Sunday, July 10, 2016

Answering the Great Lakes Theorist – Part I

Every once in a while we get a lengthy and convoluted series of comments regarding our blog that has been answered many, many times, but a particular theorist comes to the blog, reads one thing without checking out what it all means and then pontificates his or her misguided remarks that are nothing short of redundant attacks. The following is from a person named “Guy” and he has entitled his several responses “Deconstructing Del DowDell” 
    Reader: “DowDell has dedicated his books to what he calls "the plainness of Nephi" (Amazon Book Description) and yet the domain name for his site is "Nephicode." Apparently Nephi's words are not "plain" and Del is the only one who has "decoded" them.”
The Aubin Codex, one of the early writings of the chroniclers, is a textual and pictorial history of the Aztecs from their departure from Aztlan through the Spanish conquest to the early Spanish colonial period
    Response: As has been stated in this blog more than once, the term “code” as used in Nephi Code is short for “codex,” a word that means “An ancient manuscript text in book form,” which is the same as saying the Book of Nephi, or Nephi’s Book. There is nothing mysterious that only certain people can understasnd or interpret, but the writings of Nephi, which he considered simple and plain. The term nephicode was the idea of my youngest son and it seemed like a catchy phrase for the internet, it was right on. Guy would have known this had he been looking for truthful answers and not to attack a writing that differed from his own Great Lakes theory viewpoint.
Reader: “Oh yes, he frequently reiterates how "other" authors have dishonored the text of the BOM and assures readers he never does/did:
Response: We have compiled and published an extensive work (left) on the inaccuracies of theorists who have written extensively, using scriptures inaccurately and out of context, etc. beginning with the Mesoamerican guru John L. Sorenson. We also might add, that what is mentioned time and again, is that fact that theorists begin with a point of view, such as the Great lakes, location of the hill Cumorah, the ruins in Central (Meso) America, etc. As we have indicated in this blog several times, we did not start out with a location in mind, but with the purpose of seeing where the wordage and directions/descriptions in the scriptural record would take us, content to accept wherever that might be. Guy ought to try that—it is an exciting adventure to follow Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni’s words and not their own.
    Reader: “DowDell claims to be unbiased in all his thinking: "His love for the absolute accuracy in the Book of Mormon has resulted in this work..." (Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, About the Author)”
    Response: What is being quoted is an advertisement statement, though quite true. The work that resulted in Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica and subsequently led to the writing of this blog, was begun as an experiment to see where the scriptural record would lead one if they following only what was written by Nephi, Jacob, and others, and abridged by Mormon and Moroni. As for the scriptures, I have taught Gospel Doctrine in five Wards for over 30 years—strictly by the scriptures and not anyone’s personal opinion. In this blog, the scriptures are continually being used, quoted and referenced, and though conclusions are often derived, they follow the exact wordage of the scriptural record and not opinions being inserted unless noted as an opinion, or speculation, or an assumption. Show me any theorist writer who does that—any one at all.
    Reader: “Not a single scripture has been altered, changed, or explained away...At no point has the author relied solely on the understanding, teachings, or discoveries of man;" (Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, p. 771). Even Sorenson admits his own work was tainted by "preconceptions." The very view that a person holds "no bias" is in itself a bias, ripe with arrogance. The following refutes prove he (along with all of us) is highly flawed in his theories.
Response: When Joseph Smith began translating the Book of Mormon, he had no bias toward what he wrote. When Moses wrote the first five books that were dictated to him by the Lord, he had no bias, but a desire to write what he was told.
    While this may seem odd to a person who is deeply committed to his own view of a theory, it is exactly the path this work took from the beginning—that is, we had no preconceived idea as to where the Land of Promise was located. It was strictly reading the scriptural record and following such along a path of events that the scriptural record described. Try it! It is a remarkable eye opener—one I might add I have yet to see anyone do from their writings I have read. And if there is any question about this, it might be of interest to know that when I first started this project of following just what the scriptural record said, I was a believer in Mesoamerica, and had read just about every book written on the subject, beginning with the first, I believe, of Hunter and Ferguson Ancient America and the Book of Mormon (1950).
