Friday, July 31, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part X

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog--the tenth and last in this current series: 
    Comment #1: “Because of the hundreds of languages found among the early Indians after the Europeans arrived, B. H. Roberts concluded that the Indians of North America could not all be derived from the Lamanites as typically believed in his day. In consequence he said it seems entirely reasonable that most of the Indians of North America were probably, not directly descended from the Lamanites” Wilkie D.
Response: First of all, let’s look at the area of Andean South America, where a comparison with the Book of Mormon really matters. Basically, there are two major languages in all this area, Quechua and Aymara, though each has many dialects, which answers that problem. Secondly, as for language change, between the time the Mulekites landed, around 590 B.C., to when Mosiah found them, about 225 B.C., 365 years or so had passed. In that time, none of the Nephites could understand any of the Mulekites, even though they started out with a common Hebrew language from Jerusalem. When we compare that 365 years with the more than 1000 years between the time of the last Nephite and the arrival of the Europeans (after the conquistadors), about 1200 years had passed (385 A.D. to about 1600 A.D.) Now, during that 1200 years, the Lamanites had been a closed society, i.e., not interacting with anyone of another language, however, they had broken up into tribes, and each tribe was an enemy to every other, thus, it would be like hundreds of individual languages being spoken down through that 1200 years, where there were no books, no records, no way to know the language, compare it, keep it from changing, etc. 1200 years is a very, very long time when it comes to an isolated language spoken by an illiterate people without any way of comparing language from generation to generation. I have listened to English spoken all over this country, and frankly, it is hard to understand several parts, especially in the deep south, Boston, Texas, or New York when you listen to the more uneducated, rural people. I would defy you to understand Chaucer, Shakespeare, or a Cockney flower girl—all speaking English. And to try and read it is almost impossible without an understanding of how written letters have changed over the centuries, as we have graphically shown in this blog in the past
    Now, when language is spoke under controlled status, like in Europe over the centuries, even though the changes are marked and difficult to follow, it still retains much of its original construction and at least some of the sounds; however, when there are no teachers, books, records, and comparisons--no dictionaries and parents trying to keep the language in tact, language undergoes drastic changes in a couple or three generations and continues to deteriorate, which is why no Nephites could understand the Mulekites.
    Comment #2: “Since Jared seemed to be the Jaredite leader, why did the Lord not instruct him, like he did Moses, rather than Jared’s brother?” Minnie T.
    Response: Jared was the family leader, being the oldest, and the one everyone else looked up to for guidance, strength and direction. However, his brother was obviusly the Spiritual leader, the one who “was highly favored of the Lord” (Ether 1:34), who had called upon the Lord for a long time (Ether 1:43). Jared knew this, and sent his brother to inquire, as Israel asked of their prophets to inquire of the Lord; but despite the prophets doing so, the Lord dealt with their kings, like David and Solomon.
    Comment #3: “When did Moroni abridge the Jaredite record?” Jaime R.
Response: While we do not know exactly, it seems that Moroni stayed in the vicinity of the Land Northward for the 36 years between closing out his father’s record (385 A.D.) and when he wrote his own record (421 A.D.) He likely went through the records his father had hid up in the hill Cumorah” (Mormon 6:6) after giving Moroni “these few plates” (Mormon 6:6). At that time, he evidently came across the record of Ether, the 24 gold plates, which was the record of the Jaredite people. Either by promptings or direct revelation, Moroni was told to abridge that record and he did so. After that, he would “seal up these records” (Moroni 10:2) and “hide up the records in the earth” (Mormon 8:4). Where he hid them, we are not told. We only know that he showed Joseph Smith where to find them in the hill Cumorah in upstate New York.
    Comment #4: “What exactly is being mentioned in Moroni 9:16. I don’t know these people, places or situation. Can you help me out?” Hale H.
    Response: First of all, Mormon is the one writing this (it was a letter or epistle, the second of two written by Mormon to his son, Moroni, at a much earlier date when the two were for some reason apart during the final stages of the war, probably during a 7 or 8 year lull between battles as seen between Mormon 4:15 and 4:16). Earlier in the chapter Mormon tells of losing a sore battle with the Lamanites in which several of his best men fell, including Archaentus, Luram, and Emron, and the Lamanites were nearing the total destruction of the Nephites who had become worse than the Lamanites, no longer fearing death, and having lost their love one for another.
    According to the word he received from Amoron, the Lamanites took many prisoners after killing off the men, they fed their flesh to their wives and daughters; though the Nephites, capturing Lamanite women, raped and then tortured them until they died, then fed on their flesh. At the moment of writing, Mormon is cut off from rescuing the Nephite women and children left in the city or tower of Sherrizah (shĕr-ī´za, pronounced share-EYE-zuh) by a large Lamanite army between him and the tower. In the meantime, what food was left by the Lamanites in the city, was taken by Zenepi (zēn´a-fī; pronounced ZEEN-uh-fie), the leader of the defeated Nephite army under Mormon’s command, and the women and children at Sherrizah were starving.
    It is a disgusting description of how far the Nephites had fallen (they will fight their last battle ten years later and die to the man except for Moroni). The interesting thing about this letter is Mormon’s love for his son, the tenderness he feels for him, and how highly he regards him. Perhaps every father should take a moment in their later life to so communicate this to their own son(s).
    Comment #5: “I read somewhere that the Nephites described by Mormon falling at Cumorah, some 230,000, that they were only the Nephites attempting to flee with Mormon’s army. The others remained upon the land, taking their chances for survival with the invading army of the Lamanites” Galvin B.
    Response: People who say and write things like that simply do not read the scriptural record or fail to understand what is written. The Lamanites were not sparing any Nephites. They allowed some to join their forces as full defectors, but during these last battles, few of those survived.
During these last years, the Lamnite army was led by a man named Aaron—it was to this Aaron Mormon mentioned in a letter to his son that those Nephites who defected over to his army “fell victims to his awful brutality” (Moroni 9:17). Specifically, Mormon tells us that at this time, as the Nephite asrmy retreated from city to city,“ that whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire; and thus three hundred and seventy and nine years passed away” (Mormon 5:5). This is six years before the battle at Cumorah. Thus, those who did not join ranks with Mormon were killed and their villages, towns and cities burned and destroyed—and those who could not keep up as they fled before this terrible Lamanite army were destroyed by the Lamanites. There simply is no basis to “assume” anything else.
