Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Punin Man

The settlement of Punin is about seven miles due south of Riobamba in Ecuador—an area that might have been the city of Moron in the Jaradite Empire—and an area 100 miles south of Quito. In this remote mountain highlands at 9,000-feet, in a ravine’s alluvial river bank were found some odd shaped skulls, with "archaic" appearance, by a team from the American Museum of Natural History. The skulls had an apparent antiquity that led some scientists to believe that they were of an Australoid origin (ancient African descent)—perhaps even predating the current Amerindians of Asian origin.
Working more than 90 years ago in 1923, the team led by field assistant G.H.H. Tate, were exploring the Chalan ravine close to Punin, in Chimborazo near Riobamba, Ecuador, when they uncovered the skulls. According to one of the scientists, E. H. Anthony, the skulls were damp and fragile, but once removed from the bank about three feet from its top, the skull dried and hardened. According to the scientists, it was a startling discovery due to its archaic appearance perhaps due to its "exceptionally pronounced supra orbital robusticity,” that is, its prominent brow (Joseph F. Powell, The First Americans: Race, Evolution and the Origin of Native Americans, Cambridge University Press,2005).
    The skull was ovoid (egg-shaped) and had a wide and short face with big teeth, but lacked its lower jaw. In addition, it was surrounded by bones of horses, camelids and mastodon situated within 50 to 100 feet from the skull—it was assumed the skull was very old since science claims such bones of these mammals were extinct from the Pleistocene (Quaternary period—2.5 million to 11,700 years ago).
The first skull belonged to a woman who was about 45 to 50 years old, and was found embedded in a stratum of volcanic ash, with megafaunal (very large animal) fossils. However, in the 1980s, the skull was re-evaluated by Don Brothwell and Richard Burleigh, and re-dated to 4,750 +/- 250 B.C. (Don Brothwell, Richard Burleigh, "Human Cranium from Punin, Ecuador, With Particular Reference To Morphology and Dating," Journal of Archaeological Science, 7 1, 1980, pp97-99).
    Thus, the human skull turned out to be not "ancient,” but quite "recent,” i.e., and while no tools or ceramic remains were found near the crania, it was determined to be "contemporary with the Late Paleoindian stage.
    It is interesting that though current animal bones were found next to the human remains, scientists determined that “the grave was probably dug into older strata (12-20,000 years old, with megafaunal fossils), though the woman was from 4.750 years ago.” This determination, of course, is because the animals were extinct!
Area where the skull and bones were found

    Another way of putting this (not the scientists way of course) is that either the human remains were older, like the extinct bones, or the bones were younger, like the skulls, and not extinct at all. But of course, that is not possible in the mind of the scientists, even though the bones of all were found basically together, since the animal bones are definitely of “extinct” animals, i.e., not such animals existed in the Americas after 11,700 years ago, right?
    Like all anthropology and archaeology, findings are subject to personal explanation, no matter what is found—there must be a way to explain the findings without violating the precepts of the geologic column and the "revered" dating sequence of the geologic epochs.
    On the other hand, one of the scientists, E. H. Anthony, thought differently about the dating of the findings. He believed that the skull's position in the soil was not the usual one for a burial as was the lack of other bones; he believed it was contemporary with the fossils found in the ash beds (Sullivan, Louis R., and Hellman, Milo, The Punin calvarium, Anthropological papers of the AMNH ; v. 23, pt. 7, 1925).
    The skull (shown above) definitely showed a “solid” bone behind the eyebrows, making it a contemporary skull, not an aboriginal of some partial human species as thought in the 1920s. On the other hand, even this discovery is not without its humorous side, for Arthur Keith (1886-1955) noted upon examination of the skull “its resemblance to the skulls of the native women of Australia [was striking] ...the points of resemblance are too numerous to permit us to suppose that the skull could be of a sort produced by an American Indian parentage. We cannot suppose that an Australian native woman had been spirited across the Pacific in some migratory movement and that afterwards her skull was buried in a fossiliferous bed in the high plateau of Ecuador...The discovery at Punin does compel us to look into the possibility of a Pleistocene invasion of Americas by an Australoid people."
    Of course, no scientist is going to come out and suggest that ancients from South America peopled the Pacific when they cannot accept there were ancients in South America capable of such travel.
It is interesting, however, that ancients in South America could build fabulous stone edifices that startle the common builders of our day who wonder how those ancients moved hundred ton stones and fit them perfectly together so not even a knife blade can be inserted between them though no mortar was used.
    But that is the dichotomy we face today. The evidence is before our eyes, but since it does not fit into the scientific paradigms that have been developed, it is not acceptable and must be denied while science looks for some other hair-brained explanation. In fact, without explanation, evidence, or anything to back up his statement, Harvard anthropologist Earnest Houghton stated "any competent craniologist would identify as Australian in type" and pointed out that ancient burials in America yielded more "Australoid-looking dolichocephals...than anything in the way of a skull that resembles a Mongoloid." Thus, the Americas were anciently peopled by Austronesians sailing against winds and currents who came from Australia, across the South Pacific from island to island, until they reached and peopled South America.
    To support this theory, Austin Whittail, in his work Patagonian Monsters, wrote: “These ‘Australoids’ were indeed part of the first wave of modern humans (Homo sapiens) to leave Africa about 100,000 years ago. They used watercraft to navigate coastal waters and could have easily sailed along the shores of Asia, across the Bering Strait into America long before the appearance of the Mongoloid type in Siberia 20,000 years ago. When the Mongoloid Asians later moved across Beringia into America, they advanced on those original Americans replacing them. A few remnants of the first wave survived extermination by the newcomers isolated in the remote Patagonian hinterland.”
    Isn’t it interesting, that these scientists always show an annihilation of a previous group by a new group, so that no evidence of the first group can be furnished. It is as though ancient man lived in a very small world, which allowed for their annihilation by invading groups—though we have no evidence of such annihilations of a people in such ways anywhere else in history. Even the Nephites left remnants behind, in their defections to the Lamanites who survived in very large numbers; nor did an invading force wipe out the Jaredites, for they did that to themselves.
    This theory of annihilation was first proposed by French ethnologist Paul Rivet (1876-1958), but its validity rests on the disputed navigation skills of the Australoids. To overcome this, Portuguese anthropologist Mendes Correia (1888-1960) proposed a migration route via Tasmania, the Antarctic and Drake Passage, instead of trans-Pacific route, entering South America at Tierra del Fuego some 8,000 years B.C., before the Antarctic ice cap formed. But this conception is highly disputed and lacks archaeological proof.
Nearly fifty years later, on September 8, 1972, a farmer named Lucas Antonio Paredes came across a burial in Pailapata, about a quarter of a mile from the site where Tate found the "Punin" skull. He promptly notified a trader in fossils and Inca relics, Florencio Samaniego Santillán, who came over and, that same day, started digging at the site. They uncovered the bones of perhaps more than one human being which was inside a layer of volcanic ash. They also uncovered a dolichoid skull, similar to the one found by Tate, which was promptly named "Punin 2" and exhibited in 1979 at the Central Bank's Museum.
    One of the bones (a femur) was dated at 1,240 B.C., and belongs to the Formative Period however there is no proof that the bone and skull belong to the same body. Once again, a primitive yet young skull.
    One thing seems certain, though seems to be lost on the scientists involved and that is a people existed in Ecuador prior to the coming to the Land of Promise by the Nephites and is consistent with Jaredite occupation, and the location is consistent with the city of Moron where the Jaredites settled. But don’t expect anyone to jump to the suggestion about the Jaredites. And, too, it seems quite evident that horses, camels, and mastadons (elephants) were around during the time when these skulls belonged to living beings, i.e., during Jaredite times. But don’t expect anyone to follow-up on that one, either—it is not part of any scientists’ paradigm.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In Search of the Truth

