Monthly Archives: February 2015

Book of Mormon Geography — Early Research

Joseph-Knew-Willard-and-Rebecca-Bean-Wedding-PhotoOne-hundred years ago this month (February 2015) newlyweds Willard and Rebecca Bean moved into the Joseph Smith home near Palmyra, New York. President Joseph F. Smith had called and set them apart as missionaries. Their assignments were to

1. Make Friends

2. Farm the land

3. Preach the gospel

4. Baptize converts

5. Organize a branch of the church

They were set apart to serve for five years with a parenthetical “or more” attached to the call. Assignment number one, make friends, took nearly a decade. Before leaving their field of labor, they accomplished everything they were asked to do. The “or more” seemed prophetic when their mission stretched into nearly 25 years. They arrived in Palmyra as newlyweds and returned to Utah as grandparents.

More details about their extraordinary mission will be available this year when several books, including Willard’s autobiography, will be published.

Joseph-Knew-Willard-Bean-Geography-of-the-Book-of-Mormon-BookAs if making friends, farming the land, preaching the gospel, baptizing converts and organizing a branch of the church were not enough to keep him busy, Willard did some of the most detailed research into Book of Mormon geography that had been done up to that point in the church. With his co-author Cecil McGavin, he published the book “The Geography of the Book of Mormon”.

Wayne May, creator and publisher of Ancient American magazine, credits Willard Bean’s research with sparking his own interest in Book of Mormon lands in North America.

In this short video, Wayne talks with Lori Bean Henderson, a granddaughter of Willard and Rebecca. (4:13)

Watch for more information about Willard and Rebecca Bean here on Joseph Knew. We will keep you up to date on the publication of Willard’s books.

Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

When using portions of this article, please credit: JosephKnew.com

If you have comments or questions, we would like to hear them. Just click on leave a comment below.

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CastleGate-Nedia---Geography-of-the-Book-of-Mormon

REPUBLISHED — Some of the earliest research into the lands of the Book of Mormon

“Geography of the Book of Mormon”

ThisIsTheMarketPlace.com

 

This is the MarketPlace is part of the Mormon Media Network

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DVD front JPG for other usesA new documentary about Willard and Rebecca Bean is now available. “Love Unfeigned” is a three-part DVD.

The Biography of Willard Bean chronicles his youth, his mission in the Southern States, his acting and political experiences in New York City, and his successful boxing career. — (17 minutes)

The Biography of Rebecca Bean tells of her family’s conversion in Denmark, her growing up in Richfield, Utah and her sacred experiences living in the Joseph Smith home in Palmyra, NY. (26 minutes) 

Love Unfeigned celebrates the 100-year legacy of Willard and Rebecca’s influence in Palmyra, NY. It includes interviews with Bean family members, local Palmyra residents and Book of Mormon scholars. The DVD includes never before seen photos from the Bean family collection. (60 minutes)

To order your copy, visit “This is the MarketPlace”.

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 Ancient-American-cover

Wayne May’s Ancient American magazine is available here.

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LEARN MORE from the books available on the Joseph Knew home page.

Find all previous posts on the Joseph Knew home page.

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Joseph Knew is part of the Mormon Media Network. Visit us for:

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The 1909 Book of Mormon Convention

Joseph-Knew-Brigham-Young-AcademyOn Saturday and Sunday, May 22-23, 1909 a convention was held at College Hall on the campus of Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah. The subject of the convention was The Book of Mormon. Lecture topics ranged from the proper pronunciation of Book of Mormon Names to the Location of Zarahemla and the River Sidon. Because the Book of Mormon is not a book about geography, there are many differing opinions about where cities were or where things took place. It was no different in 1909 at the convention. The Deseret News reported that throughout the two days President Joseph F. Smith had to remind those in attendance to calm down when debates got a little heated.

Joseph-Knew-Joseph-F-SmithIn his opening remarks, President Smith introduced their objective. He said the purpose of the convention was to consider the Book of Mormon and the people to whom it gave a history, and the lands to which it refers. The convention was not organized to discuss the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. That, he said, had been accepted when we accepted the divine mission of Joseph Smith and the testimony of the witnesses to the book.