    There were no “others remained upon the land, taking their chances for survival with the invading army of the Lamanites.” They fled and joined with Mormon, or they were overrun and killed! This was not a war for victory—it was a war of annihilation! Those who insist that some Nephites survived, or were not involved, or were spared as non-combatants simply do not understand the nature of such a war.
    Comment #6: “Phyllis Olive states in her book that “a clear explanation for the puzzling description of the wildernesses described in Alma 22:27 is that there were two different wildernesses, one to the north of Lamanite territory and one to the south of Nephite territory, with a gorge between. What’s your take on this?” Wyman O.
    Response: Mormon tells us there was a “narrow strip of wilderness between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla” i.e., the Land of Nephi, which the king controlled, “was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west” (Alma 22:27). Thus, the northern edge of this narrow strip of wilderness touched on the Land of Zarahemla and the southern edge of this narrow strip of wilderness touched on the Land of Nephi. Consequently, the Land of Zarahemla had a wilderness to its south, and the Land of Nephi had a wilderness to its north--these being the same wilderrness. It is not complicated. There is a single strip of wilderness between the two lands that ran from sea to sea.
The narrow strip of wilderness ran from sea to sea, dividing the Land of Zarahemla from the Land of Nephi, thus there was a (Red Arrows) wilderness to the south of Zarahemla and a wilderness to the north of Nephi; Yellow Arrows: the wilderness ran “and round about (yellow arrows) on the borders of the seashore” (Alma 22:27), meaning it curved up along the seashore.
    Also note that there is no mention of the word “gorge” or any kind of division between these two lands other than the narrow strip of wilderness. Or is there any mention that this wilderness was divided in some way. In fact, there is no mention of the word “gorge” anywhere in the entire record of Alma or anywhere in the entire Book of Mormon. In fact, this description by Mormon found in Alma is so clear, it is a wonder anyone could not understand it, and probably wouldn't if they were not trying to fit the words into a pre-determined model that does not match the scriptural record descriptions.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part IX

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “You mention that Mormon’s insert was 568 words in one article and 543 in another. Why the difference?” Rhonda J.
    Response: The first number is the complete count of words of verses 27 thru 34; however, to be exact, Mormon’s insert appears to begin with the words “who were in the land…” in verse 27, giving us a smaller count. My apologies for not clarifying that.
    Comment #2: “I was told recently that the land of Desolation was named for the warrior Teancum, one of General Moroni’s top officers, but I have never heard this before. Are you familiar with this?” Glenda B.
Teancum was a successful warrior and effective chief captain under Moroni’s command
    Response: The only connection I have ever run across is a statement evidently by James R. Spencer, an author and lecturer from Boise, Idaho, in which he writes about Vernal Holley’s placement of the Land of Promise in the area of the Great Lakes. Spencer writes questioningly about the origin of the Book of Mormon and makes comparisons between Holley’s work showing the Great Lakes region and some 20 names of similar to exact spelling found in the Book of Mormon. In his writing, Spencer makes the statement: “We read, in the Book of Mormon of the Land of Desolation named for a warrior named Teancum who helped General Moroni fight in the Land of Desolation.” Whether this is his understanding or he is quoting from Holley is not made clear in the article.
    However, to answer your question, the Land of Desolation was so named because of the desolation caused by the Jaredite wars. The scriptural record tells us: “Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land. And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate” (Helaman 3:5-6).
    The interesting and exciting story of Teancum can be found beginning in Alma 50:33, when Moroni sent an army under the command of Teancum (Alma 50:35) to head off the retreating people of Morianton, who Moroni feared would become Nephite defectors, occupying the Land Northward (Morianton and his followers), and make an alliance with the Lamanites.
Teancum ends up killing Morianton and defeating his army, taking them prisoners. Later, Teancum is leading his army to stop Amalickiah and his Lamanite army from gaining the Land of Bountiful (Alma 51:29-30). Teancum by stealth sneaks into the Lamanite camp, kills Amalickiah and almost single-handedly stops the Lamanite army. He is later given command by Moroni of the northern army and to attack Lamanite-held Mulek, but it was too well fortified. In a war council of chief captains, Teancum is put in charge of a command and stratagem to lead the Lamanites in a chase that eventually defeats the Lamanite army. Later, when Moroni is called back to Zarahemla, he leaves Teancum and Lehi in charge of all the northern armies (Alma 61:15). Unfortunately, Teancum is eventually killed after killing the Lamanite king (Alma 62:37). In all of this, and much is written about this brave and competent man, there is nothing to suggest he had any connection with the naming of the Land of Desolation in any way.
    Comment #3: “I just read one of your posts on your blog and ran across your statements about the Mulekites not landing in the Land Northward. If that is true, how do you reconcile Alma 22:30, which says, “And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing” Genielle S.
    Response: We have written about this several times before, however, since it is such an important factor in understanding the Mulekites and that they did not have contact with the Jaredites (other than Coriantumr), and especially for Mesoamericanists who use this misleadingly to show such contact, we will respond to it again. In the verse you quote, there is a “parenthetical phrase,” when understood, gives you the meaning of the statement: “And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken (which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla), it being the place of their first landing.” In the case of any parenthetical phrase (above in italics), it is not part of the original meaning of the sentence, or rather, a digression from the original meaning. Thus, the sentence reads: “And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, it being the place of their first landing.”
    Thus, the “parenthetical phrase” is used as the mildest form of parenthesis, for when you want to quickly insert a detail without distracting the reader—it is called “a subordinate clause”: a “nonessential phrase” framed by a pair of commas. In this case, the sentence includes a subordinate clause: “which was the discovered by the people of Zarahemla.” If you temporarily remove that phrase from the sentence, its structural integrity remains intact.
Now before you ask “how do you know that it was intended as a parenthetical phrase,” let me suggest two reasons: First, we know this because of Omni 1:16, where we are told the Mulekites “journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.” That is, the Mulekites were brought across the sea into the area where Mosiah found them (the city of Zarahemla) and they dwelt there, in that land where they landed, until Mosiah found them.
