There have been numerous attempts to locate the lands of the Book of Mormon over the years, but as of yet, there has been no direct revelation on the matter. As each new theory arises, we gain fresh hope of acquiring additional insights into the location of the lost lands of the Book of Mormon, but all too often we are disappointed.
Perhaps the time has come to concentrate more heavily on those lands surrounding the only known landmark we have of that ancient time in history – the Hill Cumorah in New York State. To be successful in such a pursuit, however, we must first travel back in time to an era shortly after the Universal Flood when vast primeval forests and ancient waters filled the land from one end to the other. Only by doing so will we come to recognize the uncanny similarities between the New York setting and those described in the Book of Mormon, and only by doing so will the lands of the Nephites begin to unfold.
Rather than look at one river, or one narrow neck, or at one sea or wilderness to locate the elusive lands of the Book of Mormon, we will finally be able to see how all the lands fit together, and how the various descriptions of lands and territories found within the pages of the Book of Mormon fit the terrain of western New York perfectly. Once the geography of the ancient setting becomes more familiar, the life and death struggles of the Nephites will take on new meaning, and the stories surrounding those the Lord led to the promised land of America will finally come to life.
While the Nephites and Mulekites obviously spread out over a great expanse of territory over their near millennial-long sojourn in the land, the Book of Mormon is the history of those who lived in their New York heartland in the lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Bountiful, with offshoots settled in what they called the land of many waters which we can take to be the Finger Lakes region bordering the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It is in the land of many waters that we find the Hill Cumorah, the site of the terrible exterminating battle that totally wiped the Nephites from off the face of the earth.
In his research of the region for the Smithsonian Institute, E. G. Squire found hundreds of such fortified sites extending from the counties of St. Lawrence on the north, to Chautauqua on the south, and embracing the counties of Jefferson, Oswego, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Livingston, Orleans, Niagara, Erie, and Genesee, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny. More than 1,000 sites were found in Ontario, Livingston, Genesee and Monroe Counties alone, with nearly 500 sites in Monroe County, and over a 100 fortified hilltops and strongholds in Genesee County—the very territory now suggested to be the actual lands laid out in the Book of Mormon.
While the heartland of Book of Mormon territory remained in New York, all the available evidence suggests that various groups migrated out in all directions until they filled up the entire region around the Great Lakes eastward to the Atlantic. Some even moved west clear to the Rocky Mountains and the northwest Coast of America But, their religious and cultural center remained in western New York within a radius of about100 miles from the Hill Cumorah.
Every single geographical description outlined in the Book of Mormon can be laid out in the New York setting perfectly, which only strengthens the premise that the long lost lands of the Book of Mormon were right there near Cumorah.
Watch the video-The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon and see for yourself how well it all fits together.
- Nephite Ties to the Hopewell Mound Builders
- The Limited New York Setting