Saturday, February 8, 2014

More Comments Answered Part X

Continuing with more comments on our website and our responses:
    Comment #1: “You say Mormon didn’t keep on traveling north because there was nowhere north to go, but I read where this would have been a problem. The statement was: “In the first place, we must realize that rarely if ever is there any decent land that does not already contain a sizeable population, so the Nephites would have had to dispossess other people first. Besides, moving farther on, the Nephites would have entered ecologically new territory, and the prospects would be slim that they could successfully feed their numbers in a new environment with no time to learn how to exploit the land. Assuming a Mesoamerican setting, farther north of the Nephites' position lay another military threat. Beyond the big swamps [of present day Veracruz] they would come nearer and nearer to the territory of Teotihuacan proper, the powerful state allied culturally if not militarily with the Lamanites (i.e. Kaminaljuyu). The Teotihuacan domain of control apparently did not extend quite as far as the Tuxtlas (land of Cumorah) by A.D. 380, but any move farther north by Mormon's people would have encountered this great power, standing in the wings but uninvolved directly in the present conflict. Yet the real key to the Nephites' standing fast could simply be that the lands they were defending were their own already; they felt they had a right to them and were motivated to defend them if at all possible. So, caught between the millstones of Lamanite powers and Teotihuacan itself, the Nephites willingly defended their shrunken core of lands because they had to.” Vargas B.
The Kaminaljuyu were not situated in the Land Northward, but were in the Land Southward, which would not have caused any northern escape in Mesoamerica. The Teothuacan would not have been further north for they were in the heart of Sorenson's Land Northward
Response: This quote is taken from John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 348, and seems to me to be a ridiculous statement. Put yourself in the position of one of Mormon’s army: you have with you your wife and children and are with a very large army who have been chased across the entire Land Northward by a fanatical enemy that has been sacrificing in horrible manner captured women and children who were friends of yours, and your military leader decides to stop and fight a final battle against an army two or three times your size.
    Now you know there is land to the north where you can continue to retreat—a land you know is uninhabited because the promise to your earliest progenitor said the Lord promised this land to you and yours. Now along comes someone who says, ‘hey, there might be some people there, and this is strange land and we might not know how to plant and grow crops there, and the best parts are already taken.’ Are you going to roll over and say, “Gosh, I guess we better stand here and fight and die rather than take our chances in a land where we might not find a good place to settle?”
    Come on now, be realistic. If there was land northward, there would have been numerous Nephites who would have taken off for that location rather than into the south countries. In addition, we know from the record that Lamanites never got to the north of the Nephites, and never aligned with anyone to the north of the Nephites, though there were occasions where that was feared could happen and written about. But it did not happen. The Lamanites were always to the south of the Nephites.
    When Sorenson, or anyone else, writes about other groups, their strengths, their alignments with Lamanites, which is not shown in the scriptural record, they are writing about and living in a fantasy world.
    Comment #2: “I was reading the story of Mormon and it struck me as very odd that Mormon, a 15-year-old lad was made the commander of the entire Nephite armies. Do you have any idea why this appointment was made?” Mathen R.
Left: At 10 years of age, Ammoron told Mormon of the records; Right: At 15, Mormon is made leader of the army
    Response: This is an interesting question that has never been asked us before. While no answer is available in the scriptural record, there are at least three assumptive possibilities: 1) Like Joan of Arc who was given command of an army at age seventeen, Mormon was a strong religious leader and the Nephites had always chosen as their military leaders “someone that had the spirit of revelation and also of prophecy” (3 Nephi 3:19); 2) Mormon was a large, strong young man even at 15 years of age and had shown his military ability; 3) Mormon’s father, also called Mormon, was the military leader, called back from the Land Northward (Mormon 1:6) to head up the Nephite armies. When he died, his son was appointed in his stead.
    The problem with most ideas on this subject is that Mormon had only been in Zarahemla for four years when he was appointed commander of the Nephite armies. In that time, it is doubtful he had sufficient time to show forth any physical military prowess, nor possibly even risen to any great spiritual height in the eyes of the Nephite government. Of these scenarios, the one that makes the most sense is that Mormon’s father was the leader of the Nephite armies, had been called back to the Nephite capitol when Mormon was eleven years old when his father came to Zarahemla (Mormon 1:6).
    It would appear that his father had been in the Land Southward before, since Mormom writes that “The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea“ (Mormon 1:7), suggesting a previous viewpoint that Mormon was told, he being to young to have first hand knowledge of that. In addition, in the year that Mormon arrives in Zarahemla, “there began to be a war between the Nephites and the Lamamites” (Mormon 1:8). This would fit into a scenario where Mormon’s father had been in the Land Northward on some military endeavor, or had retired there after commanding the armies before that time. When the winds of war began to blow, the government in Zarahemla called Mormon back to take command of the armies in this battle that began in 322 A.D.
This war began along the southern wilderness—that narrow strip of wilderness between the Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Nephi up by the headwaters of the river Sidon, or the lake or water source from which the river Sidon flowed (Mormon 1:10). And during this time, there were several battles with someone, perhaps Mormon’s father, leading some 30,000 Nephites to victory. At the conclusion of this year’s battles, the Lamanites withdrew and there was four years of peace (Mormon 1:12). Possibly Mormon’s father was killed in the course of these battles, or was seriously wounded, and Mormon himself was drawn into the military—perhaps he even had some cause to distinguish himself during the year’s many battles.
    In any event, at the conclusion of this four year peace, the Lord visited Mormon (Mormon 1:15), and he was inspired to begin preaching to the Nephites, very possibly to the army itself because of the iniquity of the Nephites (Mormon 1:16).
At this time, the Lamanites came down to do battle, and Mormon was appointed commander of the armies at age 15 (Mormon 2:1). Now it seems unlikely that a hardened army of 30,000 or so would willingly follow an untested 15 year old to lead them into battle unless he had already shown his fighting and leadership ability. Thus, it would seem that both Mormon and his father had credibility within the military, probably along some line as mentioned here. However, we need to keep in mind that all this is simply speculation—we have no knowledge of the events that took place leading up to Mormon’s appointment while he was in Zarahemla those four years.
    Comment #3: “I have heard tell that Mormon named his infant son Moroni, after Captain Moroni, the legendary prophet and military leader, whose history he had abridged, knowing his son would have to face the end of the Nephite nation and fight many wars as did his namesake” Enzo W.
    Response: That is possible, but it is more likely he was merely following the Nephite and Semetic custom of naming sons after ancient or former heroes. Remember, Mormon said of Captain Moroni, “if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men” (Alma 48:17). I would think this would be more of a naming reason, that his son would forever know he was named after the one man his father singled out in all of Nephite history to make such a claim regarding his nature.
This seems more in line with Helaman’s comment to his sons, Nephi and Lehi, “my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good” (Helaman 5:6).

1 comment:

  1. Joseph Smith was a con-man and a pedophile. All Mormons need to be executed, the real God shows no mercy to child rapists