Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More Comments Answered

Comment #1: “Le Plongeon, trying to prove the Indians practiced Masonry, describes a Mayan ruin in which he claims to have found Masonic and Egyptian symbols, including a cornice with rings intended to hang curtains for a Holy of Holies. He also stated that the symbols were comparable to those found in the Old World: “Inscriptions in the Mayan language [are] identical with and [have] the same meaning and value as those carved on the temples of Egypt. . . . These symbols are precisely the same that we find in the temples of Egypt, Chaldea, India and Central America.” On the other hand, a highly skilled Egyptian scholar, Dr. James H. Breasted of the University of Chicago Oriental Institute (now deceased), contradicted him. After Breasted laboriously researched the ruins, Frank H. Roberts of the Smithsonian, stated: I was at the Maya city of Chicen Itza in Yucatan in 1932 when Dr. Breasted spent two weeks studying the ruins and inscriptions at that location as well as at several other cities in the area, and at the end of the period he was very emphatic about the total lack of evidence for any Egyptian influence” Hernando.
Left: The ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan, Mexico; Right: The ruins of Chichen Itza, also in the Yucatan
Response: Augustus Le Plongeon, was an 1860s pioneering Mayanist, renowned for having made the earliest thorough and systematic photographic documentation of archaeological sites in Yucatan. He was later regarded by archaeologists as no more than a troublesome eccentric who proposed preposterous theories about the Maya. He got his start in Peru as a photographer for Ephraim G. Squier to make illustrations for his book, Peru: Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas. Uxmal, in the Yucatan, provided Le Plongeon with his first evidence that the New World was the source of world civilization.  A Freemason, Le Plongeon noted a number of motifs on Temple IV of the Adivino Pyramid which he related to Masonic iconography.  These included crossed-bones and skeletons with hands raised, and a carved hand on an apron on the lower half of a sculptured bust, as well as the Mayan corbelled arch. While Uxmal provided a link to the Old World through Masonry, it was at Chichen Itza that Le Plongeon thought he had found the Mayas' own account of their history, including an exodus to Egypt by a Maya queen. In his book The Mayas and the Quiches, Le Plongeon wrote, "There [at Chichen Itza], we not only see their portraits carried in bas-relief, on stone or wood, or their marble statues in the round, or represented in the mural paintings that adorn the walls of the funeral chamber [Upper Temple of the Jaguars] built to the memory of the victim, but we discover [in the Platform of the Eagles and Jaguars] the ornaments they wore, the weapons they used, nay, more, their mortal remains" (1886:84). In short, his interpretation of the murals and iconography at Chichen Itza and Uxmal allowed him to develop a single generation account of the Maya elite at those sites.
Machu Picchu, which means "Old Peak," was discovered by the American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911

When I was at Chicen Itza, which means  “at the mouth of the well of Itza ,” I found it very impressive site, which was elected, along with Machu Picchu in Peru, as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” (announced in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 7, 2007, after seven years of publicity and promotion); however, the ruins of the Temple of Kukulcan and the Pyramid of El Castillo, at Chich'en Itza, as does the entire site, dates to about 600 A.D. to 1200 A.D. (according to World Heirtage and National Geographic, dated from 750 A.D. to 1200 A.D.), though it is claimed that about 987 A.D. the ruler of the Toltec people of central Mexico came to “The Sacred Cenote” (a large natural well or limestone sink hole) which was holy to the ancient Rain God "Chac," and with his Maya allies made Chichen Itza the most powerful city in the Yucatan. The ruler called himself "Kukulcan" (the Feathered Serpent), and the city lasted until 1221 when it was not abandoned, but fell from power. The point is, this is not Book of Mormon lands, and verifies the claim we have always made that the Book of Mormon Land of Promise was NOT in Mesoamerica. So La Plongeon’s claim and this issue is a mute one. Therefore, what La Plongeon claims he found, and what Dr. James H. Breasted claims is not accurate, has no bearing on the Book of Mormon.
Comment #2: “Is there any evidence that Jewish worship was practiced by the ancient Indians? The answer is no. But, from the Mormon view, there ought to be. Why? Because the Book of Mormon, claiming to be a record of Jews who left Palestine, states they kept the Law of Moses: And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses. And they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses.”
Response: The Nephites followed the Law of Moses and looked forward to the coming of the Christ. The Lamanites (who you address as Indians) did not. The Nephites were annihilated by the Lamanites in 375 A.D., the Lamanites were not religious, were barbarous nomads whose blood lust for vengeance and killing wiped out the Nephites to the last man (except for Moroni). Why would you think to find any religious, let alone Jewish, worship among them? If you are going to criticize the Book, why not read it first to make sure of your disagreements? At least your questions would not appear so juvenile.
Comment #3: “The obvious question should be, how can Book of Mormon characters, writing in approximately 600 B.C., be quoting from Bible sources which weren’t written until centuries later?”
Response: They were not quoting the Bible, they were quoting the same source that gave the Bible writers their knowledge, and the doctrines and principles of which they wrote. God is the author of all such knowledge—why would you or the Tanners think they would be different? How silly and uninformed you are about the workings of the Spirit and the voice of your Creator. He said, “my sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27-30). Did you think his voice would say different things to the Jews than to the Nephites? Or to you today?
Comment #4: “The strongest argument against Quetzalcoatl being Jesus is that the time frame doesn’t match the AD 34 Book of Mormon appearance of Christ. The period of Quetzalcoatl’s worship was AD 750 to AD 1500, seven hundred years after the Book of Mormon account. Further, Quetzalcoatl approved of human sacrifice and after he sailed away, committed suicide” Xanthe.
Response: Neither the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, nor the LDS Church has ever made such a claim regarding Quetzacoatl. Who or what Quetzalcoatl was has no bearing on the Book of Mormon. If you were to read 3 Nephi, you would not make such an uninformed statement, for there is no comment or suggestion that Jesus Christ, who appeared to the Nephites, was ever called, thought of, or described as Quetzalcoatl.
Comment #5: “Very cool!! I agree, not merely a coincidence about Frederick G. Williams knowing regarding the 30º south latitude.” Tiffanie
Response: Thank you. It does seem quite obvious, doesn’t it.
Comment #6: “Whoever heard of wild goats as Joseph Smith wrote in your Book of Mormon. Goats are domesticated, not wild, and there is no difference between goats such as wild and domesticated. What a crock!
Response: We have answered this before, but including it here to show how often critics simply voice the “talking points” of other critics without knowing what they are talking about. First of all, you might want to look up the wild goat (Capra aegagrus), which is one of the widespread species of goat, with a distribution ranging from Europe and Asia Minor to central Asia and the Middle East—it is the ancestor of the domestic goat.
Secondly, wild goats are common in the hills of Israel, and as such, are well known to those in and from the area. Nephi, living on a farmland outside the walls of Jerusalem, would have known the difference between the domesticated goat and the wild goat, as he indicated in 1 Nephi 18:25.
Left/Center: Wild goats roaming the hills of Israel; Right: Domesticated goat in Israel
Thirdly, in the wild, goats live in herds of up to 500 individuals, not to be confused with the feral goat, which is a domestic goat that has become established in some areas in the wild.
The wild goat in the wild, which can be found in most parts of the world—especially in the Middle East, including Mesopotamia

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