Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part IV

Continuing with Dan R. Hender’s article about the Lehi’s landing site at 30º south latitude and his belief that it is not correct and more of myth than truth. Following are more of his opposing points: 
    Hender: “This Chilean landing site places Lehi's party in an arid climate, as we know it today.”
    Response: Not true. 30º South Latitude is, as it has always been and as we know it today, is a Mediterranean climate exactly like the one Lehi left in Jerusalem. In fact, it is the only other place in the entire world that matches perfectly the six parts of a Mediterranean Climate with the Mediterranean area of which Israel is part. In fact, though there are five Mediterranean Climate zones outside the Mediterranean Sea area, only the one in Chile matches all six of the parts of such a climate (climate, plants, temperature, soil, soil group and rainfall). It also has the same ore and metals, and has/had the geographical setting of the scriptural record descriptions.
Left: Matching Climate Locations, showing 12 locations around the world that are either Mediterranean climates themselves (Jerusalem, Chile, southern tips of Africa and Australia, and Southern California), or otherwise associated with different Theory Models of where the Land of Promise is supposed to have ben located. Note only one place matches all of the climate criteria with Jerusalem—that of 30º South Latitude, La Serna, Chile, in Andean South America; Right: A comparison between the five major areas considered to be the Land of Promise and showing 15 descriptions stated in the scriptural record. Note, only one location matches every one—Andean South America
    Hender: “They would be south of any forested lands…
    Response: Again, this is not true. For those unaware, at the 30º south latitude of Chile, it is home to the second largest temperate rainforest in the world, and the most biologically diverse, as well as some distinctive local trees found only in small pockets in the country’s unique ecosystem. According to Chile’s forestry service, Conaf, today about 18% of the country is covered by native forest, with much more having existed before man arrived. While a beautiful hardwood is endemic to central Chilean forests, an area not far from Lehi’s landing site, called the canelo, whose bark, leaves and roots have medicinal properties, and is sacred to Chile’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuche, and to the south of Lehi’s landing area the land is full of forests and trees.
Just to the south of La Serena and covering much of the land southward, are Chilean forests, such as this one, and are home to some of the world’s oldest tallest, and most exceptional tree species
    And while we’re at it, we might suggest that Chile is one of the fastest rising fruit exporters in the world, a more than $4-billion industry, exporting millions of tons of apples, cherries, nuts, avocados, and blueberrie, and along with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and Peru supply about 50% of the non-banana fruit imported into the U.S. annually. In fact, much of the Western U.S. winter fruit comes from Chile.
    Hender: “…having to cross over a 1000-miles desert lands northward to arrive at such in Bolivia and Southern Peru. This includes the 600 mile Atacama desert known as the driest desert and land on earth.”
    Response: As explained earlier (see maps last post), there is no time Lehi or his company, nor Nephi later, and those who went with him, would have crossed the Atacama Desert in their trek northward. This desert is along a 600-mile strip of coastal land. Directly to the east, and paralleling this desert, is the altiplano, a 600-mile-long high plain where there is plenty of water, grasses grow and animals roam.
Hender: “I work at Dugway Utah in the middle of the Western Utah Desert south of the Great Salt Lake and bordering the Salt Flats.”
    Response: There is no connection, comparison or similarity between Dugway, Utah, and La Serena, Chile, but since you bring it up, let’s take a look at the summer and winter temperatures: La Serena has a cool desert climate, and in the summer months there is an absence of precipitation, but with abundant morning cloudiness and drizzles. These dissipate around noon, giving way to clear skies and warm 72 °F days. Compare this to Dugway, Utah, whose summer temps average 74º in May, 85º June, 95º July, 92º August, 81º in September. Winter temps in Dugway are 26º November, 18º December, 16º January, 23º February and 29º March, while in La Serena, the winter temperatures range from 45ºF to 61º, and being located in a coastal zone the minimums and maximums are moderated by the maritime influence and the temperature of the cold Humboldt Current.
Left: Llama running wild in the hills outside La Serena; Right: Horses in Skull Valley
    Hender: As I drive Skull Valley each day there is life everywhere, sagebrush, grasses and noxious weeds all over the place and even some native scrubby scrub-oak trees. It is open range and deer, wild horses, antelope and rancher's cows graze on this western desert land. Birds and insects are everywhere. There are a number of ranch houses, a Goshute Indian reservation, and a one time Polynesian settlement town called Iosepha, not to mention Dugway Proving Grounds out here.
    Response: I have never been to Skull Valley or Dugway, so I am reliant upon posted pictures of the area; however, I believe these are representative of the referred to area. I have taken pics of La Serena and the Valley at 30º south latitude along the Chile coast and placed them beside some from Dugway and Skull Valley. I am not sure why you want to compare the two, but it would seem that La Serena’s Mediterranean Climate is obvious when compared against Dugway’s Desert Climate.
Photos (below) of 30º south latitude La Serena and Valley area (on left) and photos of Dugway and Skull Valley, Utah (on right)
    Hender:“The Atacama is not a 'living desert.' It is a dead, dry land for hundreds of miles and shows no signs of any such thing as previously being forested or having had abundant animal life.”
    Response: Granted. It is a unique desert. But while parts haven’t seen a drop of rain since recordkeeping began, there are animals and more than a million people who live there in coastal cities, mining towns, and fishing villages. There are also farmers who grow olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers with drip-irrigation systems, culling water from aquifers in the northern area of this desert, and toward the eastern foothills, Aymara and Atacama Indians herd llamas and alpacas and grow crops with water from snowmelt streams. Others harvest water with nets they use in thick fog banks that roll in off the Pacific Ocean.

Photos showing the Atacama Desert in bloom, and the other is a Llama living on the Atacama
And snow on the Atacama at San Pedro de Atacama in the southern region of the driest desert on earth.
Harvesting water from snow banks that roll in over the Atacama
    Once again, however, the point of this is that while the Atacama could have been skirted by Nephi and those who went with him, there was no reason for him to travel along the coastal route when the inland altiplano would have been much easier and provided more protection from being followed, and led directly to the area where Nephi settled at the northern end of this altiplano.
