Be confident that when you travel to Mexico, Guatemala, and Central America you are traveling in the lands where the primary American events of the Book of Mormon took place according to the Prophet Joseph Smith. As the translator of the Book of Mormon and because of his several visions about the geography of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, remains the key to identifying geographical locations in the Book of Mormon. It is important to point out that Joseph expected to find archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon both north and south of the Rio Grande because the Jaredites and the descendants of Father Lehi had spread from sea to sea and covered the face of the land.
The Book of Mormon did not take place in a vacuum. In addition to being scripture, the Book of Mormon is a history of real people who lived and died in the New World. There was a Zarahemla. According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the city of Zarahemla was located south of the Rio Grande in Guatemala and Central America. The current debate about the location of Zarahemla has to do with the authorship of three editorials in an early Church newspaper called the Times and Seasons. The declaration of Zarahemla being in Guatemala and the “narrow neck of land” being in Central America, occurred while the Prophet Joseph Smith was serving as Editor of the Times and Seasons.
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