes to talk about what he calls “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness,” the tendency among Mormon theorists like Sorenson to keep the discussion trained on all sorts of extraneous subtopics… while avoiding what is most obvious: that Joseph Smith probably meant “horse” when he wrote down the word “horse,” …” (Hampton Sides, “This is Not the Place!”, Double Take Magazine, Vol. 5, No 2; Also included in his work American: Dispatches from the New Frontier, 2004)

Though the dignified language of the King James Bible is familiar to many, some KJV terminology appearing in the Book of Mormon is imperfect. The biblical terminology, however, can actually serve as a scholarly key. The Gentile translation is readily traced back to more perfect Old World terminology: Thus the familiar but unoriginal "Red Sea" is understood to actually be reed sea, "steel" is actually a form of hardened copper, "brass" may describe a copper alloy like bronze, and "silk" can mean a fine fabric made from plant fiber, etc.
 
Some of the scriptural elements compared in the table below are trivial. Others are not. Despite popular depictions and apologies, there is not one element from the Book of Mormon's New World setting that uniquely points to Central or South America! There are several elements that uniquely match Joseph Smith's own country and the mysterious mound builders of North America.

The comprehensive comparison demonstrates that mainstream academia is right to place the literary setting for the Book of Mormon in the "Mound-builder" genre. With the Book of Mormon's literary setting firmly established, legitimate archaeological investigations can begin.
    
The table below relies on the CD ROM resource edition of LDS Scriptures. It is hoped that this analysis in table form, will help the Book of Mormon student better recognize the genuine, albeit general whereabouts of the covenant "land of liberty" -
 a choice land, whose identity and “decrees of God” were not intended to be a mystery to its inhabitants. (Ether 2:10-12)
 

Female Bighorn
North American Big Horn Sheep

  

North American Mastodon
American Mastodon

Mountain Goat
North American Mountain Goat

 

On the Extent of Lehi’s American Inheritance

Lehi’s ancient covenant land of liberty – the American “land of promise”, could not have occupied all the Americas for two simple reasons:

(1)  Not every land in the Americas qualifies as a land where “there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.” (2 Nephi 10:10-14) Central and South America do not meet this requirement! Emperors Iturbide, Maximilian, and “Perpetual Dictator” Santa Anna come to mind. There have been numerous emperors, supreme rulers, and dictators over the Gentiles of these lands. Not all have perished for their ambitions.

(2)  Not every land in the Americas is conducive to keeping all of the seasonal ordinances of the Law of Moses. (2 Nephi 5:10, Helaman 15:5) Scripture indicates that Lehi’s inheritance is in sync with the seasons of the land of Israel. The Lamb of God was sacrificed in the first month of the ancient Israelite calendar, (Exodus 12:1-6) coinciding with the first month of the Nephite calendar. (Helaman 14:20, 3 Nephi 8:1-5, 20) Fully keeping the Law of Moses meant keeping the divine calendar. Unlike the temperate seasons of the land of Israel, Central America is subject to two tropical seasons year round. The seasons of temperate South America are out of phase with the seasons of the Northern Hemisphere, where the land of Israel resides. Given that the God of Israel chose to place his name in America and in the land of Israel, only temperate North America qualifies in the Western Hemisphere, as a land where ancient priesthood ordinances could be observed in season as required by Torah. (Deuteronomy 16:5-6)

After the Law of Moses was fulfilled, it is possible that the blessings of the “land of promise” were extended, by way of the New Covenant, to other lands; previously excluded by the strict requirements of the Law. (3 Nephi 15:2; 20:14)

According to the Book of Mormon, the city of Zion (New Jerusalem) shall be built upon the land given by the Lord to Lehi’s posterity. (3 Nephi 20:22; Ether 13:6-8) LDS scripture designates “the land of Zion” as the environs of the city of Zion, in the state of Missouri. (D&C 57:1-4, 14; 62:2-4) The Prophet Joseph Smith later extended the geographic definition of “Zion” to include the “whole of America itself from north to south”. (April Conference 1844, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 362) Joseph further mentioned that “it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord shall be, and that it should be in the center of the lands.” Joseph had previously revealed to the Saints that the “central place” or “center place” was Independence, Missouri. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 79-80; D&C 57:3) To be consistent, Joseph’s 1844 geography of “Zion” probably refers to “the whole of America”, from lands as far north as the Great Lakes, to lands as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. The Missouri site of the city of Zion in fact centers in the American heartland.  Several of the early Saints, though, interpreted the 1844 definition of “Zion” to mean all of North and South America. (Brigham Young, History of the Church, Vol. 7, pg. 256; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 262-263, 365)

John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto)

John Cabot’s Discovery of North America

There is no firsthand verifiable statement by Joseph Smith espousing a hemispheric geography for the Book of Mormon. Though others thought of North and South America as one continent, Joseph’s use of the expression “this continent” possibly refers to North America – the discovery of which is credited to John Cabot (the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto) not Christopher Columbus. (Rodney Broome, Terra Incognita - The True Story of How America Got Its Name, 2001) The angel Moroni’s reference to “the former inhabitants of this continent” was understood by Joseph to mean the “Indians” of his own country. (The Papers of Joseph Smith, Edited by Dean C. Jessee, Vol. 2, pg. 70; The Joseph Smith Papers, Vol. 1, 9 November, 1835 – Monday, pg. 88) Joseph Smith’s May 2, 1842 Times and Seasons editorial entitled, “A Catacomb of Mummies Found in Kentucky”, relates “the North American Indians” with Book of Mormon “descendants of Israel coming to this continent”.  

