Saturday, July 5, 2014

Comments from Readers – Part VI

We continue to have comments, questions and criticisms being sent in from readers of our blog. Here are a few more with our responses. 
    Comment #1: “It appears likely that Nephi had daughters but no male offspring. Note that the records went to his brother Jacob and then to Jacob’s son Enos” Aiden T.
Among the Jaredites, Jared held the leadership role and the Brother of Jared was the prophetic leader
    Response: At the time of the Jaredites, Jared held the kingly line, which descended through him; his brother held the religious or prophet lineage, and the Jaredite record was kept by them. In Nephi’s time, before he died, he set up his much younger brother, Jacob, to be the next prophet (Jacob 1:1), and through Jacob’s lineage the records were kept and the prophet lineage continued until King Benjamin's time, when the plates were full (Omni 1:30), and delivered into the hands of King Benjamin (Words of Mormon 1:10). 
    On the other hand, through Nephi’s direct lineage, the kings or leaders descended. He annointed the next king (Jacob 1:9), and the people were desirous that these kings should bear Nephi’s name as 1st Nephi, 2nd Nephi, etc. (Jacob 1:11). Now, under Hebrew and Jewish law, the son of the king became the next king, and under Nephite law, the same, even with judges, was the rule until a later Nephi was voted out of office (Helaman 5:1-2). To say that Nephi had no sons is unrealistic and without support in the scriptural record. The kings kept the large plates of Nephi, and that record was kept by Nephi’s descendants. In fact, under Hebrew, Jewish and Nephite custom, descendancy was claimed through the father, thus, when Aminadi says he was a descendant of Nephi (Alma 10:3), Nephi would have had to have had sons for this descendancy to have existed, and also for the descendancy of Helaman, who was the son of Helaman, who was the son of Alma, who was the son of Alma, being a descendant of Nephi who was the son of Lehi.
    Comment #2: “Numerous archaeologists claim that basically the most accurate ways to date any ancient location is by the pottery that is found in a location” Pauline.
Response: In a recent case in finding pottery pieces in an excavation in Israel, an archaeologist dated his conclusions on the clay and chalk pottery shards that were found in the remnants of a house. The pottery shards were considered to date from the Hellenic Roman period from 100 B.C. to A.D. 100, since they matched other potshards of that type to that period. This method of matching pottery from a site to other pottery in an attempt to properly identify the time frame of the dig, is one of the most frequently used dating methods in archaeology and considered one of the most effective.
    However, the archaeologist automatically eliminates any possibility that the pottery could have been made earlier in time (from a potterer traveling to a different area where such pottery was known, or was shown about it from a traveler), or later in time (by a potterer who happened to like that pattern and style and did not want to change, or had clients who preferred to stay with that old style). The trouble is, that archaeologists believe that pottery was made anciently by people “who were careful imitators but reluctant innovators, and that style did seem to change from period to period, slowly but decisively,” meaning that all pottery of a people started at the same time and ended at the same time, with all potterers of that people moving on to another style at the same basic time. According to archaeology, because of this attitude, “we are now able to observe those changes in style and from them establish a chronology.
    The methodology is not exact, but within reasonable limitations it does provide a workable typology upon which to construct a fairly reliable chronology.”
Left: Mochica; Center: Nazca; Right: Wari—all of South American Peru. According to Archaeologists, this means there was no overlap of these talents and designs, but each was isolated to certain areas and people and time
    Again, archaeologists simply reject the possibility that a potterer might like change, or moved and stopped making pottery there, or his children did or his grandchildren, who took their craft elsewhere and adapted to new ideas and methods. None of which sounds like a fool-proof system and should not be used to make any intelligent decision about the time frame of an event.
    Comment #3: “V. Garth Norman has stated: ‘Another huge clue provided by Mormon is that the Land Southward was "nearly surrounded by water" (Alma 22:32). It had seas to the east, south, west and north (Helaman 3:8). No doubt it was for that reason that some of the first who arrived with Lehi's group believed that they were on an island (2 Nephi 10:20),’ so maybe they only thought they were on an island” Thibaut.
    Response: Norman is a Mesoamerican Theorist, and has produced a map of Mesoamerica for his Land of Promise location. Naturally, he cannot accept that Jacob’s comment in 2 Nephi 10:20 as being accurate. Like all theorists with a pre-determined model that does not allow for now, or in the past, an island location, they have to alter the direct and simple meaning of the scriptural record.
    First of all, at the time Jacob makes this statement about the Nephites being “upon an isle of the sea,” it was sometime between 559 and 545 B.C., probably closer to the former than the latter, which is the date of Nephi’s death, and the beginning of Jacob’s record (Jacob 1:1). Now, at this time, the majority of Nephites present had been only in the area of the City of Nephi, with Nephi, Sam, Zoram, Jacob, Joseph, and those of the original landing, also having been along the West Sea to the south, where the colony had first landed. Consequently, there is no way at this time they could have known about a Sea East or a Sea North, and maybe not even a Sea South.
Thus Jacob’s comment would have to have come from the Spirit, not from actual knowledge. Which means that Jacob knew they were on an island, “an isle of the sea,” that same sea they had crossed and landed along its shore (2 Nephi 10:20) like this representative island.
    Which makes Norman’s comment self-serving, and inaccurate!
    Comment #4: And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine” (Enos 1:18). Notice that Enos’ fathers have required this thing. Who were his fathers? Jeremy J.
    Response: Jacob and Nephi had made this request of the Lord, not Lehi as far as we know. Nephi had molten the plates and made the record. Jacob and the first-born daughter of Nephi were probably close to the same age and may have married, both being born in the wilderness of the south Arabian Peninsula (1 Nephi 17:2; 18:7). This is purely speculation, but certainly a possibility.
    Comment #5: “I saw this statement recently that most of the people fighting the change away from the Mesoamerican Theory to the Heartland Theory are people who have something to lose financially or by reputation, I feel for them. ... How would it be when you've spent your life trying to prove The Book of Mormon location ... if someone came along and said you'd ignored the statements of Joseph Smith. What do you think? ”Brighton R.
    Response: That statement was made by Bruce H. Porter, who is connected with Rod Meldrum and Wayne May, both of which have written extensively about their theory of the Book of Mormon Land of Promise being in the eastern United States, basically east of the Mississippi and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. We have written extensively in these posts about both Mesoamerica and their Heartland locations as both being without merit in regard to the descriptions Nephi and Mormon left us. 
   While I agree that people tend to be unwilling to give up their pet theories because of many years investment in their ideas, the financial part is interesting because all three of these men, Meldrum, Porter and May, have worked extensively in earning money on their theory with tours and numerous items for sale. I suspect they, too, would not give up their own pet theory. And they should, since their claims are even more spurious than Mesoamerica. At least Mesoamerica has some examples of Book of Mormon descriptions—the Heartland has nothing other than the Hill Cumorah in New York to make any worthwhile and accurate connection at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment