Saturday, September 7, 2013

Confusion About Book of Mormon Geography – Part III

Continuing with F. Richard Hauck’s explanations why confusion occurs in reading Mormon’s geography of the Book of Mormon, and his last comment in the previous post: Many people interested in understanding the setting of the Book of Mormon want a quick fix” about the geographical setting of the Land of Promise.
Hauck: “They either are not interested or are unprepared to dig into the text and find the illusive geographical correlations that do exist…”
Evidently, those who endeavor to study the Book of Mormon, according to Hauck, if they do not come up with the same understanding he promotes, then they are lazy and unwilling to “dig into the text.” Personally, I have been a daily studier of the book and its geography for the past nearly 30 years, and I still do not come up with Hauck’s answers—in fact, far from it
Response: People’s interest wanes with complicated answers to simple concepts or questions, and when the scripture says it is to the north, they are not interested in digging into a different view of what north might mean to an Eskimo, etc.
Hauck: “…so they make assumptions about the geography that have little or no basis.”
Response: People are not making assumptions when they translate “north” to mean “north,” “everyone was gathered” and “everyone was killed.” They are simply believing what Mormon wrote. It is the writers like Hauck and Sorenson who want to complicate matters by claiming the simple language of the prophets is complicated and one must look beyond what they first read.
Hauck: “There are just too many quick fix writers and lecturers using modern maps to inadequately and even falsely explain ancient geographies.”
Response: Mesoamerica, even Hauck’s different view of it, still does not meet Mormon’s simple explanations and descriptions. Perhaps it is Hauck who is “falsely explaining ancient geography.”
Hauck: There are individuals seeking financial gain or enhanced status in the Mormon society that use this confusion for self-promotion.”
Response: This is very true. I suppose all of us who write books about the Land of Promise would like to sell them, whether for financial gain or to spread the view depends on the individual involved. On the other hand, Hauck’s BMAF has tours to their Book of Mormon Lands in Mesoaemrica—obviously something that is financially oriented since these tours are costly. In addition, people create organizations, give talks, and become prestigious through their promotion of their subject and models of the Land of Promise. 
It might also be interesting that Hauck the chairman of BMAF—Book of Mormon Archaeological Forumhas a website that accepts all articles on the Book of Mormon geography with “Our only absolute criteria is that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica,” which is hardly a Book of Mormon archaeology forum—it is a Mesoamerica forum. On the other hand, our blog accepts all inquiries and articles as long as the views follow the scriptural record, and if they don’t we will still print them with our correcting response.
Hauck Their undisciplined exercise of agency temporarily draws attention, fans, and money, which is all self-serving.”
Response: True. And while we're on the subject, Hauck’s BMAF charges $1400 for a tour of Copan and Quirigua, sells numerous books, gives lectures, and has BMAF conferences that charge for attendance.
Hauck: “Sadly such exercise in agency only perpetuates the misunderstandings that exist among the Saints.”
Response: When Mesoamerica does not agree with so many descriptions and explanations of the scriptural record, it would seem that continually promoting it is, in and of itself, an exercise in “perpetuating the misunderstandings that exist among the Saints.”
Hauck: “Self-promotion does exist and causes great perplexity among the Saints. Mark Hofmann’s forgeries thirty years ago can be considered an extreme manifestation of this problem.”
Response: Has it ever occurred to anyone promoting Mesoamerica, that they are involved in “an extreme manifestation of this problem”? What about the Land of Promise being an island (2 Nephi 10:20), being oriented north and south (Alma 22:27-34), having two unknown animals beneficial to man (Ether 9:19); two unknown grains equivalent in benefit to corn, wheat and barley (Mosiah 9:9); having gold, silver and copper as a single ore (1 Nephi 18:25), mountains whose height is great (Helaman 14:23); having a north, south, east and west seas (Helaman 3:8); having a narrow neck a person could cross in a day and a half (Alma 22:32); having ocean currents that would bring a ship “driven forth before the wind” from the Arabian Sea (1 Nephi 18:8); etc., etc., etc.
Hauck: “Other individuals swim in these same murky waters, individuals who are neither as blatant nor as criminal as Hofmann. And, like Hofmann, their works will be eventually exposed as false explanations of the book’s geography.”
Response: Can’t wait for the day!!!! It will be interesting to see how well Mesoamerican Models and Theories fare in that day.
Hauck: “Printing errors introduced with the first edition of the Book of Mormon have contributed to the difficulty of understanding the book’s geography—printing errors do exist [now] in the Book of Mormon contributing to confusion in understanding its geography.”
Response: All printing errors were basically minor grammatical errors, spelling, etc. None of which altered the meaning of any geography of the scriptural record.
Hauck: “Misuse of punctuation is a common problem.”
Response: No punctuation errors yet uncovered would have led one to, or erroneously away from, the area of Mesoamerica. This incorrect area for the Land of Promise is far beyond any punctuation problems.
Hauck: “Occasionally the handwritten manuscript was misread, a classic example being the printing of “Jordan” in our editions of the Book of Mormon rather than the correct term “Jashon.” This printing error implies two separate places existed when in reality only one locality, Jashon, was mentioned by Mormon twice in two separate military campaigns.”
Response: Talk about trying to cloud the issue, the placement of Jashon or Jordan has nothing to do with anything since we do not know where either of these places are in any context with today’s maps, models, etc.
Hauck: “The perpetuation of cherished but erroneous ideas, some of which have become Mormon traditions often dating back to the days of the Church’s founding, tend to influence many of the Saint’s perceptions of the book’s geography.”
Response: Exactly, like Mesoamerica. It has become a part of the LDS consciouseness, but simply does not match Mormon’s descriptions, yet it continues to hang around as the “model.” As a result, this incorrect area has fostered scores of other, equally ridiculous areas, as places for the Land of Promise.
Hauck: “How often have we heard someone insist on the validity of an illogical concept based on the teachings, writings or remarks of some venerated individual?”
Response: Like Sorenson's (and nearly all other Theorists surrounding CentralAmerica) Mesoamerica running east and west as an example?
(See the next post, “Confusion About Book of Mormon Geography – Part IV,” for more of F. Richard Hauck’s explanations why confusion occurs in reading Mormon’s geography of the Book of Mormon)

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