Thursday, December 18, 2014

More Comments from Readers – Part VIII

These are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “When I read the B of M I always wonder what happened to the evidence of the life of the Jaredites” Todd P.
    Response: There is a lot of evidence of the Jaredites and we have written about it on the blog in a few posts a while back. The animals are the thing that most people concern themselves with, especially the critics. However, as we have discussed in our posts, there are several factors involved, one of which is that the uninhabited area of Andean Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, etc., is very large and the Spanish, when they arrived, covered just a very small area of it for a couple of hundred years.
    What common animals were found there after the Spanish arrived were always credited to the Spanish bringing them, but there is no way to say there weren’t some of the animals Nephi mentioned in the “outback,” in the hills, upland valleys, etc., where the Spanish never ventured. Nor would the natives of the highland areas know or understand our concern about what animals were there before the Spanish and which ones were not.
The native population used certain animals (alpaca and llama) and for quite some time science did not know about the guanaco and vicuna wild ancestors. In fact, much of Andean Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador today remains unknown to the Western World, other than tours that take one to the sites of early ruins.
    It also remains to be considered what happened to the area of the Land of Promise after Moroni’s last entry. We know that a civil war took place in the entire land for some forty years and was still raging after that time. As Moroni wrote: “the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war” (Mormon 8:8) and also “their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves;” (Moroni 1:2). One can only imagine what condition the land and its flora and fauna would be in with such a condition. 
    Animals have been killed into extinction under normal conditions, think what could happen during such a land-covering civil war, especially with Lamanites who were not known for planting or harvesting (providing their own food). One can imagine that all the domestic animals (localized and easy to catch) would have been the first to give way under vast armies living off the land as they wage wars for a generation or more. And without human care, domestic animals would starve without feed provided. 
An interesting “Animals in War Memorial” was erected in London in 2004, to commemorate the countless animals that have served and died during war. And inscription reads: “Many and various animals were employed to support British and Allied Forces in wars and campaigns over the centuries, and as a result millions died. From the pigeon to the elephant, they all played a vital role in every region of the world in the cause of human freedom.”
According to an NBC World News Report in February of this year, during the three-year civil war in Syria, food became unavailable and people were starving. After a four-month siege of Yarmouk, people resorted to eating cats and dogs, even grass, cactus and animal feed. According to the BBC News, during October of last year in Damascus, clerics issued a fatwa (ruling) allowing people living in the besieged suburbs to eat cats, dogs and donkeys to stave off hunger. And just as obviously, during wars, animals themselves starve for want of food. In North Korea, people have resorted to eating rats to avoid starvation.
    For those of us who would never think to eat horsemeat, in France special butchers (boucherie chevaline) sell nothing but butchered horsemeat. Elephant meat is also considered a delicacy in some areas of the world and poachers make more money on the selling of elephant meat than their ivory tusks.
    So what happened to the animals the Nephites had? We don’t know, but numerous situations suggest that they might have become extinct during the wars of the Lamanites.
    Comment #2: “It would be great if you could insert a map of the general navigational routes and landing of Lehi in Chile and later the people with Mulek to the north (Central America) area. Thanks” Kevan D
    Response: The maps have been shown in the blog before, but here are a couple.
Lehi left the Arabian Peninsula from the coast of Oman (Khor Rori) and sailed into the Sea of Arabia on the southwest summer winds and current, picked up the western curve of the South Indian Ocean Gyre, and swung down into the Southern Ocean on the Prevailing Westerlies and West Wind Drift that took him across the “Great Deep” to where the Humboldt (Peru) Current swung him north along the coast of Chile and landed at 30º south latitude where the winds and currents die down and where Coquimbo Bay is located
    First of all, any landing in Central America would have been those emigrants who sailed in Hagoth’s ships and took their course northward and were never heard from again (Alma 63:4-8). These are the Nephites who built the ruins we now see in Mesoamerica, but were not part of the actual Book of Mormon record after leaving in Hagoth’s ships.
    Secondly, as for Mulek’s landing, he would have landed where Mosiah found his descendants in the city and land of Zarahemla (Omni 1:15-16), and that would have been in the area of Lima, Peru, the ruins today are called Pachacamac.
The ancient city of Pachacamac (Earth Maker, Creator God) outside Lima, which for centuries during Nephite times was the religious center of Andean Peru
    Comment #3: “In Osomo (Chile) was found a gomphotherium in 2008 (12,000 years old), but it has nothing to do with any religion just because “god” does not exist of course. True spirituality does not live in the mythological religions but on the conscious humanity itself” Ken J.
    Response: Yes, we have written about that. As for God not existing, that is an odd belief, shared no doubt by a large number of people, however, His existence is undeniable. Nor does he exist in some mythological religion. Mythological, by the way, means appearing in myths or mythology, lacking factual basis or historical validity. My religion does not appear in such things. There is no lack of factual basis involved, and certainly its history is well known and documented. I might also add that true spirituality is that which drives a person to live a good, righteous life, repenting of his mistakes and acknowledging God in all things. And frankly, while I have a great respect for the humanity God created, I have less appreciation for the consciousness of that humanity and those who deny the very Being who created them.
    We live every day fighting a war that few people realize even exists. That war is between Jesus Christ, the son of God, and Lucifer, the son of the morning, the Devil—Satan, whose desire is for all mankind to be as evil and deplorable as he, himself, became. That war exists in our daily lives—choices we make each day, to follow Christ, or to follow Satan—the choice, of course is our own. Satan is involved in all things, from school, to business, to politics, to every aspect of life. We either stand up to his evil or we succumb to it—but we can never ignore it though most people think they are doing just that.
I do agree with you that good and evil exist at the human conscious level. But our existence goes far beyond that. We are children of that Divine Being who created the Universe and all things within, and we can honor Him by learning to be like Him. “Be ye therefore perfect,” he instructs us. Our conscious should be devoted to fulfilling that assignment in the perfecting of our lives, being better today than we were yesterday, and learning more of Him tomorrow than we know today. It is a lofty goal, but we came from loftier spheres than this and are destined to return to those loftier places. Whether we reach the mark or fall short is within our power to control, as long as we realize that that is the goal, and there is an evil force dedicated to our not reaching it.
    It is not mystical. It is not a myth, though Satan loves to try and convince us it is. So good luck with your conscious—I prefer a much greater purpose and far higher goal to govern my life. As an ancient man far above our level once said, “choose ye this day whom ye will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

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