An Interesting Discovery: A Map of the Travels of Moroni

In the ongoing Mormon Apologist Wars on the location of the Book of Mormon lands, one advocate of the LGT (Limited Geography Theory) is Michael Ash. In February of this year, he published an article entitled, How Moroni and the plates may have made it to Hill Cumorah.” He postulates that Moroni traveled from Mesoamerica to New York, and could have done it in under a year.

In fact, we are told that Moroni, while on his way to drop off the golden plates he lugged all the way to the Hill Cumorah in New York (named he says, after another hill of the same name located somewhere in Central America), Moroni stopped in Arizona, then went on to Salt Lake; afterwards going to Missouri (Independence & Adam-Ondi-Ahman) and then he journeyed to Nauvoo and Pike County in Illinois, and, before getting to New York, stopped in Kirtland Ohio!

Mr. Ash comes by this information from a map allegedly drawn by information that came directly from the Prophet Joseph Smith. Says Ash,

“If the map is genuine and accurately reflects the thinking of early Latter-day Saints and/or Joseph Smith, it supports the theory that Moroni traveled Northward along what became the El Camino, continued traveling north-northwest to Arizona, and then worked his way north through Utah (where we learn that he dedicated the spot for the Manti Temple as well as other temple sites) and eventually found his way to upstate New York.”

Fascinated by the idea of this map, I followed the link Mr. Ash provided in his article to another one, which was an article by H. Donl Peterson, called Moroni, the Last of the Nephite Prophets,” where he provides a copy of the map. Here is a picture of the map (Figure 2 from Dr. Peterson’s article):

Actually, there are two maps, virtually identical to each other, with only minor differences that Dr. Peterson explains:

“Several years ago, I came across two copies of a map in the Archives Division of the Historical Department of the Church relative to Moroni’s North American journeys… On the back of the map in Figure 1 is written the following:

“’A chart, and description of Moroni’s travels through this country. Got it from Br. Robert Dickson. He got it from Patriarch Wm. McBride at Richfield in the Sevier and also from Andrew M. Hamilton of same place. And they got it from Joseph Smith the Prophet.’”

Dr. Peterson continues with a detailed description of both maps, included here to help readers better understand what the map depicts:

“On the map ‘land Bountifull [sic]’ is listed in ‘Sentral [sic] America.’ The cartographer wrote ‘starting point’ below the reference to Central America. Above the ‘land Bountifull’ is ‘Sand hills in south part of Arizona,’ and above it to the left is ‘Salt Lake.’ To the right is ‘Independens, Jackson Co, Mo.’ and above that is ‘Adam on Diamon, Davis Co, Mo.’ To the right of that is ‘Nauvoo, Hancock C.Ill.’ Below that is ‘Mound Kinderhook, Pick, Co, Ill, 6 Plates Bell shape were found’ (were was was on one copy). Then to the right and above that is ‘Kirtland, Ohio,’ and to the right of that is ‘Commorre [Cumorah], N.Y.’ Below this on the right-hand side of the map is written: ‘Moroni’s Travels starting from Sentral America to the Sand hills Arizona then to Salt Lake U[tah], T[erritory], then to Adam on Diammon Mo, then to Nauvoo, Ill, then to Independence Mo, then to Kirtland Ohio then to Cumoro NY.’

“The second map appears to have been drawn by the same hand and is quite similar to the first, though it twice spells Arizona as Arisony (one ‘y’ has an ‘a’ written over it); ‘eden’ is written near the circle identifying ‘Independense’; ‘where adam blessed his posterity’ is written near the circle identifying ‘Adam on Diammon’; the ‘missisipy river’ is listed near Nauvoo; Kirtland is twice misspelled ‘kertland’; and Cumorah is misspelled ‘Cunora’ and ‘Cumora.’”

Dr. Peterson writes this conclusion about the maps:

“It is interesting to note that the brethren mentioned on these documents were contemporaries of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and they credited him with the notion that the travels of Moroni began in the land Bountiful, which was in Central America, and went through the western New York. Why Moroni took the route he did is still without answers. These men stated that the Prophet Joseph believed Bountiful is in Central America while the Hill Cumorah, the burial place of the plates, is in New York State.”

Peterson references a comment Brigham Young made in 1875 on the day of the dedication of the Manti temple site. Young reportedly said, “Here is the spot where the prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a Temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot…” Then Peterson states,

“That Moroni dedicated the Manti Temple site is one of the few statements the Brethren have made connecting a Book of Mormon figure with a specific current place and action. This aids us in documenting one of Moroni’s travels and priesthood assignments.”

