Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part XVII

Here are more comments, questions and criticisms that have been sent in from readers of our blog, along with our responses. 
    Comment #1: ”Have any mammoth or elephant bones, fossils been found in south Americas?” Tracy E.
While scientists claim the mastodon elephant arrived in America during the Miocene epoch, multiplied astonishingly, and then became extinct in 4500 B.C., a far more recent date has been given. According to the Victoria Institute, an 1886 article claims that near Concordia, Columbia, a complete skeleton of a mastodon was found in an artificial salt pond, which had been constructed by Indians. The pond, with its bottom of paved stones together with the animal, had been entombed by a sudden landslide.
    In 1929, the skeleton of a mastodon was found in Ecuador that had been killed by Indians. A circle of fires had been built around the body for convenient roasting of the flesh. A landslide covered the site, which also included broken painted pottery and artifacts, which archaeologists have dated to the beginning of the Christian era. Dr. Nicholas Leon, archaeologist of the National Museum of Mexico, has written about elephant remains found 500 miles north of Mexico City in Paredon, state of Coahuila, which was suddenly destroyed. Many human skeletons mingled elephants remains, including elephant tusks with silver rings on them, have been found. Actually, the list goes on. Elephant remains, bones, tusks, etc., dated to the time of human activity, some in the last and first centuries BC and AD, some even later have been found in the Americas, specifically in South America.
    Comment #2: “Nice site” Shaun T.
    Response: Thank you. Stick around, we post new articles every day.
    Comment #3: “Isn’t it interesting that the Jews have always been welcome in peaceful countries, and expelled or killed in evil or dictatorial countries” Burton T.
The Jews were expelled from much of Europe during the 12th Century thru the 16th Century
    Response: Not so. The Jews were forbidden by law to live in first in France in 1182 A.D., then in England from 1290 A.D. and into the 17th century. Under the Edict of Expulsion issued in 1290 A.D. by Edward I. In the nearly two centuries before that, Jews from Italy, Spain and Russia, and from French-speaking lands, flooded into England. They built 'the great Synagogue' just a short walk from the Tower of London. This was an error for which many Jews paid later, on their short walk to the Tower for their execution. According to the Chronica Majora, The Synagogue was used not only for religious ceremony but also to 'invite' claims against Christian debtors, effecting a settlement of their debts.

Left: King Henry I; Center: Pope Clement VIII; Right: King Henry III
    King Henry I, who was not in favor of this inclusion, died in 1135, and was replaced by the weak king Stephen, who had a fondness for Jews, which soon founded communities in Norwich, Cambridge, and Oxford. His appointment of Matilda’s son, as Henry II, saw more communities established, in Lincoln, Northampton, Thetford, Bungay, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
    In 1592, Pope Clement VIII stated: "All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. They have brought many unfortunate peoples into a state of poverty, especially farmers, working-class people, and the very poor."
    In the reign of Henry III, the Jews expanded even more and they controlled money-lending from Devon to Yorkshire. Many Englanders lost their homes when orders for payment were issued through local sheriffs, which eventually led to the massacre of the Jews in 1264. In 1275, the Common Council of the Realm of Westminster, forbade Jews (and Englishmen) to loan money at interest, and all Jews from seven years of age upward, had to “wear a badge on his outer garment. 15 years later, On 18 July 1290 every professing Jew in England was ordered out of the Realm, for ever, by King Edward I. Between sixteen and seventeen thousand Jews had to flee, and none dared return until four hundred years later
Left: Domesday Book (Liber de Wintonia, Book of Winchester), ordered by William the Conqueror and completed in 1086, to determine what taxes were owed by landowners in England; Right: Magna Carta (Great Charter [of the Liberties of England]), stamped by the seal of King John at Runnymede 15 June 1215
    According to the Domesday Book to Magna Carta, “The ostentation which possession of great wealth enabled the Jews to display, and their unconcealed contempt for the practices of Christianity, made them an object of universal dislike; as usurers, moreover, they had gained a strangle-hold on the recently founded monastic houses whose splendid buildings they had financed, and on many of the smaller aristocratic families.”
    In 1655, Manasseh ben Israel petitioned Oliver Cromwell to allow the Jews to return to England. One of the reasons for Cromwell’s agreement, it is said, was the abundance at the time of theories relating to the end of the world. Many of these ideas were fixed upon the year 1666 and the Fifth Monarchy Men who were looking for the return of Jesus as the Messiah who would establish a final kingdom to rule the physical world for a thousand years. They supported Cromwell’s Republic in the expectation that it was a preparation for the fifth monarchy, i.e., following the Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires.
    Comment #4: “Thank you very much for helpful information from this article” Seonet24
    Response: Thank you. That is our goal.
    Comment #5: “I agree with you about the Jaredites being all annihilated; the scriptures are pretty clear about a total destruction of everyone in their nation. What I have wondered about is the possibility of a split off group that was no longer considered part of the original nation. If some group or groups of Jaredites left the main group a few hundred years earlier and settled in other far way parts of the Americas, they may have lost all contact with the main body of Jaredites and they may not have been considered part of the nation that was being totally destroyed. I am thinking of what happened with Haggoth and how their group would not have been included in the rest of Nephite history once they were "lost." Though I am not determined that this theory is right or needs to be right, I like if for a few reasons. What are your thoughts about this idea?”  Weasa P.  
Response: First of all, the Jaredites of the Book of Mormon in the Land of Promise were all destroyed. But did the Lord lead some Jaredites out of the Land of Promise at some time during their 1600-year occupation? Since nothing of the sort is mentioned in the scriptural record and no outside information exists to bear this out, I think that such speculation is unanswerable. On the other hand, we know that Haggoth in the last century B.C. built ships on which numerous Nephite families migrated somewhere to the north. While we know nothing of these from the scriptural record, we can look at outside information and see a Nephite-like civilization that existed to the north of the Andean area of South America—that of Central (Meso) America. Thus, such speculation that the Mesoamerican ruins found in southern Mexico, the Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize and western Honduras could very well have been Nephites who left the Book of Mormon Land of Promise and “were never heard of more,” as Mormon stated it (Alma 63:8).
    Comment #6: “There is only one thing you are forgetting. What were the conditions of 31 mile area of the Darian Gap in Panama 2,000 years ago. Was it jungle then, we really do not know”  JL 
Response: I have always taken the view that if there is no geologic, forestation/deforestation, flood, or other religious or science-advanced scenarios of given areas, that they probably remained the same over time. After all, the world is full of researchers who work on such things, and all findings are published. On the other hand, the Darien Gap is presently a swamp--a swamp is an area of land permanently saturated, or filled, with water. Swamps are also always dominated by trees, and named after the type of trees that grow in them. In addition, swamps are transition areas, neither totally land nor totally water. Swamps generally are permanent in nature, that is, they last for thousands of years. While we do not have any record of what existed in the Americas (other than the Book of Mormon) before the Spanish, we do have record of swamps in Rome and Mesopotamia that existed for thousands of years. The only reason Rome's swampland (around the seven hills) no longer exists is because they drained it to rid themselves of the parasitic malaria-carrying mosquito; the one in Mesopotamia existed from the time of the Jaredites, and though it remained the home of the Marsh Arabs for thousands of years, it was drained by Saddam Hussein when he tried to drive his opposition out of existence. I would think that the swamp of Darian has been around ever since that area of Central America rose up out of the ocean, as the deep sea drilling platform, Glomar Challenger, showed took place about two thousand years ago.

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