Friday, November 6, 2015

The Problem with Isolation – Part II

It is difficult to reconcile a viewpoint when that viewpoint is held in segmented parts. In this case, the problem with Mesoamericanists is they isolate themselves in their thinking, i.e., that is, they see each individual subject as a separate subject and make no effort to connect it to the overall “history” or events of the Book of Mormon surrounding their subject. In the last post we showed this in the building of the non-combatant city Teotihuacan during the final years of the last battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites, i.e., from 300 to about 400 A.D., the latter period when the city and region reached its peak at a time when the Nephite nationa was annihilated? 
    Does that make sense?
    However, let’s continue with the events taking place in the scriptural record while this huge city complex is supposedly being built in the Land of Promise.
The Teotihuacan complex containing the third largest pyramid in the world and one of the largest sites in the Western Hemisphere, considered to have taken more than a hundred years to build
7. The Lamanites drove the Nephites out of Angola, and then out of the land of David and the Nephites marched to the land of Joshua, gathering in all the people as fast as it were possible, "that we might get them together in one body" (Mormon 2:6);
8. There was fighting and “blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land, both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites; and it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land” (Mormon 2:8);
9. About 30 years into the building of the city, the Lamanites, with an army of forty-four thousand, came against the Nephites, who had an army of forty-two thousand;
10. There began to be a mourning and a lamentation in all the land as the Nephites, not for repentance, but “sorrowed like the damned because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:13), and they “cursed God and wished to die, nevertheless they struggled with the sword for their lives” (Mormon 2:14);
11. While this city was being built, “thousands of Nephites were hewn down in open rebellion against their God and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land, for the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually” (Mormon 2:15);
12. The Lamanites were relentless and chased the fleeing Nerphites to Jashon in the Land Northward, which was near the land where Amaron had deposited the records (Mormon 2:16-17).
13. Forty-five years into the building of the city, the Lamanites were driven far northward to the land called Shem in the Land Northward, a city they fortified in hopes of defending themselves that they might save them from destruction (Mormon 2:20-21).
    Now keep in mind that while all of this is going on, with the Lamanites driving the Nephites all across the Land of Promise, and now far to the north and near where the city of Teotihuacan was being built, yet while the Nephites were fortifying the city of Shem in hopes it might save them from destruction, other Nephites were building this vast, huge city of Teotihuacan that had no fortifications at all? Where is the logic in that?
14. The Nephites outnumbered by 50,000 Lamanites to their own 32,000, just a short distance from Teotihuacan fought valiantly and over a period of time, not requiring those thousands building the city nearby to aid them, they were finally able to drive the Lamanites and Robbers out of the north countries and obtain a treaty that divided the Land of Promise with the Nephites obtaining all of the Land Northward.
Teotilhuacan was built on a flat land in a valley surrounded by low hills without a single defensive wall or other earthen work to defend itself against the constantly attacking Lamanites who waged a devastating war in the Land Northward during this time
    However, after a ten year hiatus in which Mormon employed his people to build preparing their land and their homes against the time of battle (Mormon 3:1), but for some reason, never bothered those building that city Sorenson claims was being built at this time. In fact, while the final battles took place in the Land Northward in which 230,000 Nephite warriors and their wives and children were eventually wiped out in 385 A.D. and not a man survived but Moroni, and the Lamanites and Robbers then entered into a long-lasting and bloody civil war between themselves, this city Sorenson tells us about in the Land of Promise flourished and reached its peak at the very moment the entire Nephite Nation was wiped out, and continued for a hundred hears in its greatness at the very time this civil war was blooding the land.
    Now tell me that makes sense!
    The problem lies with Mesoamericanists as they isolate themselves from the scriptural record and spend their efforts in secular work. They study 16th to 18th century A.D. writings and the archaeological ruins found in Mesoamerica, start piecing their information together, and come up with answers without benefit of the scriptural record. When their findings do not agree with the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon, they tend to find ways to discredit the work of the prophets and substitute their own meanings instead. During a hundred year period when the Nephite nation is struggling to survive, being driven from city to city by the pursuing Lamanite armies, trying to gather in those they could, and those who could not keep up were wiped out by the approaching Lamanites or captured and sacrificed to their idols, Sorenson would have us believe the Nephites were building one of the largest cultural sites found in their Land of Promise. When the scriptural record shows the fallacy of such thinking, they disregard the record and maintain the authenticity of the ruins as they make every effort to show you that Mesoamerica was the Land of Promise despite all these discrepancies.
    In addition, Sorenson’s writing on this subject is to try and prove that new, modern science has found reasons to match the Book of Mormon by telling us that these Mayans were not the people always thought of as “peacefully contemplating and worshiping a complex set of gods, gazing at notable art, playing philosophical games with their calendar, and otherwise acting like ‘the Greeks of the New World’.” Rather than militarism showing its ugly head around 1000 A.D., it was always there.
The moat and earthen defensive works at Becan, Campeche, Mexico, occupied in 550 B.C., but the moat and earthen defensive works were not built until around 250 A.D., during the end of the so-called Nephite Golden Age, when they were just ending their period of peaceful coexistence with everyone and the Lamanites were beginning to reoccur once again
    Sorenson goes on to show us that a mote and defensive earthworks system at Becan Campeche, Mexico, shows proof that the Mayans were, indeed, involved in warfare at an earlier date. On the other hand, he forgets that his point of Teotilhuacan is lost in the fact that this vast enterprise, built during the final hundred hears of war leading up to the Nephite annihilation, with battles going on all around it, was not built with any defensive works at all—no walls, no pits, no towers, no defensive earthworks whatsoever!
    In his article, trying to tie Mesoamerica into the scriptural record, Sorenson writes, “Defenders, possibly screened by a palisade, could have rained long-distance missiles on approaching enemies using spear throwers and slings.” This sounds almost like a paraphrase of Alma 49:18-20.”
    The trouble is, it sounds like a paraphrase of any battle recorded where the defense of a city is involved, from the battle of Troy to the defense of Rome, to the fighting in Gaul and elsewhere.
    He writes that “Part of the three kilometers of defensive walls at famous Monte Alban dates before 200 B.C., but in the Land of Promise, in 200 B.C., 4 Nephi tells us that “there was still peace in the land” (4 Nephi  1:20) and had been for 80 and four years before that, in fact, for 194 years following Christ’s appearance (4 Nephi 1:21).
    One might want to ask Sorenson why were the Nephites building moated earthworks of defense at Monte Alban during this 200-plus years of peace and security in the land? In fact, the division among the people did not take place until 231 A.D. (4 Nephi 1:35). While wickedness reigned in the latter part of this third century, peace still remained in the land and not until Mormon, in 320 A.D. writes of a renewal of battles, do we find any reason why the Nephites would have been building moats at the time they seem to be flourishing in Mesoamerica.

No comments:

Post a Comment