It has not been shown that Joseph’s expression; “this country” included Central America. (See for instance CHURCH HISTORY, Times and Seasons, Editor Joseph Smith, Vol. 3, March 1, 1842) In a letter to John M. Bernhisel, dated November 16, 1841 (in the handwriting of John Taylor), Joseph Smith compliments Stephens’ work, Incidents of Travel in Central America, for its mention of history “pertaining to the antiquities of this country”. Some presume that Joseph is referring to Central America as “this country”. But Stephens in fact discusses “American antiquities …in our own country [the United States of America]”, and states:

“…a new flood of light has poured upon the world, and the field of American antiquities has been opened.”

“…In our own country, the opening of forests and the discovery of tumuli or mounds and fortifications, extending in ranges from the lakes through the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi, mummies in a cave in Kentucky, the inscription on the rock at Dighton…the ruins of walls and a great city in Arkansas and Wisconsin Territory, had suggested…the strong belief that powerful and populous nations had occupied it and had passed away, whose histories are entirely unknown. The same evidences continue in Texas, and in Mexico they assume a still more definite form.” (Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, pp. 97-98)

Adventurer John Lloyd Stephens

19th Century Adventurer, John Lloyd Stephens

Not long after reading both volumes of Stephens’ bestseller, Joseph Smith signed several Times and Seasons  articles that follow the outline of discoveries listed by Stephens, i.e. discoveries in his “own country”. It is worth noting that Joseph’s signed articles resource Josiah Priest’s American Antiquities, and unmistakably correlate the Book of Mormon with the Mound-Builders of North America. Joseph Smith openly favored Stephens’ summary of American antiquities. Priest published disparaging comments about the Book of Mormon. Joseph’s signed articles, however, draw much more from Priest’s detailed work than from Incidence of Travel in Central America. Joseph Smith definitely has a North American setting in mind for the Book of Mormon. (See Articles & Quotes and “Book of Mormon geography articles signed by Joseph Smith”)

Joseph Smith’s native setting for the Book of Mormon poses a stumbling block to those seeking to promote more exotic geographies. Consequently, some LDS try to show that Joseph speculated like other men (inaccurately) on the subject of Book of Mormon geography. This line of attack is deemed important in order to contend that Joseph did not know any more than others, about the sacred lands of the Book of Mormon. But this argument is not very compelling. LDS scripture has examples of prophets giving inspired discourses, notwithstanding the prophet’s incomplete understanding of the subject matter. (Alma 37:11; 40:20) That a prophet’s knowledge of a thing may be incomplete and subject to supposition does not prove that the prophet has no revelation on the subject. The Apostle Paul said:

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)

If we say that Joseph speculated, and thus had an imperfect understanding of America’s Israelite lands, we still have not proven that he had no knowledge or revelation on the subject. At the very least Joseph Smith understood that there were Book of Mormon peoples, and lands in his own country. The epistle that became LDS D&C 128, identifying the Finger Lakes location of Cumorah, was delivered to the Saints as the “word of the Lord”. (D&C 127:10) Joseph’s mother and one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, indicate that the whereabouts of Cumorah came from one or more divine being. According to Lucy Mack Smith, both her son and the messenger referred to the place where the plates were deposited as “hill of Cumorah”, meaning hill of the Book of Mormon land Cumorah. (The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith By His Mother, Edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor, Bookcraft, 1996, pg 107 n. 14; see also David Whitmer Interviews, edited by Lyndon W. Cook, Grandin Book, Orem, Utah, 1991, pp 13, 27) If D&C 128:20 does not mean the Book of Mormon Cumorah, why would God, who is not the author of confusion, seek to confuse us?

Having revealed Cumorah's location, Joseph allowed others to form divergent opinions on the location of other Book of Mormon lands. Not all of the early Saints accepted a hemispheric setting. Some placed southern most Nephite territory in the United States. (Journal of Samuel D. Tyler, September 25, 1838) W. W. Phelps pegged the prairies of North America as the Book of Mormon land of Desolation. (W. W. Phelps, "The Far West", Evening and Morning Star, October, Vol. I, No. 5, 1832, pg. 32; Messenger And Advocate, 1836, pg. 341) Many became inordinately influenced by John Lloyd Stephens’ bestseller and tried to link Book of Mormon cities with Central American ruins, even though Stephens himself regarded the ruins which he and Catherwood documented, as relatively recent works.

Of the many competing Book of Mormon geographies proffered by early Church leaders, not one is known to have denied the location of Cumorah revealed in LDS scripture. They all recognized certain American Indian tribes to whom missionaries were sent, as descendents of Book of Mormon peoples; and they all knew that Cumorah resides near the Finger Lakes of western New York. (D&C 19:26-27; 28:8; 30:6; 32:2; 54:8; 57:4; 128:20)

Tulum by Catherwood 1844

Art of Frederick Catherwood. Central American ruins discovered by Stephens and Catherwood dating more recent than Book of Mormon times.

