Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More Comments from Readers Part III:

Comment #1: “You refer to the mountains of the land of Promise, yet the scripture calls them hills—maybe they were just hills after all and their height was not so great like mountains in the eastern U.S. are much smaller than mountains in the western U.S.” Herb F. 
Top: Photo of hills; Middle: Mountains in the background hills in the foreground; Bottom” Mountains
    Response: It is interesting in the Spanish language the word Cerro, which is used by map makers for mountains refers to volcanoes, which by their nature, are high mountain peaks. It is also interesting that in South America, maps all show mountains as ranges (cordilleras) and individual peaks by the word cerro, which literally translates as “hill,” though some are many thousands of feet high like Cerro Cayambe, a 19,160-foot high volcano in Ecuador—such map designation using “cerro” dates back to at least 1490-1533. In addition, the Hebrew word for mountain is הָ֫רַר “harar,” which is used for either “mountain” or “hill” or “mount,” literally meaning “to loom up.” Of the 12 occurrences where “harar” is used in the Old Testament, ten are translated “mountains,” and two are translated “hills.”
    In the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, we find that “hill” means: “A natural elevation of land, or a mass of earth rising above the common level of the surrounding land; an eminence. A hill is less than a mountain, but of no definite magnitude, and is sometimes applied to a mountain. Jerusalem is seated on two hills. Rome stood on seven hills.” Thus, in South America, then we have Hebrew, Spanish and Book of Mormon using the word “hill” for a mountain peak not a hill like we do in English. Obviously, there is no question that the hill Cumorah in New York is a hill, barely 100 feet in height, which Cerro Imbabura (15,033-feet) in South America is definitely a mountain, with a 7000 foot prominence above anything around it.
Difference in height of the eastern mountains, such as the Adirondacks, and the western mountains, such as the Rocky Mountains

    Comment #2: “You talk about the Nephite “Golden Age” but I’m not certain exactly when that was” Frank L.
    Response: There were really two points in the thousand year history of the Nephites when they achieved such remarkable periods in their history that were both unusual and high achievement moments. The first was the generation following king Benjamin’s speech in 124 B.C., which he delivered from a tower on the temple grounds. Following that speech, and the covenant the hearers made (Mosiah 5:7) the Nephites were called the children of Christ; his sons and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you, and found at the right hand of God (Mosiah 5:9), all of this when Mosiah was 30 years old, and began to reign following king Benjamin (Mosiah 6:4).
    The second period, and far longer one, was following the appearance of the Savior among the Nephites, beginning in 34 A.D., when the Nephites were called the Church of Christ (3 Nephi 26:21), and lasted four generations (3 Nephi 27:32), for approximately 176 years (4 Nephi 1:27-28) in which at least one of the generations not a single soul was lost (3 Nephi 27:31-32).
    During this time there were no "–ites" among them, they had all thing in common, there were no poor, and much was accomplished, for buildings were renewed, roads built, and many marvelous things accomplished.
    Comment #3: “How far was it from the city of Bountiful to the narrow neck of land?” Reilly N.
    Response: There is no indication in the scriptural record to suggest a definitive distance. On the other hand, even though not a single event in the scriptural record takes place between Bountiful and the narrow neck, you tend to get the impression that it was not a great distance. The movement of Morianton and his rebels toward the pass in the narrow neck of land suggests that, Moroni, who was in or around the city of Moroni near the border of the Lamanites (guarding that quarter of the land from Lamanite incursions), feared that if Morianton reached Bountiful, he might persuade the people there to join him in his rebellion (Alma 50:32). Thus, Moroni sent Teancum in charge of any army, to head off Morianton from reaching the city of Bountiful, or more importantly, the narrow neck of land which they could then gain the land beyond (Alma 50:29) and guard it against Moroni’s army, creating a second front for the Nephite military to defend (Lamanites in the south and Morianton in the north).
Teancum cut off Morianton short of the narrow pass through the narrow neck of land to the north of Bountiful

    So Teancum took his army, possibly stationed in or around the city of Nephihah, along with its camp (Alma 50:33), which would have included supplies, tents, provisions, etc., for a lengthy march and action.
    We are not told whether or not Morianton reached the city of Bountiful, or was even headed there. We know only that Morianton reached the southern borders of the Land of Desolation (Alma 50:34), with Teancum and his army reaching the narrow pass before Morianton and his rebel army. This narrow pass, which leads “by the sea, on the west and on the east” would have been a singular choke point, for being so narrow, a small group of men could have held off Teancum’s army had Morianton reached the pass first.
    Comment #4: “I’ve heard a lot of odd stories and jokes about the name Sacsahuaman. Do you know what the name means, and just exactly how do you spell it?” Florence T.
Left: Falcon; Right: Variable Hawk

    Response: According to Diego Gonçález Holguín (Vocabulario de la Lengva General de todo el Pero llamada Lengva Qquichua o del Inca, Francisco del Canto, 1608, p26f), the name is variously spelled: Saksaywaman, Saqsaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sacsahuayman, Sasaywaman, Saksaq Waman, or hispanicized spellings Sacsayhuamán, Sacsayhuaman, Sacsahuaman, Saxahuaman and others. When taking a tour of Sacsahuaman, the guides usually draw attention to the sound alike “Sexy Woman,” but the Quechuan word “waman” means “falcon” or “variable hawk” (a bird of prey in the Accipitridae family of South America).
    Comment #5: “If the Nephites built Cuzco, why is its construction credited to the Inca?” Scott E.
    Response: When Cuzco was first discovered and being discussed, the early historians and archaeologists knew about the Inca that the Spanish conquered. It seems that it was a convenient way to describe everything. Since then, archaeologists and anthropologists have discovered there were many “cultures” and peoples that occupied the Andean area, including Cuzco, long before the Inca period. However, once a thought gets into the public conscience, it is difficult to change. In addition, the tourism industry of Peru and the Andes seemed to think that “Inca” ruins, “Inca” roads, “Inca” everything had a good sound to it and even though it has since been shown to be others who built these areas, the term “Inca” has been long and erroneously repeated.
Ruins of a newly discovered 3-squasre mile temple complex at the edge of the Sacsahuaman complex that long pre-dates the Inca

    In fact, many parts of Cuzco long pre-date the Inca period; with, according to John Howland Rowe ("An Introduction to the Archaeology of Cusco, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University vol 27, no 2; also Rowe, "Inca Culture," B.A.E. 21:200), claiming the Kilke culture is credited with building portions of the city around 900 A.D. However, some archaeologists date Sacsahuaman back into B.C. times.
    Comment #6: “I find it interesting that when the Lamanites came down to attack the Nephites in the city of Desolation that the Nephites were victorious and killed a great many Lamanitres, yet they had just been driven out of the land southward” Dean B.
    Response: No doubt the sudden change in elevation had something to do with this. The city of Desolation would have been at sea level (Mormon 3:5-6), at least right there in the narrow neck area. Evidently, land to the south where the Lamanites were located was at a much higher elevation, since they “did come down to the city of Desolation” (Mormon 3:7). In this area in the Land of Promise, the elevation south of the narrow pass is 7,000 feet, an obvious deterent to fighting, suddenly at a level 7,000 feet different in elevation. The reverse of this is also seen when the Nephites “began to boast in their own strength” and “did go up” to battle the Lamanites, the Nepihites were handiy defeated and driven back to their own lands (Mormon 4:1-2).

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