Zelph the Lamanite

40 Primary Sources

400 - 400 AD

Book of Mormon Title Page identifies itself as being written to the Lamanites.

Sep 1830

Joseph gives a revelation calling Oliver Cowdery to preach to the Lamanites.

Dec 8, 1831

Ezra Booth identifies Native Americans as Lamanites.

Dec 8, 1831

Ezra Booth criticizes JS's support for alleged intermarriage with Native Americans.

Apr 14, 1832

CT reports OP saying Lehi landed in South America and the final battle in the BoM happened where the plates were found.

May 5, 1834

JS recalls the start of Zion's Camp.

May 8, 1834

WW records the discovery of Zelph.

Jun 2, 1834

George Albert Smith says that Joseph visited mound with Zelph's skeleton.

Jun 3, 1834

RM recalls JS remarks about Z, including arrow in ribs, white Lamanite, and "Omandagus."

Jun 3, 1834

MM's journal entry about Z.

Jun 3, 1834

MM gives details on Z's remains, including 8 or 9 feet height.

Jun 3, 1834

RM's journal entry on Z including material written on later dates.

Jun 3, 1834

RM notes Z was a warrior under a Prophet, "Omandagus," and was known from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains.

Jun 4, 1834

JS refers to the plains of the Nephites, bones as proof of BOM.

Jun 24, 1834 - Jun 25, 1834

Heber C. Kimball recalls the cholera outbreak that accompanied the end of Zion's Camp.

Dec 31, 1834

EDH on JS's reasoning behind Z story.

Jun 1839 - Jan 1841

Joseph Smith says the angel described the gold plates as "an account of the former inhabitants of this continent."

Nov 16, 1841

JS talks about historicity of the Book of Mormon.

Jul 15, 1842

T&S links Central American ruins to the BoM.

Sep 15, 1842

T&S says that the Nephites lived in Central America.

Sep 15, 1842

JS, in T&S, sees Central American findings as "proof of the Nephites and Lamanites."

Oct 1, 1842

T&S links Central American ruins to Zarahemla.


Kenneth W. Godfrey reprints Heber C. Kimball's autobiography entry concerning discovery of Zelph that was later reprinted in the Times and Seasons.

Aug 24, 1843

MH "official" account about Zelph discovery.

May 1844

Native tribes recount their history to Joseph, say different colors of men make no difference.

May 23, 1844

Sauk and Fox tribe recount their history to Joseph.

Feb 1, 1845

A reprint of HC Kimball's journal finding Z.

Feb 1, 1845

HCK recalls when they found Z's remains.

Jan 1, 1846

JS recalls the discovery of Z's remains and the visions accompanying it.

May 14, 1854

Thomas D. Brown records David Lewis speaking about utilizing Paiute as a "battle axe."

Jun 1888

JS notes on finding the remains of Z, the Lamanite.

Jun 1888

Lands on Zion's Camp associated with Book of Mormon lands.


LH records JS telling Sylvester Smith the story of Z personally.


John J. Stewart uses Lamanites as a case study in curse-by-darkening.


LeGrand Richards discusses the role of Brazil in Official Declaration 2.


Sorenson posits a central American geography model for BoM.

Apr 30, 1989

Location of Z's mound is identified as Naples-Russell Mound 8.


Porter and Meldrum advocate a Heartland BoM geography theory.


IAS dates Zelph mound to 50 BC - 250 AD.


AIS identifies Zelph location as Naples-Russell Mound #8.


BOM introduction identifies Lamenite relationship with indigenous Americans.

Jan 29, 2019

Gospel Topics essay stating the Church has no official position on BoM geography.