The earliest known denial of the revealed location of Cumorah came from RLDS (Reorganized Latter-day Saint Congregation) members who dismissed the LDS practice of baptism for the dead. (See for instance “How Exaggerated Settings for the Book of Mormon Came to Pass” ) Baptism for the dead is the subject of the epistle (LDS scripture) which cites Cumorah. All signed statements by Joseph Smith place Book of Mormon peoples and activities in land occupied by the United States of America. (D&C 10:48-51)

As far as can be ascertained from his signed articles, Joseph Smith held a view similar to that of Alexander Von Humboldt, Josiah Priest, A. Lapham and others; who theorized that the Mound-Builders eventually migrated into Mexico from the region of the Great Lakes. (Priest, American Antiquities, pg. 192)

No word-print analysis can tell us the extent to which Joseph approved collaborative articles which he did not sign! The extent to which he speculated on Central America, is not certain; and does not logically thwart the things he knew and revealed relative to the Book of Mormon’s original setting. There is no mention of John Lloyd Stephens at all in Joseph Smith’s journal. Whereas, the epistle to the Church identifying Cumorah, is found in there! (The Papers of Joseph Smith, Vol. 2, Journal, 1832-1842, pp. 468 – 475) A setting among the Mysterious Mound-Builders of North America coincides best with the literary setting identified by mainstream American History and Literature specialists. (Roger G. Kennedy, Hidden Cities – The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization) Unsigned Times and Season newspaper articles, published more than a decade after the Book of Mormon, are recognized as later developments - caught up in the sensation of Stephens’ discoveries. To focus incessantly on these unendorsed articles is to strain at gnats and swallow llamas. The importance of comparing the Book of Mormon directly to works treating the Mound-Builders, looms large in tusk and trunk.

“It is highly probable that the more civilized part of the tribes of Israel, after they settled in America, became wholly separated from the hunting and savage tribes of their brethren … that the more civilized part continued for many centuries; that tremendous wars were frequent between them and their savage brethren, till the former became extinct.

This hypothesis accounts for the ancient works, forts, mounds, and vast enclosures, as well as tokens of a good degree of civil improvement, which are manifestly very ancient …” (Ethan Smith, A View of the Hebrews or the Tribes of Israel in America, Second Edition (1825) , pp. 172-173)

 

 

Book of Mormon terms (elements) relating to living things

Cited in the King James Version of the Bible

Cited in the Book of Mormon's New World setting

The "Mound-Builder" Genre: elements found in Joseph Smith's country (JSC) and in literary sources treating the mound builders

1

Animal

 

B of M; though numerous creatures are mentioned in the KJV, the word animal does not appear there.

JSC; B Notes 156

2

Asp

KJV

 

See Serpent

3

Ass

KJV

B of M

JSC

4

Barley

KJV

B of M; barley is required for keeping the Temple rites of the Mosaic Law. The "first-fruits" of grain is symbolically related to resurrection. (Leviticus 23:10-11, 2 Nephi 2:8-9, Jacob 4:11 )

JSC; a variety of barley was cultivated anciently near the Great Lakes. (Robert R. Bennett, "Barley and Wheat in the Book of Mormon", 2000)

5

Bear

KJV

 

JSC; B Notes 186; mound builder necklaces of grizzly-bear canines. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26) 

6

Beast

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 41

7

Bee

KJV OT

 

JSC

8

Blossom

KJV OT

B of M

JSC

9

Branch

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 93

10

Bread

KJV

B of M

JSC

11

Calf  (Bovine)

KJV

 

JSC; George Washington referred to bison using the terms "bull" and "calf". (Roger G. Kennedy, Hidden Cities - The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization, pg. 87); See Cow

12

Cattle

KJV

B of M; the Hebrew word "miqneh", translated "cattle" in the KJV, comes from the verb to "get" or "acquire" and implies purchasable animals. "Cattle" include more than bovine animals.

JSC

13

Cedar

KJV OT

 

JSC; B 19

14

Chicken (Brood)

KJV NT

B of M; NT Greek term for "chickens" means "brood".

JSC

15

Cockatrice

KJV OT

 

See Serpent

16

Corn (Cereal Grain)

KJV

B of M; "corn" in the KJV is a cereal grain.

JSC; B Notes 170

17

Cow

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 41-42, bison; North American explorer Samuel de Champlain (1562-1635) describes "a herd of wild cows". (McGavin and Bean, Book of Mormon Geography, pg. 8)

18

Creature

KJV

B of M

JSC

19

Cummom

 

B of M

Unknown animal

20

Curelom

 

B of M

Unknown animal

21

Deseret (Honey Bee)

 

The honey bee is not identified in the N.W. setting.

JSC; see Bee

22

Dog

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 109, 111

23

Dove

KJV

B of M

JSC

24

Dragon

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 190, fossil remains of prehistoric reptiles

25

Elephant (Mastodon, Mammoth)

 

B of M; Though the elephant is not explicitly mentioned in the KJV, the compound plural word "shen-habim" (1 Kings 10:22), translated "ivory", may refer to "tusk" or "tooth of elephants" 

JSC; B Notes 135-138, ancient elephant remains found in mound builder territories. See William McAdams, Records of Ancient Races,1887, pp. 114-116 and Stephan Dennison Peet, The Mound Builders, Their Works and Relics, pp. 38–44; see also  Mercer, H.C, The Lenape Stone - The Indian and the Mammoth, 1885

26

Fatling

KJV

B of M

JSC

27

Fig

KJV

B of M

JSC; Figs imported to VA as early as 1669 and successfully grown in NY.