I find it incredible that these same men, who discount statements by Joseph Fielding Smith, Oliver Cowdery and others, that there was only one Hill Cumorah, and it was in New York, would give credence to a statement by Brigham Young about Moroni going to Utah, and this map purported to have been drawn at the direction of Joseph Smith, while discounting the multitude of statements that locate the Hill Cumorah in New York.

What I found the most interesting about all of this was the side trip that Moroni took to Pike County Illinois. If anyone is familiar with Mormon History, they will remember that an interesting discovery was found there, known as ‘The Kinderhook Plates’.  If this map is genuine, and Moroni went there, why would he go to a place where phony plates were buried in an attempt to fool Joseph Smith? And if this map was drawn at the direction of Smith, does this prove that he was taken in by the Kinderhook hoax?

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120 Responses to An Interesting Discovery: A Map of the Travels of Moroni

  1. falcon says:

    Acts 19:18-19
    Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.d 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
    I don’t care if it’s called folk magic, white magic, black magic, the occult, it doesn’t matter. Anyone who fools around with it, in any of its forms, is a fool. Some people are so enamored by these “spiritual” manifestations that they buy-into them with out any regard for what “spirit” they are tapping into.
    The foundation of Mormonism is in the occult. Mormons have rejected God and accepted other gods to replace Him. They are no different than the worshipers of Baal on the high places in the OT. There’s enough Christianity mixed into Mormonism to dupe the followers of Smith.
    Mormonism is another gospel and its practices come out of spiritualism which Smith was well familiar with.

  2. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    The true gospel, as taught by Paul (as well as Peter, James, John, the other disciplines, and even the Lord Jesus Christ himself) is the same one that is taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    I was hoping you would say this. You pretty much admit a different gospel. Here is the Problem, Paul and the apostles did not teach the gospel you believe, the gospel they taught is not the same as you believe.

    Now your always harping on people giving exidence, So since you said it, you need to back it up. Where in the Bible is the gospel you believe? Where is the pre-existance? Where is Jesus and lucifer Brothers? Where ios Jesus a sinful man who made it to God hood? Why does God the father say I know of no other gods, and none were before me and none will be after me. Yet you teach we can become Gods and their are millions of Gods? These are just a few things. Show me where Peter taught this stuff? You claimed it was in the Bible now back it up.

  3. helenlouissmith says:

    Kate, correction, I stated that if one was a glass looker and committed fraud he should be convicted of a crime. So what we have is an acquittal, yet there are those of you who still defame Joseph Smith by lying about his conviction for being a glass looker, what were the charges? vagrancy.
    One of the documents includes a bill from then-South Bainbridge Justice Albert Neely to the county for services rendered. Included in the bill is a $2.68 charge for fees in examining the case of “Joseph Smith, the glass looker.”

    This evidence consists of the constable’s and justice’s bills of expenses. The bills show only that:
    1. The date of the trial was July 1, 1830.
    2. The charge was being a disorderly person.
    3. Twelve witnesses were called.
    4. Joseph Smith was held for one day and was fed three meals.
    5. Ten subpoenas were issued.
    The bills contain no testimony or verdict.

    So tell me Kate, why do Evangelicals lie about the conviction of Glass looker and Fraud, when neither one have been proven? evidence point to an acquittal of all charges.

    My point is that I have corrected mistakes made here on MC and all I see is everyone running the other direction from this issue and my correction. Changing the subject only makes my point more valid since those who will read this some day obviously will see the obtrusive behavior by some when agenda driven enemies of our Church are inclined too manipulate words, labels and slanderous witnessing.

    Helen/Louis :-)

  4. helenlouissmith says:

    So Kate, a little more for you to digest.
    Another claim by some is that Joseph was allowed to escape as long as he kept out of town.

    [filtered profanity or slur] critics such as the Tanners, in their attempts to make Joseph look bad, also claim that Joseph took “leg bail” from the trial, saying that he was allowed to escape with the promise that he would stay out of town. That’s a very odd claim, given that Joseph and Emma were married in that town 10 months later by a justice of the peace. The Tanners can’t explain how this could be. But it’s simple: Joseph was “discharged” as W.D. Purple said (Chenango Union newspaper, May of 1877). He took notes at the trial and appears to be the only eyewitness that wrote anything about it. He said, “It is hardly necessary to say that, as the testimony of Deacon Stowell could not be impeached, the prisoner was discharged, and in a few weeks left the town.” That’s the most reliable first-hand, non-Mormon evidence available. Joseph was discharged, not convicted, and did not take “leg bail,” but simply left freely a few weeks later. Source Jeff Lindsay.

