Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Battle Between Mesoamerica and the Great Lakes – Part VI

Continuing with the article a reader sent in regarding the “Book of Mormon Wars” and what the author of that website refers to as looking through Mesoamerican Lenses that, according to him, "Once you start looking at the Book of Mormon through a Mesoamericanlens, you can't unsee it."
    The author of the website writes in criticizing Mesoamerican Theorists: "[they] interpret Church history to cast doubt on the Three Witnesses and other important statements."
The Three Witnesses were shown the Gold Plates, not told where the Book of Mormon lands were located
     Response: While Mesoamericanists may do so, the point is that it is the scriptural record that prevails in any discussion, not an opinion by one of the three witnesses, nor a belief of any early Church leader—just the scriptural record. While there are many points in the scriptural record that disagrees with the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York, the one mentioned in the previous article about mountains whose height is great needs to be answered. Until that is answered, there is little need to present other disagreements that scriptural record has with the Great lakes Theory.
    The author of the website writes: “interpret Church history to cast doubt on the Three Witnesses and other important statements.”
    Response: It is not that anyone is casting doubt on the three witnesses—their testimony of the Book of Mormon and its authenticity is above reproach. However, when any of them state an opinion about a location that is not officially supported by the Church, then it is not a matter of casting doubt, but recognizing that opinions can be wrong. After all, early Church leaders had all sorts of opinions as to where Lehi landed, including at the 30º south latitude in Chile.
    The author of the website writes: “[they] use rhetorical sleight of hand and logical fallacies to perpetuate their theories.” 
    Response: While this may indeed take place with some theories and their promotion, we have presented 32 specific scriptural statements that match Andean South America that cannot be discredited through rhetoric, for they are found both in the scriptures and in South America.
    The author of the website writes: “[they] participate in a citation cartel that excludes both consideration and exposure of facts and analysis that contradict their theories.
    Response: There is no question that the Mesocamerican Theorists excludes some very important facts as stated in the scriptural record; but then so do those of the Great Lakes Theory, as well. The scriptural record is replete with descriptive material about the Land of Promise—material that few, if any, of the various theorists actually spend much time dealing with. Such things as the Land of Promise being an island, having mountains “whose height is great,” a Sea West where Lehi landed being reached by ship across an ocean, plants that cure killer fevers (malaria), etc. The point is, every theorist on record has chosen those points that he or she feels matche their model, and ignore those that do not.
    The author of the website writes: “participate in a citation cartel that excludes both consideration and exposure of facts and analysis that contradict their theories.”
    Response: While it is true Mesoamericanists reject any and all other suggestions of different locals for the Land of Promise, so do the Great Lakes Theorists. The problem is, all these different theorists cannot be right. Someone has to be wrong. But to each Theorist, it is all the other people who do not agree with him that are wronghowever, the right or wrong of a theory is based on its exact matching of all descriptions in the scriptural record and nothing else, tough other information should support the matches.
Yet, the scriptural record is specific and not ambiguous, and if each step along the way is followed with an open mind—not one closed by a pre-determined location—it is easy to find where Nephi’s ship traveled and where he would have landed. It is also easy to find that what Nephi says they found there to verify if such circumstances exist in the area of landing of these various theories. The problem lies in the Theorist being unable or unwilling to re-evaluate his beliefs against the descriptions in the scriptujral record—all of them!
     The author of the blog also wrote: “There is tremendous resistance to this approach; those scholars who wear the Mesoamerican lenses have great difficulty removing them. I'm beginning to suspect that, in some cases, they are unable to do so.”
     Response: It is funny that the author never once considers that his view is wrong or that it might also be seen through colored lenses that condition him to see what he sees because of his pre-determined views. It would appear that he, too, is unable to take off his Great Lakes lenses and see the scriptural record from an unbiased view point.
    The author of the blog also wrote: “The primary purpose of this blog is to help Mesoamerican see-ers remove their spectacles for a moment and take a look at the text Joseph dictated and Oliver wrote down, in light of other things these two men said, and then compare that text to actual archaeology, anthropology, geography, geology, etc.”
    Response: One would think that a person dealing with the Book of Mormon would use, as the basis of his judgment and findings, what is written within the pages of that work—not something else written by Oliver Cowdery. 
Instead of comparing what Oliver wrote and Joseph Smith is credited as saying, why not look at the words Joseph Smith actually wrote in the translation of the scriptural record? What about the two animals and the two grains Joseph didn’t know, even though he lived his life on a farm? What about seeds from Jerusalem growing where they landed? What about finding gold, silver and copper where they landed, as well as a very large forest? What about the buildings, the stone walls throughout the land, and the roads that went from city to city and place to place and land to land? What about the history of metallurgy, fine-twined linen and silk? What about all manner of ore? What about circumcision practiced as part of the Law of Moses? What about an advanced civilization to the north where Hagoth’s ships went? What about the island in the midst of the sea over which they traveled, and the landing on the west sea of that ocean? Where are the forts, the resorts, the vast cities? Where are the matches in the Great Lakes? Where are the tall mountains "whose height is great"?
    The author of the website also wrote: "Nevertheless they need to try. There are many terms for this process, including an open mind,intellectual honesty, the scientific method, a robust exchange of ideas, etc. Any scientist who is confident of his/her own theory is eager to share it with the world and test it in every way possibleand trust others to do the same.”
    Response: Try talking to anyone on this website about a different view, you’ll be lucky if you get a conversation, let alone one that deals with the scriptural record. Several of our readers have reported that they have met with extremely negative results in trying to suggest other views.
    The author of the website also wrote: “Refusal to let people even see both perspectives is characteristic…”
    Response: It is interesting that not only does this author and his website not present any other alternative, or even list one other than Mesoamerica, and certainly not a word about South America, yet he is critical of Mesoamericanists not doing so. As far as his website and views are concerned, he is fighting a battle against Mesoamericanists and no other possibility than his Great lakes is in contention for the viewing or ideas of a Land of Promise. The problem is, the scriptural record simply does not verify his enthusiasm for the Great Lakes.

1 comment:

  1. Del for those on Facebook I've started a discussion group / forum to discuss these topics, here's a link Adam