Saturday, March 12, 2016

Interesting Thoughts from a Reader and Our Responses – Part VII

Continuing from the previous five posts regarding further insights into the comments and responses regarding the Nephites and their activities and so-called connection to the Mintinah records of the Nemenhah tribe. 
    Reader: “As to the city of Moronihah, it was covered by earth, as 4 other cities were that were mentioned. I have found pictures of the archaeological diggings in Caral, Peru, that show at least 6 hills of dirt that when excavated revealing a stone-walled city underneath.”
    Response: One of many such cities uncovered in Peru. Such “lost cities” fall into two broad categories: 1) those where no knowledge of the city existed until the time of their rediscovery, and 2) those whose locations have been lost, but knowledge of their existence has been retained in myths, legends, or historical records. Recently a cemetery of advanced early Peruvians was found in the Atacama Desert but no one knows where the city that once would have occupied the area is now located. In fact experts claim there are over 100,000 archaeological sites in Peru alone, many of which were uncovered through digging into the ground to find the buried cities.
The Huanca Huantille is an archaeological site located in the district of Magdalena del Mar in Lima, Peru and is a pyramidal structure that was the main temple of a set of five others that were part of the huacas; Left: Aerial view of the site in the center of Lima; Right: A view of the ancient site partially uncovered
    One such area is Huaca Huantille, much of which, right in the center of Lima Peru, was uncovered in recent time with no even knowing it was there. The list seems endless, and I suspect even more will be uncovered as more and more digs are authroized and supervised by official archaeological groups.
    Reader: “The Lord could not only directed the pointing of the spindles, He could direct the direction the wind would blow from and thus manipulate the track of the ship to avoid other lands and hazards until they reached their destination. Winds must be the primary way He drove the Jaredite barges as they were not equipped with sails.
The Liahona described as having two spindles and instructional writing, all of which worked on the principle of faith and righteousness
    Response: Forgive me, but this is the type of opinion I have little patience with. For one thing, it flies in the face of two very important things: 1) the basic structure of how such matters of nature work and what is involved in their working, i.e., gravity, sun and moon pull, etc., and 2) placing the unknown into the hands of the Lord to allow for any contingency that cannot be explained.
    Now, it is not that the Lord isn’t capable of doing anything, just as he is capable of picking up Lehi and his family, ship and all, if necessary, and placing them down in the spot of the Land of Promise he wanted them to reach. The being that created the Earth and solar system and universe is capable of doing anything and he has no restrictions other than his own laws. However, the point is that nowhere in history has he ever done that and we have discussed this numerous times in this blog.
    What on earth would be the purpose of our Earth experience if the Lord did everything for us we are capable of doing ourselves? After all, he created the placement of everything on this earth, having organized it from existing material and forming it to his Plan, knowing the end from the very beginning. And that Plan included everything that would ever happen on this planet, for He not only knows the end from the beginning, but organized a world that would accomplish his Plan. And God, unlike man, has always known how the weather works, how the gravity of planets work, how winds drive currents and currents flow continually the same in an overall pattern to bring heat and cold to all parts of the globe so it is capable of providing life (Abraham Ch3).
Large persistent currents in the ocean eventually run into land. The combination of the westerlies pushing water eastward, the tradewinds pushing it westward near the equator, and the Coriolis effect results in a circular flow in each ocean basin, called a gyre. The Ekman transport is the natural process by which wind causes movement of water near the ocean surface. Each layer of water in the ocean drags with it the layer beneath, thus the movement of each layer of water is affected by the movement of the layer above, or below, and creates such currents as to be mapped, listed, and followed across the oceans 
    It is also important to know that the ocean currents are like roads across the sea. It took early man a long time to discover that, but once discovered Columbus could sail westward where no mariner had believed possible, once he found the right "road." When this is fully understood, it is like planning a trip and what route (road, highway and freeway) you are going to take. God, of all beings, knows exactly where those highways across the sea are—he designed them and built them by the way this Earth is shaped (that is land masses in the oceans determine where currents can flow; winds, in its simplicity, are caused by air moving from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. In the northern hemisphere air circulates clockwise in high pressure and anti-clockwise in low pressure areas (the opposite is true in the southern hemisphere). So wind direction is dependent on atmospheric pressure. If you face the direction that the wind is coming from the higher pressure will be to your left, low to your right in the northern hemisphere.
