Friday, July 5, 2013

More Comments Answered Part IX

Comment #1: “The hill Cumorah in western New York is considered by geologists as a drumlin, that is, a hill laid down anciently by a glacier in motion. It is, therefore, comprised of gravel and earth. Geologically, it is impossible for the hill to have a cave, and all those who have gone in search of the cave have come back empty-handed. If, therefore, the story attributed to Oliver Cowdery (about a cave being in the hill) is true, then the visits to the cave perhaps represent visions, perhaps of some far distant hill, not physical events” Chadwick P.
Response: It always amazes me how people want to limit the Lord’s abilities. God created the Universe, and all things therein. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:37). As for the Hill Cumorah, there are things completely hidden from the human family. When Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited the plates, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room, and under it there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls.” The point is, that if the Lord needs a room in a hill, he can create it, no matter what the hill is made of and no matter how mortal man thinks.
Comment #2: “John L. Sorenson’s Mormon's Map begins with a crucial question: Does geography in the Book of Mormon matter? Sorenson supports his affirmative response by discussing five concepts: (1) Joseph Smith's characterization of the Book of Mormon as "the keystone of our religion"; (2) Brigham Young's questioning challenge to engage all our faculties as readers of scripture; (3) Sorenson's belief that the promise of the Book of Mormon can be more powerfully fulfilled if the reader's understanding and sense of realism are enhanced by a clearly delineated geographical setting; (4) the importance of geography for the working out of the Lord's purposes; and (5) the "limited and unsystematized" state of our knowledge concerning Book of Mormon geography. Sorenson also comments that "a superb set of maps" is included in our edition of the Holy Bible and additional maps began to be included in the Doctrine and Covenants with the 1981 edition of those scriptures. "But our copies of the Book of Mormon still lack even the most basic map to clarify the complicated goings and comings reported in our keystone scripture." Are you familiar with this?” Hauser.
Response: Yes. And Sorenson’s stand on the need to understand Book of Mormon geography is probably the only thing he and I would agree upon. I might inject into his thinking, however, two additional scriptures: “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not” (2 Nephi 9:28), and also: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time  by the will of man, but holyh men of God spake as they were moved  by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20). I state this because Sorenson spends a great deal of his time writing about how the scriptures are either inaccurate, or do not convey the meaning he thinks they should. As an example, he inserts an east sea landing for Mulek’s party (people of Zarahemla) without a single scripture to support his belief, and ignores the one that tells us just the opposite.
Sorenson’s Narrow Neck is a narrowing of land between the Bay of Compache on the north, and the Gulf of Techuantepec on the South—however, this is not narrow, it is 120 miles as the crow flies, but 144 miles by foot. In no way could this qualify for Mormon’s “small/narrow neck”
He writes: “An isthmus, “the place where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10:20), connected the two major blocks of land. Alma 22:32 pictures “the land northward and the land southward” joined by “a small neck of land between.” In Alma 63:5 and elsewhere it is labeled the “narrow neck.” This isthmus had sea to the west and to the east (see Alma 50:34; 63:5; Helaman 4:7). These seas had to be the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, respectively, because Lehi arrived from the Old World across the west sea (see Alma 22:28), and the party that brought Mulek from the land of Judah came “across the great waters” (Omni 1:16) to the “borders by the east sea.” The city of Mulek was located in that area and was presumably near the location where they first settled (see Alma 51:26).” Like all Mesoamerican Theorists, he totally ignores that part of Omni 1:16 which tells us Mulek landed and settled in the area where Mosiah found them—Zarahemla. For a full understanding of how Sorenson alters, changes, and ignores scripture, see my book: Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican & Other Theorists for a better understanding of this.
Comment #3: “How would it have been possible for the Nephites to have built the awesome stonework at Sacsayhuaman and other locations in Peru? Even modern stonemasons marvel at the accomplishment of that work, and Lehi, Sam and Nephi were, at best, but farmers, and Zoram was head of a treasury in Jerusalem” Charlene W.
Response: A very good question, and one not asked before. To answer this, we need to consider what Nephi wrote “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15). Now, in considering this simple statement, an entire concept opens up, for who taught Nephi? After all, if Nephi taught his people all these things that, as you say, he was but a farmer before leaving Jerusalem, how did he acquire such knowledge and ability? The answer to this question is the answer to your question. Obviously, it was the Lord who instructed Nephi in tool making, smelting, ore identification, etc. (1 Nephi 18:2-4). And in addition to building a temple like unto Solomon’s, Nephi tells us “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands”)
Sacsayhuaman. It is so large and imposing, it is almost impossible to capture its magnitude in just a few photographs; however, the top shows the three-tiered zig-zag outer defensive walls, the middle images show how massive and tall these walls are, and how well they fit together without mortar, and the bottom shows the massive foundation of just a single tower that was next to the temple before the Spanish dismantled it. Note the size of the people in three of the photos
2 Nephi 5:17). No, not just anyone could have built Sacsayhuaman and numerous other similarly constructed sites in Andean Peru—it would have taken someone instructed by the Lord to have accomplished it. An in so stating, it should be obvious that the Lord would not have instructed Nephi to build, with sticks and brush, their houses, cities, temples and palaces we find stated in the scriptural record—which should eliminate North America as a model for the Land of Promise without further discussion. Only Mesoamerica and Andean Peru can qualify for such building ability in which the Lord would have instructed Nephi, who then instructed the Nephites.
Comment #4: “The Jaredite story shows that JS got carried away toward the end of the translation process and took things a little too far.  So a separate group built 16 wooden flying saucers--that were "tight like unto a dish"--with two holes that were going to carry humans and animals across the ocean for 344 days. And in order to have light, the Brother of Jared receives a personal visit from Jesus to touch stones.  And we don't know this guys name until JS blesses a baby in the 1830's and names the poor thing Mahonri Moriancomur.  The parents must have been in tears. But the absurdity of the story is just another example of how people will believe anything in the name of God”  Herman G. [some words substituted because of language]
Response: I will direct you to the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica in which I not only answer the question about the two holes, but upwards of thirty criticisms by an Annapolis ship designer who spent some time criticizing the Lord’s design and interaction regarding these barges. It is a shame that people will spend so much time and effort looking for something to criticize that they ignore the obvious and simple answers to these areas. The barges were “the length of tree” and like a tree, had a top and a bottom (in comparing to a boat, it would be the prow and the stern) and obviously did not roll (how utterly stupid to think that it would have rolled), and that both openings would be open at once to allow for air intake and air ejection (how utterly stupid to think that air would flow without two openings, or that these openings would be under water at any time), creating a flow of air through the interior of the barge. In any event, the overall barge was a marvel and had the natural properties that both allowed for submergence and strength against exterior psi pressure. Read the book (at least the first half about the Jaredites) and you will be saying, “Of course, why didn’t I think of that.” The Lord is always miles and miles ahead of mortal thinking and understanding.

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