Must one know the precise GPS coordinates of the final Jaredite and Lehite battles in order to be a good Latter-day Saint?

Must one know the precise GPS coordinates of the final Jaredite and Lehite battles in order to be a good Latter-day Saint? September 4, 2020

 

Moroni, in gold
A statue of the Angel Moroni by Torleif Knaphus stands atop the Hill Cumorah, just south of Palmyra, New York, commemorating the revelation and recovery of the Book of Mormon.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain photo).  In order to be a faithful Latter-day Saint, is it essential to accept Mr. Jonathan Neville’s doctrine on the location of the Book of Mormon’s final battles?

 

I have no real interest in Mr. Jonathan Neville.  I have no real interest in his ideas.  I’m generally familiar with his views, but I don’t read his blog.  I don’t read his books.  I pay essentially no attention to him.  Although, increasingly, I regard his attitudes as dangerous to the unity of the Saints — even potentially schismatic — and although I’m unpersuaded by the arguments of the “Heartland” movement itself and am, in fact, somewhat troubled by certain of its features, I would very likely ignore him altogether if he would stop attacking me and if he would stop attacking friends and colleagues of mine.  Life is short, and I would leave it to others to respond to him — as I pretty much do already.  In any event, the geography of the Book of Mormon is not a principal interest of mine.  I’m a satisfied “Mesoamericanist,” but I’m not dogmatic about it.

 

However, his attacks continue and, accordingly, I sometimes feel the need to respond to him.  Happily, other people have been doing the heavy lifting.  (Actually, it’s not very heavy.  Mr. Neville offers himself as a very easy target.)

 

Here is a recent comment from Robert Boylan, the indefatigable Ireland-based proprietor of the superb blog Scriptural Mormonism:

 

“Jonathan Neville’s Hatred of Proponents of a Mesoamerican Geography is Greater than his love for the gospel”

 

And here is an entry on the sadly necessary Neville-Neville Land blog:

 

“Jonathan Neville attacks defenders and defends attackers of the restored gospel”

 

On 29 August 2020, I posted a rather provocatively-titled blog entry called “An exceptionally stupid argument against the Restoration.”  As any reader will readily see, I said nothing in it with even the remotest connection to Book of Mormon geography, the location of the Nephite Hill Cunorah, or Mr. Jonathan Neville.

 

Nevertheless, in ostensible response to that blog entry, someone calling himself “TwoCumorahRLDSFraud” posted the following comment:

 

Well said, Dr Peterson, who doesn’t believe Oliver Cowdery who in his Letter VII stated in response to the anti-Mormon book “Mormonism Unvailed” [sic] that the Hill Cumorah with it’s final Jaredite and Nephite battles is in New York.

Dan Peterson would rather promote the 1920s RLDS Two-Cumorah Geography Fraud for The Book of Mormon than defend Oliver Cowdery. That’s Dan Peterson claims he’s an “LDS Apologist.”

When do you plan on stop being an idiot, Dr. Peterson?
Before of after the Resurrection when your brain will be restored to you?

 

“TwoCumorahRLDSFraud” had previously posted a fair number of other personally insulting comments on my blog under other pseudonyms, and, although I’m a patient and long-suffering host, had previously been banned for doing so.  I strongly suspect, though I cannot prove it, that “TwoCumorahRLDSFraud” is none other than Mr. Jonathan Neville himself.  Certainly, “TwoCumorahRLDSFraud” adheres to Mr. Neville’s views, shares his particular themes, and manifests Mr. Neville’s disdainful opinion of those who fail to share his geographical notions.  In any event, “TwoCumorahRLDSFraud”‘s comment appears to offer us a clear look at how Mr. Jonathan Neville’s opinion of those who don’t accept his theory of Book of Mormon geography is expressed when anonymity allows it to be unencumbered by any pretense of civility, fellowship, and charity.

 

 

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