Theory of geopolitics described by the British geographer Sir Halford Mackinder (1861-1947).
The group or nation which dominates the ‘heartland’ can then extend its domination over a far wider area. This heartland has at various times been Central Asia, the high seas, and Eurasia.
Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, The Dictionary of World Politics (Hemel Hempstead, 1990)
The Heartland model (or “Heartland theory”) of Book of Mormon geography postulates that the events described in the Book of Mormon took place, primarily, in the heartland of North America.
Among the model’s proposals are that Mound Builders, including the Hopewell and the Adena, were among those peoples described in accounts of events in Book of Mormon books such as Alma and Helaman. The Mississippi River is identified as the River Sidon, and Big Spring (in Carter County, Missouri) as the Waters of Mormon. The Niagara Falls region has been described as the “narrow neck of land” mentioned in Alma. In addition, the Appalachian region of Tennessee is claimed by some to be the Land of Nephi.
In this model, the Hill Cumorah is located in upstate New York. It is the same hill referenced in the Book of Mormon as the location of the destruction of both the Jaredite (Adena) and Nephite (Hopewell) peoples, and the same hill in which the prophet Mormon hides the sacred records, and from which his resurrected son, Moroni, delivers the records to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1827.
In recent years, this theory, which challenges the traditional paradigm of Central America as a primary location for Book of Mormon geography, has become a “movement” among some Latter Day Saints. Proponents see this new model as a way of better supporting the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.