Comment #1: “I’ve read your articles on the Ark over the years about animals being small and therefore, being able to fit. But that sounds a little contrived, to me. Space would still be a problem” Reggie N.
Response: For a God who organized and created the Universe, I do not see why he could not show through vision how Noah could built a ark that would serve the purpose—surely He would have known how to engineer and construct such a vessel. However, it might also be on interest to you to know that not as many animals would have been needed on the Ark as critics keep trying to make there have to have been. Take the idea of reproduction, for example. A cat is a cat, and while there are scores of different types of cats, they could all have evolved from a single set of parents. Look at the big cats. Biology has grown steadily over the centuries, leading us closer to the true number needed in the beginning. We now know more about the full diversity of land animals, for instance. We have also learned that many species may belong to the same kind. If species can interbreed and produce hybrids, it is assumed that they descended from a pair of animals on the Ark that could interbreed.
LtoR: Liger, Bengal tiger, Tigon, Siberian tiger
In this real world, ligers are bigger than tigons. They have both muted spots and stripes. They are tawny-orange in color, and the males have short manes. Both males and females have stripes on their backs and spots on their bellies. Ligers weigh on average 1,000 pounds, and the heaviest liger on record was 1,600 pounds. Ligers are considered the biggest cat on earth because tigers weigh about 500 pounds and lions max out at about 600 pounds. Ligers can make lion and tiger vocalizations. Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a tiger-like behavior. They're also social cats, which is a strictly lion-tendency.
On the other hand, tigons are a much more rare hybrid animal than ligers. Tigons more closely resemble their tiger fathers than ligers do their tiger mothers. Tigons have spots and stripes and are usually deep orange in color with white bellies. They can produce lion roars and tiger growls. Tigons are much smaller than ligers so are less popular in the world of hybrid fanciers. Tigons are not only smaller than ligers, they're often smaller than both their parents. Tigons also show a mix of lion- and tiger-like behaviors. They also enjoy both swimming and socializing.
Top LtoR: Zonkey (donkey and Zebra) and a Leopon (Leopard and Lion); Bottom LtoR: Jaglion (Lion and Jaguar), and a Beefalo (Buffalo and cow)
Comment #2: “You exclude everything and everyone in the area of the land of promise but those few groups mentioned. After all, the Book of Mormon does not claim to tell comprehensively or systematically “what happened” throughout the land of promise. Indeed, the Nephites may not have had exclusive control over a land (as was the case with Abraham). Frequently they constituted only part of a social mosaic, side by side with similar groups, either within or outside the formal nations which most of us consider the proper subject of history” Richard J.
Response: No matter how many times I hear this argument I can only chuckle at it. The Bible includes all those people or peoples who were around and interacted with Abraham, or the other prophets, or later Hebrews, etc. While it is not a history of other peoples, where other peoples existed they are known and mentioned, however briefly. The difference, and it is a huge difference, is in the Book of Mormon, other than the Mulekites and Jaraedites, no other group during Nephite-Lamanite times is ever mentioned. I would think that very odd if there were other groups there at the same time interacting with the Nephites not to have a single mention or inference over a thousand year history.
I just read this the other day in one of the Mesoamerican publications: “Since there obviously were many people in the Americas when Lehi landed, and since the presence of these other people is compatible with Book of Mormon claims, the fact that there is huge diversity in Native American languages poses no fundamental problem for the Book of Mormon.” However, there is nothing obvious about it, nor is the Book of Mormon compatible with such a statement or event, and the fact that there is such a diversity in native American languages today has nothing to do with such a claim. That other groups of people over time may well have been brought to the Americas, it would have only been done after-the-fact (after the Nephites), and in fact, Lehi’s promises to his posterity strictly claims that no other group or nation had been apprised of the land at the time he was alive to speak it.
Perhaps you need to stop reading Mesoamerican writers who just throw things like that into their writing though there is nothing at all to back it up in the scriptural record--but it is their way of defendingt their model where historical evidence shows other people at the time of their Nephi-occupation of Mesoamerica. No one is mentioned, not one is suggested, no one is hanging on the edge of Nephite writing, no one is implied to the least degree to exist just outside the periphery of the Nephites. There is not one single indication or single exception to this. It is not inferred, hinted at, or insinuated. No, not one! And certainly nothing in the Book of Mormon would lead one to think "and since the presence of these other people is compatible with Book of Mormon claims."
Comment #3: “How do you explain that many passages in your book of Mormon repeat Old and New Testament biblical passages word-for-word. But how would Nephi, for instance, who lived in the 6th Century BC, know passages in Old Testament books such as Malachi, written after his time, and in the New Testament, written 600-700 years later?” Geri W.
Response: Maybe because the same God that inspired Malachi to say what he said also inspired Nephi to write what he wrote. In many cases the same gospel precepts are taught in the Old Testament as in the New Testament, because we all accept the God of the Old Testament is the same God as that of the New Testament. What would be strange if the Book of Mormon taught, which also had the same God, was different from what the Bible taught, but it is the same gospel in both, it is just that the Book of Mormon is as it appeared directly from previous sources, not through scores of translations, copies, re-copies, etc.
Comment #4: “How can I believe the book of Mormon when all the witnesses left the Church? That sounds very suspicious” Kent R.
Response: Of the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon who left the Church, none recanted their testimonies of what they saw and that the Book of Mormon was inspired of God, etc. They each maintained that to their death, though to great difficult of pressure to recant, even threat of life and limb. I think that is quite remarkable testimony of its truthfulness.
Comment #5: “I read where the animals after passing through the narrow neck into the land southward during the snake epidemic would not have gone as far as you claim (all the way to Chile) because the Jaredites kept the land southward as a hunting ground, and if the distance was too far, their kills would have spoiled before they could get them back to their own land” Oscar T.
Response: When these animals fled into the Land Southward because of the serpents, like any animals, they would not have all traveled together once out of danger. Some would have dropped off here and there, others would have gone further. Most animals are curious things and what attracts one does not necessarily attract another. If your scenario were correct, the animals of any large, open, country, like Africa, Australia, would have all their animals in one place, which, of course, is not the case. Animals would have been scattered all over the place and over the subsequent hundreds of years would have continued to wander about, some going further south, some staying in the same general area. Some going back to the north. As the Jaredites entered the land for hunting from time to time, the closer animals would eventually be driven further away, but there are always going to be animals nearby in an area where man is not an occupant.