Friday, November 14, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part VIII

We continue to have comments, questions and criiques being sent in from readers of our blog. Here are a few more with our responses. 
    Comment #1: “I was reading that a New York State archaeologist, claimed that the weather in New York State was different in what would be Nephite times and that perhaps things were different during the Nephite era, which might allow for the Great Lakes area to be the Land of Promise after all” Kenley S.
Response: You are referring to the work of William A. Ritchie (left), “Indian History of New York State Part III-The Algokian Tribes,” which appears on the “Book of Mormon Lands website,” in which is written under the title The Weather During Book of Mormon Times:, “…we learn that once the last of the glaciers of the last Ice Age melted away, forests of mixed evergreens and hardwoods covered most of the land, and the same species of birds, fish, and mammals seen in the land today thrived in large numbers when our first recognized hunters appeared along the valleys of the Finger Lakes and larger rivers of western, central and southern New York. Many of the existing mucklands and swamps were shallow lakes back then, and the streams flowed clearer and were deeper than they are today due to the thick spongy covering of the forest floor. Studies of the fossil pollins from bogs in eastern North America have indicated the prevalence of relatively warm and humid conditions favorable to hunting, fishing and the gathering of wild food plants, especially nuts and fruits." But what is most interesting, is their findings that "a cool and moist climactic phase is believed to have prevailed over the Northeast for most of the period since the birth of Christ, and it seems probable that the direct ancestors of some of our Algonquin tribes [merged Nephite/Mulekites who went on to become northern Lamanites] were by this time resident with the area." Considering all the geological disturbances that were going on in Nephite territory at the time of the Savior's death, such as earthquakes, tempests, whirlwinds, lightnings and fire coming down upon their cities, we may have hit upon the reason the weather in the northeast changed so dramatically at this time. Thus, the Nephites would not have experienced the cold temperatures found in New York today until after the time of Christ. When Alma was abused so terrible by the enemy who kept him in prison with little food and no clothing in months that correspond with winter (see Alma 22:23), we can now rest easy that he did not suffer the same cold temperatures that may have caused his death if he were confined under the same circumstances today.”
    In this writing, there are so many fallacious thoughts included, that it is difficult to know where to start. Let’s try first, the tempests mentioned in 3 Nephi lasted 3 hours, and the ensuing darkness lasted 3 days. History has shown us that such a short length of time for even the worst recorded tempests have not altered later weather in the least. Second, when talking about the end of the last ice age, geologists tell us that this was at least 10,000 years ago, or what would be 6,000 years before the Jaredites, with a universal Flood in between—hardly suggestive of anything to base later topography conditions upon since the Flood would have changed everything to begin with.  In addition, Ritchie’s own findings when he returned to Lamoka Lake in 1958 and again in 1962 at Frontenac Island (near Cayuga Lake), changed the dating of his earlier findings, showing that these events were actually dated to 2500 B.C., some 4500 years ago—again, this would have been just before Noah’s Flood, but long after the end of the ice age.
The Flood of Noah’s time, which occurred in 2344 B.C. would have changed everything found afterward from what existed earlier—the mere fact of all the water rushing back into the oceans, etc., would have created canyons, valleys, even areas like the Grand Canyon; any attempt to claim factors dating before that time are moot points
    Third, what might have changed the weather in the New York area around the time of Christ’s birth is unknown, even to the scientists who study and write about it, thus we are dealing strictly with speculation here. Fourth, what the weather might have been when Alma was cast into prison, which, by the way, is not found in Alma 22:23, but in Alma 14:18-28, is not mentioned in scripture or implied other than it was during the Nephite 10th month—but we do not know what the Nephite calendar was—as an example, the Jewish calendar was based on the lunar month (moon cycle) and is not compatible with our Julian calendar. Consequently, in the Hebrew calendar the tenth month is Tevet, which can fall in December or
January on our calendar (in 2013, it began on December 1st, but in 2014, it began on December 20th).
    On the other hand, Mormon tells us the Nephites did not reckon or measure after the manner of the Jews (Alma 11:4), so this, too, might fall in the realm of speculation. At the same time, while December in New York can be quite cold, it is the summer in the southern hemisphere, such as Andean Peru, which would be quite warm.
Alma and Amulek in prison at the time of their rescue (Alma 14:27)
    As for Alma being abused, “And they did withhold food from them that they might hunger, and water that they might thirst; and they also did take from them their clothes that they were naked; and thus they were bound with strong cords, and confined in prison” (Alma 14:22). This seems like enough cause for abuse—the weather is simply not mentioned as a factor in any way.
    Comment #8: “You claim that the land of promise was an island, but the only seashore mentioned with respect to the Jaredite lands was eastward. Ether tells us that this seashore was eastward of both the Hill Shim and the Hill Cumorah, when he said, “And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land; wherefore Omer departed out of the land with his family, and traveled many days, and came over and passed by the hill of Shim, and came over by the place where the Nephites were destroyed, and from thence eastward, and came to a place which was called Ablom, by the seashore.” Nowhere else is a seashore mentioned in Ether” Edgmer C.
    Response: First of all, I don’t say the Land of Promise was an island, Jacob said that, and Nephi recorded it (2 Nephi 10:20), Joseph Smith translated it and the Spirit verified it. I merely repeat what is written. Secondly, two seashores are mentioned in Ether. The east seashore, which you outlined, and the west seashore, which is listed in Mormon 2:6, since the city of Desolation was built by the Jaredites and that would have been north of the narrow neck of land in the Land Northward (Ether 10:20). In addition, there is a very large waterway to the north the Jaredites called Ripliancum (Ether 15:8), which would have had a seashore, no doubt the Sea North mentioned by Helaman (3:8), which the Jaredites called Ripliancum.
    Comment #10: “The Book of Mormon only mentions one hill Cumorah. It was the same hill that the Jaredites called Ramah. You can’t just go around adding another hill Cumorah wherever you want, or claim this hill Cumorah in New York was not the one mentioned in the Book of Mormon” Gizelle T.
The Hill Cumorah in western New York. It was so named by early Saints after the publication of the Book of Mormon. When considering what is mentioned by Mormon (who was there) about the hill Cumorah, on which they sought refuge during an extremely huge major war that saw somewhere near 300,000 to 400,000 killed, it hardly fits the descriptions in any way
    Response: There is only one hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon. It was located near the eastern seashore of a body of water large enough to be called a sea. It was within easy travel distance of this eastern seashore as suggested by Omer, who took many days to reach Cumorah from the West, but then a short trek to the sea: “and from there eastward, and came to a place which was called Ablom by the seashore” (Ether 9:3). The Hill in New York, mistakenly named Cumorah by the early Saints is south of any body of water large enough to be called a sea (Lake Ontario). It is too far west to be thought of as near the Atlantic Ocean or east seashore (350 miles distance). As for two Cumorahs, there really is only one—the one mentioned in the scriptural record. The other is a place named by modern man. This is much like there being two Bountifuls in the scriptural record, one in Arabia and the other in the Land of Promise; however, a third, named by modern man, is in Utah. There is also Zarahemla mentioned in the scriptural record, but another, in Iowa, named by modern man. To reverse your comment, “You just can’t go around claiming a hill named by modern man is the same hill mentioned in the scriptural record."

No comments:

Post a Comment