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Monday, May 22, 2017

Further Inisight on Book of Mormon Geography: Common Sense

Greetings Tennis Shoes Readers and Fans!

I have great discussions on Facebook, and I wonder if the info ever gets "seen" by anyone, except perhaps the person who brings up the topic. Recently I had someone discuss their perspective on Mesoamerica and Book of Mormon connections, which is addressed at some length in my latest podcast, "Battle of the Book of Mormon Geographies."  In one post I emphasized the legitimacy of pursuing Book of Mormon connections in the Great Lakes and other areas of the United States, but I also offered up a tidbit of information that is too-often ignored by those determined to tout an Eastern United States connection to Book of Mormon events. Certainly there's still a lot of digging to do, but just about any Mesoamerican scholar would happily confirm the following paragraph:

"There's really no comparison between Mesoamerica and the Midwest or Great Lakes regions of the United States as far as the sheer volume of archaeological sites. In southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, etc., artifacts and structures are unearthed practically every time someone digs the foundation of a house. Pottery shards are found in the backyards of almost everyone. SO MUCH has unfortunately been plowed under or destroyed. This destruction dates from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The stuff is literally EVERYWHERE. I personally found what appeared to be an ancient pot--fully intact--at a little-known site excavated by NWAF (BYU's New World Archaeological Foundation) back in the early 2000s (and got in trouble for even attempting to do so. So it was simply left in the dirt). The point is, you can't throw a rock without hitting evidences of the ancient Maya, Aztecs, Toltecs, Zapotecs, etc. 

In the continental U.S., yes, we have some nice "mound-builder" sites--Hopewell and Adema. (By the way, such designations are just place-holder names, like "Olmec". There was no actual tribe called the Hopewells or the Olmecs. These are simply modern nomenclature commonly used to identify certain varieties of sites or artifacts in the New World and elsewhere. We really don't know what they called themselves.) Still, there's no comparison inside the borders of the U.S. with the number of artifacts and structures and WORK that is waiting to be done in Mesoamerica. I've posted a few photos of Hopewell sites in the Eastern U.S.

Very little in the mound-builder cultures dates to the right time period of Book of Mormon events. About 95% of the sites unearthed postdate 400 A.D. Now, that doesn't mean there isn't a connection. D&C Section 32 verifies that some kind of link exists.
Further work should be pursued and MUST be pursued.
But until we find something earth-shattering (literally!) let's stick with the general facts. For the most part in the Eastern U.S. we find mounds and stone fences, simple stone buildings, a few petroglyphs (however, for wall paintings and more complex architecture inside the U.S. we typically must venture west of the Mississippi, to the Anasazi sites of New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona). 

The main ingredient missing in Ohio or Georgia or Great Lakes archaeology is a written language--glyphs, pictographs, calendars and other examples. Sure, there are a few anomalies in the States that demand investigation, but these are rare and so unique that when they ARE found, it makes big headlines because...well...we're AMERICANS and we pride ourselves in our pre-Columbian archaeological heritage, as scant as it is, and give such finds as much publicity as possible. 

At the top of this post is a photo of the "Bat Creek" Stone from Tennessee, which was at first proclaimed to be evidence of Hebrew writing in ancient America. Such claims date to the 1800s. The hoax has since been exposed and is considered fraudulent by most archaeologists. 

However, genuine evidences of ancient writing literally "floweth over" in Mesoamerica, which is precisely what we oughta expect from the literate cultures associated with Book of Mormon peoples. Right?

I've also posted a link here to a lecture I gave at a BMAF convention a couple years ago that further illustrates some of the points made here and on my podcast

Just two more cents to add to the discussion. 

Stay close to the Lord, Chris Heimerdinger

NOTE: Eventually, inevitably, I hope subscribers here will switch over to www.foreverlds.com. That's really the "happenin'" place for all things "Tennis Shoes" and "Heimerdinger". As well as our new YouTube channel.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Greetings Tennis Shoes Fans!

My latest podcast, "Battle of the Book of Mormon Geographies" just posted on ForeverLDS. One of my best (and perhaps most controversial) podcasts. 

I also include an excerpt from "Thorns of Glory"--exactly what I happened to write that same day!

This was recorded at the rather "spacious" studios of Redge Flake and Adam Matthews who also filmed it with a hi-def camera for future visualization. HOWEVER, it definitely sounds like I'm in a room with "unmuffled" sound, creating an echo. I tried to reduce this, but please let me know if I ought to re-record for the official podcast. It MIGHT just sound different from the other podcasts, and therefore only be jarring for a minute or two. PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

Also, FEEDBACK on the first 10 minutes of the PREVIOUS 10 minute visualization of "The Legacy of Mormon and Moroni" on our YouTube Channel, would be MOST appreciated. Your feedback means the world to me. 

Stay close to the Lord,
Chris Heimerdinger

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hello ForeverLDS Readers and Listeners!

Considering our YouTube Channel, I should add viewers. What's currently on the channel is the first 10 mintues of Podcast 23: The Legacy of Mormon and Moroni: Fresh Perspectives on the Last Decades of the Book of Mormon

This is a 45 minute podcast, so no, it's not finished. But I felt what was edited is looking kinda nice, so I wanted to show it off. We received feedback from several people saying, "Hey, Chris, it would be so much better if we could see your face you narrate!" So, very reluctantly, I broke out my high-tech smart phone and filmed me prattling on the massive soundstages of my office/shed in Providence, Utah. Not a pretty background. Not a pretty mug. But it's great fun and I hope an insightful look at two great prophets at the sunset of Nephite history. 

I have already filmed the NEXT podcast, entitled, Battle of the Book of Mormon Geographies: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"--Dickens. Restoring reason to an unreasonable situation. Yeah, that's the whole title and subtile. Not sure it'll fit in the editor, so I'll likely have to condense. This episode was filmed using the skills of Redge Flake and Andy Matthews at their facilities in Draper, Utah with two hi-def cameras. Not sure what their timetable is. I might record another version here in my office so I can get it up on www.ForeverLDS.com quickly.

ForeverLDS itself is undergoing a transformation, striving to move the site to a WordPress format so I can make it dynamic and a store page. I hope this is soon available as well. Subscribers here on Frost Cave really should move their subscription over to ForeverLDS. I made that plea over a year ago, and...Oh, well. Only a small percentage have switched. Takes a while so I'll continue to post news and updates in both places. 

OH, and for an update on Tennis Shoes 13: Thorns of Glory, just listen to a bit of the next podcast when I post it over the next few days. You're in for a fun sneak peek (er, sneak listen)!

Stay close to the Lord,

Chris Heimerdinger

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Forever LDS Podcast: Legacy of Mormon and Moroni

I am proud to present the 23rd episode of our Latter-day Podcast, www.ForeverLDS.com

THE LEGACY OF MORMON AND MORONI: Fresh perspectives on the last decades of The Book of Mormon

Much stuff has been posted on our Mormon Podcast over the last couple weeks, including a new session of the Professional LDS Storytellers Workshop entitled, "The Business of Storytelling, Lecture 1." Impossible to predict how many "lectures" will be necessary to cover this topic. So much to say, and the marketplace is constantly changing. More are recorded and in the editing stage.

Also, I keep adding clips to our brand new YouTube Channel. NEW SUBSCRIBERS WELCOME! The one titled Premiere of Passage to Zarahemla: Fans Gushing Shamelessly is all in good fun. Hope no one is offended . . . too much. In fact, this footage never got used in any promotional material--nor has it ever been seen. If anyone actually KNOWS the individuals in this clip (or if you happen to BE one of the people) lemme know so I can give appropriate credit.

As far as the general, free part of ForeverLDS, I plan to be more consistent adding a new podcast every two weeks. Just have to also keep up the pace on Tennis Shoes 13: Thorns of Glory

Gratefully, life is better and the engine is chugging a bit faster.

The entire www.ForeverLDS.com site is also headed for a major overhaul. Look for this in the next couple weeks!

Chris Heimerdinger 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Announcing...Session 6: The Business of Storytelling NOW POSTED!

Greetings Tennis Shoes Fans!

The Professional LDS Storytellers Workshop is the first such 
Workshop of its kind for aspiring LDS writers and storytellers, and our 6th Session may be our most ambitious and valuable session yet. Let's face it. The storytelling, novel-writing, book-publishing business is a vast, complex, and forever changing morass these days. I knew going in that I could never cover everything that needed to be covered in one session. That's why I've already recorded two additional sessions on this topic! They're just not posted yet. Go to: 

Doesn't matter if you want to supplement your income to write full-time or part-time. These are many of the secrets you must know. Session 6 hits the ground running with the most essential information, as well as rarely-discussed gems:

*To Publish or NOT to Self-Publish

*Soliciting Professional Feedback

*Details of Chris's Career and His First Published Novels

*Protecting Yourself From Pirating

*Priestcraft Vs. Profit

*eBook Vs. Print Copies

*Finding a Distributor for Self-Published Books

*Challenges in Today's LDS Publishing Market

*Maintaining Your eBook Rights

*Selling Your eBook on Amazon

*Why Use Standard Manuscript Formatting? 

*To Copyright or NOT to Copyright?

*Formal Guidelines of Style

*First Priority: Move Your Audience!

*Realities of Self-Publishing

    --Royalty Splits
    --WalMart and Costco
    --Cover Design
    --Backliners and Endorsements
    --Hiring Freelancers: A Few Guidelines
    --Printing Your Book
    --Kill Fees

*The Evolving Environment of the Writing Profession

    --Self Promotion
    --Social Media Marketing/ Establishing a Book-Selling Platform

*Avoid Being a Flash-in-the-Pan Author

*Crossing Book Genres

*Public Domain

Look for the entire www.ForeverLDS.website to receive a dramatic upgrade in upcoming weeks. Oughta be cool!

Stay close to the Lord,

Chris Heimerdinger

Friday, March 31, 2017

Introducing...My New YouTube Channel

Hello Tennis Shoes Fans! 

I'm building a youtube channel for some of the podcasts from www.foreverlds.com, and potentially other things. Only 4 minutes of visuals are up so far, but I posted it anyway. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! 

Obviously what I've posted is still rough. Some images are a bit too small (too few pixels) and sometimes the "tracking" of various pans and zooms isn't perfectly centered...but other than THAT, I'd love to hear feedback. Even on the material itself. 

And YES, I'm still working on the next novel.

Stay close to the Lord,

Chris Heimerdinger

Thursday, March 2, 2017

5th Annual LDS Youth & Family Education Conference

I would like to invite all Latter-day Saints in the midwest to attend the LDS Youth and Family Education Conference, March 9th, 10th & 11th, 2017 at Coco Keys Water Resort & Hotel, Omaha, Nebraska. Not only will I be there, speaking about five different times to all ages, including teaching writing classes to children 8-12 years old, but also in attendance will be.... 
Matt Meese and Natalie Madsen of Studio C. Jeneve Mitchell, 2016 American Idol Finalist, Dr. Rosemary Stein, Marlene Peterson, and Richard and Emily Clawson. This a three-day event, starting Thursday night with a Family Dance, and then Friday and Saturday with a Youth Conference, Adult Classes, a Family Marketplace, and evening Variety Shows and Concerts. Hey, there will also be movies!--including showings of Passage to Zarahemla wherein I'll be on hand to introduce and answer questions afterwards.If you're staying in or near the hotel venue, bring your suits because there's also an indoor water park! An incredible amount of effort has been put into place for Latter-day Saints of all ages to have fun, be edified and inspired, and celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For a more detailed description and schedule, and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.ldshhe.org/2017-conference.html. Bring your books and audiobooks! I'd love to sign every one of them. We look forward to seeing you there!  --Chris Heimerdinger

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Few More Paragraphs from "Thorns of Glory"

 Feb 13, 2017


Lest some have forgotten, the new volume of The Tennis Shoes Adventure Series is very much underway. Estimates of completion or release? I dunno. But I gotta get 'er done soon to feed my family. I'm not saying the picture below is an accurate representation of uniforms, weapons, horses, or other images from Cumorah. Or even that it accurately represents what I describe in "Thorns of Glory." But hey, having a cool picture is better than having NO cool picture.
The following scene is written from the point of view of Marcos:
Young Commander Moronihah's voice rang like an alarm. "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!"

