Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part XII

Using strictly the scriptures, I would like to ask the following questions of those many Theorists who claim their pet theories about the location of the Land of Promise are consistent with the scriptural record. 
    This Twelfth question is directed to John L. Sorenson, and every other Mesoamerican Theorist who claims ttheir model is the location for the Land of Promise that matches the scriptural record.
    The question to ask is quite simple and strictly scripturally based:
    12. “Where are the two animals in Mesoamerica the Jaredites brought to, or domesticated from, those animals they brought to the Land of Promise? (Ether 9:19).
Two unknown animals linked with these more common beasts of burden, the horse, ass, and elephant
    First, these two animals were so different from anything Joseph Smith, a farmer, knew or understood and for which he had no name other than those used by the ancients, that he could not come up with a representative name, so he simply used the Jaredite name for them.”
    Second, Moroni, in translating Ether’s writings, names several animals, including horses, asses, elephants, and the unknown cureloms and cumoms, which it is said were useful to man, “and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms. This suggests that these two unknown animals were very useful to the Jaredites in their daily living.
    Third, since the elephant is a beast of burden, it is likely these two animals would also have been, especially in light that the other two  beasts of burden, the horse and ass, are also mentioned in the same sentence.
Fourth, an elephant provides carrying power, such as a pack animal, can be ridden, its hide is thick and durable and is used for various clothing and materials, and its meat eaten. Thus, these two unknown animals should also have a wide range of uses, both living and harvested, such as food, clothing, etc.
    Fifth, since we are talking about animals dating back a few thousand years, they should have some recognizable wild and domesticated history, as well as be or descended from some type of animal(s) that existed 1) on the Ark, and 2) date to Mesopotamia from which the Jaredites originated.
    Sixth, these animals should be connected to a Scientific classification recognizable within the beast of burden classes, such as horse (Equidae), cattle (Bovidae), elephant (Elephantidae), camel (Camelidae), etc.
    Seventh, these animals should be well known for their value to man and how ancient civilizations, as well as present, use them for a major part of their rural needs.
    Eighth, these animals would have been unknown in the U.S. in 1830 (Joseph Smith’s time), specifically in the northeast where Joseph Smith lived, despite his being raised on a farm.
    Ninth, by today’s classification, these two animals should be considered indigenous to the Western Hemisphere.
    Tenth, contrary to John L. Sorenson’s claim that the Jaredite elephants became extinct in their day, and that the cumom and curelom were also extinct before Moroni’s day is not founded on any comment in the scriptural record—merely an excuse for his not knowing any current animal in Mesoamerica to match these descriptions, especially in the case of the cumom and curelom, for no such unknown animal can be found anciently in Mesoamerica.
    Eleventh, however, in Andean Peru (including Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador), there are two animals that match Ether’s description that date back thousands of years to Jaredite times and have always existed in that area—the wild vicuna and guanaco, from which the llama and alpaca have been domesticated. These are camelids, part of the Family Camelidae, as are all camels, and may well have been developed from the camels known to the Jaredites anciently.
The Llamas are used as pack animals, can be ridden, are docile, and easy to handle
    Twelfth, these Andean camelids are extremely useful to the peoples of the Andes, both anciently and today, providing meat, wool for clothing, can be ridden, used as pack animals, pets, guard “dogs”, easy to handle, and eat only about 5-10% of the amount of horses, can go long periods without water, and travel long distances. While the llama is mostly a beast of burden, the alpaca is groomed for its excellent wool coats which are superior to sheep’s wool, with each animal producing more than a sheep.
The Alpacas are bred for their coats of wool as well as their meat.  There are various types of coats, thickness of wool, and color, and can be used for clothing, blankets, coats, shoes, and numerous other items
    Thirteenth, Llamas are members of the camelid, or camel, family, and were first domesticated about 4,000 years ago in the Andean highlands. They are hardy and well-suited to harsh environments, are smart and easy to train. A Llama will weigh between 280 to 450 pounds and can carry about a quarter of their body weight, so a 400-pound male llama can carry about 100 pounds on a trek of 10 to 12 miles with no problem. They live about 20 years, are vegetarians and have efficient digestive systems. They are social animals and prefer herds. They do not bite, but will spit when agitated. The current population of llamas and alpacas in South America is estimated to be more than 7 million, and there are about 158,000 llamas and 100,000 alpacas in the U.S. and Canada today.
    Fourteenth, the llama and alpaca, though known since the late 1800s internationally, basically continued their obscure existence until the latter part of the 20th century, especially in the U.S. where a few llamas were not introduced until after 1930, but in any numbers not until the 1970s. By 1980, the demand outstripped supply and there was a two-year waiting period to obtain any llama import. The first llama to arrive in New York was on the Dakota Ridge Farm in 1990.
    So we ask again, “Where are the two animals in Mesoamerica the Jaredites brought to, or domesticated from, those animals they brought to the Land of Promise? (Ether 9:19).

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