28

Fir-tree

KJV OT

 

JSC

29

Fish

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 181; AA 185

30

Fly

KJV OT

 

JSC

31

Fruit

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 190; AA 190

32

Flock

KJV

B of M

JSC

33

Fold

KJV

B of M

JSC

34

Forest

KJV OT

B of M; jungle is nowhere mentioned in the B of M.

JSC; B 19

35

Fowl

KJV

B of M

JSC

36

Game (Wild Beasts)

 

B of M

JSC; AA 185

37

Goat

KJV

B of M; Goats are among the clean animals approved for sacrifice under the Law of Moses.

JSC; indigenous North American sheep and goat-like animals (mountain goats).

38

Grain

KJV

B of M

JSC

39

Grape

KJV

B of M; wine is required in Israelite ordinances.

JSC; AA 190, North American grapes discovered by the Norse. (Hauksbok, "Saga of Eric the Red") Grapes grew in the NY region anciently. (William A. Ritchie, The Archaeology of New York State, Preface pg. xxiv)   

40

Grass

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 63, 70

41

Hen

KJV NT

B of M

JSC

42

Herd

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 50

43

Honey

KJV

B of M; scripturally includes "honey" made from fruits.

JSC

44

Horse (Steed)

KJV

B of M; the animal translated "horse" in the KJV is not ambiguous. There are at least two O.T. references to horses in the B of M. (Three, if one includes 3 Nephi 21:14, similar to Micah 5:10) It seems unlikely that Nephi would have misidentified this creature. (1 Nephi 18:25) Israelites paid attention to details like hooves and how an animal chews its food. (Leviticus 11:1-7)

JSC; B 99-100, 102; B Notes 191;  AA 256, artifact interpreted as evidence that mound builders rode horses, and had horse (or some other domesticated animal) drawn wagons.

45

Insect

 

B of M

JSC

46

Kid (Goat)

KJV

 

JSC; see Goat

47

Lamb (Sheep)

KJV

B of M

JSC; see Sheep

48

Leopard

KJV

Unlike "lions" there is no mention of spotted cats in the N. W. setting.

 

49

Lily

KJV

B of M

JSC

50

Linen

KJV

B of M; linen is a cloth made from plant fiber.

JSC; ancient peoples of NY wove textiles. (William A. Ritchie, The Archaeology of New York State, pp. 259, 261)

51

Lion

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 20, 116; B Notes 186, panther (mountain lion); see mound builder cougar-effigy pipe. (Mallory McCane O' Connor, Lost Cities of the Ancient South East, plate 1)

52

Meat

KJV

B of M

JSC

53

Milk

KJV

B of M

JSC

54

Monster

 

No land animal is referred to as a monster in the B of M.

B 68; B Notes 176, 188, "monster of the ocean".

55

Moth

KJV

B of M

JSC

56

Neas

 

B of M

Unknown variety of grain

57

Oak

KJV OT

 

B Notes 191

58

Oil (Anoint with Oil)

KJV

B of M

JSC; VOTH 113, 163

59

Olive-Tree

KJV

B of M

JSC

60

Owl

KJV OT

 

B 39, 111; AA, 178, VOTH 177; see mound builder owl-effigy. (Mallory McCane O' Connor, Lost Cities of the Ancient South East, pg. 130) 

61

Ox

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 106

62

Pearl

KJV

B of M

JSC; Mound-Builder freshwater pearl necklaces, and pearls sewn on clothing. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26)

63

Plant

KJV

B of M

JSC

64

Root

KJV

B of M

JSC

65

Serpent

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 158

66

Sheaves

KJV OT

B of M

JSC

67

Sheep

KJV

B of M; sheep, goats and other specific clean animals approved for sacrifice.

JSC; North American bighorn sheep qualify.

68

Sheum

 

B of M; Non-biblical Old World grain

Possibly a kind of barley or even pine nuts.(Robert R. Bennett, "Barley and Wheat in the Book of Mormon", 2000) 

69

Silk

KJV

B of M; "shesh" is biblical "silk" made from plant fiber. (Proverbs 31:22, KJV)

JSC; mound builders wove textiles made from plant fiber and rabbit hair. (Lynda Norene Shaffer, Native Americans Before 1492 - The Moundbuilding Centers of the Eastern Woodlands, plate 32)

70

Skin (Protective Covering)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 42; AA 167

71

Sow

KJV NT

B of M; NT Greek term for "sow" can mean "boar". See Swine.

JSC; B Notes 170

72

Straw

KJV

 

JSC

73

Stem

KJV OT

B of M

JSC

74

Swine

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 170, "peccary" remains found in Kentucky. Archaeologist William A. Ritchie, notes peccary remains found in New York. (The Archaeology of New York State, pg. 10)

75

Teil-tree

KJV OT

Old World Terebinth

 

76

Thistle (Bramble)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 63; AA 190

77

Thorn

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 63

78

Thunder

 

B of M

 

79

Timber

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B Notes 154

80

Tree

KJV

B of M

JSC

81

Vine

KJV

B of M

JSC

82

Vineyard

KJV

B of M

JSC

83

Vulture

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 39; AA 190

84

Whale

KJV

 

JSC

85

Wheat

KJV

B of M; wheat is required in Israelite rites.