(See the next post, “Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part V,” for Hender’s reasons why he says “it does seem to me that the Chilean Landing Site is not correct and more of myth than truth,” and our response and clarification as to why Chile was the site)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part III

Continuing with Dan R. Hender’s article about the Lehi’s landing site at 30º south latitude and his belief that it is not correct and more of myth than truth. Following are more of his opposing points:
    He states further, that “the logic and reasoning of this Book of Mormon landing site does hold water in respect to some of the facts of the matter, yet it does not in others.” He goes on to point out:
    1. In fact in at least one respect the Chilean landing site is the driest fact of the matter on earth as it has to negotiate the Atacama Desert to its north.”
    Response: This would be true, only if a movement north was along the coast, for the Atacama Desert covers a 600-mile strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It covers 41,000 square miles (49,000 square miles when the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included), and most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes, called salares, sand, and felsic lava flows. 
Left: The 251,000-square-mile Rub al’ Khali, Desert, the Empty Quarter, of southern Arabia over which Lehi led his family; Right: The 49,000-square-mile Atacama Desert in northwestern Chile 
    First, let it be remembered that Lehi and his company on their way to Bouintiful had crossed the Rub’ al Khali, the “Empty Quarter,” the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, an area 251,000 square miles. During that time, all the women in the party gave birth to at least one child (1 Nephi 17:1), perhaps including Sariah with either Jacob or Joseph. The lord’s followers have rarely been spared extreme hardships and trials in their being honed to become His people.
Left: Skirting the Atacama Desert to the east, Nephi and his followers would have climbed to the (Right) high plains Altiplano, a lush, green valley that stretches for 600 miles (north-south) that leads a party toward Lake Titicaca and Cuzco beyond 
    Second, when Nephi left his brothers who wanted to kill him, he traveled with “those who would go with him” (2 Nephi 5:6), in a manner to both make it difficult to be followed by Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael, and certainly not in a straight line along the coast where their original camp was located, i.e., “the place of their fathers’ first inheritance” (Alma 22:28), for such would be a simple trail to follow.
    Since Nephi had the Liahona, it stands to reason that he would have been guided through an area conducive to the needs of the group, i.e., drinking water, animals for food, tolerable temperatures, and pleasant passage. There is no place anywhere more beautiful, easy to travel, with plenty of game and water than what is found along the altiplano (high plain) of the Andes, an area of an inland and internal drainage system (endorheism), running from central Chile, western Bolivia, and southern Peru. 
The Altiplano that stretches south of Lake Titicaca, through western Bolivia, and down into Chile to the east of the Atacama Desert is lushly green with lots of animals running wild and a climate conducive to easy travel—the perfect route for Nephi and those who went with him 
    And at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin along the Bolivia-Peru border lies Lake Titicaca (Titiqaqa), the largest lake in South America, and lying at 12,507 feet, the highest navigable lake in the world. At least two-dozen bodies of water around the world are at higher elevations, but all are much smaller and shallower.
The 3,232-square-mile Lake Titicaca around which the ancient culture called Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) flourished for hundreds of years 
    Most archaeologists agree that in the distant past Tiahuanaco was a flourishing port at the edge of the lake, which means that the water has receded almost 12 miles and has dropped about 800 feet since then. All concur that the lake is shrinking, due mainly to evaporation, since five major river systems flow into it along with another 20 or so lesser rivers emptying into the lake, and no rivers flow from it. However, there is another reason for this, which modern science could never accept, and that is, as many older historians explain, that Titicaca was once at sea level and was driven up at the time the Andes rose. 
    According to Clark L. Erickson, of Expedition (Vol 30 No 3), when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they were amazed at the ancient terraces and irrigation canals surrounding the area, but did not notice the fields of raised platforms for planting, which had been abandoned long before they came (and only recently discovered in 1981)—one of the largest fields, Huatta, is 53,000 hectares, with overall prehistoric raised fields covering some 82,000 hectares—about 320 square miles (by comparison, Salt Lake Valley is 500 square miles)
Top: A panorama of ancient raised field remains of the Viscachani Pampa belonging to the residents of Collana Segunda, Huatta, Peru, shows only a small portion of the 82,000 hectares of ancient raised fields in the Lake Titicaca Basin dating back long before the Spanish, long before the Inca, to a prehistoric time showing “Prehistoric Andean Technology." The lighter surfaces are water-filled canals and the darker surfaces are raised fields or drier pampa. The project’s reconstructed raised fields are located in the left center of the photograph (May 1986); Center: Canals were dug in straight lines across the plain in this Suka kollus (camellones) system, which covered such vast areas that they increased the temperatures and prevented the crops from dying off due to frosts, which also increased yields, including two crops per year; Bottom: Platforms and canals each are 30 feet wide, with the canals 3 to 5 feet deep, which collect and store solar energy to prevent frosts, conserve water for use during periodic droughts, and also used for raising fish 
    The ruins around Lake Titicaca of the Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) civilization are among the most amazing in the Andean area, and when coupled with those of Puno on the west of the lake, showing ancient stone docks where thousands of ships once set in, shows conclusively that Lake Titicaca was once at sea level before it was raised upward with the lift of the Andes, during the time of man.
Huge toppled blocks of stone that at one time formed several docks along the lake’s edge, showing anciently the lake covered much more distance; however, the docks are large enough to have serviced thousands of ships loading and off-loading, suggesting that this was actually once a seaport, and that the area was uplifted thousands of feet during a cataclysmic event, such as the raising of the Andes, which watermarks along the surrounding stone cliffs suggest a prior sea level existence 
    At the area called Puma Punku, which is about 1 mile distant from the principal part of the ruins, the gigantic stones are bluish-gray in color and appear to have been "machined," and they have a metallic ring when tapped by a rock. There is also a reddish "rust" or oxidation covering many of the stones. Many of these enormous stone blocks probably have not been moved since they fell thousands of years ago. Archaeologists however
speculate that the stones were dressed, but never erected that the construction for which they were intended was interrupted. It is equally valid, however, to assume that the buildings were completed and then toppled by some natural catastrophe, such as the eruption of the Andes mountain chain or a world-wide deluge. 

    Still another important factor along this line is the ancient cities found beneath the lake. Legends, of course, have persisted over the centuries that there are stone structures beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca, much the same kind as can be found on the lake's shore. 