President Smith reminded those attending the convention that where things took place in the Book of Mormon was certainly of interest; it was not of vital importance. He advised against placing the same level of importance on Book of Mormon geography as on gospel principles.

From the lectures that were presented at that Book of Mormon convention, it is clear that not only has there always been great interest in Book of Mormon geography, but there have also been great debates between the various schools of thought.

Joseph-Knew-James-E-TalmageElder James E. Talmage, who studied chemistry and geology at Lehigh University and Johns Hopkins University, presented what he called Internal Evidence of the Book of Mormon. His lecture dealt with the various writing styles found in the book, which he and others believed confirmed the idea that the book was written by several different people in different places and at different times.

Lectures were presented arguing that the city of Zarahemla was located in various places from Venezuala to Honduras to North America.

Proposals were given for the River Sidon being in Central America, South America and North America.

Joseph-Knew-BH-RobertsElder B. H. Roberts took issue with those at the convention who believed the destruction and changes in the land at the time of the crucifixion were minimal. Elder Orson F. Whitney, who had served as assistant Church Historian from 1899 to 1906 concurred with Roberts and presented evidence of great destruction.

It seems the only thing that everyone could agree on was a pronunciation guideline for Book of Mormon names. That information was shared by Elder Charles W. Penrose and, on motion of Professor J. B. Keeler, was adopted by the committee. That pronunciation guide can be found at the end of this article.

At the conclusion of the convention, President Joseph F. Smith again cautioned those in attendance to avoid making the geography of the Book of Mormon of equal importance with the doctrine contained in the book.

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon is the cornerstone of their religion. Although knowing where Book of Mormon events took place is not essential for a testimony, knowing where the Land Bountiful was may help bring 3 Nephi alive and can even strengthen a testimony. More important than knowing where the resurrected Christ visited with the Nephites is knowing who Jesus Christ was, what he taught, and what his resurrection means for each of us.

Although we at Joseph Knew believe that North America was the Promised Land where Lehi and his family disembarked, and although we believe there was only one Cumorah where both the Jaredites and the Nephites perished, we will always be respectful of other opinions. We may strongly disagree with another viewpoint, and we may present evidence and facts that contradict that viewpoint, but that does not mean we don’t respect the view and the thought and research that went into it. We believe it is through mutual respect and the sharing of ideas that we can gain greater understanding of the Book of Mormon, its lands and people.

The goal at Joseph Knew is, as President Joseph F. Smith told conventioneers in 1909, to consider the Book of Mormon and the people to whom it gives a history, and the lands to which it refers. We are not here to discuss the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. That was accepted when we accepted the divine mission of Joseph Smith and the testimony of the witnesses to the book.

Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

When using portions of this article, please credit: JosephKnew.com

If you have comments or questions, we would like to hear them. Just click on leave a comment below.

________________________________

Joseph-Knew-Book-of-Mormon-Pronunciation-Guide

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LEARN MORE from the books available on the Joseph Knew home page.

Find all previous posts on the Joseph Knew home page.

Like Joseph Knew on Facebook to keep up on what’s happening.

Joseph Knew is part of the Mormon Media Network. Visit us for:

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Lamanites in North America

Joseph-Knew-Oliver-CowderyIn September 1830 the second general conference of the church was held in Fayette, New York. At the time there were only 62 members of the church. At that conference the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph, commanded Oliver Cowdery to, “go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them”. (D&C 8:8) This was the first official church mission. Three others, Ziba Peterson, Parley P. Pratt and Peter Whitmer were called to accompany Oliver. Pratt recorded their missionary activities in his autobiography.

“After travelling for some days we called on an Indian nation at or near Buffalo; and spent part of a day with them, instructing them in the knowledge of the record of their forefathers. We were kindly received, and much interest was manifested by them on hearing this news.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 47)

Joseph-Knew-Parley-P-PrattThe missionaries traveled from the Buffalo area to Ohio where they met and taught other Lamanites. While there, they baptized Frederick G. Williams who joined them in their missionary efforts into Missouri. It was here that Cowdery, Pratt and Williams met with the Delawares and the Shawnees. The chief of the Delawares, who had taken the Christian name Anderson, was open and receptive. In a letter to Joseph Smith, Cowdery wrote:

“The principal chief says he believes every word of the Book and there are many more in the Nation who believe and we understand there are many among the Shawnees who also believe & we trust that when the Lord shall open our way we shall have glorious times.”

