Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More Comments to be Answered Part VII

Continuing with more comments that we’ve received on this website blog.
Comment #1: “It says in Helaman 16:3-4, that Nephi had the authority to baptize around 6 B.C., yet when Christ appeared to the Nephites, he gave Nephi the power to baptize (3 Nephi 11:21). Didn’t Nephi already have that power? Why were the people rebaptized?” Royce D.
Response: This is similar to when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized by command of the Angel John the Baptist (PGP JS 2:68-72), and several others were baptized before the organization of the Church, yet when the Church was organized, all who had been previously baptized were baptized again, not for the remission of sins, but for entrance into the Church. According to Joseph Fielding Smith, this was the case in Nephi’s time, for the Church among the Nephites before the coming of Christ was not in its fullness and was under the law of Moses. The Savior restored the fullness and gave to them all the ordinances and blessings of the gospel. Therefore, it actually became a new organization, and through baptism they came into it.
Comment #2: “Perhaps the translation of goats and wild goats in 1 Nephi 18:25 is in error. Wild goats are not mentioned anywhere else in the Book of Mormon, and many claim there are no such thing since goats are domesticated” Marcell O.
Response: “And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses” (Enos 1:21). There are no such mistakes in the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon.
A group of wild goats (Capra aegagrus) is a widespread species of goat, with a distribution ranging from Europe and Asia Minor to central Asia and the Middle East. Wild goats are mentioned in Psalm 104:18. The wild mountain goat of North America (Oreanmnos americanus) is also found in the Americas, particularly in the Rocky Mountains, and there are feral goats, once domesticated, but turned wild (Capra aegagrus hircus) found all over the world
Comment #3: “Why was the Church not organized before Alma founded it in 120 B.C. (Mosiah 23:16)?” Sandra C.
Response: Joseph Smith said, “The Kingdom of God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time. Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed his word and gave power and authority to administer in his name, and where there is a priest of God—a minister who had power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 271). Thus we can say that the Nephites had the church from Lehi onward. Jacob made that clear when he said “all men must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 9:23). As Joseph Fielding Smith said, “If they were baptized and had the gift of the Holy Ghost in the days of Lehi, then they had a church organization, which endured all through the Nephite history, notwithstanding the constant apostasies that occurred among them.”
Comment #4: “I have always understood that the Godhead was made up of three separate beings; however, in 3 Nephi 11:27, it says, “Verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one." How is this possible?” Winthrop G.
Response: The Godhead, made up of three separate beings, which numerous scriptural references in both the Bible and Book of Mormon as well as the Doctrine & Covenants testify, that the members of the Godhead are one in purpose. Three separate beings, but together (or one) in their purpose. It is this purpose, to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man, that the prophets write about, both in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon.
Comment #5: “I’ve heard many different reports on what weapons the Nephites and Lamanites used, but have found nothing more than swords, bows and arrows, and slings. In addition, they used rocks. Do you know of anything else?” Bernie B.
Response: You have named the most notable, however, they also had cimeters (cimetars or curved blades), the axe (Enos 1:20, Alma 43:18, Mormon 6:9), darts and javelins (Jarom 1:8) and spears (Alma 17:7), though some may say that a spear and a javelin (left) are the same weapon, a spear is a long weapon, typically used for thrusting from a distance, and a javelin is a light spear, typically used for throwing.
Comment #6: “Since Mormonism teaches that only God the Father had a physical body at the time Adam was created, why did God say, "Let us make man in OUR image"? Why didn't He say, "Let us make man in MY image?" (Gen. 1:26)” Cunningham.
Response: Jehovah, or Christ, had not yet received a physical body when he appeared with the Father during the organizing of Adam’s mortality, however, the spirit body he possessed, and the spirit body we all possessed before receiving our physical body through mortal birth, is basically the same in overall appearance as the physical body, and is recognizable as such. Elohim was referring to Adam's overall appearance, not the actual body, since it was made of mortal matter, not resurrected as the Father.
Comment #7: “When the Nephites landed in the Americas there were already millions of inhabitants in the land with large cities and infrastructure. Why are these people not mentioned? The Book of Mormon seems to indicate that the continent was empty at the time. 2 Nephi 1:8 One wonders if 'knowledge' of the land had been kept from the natives who had already been there for thousands of years?” Gilbert.
Response: You err in your understanding of cities and infrastructure of Mesoamerica. No hard evidence, meaning buildings, structures, cities or roads date before the last century B.C., and most date to the first century A.D. or later. You will find a list of all cities, ruins, sites, etc., in the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica. As for the natives who “had already been there for thousands of years,” you again err, since no hard evidence has been found of any cultures existing in Mesoamerica before about 1000 B.C. Now under the provisions of “diffusion” (a model of anthropology that is had among anthropologists and archaeologists that is based  upon beliefs) are said to have existed earlier than that, but there is absolutely no “in-ground” hard evidence to prove that belief in the Americas. Science says a lot of things about the Americas and can get away with the most bizarre claims since there is no recorded history dating before about 1000 A.D., and that is questionable.
Comment #8: “Why does the Book of Mormon mention Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11), Brass (2 Nephi 5:15), Breast Plates & Copper (Mosiah 8:10), Iron (Jarom 1:8), Gold and Silver currency (Alma 11), Silver (Jarom 1:8), and Steel Swords (Ether 7:9)? No evidence indicates that these items existed during Book of Mormon times. Tom Ferguson: ‘Metallurgy does not appear in the region until about the 9th century A.D.’ Why doesn't the art (which is abundant) of the supposed Book of Mormon cultures portray the existence of metallurgical products or metallurgical activity?”  Hamsted.
Response: Tom Ferguson is referring to no metallurgy found in Mesoamerica before the  9th century A.D. John L. Sorenson claims none before 600 B.C., but the important thing is, Mesoamerica is not the location of the Book of Mormon lands. On the other hand, metallurgical products, art, residue, etc., is found in the Andean area of Peru and Ecuador dating before 1000 B.C. As a side note, though bellows would have been used, one would think, in the Land of Promise, the only bellows mentioned in the scriptural record is in 1 Nephi 17:11, and the location of that bellows was in Bountiful (present day Oman, not the new world), where ancient bellows have been found.


  1. Additional info to comment #6. In the Jaredite record, when the brother of Jared went to the Lord about the stones.. there he saw the finger of Jesus Christ.. and more:

    15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

    16 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

    17 And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.

  2. Thank you for pointing out how often a criticism is leveled at the Book of Mormon by someone who has not read further than the line he criticizes. And wouldn't you like to have all the things that Mormon and Moroni wanted to write but were constrained from doing so...