Officers echoed this command all along the fortification line. The air whipped around me—the snap of bowstrings, the whirl of slings, the launch of atlatl darts. Torches carried by the advancing soldiers—flames that had been bouncing toward the wall—began to drop, roll, and extinguish in the dirt. Many were retrieved by fresh warriors and seemed to miraculously reanimate. Enemy soldiers were dying, but the relentless onrush of torches created the illusion that Moronihah's defense was having no effect at all. Even as the Tarantula Division reloaded and fired I perceived the first shades of dread darken their eyes. Two young warriors could not contain themselves: "They're not stopping!" "Nothing stops them!"
Endless torches poured over the lip of the ridge, an infinite flood of fire surging toward the Nephite fortifications. I'd told Moronihah that the enemy likely outnumbered him three- or four-to-one. I'd known I was deliberately underestimating their strength. Was I trying to bolster his hopes? I couldn't define my motive. Anyway, the reality of my distortion was quickly being exposed.
A volley of return fire whistled overhead, thudding against the wall, many arrow and atlatl tips set alight. A strange crack and pop also impacted the fortifications, causing an explosion of fire unlike any burning arrow or spearhead. The residue splashed onto unprotected faces and bear skin of the Nephite soldiers, inducing screams of panic. One of these munitions missed, lobbing over the top of the wall, rolling harmlessly to a stop ten paces behind me. It was a rounded clay ball, surely flung by a slinger, a tiny flame spitting from a hole in the top. I braced myself, aghast to think the Teotihuacanos had invented a kind of 20th century shrapnel-filled grenade. After several beats the flame fizzled; the ball lay dormant. It hadn't been designed to explode spontaneously. These hollow globes—tennis-ball sized—combusted on impact, like a water balloon, its contents spreading orange and yellow swaths like Molotov cocktails. I marveled. Did the Nephite army employ such a weapon?
An arrow threaded the embrasure a few feet to my left, piercing the stomach of the Nephite archer stationed there. He howled and fell. I grabbed up his bow and snatched an arrow from his nearby stockpile. I nocked and fired, nocked and fired.
The Tarantula Captain's young voice was firm and steady. "Keep firing! Keep firing!"
Atop the wall, I heard one of Moronihah's officers: "Kill every cockroach of Lord Fireborn!"
Cockroaches versus tarantulas—the irony flitted across my mind. Within minutes these roaches would overwhelm the arachnids. Many of Teotihuacano's flaming arrows struck stone or plaster or skidded into the mud, but the clay grenades were brutally effective. Wood easily caught flame wherever it had been left exposed, especially along the highest ramparts. I watched a Nephite soldier whose uniform was splattered by flammable liquid frantically twirl and spin, but such movements transformed him into a human torch. He flung himself into the air, still alight as he hit the ground, squirming in agony. Comrades threw blankets on him, but gruff-voiced officers shouted to "Leave the dead to die!" Their efforts were turned to smothering the growing fires along the burning ramparts. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Addendum to "Changing Paradigms and the Book of Mormon"

I'd tried hard to convince folks to abandon this LDS blog site and move over to www.foreverLDS.com, but my efforts have seemed in vain. Oh well. I suppose I should continue to post in both places. 

For those who listened to my latest LDS podcast on "Changing Paradigms and the Book of Mormon" on www.foreverLDS.com, I realize we discussed a lot of stuff. We focused on several paradigm shifts since the volume was published. But I actually forgot to mention my favorite piece of evidence for the old paradigm that when the Nephites and Lamanites first arrived, the land was empty of people. 

I highlighted several places in The Book of Mormon where it strongly hints that Lehi's ship dropped anchor in an area already populated. But for my favorite bit of evidence from the scriptures that reveals others living in the vicinity of where Nephi and Laman established their kingdoms, read Jacob Chapter 7. This is where Jacob confronts an "anti-Christ" named Sherem. The first couple verses speak of a man named Sherem arriving among the Nephites and teaching that there was no Christ. Now, keep in mind, Jacob is a "first generation Nephite"--straight off the boat, so to speak. Yet its apparent he has no idea who Sherem is! If Sherem was a Lamanite, for example, it seems common sense that Jacob would say, "And he was the grandson of my brother, Laman." Or if he was a member of local community, that Jacob would say, "And he was the son of Zoram." Sherem is a complete stranger. This is a fun bit of evidence in support of the fact that when Lehi landed, there were indeed others living in the New World with no relationship whatsoever to Lehi's family. And likely no relationship to Jaredites or Mulekites. Sherem was just a denizen of the area. When I first pinpointed this evidence, I thought I was the first one to notice it.
John Sorenson, PhD beside Olmec Head in 1984
I've since learned that scholars have been pointing out this particular piece of evidence for many decades ago, all the way back to John Sorenson and his seminal work Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, and David Palmer, whose book focusing on the Hill Cumorah was initally inspired by Sorenson's unpublished manuscript. Maybe this concept was discussed by LDS scholars even earlier! The next Book of Mormon podcast on ForeverLDS will discuss a possible paradigm shift that I think IS unique to me. Maybe not. If others thought of it first, I wouldn't care. The more the merrier. I'll post soon this LDS podcast soon, so listeners can ponder the matter for themselves.