    That is why you know it is a parenthetical phrase in Alma 22:32, otherwise we would be given two entirely different landing sites.
    Secondly, we know it is a parenthetical phrase because the sentence reads:
    And it (Bountiful) bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it (Desolation) being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed (the home of the Jaredites), of whose bones we have spoken (again, the Jaredites), which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla (that is, the bones of the Jaredites had been discovered by Limhi’s 43-man expedition to find Zarahemla and all those in the expedition, and all those living under Limhi in the city of Nephi, had originally been from Zarahemla, or their parents or grandparents had been), it being the place of their (again refers to the Jaredites) first landing.
    Comment #4: “Since angel Moroni supposedly told Joseph that it is a history of the people on this continent, why haven’t Prophets asked to know exactly where and save all this hassel? If they have asked who is having the problem communicating, God or the Prophets? Is it reasonable to assume that God would withhold the Book of Mormon location information when the angel already said it was history of real people? The silence from prophets, seers and revelators on this subject that inevitably tears families apart, makes them deliberately complicit in the continuing deceit. After all, they know it’s not real. They also know that the world would convert "IF" we could show a shred of verifiable evidence for BOM peoples, yet they remain silent and waste the very powers of the supposed priesthood that they hold the members accountable to” No Name.
Korihor contends with Jacob over wanting to have a sign so he could believe
    Response: Your comments remind me of Korihor who wanted a sign so that he could be convinced (Alma 30:43). Unfortunately, that did not go well for him. Perhaps Alma’s response might teach us all a lesson on the matter: “But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God?” (Alma 30:44-45).
    Besides, even if that announcement were to be made and it was provable, critics would still bend over backward showing why it was a lie, why it didn’t match, why it was not true. Perhaps you are not aware of it, but the Lord has not revealed many things about life, and does not get involved in satisfying people’s curiosity. Where the Land of Promise was located is not necessary to know for our salvation. In the case of this blog, we write about it to show the reality of the scriptural record and how the information in that record can answer any and all questions we might have on this or nearly any other subject.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part VIII

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
   Comment #1: “The Book of Mormon, for a purportedly pre-Christian text, the book is entirely too Christian. The text repeatedly has main characters quoting New Testament passages and citing details about the story of Christ long before the time of Jesus or the writing of the New Testament with such specificity and clarity as to betray knowledge after the fact - knowledge available to Joseph Smith through the King James Bible” Sabin D.
Response: As we have said many times, isn’t it odd that the same God who inspired Old Testament Writers, who came into this world as Jesus Christ, who knew of all things, when inspiring Book of Mormon writers would have the same message, the same knowledge, and the same understanding, let alone know what happened in clear and precise detail in his own life during his mortal ministry and convey it to these prophets. It might even suggest to some that the original Old Testament had many such matters of Christ in it originally before man (scribes) began rewriting it in many ways.
    Comment #2: “The Book's historical claims have not withstood the rigorous scrutiny of the archaeological, biological, historical and linguistic disciplines and continued study of the history of ancient America further establishes the implausibility of the claims of the Book of Mormon" Bradley R.
    Response: We have dealt with this comment several times. What has been found "in the ground" in Andean Peru matches a lot of the claims of the Book of Mormon as we have documented in this blog for the past five years. The trouble is, people think of Mesoamerica, which studies "in the ground" do not match Book of Mormon factors at all. As for linguistics, the Nephite language ceased to exist, both Hebrew and reformed Egyptian, with their demise in 385 A.D., an particularly with Moroni in 421 A.D. For the next one thousand years the Lamanites, a people who were involved in a bloody civil war with the land full of murder and bloodshed for many years, perhaps centuries, who deteriorated into individual groups (tribes) that had nothing to do with one another--each other tribe was an enemy--that no language could have survived in any way.
Comment #3: “Where did the name Lehi come from? And what does it tmean?” Sophia G.
Response: Names are funny things. We don’t always know where they came from or if what we know about them was the same as that of their origin. The name Ramath-lehi is used only once in the Bible, a name the judge Samson gave to the place where he beat one thousand Philistines to death with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:17). The lehi in that name is the same as Lehi (the root ihh), which does not occur as verb in the Bible, and its existence is assumed because of the curious noun לחי (lehi), meaning jaw or cheek. This noun also exists in Arabic, where it is related to a verb that means to peel off, and in Syriac it means to strip off or erase. Perhaps (and this is a guess) these connections suggest that the jaw of an animal was recognized as the instrument with which an animal grazes or peels bark off a tree or a skin off fruit.
    In Hebrew this connection doesn't exist and in stead the noun closely resembles a compound of ל (le), meaning for and חי (hay), meaning life. Whether the Hebrews of Lehi’s time commonly made that connection isn't clear but the compound לחי (lehay) being ל (le) plus חי (hay) occurs frequently in the Bible. It's for instance the lahai-part of the name Beer-lahai-roi and means "the living." It occurs in Daniel 4:34 with a similar meaning and in 1 Samuel 25:6 it's part of a cheer or blessing, comparable with the familiar לחיימ (lahayim!) Most spectacularly is the occurrence of לחי (lehay) in 2 Samuel 23:11, where the Philistines gather either "into a company" or a place called Lehi, which means Jaw.
    This word for jaw appears twenty-one times in the Bible, but mostly in texts that deal with subdual. To catch a creature, one hooks its jaw (Job 41:2, Ezekiel 29:4, Ezekiel 38:4). To steer a creature, one places a bridle in its jaw (Isaiah 30:28). To stop a person from talking, one strikes him on the jaw (1 Kings 22:24, Job 16:10, Micah 5:1). It might be said, then, that Lehi means “the casting away of the jawbone.”
    Comment #4: “Joseph Smith did in fact say that the records were buried by Moroni, in the United States: In July 1838, Smith wrote an article for the church periodical “Elder’s Journal” in the form of questions and answers, that stated the following: Question 4th. “How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?" Answer. “Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, as a resurrected being, appeared unto me, and told me where they were; and gave me directions how to obtain them” Brandon
Response: Looking at only what was written, and one can verify the exact wordage by looking up the Elders’ Journal. Joseph Smith, in this interview, did not say that Moroni said he buried the plates in the hill Cumorah in New York state. He said Moroni told him where they were buried and gave him the directions as to how to obtain them. In his “Joseph Smith—History, Chapter 1, (50-51), Joseph wrote: I left the field, and went to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited; and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there. Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.”