Joseph-Knew-Joseph_Preaching_to_the_Indians_by_C.C.A._ChristensenJoseph Smith saw the Native Americans in a different light than was popular in America at the time. It’s reasonable to assume his view came from the Book of Mormon, which did not portray them as savages, untamed by civilized society. Joseph knew from the Book of Mormon that the Lamanites were a noble people, equal in stature to any people on earth. Joseph’s view of the Lamanites was no doubt reinforced in November 1831 when, at a special conference of the elders of the church, he received a revelation, which would become the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants. The Lord reveals his intention and desire to make the gospel known “unto all flesh,” because he is “no respecter of persons.” (D&C 1:34,35)

The US government did not share this view of Native Americans. In 1830, the same year the Lord sent his first missionaries out to share the gospel with the Lamanites, the US congress passed the Indian Removal Act. This gave the US President power to order the removal of any and all Native Americans to the western territories. By moving the savages out of the east, it opened the way for civilized society to expand.

The attitudes of the Latter-day Saints toward the Native Americans served as kindling for the anti-Mormon fires that were smoldering in Missouri. Oliver Cowdery taught the Delawares that the land should be “held in common with the palefaces”. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 55) Such teaching could not have set well with landowners.

Joseph traveled to share the gospel with the Lamanites. He also welcomed them into Nauvoo.

When the Lord commanded Joseph to send missionaries among the Lamanites, Joseph did not send them to Central or South America. He sent them into North America. However, Joseph’s understanding of who the Native Americans were did not begin with the translation of the Book of Mormon. As a seventeen year old he was taught by Moroni “concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity”. (The Wentworth Letter)

Joseph knew that the Native Americans were descended from Joseph of Egypt, and those missionaries who shared the gospel with them understood that fact. After his first mission to the Lamanites, Parley P. Pratt expressed his hope that “at some future day, when the servants of God go forth with power to the remnant of Joseph, some precious seed will be found growing in their hearts, which [was] sown by us in that early day”. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 57) During Moroni’s first appearance to Joseph Smith, Moroni said he had been “sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled”. That first mission to the Lamanites in 1830 was helping to fulfill that covenant.

Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

When using portions of this article, please credit: JosephKnew.com

If you have comments or questions, we would like to hear them. Just click on leave a comment below.

________________________________

REPUBLISHED — Some of the earliest research into the lands of the Book of Mormon

“Geography of the Book of Mormon”

ThisIsTheMarketPlace.com

 

This is the MarketPlace is part of the Mormon Media Network

________________________________

A new documentary about Willard and Rebecca Bean is now available. “Love Unfeigned” is a three-part DVD.

The Biography of Willard Bean chronicles his youth, his mission in the Southern States, his acting and political experiences in New York City, and his successful boxing career. — (17 minutes)

The Biography of Rebecca Bean tells of her family’s conversion in Denmark, her growing up in Richfield, Utah and her sacred experiences living in the Joseph Smith home in Palmyra, NY. (26 minutes) 

Love Unfeigned celebrates the 100-year legacy of Willard and Rebecca’s influence in Palmyra, NY. It includes interviews with Bean family members, local Palmyra residents and Book of Mormon scholars. The DVD includes never before seen photos from the Bean family collection. (60 minutes)

To order your copy, visit “This is the MarketPlace”.

________________________________

Image credits: Joseph Smith preaching to the Laminates by CCA Christensen

Photos of Oliver Cowdery and Orson Pratt by unknown photographers (in the public domain)

 ________________________________

LEARN MORE from the books available on the Joseph Knew home page.

Find all previous posts on the Joseph Knew home page.

Like Joseph Knew on Facebook to keep up on what’s happening.

Joseph Knew is part of the Mormon Media Network. Visit us for:

Inspirational Thoughts

Quotes

Little-known Church History

Healthy Living