Friday, October 5, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part III

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first three comments were answered in the previous two posts, the fourth and additional comments are answered beginning below: 
Comment #4 “Great post on “With Seeds of Neas and With Sheum.” Miguel.
Response. Thank you for your kind words.
Comment #5 “You might be interested in an article titled The Modern Day Gadianton Golden Boy. Ilyn Kwi Lavanway.”
Response. While this has nothing directly to do with the location of the Book of Mormon, it certainly hits the point with the first 12 chapters of Helaman. Secret combinations are as old as Cain, and in the Book of Mormon, are the main reason for the demise and annihilation of the Nephite Nation, as well as the Jaredite civilization before it. And if we are not very careful, it could be the demise of America since these secret combinations seem to be alive and well all about us. It is interesting you mention this, I just taught three Gospel Doctrine lessons in my Ward regarding Helaman and the secret combinations.
Comment #6. “The [Mississippi] river was not wide two thousand years ago. There were rapids in the mississippi river just north of keokuk iowa, that current dams cover. The land is Not flat as a pancake. I have to travel up a HILL to return to my home. Obviously you know NOT what you speak about. Robin.”
Response: Two thousand years ago no one was around to know about the Mississippi River. In 12 A.D., or thereabouts, archaeologists can only consider scenarios of ancient peoples in the Americas. What existed on the Mississippi is anyone’s guess, especially since the Mississippi has changed drastically over the centuries, as well as in modern times. As late as the 20th century, pilots and ship captains along the Mississippi had to be careful of snags and running aground when sailing along the Mississippi River, especially at night since the waters could change course during the day. As for being narrow, there is no geologic or historical factors to suggest the river was narrow other than at its headwaters. In fact, it is considered by everyone who writes about it as being a “barrier for land travel.” What was east was east, and what was west was west for migratory issues. As far as rapids are concerned, it would be a desperate army that would seek to cross a river among rapids. Having commanded troops, it would be foolhardy to endanger your army in crossing rapids unless there was a mighty good reason—but be it known that any commander would realize that in so doing, he would lose a portion of his troops. I have traveled the Mississippi from Minnesota to New Orleans, and where it is mostly flat along the banks (most of the way), it is hard to see any reason why it might have been narrower, especially when it did not have to cut its way through, but meandered along the lowlands. In addition, the Great Lakes area has always been a major water area, and the Mississippi river basin (drainage basin), one of the three largest in the world, has always been necessary as water moved from high ground to the ocean, and in ancient times, drained the glacial melting of the ice over most of the north.
It is interesting you mention Keokuk, Iowa. My wife and I spent some time there and across the river in Nauvoo this past year. Got eaten alive by the mosquitoes at the Pageant, too. However, I have to disagree with you about the flatness of the area. If you call a little ripple in the road of ten or twenty feet in elevation a hill, fine. However, the area around Keokuk is “as flat as a pancake.” We showed pictures to back up our original article, and I will include a few more, and by the way, since the issue was over mountains (not hills), perhaps you might want to come west where real mountains exist (I live at 6000 feet, with mountain peaks as high as 11,000 feet looking down on us (Brian Head is 11,307 feet, with 21 peaks over 10,000 feet in the state). And just to be on the same page, in the entire state of Iowa, which covers 56,276 square miles, the highest point in the entire state is Hawkeye Point on the Sterler Farm in Osceloa County, which stands at 1,670 feet above sea level; the lowest point in the state is the Mississippi River at 480 feet above sea level, which means there is a swing in elevation of only 1190 feet across over 56,000 square miles—I believe most people would call that about as “flat as a pancake” as a state in the United States gets. To state it differently, the entire state is divided into three basic areas: 1) Young Drift Plains, northern and central Iowa, mostly flat, fertile lands; 2) Dissected Till Plains, southern Iowa extending northward, with low rolling hills and bluffs 100 to 300 feet high; and 3) Driftless Area; northern Iowa, paralleling the Mississippi River, with rugged hills and cliffs, but mostly a flat area (see image below).
The Driftless Area of Iowa. A 100’ bluff in foreground and “flat as a pancake” in the background, with nothing in the area over 300’ high
The area of Keokuk (foreground) is 571 feet in elevation, looking across the Mississippi into Illinois (Hamilton and Nauvoo is to the left of the picture on the far side of the river). Note how flat everything is
The area in the far southeast of Iowa, near the Missouri and Illinois borders. This is the area the article was written about that Robin is criticizing, showing there are no mountains as illustrated in the Book of Mormon south of (their) Zarahemla
Northeast Iowa is also flat as a pancake; part of the Young Drift Plains of northern and central Iowa
Illinois, across the river from Iowa, is even flatter, with its highest point at 1235 feet, and lowest 279 feet, its variance over 55,593 square miles is only 956 feet, with a mean elevation for the state of 600 feet above sea level. I may not know of which I speak, as you pointed out, however, the numerous pictures as well as my own travels through eastern and southeastern Iowa are pretty specific.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part IV,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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