Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bison, Buffalo, Corn and People – Part V

Continuing from the previous post regarding the website article of Richard G. Grant (Come to Zarahemla) and the article written in it called “Lehi in the Promised Land: What did he Find?” And with a sub-heading “When they arrived, what did they Find? Cows and horses? Were there others there?” 
     The last post continued with Grant’s writing, mostly a repeat of Sorenson’s issues about population and the need for additional groups of people other than Lehi’s posterity.
Grant Writes: “Sherem is not family. The story gives no hint that Jacob recognizes Sherem as the descendent of one of his brothers.
    Response: Another specious comment. First of all, we don’t know who Sherem was, or what his lineage might have been. Sherem does use the term “Brother Jacob,” which is a title and has no specific reference to blood line, nor is one implied here or elsewhere. Today, we use it in the Church regularly, and there is no reason to believe it was not used in the same way with the Nephites. If Sherem was of some direct relation, such as a descendant of one of Jacob’s brothers, he might have been listed as such in the first verse (chapter 7) when he is first introduced, however, Jacob merely says, “there came a man among the people of Nephi,” which could mean he was of the Nephite lineage (Nephi, Sam, Zoram, Jacob or Joseph), or one of those Nephi took with him, who are not specifically identified other than Zoram, Sam, Jacob, Joseph and his two sisters, “and all those who would go with [him]" (2 Nephi 5:6).
Grant spends a lot of time and effort speculating about things that are simply not suggested or inferred in the scriptural record. Such writing has little value and certainly not beneficial to any further or deeper understanding.
    Grant Writes: “Population, cultural differences, and the story of Sherem all suggest that there must have been others.”
    Response: None of this suggests anything of the kind. All these factors can and are explained by the facts listed. Speculating on issues not suggested only clouds the scriptural record with valueless ideas that are unsupported by anything other than the writer’s (Grant’s) mind.
    Grant Writes: “A look at the language diversity in Mesoamerica at the time of Columbus again leads linguists to conclude that the cultural history is complex.”
    Response: Before one can begin writing about such matters regarding Mesoamerica, as Sorenson, Allen, et al, and now Grant, choose to do, one should first make a legitimate case for Mesoamerica from the facts and descriptions found within the scriptural record—a fact Sorenson and others have never done (see the book Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican and Other Theorists).
Grant Writes: “Recent studies have demonstrated that about 200 languages were spoken in Mesoamerica alone at the time of the arrival of the Spanish.”
    Response: From the time of Lehi’s landing and the Spanish arrival was approximately 2100 years. How anyone got the number 200 is an interesting issue, since the early Priests, the only ones who would have understood different languages, were not out counting languages, but were heavily involved in trying to convert those few indigenous peoples they encountered. The U.S. has been populated for only about 400 years and there are more than a hundred different languages and dialects stemming from the original settlers. What does any of that suggest? In addition, what exactly are the “recent studies”? Anything done today or recently regarding what existed in the Americas before or at the time of the Spanish conquest is hardly going to be accurate in any way and would be used only for “wishful thinking.”
    Grant Writes: “Br Sorenson concludes that this evidence "cannot accommodate the picture that the book of Mormon gives us of its peoples without supposing that 'others' were on the scene when Lehi's group came ashore,” then adds: “With careful reading, we can see that the Book of Mormon give rather explicit hints of other peoples. For example, Alma, praying about the dissenting Zoramites, says, "O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren" (Alma 31:35). In other verses, Lamanite, Mulekites, and even Jaredites, are referred to as brethren. Who, then, are these people that Alma alludes to who are apparently not Lamanite, Mulekite, or even Jaredite?”
    Response: “Our brethren” in this case refers to Alma talking about those that are members of the Church. Those that are not “our brethren” would be those who are not members of the Church. If one would read before and after this quoted passage, they would see that Alma is on a missionary journey, converting people to the gospel, and talking about those who he was trying to convert.
    Grant Writes: “Following several such examples, Dr. Sorenson concludes: Hereafter, readers will not be justified in saying that the record fails to mention "other" but only that we readers have hitherto failed to observe what is said and implied about such people in the Book of Mormon.”
    Response: Such is the thinking of Sorenson. He makes up things, then uses them as fact, and finally tells us that we have no right to disagree with him and his findings. The first thing anyone needs to do to find other people in the scriptural record is to point out that they are referred to as such. Nowhere is any other people mentioned in the entire scriptural record of 14 books and nearly 20 writers.
    Simply put, no other group of people are mentioned, suggested, or inferred!
    Sorenson can make people up, Grant can mimic Sorenson’s words, but that does not change the scriptural record. Not one single writer in the entire Book of Mormon, not Mormon or Moroni who abridged those records. Not Joseph Smith who translated them, nor the Spirit who verified that translation, ever suggests in any way there were any other people.
    In fact, the writers seem to go out of their way to describe, or at least mention in some detail, all those people, places, and events, which interacted with the main Nephite story. Not one mentions or suggests another people anywhere in the record.


  1. Del,

    I suspect the real reason Sorenson and others harp so much on "others" is because the Mesoamerican theory demands it. So many people were demonstrably in M.A. that their theory falls apart without others being present. Unfortunately, they use their putative geography to inform the text, rather than the other way around, as you often point out.

  2. If one begins a theory based on a fallacy.. it will always be a fallacy until the beginning theory changes no matter what you add to it. Bottom line is: Lehi Never Saw MesoAmerica! As long as one believes he did.. no matter what you say or add to that.. it will always come up as a fallacy.

  3. Therein lies the problem with all theories which start with a place first, then trying to find scriptures to back it up. Once ruins were found in Mesoamerica, it became "the place" and scholars began to try and match it up with the scriptural record. When they could not, they had to change the scriptural record, change its meaning, change its descriptions, give the record a new directional system, introduce marathon runners to equate a day and a half journey, etc. However, once committed I doubt you will find anyone changing their mind any time soon. Even the Lord had to wait for the Old Guard of the Children of Israel to die off before he could lead them to the promised land.