In a book written by David A. Palmer entitled In Search of Cumorah, one would think the title should have been “In search of the truth,” since there seems to be little of that in the writings. Take, for example, Chapter 7, entitled “From Cumorah to Zarahemla.”
    Palmer: “The Book of Mormon was not written as a comprehensive history, but rather as a record of the people of Nephi.”
    Response: Actually, the Book of Mormon was written as another testimony of Jesus Christ, involving three distinct peoples, first the Jaredites, then Lehi and his family, called the Nephites and Lamnites, and also the Mulekites, referred to as the People of Zarahemla. While it is not a comprehensive history of these groups, what history and geography that is included should be dealt with far more reverently than many theorists do, especially Palmer in his book.
    Palmer: “It is, therefore, only from occasional glimpses that we catch the impact upon the Nephites of their contemporaries.”
    Response: One can only ask, what contemporaries? The word contemporary is defined as an adjective “living or occurring at the same time” and “belonging to or occurring in the present.” It is defined as a noun as “A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another.” Now, since the groups we know about, that are suggested and referred to in the scriptural record are all accounted for, and we know sufficient about them to understood who they were and what they were doing there, one can only wonder, again, at who or what Palmer is referring.
    Being a vowed Mesoamericanist as his book so clearly points out, we can surmise that Palmer is referring to other cultures, peoples, and civilizations that he claims (along with all other Mesoamericanists) as having existed in the land prior to and during Nephite times, but never mentioned in the scriptural record.
    Regarding his comment, what impact would Palmer want to know of the Nephites as seen from other cultures? We have a very clear view of the Nephites, from both prophets views and from the Lord. There isn’t much about the Nephites we are not provided to fully understand them.
    Palmer: “The story of Mormon’s Cumorah would not be complete without bringing into focus the Mulekites, a major group of people who bridged the historical gap between destruction of the Jaredites and the rise of Nephite culture.”
Response: Actually, the Mulekites or people of Zarahemla, knew absolutely nothing about the Jaredites. Their exposure to Coriantumr, the last Jaredite left (besides Ether) after their internal war of annihilation, wandered into the Zarahemla settlement at some point (years?) following that final battle. No one could understand him, he spoke a language they did not know, he had no way of communicating with them, yet wanted to at least leave some knowledge of he and his people for future peoples.
    When Mosiah arrived with the remnant of the righteous Nephites at some point later, Zarahemla, the chief or ruler of the Mulekites, wanted to know what had been written on that stone, which Coriantumr had engraved. So it was brought to Mosiah who interpreted it by the “gift and power of God” (Omni 1:20).
    There was no bridging the gap for the Muleites between the Jareidtes and themselves, or the Nephites. Nor did Mosiah know anything about such a people. This was all information new to both the Nephites and the Muleites, and not completely uncovered until when the Ether record was later translated.
    Palmer: “We will…follow the Mulekites as they developed their culture in the land of Zarahemla and branched out into other areas.”
    Response: In Omni, we learn from an eye-witness, the prophet Amaleki, who wrote of the Mulekites: “Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. And they 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” (Omni 1:15-16).
    Now to make sure there is no question about this, Amaleki tells us:
1. The Mulekites left Jerusalem “at the time Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away into Babylon.” This eliminates the idea that they left in any other year than the one in which Jerusalem fell and Zedekiah was captured, which was either 587 or 586 B.C.
2. The Lord guided the Mulekites “across the great water,” which sounds like they were not involved with anyone else, such as the Phoenicians, but came like Lehi, by themselves, under the Lord’s specific guidance.
3. They came across the great waters “and into the land where Mosiah discovered them.” This means that where Mosiah found them is where the Mulekites landed and lived, “and they had dwelt there from that time forth.” So where the Mulekites landed is where Mosiah found them, which would be along the coast—so that is where the city of Zarahemla was located.
    Now as clear as this is, Palmer goes on to write about “Two Mulekite Landings.”
    Palmer: “We are told that the Mulekites landed in more than one place.”
    Response: No, we are not told that. Amaleki makes it quite clear that the Mulekites landed along the seashore, which was where Mosiah found them. His erreoneous belief comes from a misunderstanding of Alma 22:30-31, which reads (and he quotes) “on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful. And it [Bountiful] bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it [Desolation] being so far northward that it [Desolation] came into the land which had been peopled [by the Jaredites] and been destroyed, of whose bones [Jaredite] we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla [Limhi’s 43-man expedition], it [where the bones were found] being the place of their [Jaredites] first landing. And they [Jaredites] came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward [of the narrow neck] was called Desolation, and the land on the southward [of the narrow neck] was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food” (Alma 29-31, italics added for explanation).
    Another scripture that Palmer misunderstands, which leads to a furthering of this idea that the Mulekites landed “north of the isthmus,” as he puts it is: “Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south” (Helaman 6:10). The problem is, nearly all Mesoamericanists combine the terms Land Northward and the Land Southward as synonymous with the terms Land North and Land South. But they are not the same.
Mormon makes this quite clear when he wrote of Capt. Moroni, “And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—a chosen land, and the land of liberty” (Alma 46:17, emphasis added), which clearly shows that the land in the Land Southward was considered in two parts, i.e., a land in the north (of the Land Southward) and a land in the south (of the Land Southward). This dividing point between the Land North and the Land South in the Land Southward was undoubtedly the narrow strip of wilderness which divided the northern lands from the southern lands.
    Taken together, we can see where the Mulekites were always in the Land Southward, never in the Land Northward.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Lamanites After Cumorah – Part II

