Friday, March 8, 2024

Kirtland temple and the Book of Mormon

With all the attention on the Kirtland temple, there will probably be lots of visitors there this summer. 

Some of us think Kirtland is a solid candidate for "the temple which was in the land Bountiful." (3 Nephi 11:1) This is the last temple mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Except for what the Lord told people at that site: "Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts." (3 Nephi 24:1)

D&C 109 is the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland temple.

D&C 110 is the fulfillment of the Lord suddenly coming to the temple, followed by the messengers of the covenants. Verse 14 even says, "Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi." (Doctrine and Covenants 110:14)

That would be the topic of a much longer post, but to summarize, Ohio is within the land Bountiful in the Heartland model, and Kirtland fits as a site for the temple in 3 Nephi.

We can see from D&C 110:14 that the Kirtland temple was the fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy. It makes sense that the Lord would teach that prophecy to the Nephites at the very location where it would be fulfilled.

Just something to think about, regardless of what you think about the various possible settings of the Book of Mormon.

If you or anyone you know is planning a trip, take some time to visit Indian Point Park which is just 14 miles northeast.

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From the parking lot, you walk west along the path to the end of the point you can see in this topographical map. Or, you can park down below on the west side and walk up the stairs to the top. If the rivers are high, you can access the upper parking lot from the east on Seeley Road.

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The historical marker explains that the walls were built around 140 BC, squarely within Book of Mormon time frames.

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I've visited similar fortifications at the convergence of rivers throughout the Midwest. Another excellent example is near Cincinnati, Ohio called Shawnee Lookout. The golf course there has a museum of excellent artifacts dating to Book of Mormon time frames. 

I've also visited numerous Book of Mormon era archaeological sites in and around Cleveland. I had thought about offering a tour during the Mormon History Association meetings in Cleveland this year, but I couldn't fit it into my schedule.

Maybe one of these days I'll put together a virtual tour. The sites are quite impressive, and they're consistent with the Moroni's America framework for the setting of the Book of Mormon.

Plus, people have told me about artifacts and other things they've found in the area that they haven't reported to officials or archaeologists because the government will seize them, maybe take their property, etc.

That's a common problem, another unintended consequence of the NAGPRA Act.

A topic for another post someday...

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