Years ago I attended a presentation at an LDS chapel by a man who had recently retired from his position as the head of the geography department at the University of Calgary - Dr. Lynn Rosenvall.

Dr Rosenvall has an extensive Book of Mormon Geography theory.

All these years after hearing his presentation, there's one thing he said before he started that I particularly remembered. He said something like "when I registered my geography theory, I learned that there are [some really high number] of registered Book of Mormon geography theories".

That idea of there being a registry of these theories from which a person could see other registered theories caught my attention. From time to time I've opened up a Google search to try and find said registry - but I've never been able to find anything like that.

Does a registry of only Book of Mormon geography theories exist? Or did I possibly misunderstand Dr Rosenvall's comment?

I could see his comment just being some odd way of saying he made his theory public, or that he had to register with some kind of government organization in order to get permits for historical excavation and study in his theorized location - and within that registry he happened to see other Book of Mormon theories. However, I know nothing about all that. What I remember of his comment seemed pretty directed at the idea that there's some Book of Mormon only registry.

  • I would take it to mean simply that he published his theory, and thereafter heard from a lot of people about alternative theories. But I'm not LDS so I don't know.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


The official answer is "No"

There is no "registry" of Book of Mormon geography theories because the word implies some sort of authoritative compilation. To my knowledge, the Church keeps no such list (or, perhaps more precisely, I have never seen evidence that the Church keeps a public list).

The unofficial answer is "Yes"

A non-profit organization originally called "The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research" that is known today as FairMormon is an unofficial archive of many of the theories (of not all...) that have been proposed over the decades. From their website we read:

FairMormon was formed in late 1997 by a group of LDS defenders of the faith who frequented the America Online Mormonism message boards. In defending the Church against detractors there, this small group realized that they had no way of sharing their information with each other, much less the rest of the Church. As a result of this, FairMormon was born. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of New York on December 19, 1997, as The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, Inc., or FAIR, the fledgling organization put up its first Web site in March 1998. In 2013, the group became known as FairMormon.

FairMormon is staffed completely by volunteers who are students of the scriptures, ancient languages, early Christian history, early LDS history, and LDS doctrine and apologetics. Most all of the staff here at FairMormon have been involved in online services and Internet-based LDS apologetics for many years. Many of our members are authors of currently-available apologetic publications.

FairMormon's site contains a list of 70+ theories that looks fairly comprehensive. However, it's very disappointing that the links on the page go nowhere other than a nearly trivial summary of the model (what was the "narrow neck of land," where was "Cumorah," etc.). This would be an excellent starting point, but it looks like you'd be on your own tracking down the listed theories for their full detail. (I could have wished they would have at least listed, where available, the book and/or article that presents the theory, so you wouldn't be forced to do so much research.)

Please note two other pages of interest:

In keeping with Stack Exchange's preference to not be a link-only answer (and, if you think about it, everything before this was a "link only answer"), here's the list available on that linked FairMormon page as of the date of this post.

  • Model name: Allen 1989
  • Model name: Bagley 1927
  • Model name: Birrell 1948
  • Model name: Christensen 1969
  • Model name: Clark 1989
  • Model name: Com.-Maes 1880
  • Model name: Curtis 1988
  • Model name: DeLong 1977
  • Model name: Dixon 1958
  • Model name: Driggs 1925
  • Model name: Ellsworth 1980
  • Model name: Ferguson 1947
  • Model name: Ferguson-Hunter 1950
  • Model name: General 1830s
  • Model name: Goble-May 2002
  • Model name: Goble 2004
  • Model name: Gunsolley 1922
  • Model name: Hammond 1959
  • Model name: Hanson 1951
  • Model name: Hauck 1988
  • Model name: Hills 1917
  • Model name: Hobby-Smith 1988
  • Model name: Holley 1983
  • Model name: Jakeman 1940s
  • Model name: Kocherhans 1986
  • Model name: Lauritzen n.d.
  • Model name: Laytons 1940?
  • Model name: Le Poidevin 1977
  • Model name: Lesh 1980
  • Model name: Loving 1976
  • Model name: Lowe 1960a
  • Model name: Lowe 1960b
  • Model name: Lowe 1970s
  • Model name: Ludlow 1976
  • Model name: Ludlow 1964
  • Model name: Meldrum 2003
  • Model name: Nielson 1987
  • Model name: Norman 1966
  • Model name: Olive 2001
  • Model name: Palmer 1981
  • Model name: Pate 2002
  • Model name: Pierce 1954
  • Model name: Plain Facts 1887
  • Model name: Porritt 1985
  • Model name: Poulsen 2004
  • Model name: Pratt 1866
  • Model name: Priddis 1975
  • Model name: Proctor 1988
  • Model name: Qulter 1988
  • Model name: Reynolds 1880
  • Model name: Ricks 1904
  • Model name: RLDS/Wes 1900?
  • Model name: Roberts 1888
  • Model name: Robison 1977
  • Model name: Rosenvall and Rosenvall 2009
  • Model name: Sahlin 1987
  • Model name: Simmons 1948
  • Model name: Sjodhal 1927
  • Model name: Sorenson 1955
  • Model name: Steede 1975
  • Model name: Stout 1950
  • Model name: Sudweeks 2013
  • Model name: Times and Seasons 1842
  • Model name: TRUE-BOMG 2004
  • Model name: Tyler n.d.
  • Model name: Vincent 1960?
  • Model name: Warren 1960
  • Model name: Warren 1961
  • Model name: Warren 1987
  • Model name: Washburn 1939
  • Model name: Wilde 1947
  • Model name: Wunderli 2002
  • Model name: Young pre-1920?

From the article below it seems that Dr. Lynn Rosenvall and his son, David, have published various models of ‘Book of Mormon Geography’: The Baja model, the Peruvian model and the Great Lakes or Mesoamerican model, which seems to have the greatest support. The Baja model is discussed in an article by Michael R. Ash for the ‘Mormon Times’ (November 22 2010), part of which says this:

Specific strengths for the Baja model include a climate (in the northern parts of the peninsula) that is very similar to that of the Mediterranean Basin (from which the Lehites would have derived). Another evidence in favor of the Baja model is the description of the land of Nephi and Zarahemla as nearly surrounded by water (Alma 22:32) and Nephi’s comparison of their land to an “isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20).

Like supporters of the Peruvian model, the Rosenvalls offer answers to criticisms of their model. I find their answers to be less persuasive, however, than those strengths I see in other models. Readers can follow the links to the Peruvian and Baja models and come to their own conclusions... The topic of Book of Mormon archaeology in general will be dealt with in a future installment. Source: https://www.deseret.com/2010/11/22/20367661/challenging-issues-keeping-the-faith-the-baja-model-of-book-of-mormon-geography

This link gives access to various articles - An Approach to ‘The Book of Mormon Geography’ http://www.achoiceland.com/home

A New Approach to Studying the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ Paperback – August 1, 2017 by Lynn A. Rosenvall (Author), David L. Rosenvall (Author) $13.39 https://www.amazon.com/New-Approach-Studying-Book-Mormon/dp/0998717800

I realise there is no mention here of any registry of only Book of Mormon geography theories, but it may be that the link to the Deseret/Mormon Times magazine will help you on your way.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .