Friday, October 19, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part XIV

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first forty-eight comments were answered in the previous thirteen posts, the forty-ninth and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #49 “Come now, do you really claim that the wind and sea currents from the coast of Oman would only take a sailing ship in the direction you claim? It seems to me that your wind and sea currents need some elasticity. What about the sailing of the Phoenician sailing ship Phoenicia in 2008 that traveled around Africa from the Arabian Sea to the Atlantic, etc.?” Reggie
Response: Sea currents and wind currents are what they are and they haven’t changed in all of known history. And the currents of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean move as has been shown in these numerous posts.
The wind and sea currents of the planet are well documented and images can be found on the internet and in any atlas. The more detailed the information, the more accurate it becomes
As for your ship Phoenicia, it was basically a coastal vessel and definitely unsuited for deep sea crossings. It never got further away from shore than the Azores, and sailed in modern times with exact knowledge of winds and currents, distances, land sites, known locations for food, equipment, and service replacements, etc. It had been built buy experienced shipping companies, had an experienced sailing crew, was sponsored by the Osman shipping company, the Syrian Chamber of Shipping, the Royal Cape Yacht Club, Horta Marina of the Azores, the city of Cape Town, and had for equipment sponsors ten different companies, with Pioneer Expeditions and Risk Management Consultants for expedition advisors. They had Raymarine providing sonar, depth, speed, and radar to assist in their navigation, and the crew at all times knew they were within radio distance of air and sea rescue, with most of the Arab world following their day to day accomplishments along with the security agency of Drum Cussac, one of the leading maritime security agencies. While I would not wish to diminish what was accomplished, it cannot compare with crossing the deep ocean in a ship of farmers who had never been to sea. In addition, when people of today start talking about and comparing voyage achievements, most lack the understanding of the difference between coastal vessels and deep sea ships. While that difference today is fleeting, it was paramount to life and death in centuries past.
Comment #50 “I read the following in a FAIR publication: ‘At first glance there appears to be a problem with Book of Mormon directions and the layout of Mesoamerica. Whereas the Nephites generally used terms such as “northward” and “southward,” the hourglass shape of Mesoamerica runs northwest and southeast. To put it simply, the directional systems of some ancient cultures were not based on the same cultural principals as ours. Thus, a Mesoamerican geography for the Book of Mormon is not problematic when considering cardinal directions.’” Lester R.
Response: First, Mesoamerica, contrary to all Mesoamerican Theorists, does not run northwest and southeast. Mesoamerica is located on the isthmus that connects North and South America, and geographically covers the region that includes southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; however, as far as the Mesoamerican Model for the Land of Promise, the area runs from about Mexico City to the borders of Guatemala and Honduras, and includes the Yucatan. When you single out that area for the Land of Promise, you find (using Mesoamericanist maps) that it actually runs almost exactly east and west.
Map of Norman, V. Garth, Book of Mormon - Mesoamerican Historic Geography, American Fork, Utah: Ancient America Foundation, 2006; this map is representative of  all other Mesoamerican Theorists’ model map. Note that the land runs basically east and west
Secondly, not only at first glance, but at every glance, “there is a problem with Book of Mormon directions and the layout of Mesoamerica.” No skewing or explaining away can change this fact. Nephi knew and understood his cardinal directions very well when he wrote: “…we traveled for the space of four days, nearly a south-southeast direction, and we did pitch our tents again; and we did call the name of the place Shazer…And we did go forth again in the wilderness, following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the borders near the Red Sea” (1 Nephi 16:13-14). Because Mesoamerica does not run northward and southward as the Land of Promise is shown in the scriptural record, Mesoamerican Theorists must try to explain away this fact, and they do so with numerous fallacious arguments, such as: “Systems for labeling directions in ancient times varied by thousands of different schemes and were generally arbitrary systems designed by individual groups to deal with their unique geographical and linguistic situations. To put it simply, the directional systems of some ancient cultures were not based on the same cultural principals as ours."
Typical Mesoamerica Land of Promise map as promoted by John L. Sorenson and other Mesoamericanists. Note how their Land of Promise runs east and west, with an East Sea to the North and a West Sea to the South—hardly what Mormon tell us
They can say all they want to that "Thus, a Mesoamerican geography for the Book of Mormon is not problematic when considering cardinal directions. “ However, the simple fact is, Nephi did know his cardinal directions, even when traveling in a land where he had never before been, and would have known little if anything about. Later, he describes turning and “we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth” (1 Nephi 17:1). To belittle his knowledge and understanding, not to mention the Liahona compass in their possession, is extremely poor journalism and not worthy of a discussion about the Book of Mormon. FAIR also states “When one tries to fit the history given in the Book of Mormon to a map of the western hemisphere, one finds an excellent match geographically, archaeologically, culturally, and linguistically to the area of southern Mexico and Guatemala as being the setting for most of the record.” Nothing further from the truth could ever be written, yet so many people have bought into this Mesoamerian theory that it has worked its way into the conscience of Church members as though it is the truth, when in fact, it is as erroneous as most other Land of Promise models.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part XV,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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