Saturday, November 8, 2014

Comments from Readers – Part II

Continuing with comments, questions and critiques that have been sent in from readers of our blog. 
    Comment #1: “Large deposits of 99%+ pure native copper are known on the Canadian North Shore of Lake Superior, Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, with some minor deposits in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, and reported by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. While there was no known attempt to locate these mines, the fact is artifacts show they existed and that Phyllis Carol Olive’s Great Lakes theory has some merit” Boche W.
Red Arrow: Keweenaw Peninsula; Blue Arrow: Chautauqua Grounds Site at Marinette, Wisconsin; Green Arrow: Lake Erie, Olive’s West Sea; Yellow Arrow: Olive’s Land of Promise. There is no correlation in the historical record that these areas were connected with one another in any way, and the distance would preclude interaction between Lake Erie and Lake Superior
    Response: As the crow flies, the area you mention is located 490 miles northwest of the east shore of Olive’s West Sea (Lake Erie) and at least 650 miles from the center of her Land of Promise. By foot, around the lakes, the distance would be more than a thousand miles. Nor was it possible to sail upward from lake to lake because of the falls and differing elevations between them as well as the fact that the St. Clair River, now connecting Lake Erie to Lake Huron north of Lake St. Clair, had a depth of only four feet at the mouth anciently, and would have been usable only to canoe or raft or flat-bottomed barge, before it was dredged by private interests in the late 19th century. As late as 1900, two large ships were wrecked in this area of the mouth, and between 1908 and 1925, three and one-half million cubic yards of sand and gravel were removed, most of it above the Dry Dock gauge. This hardly suggests any serious connection between the old copper workings found on every major copper lode discovered on the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale by miners in historic times. While many theories have been advanced as to who these early copper miners were—both incredible and unbelievable, ranging from Phoenicians to Berbers to Minoans, Bronze Age Europeans to Vikings, there is no empirical archeological evidence to support any of these theories. Carbon dating, for whatever it is worth, has dated these copper diggings to about 4000 B.C., placing it before the Flood, so would seem to make this a moot point anyway. However, even more recent copper findings, dated to a bout 1000 B.C., have been found at the Chautauqua Grounds Site at Marinette, Wisconsin, which is about 160 miles due south of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Still, this is about 500 miles from Olive’s Land of Promise, and perhaps twice that far by foot around the lakes.
    Comment #2: “In 1927, Janne M. Sjodahl stated that "students of the Book of Mormon should be cautioned against the error of supposing that all the American Indians are the descendants of Lehi, Mulek and their companions” Ricardo Z.
    Response: We do not know the answer to the Lamanite question being today’s Indians (or Native Americans); however, the Book of Mormon is about one family and their current descendants (Lamanites), no other family or people are mentioned or suggested—only other people recorded are the Gentiles. Perhaps people should be cautioned about reading into the scriptures what is not there rather than what is there.
    Comment #3: Ether 15:33 and Mosiah 21:27 confirms that the land covered with dry bones is the same as the land around hill Ramah. The hill Ramah where Ether hid up the records is the same as the hill Cumorah that is in the land of Cumorah” Jedd W.
The Land of Desolation ran from the Sea West to the Sea East, and covered the Land Northward north of the Narrow Neck of Land and the Pass that led between the two lands. Far to the north of this was the Land of Many Waters, Fountains and Rivers, where Mormon and the Nephite nation were annihilated
    Response: The Jaredite lands are even more difficult to pin down than the Nephite lands, since there are even less descriptions. As an example, regarding these bones we only know “they did find a land which had been peopled; yea, a land which was covered with dry bones; yea, a land which had been peopled and which had been destroyed“ (Mosiah 21:26) and “found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind,” (Mosiah 8:8). Thus, we know that these bones were in a land of many waters and among or around many ruined buildings of every kind. This does not describe the land in upstate New York, nor the area of the hill Cumorah—no buildings are associated with the hill Ramah, or the hill Cumorah or there about. Therefore, it cannot be said the bones mentioned were found around the hill Ramah.
    Comment #4: “Comment: After 12 years of moderate studying of all other possible theories! Last January I found this blog and have spent many, many hours reading the blog. I also have read much concerning the worlds historical view of South America. I hate the fact it happened in South America it shatters so many theory's ideas thoughts books. Not to mention tennis shoes Among the Nephites. Never the less what an amazing marvelous culture. I love this blog I love this research. Please, please make a map."
    Response: Thank you for your kind words. We are also glad you found us and look forward to hearing from you more. As for a map, we have published maps before of the Andean area during the Nephite period when it was an island, and afterward. As soon as this current series is completed, we'll publish it again.
    Comment #5: “Why do you think Nephi was in his 20s when he tells us he was “exceedingly young”?  Kaylee M.
    Response: The scripture is found in 1 Nephi 2:16, when he is basically introducing himself to us. At that time, it is 30 years after they had left Jerusalem, he is in the Land of Promise, and is abridging his earlier record written on the Large Plates (of which the first 116 pages of the Book of Lehi were lost by Martin Harris). In this abridged record, which the Lord told him to write again (1 Nephi 9:2-5), Nephi is probably about 55, and when one is that age, and looking back at himself 30 years earlier, it makes sense he would consider himself “exceedingly young” at 25—especially considering all that Nephi did after leaving Jerusalem, including getting married, building a ship, having brothers who tried to kill him, founding a city and land, teaching his people to build, fighting wars, etc. When I look back on my life, I think of when I was called to be a Bishop, and though in my 30s at the time, I now consider myself then being “exceedingly young”—even younger than that.
In addition, it should be kept in mind that though he says he is young, but large in stature, should tell us he is not a kid or teenager, but more importantly, he is not an adult by Hebrew and Jewish culture, for adulthood was not then considered until a man was 30 years of age. This would put him somewhere in his 20s, and if we say he was 25, that would make Sam 27, Lemuel 29, and Laman 31—the latter the only "adult" among them and why, perhaps, Lemuel looks up to Laman, and why Laman is so angry that his younger brother, Nephi, claims he will be lord and ruler over him.
It also suggests that though Laman is an adult and, therefore past marrying age, he was not yet married, which gets into why he was not and then why Zoram became part of the party to marry Ishmael’s oldest daughter (1 Nephi 16:7), so that the younger daughters could then under Hebrew culture marry Lehi’s sons. All of this fits into the story line of people in the time of 600 B.C. brought up in the Hebrew/Jewish culture of that age. If Nephi had been a teenager when leaving Jerusalem as many have claimed, that would put him being married two years later on the trail while still in his late teens, certainly out of the question for a Hebrew of that day and age.

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