It is true that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no position on the geographical setting of the Book of Mormon. This is a wise position for the Church to take amid the tumult of opinion. However, an understanding of the responsibilities of those who dwell on the ‘land of Lehi’ becomes paramount to the temporal and spiritual salvation of the occupants of the Promised Land.
This is especially true if it is realized that the “Gentiles” that came out of captivity, are specifically addressed within the text, and came to the same land to which Lehi was led.
If the location of the Book of Mormon cannot be identified without question from the text itself, then the prophecies and promises about that land and the people who will live there in the latter-days, are of little value. Many say that it doesn’t matter where that “Promised Land” is, but if that is true, then why did the prophets of the Book of Mormon spend so much valuable time and space to include the deed restrictions to the land promised to Lehi and his descendants?
The Book of Mormon…
1- Contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
2- Is the record of a fallen people
3- Is the “deed restriction” for the Promised Land
While the first two messages are directed to the world and the saints, the third and final message is connected to a specific Promised Land, forewarning and instructing those would live on it in the latter days on how to maintain the freedoms that have been set up by God for those fortunate enough to be brought to it.
The Book of Mormon prophets saw our day in vision and knew of the Gentiles who would be led “out of captivity” to this sacred and covenant land. It is to these Gentiles that the warnings were given, hidden up for the scattered “remnant” to receive from those Gentiles who would occupy this same lands in the latter days. Within this recored are the restrictions and stipulations placed upon all those who are so blessed as to live on this chosen land of liberty and whom have a sacred responsibility to bless the nations of the earth.
Some claim that “it doesn’t matter where the Book of Mormon took place.” However, if the “Promised Land” is not properly identified, then the associated restrictions, blessings, and responsibilities cannot be understood nor can the prophecies and promises in the text become a guiding light and a warning to these latter day Gentiles, which was the purpose for their inclusion by the ancient writers. The physical location of the land of promise is significant and essential to the spiritual and temporal security of those who are to dwell on the land. Heeding the warnings and the attendant spiritual awakening to their aweful situation as envisioned by the Book of Mormon prophets is the only hope for mankind. This sacred book of scripture contains not only the story of the “Everlasting Decree,” but actually becomes, in the hands of every honest reader, the Title to Liberty for the Promised Land. Watch Bruce explain the primary concepts behind this amazing book in the video below!
Scriptorian and Heartland Scholar Bruce H. Porter speaks on location at the Plymouth plantation about his critically important new book, An Everlasting Decree: Ensuring A Title to Liberty For The Promised Land. Get your copy of the book at the Bookstore.
Bruce co-authored the book which outlines the scriptural basis for the Heartland Model Research, Prophecies and Promises, with Rod Meldrum and has significantly added to it with his recently released book An Everlasting Decree: Ensuring a Title To Liberty For The Promised Land. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel and is a record of a fallen people, but it is also very importantly a message to all those who will inhabit the “Promised Land” in the Latter-days. It is a prophetic promise and a warning to those who would occupy the sacred lands of the Book of Mormon and their obligations and judgements should they allow “secret combinations” to overcome them and thwart them from fulfilling their destiny, which is to bless the nations of the earth. The Book of Mormon contains the ‘deed restrictions’ that continue to exist upon the Promised Land; a very important message to all those who will inhabit the land of Lehi in the Latter-days.
Bruce H. Porter earned degrees in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis in Semitic languages, scripture, the History of Religion and Anthropology.
Bruce conducted extensive research for the Religious Studies Center, on the Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Abraham. He has done research in the major museums and libraries of Europe, and the United States. He has also presented and co-authored a number of papers for related professional journals and books.
Now living in Arizona, Brother Porter has lived in Utah, Israel, and California while working for CES (Church Education System). He also served a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in England. Now semi-retired he teaches adult religion classes for BYU Continuing Education, and continues his passion of scriptural research and has served in many capacities within the church. He and his wife Margie, are the parents of 10 children and grandparents of 12.