JSC; North American self sown wheat discovered by the Norse. (Hauksbok, "Saga of Eric the Red")

86

Wine

KJV

B of M

JSC; see Grape

87

Wolf

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 20, 50, 101; B Notes 185

88

Wood (Building Material)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 34, 41, 56; AA 167

89

Worm

KJV

B of M

JSC

 

Head-plate
 Mound Builder Copper Head-plate

  

Head-plate
 Mound Builder Copper Breastplate

  


Other BOOK of MORMON Elements Compared with the "MOUND-BUILDER" Genre:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book of Mormon terms (elements) relating to various things

Cited in the King James Version of the Bible

Cited in the Book of Mormon's New World Setting

The "Mound-Builder" Genre: Elements found in Joseph Smith's country (JSC) and in literary sources treating the mound builders

90

Altar

KJV

B of M; Israelite altars were not to be made of hewn stone. (Exodus 20:25-26)

JSC; AA 167; VOTH 79, 120, 165,  Numerous stone cairns and manmade stone piles found throughout North America. (Salvatore Michael Trento, The Search for Lost America - The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins, Ch. 2)

91

Anchor

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; Anchor-type stone has been found in Nova Scotia. (Salvatore Michael Trento, Field Guide to Mysterious Places of Eastern North America, pg. 29)

92

Armor

KJV

B of M; e.g. “breastplates…arm-shields…and also shields to defend their heads…” (Alma 43:19)

JSC; B 41; B Notes 147; The Choctaw wore “breast, arm, and wrist plates”. (Timothy R. Pauketat, “America’s First Pastime – Did rolling stones spread Mississippian culture across North America?”, Archaeology, Sept. 2009)

93

Arrow

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 33, 56; B Notes 147, AA 93, 167. The Davistown Museum: 092103NA33 Projectile points (3) Copper, A: 7 cm x 3.1 cm, B: 8.6 cm x 2 cm, C: 6.1 cm x 3 cm, age unknown. These items were dug from a mound builder's site in Ohio. DTM MHC-B.

94

Art

 

B of M

JSC; B Notes 149; AA 90-92; remarkable mound builder sculpture and artistry. (Lynda Norene Shaffer, Native Americans Before 1492 - The Moundbuilding Centers of the Eastern Woodlands, plates 11, 12, 19, 21, 22, 23, 33)

95

Ax (Axe, Hatchet)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33, AA 90, 93, 167; mound builder axes. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26)

96

Ball (...of fine brass)

KJV OT,

B of M; perhaps analogues to the "brass" firmament, the perceived solid dome or "compass" of heaven. (Deuteronomy 28:23, Proverbs 8:27, Job 22:14) The perceived movements of the heavenly quarters define Hebrew directions. See Compass and Spindle

JSC; AA 101, "gold" covered metal balls recovered from a mound. A stone “octagonal ball” found at the Andover burial site in Massachusetts. (Salvatore Michael Trento, The Search for Lost America - The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins, pg. 181)  

97

Bank of Earth

 

B of M

JSC; B Notes 147, 168, 171; AA 159; Earthworks very similar to those describe in the Book of Mormon (Alma 48:8-9; 50:1-4; 53:4) are described by author James Adair (1775) in A History of the American Indians, pp. 377-378

98

Baptism (Washings)

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B17, VOTH 79, 165

99

Beach

 

B of M

JSC; beach is defined as a sandy or pebbly shore of a body of water (not necessarily an Ocean coast). The term also applies "to the shore of a lake or large river." (Beach, Oxford English Dictionary) see Seashore

100

Bone…Heaps

 

B of M

JSC; B Notes 145-150; AA 55, 179, 185

101

Bow

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 34; AA 167

102

Bow of Steel

KJV OT

David's "bow of steel" (Psalm 18:34) was a Bronze Age creation.

B 33; B Notes 162; AA 177; see "Steel"

103

Brass

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33, 38, 56; B Notes 159-160, AA 90-91. KJV and early 19th century "brass" is indistinguishable from "bronze". See Brass, Oxford English Dictionary.  "Archaic Period bronze found in North America. (Salvatore Michael Trento, The Search for Lost America - The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins, pg 192, Appendix 3)

104

Breast-plate

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33, VOTH 175; copper mound builder breastplates. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26

105

Breastwork of Timber

 

B of M

JSC; B 8; AA 166; Fortifications very similar to those describe in the Book of Mormon (Alma 48:8-9; 50:1-4; 53:4) are described by author James Adair (1775) in A History of the American Indians, pp. 377-378

106

Bellows (Forge)

KJV OT

 

JSC; B 32, 36

107

Brimstone

KJV

B of M

JSC

108

Building

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B 24

109

Candle

KJV

B of M

JSC

    110

Cement

 

B of M; the KJV OT mentions lime based "plaister".

JSC; B Notes 142; mound builders built plastered houses. (George Stuart, "Who Were the "Mound Builders"?", National Geographic, Vol. 142, No. 6, December 1972, pg. 789) See also "Cement", Oxford English Dictionary

111

Chain

KJV

 

JSC; B 93; AA 90-92

112

Chariot (Animal Drawn Vehicle)

KJV

B of M; The Hebrew term for "chariot" ("merkabah") simply means a thing to ride.

