Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In which David B makes an unpatriotic statement

So there’s all sorts of commercial sites out there running scamstours of “Book of Mormon lands”. The thing i find really interesting about this is that, as far as i can find, all of these sorts of tours involve destinations in Mesoamerica,* but, at least among Mormons in the United States, the same sort of people who swallowaccept Mesoamerican claims for Book of Mormon locations also seem to believe that when the Book of Mormon talks about promises for “this land”, it means the United States specifically, or maybe (if they’re feeling generous) all of the Americas.

What i want to know is: Why might those promises not be intended for, say, Costa Rica? Or Nicaragua? Or the Andean highlands? Or anyplace else that doesn’t include the United States?

* Yes, even though we don’t actually know where any of the locations—and there are multiple named locations, something a lot of people forget—in the Book of Mormon might actually have been.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

They're not? I was taught in church that it's the Americas. Plural. North and South.

David B said...

As was i, but i’ve learned since that that may well have been a side effect of growing up in the DC area, where the general trend is to be more internationalist in scope than elsewhere in the country (well, along with some other places like, say, New York City). Other places in the country i’ve lived, yeah, it’s the United States that’s the focus.

Well, except when i lived in Utah—there, you would have thought sometimes that it was the modern borders of Utah that delimited the Book of Mormon’s “this land”.