    I might also add, when I started this project, there was no internet (at least not available to me that I knew about), and my research centered in scores of libraries across the U.S. I visited during my business travels, reading literally thousands of books on the subjects the scriptural record led me to learn about over a more than 20 year period.
    Reader: “Volcanoes. ..if not volcanoes, what then? Something caused the three days of darkness!" ( Because the area in his model is saturated with volcanoes, DowDell can see no other way to explain the "three days of darkness" or the "selective destruction" that happened during the coming of Christ than by volcanoes. Unfortunately, this type of destruction was NEVER before experienced, i.e. it was not volcanoes:”
    Response: Funny. The very description in 3 Nephi 8 begs the question “What caused such events?” Again, if one would read what has been written in all this, one would find that every expert on weather than I have ever checked, and we are talking about dozens, all explain the events of their various weather conditions and when you add it all up, they all point to the same conclusion—volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. But, hey, I’m open to any suggestion you have—what do you think caused it. And let’s not fall back on the dodge that “the Lord caused it.” Of course, he caused it. But how?  Weather, after all, is not an unknown phenomena. We have over a hundred years of recorded criteria to use, and I defy anyone to find something like 3 Nephi 8 that does not ultimately fall back onto volcanoes.
    Unfortunately, Guy shows his own bias by denying the only answer any logical mind could come up with that meets the criteria of the weather being described and the results shown.
    Reader: “Storm such as never had been known in all the land. (3 Nephi 8)”
Response: So the Land of Promise had never had such a storm occur up to that point in their history.  They would have had storms, of course, just not one so severe that it changed the entire face of the land. Having a storm more severe than ever seen before is not out of the ordinary. In fact, we have description-names for storms today that would not have been known to Mormon or even Joseph Smith, one of which is the name “derecho,” which is a wide-spread, long-running wind-storm associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms, often associated with bands of rapidly moving thunderstorms variously known as bow echoes, squall lines, or quasi-linear convective systems. These sometimes appear as “shelf clouds or “arcus” on the leading edge of a derecho-producing convective system. They had wind gusts of over 57-mph at most points along the storm path, but do not exceed 100-mph. Other type derechos reached wind levels beyond 100-mph upwards of 155 greater. In fact, such a storm produced a 105 mph wind gust at Provo, Utah, where sixteen people were injured, and severely damaged the Saltair Pavilion on the Great Salt Lake, with a wind gust of 140 mph measured on Camelback Mountain in nearby Dugway Proving Ground. 
    On the other hand, downbursts, which occur in irregular-arranged clusters, and stretch continuously for at least 250 miles along the front also occur, such as the derecho of July 4-5, 1980, just east of Omaha, Nebraska, and into Eastern Indiana and Northwest Ohio, which reached the mid Atlantic coast by early evening on the 5th. This derecho exhibited a wide variation in observed wind speeds due to embedded microbursts, downbursts, and downburst clusters.
    In talking so glibly about weather, one might wonder if Guy has ever been in a volcano eruption before, ever been in a violently rotating column of air called a tornado before? Seen people, animals, cars, even huge trees and houses, plucked right out of and off the ground and whisked away into the “whirlwind” that grabbed them?
Storm cellars dot the land throughout the plains states and some in the central northeast. Almost every home has one, and in the past, no home was without one
    After all, out west where I am from, nobody has a storm cellar where they hideout when tornadoes strike, but in Oklahoma where I spent quite some time, every back yard has such a storm cellar
    Let’s be realistic about this. We have cameras today that film such events. Just recently storm chaser Connor Healey, a meteorology student from the University of Oklahoma captured vidoeo from inside a tornado on May 25 of this year just northwest of Chapman, Kansas. Inside his vehicle was a 120-pound concrete probe with a camera designed to withstand high wind damage and capable of taking a 360-degree video while recording conditions inside a tornado.
    We can see things, do things, record things, make things, etc., that were unheard of 100 years ago, let alone 2000 years ago. What was a miracle beyond comprehension and description to the Nephites is seen frequently in our day and age.
(see the next post, “Deconstructing Del DowDell - Part II, for more of our answers to the lengthy comments from a Great Lakes Theorist)

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