Continuing with the plight of the Lamanites after their victory over the Nephites at Cumorah, and the extensive civil war that followed and both its duration and consequences.    Before continuing, perhaps a word or two about Fernando de Montesinos might be in order, since it is his records (Ancient memories, histories and policies of Peru, and Annals of Peru, 1498-1642) we rely on to some extent in this post, mostly because it is one of the earliest and most likely accurate from what was told by the surviving Inca after the Conquest, and spent much time in Peru, travelling throughout the region from north to south, west to east.
    It is interesting that Montesinos was the only early Spanish historian who made an attempt to connect Peru with Biblical locations and give its earliest inhabitants a Semitic background, including a list of 93 pre-Inca kings. It seems most likely that Montesinos drew some of his material from an earlier history by Blas Valera, History of the Incas, now lost).
The works of Valera (left), that is what survived the sacking of Cadiz by the English in 1596, were delivered to Garcilaso de la Vega in 1600, who mentions it as the source of his Royal Inca Commentraies, which narrated a “golden age” before the arrival of the Spaniards and Christianity.
    With that in mind, let us return to the rise of the Inca at the conclusion of the thousand years of Lamanite civil wars and their aftermath. As stated in the previous post, the Quechua people, who would later become known as the Inca, began to coalesce in the area of Cuzco around 1400 A.D., with Sapa Inca, Viracocha (King or Ruler Viracocha, later expanded to mean “the Great Inca,” and Emperor), but in 1400 the Quechua in Cuzco was a simple chiefdom, over which Viracocha ruled. This role became hereditary and Viracocha’s oldest son, Urco, who was next in line, is said to have fled Cuzco along with the king, Viracocha, and another brother at the advice of Viracocha’s aids, when the Chanka threatened their attack.
    This was at the end of Viracocha’s reign, and the Chanka, who had already defeated several Quechua-speaking tribes, saw their opportunity and launched an invasion of Cuzco in 1438. The old and stunned Inca and the Cuzco Nobles decided that resistance was futile, and fled to a fortress at Calca with his heir, prince Urcu. But two other of his sons, Roca and Cusi Inca Yupanqui took the command of Cuzco together with the old veteran generals Vicaquirao and Apu Mayta, determined to offer a fight. The armies met outside Cuzco, and according to the Inca legends, sacred stones called pururaucas came to life as warriors and helped them in the bitter struggle.
The Chankas, confident in victory, had brought the effigy of their tribal God, which was conquered by the Incas on the battlefield. That caused havoc among the Chankas, who fell back in order to regroup. Cusi Yupanqui followed them, and stormed their camp, pushing them back across the border. He now gathered his vassals, and defeated the Chankas in the subsequent battles.
    Having defeated the Chanka with his surprise strategy (he had ordered that large bounders around the valley to be covered in battle dress so they looked like warriors which caused some confusion within the Chanka ranks), Cusi Yupanqui was named king, or Sapa Inca, and took the name Pachacuti Yupanqui, which meant “he who overturns space and time," and Yupanki meant "with honor,” or “he who honorably saved the kingdom” as opposed to his father and elder brother who had dishonorably fled for safety elsewhere.
    It cannot be claimed with any certainty that these early Inca were Lamanite or Lamanite descendants; however, both occupied the area that was once known as the City of Nephi during Nephite times, and the City of Lehi-Nephi during Lamanite occupation. That the region was filled with constant warfare and civil unrest, with each tribe aligned against another, that at the time of the Chanka, the bitter enemy of the Quechua, centuries of such fighting  had been going on, with first one tribe gaining supremacy and control, such as the Paracas, Huari, Nazca, Chimu, etc., then another. It was a world of unrest, fear, and minimal alignments.
    In fact, when the Chanka threatened to attack, the Quechua asked for assistance from the other cultures in the Cuzco Valley, but none agreed to help, each waiting to see who won before they thought to be of assistance.
    When Pachacuti successfully defended the homeland against the Chanka, he did so with a small peasant band of warriors—later, this peasant band would be replaced by an army with professional officers, chosen during the Warachikuy festival during which candidates had to undergo various tests of physical skill such as racing, marksmanship, simulated combat and battle drill.
These growing Inca battalions contained permanent staff (generals and officers) and non-permanent personalel composed of drafted hatun runas (comman men). Eventually, they would be known as the Tawantinsuyu or Inca State, which in less than 100 years spanned the distance of northern Ecuador to central Chile, and consisted of 12 million inhabitants from more than 100 different ethnic groups at its peak, just before the Spanish arrived just over a century after their emergence as a distinct people.
    Earlier, where Viracocha’s raids were simply for looting purposes, when Pachacuti came to power, his raids were mainly to demonstrate his power rather than conquest. In fact, his attempts at control within the Cuzco Valley met with success as he built up a ferocious reputation of his army and a false Inca history to convince other cultures of the area that they would be far better off joining the Inca than being conquered by them.
    His first efforts were more to show this power and for conquest, but soon recognized the value of creating a true Empire. His conquests then turned into occupational efforts where he gained control and rule over those he subjected or joined him, and by 1471, just 33 years after his defeat of the Chanka, he had expanded his rule and control throughout the Cuzco Valley and the areas round about. During this time, to solidify his power, Pachacuti had his two brothers killed, and two of his own sons.
The rise of the Inca saw them using religion as a tool of reign, as most aboriginal cultures have done. This invariably led to the canonization of the current rulers as “gods,” a trait even the Romans adopted, and the Inca were no different. The king of the Quechua took on the name The Inca, meaning “the Supreme Ruler,” and later the term was applied to the Royal Family, and in modern times, by historians the name became used for the people in general.
    Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui ascended the throne after the 1438 battle, probably in 1440, and with him followed a new era in Quechua history—not only due to his expansive politic and civic planning, but also because he truly was the first Inca ruler, separate from the pantheon of rulers and historical family lineage the Inca later created for themselves in order to intimidate their enemies and surrounding cultures, and as modern scholars claim, Pachacuti is regarded as the first ruler of the Incas whose reign can be confirmed by historical material.
    No matter how one looks at these events, the warring history of the Andean region in South America is filled with the internal civil wars initially of which Moroni spoke, until it deteriorated into tribe against tribe where everyone was an enemy not of your own family, or extended family. This lasted, with one group after another claiming some significant over the centuries until the Inca finally rose to conquer nearly every tribe and culture from Ecuador to Chile and from the Pacific coast to the jungle.
This certainly tends to match the picture Moroni gives us of what he saw following Cumorah, “And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war (Mormon 8:8); and also “For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2).
    One might ask, as several have inquired of us over the years of this blog, why the evil and unrighteous Lamanites were allowed to annihilate the Nephites. But as we have been told, the Lord uses the unrighteous to punish the unrighteous, and obviously, though history does not tell us this directly, the Lamanites never had any peace after that, as the chroniclers have suggested, and the poem above demonstrates.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Lamanites After Cumorah – Part I

