Thursday, October 18, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part XIII

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first forty-three comments were answered in the previous twelve posts, the forty-fourth and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #44 “I also want to state in addition, the very content of the Book of Mormon makes it impossible to accept it as divine revelation. The Book of Mormon claims to be a translation of ancient writing on gold plates. These plates were supposedly written 1,400 years ago and detailed the history of the Jewish "Nephites" from 600 B.C. through A.D. 421. But it is virtually impossible that records written 1,400 (years) prior to the time of Joseph Smith should detail specific social, political, and religious concerns unique to nineteenth-century America.” Brian.
Response: Evidently you have not read the Book of Mormon. First of all, the plates were first written about 2600 years ago and last engraved around 1400 years ago. However, there is nothing in the entire record to state that it was similar in any way to 19th century America. The social, political and religious matters, as you call them, were specific to the time indicated, between 600 B.C. and 421 A.D. (more accurately to 375 A.D.) The political aspect surrounded “secret combinations,” a concept coined from the secret pact made between Cain and Satan in Genesis. There is actually not a lot regarding the social customs in the scriptural record, but a lot to do with warfare and religion. Perhaps you ought to be more familiar with what you intend to criticize if you are going to put it in print.
Comment #45 The war population of the Jaredites does not reflect a limited geography population. It took years to gather the large number from outer lying areas.” Sandy.
Response: “Actually, it took four years; however, we do not know when that four year period occurred. At the time it is inserted into the scriptural record, both Coriantumr’s army and that of Shiz were encamped in tents by the hill Ramah. It then mentioned that they gathered all the people upon the face of the land. It then mentions that Ether saw all this happening, and saw that both Coriantumr and Shiz had all the people who were divided between these two armies. And when this was accomplished, they marched against one another and fought all that day. Ether’s comment could simply be that by the time they reached the hill Ramah and were encamped there, the last of the people came into each camp to bring each army to its full strength before the last, great battles (Ether 15:11-15). The flow of events and timing does not seem to work if they camped there, after fighting several running battles and waited four years while everyone was gathered in. It seems more likely the narrative followed the battles, and by the time of the final battle near Ramah, everyone was on one side or the other. As for a limited geography theory, that is not the basis of the South American Andean area—however, it cannot be deduced from this scripture that it took four years to reach outlying areas and gather in the people. The record only states that by the time this last battle was begun, every Jaredite was committed to one army or the other, and that over a four year period, they had been joining these two armies until everyone was present--men, women, and children--and all armed and ready for the last battle.
Comment #46 “I read this recently and wondered what you thought of it. If the Book of Mormon was first written between 600 B.C. and A.D. 421, how could it possibly contain such extensive quotations from the King James Bible, not to be written for another 1200 to 2000 years? The Tanners have listed, one by one, 400 verses and portions of verses quoted from the New Testament in the Book of Mormon in their book, The Case Against Mormonism." Janice.
Response: Isn’t it interesting that two religious works, both claiming to be inspired by the Spirit of God, would have similar and even identical passages. One might think they were both actually inspired by God because of it. I would be worried if the Book of Mormon did not have such similar and identical language since the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I have seven children. When they were at home and growing up, I am sure I instructed each in the same manner, with much of the same language, and probably, at times, with the same exact words. What is so unusual about the Lord doing so with his children scattered in different locations? It is the same gospel, doctrines, and instructions from God to man.
Comment #47 “You err. The Land Southward was not 'completely surrounded by water.' (Alma 22:32)." Roberto
Response: Mormon describes the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla, with the Land of Bountiful and any other land in the Land Southward, as being nearly surrounded by water except for “there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32). Now, if this narrow neck reached from the sea east to the sea west as described, and the sea west was west of the Land of Nephi, and the sea east was to the east of the Land Nephi (Alma 22:27), how else could you describe this except for the entire lands in the south were surrounded by water except where the Land Southward was joined to the Land Northward at the narrow neck of land?
Comment #48 “Mormon makes it clear that Bountiful was higher in elevation than was Desolation.” Eloise S.
Response: If you mean the city of Desolation, then yes, the Land of Bountiful, at leas that area just south of the narrow neck of land, would be higher ground. If you mean all of the Land of Desolation, we do not know that and the scriptural record does not say that. We only know that the Nephites “gathered themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward” (Mormon 3:5), and that city was called the City of Desolation (Mormon 3:7). Since the City was in the borders of the narrow pass, which separated the Land Northward from the Land Southward, and that narrow neck area was more or less at sea level since it was bordered by the Sea East and Sea West, then just about any location would be higher ground than the city.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part XIV,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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