Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Photos of Mesoamerican sites in the 1963–1981 missionary edition of the Book of Mormon

From 1963 to 1981, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a paperback edition of the Book of Mormon with a photograph of a gold angel Moroni statue on its cover:
Book of Mormon 1963–1981 missionary edition cover
This was the standard inexpensive edition that was printed in large quantities and given by missionaries to investigators.

Like the one with the dark blue cover that’s been published since 1981, the earlier edition contained photographs of several paintings of Book of Mormon scenes by Arnold Friberg.

It also contained several pages of photographs of ancient sites, murals, textiles, and crafts that demonstrated the existence of advanced, complex, ancient American civilizations. The first page in the series had two photographs of the hill Cumorah, “where Joseph Smith obtained the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.”

Click images to enlarge.
None of these images proves that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica or South America.

However, they do clearly demonstrate that, since at least the early 1960s, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have considered Mesoamerica and South America to be potential locations for Book of Mormon events.

This continues to be backed up by statements made by President Russell M. Nelson, the current (2023) president of the Church.

—Peter Pan

1 comment:

  1. What would a President of the Church know? How could his words possibly be as authoritative as Oliver Cowdery Letter VII, the highest, holiest and (above all) most correct of all the Standard Works?


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