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.

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Wayne May’s Ancient American magazine is available here.


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1 thought on “Book of Mormon Geography — Early Research

  1. It amazes me how many Mormons are mismiforned and ignorant of the true facts surrounding the origins of their religion and the supposed golden plates. It does not matter if J Smith was or wasn’t convicted. What is clear is that even before he supposedly met Moroni, he was a person who was inclined towards fanciful & magical notions. He was a early new-ager . He was into treasure hunting and claimed to be able to divine the location of buried treasure by peering at a magical stone in the bottom of his hat. Other persons did not view and certainly touch the golden plates at all. Smith expressly said that this was not possible because anyone without the Urrim & Thumin stones would be destroyed by the plates. Smith was a clever con man who always came up with an answer for everything. Conveniently, Moroni wanted the plates back when he was finished. The Mormons at my door love pointing out to me how reminiscent of the Bible the book of Mormon sounds. By this they mean that it sounds like the King James translation of the Bible. Plenty of and it came unto pass that etc. That is in fact a strong pointer to the fact that it is a fraud. The KJV sounds like it does because of the time and place in which it was translated. There was no good reason why Smith, a 19th Century East Coast American, should translate to that sound unless he was deliberately trying to create a holy book that would appear to the gullible to be a sequel to the Bible. Additionally, to accept the book of Mormon as scripture, one has to have complete and utter faith in its miraculous origins. One has to believe that in a singular time and place Smith came upon a volume, containing books by various authors, for which he was by the use of magical stones of which he was conveniently possessed the sole interpreter. By contrast whilst Christians and Jews believe that the content of the Bible is inspired by God, they do not believe that it came to us by miraculous or magical means. They accept that the Bible is in fact not a book but a collection of 66 books scribed at various times and places by various human writers in the same way as books in general are normally written. Biblical scholars can point to manuscripts and to a history of scholarship and translation that delivered these books to us. Inspiration aside, the story of the bible is a mundane a non miraculous story. The translation was a collaborative work of many, not explainable by the claimed supernatural experience of one. Indian Vedic scriptures have a corresponding scholarly history, but the Islamic Koran suffers from the same disability as to origins as the book of Mormon. It was all said to have been supernaturally conveyed to the prophet Mahommed. There is a good adage. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence . The explanations for the advent of the Koran and the book of Mormon are extraordinary claim completely devoid of extraordinary evidence . -3Was this answer helpful?

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