Howard W. Hunter And Book of Mormon Geography

President Howard W. Hunter made an interesting statement related to Book of Mormon geography quoted in a Deseret News article in 1995:

“in the heart of the Mayan area of Mesoamerica, which has such great significance in the Book of Mormon history.” -(Howard W. Hunter, Creation of 2,000th stake marked yet another milestone in Mexico, 1995, Deseret News)

This isn’t really surprising, considering a 2012 LDS manual said,

Elder Howard W. Hunter had a deep love of the Book of Mormon and for its divine mission. He was also interested in the historical and archeological details it contained. On January 26, 1961, he was appointed the chairman of an advisory board for the New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF). He served as chairman for 24 years. This organization associated with BYU-sponsored archaeological work in southern Mexico and northern Central America. “Its goal was to search for sites connected with the descendants of Lehi. Some of these sites were very primitive, and his assignment literally took him into the jungle. Elder Hunter learned to survive such conditions by eating boiled eggs and bananas” (Faust, “The Way of an Eagle,” 10).

 

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(Image: He enjoyed visiting the sites of Mesoamerica and made a number of trips to those areas.)

“Elder Hunter took an active interest in the foundation, meeting often with board members and personally inspecting the archaeological sites two or three times a year. He also took a strong fatherly interest in the staff workers and their families. His expeditions, often combined with Church assignments, took him into primitive—at times even dangerous—areas, and he immersed himself in learning as much as possible about the ancient civilizations and artifacts” (Knowles, Howard W. Hunter, 198–99).

The Church History Museum has some of Howard W. Hunters belongings on display. The Mesoamerican stela demonstrates his passion for the topic.

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(Photo Credit Harrison Salisbury)

Conclusion

The geography of the Book of Mormon is not yet revealed, but it seems like Howard W. Hunter had fun exploring and learning about it, especially by using a scholarly approach. This post is not meant to prove a specific location or theory for the Book of Mormon. At the least, it demonstrates a prophets/apostles openness to the Mesoamerican theory and Book of Mormon Research.

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