Top Left: Indians living around Lake Titicaca claim there are lost cities beneath the lake; Top Center: Photo of a man-made structure beneath the surface; Top Right: Jacques Cousteau aboard his boat the Calypso; Bottom: International archaeologists find ancient temple under Lake Titicaca 
    The Indians of this region have frequently recounted this tradition, but until recently there has been no proof of such structures. In 1968 Jacques Cousteau, the French underwater explorer, took his crew and equipment there to explore the lake and search for evidence of underwater construction, that was found and recorded by a team of international archaeologists two years earlier. Although severely hampered in their activities by the extreme altitude, the divers spent many days searching the lake bottom, in the vicinity of the islands of the Sun and Moon, but found nothing man-made. Cousteau concluded the legends were a myth. 
However, in November 1980, the well known Bolivian author and scholar of pre-Columbian cultures, Hugo Boero Rojo, announced the finding of archaeological ruins beneath Lake Titicaca about 15 to 20 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Acosta, a Bolivian port village near the Peruvian frontier on the northeast edge of the lake. Based upon information furnished by Elias Mamani. a native of the region who is over 100 years old, Boero Rojo and two Puerto Ricans cinematographers, Ivan and Alex Irrizarry, were able to locate the ruins after extensive exploration of the lake bottom in the area, while filming a documentary on the nearby Indians. 
    This is merely another example of the lake rising with the Andes during the time of man, and the deep valley between the peaks rising with the ocean waters that rushed in during the cataclysmic actions that took place (see 3 Nephi).
(See the next post, “Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part IV,” for Hender’s reasons why he says “it does seem to me that the Chilean Landing Site is not correct and more of myth than truth,” and our response and clarification as to why Chile was the site)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part II

Continuing with Dan R. Hender’s article about the Lehi’s landing site at 30º south latitude and the additional information he has written about it. 
    While Hender arrived at the 30º south latitude landing site from an impossible direction, he is correct that is where Lehi did land, as we outlined in the previous post. It is also interesting that “there is a quotable statement in a book published in 1882. This book is the Compendium dealing with the doctrines of the gospel compiled by Elder Franklin D. Richards, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and James A. Little a trusted elder in the church. In a section denoted as 'Gems from the History of the Prophet Joseph Smith' the last gem reads:
    “Lehi and his company traveled from Jerusalem to the place of their destination: They traveled nearly a south, southeast direction until they came to the nineteenth degree of north latitude: then nearly east to the sea of Arabia, then sailed in a southeast direction, and landed on the continent of South America, in Chile, thirty degrees, south latitude." (Compendium, SLC, UT, p. 289).
The winds and currents are very specific in the Sea of Arabia and the Indian Ocean, taking Nephi's ship south and southeast into the fast circumpolar current called the West Wind Drift, blown quickly around the globe by the Prevailing Westerlies wind until driven northward into the Humboldt Current
    Before dealing with the authenticity factor, let us consider three things that would not have been known to anyone in North America in 1882, let alone in 1830-1840:
1) Sailing south-southeast away from Arabia would take you on a course that would reach Chile, South America—the only course possible for a sailing ship “driven forth before the wind” upon leaving the south Arabian coast;
2) That any vessel traveling up the coast of South America could land at 30º south latitude. The Chilean coast except for this area and two or three others where a break in the coastline, which makes landing even possible. The rest of the coastline is rocky with steep cliffs;
3) Seeds from Jerusalem would have grown in only a similar Mediterranean Climate—an important issue seldom discussed by Theorists and historians. But when Nephi tells us his Jerusalem seeds grew exceedingly and they were blessed with abundant crops, we need to see where similar climates to Jerusalem exist around the world and only five other locations have such  a Mediterranean Climate: southern tip of Africa and both southern tips of Australia,  central to southern California, and 30º south latitude, La Serena, Chile.
    There is no way these three critically important issues could have been known by Joseph Smith (who is said to have made the statement) or Ralph G. Williams (who wrote it down), or any other North American person of the 19th century, let alone in 1830-1840, or Franklyn D. Richards or James A. Little, in 1882.
Left: Earthrise  over the Moon, December 24, 1968, photo taken by (Right) LtoR: Lovell, Anders, and Borman
    It would be like anyone on Earth knowing what the backside (dark side) of the moon—the hemisphere of the Moon that is permanently turned away from Earth--looked like before it was photographed in 1959, by the Soviet space probe Luna 3, and the first atlas of the far side of the Moon published in 1960 by the USSR Academy of Sciences, and visually seen by Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders of the Apollo 8 mission, which orbited the Moon in 1968.
    People can argue all they want about the authenticity of that written statement on the paper in the possession of Ralph G. Williams, but the idea itself is so bizarre for someone to know about in 1830-1840, that it boggles the mind. How could Ralph G. Williams have known about the importance of 30º south latitude, Chile, to the Book of Mormon? How could he have known it would match so many important descriptions of the Land of Promise?
    What would have caused Williams to pick the 30º south latitude along a Chilean coast that extends north and south just over 2485 miles, much of it towering cliffs where no sailing ship could have landed in 600 B.C. except for a few sandy beach coves, like Coquimbo Bay at 30º south latitude. How could he have known about its singular matching climate along an American west coast of 6,736 miles (southern California to Tierra del Fuego, Chile)? A special climate that matches that of Jerusalem in the country of Chile that has ten different climates with numerous micro climatres, and only one, a very small strip along the coastal area of 30º south latitude, that matches perfectly, including soils and soil groups, with that of Jerusalem?
    How could Williams have known there were two unique animals unknown to Americans, like the llama and alpaca which perfectly match Ether’s description of the cumoms and cureloms (Ether 9:19); or the two unique grains unknown to Americans, quinoa and kiwichi that match Mormon’s neas and sheum so well (Mosiah 9:9)? And how could Williams have known that this area had natural quinine, the only cure for fever (Alma 46:40) in 1840 that came from the chinchona tree bark, unique to this area?
    Consider the lack of landing areas along this 2485 miles of coast, that even today have restricted landing areas used for commercial and even private usage.
Bottom to top: Valdivia (blue arrow), Coquimbo Bay (red arrow), Antofagasta (yellow arrow) and Arica (green arrow)
    The southern most landing place is Valdivia, which has a natural vegetation of temperate rainforests, and has a temperate rainy climate, similar to the windward side of the Olympic Mountains in the pacific Northwest region of North America. It is also very damp, within a series of wetlands and canals from the convergence of the Cruces and Calle-Calle rivers. In 1835, Charles Darwin reported that not much cleared land for agriculture existed in the area, requiring food be imported from nearby areas anciently.
    The next good landing site is Coquimbo Bay (red arrow), an area, including La Serena, with a Mediterranean Climate, warm waters and numerous natural beaches.  It is a unique area along the entire 2485 miles of coastal Chilean shoreline.
    The next is is Antofagasta, the second largest city of Chile, 700 miles north of Santiago, which has a cold desert climate, very humid, with rocky ground that is hard and tough covered with a layer of dense soil with sand and medium-sized rock fragments (clay loam soils type I and II), with a very steep shoreline, with no natural beaches.
    The fourth, is Arica (green arrow),which has a mild desert climate, and is the driest inhabited place on earth, with almost no rainfall (average precipitation 0.03 inches), with high humidity, and sunshine intensity similar to the Sahara desert regions
Examples of the west coast of South America, along the Chilean and Peruvian coast. Note the vast majority of this coast line is steep cliffs with very few natural harbors or landing sites
    It is interesting that along such a lengthy coastline, very few areas would be suitable for landing a large sailing ship like the one Nephi describes building. While there might be a half dozen areas where a ship such as his could have set into, only one area has the climatic conditions that Nephi describes, along with the drop in ocean currents and winds, that would allow a sailing ship “driven forth before the wind” to have affected a landing, especially by a crew of non-mariners.
Top: The natural bay of Coquimbo, a perfect landing site where winds and currents die to almost nothing and (Bottom) where the Mediterranean Climate of the area would be most conducive for “seeds brought from Jerusalem,” another Mediterranean Climate, to grow exceedingly well and produce abundant crops (1 Nephi 18:24) along Coquimbo and La Serena
    Thus, while Frederick G. Williams handwritten note about the directions of Lehi’s voyage, and the location of his landing site are right on to what is discussed in the scriptural record, the source of this note has been highly suspect and discounted by a number of Book of Mormon scholars. While Orson Pratt espoused this idea, the only actual source that even comes close to attributing it to Joseph Smith is this piece of paper written on by President Fredrick G. Williams which was found and given to the Church by his son after Elder Williams died.
    One cannot be surprised that this information is so strongly rejected by people who espouse with such aggressive language that Lehi landed in Mesoamerica, or that the Land of Promise was located in the Great Lakes area, or elsewhere in North America. It is also surprising that while all attention to discredit this statement is directed to whether or not this statement was a revelation, it is interesting that not one person—no, not one—has thought to ask why Williams or Joseph Smith made the statement. Yet, in looking at the statement, it is right on with the scriptural record.
(See the next post, “Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part III,” for Hender’s reasons why he says “it does seem to me that the Chilean Landing Site is not correct and more of myth than truth,” and our response and clarification as to why Chile was the site)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? Part I

I ran across a website recently in which Dan R. Hender wrote regarding a Chilean landing site in which he began by talking about “truth and reason,” that while truth is reason, reason is not always truth, and that “just because something seems logical and reasonable given the known facts, and our reasoning and logic assures our limited academic mentalities of such as truth; when given all the facts of which we are total y unaware, we may be actually dead wrong as to the real truth of the matter.” 
   After such an auspicious beginning, he then goes on to write, as his truth, a vary erroneous belief: “First the logic and reasoning which supports the Chilean Landing Site of Lehi's Book of Mormon Colony in the Americas. Nephi built a 'sailing' ship as it was driven before the wind and they did 'sail.' The Pacific trade winds and currents from the Middle East across the Indian and Pacific Oceans favor such a Chilean landing site in the Americas as being most probable and logical.
“The Seaman’s Guide to the Navigation of the Indian Ocean and China Sea,” W.H. Rosser and J.F. Imray, 1867 (located in the Penobscot Marine Museum—the oldest maritime museum in Maine). A careful look at the prevailing and trade winds and ocean currents shows that they run north and south, and those running to the north curve back to the west, precluding any movement of blue ocean vessels (deep sea sailing ships) from moving in the direction “driven forth before the wind” that Hender claims 
    As a result of these winds and currents, no deep water ship, like Nephi built, capable of sailing blue water—across oceans rather than along then coastal trade routes, would not have “driven forth before the wind” Nephi’s ship eastward from Arabia, but south and later southeast. Nor would seasonal monsoons taken the vessel past India, since these monsoon winds and currents drive into land on the west coast of India or drive a ship southwest away from India.
Two monsoon seasons; Orange arrows shows April to September monsoon blowing into land; the Blue arrows shows November to February monsoon blowing southeast through the Arabian Sea and into the Indian Ocean—the course “Lehi’s Travels—Revelation to Joseph the Seer” states as it curves around the South Indian Ocean Gyre and heads southeast into the Prevailing Westerlies and West Wind Drift
    Finally, the trade routes that so many like to reference, were for coastal trading vessels. Ships that did not go out into deep water, and sail the worlds’ oceans—they were not strong enough to withstand the constant pounding of waves and currents such vessels required to cross the seas. It wasn’t until the age of discovery that ships were built to withstand such pounding.
Map shows the wind driven surface currents that are driven by the trade winds and the mid latitude westerlies, with the surface currents forming large gyres in all the main ocean basins. There are five subtropical gyres; two in the Atlantic and Pacific (north and south of the equator) and one in the South Indian Ocean. Note: the arrows indicate the direction of the main currents. Also Note: These currents in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean flow in opposition to Henlder’s wanting Lehi to sail east
    It should be kept in mind that while coastal vessels did sail eastward from Africa to Indonesia, they did so along the coastal waters where the heavy pounding of deep-sea currents did not exist and where oars could be supplemented when the winds were not favorable, or the vessel could be set in to land during the night. However, as we know from ancient mariner’s reports, logs, and records, it was not until the 15th century onward Age of Discovery that mariners learned how to sail in deep water and coastal areas through tacking and the manipulation of sails—why they had such large crews on those small ships since changing, raising and lower heavy canvas was a herculean job.
Top: Trading route to Indonesia; Middle and Bottom: Types of coastal vessels around the 8th to 10th centuries A.D. Not one could or did stand up to deep sea sailing.
    Historically, square-rigged sailing ships were not replaced until the 2nd Century B.C. in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft; soon after, the first fore-an-aft rigged sailing ship appeared in the Mediterranean Sea (Greco-Roman spritsail). By the 2nd Century A.D., the Mediterranean Sea was filled with fore-and-aft vessels, and according to Lynn White (Diffusion of the Lateen Sail, Medieval Religion and Technology, University of California Press, pp 255-260; 1978), the lateen sail, once thought to have originated in the Indian Ocean by Arabs, has now been shown to have been borrowed from the Portuguese lateen sail of the Mediterranean, which first appeared on the Arab dhow in the Indian Ocean around the early 14th century A.D. Until then, the Indian Ocean vessels were all square-rigged.
The Portuguese main vessel was the lateen-rigged caravel (left) meant for long-distance exploration, and quickly became the workhorse of early ships during the Age of Discovery. As an example, Columbus’ Pinta and the Santa Maria were both highly-maneuverable caravels. But even these had to sail the known ocean currents and winds, thus Columbus did not head straight west from Europe toward America, but dropped down to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa to pick up the southern loop of the North Atlantic Gyre that then took his ships westward across the ocean.
    Evidently, not understanding anyh of this, Hender compounds the problem with the continuation of his statement:
    “Under the normal prevailing status quo of the Pacific Ocean as we understand it, this is a most logical and probable site for Lehi's party to have landed at thirty degrees, south latitude, on the coast of Chile near where La Serena is today.”
    While it is true that this area is the perfect landing sight, it could not be reached b y a ship “driven forth before the wind,” from the north or west—only from the south, coming off the Prevailing Westerlies and West Wind Drift onto the Humboldt (Peruvian) Current. Thor Heyerdah’s Kon-Tiki “drift” voyage showed that the currents moved northwestward off the Peruvian coast into the South Pacific Gyre and either crossed the Pacific toward Australia or swung down, as the Kon-Tiki did, on the westward current.
The trade winds and strong equatorial currents flow toward the west from the Western Hemisphere (South and North America). At the same time, an intense Humboldt (Peruvian) current causes upwelling of cold water along the west coast of South America, which is driven westward by the Peruvian coast jut westward to pick up these currents
    It happens, however, that when the Humbolt (Peruvian) current reaches 30º south latitude (nearing the Tropic of Capricorn or Southern tropic), it dies down to nearly a standstill, as does the wind, with both westerlies and trade winds blowing away from the 30º latitude belt, where the surface winds are light, and air slowly descends to replace the air that blows away. This makes Coquimbo Bay the perfect landing site, and just so happens to be at 30º south latitude, about six degrees shy of the Tropic of Capricorn which, today, is at 23º 26’ 14.400” south of the equator; however, since it moves northward, currently at the rate of 0.37 arcseconds, or 15 meters, per year, in 600 B.C., 2600 years ago, the Tropic of Capricorn was closer to 30º south latitude. Coquimbo Bay, of course, is a coastal strip between La Serena and the Pacific Ocean. 
Image G - Approaching Coquimbo Bay from the south. It is about 205 Nautical Miles from Valparaíso. Except for Valparaíso, Coquimbo is the only natural harbor along the entire coast of Chile until you near the Peru border. Here, a few degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn at the 30º South Latitude where the winds and currents die down and provide a perfect chance for landing a sailing ship "driven forth before the wind" 
    This makes 30 south latitude not only the perfect landing site for Nephi’s ship, but the only location along the coastal area where the winds and currents would have taken his ship that was “driven forth before the wind.”
(See the next post, “Is the Chile Landing Site a Myth? – Part II,” for more on this information and Hender’s statements from the website in which they appeared)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part XX

Here are more comments, questions and criticisms that have been sent in from readers of our blog, along with our responses.  
    Comments #1: ”What's wrong with saying: Here is what we have found so far, as opposed to: this is how it is? Why do the people whom we trust to inform us feel a need to teach us WHAT to think instead of HOW to think?”  Justin
    Response: Your comment was in regard to some articles written on DNA. I’m not sure whether your comment is directed toward those in science who feel they have checked mtDNA back an Eve, or to our writing in opposition to that. As for our writing, it is never our intention to try and tell you how to think, feel or believe. Each person has the Agency to do that on their own. Our writing is meant to provide additional information, generally from the Book of Mormon point of view, for the reader to make up their own mind. As for science, it would appear that people want us to believe certain ways that are far from provable (See the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths)
    Comment #2: Pretty good post. I found your website perfect for my needs. Thanks for sharing the great ideas” Leslie L.
    Response: Always nice to know. Thank you.

Comment #3: “I am looking forward to the day when the large plates become available to the world. The only thing I wonder is if when they become available.. the people who really need to see that the Book of Mormon is indeed a true record.. those people will be dead. I believe it will come "after" the cleansing of the wicked from the earth. And when those plates are given.. it will be for the faithful and a physical confirmation of their faith. At least.. that is what I think” Mr. Nirom
    Response: You might well be correct. At least, the Lord waited until all the children of Israel who feared to enter Canaan, had died off except for Caleb and Joshua, before sending them in to conquer their land.
    It might also be of interest to know that we not only have the Large Plates of Nephi, we do not have the Small Plates of Nephi. What we have is Mormon’s abridgement of the Small Plates, which, as I understand it, is a separate record entirely (see above). He abridged the Large Plates and, after doing so, found the Small Plates, and included them in or with his record (Words of Mormon 1:3-7).
    Comment #4: “Your Posts are so awesome. Is there any chance that Bountiful could be in Central America?” Val S.
Response: Not the two Bountifuls mentioned in the Book of Mormon. One was in the coastal area of what is called today the Sultanate of Oman along the Arabian Peninsula, and the other was in the area of northern Peru around the border of Ecuador (see the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica for a full explanation of that location). Central America, including Mesoamerica, would have been the location of the emigrants sailing northward in Haggoth’s ships (Alma 63:6-7).
    Comment #5: “Is the exact location of the narrow pass where Huayna Capac won his battle known today?” George W.
    Response: I have read Pedro de Cieza Leon’s translated account of this and it does not give sufficient information for location. He was, after all, a soldier, repeating the stories he had heard during his wars in the area from 1536 to 1548, and when he finally reached Lima and began his writing career. His works, however, are considered important because of his detailed descriptions of geography, ethnography, flora and fauna—he was the first European to describe some native Peruvian animal species and vegetables. The first part of his Chronicles of Peru (Primera Parte) was not published until 1553, two years after he returned to Seville, Spain. He died the following year and his other three volumes did not see publication until translated by Sir Clements Markham in 1871, who was an English geographer, explorer, and writer.
The personal experiences of Markham (left) in Peru were limited to travel between Cuzco and Lima in 1852-1853, and again in 1859-1861 when he spent his time involved in the collection of cinchona plants and seeds during a war between Bolivia and Peru. He later spent much time in India, both with the cinchona plantations he developed there and involved in the British attack on Magdala, and later still in his voyages to the Arctic. In between these adventures, in 1871, Markham translated de Cieza Leon’s other three volumes. How much he actually knew about what he translated is unknown, but his interest in Peru seems to have been to steal cinchona seeds and plants out of the Andes for commercial purposes.
    It was Markham who translated Leon’s The War of Las Salinas, The War of Quito, The War of Chupas, while Harriet de Onis translated The Incas of Pedro de Cieza de Leon, and Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook, who edited and translated The Discovery and Conquest of Peru.
Top: Looking eastward from the coast over the 26 mile stretch. Note the hills to the right foreground and the tall, steep Andes in the background; Middle Left: The Andes rise high and steep; Middle Right: There are “passes” through this area; Bottom: More passes flanked by the mountains to the east 
    As to this pass, the area between Guayaquil Bay and the Andes east of Port Balao is rather narrow, about 26 miles wide, and a little longer in length. It is a level to hilly area sandwiched between the water and steep mountains, with several Canyons or passes today. There seems no way to determine from Leon’s writings, which pass Huayna Capac brought his army to quell the rebellion. It might be that in Leon’s time it was so obvious, that he did not bother describing it; however, we will never know.
    Comment #6: “It surprises me that no one seems to understand that the narrow neck is not necessarily an isthmus but a mountain pass through the narrow wilderness (mountain range) that runs east and west separating the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla” Don
Response: It is called an Isthmus today for two reasons: 1) Mesoamericanists first began using that term to support their view of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as their narrow neck of land, and 2) because Mormon tells us it ran between the East Sea and the West Sea (Alma 50:34). In addition, Mormon called it a small “neck” (Alma 22:32) and “narrow neck” (Alma 63:5) as did Ether (Ether 10:11). The point is, the “neck” ran north and south, connecting the separated Land Northward from the Land Southward (Alma 22:32; 63:5), thus the land on the northward was called Desolation and the land on the southward was called bountiful (Alma 22:31).
Comment #7: “And I Mormon do not write but a hundredth part. Just because it's not recorded doesn't mean the possibilities of other things. It's not black and white. I bet my bottom dollar a believer in Christ besides Moroni was overlooked”
    Response: First of all, Moroni says that “because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2) and also “And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed” (Mormon 8:2). Since Moroni said “I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life” (Moroni 1:3), it would seem likely that he was not able to go and see what happened to the Nephites, nor would he have been able to ask the Lamanites, etc. And since there was a civil war between the Lamanites “and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one know the end of the war” (Mormon 8:8), and some thirty years later, “the wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves” (Moroni 1:2), it is not likely he was in any proximity to them to have overheard such a boast.
Therefore, one can only conclude that the Spirit told him this information, and what did the Spirit tell him? Moroni says: “and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone” (Mormon 8:3), and “The Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more” (Mormon 8:7).
    As far as I am concerned, the Spirit told Moroni and he told us. He was the lone survivor. So, from my point of view, it is black and white, and you would lose your bottom dollar—which is what comes of gambling anyway.

Friday, April 18, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part XIX

Here are more comments, questions and criticisms that have been sent in from readers of our blog, along with our responses.  
   Comment #1: “Hi, Del. I have been reading your posts for sometime and wondering if you could share anymore about Chan Chan. I noticed at least one article that mentions it as being in the Nephite territory and its massive walls were a great example of the fortifications needed to protect the Nephites from invasion, but do you have any ideas or care to speculate what city it may have been? It is said to be the largest pre-Colombian ruins in all of South America. I would love to hear your perspective” Val S.
There are numerous ancient ruins in this area. This is Caral, considered the major complex of allthese ruins around Trujillo. Note in the top photo, lower left, the size of people. The ruins are massive
Chan Chan is a unique structure in this area. Note the extremely tall, highly decorated walls. In the bottom photo, not another complex in the background as it rises far above the surrounding area
    Response: Chan Chan is an ancient pyramid complex built near Caral in the Trujilo Valley along a desert strip about 20 to 100 miles wide that runs between the Pacific Ocean and the western slopes of the Andes, and criss-crossed by short rivers which start in the rainier mountains and provide a series of green and fertile areas. The city includes ten walled cuidadelas (citadels) surrounded by 50 to 60-foot high walls, spanning a distance of about 12 square miles—by comparison medieval London covered only 1.12 square miles, and the Old City of Jerusalem, 100 A.D., was 0.35 square mile.
It is interesting that its tallest walls surrounding these fortresses are on the south and west sides of the city, which would have been facing toward the movement northward of the Lamanite armies—the only entrance to the citadels is from the north. These walls are adobe brick covered with a smooth surface into which intricate designs are carved, such as crabs, turtles, nets for catching sea monsters, birds, fish and small mammals. Such carvings at times have been depicted as talisman meant to protect from, or frighten away, an enemy. If you have not seen it, it is worth the trip; however, keep in mind that tour guides there ignore the fortress and defensive properties of this site and try to convince tourists of its peaceful and social history.
Its location would place it along the coast somewhere between the city of Zarahemla and the city of Bountiful. The area with these massive cities grouped together might suggest the northern Capitol of Bountiful, but it is too far south, and seems to be located in the area that is referred to by Mormon as the unnamed land that borders Bountiful (Helaman 4:5; 3; Nephi 3:23). Unfortunately, not much is recorded in the scriptural record of this west coast area north of Zarahemla, and no name is given to this land that lay between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Bountiful.
Comment #2: I think there is a lot to the idea that Sherem was an early Mulekite contact” Mike J.
    Response: The following is abridged and reprinted from a series of articles on Sherem that appeared here in these posts in May of 2010. “As stated in our last post (“Another Look at Numbers,” May 8, 2010), by the time Jacob begins his record, it was 55 years after Lehi left Jerusalem (Jacob 1:7), Nephi was about 80 and there were four Nephite tribes: Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, and Zoramites, along with three Lamanite tribes: Lamanites, Lemuelites and Ishmaelites (Jacob 1:13). Altogether, there would have been over 200 Nephites and maybe as many as 250 or more Lamanites.