While Inca legends are fanciful and, like most aboriginal cultures of the Americas, extreme in their makeup and beyond the realm of probability, one thing holds true through all of the Inca legends and that is the culture began from four brothers and their four sister wives.
This should be of interest to all Latter-day Saints, who understand that Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi, who each married sisters—the daughters of Ishmael, whose household joined that of Lehi in their flight into the desert.
    When this occurred is a matter of controversy, the Inca themselves claim great antiquity in their legends, however, most historians place their beginning sometime in the 12th century; however, this period is derived earlier than the earliest known activity of a group who can be traced to the Inca origins. Usually anthropologists place earlier dates on such origins that are definitely known, since it gives a period of development to cultures of the past. At the same time, however, when a culture begins already formed, such as Lehi and his family and that of Ishmael, periods of development are non-existent, since they arrived in the land already formed and organized, with a lengthy civilized history elsewhere (Jerusalem).
So while the historians claim the mid-twelfth century, our first knowledge of the Inca existence begins in 1438 A.D. when their presence in the Cuzco valley is definitely known. And this existence is at a time when the small band of people, called the Quechua at the time, first made their mark, and that was in defense of their land against an attacking horde that had, over time, risen to great prominence in this region of Peru.
    It should be noted that 1438 is approximately 1000 years following the demise of the Nephite Nation at the hands of their hereditary enemy, the Lamanites, though both groups stemmed from the same beginning, that of Lehi’s sons. 
    So what took place during that thousand years in the Land of Promise?
    We have posted the following poem before, but it should be repeated hear in the context of the overall historical period between 385 A.D. and the fall of the Nephites at Cumorah, and a thousand years later, which would be about 1385 A.D., when this poem period would conclude, to give some insight into the Lamanite situation, which was, Moroni tells us, a period of extreme civil war among the Lamanites in which no one knew when it will end (Mormon 8:8). We are posting this poem again, which starts after the fall of the Nephite Nation at Cumorah, for those who might not have previously seen it:

     “Since the time of the old empire’s fall,
      A thousand years had passed.
      Insatiate war, that heeds not right nor life, nor love,
      Had gorged upon the people’s sustenance,
      With famine, dread pestilence,
      And still the strife went on,
      No lasting peace, but ever and anon,
      And now the angry notes of war were heard again,
      And then the growing corn was trampled down,
      And smoking hamlets marked
      The deathly trail of warlike bands.
      And time wore slowly on,
      The victors of today, tomorrow slaves,
      Then slaves grown stronger break their bonds
      And thus a thousand years had passed,
      Like created waves that roll on
      To break along a rock-bound shore,
      Then sink back silent in the vast abyss.
      So had the noisy years for ages gone,
      Scattered their fretful foam athwart the world,
      And sunk to silence in the endless past. 

     A thousand years of war
Oh sympathy ‘tis will thou canst not scan
With pitying eye the boundless world
Of woe the past hath known,
Else thou wouldst weep thine eyes away in grief,
And bless thy loss that thou no more could see…
Our schemes o’er thrown, enemies bolder grown,
      Days without peace, and nights without repose,
      Friends turning cold, aye, many cold in death,
      Yet colder than the dead, are friends estranged,
      All this and other ills not yet complete,
      Do but destroy our inborn love of life,
      And make most welcome that which endeth all.”

This poem, of course, is not factual to any known history, but is representative of this period, written by Chauncey Thomas, who searched the records of Fernando de Montesinos, a Spanish explorer and historian after the Conquest, and one of the earliest to record Peruvian history and the history of the Peruvian cultures during the pre-Inca period dating back as far as historical records, legends, and recounted memories expressed by the "Old Ones" in the early days of the occupation following the Fall of the Inca as recorded by numerous historians of that period. He also had access of all the early Spanish historians who interviewed and wrote down the collective memories of the “Old Ones” of the Inca Empire after the conquest. From all this information, Chauncey Thomas wrote this sad tale of the Peruvian (Lamanite?) experience, beginning with a thousand year period before the conquest, which coincides with the Fall of the Nephites.
    No matter that of anything else, Montesinos’ writings do tell us that there were generations of chiefs in the Andean highlands before ever the Inca tribe of the Cuzco valley  began to rise to imperial power. Careful study of the matter reveals, however, that Montesinos is of deeper significance than merely this, as there are vestiges of true folklore hidden in his historical  account, so also are there important points of undeniable authenticity regarding the manners and customs of the early peoples of the Andean region.
    It is worthy of note, also, that Bartolome de las  Casas, who was in Peru in 1532, just after the Conquest  and long before the birth of Bias Valera, makes the  definite statement that other dynasties of chiefs ruled  in the Andes before ever the Incas rose to power (Bartolome de las  Casas, “De Las Antiguas Gentes del Peru,” Edition of Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, Madrid, Chapters 14 and 16, 1892).
If, for the sake of argument, we momentarily assume that the list of kings, as given by Montesinos, from the mnemonic memory devices known as quipus (Khipus "talking notes") is a literal  transcription of the pre-Inca history of the Andes, we  shall find that we are carried far back into the recorded history of Peruvian antiquity. 
    As with other ancient Americas cultures, the historical origins of the Incas are difficult to disentangle from the founding myths they themselves created, especially the Inca who relied heavily on made-up histories of terror and violence and long-standing culture, to frighten their enemies (other cultures) into submission without fighting. Thus, sometime in the early 15th century, after many, many centuries of tribal warfare in the Andes, of one group, family, tribe, community against another in never-ending rounds of war and conquest or defeat, the culture who would soon become known as the Inca, began to stir and develop.
    Sometime in early 1400s, the region became known as the Kingdom of Cuzco, with several separate, but aligned cultures in the Valley. By 1438, those who would eventually be called the Inca were singled out to be attacked by a tribe called the Chanka (Chanca), a “powerful warlike confederation” from nearby Andahuaylas, located in the modern-day region of Apurimac, attacks the city of Cusco—actually, the Chanka were divided into three groups: the Hanan Chankas, or Upper Chankas; the Urin Chankas, or Lower Chankas; and the Villca, or Hancohuallos. The Hanan Chankas had their center in Andahuaylas, while the Urin Chankas were in Uranmarca, and the Villca in Vilcas Huaman.
It was this battle in 1438 that proved the future Inca had the mettle to not only win, but conquer, though their victory had come through subterfuge and the Chanka had divided their army into three groups, only one of which marched on Cusco, so little did the Chanka consider the Quechua resistance would be.
    It was this victory that put Pachacutec, the younger son of the ruler on the Inca throne, solidified the people into a solid body, and began the first stages of its kingdom.
    It should be noted that this entire area, including Cuzco Valley and the areas of Ayacucho, Hauncavelica, Junin and the Apurimac Valley, of which these combatants all lived, were at one time the center of both the early Nephite Nation (prior to Mosiah locating Zarahemla) and the Lamanite kingdom once controlled by king Lamoni and his father, who was converted by the sons of Mosiah. This is the region of both the early seed of Lehi and the eventual warriors that conquered nearly the entire coastal shelf of South America.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Enallage in the Book of Mormon