    My point was in the article you question, whether or not Moroni buried the plates in that hill originally, buried them later, or that the hill in New York is the same hill as in the Book of Mormon, we are simply not told. Nor does Joseph Smith refer to this hill as the hill Cumorah, nor did anyone else call that hill Cumorsah until after the plates were found, then later early church members started calling it that.
    It is simply not possible to draw any conclusion from anything written or said by Joseph Smith that all of this is tied together as you and many church members try to make it. We simply do not know.
    Comment #5: “I find the name Anti-Nephi-Lehies and odd name for the Lamanite converts to have chosen as their covented name as indicated in Alma 23, since “anti” means against or in opposition to” Brandee E.
Response: Considering how many uses there are in the text of the morpheme Anti in Nephite and Lamanite language, it appears to be a common and proper noun: Ani-Anti, Antiomno, Antionah, Antionum, Antiparah, Antipas, and Antipus; perhaps the Nephite monetary unit antion, as well as the name Manti, could also be added to this list. We also need to keep in mind that there were no hypens (-) in the original Book of Mormon manuscript or the printer’s manuscript prepared from the original manuscript by Oliver Cowdery. In both cases, the name was given as “AntiNephiLehies.” Therefore, any discussion involving the importance or meaning of the hyphens in the name would be moot. Another possibly important point would be that all the names that start with “Anti,” are rulers or leaders of some kind: Antiomno–Lamanite king over the land of Middoni; Antionah–a ‘chief ruler’ of the city of Ammonihah; Antionum–a military leader among the Nephite (one of Mormon‘s leaders of 10,000); Antipus–a Nephite leader over the city of Judea and ‘that part of the land'; also leads a Nephite army; AntiNephiLehi–king over all the Lamanites (for a while, at least). It might also be of interest, though its meaning is unknown, all of the “anti” names, except one, show up exclusively in the book of Alma. That except shows up first in Alma, then later in Mormon as a military leader. It may be then, that “Anti” is a label of or for “ruler,” “leader,” etc., thus Anti-Nephi-Lehi would mean “ruler of Nephi-Lehi,” that is, the city of land of Lehi-Nephi, which sometime during Mosiah’s time became the name of the city of Nephi that Nephi, son of Lehi, founded (2 Nephi 5:8).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part VII

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “I have yet to read of any scientist, archaeologist, anthropologist, etc., who thinks there was any connection between Egypt and your Andean Peru like you allude to” Vance L.
Response: Well, it is not a common belief, that is for certain, however, there are far more than you evidently know that do believe in such a connection. You just don’t see it in the mainstream journals, reports, news coverage, etc., because it is not a popular idea among such scientists that there was transatlantic voyaging before Columbus. And while I have written about this several times, let me just add one more thought for you to consider: Emmet John Sweeney in “Links Across An Ocean,” in The Evidence of Science (Algora Publishing, 2010), quotes Berlitz who noticed an interesting list of parallels between ancient Egyptian (or its modern descendant Copitc) and the Quechua language of Peru, which are, importantly, often connected to religious and cosmic ideas—Egyptian chlol meaning people and Quechua cholo meaning people; Egyptian Ra meaning sun god and Quechua Ra-mi meaning festival of the Sun; Egyptian andi meaning mountain top and Quechua andi meaning high mountain. In addition, the Peruvian and Egyptian words for copper, sheaf, clothing, are similar, as is the Egyptian anta meaning the sun and Araucanian anta meaning the sun. In fact, there seems to be many striking parallels between the Egyptian language and the Quechua and Aymara tongue of the Andes.
    Now, if memory serves me correctly, we have shown connections with building, pyramid construction, earthquake angling, language, word origins, and several other areas where there is far more than mere coincidence between these two civilizations on opposite sides of the ocean from one another.
Comment #2: “One of the many difficulties I find with the Book of Mormon is the rapid change in Lamanite skin color. After all, change in skin color requires long evolutionary periods. Not only are we asked to believe that rapid shifts in skin color are possible but that reception of the Christian gospel may produce a lightening of skin color, what about those today converting without a change in skin color?” Sandy W.
Response: It is always amazing that people who basically accept a God that has created the universe and everything in it, including all of us, seems boggled by the idea He can change skin color in the blink of an eye. Not only is there precedence for this in the mark placed upon Cain, which had to be immediate so that others, seeing him would not kill him (Genesis 4:13-15), but the Supreme Being who created DNA for each of us surely can alter that DNA for an instant change. As for today, I cannot explain the workings of God’s mind, but I accept the fact that He has a plan and that nothing interferes with that plan, no matter how hard some people try.
    Comment #3: “Are you aware of the internal inconsistencies and improbabilities of your Book of Mormon? Take the case of Alma when he says “and now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels of his (Christ’s) coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon.” Why not? Mosiah 28:20 reports that all the records were handed down to Alma and Nephi predicted the Savior would come 600 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem—Alma’s ignorance of this seems problematic” Wally R.
Response: There are certain things that God does not disclose precisely, one of which is the second coming of Christ, which no man, not even the Savior, knows when. On the other hand, some things are told us in general “600 years from the time my father left Jerusalem” is within a year’s time—that is 365 days. When during that year Nephi did not state and Alma did not know. This seems like a rather nit-picking point, but it might be thought of as the same as saying, “My son is coming to visit me today, but I do not know the exact time.” What you call inconsistencies and improbabilities are more correctly stated as semantic differences in this area—when as opposed to “exactly” when. That is, “we know not how soon” like in “this week, this month, three months, six months…”
    Comment #4: “The rapid changes in righteousness to unrighteousness seems radical in your scriptures. In Alma 4:1, there were no wars in the land of Zarahemla, nor in the next year when 3,500 souls united themselves to the church; however, by the end of the eighty year, “the wickedness of the church was a great stumbling-block to those who did not belong to it” and in the sixteenth year there began to be continual peace, but two years later, “thus commenced a war betwixt the Lamanites and the Nephites” Victoria A.
