Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Narrow Neck of Land One More Time – Part XIII—Mesoamericanists’ Achilles Heel

Continuing from the last posts showing the fallacy of the Mesoamerican Theorists’ view of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in being the narrow neck of land—it becomes clear that this isthmus is the real Achilles heel of every Mesoamerican model. In pursuing this, the following is from John E. Clark, himself a Mesoamericanist and follower of John L. Sorenson’s model, in which he defends the Mesoamerican Theory.
Clark’s arguments continue:
18. “It is worth noticing that Book of Mormon geographies positing restricted lands and the presence of different peoples on American soil ignore the killing flood of Noah's day.”
Response: Clark is absolutely correct here, and there is no way to explain this away, ignore it, or try to get around this issue in some way. However, this also means that we need to follow the time frame of the Flood as recorded in both Genesis and the Book of Moses. When taking all the birth information from Adam to Noah (Genesis 5:3 to 5:32), and the age of Noah when he finished the Ark and the Flood began (Genesis 7:6,11), brings us to 2444 B.C.. The waters receded a year later (Genesis 8:13-14), bringing us to 2343 when “the waters were dried up from off the earth” and the “earth was dried.” The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price gives us these exact same dates for the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah (Moses 6:10-6:22; 6:24-25; 8:1-12). In addition, Joseph Smith, in his 2nd session of the School of the Prophets, used these dates, teaching them to those attending, and quizzing them on the dates when finished. Thus, anyone who wants to tell us that the Flood occurred at any other time simply is ignoring, or changing, the scriptures. That, of course, includes Sorenson, and other Mesoamericanists, who feel the date of 3100 B.C. (start of the Maya calendar) was the accurate date for the Flood.
19. “Some authors appear not to realize the implications of their claims. [Joseph] Allen, for example, seems unaware that some of his proposals rest on the proposition that Noah's flood was not universal (in a literal, physical sense), and others on the proposition that it was. He writes about the Jaredites as if they came to empty land after the flood, as in the traditional view of Book of Mormon geography, and he discusses the Nephites as if the flood never happened and that Book of Mormon lands were full of strangers. He cannot have it both ways.”
Response: That is true—you can’t have both of two conflicting points. However not just about Allen, but other Mesoamericanists, and theorists claiming North America, Malay, etc., who do like to have it both ways, ignoring some scriptures and choosing to highlight others. And on this issue, it appears from his writing that Clark is as guilty as most other theorists. This is because they have chosen a Land of Promise model that does not and cannot match all scripture, so they are forced to explain away, ignore, or try and get around the difficult scriptural descriptions (see the book Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican & Other Theorists).
20. In speaking of Sorenson’s response to the problem with some Olmec sites were in the Land Southward of Mesoamerica, and claiming the Olmec were Jaredites, Clark writes: “First, Sorenson avoids the blanket equation of Jaredites with Olmecs. Rather, he argues that some Olmecs may have been Jaredites, but not all of them…Claims in the Book of Mormon that Jaredites did not occupy a land, therefore, are not equivalent to claiming that the lands were unoccupied.”
There are several points here. First, because Mesoamerica is thought by anthropologists and archaeologists to have been occupied by numerous peoples before and after the Jaredites arrived, they have to make room for them in the Book of Mormon Land of Promise. Despite the fact that the scriptural record not only does not suggest any other people in any way, Sorenson and other Mesoaemrican theorists goes out of their way to try and convince us it does; however, the record actually provides suggestive information that it was held in reserve for Lehi’s posterity and that no one else was there and it would be kept from the knowledge of other nations (2 Nephi 1:8). Second, in Clark’s argument against Joseph Allen that he could not have it both ways, perhaps we should say that Sorenson cannot have it both ways—either the Olmecs were Jaredites or they were not. But never willing to accept the scriptural record when it shows him wrong, Sorenson tries to hedge his bets when we learned that the Olmec settled south of his narrow neck of land.
This leads us to consider the Jaredite condition. For some 1500 years, they were at constant war with one another, and over the last generations, there was a war that stretched all across the land, with millions being killed and left to rot and stink upon the land. Do we really believe other people were in the land and made no effort to stop, fight, or try and control these events? And do we really think that the Jaredite writers, and Ether, would be so arrogantly superior to not even consider anyone else in the land, or to indicate in some way that there were others there? The entire concept is ridiculous.
21. “All parts of North, South, and Middle America have been occupied since at least 3000 BC. Presumably non-Jaredites occupied most of these places for millennia, including the land southward, before Jaredites ever got there. So, as with all Nephite/Lamanite questions, one must sort out time, place, and culture in making an archaeological identification of Jaredites.”
First of all, it is not possible that any of the Western Hemisphere was occupied continually from about 3000 B.C. There is no way anyone can speak differently (and accurately) in opposition to the scriptural record, nor can they invent people living both before and after the Flood other than those on the Ark. Any attempt to do so is to place oneself above the word of God and his prophets. The Flood occurred between 2444 and 2344 B.C. and destroyed (killed) every living thing on the earth except those in the Ark  (Genesis 7:21-23). The Ark settled in Mesopotamia area in 2344 B.C. The Jaredites came to what is now the Americas about 2100 B.C. That means there was about 250 years between the end of the Flood and the time of the Jaredite arrival. Now, tell me, who on earth could have been in the Western Hemisphere prior to the Jaredites?
The point is, to get from Mesopotamia where the Ark landed, one would have to build a ship and sail across the Atlantic. However, such development would have been beyond the first survivors of the Flood and for many generations after that. In fact, the earliest known reference to the development of ships was on the Nile sometime after the 25th century B.C. (left) and hardly capable of sailing into deep water. The first Chinese dynasty did not commence until around 2100 B.C., and the first explorer of whom there is any knowledge was Hannu, an ancient Egyptian traveler around 21st or 20th century B.C. Around the 6th century B.C., the Greeks had a fleet of ships, and Aristotle claimed Alexander the Great had developed a primitive submersible for reconnaissance missions by 323 B.C.
Let’s be reasonable about this, and not just spout academic or scientific trivia espoused by people who do not believe in God or in the Bible! We cannot just make wild statements that cannot even be supported by historical factors. What we need are people writing about the Book of Mormon that believe in what the Prophets wrote, what Mormon described, what Joseph Smith translated, and the spirit acknowledged.
(See the next post, “The Narrow Neck of Land One More Time – Part XIV—Mesoaermicanists’ Achilles Heel,” for more on this difficult area for the Mesoamerican Theorist model to reconcile with the scripture)

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