Monday, May 23, 2016

More Comments from Readers – Part I

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “The name of the city of Nephi is obvious as to its origin, but what would Shilom mean if it was a name the Nephites gave the city?” Cameron R.
    Response: From all we can gather from the scriptural record, the name would have been given by the Nephites during Nephi’s time. The Hebrew word shalom means “peace,” such as in a state of tranquility or quiet. Since this would bring to mind pastures and fields, it is likely that is why the site was so named. Having been built and, therefore, named by those who joined Nephi in leaving Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael in the area of first landing, it sounds reasonable they would have chosen such a name. It is also likely that Shilom and the hill north of it—the one Ammon and his friends stopped on before traveling down to the city of Nephi (Mosiah 7:5,7), were comprised mostly of fields and pastures, with a few homes scattered among the hills. The chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega said that the first homes were built on the slopes of the Sacahuaman hill. This district in northern Cuzco was called Collcampata (Qollqanpata: a type of terrace or bench) a place according to Burr Cartwright Brundage (Empire of the Inca, 1912) was hallowed, a sacred place to the Inca, which is on the way to Sacsayhuaman. East of there was a place called Cantutpata, or “district of the very lovely [bright-colored] flower”—similar to our carnation and used in the festival garlands of youths. Beyond was Pumacurcu district, named for Puma-Lion, and curcu-beam (Beam of lions). Garcilaso said there were a number of heavy wood beams to which lions were tied while they were being tamed for the king.
    Comment #2: “I think the idea of a submerged continent like your idea of South America is foolhardy and has no concrete backing on any scientific level” George M.
    Response: An interesting thought, but untenable in reality. The definition of a submerged continent is: “a continental mass, extensive in size, but mainly undersea. The terminology is used by some paleogeologists and geographers in reference to some land masses. The two main examples in this class are the Kerguelen Plateau and Zealandia.”  
    Thus, in geology, a submerged continent is a continental mass, extensive in size, but mainly undersea. The terminology is used by some paleogeologists and geographers in reference to some land masses.
Yellow Arrows point to areas of submerged continents that lie just below the surface of the sea; over time these have both risen and fallen
    Today, the scientifically acceptable submerged continent known as Kerguelen Plateau, is about 1367 miles long, is an oceanic plateau and a large igneous province in the southern Indian Ocean. It is also a microcontinent and submerged continent, and lies about 1865 miles to the southwest of Australia and is nearly three times the size of Japan (Scientist plays major role in study of underwater “microcontinent,” University of Texas at Austin, May 28, 1999; F. A. Frey, M.F. Coffin, et al., eds. “Leg 183 Synthesis: Kerguelen Plateau-Broken Ridge-A large igneous Province, 2003, Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program 183: 1–48)
    In fact, some areas of continental crust are largely covered by the sea and may be considered submerged continents, such as the Kerguelen Plateau with its continental origin together with its geochemical evidence pointing to the presence of continental lithosphere under the southern part of the plateau (J. Mahoney, W.  Jones, et al, Geochemical Characteristics of Lavas from Broken Ridge, the Naturaliste Plateau and Southernmost Kergulen Plateau, Chemical Geology, Vol 120, 1995, pp315-345; M. Storey, R.W. Kent, et al, 1992, Lower Cretaceous Volcanic Rocks on Continental Margins and their Relationship to the Kerguelen Plateau. In Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, 12: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), pp. 33-53).
     Other such submerged continent is Zealandia, also known as Tasmantis or the New Zealand continent, is a nearly submerged continental fragment about 2.2 million square miles almost half the size of Australia, that sank after breaking away from Australia, and was completely submerged with most of it, 93%, remaining submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean today.
The plateau was produced by the Kerguelen hotspot, with a small portion of the plateau that breaks sea level, forming the Kerguelen Islands (a French territory) plus the Heard and McDonald Islands (an Australian territory), with intermittent volcanism continues on the Heard and McDonald Islands (F. Bénard, J. P.  Callot, et al, The Extra Plac Team, “The Kerguelen Plateau: Records from a Long-living/Composite Microcontinent,” Marine and Petroleum Geology 27 2010, pp633-649)
    Comment #3: “Many thanks for all your work to bring clarity to so many BOM subjects. We both know the doctrine and spiritual message is most important but why struggle under the burden of false assumptions, which cloud our understanding of the geography and culture. I wish all faithful LDS could know of your message of an Andean BOM setting” David C S.
    Response: Thank you for your kind words. To get the faithful to know of this when they are being hammered from all sides about Mesoamerica would take more than this one blog, I’m afraid.
    Comments #3: “You wrote an article a while back, and I quote: “In another recent study, biological anthropologist Agnar Helgason and colleagues used the Icelandic deCODE genetics database to arrive at a female line interval of 28.12 years for the most recent generations and 28.72 years for the whole lineage length.” While you gave one reference (Don Devine, Ancestry Magazine), you said there were others. Do you still have them?” Wyatt B.
    Response: Once again, we try to avoid using a lot of article space for references, but here they are: Don Devine, CG, CGI, “Research Cornerstones: How Long is a Generation? Science Provides an Answer,” Ancestry Magazine, Vol 23, No 5, September/October 2005; K. M. Weiss, “Demographic Models for Anthropology.” American Antiquity vol 38, no 2, April 1979, pp 1–39; Nancy Howell, The Demography of the Dobe !Kung, 2d ed., Walter de Gruyter, New York, 2000; Marc Tremblay and Helene Vezina. “New Estimation of Intergenerational Time Intervals for the Calculation of Age and Origin of Mutations,” vol 66, February 2000, pp 651–658; Angar Helgason, Birgir Hrafnkelsson, Jeffrey R. Gulcher, Ryk Ward, and Kari Stefansson, “A Population-wide Coalescent Analysis of Icelandic Matrilineal and Patrilineal Genealogies: Evidence for a Faster Evolutionary Rate of mtDNA Lineages than Y Chromosomes,” American Journal of Human Genetics, vol 72, June 2003, pp 1370–1388)
    Comment #4: “What makes you think the earth was divided between 2245 and 2006 B.C.?” Terisha G.
Response: Moses wrote that Shem was 100 years old when Araphaxad was born (Gen 11:10), making that 2346 B.C. (this is derived from numerous other dates stated previously in Genesis); Arphaxad was 35 when Salah was born (Gen 11:12) = 2309 B.C.; Salah was 30 when Eber was born (Gen 11:14) = 2279 B.C.; Eber was 34 when Peleg was born (Gen 11:16) = 2245 B.C.; Peleg was 30 when Reu was born (Gen 11:18); Peleg lived 209 years after the birth of Reu, making Peleg’s lifetime of 239 years from 2245 to 2006 B.C (Genesis 11:18-19). In the days of Peleg, the Earth was divided (Genesis 10:25).
    Comment #5: “Did I read somewhere that you once thought Mesoamerica was the Land of Promise?” Joe J.
    Response: “Excuse me for chuckling, but anyone who has known me over the years would find that humorous. However, I might say that way back when I was a teenager, though it was completely unimportant to me at the time, I thought like most of the Church that the Book of Mormon lands encompassed North America (Land Northward), South America (Land Southward), and Central America (Narrow Neck of Land). The first time I ever heard of Mesoamerica as the Book of Mormon lands was long after I was married when our Bishop held a fireside in which he went over John L. Sorenson’s book about Mesoamerica, where he served his mission. Again, I was not interested at the time, but I glanced through his book, looked up a few scriptural references from it and found Sorenson played rather loosely with his interpretation of scripture.  
A few years later a friend lent me his book Ancient America and the Book of Mormon by Thomas Stuart Ferguson and Milton R. Hunter. I found it interesting but extremely inconclusive. When I began to seriously look at where the Land of Promise was located, I decided to do what a friend of mine recommended—start with the scriptures and pay attention only to the scriptural record and see where it leads youan experience I have outlined in more detail in previous posts on this  blog. I will say, though, that when you do this, all the scriptural record falls in place and no one is left having to explain away things that are written that don't fit a model, such as the many theorists of our day have to do.


  1. If one has the "fear of men" so bad (because of science) that they cannot even consider the evidences for the Amazon basin being underwater before Christ, then how soon will it be before that same fear throws out the Book of Mormon as true history? If I accept the evidences that the Book of Mormon is true history, why not also accept the evidences that the Andes mountains rose and the Amazon basin came out of water at the time of Christ?

    1. ER. I'm a geologist and have talked to many a geologist coming out of BYU. They are all trained in the dogma of uniformatiarism. I don't know of any who believe in Noah's flood nor in any kind of catastrophe for that matter. I think if you are taught the earth is old, Noah's flood is Sunday school stuff etc, it would be very difficult to believe that South America could rise up out of the water at the time of Christ. That I believe is the greatest obstacle to believing this model.

      It's easy for me to believe because the evidence is right there in plain sight and I believe that God can do miraculous miracles such as lifting the continent out of the water and casting up mountains to great heights in 3 hours.

      The Evang. Christians for all of their false doctrine are far ahead of the Church is this regard which is unfortunate. Ira

  2. Del you might want to deal with this in the future