Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Apparently, people who disagree with Jonathan Neville are followers of Satan

Take a look at Jonathan Neville’s October 30, 2019, blog post (just make certain your jaw has something soft on which to drop first): Ten times in this post of just over 1,000 words Neville refers to those who believe the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica as teaching “philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.”

Temple-going Latter-day Saints will instantly recognize the origin of this phrase and its meaning. It identifies those who do not listen to and follow the servants of the Lord, but who rather (wittingly or unwittingly) follow Satan. This is what Neville has been reduced to claiming: Those who disagree with him are the servants of Satan.

Here’s what he says about those whose views on Book of Mormon geography are different than his:
Neville’s blog post My comments
“The Interpreter is the ideal name for a usurper of the prophets.“ Wow, usurper? Daniel Peterson, president of the Interpreter Foundation, commented on this, and I recommend his response to all who are reading this.
“We know that anything featuring the [Book of Mormon Central] logo will promote M2C* and reject the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah.” Anything? That seems a bit strong. Neville himself has repeatedly stated that he agrees with the majority of what Book of Mormon Central publishes, and only disagrees with them in small percentage of things they write on Book of Mormon geography.
“Cumorah was censored from the Saints book, volume 1. It is censored from the 2020 Come Follow Me curriculum.” Notice how this plays into his Grand Conspiracy Theory: People who disagree with him can’t have honest disagreements; they are actively working against the truth. (Be sure to read the Church History Department’s response to Neville’s claim.)
[Next to a Photoshopped image of a lawyer arguing before a court:] “Scholar trying to tell the prophets they are wrong.” Neville continues to beg the question here. He doesn’t address the fundamental issue of whether the location of Cumorah has been revealed (the Church denies that it has) and assumes that anyone who doesn’t believe that the New York hill is the Book of Mormon Cumorah ”rejects the teachings of the prophets.”
“If you accept M2C. you necessarily also believe: (i) that the prophets are wrong and (ii) that the prophets misled the Church for decades by testifying to the truthfulness of their incorrect opinions. You can ask any M2C scholar or their followers and they will admit these two points, although sometimes reluctantly.” This is patently absurd, as I’ve repeatedly demonstrated on this blog. (See, for example, here and here.)
“None of this is a test of faithfulness, commitment, intelligence, etc.” Wow. Just…WOW. After repeatedly calling into question the faithfulness of those who disagree with the Heartland hoax that Neville and his friends peddle, Neville has the audacity to claim that “none of this is a test of faithfulness”? Unbelievable.
“[‘M2C’] is simply a choice. And often, it’s an uninformed choice.” Not nearly as uninformed as the pseudoscientific nonsense that Heartlanders are selling, I’m afraid.
“Each of us can believe whatever we want. We don't criticize those who follow the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, if that works for them.” This is, hands down, the most apalling statement in the entire blog post. Neville claims not to be criticizing people whom he directly implies are following Satan. What gall! What chutzpah!
Perhaps one day I’ll discover that Neville has been playing an elaborate game, trolling his readers just to see how much nonsense and self-contradiction they can stand. I honestly hope that’s what is happening here, because, taken at face value, Jonathan Neville is one of the most self-unaware persons I have ever encountered.

—Peter Pan

* “M2C” is Jonathan Neville’s acronym for the theory that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica and that the hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon is not the same hill in New York where Joseph Smith received the plates of Mormon.


  1. When I read through it, it seemed to me that the language he employed was more akin to Watchtower than to Ensign.

  2. Pride cometh before the fall.

    In this case it is sadly going to be a giant belly flop from the 100 foot cliff in front of the crowd below. Jonathan Neville is following the path of many want to promote something that they receive financial gain from. This is a sad spectacle to witness. I wish it was the last one we see.


Thoughtful comments are welcome and invited. All comments are moderated.

Popular Posts

Search This Blog