God created this system. He placed everything where it needs to be in order for all of the mechanics of the ocean currents, winds, etc., to provide the "roads" across the sea
    Now put all that together, the placement of land masses, the locations of high and low pressure, which are caused by the ascending and descending of air—as air warms, it ascends leading to low pressure behind it or at the surface. As air cools, it descends leading to high pressure at the surface. This is illustrated in the diagram below. By manipulating this (only God can do this), winds are established, which in turn when flowing over water, effects the water and moves it along, i.e., a wave is created as energy travels from one place to another across the ocean (this is also true of air waves, light waves, radio waves, microwaves, and earthquake waves, etc.) 
    When wind blows over the ocean's surface, it creates waves. Their size depends on how far, how fast and how long the wind blows. A brief, gentle breeze forms patches of tiny ripples on the surface called catspaws; strong, steady winds over long distances create large waves. But even when you feel no wind at all, you may encounter large swells created by distant storms.
    In the open sea, waves make floating boats bob up and down instead of pushing them along. This is because the waves travel through water; they do not take the water with them. As a wave arrives it lifts water particles. These travel forward, then down and back so that each particle completes a circle. Circling movements of particles near the surface set off smaller circling movements below them.
    Now such basic knowledge of Oceanography 101, is often unknown to man who for centuries found the ocean a mystery. But to God it is a simple, basic principle, consequently, if he wanted to provide a path from one point on the globe to another, he simply placed the original building blocks to provide that path. While this may be beyond Rocket Science to us, it is not to Him, it was just a simple process of organizing a world that would provide future events as he wanted them to occur.
The currents were designed from the beginning. When it came time to move the Jaredites, Lehites, and Nephites to the Land of Promise, it was just a matter of getting them to the point where the currents flowedthe area Lehi called "Bountiful"
    When God wanted Nephi’s ship to travel to the place he had reserved for them (Ether 13:2), He “A” led Lehi across the desert to a place where the road across the Sea began; then “B” have Nephi build a ship that could sail the deep ocean; and “C” have him launch the ship into the path (road) across the Sea. The rest would be accomplished  by “nature,” i.e., the winds and currents He had arranged from the beginning. All of the technical things that were working behind the scenes with winds and waves, currents and direction, Nephi left up to God, describing it simply as “being driven forth before the wind” (1 Nephi 18:8,9).
     When we become knowledge in the future times and worlds in which we are destined, we will come to understand how simple the process is that in Earth life seems so complicated that it is beyond us. To my four year old grandson, most of what we know as adults is little more than a mystery to him; what my mechanic knows about my car is a mystery to me; and I cannot even comprehend what my cardiologist knows about coronary artery bypass grafting that saved my life. Just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, isn’t well planned and organized, and how the Lord intercedes in the lives of men.  But whatever He does, you can pretty well count on the fact that He does it within the normal laws of nature, which he established, though we do not understand them.
     Reader: “Would you direct me to your page where you say that the city of Nephi was where Guatemala City is today as you reference above? I'm very confident it was on the south shores of Lake Titicaca (Teohuanaco?) and Nephi's Temple was likely the ruins of Punta Punku which was constructed of curious workmanship.”
Response: Guatemala City is in Guatemala, Mesoamerica. The Land of Promise in the scriptural record took place from about Colombia/Ecuador south to central Chile; with Cuzco the City of Nephi (Sacsayhuaman and Cuzco). Tiahuanaco, to the south of Titicaca was likely the area of Ishmael in the scriptural record, where the people of Ammon were converted, and nearby Puma Punku was a city on the sea with huge and numerous wharfs when Titicaca was at sea level.


  1. Good comments about the wind and currents providing a road to the promised land. But there are some things that are miracles that are not natural. Making the spindle point in the direction to travel is not natural, turning water into wine is not natural. Even lifting South America to it's present position and Noah's flood are not natural. These are miraculous events by the Hand of God. There are many more examples. Point well taken though. He didn't have to blow the wind in the opposite direction. He simply had to lead parties to the right place where the (watery) road began. Ira

  2. My GPS points me to where I want to go. It does not break any natural laws to do so.
    While a magnetic spindle not pointing north would be unnatural, magnetism is likely not what controlled the Liahona.

    Scientists have theories about the rapid rising of the Andes which has a large bulge of material detaching from the crust resulted in the Andes raising upwards. Their definition of "rapid" isn't really so rapid, but the mechanics of it may be correct.

    There are miracles that I do not know how they are caused. But rather than that being because its cause in "unnatural", I find it much more likely that I simply do not comprehend the quite natural cause of the miraculous result.