Enallage is a figure of speech used to refer to the use of tense, form, or person for a grammatically incorrect counterpart. The word comes from the Greek through Late Latin meaning an "interchange," a derivative from the base of enalláttein “to give in exchange.” It is the use of one grammatical form in place of another, as the plural for a singular in the editorial use of we, i.e., “We had a hard time meeting that deadline,” when in reality it was only one person that had a hard time, etc. 
As an example, Shakespeare quite deliberately wrote, “Is there not wars? Is there not employment?” (2nd Henry IV, l, ii), where he uses enallage to achieve parallel structure. Such statements from history: “We was robbed,” meaning my team was robbed of victory; “I ain’t got no dogs in that fight!” from a politician; and Byron’s statement: “The idols are broke in the temple of Baal.”
    One of the greatest advancements in biblical studies since the time of Joseph Smith has been the recognition and analysis of Hebraic poetic forms in scripture. And it has been even more exciting to find these same poetic forms in the Book of Mormon. These findings obviously attest to the latter book's source language being a variation of Hebrew. They also attest to the authenticity and historicity of the book, as no one in 1829 in the environment of Joseph Smith had the knowledge to deliberately include these biblical Hebrew forms in the Book of Mormon. Also, the idea that someone might have included them quite by chance is unthinkable. 
    One example is Hebrew parallelism, including chiastic parallelism, which much has been written about over the years. Another form of Hebrew found in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon is this enallage. Typically, Hebrew poetry produces grammatical changes in the text not usually found in ordinary prose. Rather than being examples of textual corruption or blatant error as some critics and scholars have claimed, the grammatical variance, when analyzed, provides evidence of the poetic form.
    Enallage refers to a grammatical convention that allows an author to switch personage in order to secure a deliberate literary effect (Kevin I. Barney, "Enallage in the Book of Mormon." JBMS 3/1 [1994]: 113-47 and "Divine Discourse Directed at a Prophet's Posterity in the Plural: Further Light on Enallage." JBMS 6/2 [1997]: 229-34).
    Two types of enallage have been described   
1. The first is "from distance to proximity."
2. The second is "divine discourse directed at a prophet's posterity in the plural."
    From distance to proximity. This peculiar title means a shift in person. That is, after speaking of an individual in the third person (i.e., he, she, them) a poet will at times switch to second-person references (you singular, or you plural) in order to portray a special emotional attachment to the subject of his address. While a sudden shift in person would seem highly inappropriate in prose, grammatical variations are typical in forms such as enallage.
    Several biblical example are notable:
    One is found in the Song of Solomon 1:2: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth," declares the female vocalist as she appeals to her lover in the third person. Then, in an emotional shift that poetically draws the lover into the woman's presence, she declares, "for thy love is better than wine." Having initially addressed her lover in terms of a distant relationship, the woman is then free to express her closer or more intimate attachment with a more direct form of speech.
Jeremiah is concerned with divine condemnation of Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah "As I live, declares the Lord, if Coniah…were a signet on my right hand, I would tear you off even from there, I will deliver you into the hands of those who seek your life…I will hurl you at the mother who bore you into another land, where you were not born; there you shall both die" (Jeremiah 22:24-26). In this passage, the Lord first speaks of Coniah in the third person, and subsequently moves to a more intimate address.
    Notice Job's lament and railing against the Lord: "He has truly worn me out; you have destroyed my whole community" (Job 16:7). And Micah praises the redemptive nature of the Lord God: "He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities, You will hurl all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).
    The same pattern is found in this popular Davidic psalm, he begins his praise of the Lord by referring to him in the third person: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” At this point in the psalm, the now familiar dramatic shift from third person to second person occurs: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23).
    In the enallage pattern, then, the author begins his poetic presentation with a third-person address. The author is then free to express his feelings for his subject as if that individual suddenly stood in the poet's presence. This dramatic shift allows the author to share a direct emotional attachment with that individual initially addressed in the third person.
    This same pattern occurs in the Book of Mormon. A good example is found in the so-called "psalm of Nephi." Note how Nephi begins his psalm by referring to his subject in the third person:
“My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the nighttime” (2 Nephi 4:20-23).
    Like the psalmist above, Nephi then shifts to praising God with second-person references: “Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road! O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way-but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm” (2 Nephi 4:30-34).
    Then notice that in the following verse, which is the last verse of the psalm, Nephi switches back to the third person, then back again to the second person: “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God” (2 Nephi 4:35).
    Divine discourse directed at a prophet's posterity in the plural. Another type of enallage or "interchange" is a pattern in which the author intentionally shifts from singular to plural forms for rhetorical effect and emphasis. In this pattern a divine being or prophet directly addresses an individual using the singular, "thou." He then makes a third-person reference to that individual's posterity, "thy seed." Finally, he directly addresses the individual and his posterity together in the second-person plural, "ye." It is easy to identify that pattern (1 Nephi 12:9).
    "And he said unto me: Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel."
    For other examples, see Genesis 17:9-10); 2 Nephi 1:31-32; 3:1-2).
    Once again, we see the authenticity showing up in the Book of Mormon in such ways that could not have possibly been known to Joseph Smith, or anyone else connected to the early effort of the plates and the printing of the translation.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tiahuanuco: Mystery of the Ages

Tiahuanuco (Tiwanaku) lies almost in the very center of the great terrestrial basin of lakes Titicaca and Aullagas, and in the heart of a region which may be properly characterized as the Tibet of the New World. Here, at an elevation of twelve thousand nine hundred feet above the sea, in a broad, open, unprotected, arid plain, cold in the wet and frigid in the dry season, we find the evidences of an ancient civilization, regarded by many as the oldest and the most advanced of both American continents.
    The ruins of Tiahuanuco have been regarded by all students of American antiquities as in many respects the most interesting and important, and at the same time most enigmatical, of any on the continent. They have excited the admiration and wonder alike of the earliest and latest travelers, most of whom, vanquished in their attempts to penetrate the mystery of their origin, have been content to assign them an antiquity beyond that of the other monuments of America, and to regard them as the solitary remains of a civilization that disappeared long before that of the Incas began, and contemporaneous with that of Egypt and the East.
The ruins of all they left behind are unique, yet perfect in type and harmonious in style, they appear to be the work of a people who were thorough masters of an architecture which had no infancy, passed through no period of growth, and of which we find no other examples. Tradition, which mumbles more or less intelligibly of the origin of many other American monuments, is dumb concerning these.
    Tiwanaku is located near the southern shores of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano, at an altitude of 13,300 feet, in the Province of Ingavi, Department of La Paz. Most of the ancient city, which was largely built from adobe, has been overlaid by the modern town. However, the monumental stone buildings of the ceremonial center survive in the protected archaeological zones.
    When the Spaniards first arrived and saw the magnificent ruins of Tiahuanaco, they marveled at such achievements and  asked the Indians who had built it and were told that "the ruins were so old that they existed before the sun shone in the heavens.”
    One of the dichotomies this discovery presents is that it was obviously a seaport town, with docks and wharves that could handle hundreds, if not thousands, of ships. Yet, it lies several miles from the shore of Lake Titicaca. Now, if, over the past many hundreds of years Lake Titicaca has slowly receded, as appears to be the case according to all scientists who had studied the site, then how can we explain the existence of stone temples, stairways, and roads still under water'? The only answer is that they were built before the lake materialized.
    This sends us back in time to the remnants of Tiahuanaco in re-examining the more than 400 acres of ruins, only ten percent of which have been excavated. It has been pointed out that dirt now covers the ancient civilization to a depth of at least six feet. The only explanation for this accumulation is the coverage of water. That is, a large amount of water had to have inundated the city at some point in the ancient past; then when the water  receded it left the silt covering all evidence of an advanced civilization, leaving only the largest statues and monoliths still exposed. It is logical to conclude, therefore, that Tiahuanaco was built before the lake was created, and not as a port on its shore. 
    As the waters today continue to recede, we should be able to find more evidence of the city's remote peoples. Scientists theorize that the area of Lake Titicaca was one time at sea level, because of the profusion of fossilized marine life which can be found in the area, which then lifted with the Andean upheaval and a basin between the rapidly rising peaks was created which filled in to form the lake.
    As already mentioned, some of the docks and piers in this area are so large that hundreds of ships could dock comfortably; yet there is nothing "oceanic" near these docks except a prehistoric coastline indicated by chalky deposits of ancient salt water fossils. Lake Titicaca, languishing miles away, is nearly 100 feet lower than the ruined docks. One can only wonder at what tremendous geological upheaval has occurred in the land in the last two thousand years or so that could have tumbled these huge stones while heaving the entire altiplano region two miles into the sky?
    If, at the same time, the city was inundated in a flood, that would also explain the existence of Tiahuanaco's ruins under six feet of earth at an elevation of 13,300 feet. The presence of stone structures still under the lake's waters and the existence of marine life at an impossible altitude would also make sense.
The nearby structure known today as Puma Punka is still littered with giant, precisely shaped blocks, many of which appear machine made. The so-called 'port' of Tiahuanaco, called Puma Punku or "Door of the Puma," which is often quoted to have once been a wharf with a massive four-part building, is an area filled with enormous stone blocks scattered around on the ground as though the result of a catastrophic event. Several of the blocks are estimated to weigh between 100 and 150 tons. 
    The Puma Punku temple offers one of the best examples of masonry skills in the whole of the pre-Columbian Americas. Other incredibly carved temple complexes such as the Peruvian Inca walls of Sacsayhuaman, or the outstanding masonry at Machu Pichu and Ollantaytambo pale to insignificance when compared with the sheer skill, accuracy and perfection achieved at Puma Punku.
Today the site appears 'broken', and has been reduced to piles of scattered geometric blocks. These immense quartzite blocks were designed so as to interlock with each other, creating an architecturally unique temple without precedent in the America's. Puma Punku appears to have been destroyed by an earthquake, perhaps accompanied by a tidal wave from the ocean when the area was at sea level.
    The Puma Punku was a terraced earthen mound originally faced with megalithic blocks. It is 549 feet wide along its north-south axis and 383 feet long along its east-west axis. On the northeast and southeast corners of the Puma Punku it has 66-feet wide projections that extend 91-feet north and south from the rectangular mound.
An artist’s rendition of one area of Tiahuanaco reconstructed. The sheer size of the site and complex that once stood there is massive

