Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More of Mormon’s Views as Described by Hender

Continuing from the last posts regarding the articles of Don R. Hender’s website that one of our readers sent us asking for an evaluation: 
    Article: “Mormon's description was of the land of 90 BC, before the destruction at the Savior's death. A lot of twisting and turning of words with fallacious manipulations would have to be used to get the Book of Mormon lands to exactly fit a map today.” 
Before the Andes rose, the Pebasian, Paranan, Paranense, and Amazon Seas, covered much of present day South America, in effect, bringing the Atlantic Ocean up to the eastern edge of the Andean Thrust Front, isolating the western coastal area and making it into an isolated island
    Response: This is not true. All that is needed is to show what geologists have claimed existed in South America prior to this change. The Andes did not exist above the ocean level, a portion of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia and northern Chile existed, and most of the rest of South America (east of the Andes) was submerged beneath the sea. The only change is the tectonic action that lifted the Andes, and brought up the eastern portion of South America.”
    Article: “Lastly, but not least, Mormon says that it is a neck of land not a waist.”
    Response: In the English language, there is no such thing as a “waist of land,” while a “neck of land” is a common phrase. In 1828, a “neck of land” was defined as “A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body,” or “a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts.” Today, it is defined as “a narrow piece of land.”
Two examples of a narrow or small neck of land separating two larger land masses. It is not a waist or even an isthmus, but truly a “narrow neck of land”
    Article: “A neck is elongated and in verse 30 it said that Bountiful 'came into the land' of Desolation.”
    Response: First, a neck of land is not necessarily elongated. In the two images above, these necks are not elongated. Secondly, the scriptural record does not say “Bountiful came into the land of Desolation.” Referenced actually states: “And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla.” That is, the Land of Desolation was so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed (Alma 22:30). The Land of Bountiful did not extend into or past the Land of Desolation, for “the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful” (Alma 22:31). You cannot make a scripture say something it does not.
Two more examples of short, narrow, necks of land connecting two larger land masses. None of these four are elongated
    Article: Bountiful reached from south of the nap of the neck where it had sealed off the Lamanites up into the neck until it reached the lowest regions of the Jaredite remains, the Jaredite City that was by the narrow neck of land. And the “neck” was at least as tall as it was wide.”
    Response: First of all, nap or nape of the neck means the back of the neck, or backside of the neck, more commonly referred to today as the “nape” of the neck, not ”nap”—which does not make sense as used by Hender. Secondly, we do not know how long the narrow neck of land was, though it seems about 25-30 miles wide—there is no indication to its length. Overall, Mormon states it is small and also that it is narrow. Third, we do not know that the territory of Bountiful extended into the narrow neck, anymore than we know that the territory of the Land of Desolation extended south into the narrow neck—neither is mentioned. The way Mormon wrote this, it would seem that the narrow neck was not considered the territory of either of these two lands, but a separate corridor. However, the major point here is that the scriptural record does not say that the Land of Bountiful extended northward through the neck of land. The closest we can come to determine this is found in “built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward” (Alma 63:5-emphasis mine).
    Article: There any number of points to consider in Mormon's 'Time Capsule' abridged description of the geography of the lands in 90-77 BC. One is that Mormon lived some 300-400 years removed and after this time and the destruction at the time of the Savior's death.”
    Response: Consequently, better than anyone else writing in the scriptural record, Mormon had a clear view of the Land of Promise prior to the destruction in 3 Nephi since he had all the records and could see and read what others said about the land before that event, and he personally walked/marched/retreated across the Land Southward and the Land Northward, including spending some time in the narrow neck area, all the way to the north in the Land of Many Waters (Land of Cumorah). He obviously would have known more about what he was talking about than any modern theorists.
    Article: “Another is, Mormon lived over 1600 years before today. While Mormon is trying to remain true to the description of the land in 90 BC, he also faces the likelihood that it may not be the same hundreds of years from his time.”
    Response: Therefore, and this is very important, when Mormon inserts a description, he knows he is writing to a future reader and uses examples, such as a journeying Nephite, that would be clearly understood in that future day—not some remarkable man as Sorenson claims who can run a 100 miles in a day, etc. Mormon's purpose in his writing and his many inserts in the record is to try and make it more clear and understandable to his future reader, which he succeeds extremely well while keeping his writing simple and understandable (not convoluted, confusing and theoretical as most modern-day historians try to claim).
    Article: “Another point is in Mormon's abridged record, not all times and descriptions are to scale as he is condensing. One tool of this condensation that Mormon uses is the phase, 'And it came to pass.' It usually means that time has passed and removes what he is about to say from what has been said by an indefinite distinction.”
    Response: It is not a removal to another thought, but simply a completion of that earlier thought. First of all, “It came to pass” is an archaic term meaning “to take place,” or in the past tense, “it took place.” Also “came about,” “came forward,” “came off.” It’s basic meaning is that whatever was being mentioned happened—it took place. When Mormon uses this term, we need to understand that in his narrative, he is skipping ahead, probably over some of the detail of the event he is writing about, in his abridgement. As an example, “But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him. And it came to pass that when the king saw that the people were pacified, he caused that Aaron and his brethren should stand forth in the midst of the multitude, and that they should preach the word unto them” (Alma 22:25-26-emphasis mine). Mormon wrote about the result of Aaron’s conversion of the Lamanite king, and following that the king sent a proclamation to all his people—that is, the events Aaron asked for or wanted (opportunity to convert all the Lamanites) took place with the proclamation. In Alma 23:16, it came to pass after the conversion that they should acquire a new name, and it came to pass that they acquired a new name (Anti-Nephi-Lehies) and were no more called Lamanites. Three events following each other with a skipping between, but a continuation of the same thought.
(See the next post, “More of Mormon’s Views as Described by Hender—Part II,” from Don R. Hender’s website articles sent to us by one of our readers who asked for an evaluation)

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