    “When Nephi dies (Jacob 1:12), he is replaced by a king, who, in turn, is replaced by the second king, during which time the people began to be hard-hearted and indulged in wicked practices, such as desiring many wives and concubines (Jacob 1:15), and hunted gold and silver and were lifted up in pride (Jacob 1:16). Consequently, in the second generation after Nephi, during the reign of the second king, there would have been between 400 and 500 Nephites (four generations from Lehi—Jacob was actually by age, a second generation from Lehi).
    “At this time, the Nephites were about the size of a large Ward in the U.S. in our day. Are there members in your Ward (or small community area that you don’t know? Or want to avoid? Or not get into a lengthy discussion with?
    “Many claim that Sherem was not a Nephite for “he came among them” and because “he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people” (Jacob 7:4), and that “he sought much opportunity that he might come unto” Jacob (Jacob 7:3). Yet, none of this suggests he was not a Nephite. As an example: 1) "came among them," might mean nothing more than Sherem at that time decided to go among the Nephites and try to pervert their belief in God (which he did with many); 2) "had a perfect knowledge of the language," merely means that he could present his perverted message with convincing clarity; 3) "much opportunity to see Jacob," he tried unsuccessfully to get an audience with the king. Obviously, in a community of some 400 to 500 people, with some of these Nephites living in outlying areas or separate villages, “coming among “ Jacob’s people would not denote a non-Nephite, nor would having “a perfect knowledge” of the language of the people mean anything other than he spoke fluently, and with “much flattery” and with “much power of speech.” He was, in fact, a con man whose soul purpose was to “lead away much of the people that they pervert the right way of God and keep not the law of Moses” (Jacob 7:7).
    “When I was growing up, living in the same house and community for many years, there was a man who lived in the middle of the block, his house set back off the street much further than the others, with an imposing fence around it. None of my friends nor I knew anything about him, had never seen him, yet we all thought him strange and one to be avoided, which we did with extreme care.
    “When I was in the mission field in the bible belt of Oklahoma, there were people who constantly wanted to have an argument and confrontation with LDS people who chanced their way. They were a very contentious and belligerent sort, who were quick to judge and dismiss all evidence for other beliefs but did not hold their own standards to their beliefs. They took great delight in belligerently shouting other ideas down. After a while, there were some you simply avoided and made sure you did not cross their path.
Perhaps when Sherem “came among them,” Jacob was not interested in debating religion with him and was not willing to meet with him and his apostate ideas; however, after Sherem had an impact on several Nephites’ beliefs, Jacob agreed to meet with him
    “If I had been Jacob, I can see where I would have avoided Sherem as much as possible. It is not strange for such a happening, at least not to me. Finally, though, when you are the leader, you have to take the bull by the horns and stand up to the satanic attacks one levels at you and testify of the truth. This Jacob finally did (Jacob 7:8). It is always amazing that from such normal happenings, the so-called learned can find fodder to support their outlandish ideas that run contrary to the scriptural record.
    If Sherem was a Mulekite, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest such. Just because he was a heretic, and guided by Satan, does not mean he was not a Nephite. The scriptural record is full of Nephites who defected over to the enemy, and who sought to destroy the Nephite nation.
    Comment #3: “Ammoron himself claims to be a descendant of Zoram: Alma 54:23-24 'I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought out of Jerusalem. And behold now, I am a bold Lamanite; behold, this war hath been waged to avenge their wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government; and I close my epistle to Moroni.' How can you say he was a Nephite?” Mike J.
Response: We have what appears at first glance an interesting conflict of information when Ammoron refers to himself as a descendant of Zoram, who Nephi led out of the city of Jerusalem and ended up joining the Lehi colony in their journey to the Land of Promise. So let us examine the overall information. First of all, Ammoron’s brother was Amalickiah (Alma 52:3), who was a Nephite by birth (Alma 49:25) both of whom were Nephite defectors who joined the Lamanites and both became king over the Lamanites (Alma 48:2; 52:3). Now, if Amalickiah was a Nephite by birth, then his brother, Ammoran, would also be a Nephite by birth. Thus both men were Nephites, not Zoramites. It should be kept in mind here that while Sam’s posterity were joined with Nephi’s (2 Nephi 4:11), and not ever mentioned separately afterward, as also were the Mulekites at the time of king Mosiah (Mosiah 25:13), Zoram’s posterity were always mentioned separately when a breakdown of the Nephites was given (Jacob 1:13; 4 Nephi 1:36; Mormon 1:8).
    Now, since I always take the scriptural record as being 100% accurate, then we are faced with looking elsewhere for an answer. And that lies in the assumption that Ammoron was lying when he wrote to Moroni in an attempt to create and justify a cause for his attacks. Ammoron refers to himself as both a Zoramite and a Lamanite, when in reality he was a Nephite defector. Moroni, angry at Ammoron for his lying, knew very well “that Ammoron had a perfect knowledge of his fraud” and Moroni also knew that “Ammoron knew that it was not a just cause that had caused him to wage a war against the people of Nephi” (Alma 55:1). Keep in mind that Ammoron and his brother, Amalickiah, were both liars from the beginning (Alma 47:30, 35; 48:7; 55:1).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part XVIII

Here are more comments, questions and criticisms that have been sent in from readers of our blog, along with our responses.  
    Comment #1: “Your post on The Book of Abraham and the Facsimile Image-Part IV, was very good” Bumbu P B
    Response: I’m glad you enjoyed it. And thank you for the suggestions of more info on the subject.
    Comment #2: “Did you not read the next page of that pretend article about Lehi where the anti-Mormon author said he made up the whole thing to mock Mormon's? There is no need for rebuttal, just a need to warn people” Thomas W.
Response: My grateful thanks to you. I wrote those articles for three reasons, one to send to Richard Packham (left), who wrote the article under the name of L. Dwayne Samuelson, and who, by the way, left the LDS Church in 1958 when he was 25 years old, and later founded the Exmormon Foundation (2001); and also to show how any erroneous information about the Book of Mormon Land of Promise can easily be rebutted, whether spoof, real, or otherwise, and finally as a point to Mesoamericanists, such as John L. Sorenson, who believes Lehi actually traveled across the Pacific somewhat in this manner, as does George Potter.