    Response: As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that in the last many years, things have happened rapidly in the world. When the Wall came down in east Germany, most people were dumbfounded at the suddenness of it. In the past 6 years of our current President, there has been rapid changes from good to bad to very bad. Rapid change is not new to the Book of Mormon or to our present condition.
Comment #5: “It is surprising to me that nobody seems bothered with the facts and the scriptures that seem in opposition to John Sorenson’s book about a limited region of Mesoamerica, in which he states: “Latter-day Saints are not used to the idea that other people than Lehi’s immediate descendants were on the Book of Mormon scene. Abundant evidence from archaeological and linguistic studies assure us that such people were indeed present, so we need to understand how the Book of Mormon account accommodates that fact: (p 461).
On the same page, Sorenson argues that “the Lamanites in the original immigrant group became dominant over a native population of folk already scattered on the land when Lehi arrived.” What are we to do, therefore, with the Book of Mormon’s express statement that the Book of Mormon lands had been set aside for Lehi and his descendants as a land of promise. There is not one single word in the Book of Mormon which allows for different cultures in the Book of Mormon lands, never mind mixing with them as Sorenson appears to suggest. There are several promises that are stated in opposition to having other people around” Langston A.
    Response: While many have bought into this idea of Sorenson’s he neither speaks for the Church, nor for its members. That is his sole idea, despite it being championed by several groups and organizations. However, you are right and we have been writing about that in these pages for over five years now, and in three of the four books we have published on the matter.”
    Comment #6: “While there have been numerous civilizations that have lived on the American continent before, during and after the time of the Book of Mormon narrative, there is no archaeological, anthropological or linguistic evidence to demonstrate that a pre-Columbian, white Jewish, 'pre-Christian Christian', steel smelting, horse/cattle/ox/sheep herding civilization ever lived on the American continent during the time period suggested by the Book of Mormon. Additionally, the fact that natives have inhabited the Americas for over 15,000 years and are of Asiatic descent refutes the primary Book of Mormon tenet that the American continent was "kept hidden" or "preserved" specifically by God for his chosen group(s) of people. Nor were these civilizations wiped out in a global flood as the Great Flood is taught as a historical event in the BOM and other LDS scriptures” Tanner T.
    Response: There are so many critics today who simply repeat the same dogma of previous critics that it gets old to hear time after time. You evidently are not aware of all the things that have been found “in the ground” in South America to verify the Book of Mormon culture as written in the scriptural record. That archaeologists and anthropologists do not make such a connection does not alter the fact that the connection is there, of which we have written about for the past five years in this blog. Saying it isn’t so does not make it not so. I invite you to go back and read all the posts that have been provided here to show the fallacy of your argument.

Monday, July 27, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part VI

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “I consider myself very open minded but if your primary focus is on the geography without as much if not more consideration on the promises and prophecies, then I believe you’ll risk missing it.” Ralph K.
    Response: My intention is not now and never was to focus on modern-day prophecies about anything regarding the Book of Mormon unless they are official declarations of the Church…my focus has always been to find out what the Book of Mormon had to say, it being written by people who were there, who lived on the land, and, as in the case of Mormon, traveled the land extensively and abridged everyone else’s writings other than 1 Nephi through Omni. It is also my firm belief, and I have never found anything to ever contradict this, the Brethren, when speaking for the Church as Apostles, etc., never conflict with the scriptural record—sometimes members misunderstand what was meant.
When the Brethren speak, they are always consistent with the scriptural record. Nor do they speak on matters not already known
    Comment #2: “I read where even though Hagoth’s ship was described as being exceedingly large, it would in no way compare to anything we might consider a large ship today, but was simply a ship considerably larger than those that were the norm for the time” Constance T.
    Response: Statements like this are rarely helpful. First of all, what is meant by a large ship today? Obvious Hagoth’s ships were not the size of tankers today, nor a passenger liner, or a holiday cruise liner—we are talking about wooden vessels. So how large was a wooden vessel? The ship Columbus had to discover America usually surprises most people when they learn it was only 58-feet long, and about 100 tons weight, with a crew of 40 men. Since it was 18-feet wide, its deck was only about 1044 square feet, about the size of a very small two-bedroom home. Sir Frances Drake’s Golden Hinde vessel was about twice that size in space and crew number. The later Spanish Manilla Galleons were between 1000 and 2000 tons, and the final ships of the Age of Sail were the Yankee Clippers that were about 200 feet in length, 30 feet in width (beam), about 6000 square feet of deck, over 2000 square yards of sail, were some of the largest sailing ships built.
Left: Columbus flag ship Santa Maria; Right: Sir Frances Drake’s Golden Hinde
    Considering all of that, what would an exceedingly large ship mean? We have no way of knowing this, but since the ship mentioned in Alma built by Hagoth was for the purpose of hauling emigrant families, loaded with provisions, sufficient to start a new life elsewhere, one might consider it to be larger than that of Columbus Santa Maria, and likely closer to Drake’s Golden Hinde, or about a hundred feet in length with a 20-foot beam and around 150-ton or so. For it to be much smaller, it would not serve much of a purpose in the business of carrying immigrants to another land.
    Comment #3: “I find myself among those that favor a setting more localized than Mesoamerica or South America, like near the Great Lakes. I agree with Phyllis Olive that Lehi's company was directed by divine guidance across the Gulf of Mexico and up interconnected North American rivers such as the Mississippi, Ohio and other navigable ancient water ways, to within a short distance of the Book of Mormon's "west sea" or "west sea, south" – the freshwater Great Lake Erie. I also agree with Wayne May and Olive that the northern arrivals of other ancient peoples in the Book of Mormon occurred by way of the Atlantic Ocean and St. Lawrence Seaway” Virginia O.
    Response: We have written about this many times and our response can be found in numerous posts in our blog. For a brief answer, the Mississippi River could not take a deep sea sailing vessel more than 90 miles up from the Gulf because of shoals, rapids, and blockages that existed on the river for millennia until the Corps of Engineers cleared such obstructions, built locks, and often dug new channels. People like Olive and May, and many others, look on a map and say that looks possible, without knowing about what they write.
