Thursday, October 4, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part II

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first comment was answered in the previous post, the second and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #2: "Mr. DowDell, I'm reading your "Lehi Never Saw MesoAmerica" and find it fascinating. Thank you. I have a question. In Section II Chapter 1 you state that the world is just 13,000 years old. I'm wondering how you came to that conclusion as you don't cite any scientific studies on the subject. If you have already addressed this question here in your blog I apologize I was not able to find it. Thank you. Melissa”
Response: First of all, I rarely cite scientific studies or references in these posts because the space is far too short; however, just about all areas I write about are also found in my various books listed on this website. For those dealing with scientific areas, the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths is well documented with 1354 references cited in 15 chapters and 9 appendices (560 pages) which, I believe, is one of the most referenced books on any subject, let alone one dealing with the material in it. The book you are reading, Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, is also thoroughly documented. As for the website, the issue of the 13,000 years has been covered before, as well as recently (See specifically the recent posts beginning September 20, “Insertion into the Solar System Part I,” and the following two posts—you might also check out the dozen or so posts before September 20 for additional information about the subject).
Now, as for your question, in additon to the posts mentioned above, it is covered thoroughly in Chapter 12 covering 26 pages with 160 references cited on 12 pages in Scientific Fallacies—as you can see, a hard matter to cover and cite in the course of these limited-space posts. The very short answer is that the scriptural record tells us in four different locations (plus several other support comments) that one day to the Lord (Kolob) is a thousand years on Earth; the Earth was created in 7 periods or days of the Lord’s time (7,000 years) and we have been upon it now roughly 6000 years, which equals 13,000 years. This concept is well stated and cited in the above referenced book. The reason Scientific Fallacies was written and included in the series on the Book of Mormon, is to show that the events described, the location, the earth science involved, is, in part, dependent upon whether one looks at the Earth as being man’s belief of 4.55 billion years old, or looks at it the way the Lord has described its organization to us. If one accepts the scientific fallacies regarding radiocarbon dating and long period time clocks, geologic epochs and the geologic column, the Big Bang and the expanding universe, organic evolution and all the other extreme anti-God attitudes of science (which the book Scientific Fallacies shows their errancy), then 13,000 years is an untenable position—it is a matter of knowledge, which the book shows how errant science is on their most cherished age beliefs.
Comment #3 “Del...I agree [in] part. However, Joseph Smith said the stories in the Book of Mormon took place in Guatemala. And that Palenque was a Book of Mormon City. At the time he said that the war with Mexico had not happened yet so Palenque was still in Guatemala. I think if you look east to the Rio Dulce River as the River Sidon and Zarahemla in that area...and Hagoth sailing north to the Mississippi River, Hopewell? Lake Isabel and the surrounding mts. form a natural barrier or narrow neck dividing North and South, look at Google Earth and see what you think. Eric Towner.”
Response:  For whatever it is worth, I have thoroughly studied all the areas people have suggested for the Land of Promise, including not only Mesoamerica, but the Great Lakes, Eastern U.S., heartland, and the Mississippi areas, as well as Baja California, the Malay Peninsula, and one view in Eastern Africa, and one, if you can believe it, in Hawaii. In my nearly twenty-five years working in this field I have read everything available, said, or attributed, to Joseph Smith and other brethren and General Authorities regarding the geographical location of the Land of Promise.
First of all, it should be noted that Brigham Young, as well as recent church leaders, have made it quite clear that neither Joseph Smith, nor any other has ever stated where the Book of Mormon lands were located as an official statement or stand of the Church. In fact, the Church denies outright having a view on any location.
First of all, Joseph Smith never said the Book of Mormon stories took place in Guatemala or Mesoamerica. The incident to which you refer, was about Joseph Smith, after reading the book written by the adventurer John Lloyd Stephens, “Incidents of Travel in Central America,” who traveled to Mesoamerica and described the Mayan ruins, held  Stephens’ work in high regard and recommended it. His statements later were more to show a connection between ancient Western Hemisphere antiquities and the Nephite events in the Book of Mormon. The fact that Aztec, Mayan, and Incan ruins were all Nephite is a fact I have written several posts about and is made quite clear in the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica, and was touched on in the article you read “Where Did Hagoth’s Emigrants Land?” I think the point that we need to keep in mind is that the Nephites and Lamanites occupied not only the western coastal plain of the Andean area (northern Chile, Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador and southern Colombia), but also Central America, specifically the area of Guatemala and Mexico, as well as the North America. By the way, in addition to Guatemala, Joseph Smith is said to have claimed that Lehi landed along the 30º south latitude in Chile, and that the area of Illinois, etc., was the Nephite Plains, and that Zelph, the white Lamanite who lived at the time of Onandagus who was a prophet known from the east coast to the Rocky Mountains. Another point to keep in mind, is the context in which such comments are made. The entire Western Hemisphere is the Land of Promise; however, only the Andean area is the location mentioned in the Book of Mormon—a subject I have written three books about and over 800 posts on this website.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part III,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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