According to Mormon Doctrine, Adam and Eve lived in Adam-ondi-Ahman. Which was revealed to Joseph Smith to be located in Missouri (see D&C 116:1).

This would mean that unless Adam's posterity went on some epic intercontinental journey between Adam and Noah's time, that Noah likely built the ark not too far from Missouri, and sailed it from America all the way to the Eastern Continent.

Do Mormons believe the ark was built on the American continent? And that everyone who lived before Noah dwelt in America?

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    +1 from me. Also, there were almost 1000 years between Adam and Noah. I think that would be plenty of time to spread out. – LCIII Jan 14 '15 at 17:22
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    Curiously enough, the first mound builders date back to 3500BC, which would have been right in the middle of Adam's lifetime, and Missouri is pretty much just west of being central to where a lot of mound discoveries are. – ShemSeger Jan 14 '15 at 17:56
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    Interesting question, but some issues: 1) The verse you cited says it is where Adam will come to visit his people, not necessarily that he lived there. 2) A couple of footnotes lead to verses which suggest that Adam did at least go there, but one of them (117:8) talks about mountains at Adam-ondi-Ahman. There aren't mountains in Missouri, unless they're talking about hills. Also, there's the whole question of Peleg, who was born in the days the Earth was divided -- whatever that means. I would suspect the answer is "we don't know" ...? – Matt Jan 14 '15 at 18:45
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    @Matt - Joseph Fielding Smith said: “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City of Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. … We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on [the] American continent.” (Doctrines of Salvation, see last paragraph of this article) – ShemSeger Jan 14 '15 at 20:30

The belief that the Ark could have been "made in America" isn't restricted to the LDS. Not that a claim is typically made that Noah was "mericun", but from a strict reading of Genesis, there is no hard and fast place where the ark would have been constructed, because for many strict creationists, the flood irrevocably altered the earth's entire geography, under a theory known as "catastrophic plate tectonics."

A hard-core creationist, such as Ken Hamm or the Institute for Creation Research, would have very little problem with the notion of the Ark being built in Missouri.

Genesis 7:11 describes the beginning of the flood this way:

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

Traditionally many young-earthers like to ascribe great violence to these fountains. Both Answers In Genesis and the ICR have written papers reconciling plate tectonics with the flood, suggesting that the flood completely rearranged the planet.

To wit:

In 1859 Antonio Snider proposed that rapid, horizontal divergence of crustal plates occurred during Noah’s Flood. Modern plate tectonics theory is now conflated with assumptions of uniformity of rate and ideas of continental “drift.” Catastrophic plate tectonics theories, such as Snider proposed more than a century ago, appear capable of explaining a wide variety of data—including biblical and geologic data which the slow tectonics theories are incapable of explaining. We would like to propose a catastrophic plate tectonics theory as a framework for Earth history. ... The Flood was initiated as slabs of oceanic floor broke loose and subducted along thousands of kilometers of pre-Flood continental margins


Because of the scientific community’s commitment to the uniformitarian assumptions and framework for earth history, most geologists take for granted that the movement of the earth’s plates has been slow and gradual over long eons. ... On the other hand, many other observations are incompatible with slow-and-gradual plate tectonics. While the seafloor surface is relatively smooth, zebra-stripe magnetic patterns are obtained when the ship-towed instrument (magnetometer) observations average over mile-sized patches

While the ark is believed to have rested on Mount Ararat in Turkey, its beginning point is never pointed out in the text. A pre-Flood Pangaea would, for the above groups, be rather irrelevant to the modern globe. (In particular, Snider pointed to the fact in Genesis 1:9-10 that the dry land was gathered into a single place.)

Under a "fast-tectonic action," where Noah lived before the Flood could have been Missouri or Madras just as easily as Mount Ararat.

  • This answer is great, except the revelation of Adam-ondi-Ahman comes from the Doctrine and Covenants, so your blurb about the Book of Mormon isn't really pertinent. I do also specify, "According to Mormon Doctrine", but I like the notion that this idea could be well received by other denominations. – ShemSeger Jan 14 '15 at 20:53
  • Sadly I agree. I had written stuff below the line then realized I hadn't addressed your question well. – Affable Geek Jan 14 '15 at 21:38
  • +1 for the extra perspective. I'm not sure the question has a hard-and-fast answer anyway. – Matt Jan 14 '15 at 23:36
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    "Mormons acknowledge there is no archeological evidence for anything in the book of Mormon." -- This is not a point made in Mr. Ash's article; quite the opposite, the article refutes it: "Thus, it can be seen that archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon–which does exist, as will be discussed shortly–does not constitute proof, nor does it translate into belief." The article points to several archaeological evidences of the Book of Mormon while acknowledging the difficulty of using archaeology as proof of the book's authenticity or otherwise. – Calvin Jan 15 '15 at 6:29
  • I'm removing that ancilliary preamble. I think it detracted from what I thought was most useful in any event. – Affable Geek Jan 15 '15 at 15:29


The answer to this question can be found in the LDS Institute Old Testament student manual (the textbook for REL 301 at BYU), it is believed that Noah and his family lived somewhere in North America:

Genesis 8:4. Where Did Noah Land When the Ark Came to Rest?

It should be remembered that the Garden of Eden was in the land now known as North America (see Reading 2-17). Although it is not known how far men had moved from that general location in the sixteen hundred years between the fall of Adam and the Flood, it is likely that Noah and his family lived somewhere in the general area. The Bible says that they landed on Mount Ararat when the ark finally came to rest. No location for Mount Ararat is given in the scriptures. The traditional site is a mountain found in northeastern Turkey near the border of Russia. Commenting on the distance traveled, Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“We read that it was in the seventeenth day of the second month when the great deep was broken up, and the rain was forty days. The Ark landed at Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, therefore there were five full months of travel when the Lord drove the Ark to its final destiny. Without any question a considerable distance separated the point where the Ark commenced the journey and where it landed. There can be no question to contradict the fact that during the flood great changes were made on the face of the earth. The land surface was in the process of division into continents. The rivers mentioned in Genesis were rivers that existed in the garden of Eden long before the land was divided into continents and islands. [Genesis 2:11.]” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:94.)

Source: Genesis 4–11: The Patriarchs. Old Testament Student Manual Genesis-2 Samuel, (1980), 50–59

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