    Not a single inland water way before the Corp of Engineers could handle any kind of vessel larger than a canoe, or a small, flat-bottomed packet carrier, or the type of flat-bottomed, shallow-draft big boats such as the paddle wheelers. What is possible today is because of the fantastic work the Corps of Engineers have done to our eastern inland waterways that make it possible today to reach the Great Lakes in almost any kind of deep ocean vessel—but that was not initially the case. Not until this country began to be populated in the 16th century onward did any kind of river dredging and deepening ever take place, and without that, no ship of any kind could have gotten within hundreds of miles of the Great Lakes, including the St. Lawrence Seaway, which had their own Canadian engineers making that river possible for movement toward the Great Lakes beyond Montreal and the Lachine Rapids.
Top: 19th-century paddle wheeler on the Mississippi; Middle and Bottom: Models to show how shallow was the draft on these paddle wheelers—about one-fourth to one-third the draft (depth in the water) of a deep-sea sailing vessel. Even then, they could not sail beyond the rapids, but were either northern boats (upper Mississippi) or southern boats (lower Mississippi), and many were constantly running aground, needing outside help, passengers wading in and pushing off sandbars, or waiting for a change in tide
    All May and Olive have shown is their lack of knowledge of these waterways before the 16th century. Even the French, who occupied New Orleans for many years prior to our gaining control of that area, worked to clear passage along the delta of the Mississippi because French shipping could not use the river beyond New Orleans.
    Comment #4: “Why do you use so many Book of Mormon scriptures in your articles. I find that they sometimes interfere with smooth reading” Paula G.
    Response: Scriptures are used in our writing that apply to what is being covered because it provides the reader with a source of verification and shows we are not simply making up what we say, or speaking from our own belief and knowledge as so many theorists do. We use a lot to show the reader that they have the option of verifying what we write, unlike most writers on the subjects we write about, and to show that each point discussed has its own reference. We feel it is important that the reader understands we are giving the scriptural record viewpoint, not something we came up with ourselves. We do this because when Theorists write about their theories and models, most readers do not fact-check what they say or do not know how to find a reference that is not listed, but tend to accept it or reject it without knowing any more than what is written. We feel it is important that the reader knows what is in the scriptural record, not what someone claims is in it.
    Comment #5: “While I cannot accept the Book of Mormon story as literally historical; I can, in a sense, accept the book as a somewhat symbolic embodiment of 'the American story' - the creation of a unique but "familiar" vision of manifest destiny, wars waged to protect the "liberties" of patriots, democracies created to secure the sanctity of these liberties, and the overarching struggle of good and evil - all roughly woven together within the framework of an American Christian apocalypse” Justin F.
Response: To each his own. What you get out of the Book of Mormon is up to you, and in part, what you put into it to study and comprehend. As for me, I accept every word as factual, events that happened, people that lived, prophets that wrote, and the foundation of my religion as the Bible is to others, though I accept the Bible as well. I believe the Book of Mormon is an inspired document, written on plates of metal as stated, abridged by Mormon, buried by Moroni, uncovered by Joseph Smith (all part of the inspired plans of the Lord), and translated by the latter under the strict guidance of the Spirit. Therefore, I accept every word written within its pages, every meaning, every concept and precept, every prophecy and every word. This entire blog is written for this purpose, to show the truthfulness, accuracy and reality of its writings and the events within its pages.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


It was brought to my attention that an article posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 was incorrect. The comment received "Are you sure Helaman 3:8 is referring to the Jaredites" posted July 24, 2015 by David K., is correct in pointing this out. The post read: "The Land Northward was filled with many mighty cities (Ether 9:23) and people who had “spread over all the face of the land” (Ether 10:4). There were many spacious buildings (Ether 10:5), and the people became exceedingly rich in buildings (Ether 10:12) and these buildings were of every kind (Mosiah 8:8). The Jaredites built a “great city by the narrow neck of land” (Ether 10:20), and the “whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants” (Ether 10:21). In fact, they filled up the land from sea to sea on the north, east, west and south (Helaman 3:8)."
    In checking my old notes back then, the post should have read: "The Land Northward was filled with many mighty cities (Ether 9:23) and people who had “spread over all the face of the land” (Ether 10:4). There were many spacious buildings (Ether 10:5), and the people became exceedingly rich in buildings (Ether 10:12) and these buildings were of every kind (Mosiah 8:8). The Jaredites built a “great city by the narrow neck of land” (Ether 10:20), and they began to spread upon the face of the land and to multiply and to till the earth; and they did wax strong in the land (Ether 6:18), and the “whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants” (Ether 10:21). In fact, they filled up the land from sea to sea on the north, east, west and south (Helaman 3:8). 
   Naturally, Helaman 3:8, was referring to a different time and a different people (Nephites). My apologies for the incorrect posting and thank you for bringing it to my attention.

More Comments from Readers – Part V

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
   Comment #1: “You continually write about Lehi landing on an island, and that it was South America. Are you suggesting South America as a continent would have been called an island? If so, it seems far too large for the geographical descriptions in the Book of Mormon” Clyde W.
Response: Evidently you have missed the many maps we have posted showing South America prior to the rising of the eastern portions when the Andes rose during the crucifixion and the numerous destructive descriptions found in 3 Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite’s prophesy in Helaman.  And not to repeat all that, for it is found in the blog site in earlier postings, I’ll include one map here, showing the basic difference between the “Isle” mentioned by Jacob and the present map of South America.
    Comment #2: “Angkor Wat (the largest temple complex in the world) did not just magically appear on the Malay Peninsula. There was an advanced civilization there (buildings, temples etc.). It was called Zhenla. Add a few letters and you're pretty close to Zarahemla” Sithu Mon
Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia that was built in the 12th Century A.D.
    Response: Evidently Angkor Wat, which means “Temple City” (City of Temples), in Khmer, and is located in Angkor, about 3 ½ miles north of Siem Reap, in the Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. Angkor Wat was built in Cambodia, not the Malay Peninsula, in the 12th Century A.D., during the reign of Suryavarman II (1113 to 1150). Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu (Supreme God of Faishnavism), it was built as the king's state temple and capital city. As neither the foundation stela monument nor any contemporary inscriptions referring to the temple have been found, its original name is unknown, but it may have been known as "Varah Vishnu-lok" after the presiding deity. Work seems to have ended shortly after the king's death, leaving some of the bas-relief decoration unfinished. About 27 years after Suryavararman’s death in 1177, Angkor was sacked by the Chams (Chăm Pa from Vietnam), the traditional enemies of the Khmer.