    The eastern edge of the Puma punku is occupied by what is called the “Plataforma Lítica,which consists of a stone terrace that is 22 by 127 feet in dimension. This terrace is paved with multiple enormous stone blocks. The Plataforma Lítica contains the largest stone slab found in both the Puma Punku and Tiwanaku Site.
    The largest of these stone blocks is 26-feet long, 17-feet wide, and averages 3½-feet thick, and estimated to weigh about 131 metric tons. The second largest stone block found within the Puma Punka is 26-feet long, 8-feet wide, and averages 6-feet thick, and weighs an estimated 85 metric tons.
    In order to understand these events, one has to place an emphasis on 3 Nephi 8 and 9. When John L. Sorenson and other Mesoamerican theorists write that the destruction during the crucifixion that took place in the Land of Promise was merely cosmetic in order to justify their own models and beliefs, they do a grave misjustice to the study of the Book of Mormon and what really took place during that excruciating three hours and following three days. When the extensive damage done, the changes in the earth that took place, and the resulting alteration to the entire continent is more fully understood, then we can better appreciate the existence of the Land of Promise being along the western Andean shelf of South America (For a better understanding of this, see the previous posts of November 26 and 27, 2016 entitled The Problem With Time—Part II and III, "And the Earth Did Cleave Together Again”).
    The amazing thing is that all of Andean Peru is a treasure-trove of Jaredite-Nephite era building using stone and skills known to the ancient world, such as in building the Ziggurats and Tower of Babel of the Jaredite era, and the stone buildings from nearly 500 years before the time of Lehi in Jerusalem, but lost to most of the modern world. This is a remarkable area where Book of Mormon archaeology should be conducted but has never been done—the skills and abilities displayed anciently in these ruins far overshadow anything yet found in Mesoamerica or elsewhere in the Americas. Yet, thanks to FARMS who pushed Mesoamerica for decades, no work has ever been done in Andean South America by BYU or other LDS projects to show the remarkable ties in to the Book of Mormon. One can only wonder when this “blackout” of South America will be lifted by LDS archaeologists and anthropologists and work begun there--the result will be a remarkable find of proofs of the Nephite Land of Promise.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Importance of Palmyra – Part III

Continuing with an article I read and the author’s approach to the place of Palmyra and the Hill Cumorah driving the events that occurred there, rather than the other way around. 
The supports from the north, seen from the creek level with the top of the waterfall the water level of the old canal near Palmyra

    The road to this small New York hamlet along the border of Palmyra and Manchester far to the west near the just finished Erie Canal and Lake Ontario had been arduous and long, but now the fore-ordained seer was present. In 1820 Joseph would enter the grove of trees that surrounded the Smith log home, and this experience would set in motion a series of events bringing about a marvelous work and a wonder.
In 1827, after yearly visits to the hill that would soon be called Cumorah, Joseph would obtain the sacred record (left) and begin translating the contents. Three years later, the Church of Jesus Christ would be restored again in Fayette, New York, less than thirty miles from Cumorah. It is interesting that the Lord’s hand in moving Joseph into the position to receive the plates was wrought not only upon him but upon previous generations of his family to bring about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a small, non-descript long cabin belonging to Peter Whitmer, Sr., on April 6, 1830.
As it always is with matters of importance to man and the Lord, circumstances of the moment, poor personal decisions, and even decisions made by others seemed unfortunate and surely unbearable at the time, the Smiths and the Macks were influenced by such experiences that comfort might have otherwise eclipsed. 
   As an example, while some at the time concluded that it was a godless year during a desperate ice summer of 1816, which was called a "Year Without a Summer" and "Poverty Year," or the "Summer that Never Was" because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease that resulted in severe food shortages throughout the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in what has been called “the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world.”
   In Lebanon, New York, not far from Palmyra, it was written in May 1816 as temperatures fell below freezing: “all is frozen and the hills are barren like winter.” Between June 9 and June 12 the ground froze solid, destroying crops in southern New England.
 Little survived the year without a summer in New England