JSC; B 34, 41-42,108-109; AA 254-256; J. Priest notes the discovery in NY of the "iron works of a wagon, reduced to rust" and argues the possibility of its antiquity. Mound builder rulers of the Mississippian Period rode on litters. (Lynda Norene Shaffer, Native Americans Before 1492 - The Moundbuilding Centers of the Eastern Woodlands, plate 28)  

113

Christian

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B16

114

Cimeter (Falchion, Cutlass)

 

B of M

JSC; B 34, see also Foster, J.W., Prehistoric Races of the United States, 1873, pg. 258; note the curved hardened copper blade (Fig. 54, exhibit c). See Sword

115

City

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 5

116

Cloak

KJV

B of M

JSC

117

Closet

KJV

B of M

JSC

118

Cloth

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 15, "fine raiment"; see "Silk"

119

Coat

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 109

120

Compass

KJV OT

B of M; different from the pointed circle making instrument ("m'hoogah", Isaiah 44:13), nevertheless "hoog" (circle, vault, dome) translated "compass" (Proverbs 8:27, KJV), is an appropriate description of the "Liahona".

JSC; VOTH 138

121

Copper

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33, 56; B Notes 161, 165, 190, 191, 192

122

Curtain

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; see Veil

123

Crop (Agriculture)

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; AA 185, see Field

124

Cross

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B 16; B Notes 150; AA 181

125

Cup

KJV

B of M

JSC; see Vessel

126

Dart (Missile)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 169

127

Ditch

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 168; AA 166

128

Door

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 102, 110; B Notes 167

129

Earth

KJV

B of M; the expression "the whole earth" can simply mean the full extent of a local land or region as in the KJV.

JSC; B 31

130

Earthquake

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 53, 105

131

Egyptian

KJV

B of M

JSC; AA 116-124

132

Field (Cultivated)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 4, 8; AA 160, 185

133

Fire

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 38

134

Fence

KJV OT

 

JSC; AA 160

135

Fever (Sickness)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 105-106

136

Footstool

KJV

B of M

JSC

137

Fort

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; AA 83, 159, 190

138

Fortification

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 11; B Notes 145, 153; see Fortress

139

Fortress

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 5-6; Fortresses very similar to those describe in the Book of Mormon (Alma 48:8-9; 50:1-4; 53:4) are described by author James Adair (1775) in A History of the American Indians, pp. 377-378

140

Fragment

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B 123

141

Garden

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 8, 11, 22; B Notes 154

142

Garment

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 3, VOTH 113

143

Glass

KJV

B of M; sixteen stones prepared in the O.W., are described as "clear…as transparent glass". (Ether 3:1)

JSC; B Notes 147, mound builder "isinglass (mica membranes)", 159; AA 89, 192. See also Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pp. 22, 26, 160, skillfully cut mica panes.

144

Gate (Gateway)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 140-142, 171, 191; AA 160, 166, 184, 197, 247

145

Gold

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 192; AA 101, 178; mound builder sheets of hammered gold. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26)

146

Grave

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 145, 147

147

Harvest

KJV

B of M

JSC, VOTH 104, see Field

148

Head-plate (Helmet like, but not the same as)

 

B of M

JSC; B 15-16, 31, 33, 41; B Notes 133, 162; AA 176, 254; mound builder copper head-plates and headdresses. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26)

149

Hail

KJV

B of M

JSC

150

Heat (..of the day)

KJV

B of M; the biblical expression "heat of the day" refers to mid-day or the warmest part of the day. (1 Samuel 11:9-11, 2 Samuel 4:5) The expression does not imply a tropical climate. Israel's setting, in fact, is temperate. (Genesis 8:22)

JSC; being in the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons of mound builder America are in step with the seasons of Israel.

151

Heaven

KJV

B of M; Israelite directions based on the perceived movement of the heavenly quarters.

JSC; VOTH 90

152

Hebrew

KJV

B of M

JSC; VOTH 90, 162-167; also Timothy Jay Jenkins, The Ten Tribes of Israel, pp. 73-75 (1883) compares Native North American vocabulary to Hebrew.

153

Highway

KJV

B of M

JSC, see Road

154

Hour

KJV

B of M; the scriptural unit of time is not identical to the modern "hour".

JSC; B 10-11, 22, 36, 104

155

House

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 44-45, 62; B Notes 154; ancient peoples of NY built houses of timber. Haudenosaunee

156

Iron

KJV

B of M; there are references to working iron, but no explicit mention of iron tools in the N. W. B of M setting.

JSC; B 11; B Notes 161, 169, 190, 191, 192; AA 179; mound builders worked meteoric iron. (Mound Builders & Cliff Dwellers, Lost Civilizations series, editor Dale M. Brown, pg. 26)

157

Javelin

KJV OT B of M JSC; B 41; B Notes 169; at the Andover burial site in Massachusetts, a “javelin point” was found. (Salvatore Michael Trento, The Search for Lost America - The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins, pg. 181)   See Spear

158

Jewel KJV OT B of M JSC

159

Lake

KJV NT

The term "lake" is never used in the B of M to describe a body of water. An inland body of water is referred to as a "sea" (e.g. Ether 2:7).