As for the kingdom of Zhenla, which was an early Khmer state covering what is now (Red Arrow) northern Cambodia (Yellow Arrow: The Malaysa Peninsula where Nephites were supposed to have been) Cambodia and southern Laos (which some refer to as Dvāravatī), was originally a vassal state of Funan, revolting in the latter part of the 6th century, and by 627 A.D., during the reign of Isanavarman I, the previous lords were completely subjugated. It expanded under Jayavarman I in the late 7th century, and by 706 A.D., the kingdom was divided (Land Chenla and Water Chenla) and later in the century fell under the domination of the Sri Vijaya empire of Sumatra—its successor was the Khmer kingdom of Angkor.
    Comment #3: “Writing systems are revised or reformed very rarely. Speech is always changing over time and space, yet we Americans can still understand Chaucer and Shakespeare rather well in writing and comprehend our friends the Brits, Australians, etc. tolerably well in speech and quite well in writing. Therefore, it is surprising to read that Mosiah "caused that [the people of Zarahemla, the Mulekites] be taught in his language" since neither he nor his people could understand them (Omni 17-18), even though the Mulekites had come from Jerusalem only some 300 years later, during which time the spoken language would not have changed all that much. Joseph Smith appears to have known that glottochronology impinges on the credibility of his entire story and this may account for the insertion of an episode which nonetheless is totally unbelievable” Arthur J.
    Response: Let’s see, where to begin…first, the Mulekites came to the Land of Promise within a few years of Lehi, they just landed a distance apart and were unknown to each other, having developed separately in their lands over nearly 400 years before Mosiah “discovered” Zarahemla. Second, language deteriorates rather rapidly under certain circumstances—the main one is where there are no written “records” from which a language can be compared over time as it begins to change. Between Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespear and us (600 and 400 years respectively) has been a continual usage of the same language by an ongoing stream of people with contact with one another throughout this time. That is, the language you cite as not undergone isolation from anyone else during that time. This is a major issue with language changes.
Left: Chaucer’s English is not all that easy to read; had it been “discovered” without knowing it was English, the connection would not have been that simple—to understand the writing of Chaucer most of us would need an interpreter; Right: Shakespeare’s writing is not much easier; most people require college courses to read the actual style of writing, not the modern-day writing of the same wordage that is found in high school classes and undergraduate college classes—but that actual writing style itself
    Chaucer’s “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droughte of March hath perced to the roote, thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,” with the pronunciation of that time, where the vowels are pronounced as in Italian or Spanish, "R"s were trilled or flapped, and words like droughte are pronounced as in German, it might take us a while to realize that we were being told that “When April with its sweet showers has pierced the drought of March to the root, then folks long to go on  pilgrimages.” And this of a language that has had centuries of constant use among us as it evolved to what we use today. Stated differently, the language didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but was in constant usage, and any changes in spelling, grammar, pronunciation, etc., evolved through people slowly so that all understood.
    This was not the case with the Mulekites, whose changes evolved from basically one language to another without any Nephite being aware of the changes in between. You can make this sound simple, but linguists who can make such leaps in understanding have been trained and spend their lifetime studying the changes that have taken place.
    I might also add, having traveled extensively across this country, spending time in 46 states, in the backwoods of Alabama, or the academic halls of Boston, or the ranches of Texas, one hears a language that is far from the same—in fact, I would say that at times, you think you are in a totally separate, non-English speaking land. And for the British, go visit Devonshire, or across into Ireland and say you understand that quite well.
    Comment #4: “From reading your articles each day, it looks like you have sought out every other view out there to compare and consider” Carlie A.
    Response: Actually, I did not seek out other views. I began my studies of this work many years ago by looking at the scriptural record and deciding to let it take me wherever it went. I had no preconceived idea about where the Land of Promise was located, and actually didn’t care where it turned out to be. I simply thought it would be wise to let Nephi and Mormon tell me where they went. In the course of doing this, I ran across numerous other models and theories, as I still do, and my nature is to compare whatever I find written or said about the Book of Mormon to the scriptural record…if it does not match, it is wrong. In the course of all these years, I have made what seems to me to be startling discoveries that for some reason are not understood by others.
    Comment #5: “Why does the Book of Mormon mention Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11), Brass (2 Nephi 5:15), Breast Plates & Copper (Mosiah 8:10), Iron (Jarom 1:8), Gold and Silver currency (Alma 11), Silver (Jarom 1:8), and Steel Swords (Ether 7:9)? No evidence indicates that these items existed during Book of Mormon times. In fact, according to Tom Ferguson: "Metallurgy does not appear in the region until about the 9th century A.D." Dick M.
Response: Metallurgy has not been found in Mesoamerica before 900 A.D. where Mesoamericanist theorists have convinced a large number of people the Book of Mormon was to have taken place; however, since it did not take place there, when something in the real world does not agree, people attribute that to an error in the Book of Mormon when, in reality, it is an error in the location being promoted. Metallurgy has been found in Andean Peru dating to Jaredites times (2155-1936 B.C.). The necklace (left) was dated to 2100 B.C. found around Lake Titicaca. If you are going to look for Book of Mormon evidence, you won’t find it in Mesoamerica. But if you look in Andean Peru, you will find untold evidence.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part IV

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “In your disagreement over Lehi landing in Malay, you claim by 600 B.C. the Peninsula was occupied. There is no way this is possible. Archaeologists claim the Malay Peninsula did not have visitors until Indian traders arrived in the 5th century A.D.”
    Response: According to Kallie Szczepanski, Asian History Expert for Malaysia: Facts and History, “Humans have lived in what is now Malaysia for at least 40 to 50,000 years. Certain modern indigenous peoples, named "Negritos" by Europeans, may be descended from the first inhabitants, and are distinguished by their extreme genetic divergence from both other Malaysians and from modern African peoples. This implies that their ancestors were isolated on the Malay Peninsula for a very long time. Later immigration waves from southern China and from Cambodia included the ancestors of modern Malays, who brought technologies such as farming and metallurgy to the archipelago between 20,000 and 5,000 years ago. And Indian traders arrived, bringing aspects of their culture to the early kingdoms of the Lalaysian peninsula.” Every history checked regarding the Malay Peninsula pretty much says the same thing.
