Monday, July 13, 2015

Mesoamericanist Agenda: Put More People in Land of Promise-Part II

What do you do when archaeologists and anthropologists vehemently claim there were more people other than who the scriptures claim were in your model of the Land of Promise? Since 1946, Mesoamericanists have been claiming there are more people in the Land of Promise than the scriptural record shows and describes. 
   It should be kept in mind that while we do not know what happened in and upon the Land of Promise between about 421 A.D. and about 1492 A.D., a period of almost 1100 years, the period from the Flood down to 421 A.D. is pretty well recorded, and from that information in the Bible and Book of Mormon, we can get a fairly clear picture of what took place in the Western Hemisphere.
We even have a picture, though sketchy at best, of the period from around 1000 A.D. in the north area of the Western Hemisphere when Erik the Red founded the first European settlement on what is now Greenland, and later his son, Leif, accidently ended up landing on Nova Scotia (Vinland), what is today New Foundland (a large island of the coast of Canada), though he stayed there only through the winter, then left and never colonized the area or returned.
    In fact, the scriptural record, from Ether, abridged by Moroni, to the writings of Mosiah through 4th Nephi, abridged by Mormon, and including the small plates of Nephi, with writings from Lehi through Amaleki in the days of Mosiah and Benjamin—a writing covering a period of time from about 2100 B.C. to 421 A.D., or just over 2600 years. This scriptural record shows that no one else lived in the Land of Promise.
    In all that record, there is not one mention, hint, or reference to another people being in, around, or on, or having come to the Land of Promise other than the Jaredites, Nephites, Mulekites, and Lamanites (Ishmaelites).
    Not only that, but Lehi, in his preaching to his family and the family of Ishmael just before his death, makes it quite clear that the Land of Promise was been held in reserve for his seed as well as for certain other people of the House of Israel the Lord would bring there, and others the Lord brought there, such as the Jaredites.
    If not from the scriptures, then were do the Mesoamericanists get there idea of other people in the Land of Promise? It is the securlar history of Guatemala as written by such 16th century thru 18th century authors as Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Francisco Ximenez, Rabinal Achi, Sor Juana de Maldonado, Rafael Landivar, Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzman, and numerous others.
    In addition, works like the nine books of Chilam Balam (17th and 18th century Maya miscellanies, named after the small Yucatec towns where they were originally kept), and are the basis of the early Spanish traditions; and the “corpors of mytho-historical narratives” of the K’iche’ kingdom in Guatemala’s western highlands called the Popo Vuh, “Book of the Community” or “Book of the People.” This latter work includes its creation myth, diluvian event, adventures of a set of twins (Hunahpú and Xbalanqué), and its genealogies.
Left: The oldest surviving written account of Popol Vuh, dated 1701, by Francisco Zimenez; Right: The Chilam Balam, the manuscript written and illustrated in Chumayal, Yucatan, dates to the late 18th century; Bottom: The Dresden Codex, an astronomical Mayan work containing 52 almanacs in the first 23 pages, originally meant to divine the future, now used by Mesoamericanists to learn of the past—it is one of the four Mayan manuscripts that still exist worldwide, dated to before the 1700s
    Whether or not the genealogies in these works are factual or just made up to impress other groups of the importance of certain lineages, such as the Inca did in Peru in their short history (1400-1532) to make other cultures fear them by providing histories dating back a thousand years, is unknown. However, the Mesoamerican writings are filled with histories, most fanciful myth, that Mesoamericanists have taken as fact and inserted them into the concept of their scriptural record of the Jaredite and Nephite people.
    Consequently, it is not from the scriptural record that Mesoamericanists base their claim that others existed within the Land of Promise—it is from secular writing and archaeological studies that make such a claim and are championed by these Mesoamericanists. Of course, the creators of these claims for the most part also deny the existence of a Flood, the existence of God, and the existence of a land held in reserve by the Lord for his wise purposes.
    It should also be kept in mind that in the past fifty years, long after Jakeman brought the Mesoamerican belief to BYU, much of what earlier generations thought about pre-Columbian American civilizations has been superseded. The sciences that study ancient civilizations have undergone significant changes. In the early decades of this century, science was still thought of as the search for and discovery of permanent and infallible truth. Today, scientists and philosophers admit the nature of their enterprise requires that they regularly reinterpret their theories and data.
As an example, John L. Sorenson, the current guru of Mesoamerican belief or Land of Promise model, insists that any belief in the Land of Promise being in “South America is completely without merit, yet the knowledge that has come forth in recent decades about South America being underwater, the west coast being above the sea in what could be considered an island, has been found to be geologically accurate.
    However, when one approaches a location with the idea that it has no merit, there is no chance anyone is going to find anything that leads to a changing of his mind. In fact, Sorenson begins his book (p1) in the very first sentence of the first paragraph by saying, “Before any other type of investigation, we must establish where the Book of Mormon story took place within the western hemisphere.”
    By its very instruction, this eliminates the scriptural record as the basis of decisions-making and future lines of thought and replaces them with a pre-determined view of the outcome, i.e., where the Land of Promise was located, by which all other factors will be judged or compared. One would think that this is a reverse process of the actual method of learning what the scriptural record tells us of such a matter.
    It should be that the scriptural record is the main source, the first source, and the source to trump all other sources as to where Nephi said he sailed and landed, and where Mormon describes the Land of Promise to be and what it looked like.
    Such an approach, as Sorenson espouses, opens the door for the inclusion of all sorts of secular views that are not, from the beginning, consistent with the scriptural record. Take, as an example, Sorenson (and other Mesoamericanists) view that the Mayan calendar, which shows the Flood to be in 3114 B.C. as the source of dating the Jaredite nation, 770 years before Moses lists the date of the Flood through the births of the patriarchs in Genesis and the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.
    On the one hand, Mesoamericanists claim that within the past several decades, professional studies in American archaeology, geography, culture, and language have provided an enormous amount of information of great interest to readers and believers of the Book of Mormon—information that earlier students of the book may not have guessed even existed.
    Yet, at the same time, turn a deaf ear to the possibility, despite all the enormous matching and agreement found between the scriptural record and the actual South American location.

No comments:

Post a Comment