Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part XI

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first thirty-five comments were answered in the previous ten posts, the thirty-sixth and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #36 If polygamy was officially re-instituted by the Mormon Church, how would your wife feel about you taking another woman?” Sharon R.
Response: Interestingly enough, my wife has often said she will be fine with that—it is me that would not like it. However, in the eternities, that is the way of it.
Comment #37 “I understand that DNA tests of American Indians show they are descended from Asia.” Albert
Response: More correctly, the DNA markers of American Indians are more closely aligned to Asians. One answer might be found in a study of 131,060 Icelanders whose ancestors were known by their record. But research into their DNA couldn’t prove that their ancestors existed 150 years earlier based on tests of the Y-chromosome (from the father) and the mitochondrial DNA (from the mother). How then could scientists expect the people in the Book of Mormon to leave a genetic imprint on their descendants—the markers simply disappear over time. In addition, the Book of Mormon doesn’t contain enough genetic data to work with. For example, the females in the Book of Mormon inherited their DNA from the wife of Ishmael, an important figure early in the Book of Mormon; however, we. know nothing about her. Another answer, and one I personally favor, is that we only have Lamanite descendants to measure (American Indians) and since the Lord had to alter the DNA of the Lamanites when he changed their skin coloring and features, why would we expect any DNA match at all?
Comment #38 How could the Jaredites have brought honey bees to the Land of Promise when scientists have demonstrated that honey bees were first brought to the New World by Spanish explorers in the fifteenth century?” Marcus
Response: This is a rationale used for numerous things, including animals, plants, and skills; however, science does not know what existed in the entire Western Hemisphere at the time the Spanish invaded. The conquistadors reached only very small areas of Mexico, Central America and South America. These vast lands were never researched, investigated, or analyzed by the Spanish who were basically only interested in gold and riches. It is difficult to imagine that anyone can say it was the Spanish who introduced things into the New World when the Spanish and their followers for hundreds of years only occupied somewhere about 5% of the Western Hemisphere. Science and other historians always make this claim, because as far as they were concerned, there was no way any of the Old World animals, plants, etc., could have reached the Americas except what the Spanish and later Europeans brought here. It is a rather arrogant attitude, but one that permeates almost all scientific thinking on the matter, and especially critics of the Book of Mormon.
Comment #39 Why does the Book of Mormon contradict what the Bible says regarding the confusion of tongues. The Bible says that God confused “the language of all the earth” at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:9), yet the Book of Mormon contends that the language of Jared, his brother, as well as their friends and family members “were not confounded” (Ether 1:33-37). Omar
The people of Shinar did not believe the Lord’s promise that he would not destroy and earth again by flood and joined with Nimrod in building a tower toward heaven
Response: I don’t see this as a contradiction. The Lord confounded the language of those building the tower, who were the ones being addressed in Genesis: “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, "Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:5-9). It seems you are confusing those who built the tower and being discussed with every single soul that spoke one language addressed in Genesis 11:1. It seems unlikely that those in the direct priesthood descendant line of Noah would be involved in building a tower to heaven in order to escape God’s future judgments. On the other hand, Jared and his brother lived in that area, and Jared (not the one in commune with the Lord) feared that he, his brother and direct friends (22 other families) would also be part of this language confusion. The passages in Ether 1:33 shows that the people building the tower had their language confounded and were scattered upon the face of the earth. The numbers of people so involved is not known, but it had to have been in the thousands, for they had succeeded in building a great city and a great tower. The fact that the Lord spared 24 families from his wrath did not alter that fact. Obviously He had something in mind for them different than all the others—not an unusual scenario for the direct Priesthood lineage. Later, Lehi and Ishmael and their families were spared the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity; earlier Noah and his family were spared the destruction that befell the entire earth, and earlier still, the righteous were removed into the city of Enoch and separated from the evilness that had spread across the earth. The fact that the righteous in Enoch’s time, and the saving of Noah’s family, did not alter the punishment that befell the entire earth; nor did Lehi’s leaving Jerusalem alter the fate of that city and those in it; nor did sparing the 24 Jaredite families alter the confounding of tongues and scattering of the people from the tower of Babel.
Comment #40 “In the Book of Mormon the name Christian appears in about 73 B.C. (Alma 46:13, 15), yet, the Bible clearly reveals that the disciples of Christ “were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26) in about 40 A.D., a difference of over 100 years. Which account are people to believe? After all, according to you Mormons, both books are inspired.” Madelline
Response: At the time under discussion, the people of Jerusalem (Bible) knew nothing of the Nephites in the Americas (Book of Mormon), and the Nephites knew nothing of those in Jerusalem. We are not talking about a conflict, difference, or lack of inspiration, but two entirely different civilizations, each with their own records, own religious history, and own names, words, cities, and descriptions, each evolving without knowledge of the other. The Nephites knew about the coming birth of the Messiah and Savior of the world—Jesus Chris—as early as about 600 B.C. (1 Nephi 10:4). During Alma’s time when he established churches, the people took upon themselves the name of Christ (Alma 1:19; 4:13-14), and were called Christians “because of their belief in Christ.” It would not have mattered to the Nephites in the Western Hemisphere what date a term showed up in the Eastern Hemisphere—there was no knowledge or communication between them.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part XII,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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