    Comment #2: “Why are you so opposed to the Bering Land Bridge, and people of South America first entering the Western Hemisphere through this means?”
    Response: I suppose I could write an entire book on this answer. The reasons are varied and many, which I  have listed in former articles. However, let me just say for the moment that according to Danièle Lavallée (translated by Paul G. Bahn), The First South Americans, (2000), “The recent and now indisputable findings at Monte Verde in southern Chile present the strong possibility that people were living in South America more than 12,000 years ago. If so, the long-cherished scenario in which the Americas were populated by big-game hunters crossing the Bering land bridge and then making their way slowly down the Americas may no longer be true.”  In fact, The First South Americans presents all current evidence and claims for the early traces of human presence on the continent. Surveying the territory from Tierra del Fuego to the Caribbean shores of Columbia and from Brazil to Ecuador, Lavallée presents and discusses the cultural development of the entire continent from the first occupants through the hunters of the Holocene, the rise of horticulture and animal domestication in the Andes, Amazonian developments, maritime adaptations, the Andean development of ceramics, weaving, and stratified society, and finally the emergence of the first Andean civilization in Chavin.”
According to her, little by little, people occupied this mosaic of territories over the millennia, sometimes yielding to the constraints of the environment, sometimes controlling and transforming it. Lavallée shows how the first South Americans accomplished this at different rates and with methods whose diversity equaled that of their natural settings.
    Whether or not I agree with Lavallée in all her findings, the point is that archaeology has now found (as we have indicated in earlier posts) that man was in South America before the so-called Beringia Land Bridge was formed and supposedly used for the settlement of the Americas. Danièle Lavallée has worked in South American for over thirty-five years, directing and participating in archaeological research from Tierra del Fuego to Ecuador. She is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, and directs the Unité Mixte de Recherche,"Archéologie des Amériques," at CNRS and the University of Paris 1- Sorbonne. She holds teaching positions at the Sorbonne and Paris X-Nanterre and currently directs the Perou-Sud archaeological project in southern Peru. Sounds to me she is as knowledgable as those who claim Beringia--probably more so.
    Comment #3: “You wrote an article about the Paracas, which I found very interesting. Thank you. However, you did not include the famed double spout and bridge vessel from the Nazca culture which of course had two spouts and  a bridge across, a design first used by the Paracas culture. The vessel is amazing because it created whistling sounds when pouring liquids” Lillian Q.
Response: Yes, that is true. In fact, I left out a lot of fascinating things about most of the cultures I wrote about because of space restrictions and probable lack of interest on the part of a varied reader base. As for the vase (left) you mentioned, it was actually made by the Vicús culture sometime between 1000 B.C. and 200 B.C., though they are said to have continued on as late as 300 to 600 A.D. They were known for their ceramics, copper and gold, and lived in the Piura region in the far northernmost corner of Peru’s coast, at the opposite end of Peru and far from the Nazca in the far south.
    Their ceramics also resembled the ornamental motifs of the Moche culture, as well as the Salinar and Gallizano cultures from Ecuador. In addition, gold jaguars attributed to the Vicús are also similar to Chavin felines and the Chavinoid style–which all goes to add to our contention that these were not separate cultures, but the Nephite nation living in various parts of the Land of Promise. In fact, famous modern day pottery from the town of Chulucanas is said to closely resemble the ancient art of the Vicús.
The shape of the Vicús mace head (left) made of copper, resembles the sun, with possible animals with long noses and tails in the middle ring, but besides being an ornament or possibly a ritual object, as archaeologists suggest, could well have been used as a weapon (thrown disc) because of the outer pointed thongs.
    Comment #4: “I read Sorenson’s book and a few others, and my take on all this Book of Mormon stuff is that you Mormons attempt to prove the BOM exactly backwards of the way things work in the real world. Rather than researching and piecing together evidence that is actually found in the ground, Mormon apologists use the BOM, written in 1830, to try to force archaeology to fit it. If the BOM was authentic, we would not have to resort to these forced interpretations, and stretch logic to the limit, to make the puzzle fit. It would come together just as a jigsaw puzzle does, with each added piece making the remainder fall into place in quick fashion" Caroline R.
    Response: I couldn’t agree more. However, it is also possible to read the Book of Mormon and follow its comments to wherever that leads in order to find the location of areas mentioned, without forcing, changing, altering, etc., any of yhe clear and precise meanings. It is like following a treasure map. I hope that is what we do here in this blog—it is certainly our plan and very sacred intention.
As a side thought, it is amazing to me that anyone could think that Lehi sailed to or through Indonesia in 600 B.C. with just his family as hands at the helm. The cross currents, shoals, maneuvering, sailing ability and degree of difficulty to do so would have been so far beyond Nephi's crew, even with the Liahona, is beyond description. Even experienced mariners today with all the advantages of GPS, radar, engines and depth charts, find this one of the most dangerous routes known in the world
    Comment #5: “The Kedah Annals of Merong Mahawangsa from which you quote were works of fiction that came a millennia or two later. Nobody considers them history.
There are plenty of extant legends in SE Asia talking about buried golden books bearing ancient histories that have been lost. There is no way this voyage and landing, in an area that had been inhabited, according to archaeologists, for thousands of years before Lehi" ... India, yes, but there is very little evidence of advanced human settlement on the Malay Peninsula at that time. Indian traders didn't arrive until around 5th century AD
” Sithu Mon

    Response: You may be right about the Merong Mahawangsa, tough the jury still seems to be out, with one group saying it is and another groups haying it is not. However, when it comes to people living on the Malay Peninsula, according to the Original Official Homepage of the Malasia Tourism Promotion Board, Malay was peopled 2500 B.C. by a group called the Proto-Malays, who were seafarers and farmers from China, who forced the Negritos (original inhabitants of the peninsula) into the hills and jungles. They were followed by the Deutero-Malays, a combination of many peoples, Indians, Chines, Siamese, Arabs, and Proto-Malays, who are considered to be the racial basis for the group which today is called the Malay. All these were on the Peninsula in large numbers before Lehi sailed.