The Heartland Research Group

In the title page of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Mormon wrote that the book is for: “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST”.

One of my serious goals in life is to help present evidence showing the Book of Mormon to be a true and accurate historical account. Real places, real events, real people, real history. Convincing of the physical evidence opens doors to the convincing of the spiritual evidence.

The Heartland Research Group and my affiliation with it began about a year ago.

The purpose of the HRG is to support the historicity of the Book of Mormon through research. In this sense it is much different from private LDS organizations like the “Latter-Day Network” and the “Firm Foundation” which provide seminars/conferences featuring a wide variety of speakers but eschew original research. The HRG is much, much more focused: it is boots-on-the-ground Book-of-Mormon research.

The HRG is not exclusionary. Anyone offering to help is welcomed. Although many who assist in HRG expeditions and seminars are members of the Church of Jesus Christ, there are also many who are not members. Typical of HRG supporters is to have a firm conviction that the narrative of the Book of Mormon took place in North America.

The HRG has a goal of finding the lost city of Zarahemla and we are actively looking in the area of Montrose, Iowa. This is done with efforts in the field: magnetic and electrical ground scanning, sonar scanning, core sampling, high resolution LiDAR, and carbon-14 dating. See and also for information on past and current activities.

The HRG is funded through large donors and also smaller donors via FaceBook. It turns out there are a lot of people who want to see this research go forward. We haven’t reached all of our goals yet but the results and growth of the HRG have been impressive over it’s short history.

Access to the land of course is paramount for research and one of the initial concerns was the reception of the local farmers. It turns out the reception was enthusiastic – beyond our expectations. Many of the land owners in the Montrose Iowa area go back 100+ years and are well aware that their land has ancient history. Some locals have extensive collections of arrow heads, axe heads, pottery, jewelry, effigy pipes, stone tools, and other relics that have surfaced in the fields over many decades. In fact, the local enthusiasm and encouragement has been much higher in Montrose than in Utah — and we would have thought it would be the opposite.

The HRG has done so much already and it is just getting started.

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