    When the first five articles were finished, they were forwarded to Packham’s website. My final article on “Was this Lehi's Route Across the Pacific? – Part VI” was then set aside awaiting a reply—which, unfortunately, never came. In the meantime, with Christmas and the holidays, etc., I forgot all about it even afterward because of the amount of mail we get and questions asked, each new request supplanting the older ones. Not until I was checking my comments page on the website for any really old responses I had missed, which I do occasionally, and found your pointed reply—more than a year later!
    So with egg on my face, let me answer your comment with a condensed version of that long overdue post:
    “In the past five posts, we have taken a moment to show that such folly as Lehi crossing the Pacific and there being any proof left along the way is not only idle speculation, but so improbable as to not warrant a comment. However, as one will find in this wild world of theorists, there is always a wild idea that ignores completely the scriptural record and, in this case, ocean currents and winds that drive them. Some are so wild and far out, that it occasionally catches people’s imagination, even one as dumb as this one.
The red line is the island-hopping path across the Pacific many Theorists attribute to the Lehi voyage. However, as can be seen, the winds and currents (yellow lines) run contrary to that path, keeping any ship “driven forth before the wind” from taking any similar path
Lehi’s actual course, consistent with winds and currents, is shown in red. After sailing with the winds and currents away from Arabia and across the Arabian Sea, their ship picked up the western edge of the Indian Ocean Gyre, swining it southeast and into the wind of the Prevailing Westerlies and the West Wind Drift Current, a fast-moving circumpolar current that circles the globe. Upon reaching the South American shelf, the northern edge of this current is pushed northward along the coast in the Humboldt (Peruvian) Current to where the winds and currents die down around the 30º south latitude and a landing could be achieved
    “Yet, Lehi did cross an ocean to get to the Land of Promise. John L. Sorenson paid little attention to how Lehi crossed the Pacific, but George Potter was quite specific, using nearly Packham’s exact course to take Lehi to South America. So where did Lehi cross?
    “L. Dwayne Samuelson suggested island-hopping across the southern Pacific Ocean. But who is Samuelson? What research did he do? How much does he really know? Did anyone reading his article look him up? Shame on you if you did not.
    “Why, L. Dwayne Samuelson is none other than a Book of anti-Mormon and LDS critic, making fun of Mormons and their many attempts to show proof of the Book of Mormon. In his own words, he states: “The article "Lehi In the Pacific" is pure bunk. I happen to know this, because I wrote it. I made it up. There is no such person as L. Dwayne Samuelson. If there is, I apologize to him for using his name. I wrote the article in about four hours, using nothing but maps of southeast Asia and the Pacific and a good dictionary of biblical Hebrew.
    “My purpose was to show how easy it is to construct ‘evidence’ for the Book of Mormon from superficial similarities in words and names, such as Mormon apologists continue to do. I submit that my phony correspondences between various names in my article are just as convincing and just as valid as those proposed by the scholars at FARMS and BYU. Knowing that my article is a spoof, I am sure they would find many valid objections to my methodology and my evidence. But their (valid) objections to my "evidences" are the same objections any scholar would justifiably raise against their claims about ‘Nehem’ and the ‘people of Lihy.’
    “Do the ‘amazing similarities’ I present in my article prove that the Book of Mormon is true? Of course not! The Book of Mormon is still a fictional work of the 19th century. It is not history. I have no doubt, however, that some Mormons reading this article will accept it as genuine proof that the Book of Mormon is historical.”
    So Packham tried to pull the wool over our eyes!
    Of course, anyone, and I mean anyone, who accepted such ridiculous reasoning as was used in Packham/Samuelson’s article as reality and proof of any kind of Lehi’s voyage, is simply both ignorant of the scriptural record, and the facts surrounding Nephi’s 2500-year-old journey.
    I reprinted the article and responded to each point to show two things: 1) Any inaccurate description of Book of Mormon events are easily recognized, and 2) they are easily explained and countered. I also wrote the articles to help any who might have been swayed by the ideas and “facts” presented to show that they would not stand up to even the most cursory reading, let alone a serious examination—as do all such ideas not founded upon the scriptural record as it was written and translated.
And so it is with all theories about the Book of Mormon Land of Promise that stray from the scriptural record. While I am an historian, researcher and writer, I am also a very big supporter of truth and the Book of Mormon, and of all those who engraved the plates that Joseph Smith accurately translated. One can stand by every word found on those pages, for the content and meaning make up the most accurate book ever written.
    We do not need to go outside those pages to try and prove anything about the writings or Mormon’s descriptions. They stand on their own. If someone doesn’t think so, then they need to do more reading, more research and increase their knowledge and understanding. Sooner or later, all that Mormon abridged will stand upon their own merits. When Mormon said they had horses, then know they had horses, even when no remains of such had ever been found. Sooner or later. Then, when the time is right, the Lord allows additional information to come forth and, lo and behold, horse remains are found in the Americas, specifically in Andean South America, along with elephants, etc.
    It is not the Book of Mormon that is on trial here. It is those who read it. May I in all honesty and fervor testify to you that every word in that book is the Word of God as it was written in the time of the Nephites and has come forth in our day.
    Comment #3: “Hi Del ~ I have been a fan of your blog for a couple years and recently went to Peru as part of a humanitarian trip and as part of that was able to visit some of the sites. I'm already looking forward to another trip where I can really spend time there. Anyway, after the trip my folks are now interested in going to Peru and I told them they should see if you are planning a trip anytime soon. Not sure if you do group tours, but if so they would be interested in visiting with you about a trip together to have you tell them about the sites rather than some other "typical" guide. Do you do this? Would you consider doing this?” Darryl B.
    Response: Thank you for your confidence and interest. However, I have never taken groups to, or been a guide for people in, South America, it is not among the things I want to accomplish in my work with the Book of Mormon Land of Promise. I don’t object to those who do, however, making commercializing my work would lessen the importance I attach to the Book of Mormon. Besides, at my age now, I couldn’t get a third of the way up Machu Picchu  :)
    Comment #4: “Pretty good post. I found your website perfect for my needs. Thanks for sharing these great ideas” Leslie L.
    Response: Always nice to know. Thank you.