Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Comments Answered Part VII

Continuing with more comments from the readers of our website, and our responses: 
    Comment #1: “A friend gave me this statement a few days after I was telling him about your website and ideas regarding Lehi landing in Chile: ‘I believe the idea was supported by one of the Pratts - Orsen? He attributed it to the Prophet and many have quoted it. I believe Joseph Fielding Smith's book. The Chilean site, though more traditionally plausible due to normal currents and trade winds is answerable with El Nino. It is also an arid type land and not the bountiful forested area described in the Book of Mormon. Further there is a 1000 mile desert north of that site to transverse with animal herds? That makes it improbable to arrive at the Lands of Nephi which I believe to be in Peru’” Leonardo P.
Top: The Atacama Desert covers a 600-mile strip of land on the pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains, and is the driest hot desert in the world, occupying 41,000 square miles, composed mostly of salt lakes, sand, and felsic lava flows from the Andes; Bottom Left: Location of the Atacama; Bottom Right: The desert was formed after the rise of the Andes Mountains, which blocked the wind flow from the east. Where the wind flows from the west (southern Chile), there is no desert
    Response: Well, there are several answers here, so let me respond one at a time:
    1. Parley P. Pratt is the one who went to Chile with his wife, had a son there, that died, and was buried. They returned to Utah after having no success;
    2. The idea came from a note on a paper written by Frederick G. Williams, the scribe of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the second counselor in the First Presidency. It is claimed Joseph made that statement. However, the statement ran into fire, especially from Mesoamericanists, claiming it was not a revelation; yet it is not important if it was a revelaltin or not, the idea that Frederick G. Williams wrote that comment on a paper containing other statements made during meetings with Joseph Smith is what should be important (you might want to look at the 5-part series of articles in this blog beginning July 6, 2010 entitled “Where Lehi Landed.”);
    3. Joseph Fielding Smith had a lot of things to say about a lot of areas before he became the Prophet. After obtaining that position, he never spoke of the subject of the location of the Book of Mormon lands again;
    4. El Nino is not the type of current people like to claim. It is not a sailing current, but the Equatorial Counter Current that is described as a doldrum, and is where sailors for centuries were typically becalmed. El Nino is a rare change of that current, at which time the winds and currents of are totally devastating, bringing destruction to the islands it passes and areas it lands. Ships do not survive during El Nino, and the area is best avoided when that occurs—it would hardly be a method of bringing Lehi to the Land of Promise;
Chile, south of the Atacama Desert is a pastoral paradise. It has a Mediterranean Climate where seeds from Jerusalem would have grown exceedingly and produced an abundant crop
    5. Chile is not arid in the central and southern part. At the 30º South Latitude, it is a Mediterrean Climate and one of the wonderful places in the western coast of the Western Hemisphere. Most of the western U.S. get their out-of-season fruits and citrus from there. The coastal desert area of Northern Chile is the result of the winds and precipitation being trapped by the 20,000-foot-high Andes Mountains; however, those mountains were not there at the time of Nephi through the crucifixion of Christ, and it would not have been a desert when Nephi moved escaped from his brothers and crossed the area.
    6. Nephi did not need to travel with animals, flocks, etc., northward from Chile to southern Peru. If you read 2 Nephi you will find that he “took all those people who would go with him, tents, and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness” (2 Nephi 5:6-7). No animals are mentioned. He was, after all, escaping with his life from his brothers who wanted to kill him.
    If I am not mistaken, the quote you sent in was from Don R. Hender’s webpage and it only shows how little he knows about what he writes.
    Comment #2: “Just a brief note to tell you how much we all appreciate your writing and insight into the Book of Mormon. I, personally, have learned a great deal about it thanks to you and your very clear and understandable explanations” Daniella F.
    Response: Thank you.
    Comment #3: “I’ve heard so many things about “it came to pass” in the BOM, what exactly does it mean?”
    Response: It is not a change of thought, as some have suggested, deserving a break in the record, such as a paragraph (verse). It is simply a completion of that earlier thought--meaning “to take place,” or in the past tense, “it took place.” Today, it is obviously considered an archaic term. In the Book of Mormon it is often used to connect two consistent thoughts or statements, with an incidental time in between skipped. While most people feel it is used way too often (1330 times in 1982 English edition), and from a strict reading view, its repetition is annoying, it does, however, serve a purpose when we realize that Mormon is abridging the record.
    Thus, it also serves the purpose of allowing Mormon to jump ahead in an event without having to include the parts of that event he does not want to include in his abridgement. A secondary value is that it shows the record was originally written with ancient Hebrew roots since it follows the Hebrew expression (wayehi) which is used 1204 times in the Hebrew Bible, though it is only translated into “it came to pass” 727 times in the King James Version of the Bible, showing that Joseph Smith translated the phrase (from Reformed Egyptian) more faithfully than did the translators of the Bible.
    Therefore, we should be able to see a connection between the Hebrew and the Egyptian in this phrase and we do, since all Egyptian historicals begin in a similar repetitious style, and with the identical standard words, i.e., “I opened my mouth.” Dramatic texts constantly use the phrase khpr-n, meaning “It happened that,” which is the same as “It came to pass.” Hugh Nibley claimed that these phrases in Egyptian were a “grammatical necessity and could not be omitted.” While awkward and monotonous in English, it shows accurately a text written in Egyptian by a Hebrew.
    Comment #4: If the Book of Mormon doctrine of God differs somewhat from the biblical doctrine, it is radically different from what since about 1916 has been the standard Mormon doctrine of God. In this standard doctrine the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three Gods; God the Father has not always been God but attained Godhood by a process of exaltation; the Father and Son each have separate bodies of flesh and bones; and human beings can attain Godhood by following the same path to exaltation as that of the Father. The Book of Mormon doctrine of God is so different from current Mormon church doctrine that we may legitimately conclude that at least one of these two sources of doctrine — the Book of Mormon or the Mormon church — misrepresents God and teaches blatant falsehood about God. Either way, the Book of Mormon fails to pass the God test” Michelle B.
Response: It is not rocket science. They are three separate beings, and all three are one in purpose. Therefore, there is one God (in purpose, thought, action, etc.) and three separate beings (physical beings), God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost: “before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (Alma 11:44-emphasis mine).
    The following is taken from the “Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God: God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. “We believe in one God, the Father, eternally existing, who is a Spirit, a personal Being of supreme intelligence, knowledge, love, justice, power and authority. He, through Jesus Christ, is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He is the Source of life and the One for whom human life exists. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who is the Word and who has eternally existed. We believe that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the divine Son of the living God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born in human flesh of the virgin Mary. We believe that it is by Him that God created all things, and that without Him was not anything made that was made. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God and of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and the Spirit of life eternal” (2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:1-4 ; Colossians 1:16).
    They sound like the same God, Son and Holy Ghost to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment