Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The battle Between Mesoamerica and the Great Lakes – Part III

Continuing with the article a reader sent in regarding the “Book of Mormon Wars” website. Numerous comments are being leveled by the Great Lakes website against Mesoamerica, most of which seem legitimate, however, the nature of the attacks are to show that Mesoamerics’s demise allows the Land Great Lakes to become the Land of Promise location. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
10. As has already been pointed out in these pages, there is nothing about mound building that is consistent with either the scriptural record, the Nephite lineage, or the areas of Jerusalem, Israel or Mesopotamia from whence they sprang. In defense of the Nephites building the mounds in Americas, contrary to all knowledge and understanding of Nephite heritage, the Great Lakes defense is summed up in a footnote, which reads: “Opponents of a limited Great Lakes setting say that the cultures of the ancient inhabitants of the area (mound builder) do not match the Book of Mormon narrative, even though North American peoples associated with these cultures, are known to have been accomplished metal workers, and to have made impressive works of earth, timber, rock, and plaster ("cement", see 19th century definition, Oxford Dictionary; Joseph Smith History 1:52), not unlike the constructions described in the Book of Mormon (Alma 49:2-18, Alma 50:1-4, Helaman 3:9). Joseph Smith affirmed that at least some of the mound builders were the Nephites of the Book of Mormon.
    Now let us take a look at this:
    Earth, timber, rock, and plaster. Nephi said, “I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15). Mounds in the U.S. are large heaps of earth, in which mostly are found bones as in burial mounds. This did not involve wood, iron, copper, brass, steel, gold, silver or precious ores. It did, in some cases involve large boulders, rock slabs, and stone to arrange in some cases for an inner room, corridor, or chamber. But not even stone is mentioned in this statement by Nephi.
    So where is the match?
    Of the 76 mentions of earth/dirt, etc., in the Book of Alma, only 4 have to do with the earth being piled up or “digged up”—and three of those three have to do with walls around troops or cities (Alma 50:1; 53:4), encircling troops (Alma 49:4), and his armies (Alma 48:8)—not one of 76 mentionings have anything to do with burying people, or creating mounds. Not one!
    So where is the match?
11. Not a single mention of the most imposing landmark in the entire area of the Great Lakes proposed Land of Promise, Niagara Falls, is ever listed, indicated, or suggested. To defend this lack of mention, Great Lakes theorists claim that “However, in the limited Great Lakes setting proposed by Olive, Niagara Falls situate on a watery western extremity and would not have been encountered in any of the situations detailed in the abridged Nephite narrative.”
    The problem is, this is patently not true. Wars and battles were going on along the Western seashore throughout the time of Moroni, and in fact at one point he was involved in fighting the Lamanties there to the extent he wrote Teancum that he could not disengage himself to come to Teancum’s aid in the area of Bountiful. In 65 B.C. At this time he established his army along the west and south and marches to Bountiful. In addition, when Mormon is fleeing from the advancing Lamanites who drove him out of the city of Desolation, he went along the west seashore from city to city trying to stop his fleeing army so they would stand and fight the advancing Lamanties.
    In all of this, especially the latter, the Nephites and Mormon’s narrative covers the area in which Niagara existed--along the West. To think it would not have played an important role in that escape, where “whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire; and thus three hundred and seventy and nine years passed away. And it came to pass that in the three hundred and eightieth year the Lamanites did come again against us to battle, and we did stand against them boldly; but it was all in vain, for so great were their numbers that they did tread the people of the Nephites under their feet. And it came to pass that we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites' did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites' were swept down and destroyed” (Mormon 5:5-7). After all, that escape route would have been along the Falls and the river that leads to Lake Ontario (her Ripliancum).
12. In an extremely spurious argument, the Great Lakes theorist claims: “The fact that western New York was inundated in antiquity fits the description found in Ether 13:2.” However, that comment made by Moroni: “for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof” (Ether 13:2), is in regard to Noah’s Flood Waters receding off the face of this land, which Flood waters covered all lands and this statement would apply to any location in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the entire world. Obviously, the fact that the entire Earth was inundated with water cannot single out a specific location.
13. It is written in a series of articles in the Deseret News: “Because the Great Lakes and Mesoamerican models are by far the two most popular, I plan to spend the next several issues discussing them.” That is like saying in 1820 after Joseph smith experienced the Father and Son in the Sacred Grove and told people about it that the local newspaper would print: “Because Methodism and Presbyterianism are by far the two most popular Christian religions of our time, we plan to spend the next several issues discussing them.” 
    Why not discuss the important issue? That God appeared to man. Why not today discuss the important issue about the Land of Promise location, and that is how the scriptural record matches everything found past or present in Andean South America.
14. Another comment from the Deseret News series of articles: “Tangentially (unrelated to the strength or weakness of any model) there are some interesting dynamics among some of these authors. Duane Aston was once a supporter of a Mesoamerican model but shifted his focus to the Great Lakes region. Conversely, Ed Goble once believed that Book of Mormon events happened in the Great Lakes vicinity but now leans in favor of a Mesoamerican model.”
    So we might say, that it is interesting that Joseph Smith’s mother joined the Presbyterian Church and he attended the Methodist Church. Neither comment has any significance to the role Joseph Smith and his family was to take in the restored Church of Christ. Neither do, discussions about Mesoamerica and the Great Lakes have nothing to do with the landing site of Lehi and the Land of Promise of the Book of Mormon. Discussions in Mesoamerica and Great Lakes, at best, are fruitless.
15. Another comment from the Great Lakes people: “The word “lake” is never used in the Book of Mormon (other than metaphorically). The word “sea” could easily refer to “lakes” just as the Dead Sea doesn’t denote an actual sea, therefore the Great Lakes could be the Book of Mormon “seas.” However, Mormon makes it very clear that the Nephite landing place, the Land of their First Inheritance was along the southern west shore of the Sea West, when he interjected the statement: “and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 22:28). Added to Jacob’s statement as to their landing site: “for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20). Thus, Jacob tells us that Nephi’s ship sailed across the sea (not a lake) to an island upon that sea. There is no way this could be construed that we are talking about an inland sea or lake where they landed, for they were sailing upon the sea.
    While Great Lakes theorists try to convince us that Lake Erie is the Sea West, it would have been impossible to sail from any ocean into Lake Erie in Nephi’s time all the way up to when the Corps of Engineers made it possible to sail along the Mississippi and inland rivers, and Canadian Engineers dug a river canal around Montreal in the St. Lawrence River to bypass the Lachine Straits.
    Again, it is easy to say anything—but something entirely different for it to be possible when knowing all the details of the events and circumstances.
(See the next post, “The battle Between Mesoamerica and the Great Lakes – Part IV,”  for more from the Great Lakes theorists who believe by showing how Mesoamerica is not the Land of Promise, that it makes their Great Lakes model the Land of Promise)

No comments:

Post a Comment