    :-) Helen/Louis

  5. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon muses: We have a practitioner of folk magic, defending a fellow occultist!
    Ladies and gentlemen, do we need any further information regarding the spirit by which Helen operates?

    I have to pick my self up for this one, LOL. Hilarious Falcon. :-)

    I guess we are going back into the dark ages, the earth was flat and the Sun revolved around the earth.
    Divinity Rods, a forked stick, the forks of Satan and those who looked to the dark side, who thought nothing of using any means available to get GOLD, Treasure and OH MY Gosh, Even WATER. Yikes.

    Next will be the lightning rod, evil is evil and Ben Franklin was condemned by the Christians and he should be :-)

    Ben Franklin’s life-saving invention, the lightning rod, was condemned by many Christians as an insult to Almighty God, or at least, to his aim. Because the Bible says God “sends forth lightnings…He covers His hands with the lightning. And commands it to strike the mark. Its noise declares His presence?Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, And His lightning to the ends of the earth… Whether for correction, or for His world, Or for loving kindness, He causes it to happen.” [Job 36:27-33 & 37:1-13 & 38:35]

    And Ben Franklin sang, “Nya, nya-nya, nya, nya. Can’t hit me!”

    Yes, I admit, the evil ways of Mormons and many of the early Pioneers who foolishly used the Rods to find water, evil old water. Amusing. :-)

    Helen/Louis

  6. falcon says:

    When God removes his hand from people, they move deeper and deeper into rebellion against him. What we are witnessing here is the demise of a foolish, diluted, and I would say, a spiritually disturbed person.
    There is a point where a doctor will say about someone he’s treating, “There is nothing more I can do for this patient.”
    We have reached that point.

  7. 4fivesolas says:

    Helen/Louis,
    You seem to be both admitting and denying that Joseph Smith practiced folk magic with a seer stone at the time he claimed to find and translate the Book of Mormon. For clarity – do you accept that Joseph Smith practiced this glass looking or seer stone activity? You seem to have admitted it earlier, but then you seem to want to deny it?? There is a lot written around Joseph Smith’s involvement in folk magic and it is accepted as historical fact even by Mormons, who have a motive to deny it. If you accept that it is true, is it your contention that there is nothing wrong with glass looking or seer stones? Have you purchased a seer stone for your own use? Would active participation in other activities designed to contact the spirit world also be acceptable? – such as runes, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, etc. etc.?
    I think you are trying to conflate Joseph Smith being convicted in a court of law of fraud with his involvement in folk magic, thereby creating a distraction away from the central argument of Joseph Smith being involved in a type of sorcery forbidden by the Scriptures. One could even argue that his involvement in this activity opened him up to deceiving spirits – perhaps there is a spiritual power to the Book of Mormon, but it is not from God.

  8. Rick B says:

    Helen,
    seems you have a lot to say about JS, AND your the one that asks for evidence, and your the one that said Paul taught mormonism, so are you going to back up your statement, or will you be a Genisis 1:1 type of person? You have no form or substance.

  9. Kate says:

    CORRECTION! You said: “No one is denying the treasure hunting, looking for buried gold or treasure or even looking into glass to find it. JOSEPH SMITH DID THIS and so did many others during this time, I myself have used water dowsing to find water, guess what it works. So am I bad or evil for using a Diviner’s Rod to find water, have I now committed somevkind of fraud? get real please.”

    I think I said many posts ago that I don’t care if Joseph Smith was convicted or not. You are so hung up on that. It doesn’t matter! What matters is the FACT that he did these things. Doesn’t it bother you at all that your founding prophet used a MAGIC ROCK ( Well a plain old rock he claimed was magic) to translate the BoM? The KEYSTONE of your religion? Isn’t that really bizarre? Of course we are taught that it was the urim and thummin by which he translated. The rock was lied about. Your comments about Benjamin Franklin and lightning are so OUT THERE! What did the references to Job have to do with what we are discussing? I love your comment about the Tanners. Those darn people just make all of this stuff up just to make Joseph Smith look bad. I hate to be the one to give you the news Helen, but Joseph Smith does that all by himself. He was/is bad. As far as your divination practices, I showed what God’s Word says about that. Laugh it off, falcon is right about you.

