Sunday, February 7, 2016

More Comments from Readers – Part III

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “Someone told me that the stone upon which Coriantumr’s story was engraved was actually engraved by Ether. Is that true?” Janet S.
    Response: To my knowledge, this idea was first promoted by E. L. Peay, who wrote a book called The Land of Zarahemla, in 1994, in which he wrote “Coriantumr's last days were recorded on a large stone, probably engraved by Ether.  This stone was found in the days of Mosiah and the account was recorded in the Book of Omni”  (p 316). Two obvious errors are exposed here.
First, the stone was not found in the days of Mosiah. In Peay's referenced scripture, we find:  "In the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God"  (Omni 1:20).  Obviously, the people of Zarahemla had the stone in their possession, but were unable to read it and when Mosiah showed that he could interpret with the power of God, they brought the stone to him for his interpretation.
    Second, there is no mention of Ether regarding this stone and its engravings.  When interpreted by Mosiah, Amaleki only states:  "And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people.  And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons"  (Omni 1:21).
    Thus, Omni says nothing of any stone engraved by Ether, or gives any suggestion to draw such a conclusion from the scripture. It is sloppy scholarship when people write about the scriptural record and are not even aware of the lack of understanding they have for what they are writing.
    Comment #2: “You say there was an sea to the east around the Land Northward, which was part of the sea that surrounded the land, which was an island. However, there is no reference made of a sea to the east bordering either the narrow corridor or the land northward” Roger H.
    Response: The scriptural record says differently. Around 46 B.C. when the Nephites went north "to inherit the land" and Lamanites followed during a time of peace and co-mingling, Helaman wrote:  "They did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east" (Halaman 3:8, emphasis added).
    Ether gave us an even clearer picture of the east sea being to the east of the land Northward when he wrote:  "Shiz did pursue Coriantumr eastward, even to the borders of the seashore" (Ether 14:26). Thus, it cannot be said there was no east sea in the land Northward.
When the Andes rose up “to a height which was great,” bringing the eastern part of the continent to the surface, the sea to the east (East Sea) disappeared, part of which became Lake Titicaca and the rest draining into rivers to the east and west of the Continental Divide (Andes Mountains), and inundating the entire Amazonian Basin so it is barely above the surface—only inches in some areas and a few feet in others
    As for the narrow neck of land, which some call a transportation corridor, which was the only land connection between the Land Northward and the Land Southward (Alma 22:32), thus placing the narrow passage within it, there was a Sea East to one side and a Sea West to the other side (Alma 50:34).
    We have also written in these posts numerous times that Jacob said they were on a island (2 Nephi 10:20). It is hard from all of this to understand why anyone wants to challenge that there was a Sea East and that the Land of Promise was surrounded by water.
    Comment #3: “In a class recently someone said the dark skin of the Lamanites was a result of their intermarrying with another group in the land the Lord promised to Lehi. He also said it wasn’t really a dark skin at all, but that the Nephite recorders were prejudiced toward the Lamanites. He even read it from a book. I have never heard of that before, have you?” Charlene C.
    Response: We live in a politically correct world today and there are many false ideas being presented with a purpose of appeasement in mind, and the dark skin of Cain and of the Lamanites is not a popular subject. He was probably reading from a book by Robert A. Pate (Mapping the Book of Mormon, A Comprehensive Geography of Nephite America, Cornerstone Publishing, SLC, 2002, p 18), in which is written: “The reason for the Lamanites’ darker skin may heave been because they mixed with other native groups.” As for the prejudiced part and not really dark, that sounds like John L. Sorenson who has harped on that issue more than once.
Nephi wrote: “Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence. And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:19-20)
    It is astonishing how Pate and Sorenson and other Mesoamerican Theorists all try to place additional people in the Land of Promise when the Lord promised Lehi it would be kept secret from all other nations (2 Nephi 1:8), and it is equally astonishing when they simply disregard what is written in the scriptural record about a dark skin—even when it is a direct quote from the Lord.
    The very reason it was called the Land of Promise was because the Lord promised this land to Lehi and his family forever, providing they remained righteous. And the curse of the dark skin had nothing to do with marriage, but as a result of their unrighteousness. We find this verified later when Mormon wrote: “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren…who were just and holy men. And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women” (Alma 3:6-7)
According to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men” (Alma 3:6)
    The dark skin of the Lamanites, contrary to Pate’s suggestion, and that of your classmate, was the result of their behavior and rebellion, not of accidental genetics due to intermarriage with some other race of unknown people. In fact, we learn further that “this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction. And…whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed. Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him” (Alma 3:8-10).
    This obviously points out at least one of the problems in reading or listening to theorists views is that they seem to write and say anything they want that furthers their point of view, irrespective of what is found in the scriptural record to the contrary.
    Comment #4: “Doesn’t the experience of Brigham Young saying when they went to the hill Cumorah in New York to return the plates that a room opened up to them, which was filled with stacks of Nephite records, show that the hill in New York is the hill Cumorah of the Book of Mormon?” Debbie M.
Response: This was a vision that Joseph and others had when they went into to Cumorah (Journal of Discourses, 4:105). However, keep in mind that when righteous individuals have visions, they can be taken anywhere in the world, or even to the heavens for that matter. Visions are not tangible; they are seen through spiritual eyes. As Nephi stated: “as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot” (1 Nephi 11:1). As for the cave, from a practical standpoint, it might be of interest to know that the hill Cumorah in New York is a drumlin, which was formed by the gravel and boulders deposited from a receding glacier. Such deposits by glaciers do not have caves.


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  2. Thank you for your comment. Because of the length and number of questions or comments, we will answer this in a post later