JSC; B 92; AA 192, 202; J. Priest, J. Smith and others propose that ancient peoples of Mexico and Central America migrated from the "lake country" (Great Lakes region). Priest cites Humboldt. See also I. A. Lapham, Antiquities of Wisconsin (1855), Section 2, "ANCIENT WORKS AT AND IN THE VICINITY OF AZTALAN".

160

Latchet

KJV

 

JSC

161

Lightning

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 164

162

Machinery

 

B of M; the Hebrew word “hishvonot” is translated “engines” (2 Chronicles 26:15, KJV) The term can also be translated “contrivances”, “inventions” or “machines”. See Jarom 1:8

JSC; B 34-35, 42; the wedge; the lever, the inclined plane etc. are classified as “simple machines” and were definitely employed by the mound builders.

163

Manna

KJV

 

 

164

Much People (Many People, Populous)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 31-32, 81; B Notes 145-146; AA iv, 185, 339. See also "...great business center and large population" (William J. Smyth, Mound Builders, pg. 10)

165

Mammon (Lucre)

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; see Money

166

Metal

 

B of M

JSC; AA 185

167

Mile

KJV NT

B of M; the Roman mile is not identical to the modern unit.

JSC; B 45, 64; the English term "mile" can mean "any relatively great distance."

168

Mist

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 87, see Vapor

169

Money

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 192; AA 92

170

Month

KJV

B of M; lunar cycle.

JSC; B 64, 66, 70, 104, 108; VOTH 120

171

Narrow Pass

 

B of M

JSC; B 58; B Notes 167

172

Nation

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 23-25, 29, 79

173

Nail

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 161

174

Ore

 

B of M; "gold...silver...iron...copper" are listed as "ore". (Ether 10:23)

JSC; B 83, 98; the Old English term "ore" means "unwrought metal". This explains how "gold" (naturally found in  metallic form) and meteoric iron could be referred to as "ore".

175

Palace

KJV

B of M; King Noah’s “spacious buildings” and “palace” were made of wood. (Mosiah 11:8-10) B of M peoples predominantly built their houses, cities, temples, synagogues, sanctuaries and all manner of buildings, out of timber. (Helaman 3:9)

JSC; B Notes 132; the Oxford English Dictionary defines “palace” as the official dwelling place of an emperor, king, pope, or other sovereign ruler. E.G. Squier (1849) refers to certain Native American timber works as “castles”. (Squier, Ephraim George, Aboriginal Monuments of the State of New York, pp. 82-82) See Kennedy on mound builder  "palaces". (Roger G. Kennedy, Hidden Cities - The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization, pg. 15)

176

Pillow

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 107

177

Pit

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 177, see Snare

178

Planet (Astronomy)

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B Notes 142; B 65, 117; AA  164

179

Plate (Metal)

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B Notes 147, 161; AA 175, 179

180

Priest

KJV

B of M

JSC; B16, 18

181

Picket

 

B of M

JSC; B Notes 143; AA 166

182

Potter

KJV

 

JSC, see Vessel

183

Prison

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 116

184

Quiver

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 42; AA 90

185

Raiment

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 15, "fine raiment"

186

Rain

KJV

B of M

JSC; B24

187

River

KJV

B of M; "Sidon", the only river named in the N. W. setting, flows northward.

JSC; B 97; B Notes 132; there are northward flowing rivers near the Great Lakes.

188

Road (Street)

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 43, 110, 162; AA 160, 255; impressive roads built by mound builders. (Searching for the Great Hopewell Road, Pangea Production Ltd, 1998) See also "Graded ways ... beautiful graded avenue..." (William J. Smyth, Mound Builders, pg. 6)

189

Robe

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 113

190

Rock

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 27, 38

191

Rust

KJV NT

B of M

JSC; B Notes 161, not necessarily iron oxide - copper "oxyde or rust".

192

Sanctuary

KJV

B of M; e.g. constructed in the similitude of Solomon's Temple. (Ether 13:3, 2 Nephi 5:15-16, 2 Chronicles 20:8)

JSC, AA 108-109; J. Priest notes the discovery in the eastern United States in the region of the Susquehanna River, of a large font like structure "made in imitation of the great Laver in the court of Solomon's Temple". See Temple

193 Salt KJV B of M JSC; B Notes 174, AA 169, natural salt springs and deposits are found in western NY

194

Saw

KJV

 

JSC

195

Scroll

KJV

B of M

JSC

196

Sea

KJV

B of M; "sea" frequently describes an inland body of water in the KJV.

JSC; see Lake

197

Seashore

KJV

B of M; the same Hebrew  word translated "shore" in "sea shore", is translated "bank" in "bank of the Jordan", and "brink" in "brink of the river" (KJV).

JSC; see Sea and Lake

198

Season (Temperate Seasons)

KJV

B of M / Mosaic Law requires the Nephite first month be in sync with the Passover season (When the Lamb of God was sacrificed).

