The North America Model for the Book of Mormon: From Jerusalem to Cumorah

The North America Model for the Book of Mormon

Title: The North America Model for the Book of Mormon
Author: William Peter Midgley
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc
ISBN: 978-1682134795
Pages: 132
Genre: Social Sciences
Reviewed by: Kat Kennedy

“The balance of The North America Model analysis suggests a landing on the southeast coast of the United States for Lehi.”

According to the Book of Mormon, there were three migrations from the middle east to “the promised land.” These migrations began with Jared and his people in 2500-2200 B.C., whom Midgley asserts landed on the “northeast coast of America.” Leaving Jerusalem for the Red Sea in 600 B.C., Lehi and his people eventually made their way to the southeast coast of the United States. This group was followed by the people of “Mulek, son of Zedekiah, king of Judah, who left Jerusalem around 587 B.C. to escape capture by Nebuchadnezzar.” It is the conclusion of the author that each of these tribes landed at some point on the eastern coast of North America. Using geographical documentation and his own observational experiences as an architect, Midgley presents an in-depth study of passages concerning their travels to offer his model for a North American landing rather than the landing in South America, which is a popular belief. After establishing travel routes for these three tribes, the author continues to pinpoint other geographical locations included in The Book of Mormon. These locations include the river Sidon (identified as the Ohio-Mississippi rivers), Cumorah, where Joseph Smith discovered the golden tablets in New York, and various cities and areas such as Bountiful, Desolation, Zarahemla, Manti, Gideon, and Midonni.

In describing the process of his work, the author states: “The process is to quote all verses that address the river Sidon and to underline those parts related to movements and relationships for emphasis. Then it is possible to evaluate them in light of all known rivers, along with correlative detail not considered until recently, like the migrations by sea coming from the east. Then conclusions can be drawn that should result in a high degree of probability.” One of the main sources is the 2009-2010 Phoenicia Ship Expedition, which followed a replica ship from this time along trade routes in the middle east and, to the author, proves these tribes probably landed in North America. This, along with “the historical landing of east coast locations” such as Plymouth Rock, Jamestown, and St. Augustine, ensures “a high degree of probability that the lands of first inheritance are in and around New England and the south mid-Atlantic coast.”

Midgley has written a clear and concise document that gives readers much to consider. This interesting thesis is filled with reference maps, quotes from the Book of Mormon, and commentary, which help even the non-member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints grasp its concepts. The work is filled with enough Book of Mormon quotes that anyone can follow along, even if unfamiliar with the names and places included. His theory is backed by research, including the author’s own trip to the sites mentioned, which he documented with personal photos of the areas. Though not an easy read for those unfamiliar with Mormon teachings, it is still worth the time it takes to read the book as everything is explained along the way. This thesis answers some problematic questions concerning the South American migration model and presents a compelling argument. Readers will discover much about the foundational beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as they read this fascinating argument. Well-written, well-defined, and well-documented, this is a master study of the migrations, places, and people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

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