  10. helenlouissmith says:

    4fivesolas states: I think you are trying to conflate Joseph Smith being convicted in a court of law of fraud with his involvement in folk magic, thereby creating a distraction away from the central argument of Joseph Smith being involved in a type of sorcery forbidden by the Scriptures.

    Confused, aren’t you really saying that “Evangelicals” are trying too meld a cultural idea ( treasure hunting) with identities (Joseph Smith) and then trying to connect him with sorcery. Anyway now that I have corrected your unhistorical context lets move on to “I think you are trying to conflate Joseph Smith being convicted in a court of law of fraud”, here we go again and not even a source to proof his assertion. So far all I have seen is evidence that a hearing to gather information and a warrant were issued for vagrancy. Why is it nobody can show any conviction or verdict for Glass Looking to commit fraud????? Go back if you have any sense of accuracy and dig, dig, dig deeper before committing the final error of revisionist history. :-0

    Helen/Louis

  11. helenlouissmith says:

    falcon frantically labels : What we are witnessing here is the demise of a foolish, diluted, and I would say, a spiritually disturbed person.
    There is a point where a doctor will say about someone he’s treating, “There is nothing more I can do for this patient.”
    We have reached that point.

    When you run out of ammunition, take the next best thing you do (ad hominem) and just stand there and yell insults at your dueling one-on-one challenger, hoping the duel will be called off for lack of your bringing bullets. LOL.

    Helen/Louis :-)

  12. Kate says:

    Helen,
    Several posts ago, Andy Watson posted this:
    “Regarding Joseph Smith’s trial in Bainbridge, New York, in 1826, Fraser’s Magazine (February, 1873, pp. 229-230) published the court record from the trial. At the bottom it states: “And therefore the Court find the defendent guilty.” The Mormons disupute this, of course. I also have a full-page copy Justice Albert Neely’s bill for the trial and his costs charged ($2.68). On the court blodder it states: “Joseph Smith, The Glass looker, March 20, 1826; Misdemeanor.”

    Why should any of us believe the quotes that you have posted. What makes your evidence more reliable than Andy’s? I’m sure you have heard that Casey Anthony was found not guilty! Even though everyone including the Jury knows she is. Does that mean that she absolutely DID NOT KILL HER BABY??? No, it just means she escaped through a loop hole! I for one believe that Joseph Smith was convicted of fraud and glass looking, you on the other hand are trying to make him innocent through a loop hole. Glass looking, treasure seeking, magic rocks, jupiter talismans, pagan symbols, divination, folk magic, black magic, voodoo etc. are all considered cultural ideas to some. Not all of us believe that these things are from God. You do and that is something that you will have to answer for. God’s Word tells us about these things and that is what we as Christians look to for guidance. Maybe you should put away all of these things and come unto the true and living Christ of the Bible.

  13. Rick B says:

    Kate said,

    are all considered cultural ideas to some.

    Cannibalism is a cultural idea to some, does that make it ok in Gods eyes? I can see it now, God says, Thou shalt not murder, but some guy says, But Lord we have no food, no rain to grow crops, all the land is barren, we prayed for food and you sent a group of people over to us. So we felt you answered our prayers. You sent some black people for those of us who like dark meat, sent some fat people for those of us who like fatty meats, and some really fit people for those of us who like lean meat. Yea, that great. I somehow just dont buy that.

  14. 4fivesolas wrote “One could even argue that his involvement in this activity opened him up to deceiving spirits – perhaps there is a spiritual power to the Book of Mormon, but it is not from God.”

    This has actually been my take on the whole first vision account for a long time. Either JS was right, a total liar, or he was overtaken by the enemy. Opening yourself up to the occult is serious business, whether it’s considered “cultural” or not. I’ll read snippets of the BoM, but I refuse to delve into it for the sole purpose of protecting myself. Some people are strong enough to dive in and not be phased. One of my friends (Christian) read it for research. She was awoken in the middle of the night with a dark heaviness and immediately began praying. She ran and got the book, threw it out, and was instantly better. So it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if JS was under some kind of spiritual influence when all this happened.

  15. Kate says:

    Marriedamormon,

    That just kinda creeped me out a little! I had never really thought about Joseph Smith being under some kind of spiritual influence. I had just come to the conclusion that he was a liar, deceiver and a fraud. The past few days of dialogue with Helen have really got me thinking that all of this is truly based in the occult and evil. I have learned of JS occult practices, but never really put it together how evil it was/is. The really sad part is that everyone around me is in up to there eyeballs with this stuff. How on earth does one go about helping them see God’s truth? I think it has hit me just how serious this is. Have Rick email you his information. It’s helpful.