JSC; B 17, 21, 24, 82; VOTH 175, more than two seasons per year. (Alma 46:40)

199

Sepulchre

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 15; AA 101, 171, other works mention "Burial Mounds" as "a place of sepulture" (William J. Smyth, Mound Builders, pg. 10)

200

Shields

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33; B Notes 162

201

Ship (Sailing)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 86; B Notes 132

202

Sickle

KJV

B of M

JSC

203

Silver

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 33; B Notes 161, 191; AA 179

204

Sling

KJV OT

B of M; may possible include the atlatl: "...casting over stones and arrows". (Alma 49:19)

JSC; AA 168

205

Snare (Trap, Pit)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 72

206

Snow

KJV

B of M; to future generations in the Promised Land, Nephi describes his previous vision of the tree of life, comparing its whiteness to "the driven snow". (1 Nephi 11:8; 19:1-3) 

JSC; B 39, 97; B Notes 172

207

Soap

KJV OT

 

JSC

208

Spear

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 34; AA 160, 167

209 Spindle (Director, Pointer)   B of M; from a Hebrew term meaning “director”. (Proverbs 31:19) JSC

210

Steel

KJV OT

B of M; in the KJV, "steel" is a variety of hardened copper.

JSC; B 33, 42-43, 66; B Notes 162

211

Stone (Building Material)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 6, 11, 14, 18, 119, "hewing large blocks of stone…"

212

Stone Wall (Piled Stone)

KJV

B of M; there is no explicit N. W. B of M reference to buildings made of hewn stone.

JSC; B 8; B Notes 167; VOTH 165; mound builder walls of piled stone.

213

Storm

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 86

214

Street

KJV

B of M

JSC; see Road

215

Sword, Sheath

KJV

B of M; the Hebrew “herev” is a cutting instrument, knife or sharp implement. The word is variously translated “sword”, “knife” (i.e. flint knife, Joshua 5:2), “dagger”, “tool”, “mattock”. 

JSC; B 27, 31, 33, 38; B Notes 161, 191; AA 179; archaic hardened copper blades and projectile points have been unearthed in North America. (Salvatore Michael Trento, The Search for Lost America - The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins, pg 192. See Arrow

216

Synagogue

KJV

B of M

JSC

217

Tabernacle

 

B of M

JSC; B 48; VOTH 120, 165

218

Temple

KJV

B of M; the temple built by Nephi and his small following was a timber structure in form like Solomon’s temple. (2 Nephi 5:15-16, Mosiah 11:10) It was not a massive stone building. (1 Kings 5:17, cross-reference 17a)

JSC; B 81; B Notes 132; AA 18. See also "...temple, or sacrificial mounds..."(William J. Smyth, Mound Builders, pg. 6) See Sanctuary

219

Tent

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 97; AA 190

220

Tools

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 14, 38, 119; AA 167, 169

221

Town

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 5, 109; AA 190

222

Tower

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 11, 15, 81; B Notes 145; AA 168

223

Trap

KJV

B of M

JSC, see Snare

224

Treasure

KJV

B of M

JSC; AA 91, 101

225

Tribe

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 155, 163, 166; AA 55-56

226

Vapor (Vapour)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 110, see Mist

227

Veil (Vail)

KJV

B of M

JSC

228

Village

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 9

229

Vessel (Pottery etc.)

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 56; B Notes 147, 149; AA 89

230

Wall

KJV

The B of M mentions city walls of earth and timber. (Alma 53:4) No mention is made of walls of hewn stone.

JSC; B Notes 132-133, 145. See also "walls ranging in height from three to thirty feet, enclosing areas from ten to 400 acres..." (William J. Smyth, Mound Builders, pg. 4)

231

Weapon

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 15, 34; B Notes 162

232

Wheel

KJV

The B of M / biblical term "Gilgal" can be translated "Wheel". (Joshua 5:9) It is possible, though not definite, that the Nephites not only knew about the wheel (2 Nephi 15:28, Isaiah 28:28) but also made use of it. (Jarom 1:8)

JSC; B 34, 38, 41, 108; Late mound builder peoples developed an athletic sport named chunkey which involved rolling an ingeniously rounded disk shaped object carved from stone. (Timothy R. Pauketat, “America’s First Pastime – Did rolling stones spread Mississippian culture across North America?”, Archaeology, Sept. 2009) See Chariot

233

Whirlwind (possibly Tornado, Tempest)

KJV OT

B of M

JSC; B 39, 56

234

Wind

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 20, 97

235

Window

KJV

B of M

JSC; B 39, 44

236

Wine-press

KJV

B of M

JSC; see Grape

237

Writing

KJV

B of M

JSC; B Notes 191; AA 90-94

238

Year KJV B of M; cycle of the seasons JSC; B 30, 39

239

Ziff

 

B of M "ziff", similar to the Hebrew word for "overlaying with metal", may refer to plated metal e.g. silver plated onto copper.

B 83; Times and Seasons, July 15, 1842, "American Antiquities", (editorial by Joseph Smith) notes "Silver very well plated on copper, has been found in several mounds…"

Artifact Images from Henry Clyde Shetrone's,  THE MOUND BUILDERS:

Mound Builder Copper Axe and Hatchet

Mound Builder Iron Chisel

Mound Builder Game Pieces

Mound Builder "Cement" LathMound Builder Fresh-Water Pearls

Mound Builder Twined FabricsWoven Fabric from a Mound

Mound Builder Art in Mica

Mound Builder Copper Rings

Copyright © 2009 by W. Vincent Coon

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