However, those same people may be surprised to find God in the event upon further inspection. This was the culminating event, after all, that persuaded the Smiths to leave Vermont and seemed to direct them further along the road to the area of Palmyra. Upon later reflection, Brigham Young said, “The Lord had his eye upon him [Joseph Smith], and upon his father, and upon his father’s father, and upon their progenitors…He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man.”
    Within a few years, the stage was set and all the people involved were in place. The great Plan of the Lord was about to commence. The plates were hidden in the drumlin hill not far from where Joseph Smith was living, a hill without a name. Before long it would be called “Golden Hill,” “Mormon Hill,” “Gold Bible Hill,” “Bible Hill,” and eventually “Hill Cumorah.” Before Joseph obtained the plates there, it had no name and was basically unknown to anyone living there other than a rounded, not very tall hill that was nearly devoid of trees in Joseph Smith’s time and heavily forested today. The hill itself would play a very minor roll in the following events. It was merely a place for the records to be temporarily stored for Joseph to obtain.
    Martin Harris’ road to this western New York area was shorter than that of the Smiths, though it included influences on their immigration to this new country and Martin’s purchase of property in Palmyra where he hired Joseph’s father to dig a well and a cistern.
It was during this event that Joseph Sr. told Martin Harris about the gold plates in 1824, and later Joseph Jr., used a seer stone he had found to locate a lost object for Martin Harris.
    Harris was described by those who knew him well as “industrious, hard-working farmer, shrewd in his business calculations, frugal in his habits, and, what was termed a prosperous man in the world.” He married his cousin Lucy Harris in 1808 and, over the next several decades, managed over 240 acres of productive land. In addition to his farming skills, Martin was a man of varied talent. He won prizes in local fairs, produced textiles, and raised animals. He was also active in civic affairs, participating in local defensive campaigns during the War of 1812 and serving as a town manager and the overseer of highways. It is clear by almost every account that Martin Harris maintained a respectable reputation. In February 1828, Martin traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, a distance of some 275 miles, to become Joseph’s scribe. Four months later in June, they completed the first 116 pages of translation.
 Joseph Smith was devastated when Martin Harris reported to him that he had lost the 116 pages he borrowed

    After losing those 116 pages, Harris continued to support Joseph and the work. By 1829 it was well known in Palmyra that Martin Harris was directly connected with the Restoration and even though he was a Palmyra local with an essentially impeccable character, he was publicly criticized and scorned for this connection, but he remained steadfast, seeing the publication of the Book of Mormon by eventually mortgaging his farm to raise the money to guarantee payment of the money to have it printed.
    Like Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery’s path to this New York area can be traced through generations before his birth; but unlike the Smith family, where financial ruin, unfortunate mishap, and even natural disaster uprooted and moved the family, Oliver’s heritage was moved by different means. William Cowdery, Oliver’s fourth-great-grandfather, was “staunch in his belief of personal religious freedom and the right of free worship," coming to America with the Pilgrim movement in 1630. For several generations, the Cowdery’s made their home in Massachusetts, and then Nathaniel Cowdery moved to Reading, Vermont, in 1786. Nathaniel’s grandson William Cowdery Jr. married Rebecca Fuller and became the father of Oliver Cowdery on October 3, 1806. It is interesting to note that Oliver’s mother, Rebecca Fuller, was the great-granddaughter of John Fuller and Mehitbel Rowley, who were the second-great-grandparents of Lucy Mack Smith (mother of Joseph Smith Jr.). This made Oliver Cowdery and Lucy Mack Smith third cousins, though there is no evidence, that Oliver, was raised in Vermont, and although some of his brothers left the family home in search of better situations in New York, Oliver stayed until 1825, and knew of his family relationship with the Smiths.
    In 1828 Oliver’s brother, Lyman, was hired to teach at a rural school in Manchester, New York, but was unable to fulfill the assignment. He suggested that his younger brother, Oliver, might be given the post, and the trustees of the school—which included Hyrum Smith—approved.
    At this point, Oliver not only had found the road to this New York hamlet, but was himself the master of a schoolhouse located on Stafford Road, only a mile east of the Smith home. With such close proximity, it was only a matter of time before his and the Prophet’s paths intersected.
    While Joseph was in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Oliver was offered a room at the Smith’s home in lieu of charging the Smith children tuition at the school, which was the general custom of the day. In this way, Oliver arrived at a place in time to hear about the plates and the record Joseph was translating.
Most of those who have been a member of the Church for any length of time can recognize in these events how the Lord works in various ways to bring together the people he wants at a time needed, whether to meet and marry, to serve in a needed position, or, as in this case, bring about the restoration. There are no events that take the Lord by surprise—he does not react to situations, but follows the course of his Plan for all mankind, and for the events that unfold surrounding his Church. Thus, events of man do not force his hand, change his Plan, or bring about reaction—what seems like political issues at time shaping the Church to people and even its members, are the same issues that have been enacted on other worlds at other times as the Plan is followed from beginning to end just as it was laid out.
    The Lord needed these people in close proximity to one another that the Book of Mormon and the following restoration could take place. If the Plan had called for another township, another hill, another location, it would not have mattered. What did matter is that all these people were together at the right time in the place chosen, and the result was the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.