This is a guest post by Dr. Vaughn E. Hansen. Vaughn has taught graduate students at Utah State University, and served as a consulting engineer in more than 20 countries. Then a prophet sent Vaughn and his first wife Donell on a mission to England where unexpectedly they learned much about the earliest inhabitants of that land and we were able to publish Israel’s Lost Ten Tribes before Donell died 16 years ago. He has also written 50 technical bulletins and papers and co-authored a text book. Nine years ago, Vaughn and his second wife, Regina, were sent on a two year mission to western New York. Once again precious information came, and this publication Cumorah has now been published.
I had to eat crow, before I was able to write this book about Cumorah. Eating crow is not a pleasant experience. Years ago I had published a book claiming that Guatemala and Mexico were the lands of the Book of Mormon. Then I had a soul wrenching experience while my sweetheart Regina and I were on a mission in western New York for two years. I discovered I had been wrong! The Book of Mormon prophets lived in the Great Lakes Region, not in Guatemala and Mexico. Did I have the courage and the capacity to admit my error? Did I have the capacity to assemble and to document the truth?
With that understanding and with a firm commitment, I began an intense effort to assemble and to publish the truth for those who would be interested. I began a most remarkable journey. I returned to the Book of Mormon, and collated 350 distinct scriptures about the land. Then we studied maps, reviewed archaeological reports and met with several archaeologists; at local libraries we read the reports written by early explorers; and traveled over the land visiting ancient sites, some very obscure. All of this information, including the 350 scriptures, fit the physical land features in the Great Lakes Region. This was startling, because the Book of Mormon is a 1,000 year record written by 14 authors.
Although we were very busy with mission responsibilities while living in the area, we kept a note book and pen in the car at all times noting sites, thoughts, and conversations with local residents. These notes were entered into the computer for easy reference.
Previously I had been in the Great Lakes Region of the United States several times over the years, and had acquired a sincere testimony of the precious spiritual experiences that had occurred in the Sacred Grove and at the hill Cumorah. But the increased understanding about the land of the Book of Mormon that came while on our mission in western New York for two years was very precious. Increased understanding came as we visited local museums that had artifacts dating to the time period of the Book of Mormon.
Needed information was gleaned from remarkable people.
We went to the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove many times, and one day on that hill with 100 young missionaries, I testified that prophets had identified this hill as the location where the Jaredites and also where the Nephites had their final battles that destroyed their civilizations.
About nine years passed before my research was completed and accepted for publication. All of the information assembled confirmed that the land of the Book of Mormon was in the Great Lakes Region. This published document contains 350 scriptures about the land and shows a close correlation with physical land features in the Great Lakes Region. My journey was worth every piece of Crow I had to eat.
Some have asked “Why is it important to learn about the land of the Book of Mormon? Is not the purpose of this book to serve as “˜Another witness of Jesus Christ’?” My answer is yes! But then may I ask “Why are there more than 350 scriptures inserted in the Book of Mormon by the prophets about the land where they lived?” The answer to these questions is that scriptures about the land enrich the spiritual messages about Christ. Information about the land where these prophets lived provides the reader with an increased living reality with the primary spiritual message, and a tighter personal bond occurs between the author and the reader.
So join me as I share with you what the scriptures reveal about the land. You will enjoy visiting the land of the Book of Mormon.