  16. grindael says:

    Actually here are the facts about Smith’s “leg-bail”, which the Tanner’s certainly did not ‘invent’.

    In 1842 Judge Joel K. Noble of Colesville, New York, (the Justice before whom JS would appear in 1830) placed the money digging within the context of occult ritual. He recalled that young Joseph “came here when about 17-18 Y[ears]. of age in the capacity of Glass Looker or fortune tel[l]er.”( Letter of Joel King Noble to Jonathan B. Turner, 8 Mar. 1842, in answer to an inquiry from Professor Turner of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois.) Noble summarized the story of the company’s alleged sprinkling the ground with a dog’s blood while offering prayers to obtain a buried treasure. (ibid)

    While Joseph Smith was working for Josiah Stowell, he was brought before a court on charges sworn against him by a nephew of Josiah Stowell, Peter G. Bridgman (or Bridgeman). Apparently Bridgman became concerned that his uncle’s money was being spent in the pursuit of elusive treasure. Accounts of these charges corroborate Smith’s treasure hunting in southern New York and Pennsylvania.

    In 1831 Abram W. Benton, a young man about the same age as Joseph Jr., recalled the arrest for disorderly conduct and the judgement of guilt, adding, “considering his youth, (he then being a minor,) and thinking he might reform his conduct, he was designedly allowed to escape. This was four or five years ago.” In Noble’s 1842 recollection, Smith was charged with vagrancy, condemned, and “whisper came to Jo. off off—took Leg Bail (or Gave [Leg Bail]).” http://signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=8627#mormon32

  17. grindael says:

    Seems it would be quite easy to sneak back across the Pennsylvania border and find a justice of the peace and quietly get married, and this is what A.W. Benton confirms in an 1831 letter:

    At length the public, becoming wearied with the base imposition which he was palming upon the credulity of the ignorant, for the purpose of sponging his living from their earnings, had him arrested as a disorderly person, tried and condemned before a court of Justice. But considering his youth, (he being then a minor,) and thinking he might reform his conduct, he was designedly allowed to escape. This was four or five years ago. From this time he absented himself from this place, returning only privately, and holding clandestine intercourse with his credulous dupes, for two or three years. (A.W. Benton For the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, 1831)

    Here are harmonized the discrepant accounts of the court record and the Purple reminiscences as to the outcome of the trial. Joseph Smith would appear to have been given the equivalent of a suspended sentence. He was, as asserted, a minor at the the time, not reaching the age of twenty-one until December 23, 1826.”_johnny

  18. Andrea L says:

    Marriedamormon said:
    4fivesolas wrote “One could even argue that his involvement in this activity opened him up to deceiving spirits – perhaps there is a spiritual power to the Book of Mormon, but it is not from God.”

    I’ll read snippets of the BoM, but I refuse to delve into it for the sole purpose of protecting myself … One of my friends (Christian) read it for research. She was awoken in the middle of the night with a dark heaviness and immediately began praying. She ran and got the book, threw it out, and was instantly better. So it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if JS was under some kind of spiritual influence when all this happened.

    I can attest to this. I fully believe Mormonism is tapped into and using the powers of Satan’s demons. Ed Decker mentions an incident in The Godmakers regarding this, but I also have my own personal experiences from which to draw:

    As a teenager, I attended a special event for Mutual one night. At the end, we were -as usual- invited to come up and give our testimonies. This was the very first time ever (and I was born into the church) that I felt “the Spirit” come over me and I had to speak. I physically felt something settle upon me, stay with me through my testimony, and then leave as I sat down, but I don’t remember a word that I said. (continued below)

  19. Andrea L says:

    In later conversations with my husband (a lifelong Christian) he said that whenever he’s felt the Holy Spirit, it was more like his senses were heightened and he could recall every word with crystal clarity. I have found -now that I have been saved by the true and living Christ- that this is true. I know that what I felt then was not from God.

    Since coming to Christ 6 years ago I have entered an LDS church building only 3 times. The first time, I was vaguely uncomfortable which I thought was just due to finally knowing all the crap about JS and his deceptions. The 2nd time, I was even more uncomfortable. Then because of the deep, personal relationship I now have with my Savior and His Spirit which is in me, the last time I passed through those doors I immediately felt a change and knew that there was a presence throughout that was opposed to God.
    You can believe what you want, but I am not making this up.

    -Andrea (longtime lurker, occasional poster)

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