Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Answers to Comments and Questions

We have been so involved in trying to respond to the myriad of questions and comments from a single reader of our blog recently that some other questions have gone unanswered. We will try to answer them here:     
    Comment #1: “Your map does not show their trail turning East at the 19th Latitude, but more like the 17-1/2th one. Right on the 19th Lat there is a river bed that goes East from the present city of Al Quoz-- somewhat South of Al Qunfudhah. They could have went East then and eventually arrived at Najran (which is not near any Nahom I know of, but straight West of Salalah). Just my take on it” ERichard.
Response: According to the government of Saudia Arabia, al-Eunfudhah sits at 19.1281º N, 41.0787º E. In fact, the point inland where the 19º parallel touches the southern Saudi border is along the Yemen border with Oman. Draw a parallel line to the west and you come just below al-Qunfudhah at the Red Sea. That is about as exact as one can get on small maps—which is where we have said that Lehi turned east and went up over the mountains and circled down along the foothills on the east side to be heading eastward toward the mountains into Salalah.
Comment #2: “Del, a while back you mentioned the age of Noah. Are you aware that the Joseph Smith translation originally had different ages in some cases for the antediluvian Patriarchs? ERichard.
    Response: Taking the figures you mention:
    All the transcriptions are from Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University,  Provo, Utah, 2004). Both translations, Genesis and Moses, are given, and the plain date is as they state, but the date in () is the different date that was inserted.
    Genesis 5:4; Moses 6:11: the days after Adam had begotten Seth were 800 <870> years (870)
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:5; Moses 6:12: all the days that Adam lived were 930 <1000> years (100).
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:7; Moses 6:14: all the days of Seth were a lived after he begat Enos were 807 (876)<876>
    Reply: Change in longevity does not affect change the birth of son dating. The word “years” was written in by John Whitmer.
    Genesis 5:8; Moses 6:16: all the days of Seth were 912 <981> years (981)
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:9; Moses 6:17: called after his own Son whom he had named Cainan
    Reply: The key here is both dates show the son was born when Enos was 90 years old (same as Genesis)—no change, no effect on birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:10; Moses 6:18: Enos lived after he begat his son Cainan 815 <850> years (850)
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:11; Moses 6:18: all the days of Enos were 905 <940> years (940)
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:12; Moses 6:19: And Cainan lived 70 <117> years and begat Mahalaleel
    Reply: Adds 47 years to the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:14; Moses 6:19: And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten <957> years (957)
<957>    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:15; Moses 6:20: and Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years <115> and begat Jared 
<115>    Reply: Adds 50 years to the birth of son dating.
    Genesis 5:17; Moses 6:20: and all the days of Mahalaleel were 895<945> (945)
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating. 
    Genesis 5:23; Moses 8:1:  the days of Enoch were 430 years. 
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating. 
    Genesis 5:25; Moses 8:5: Mathusalah lived an hundred eighty and seven years <218 years=""> (218) and begat Lamach
    Reply: Adds 31 years to birth of son dating. 
    Genesis 5:27; Moses 8:7: and all the days of Mathusalah were nine Hundred Sixty and nine years (1000)<1000> 
    Reply: Change in longevity does not change the birth of son dating.
    All of this adds up to 638 additional years in the longevity of the Patriarchs, but only 97 years additional in the birth of son dating. The former has no bearing on the year system of dating the birth of father, son, etc., from the time of Adam, which before this change was the Flood occurred in 2344. If you add 97 years, it would mean the flood occurred in 2247.
    Given that we have a period of time of Peleg’s life of 239 years, in which the Earth was divided. In the past, we have arbitrarily taken the mid-point of Peleg’s life, but it certainly could have been 79 years toward the earlier part, so the date of 2344 B.C. is still an accurate date. But if someone wants to be accurate with this, then we would have to say that the Flood occurred sometime between 2384 and 2404. Personally, I don’t see much difference in this to shout about.
Having said all of that, let’s revisit Joseph Smith’s “School of the Prophets,” in which in his Second Lesson, he went over these dates of the birth of each profit, their lives, how long they lived after giving birth, etc., all taken from Genesis and the Book of Moses in the pearl of Great Price. He caused the brethren attending to not only memorize those dates, but gave a test afterward to see if they learned it. We have written in these pages in the past why this was done, and the importance of those dates, and the importance of their significance to the early Church leaders, etc.
    It would seem to me that if he thought those dates were wrong, he would not have done all of this, so tit seems the question of these dates being different is a moot one. The fact that he never gave much credence to what he penciled in as changes and that it never went anywhere suggests to me that, again, the idea is without importance; however, I should include this statement: “An early Latter-day Saint source may reflect Joseph Smith’s teaching on the age of Adam. Edward Stevenson (1820–97), an early Church member, pioneer, and member of the First Council of the Seventy, wrote the following in his autobiography in the context of a sermon by Joseph Smith about Adam and his priesthood. Adam “was within 6 month of 1000 years old, which is one day with the Lord’s time thus fulfilling the Lords decree in the day thou eatest of the fruit of that tree thou shalt surely die and he did 6 months before the day was out.” In the context of the Saints’ 1839 expulsion from Missouri, Stevenson wrote: “Father Adam began his work and finished what was to be done in his time living to be 1000 years old with the exception of about 6 months. Truly the bible gives Methuselah the credit of being the oldest but the Prophet Joseph had it revealed to him otherwise, it is only an error of Man in translating the record” (Edward Stevenson, The Life and History of Elder Edward Stevenson, 155, photocopy, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; original manuscript in Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; original spelling and punctuation retained).
    Comment #3: “It is amazing to me that someone, anyone, particularly the individual you have shown all his errors to, would be so arrogant and immature as to try and defend his point of view that is so obviously in error” Margerie A.
Response: I ran across this the other day and thought you might enjoy this as a response to your feelings on this matter: “Listening rather than speaking is a sign of wisdom. It’s the rare characteristic that enables a person to develop sound opinions and to synthesize workable solutions to problems. It is a virtue that has been praised in spiritual traditions across all cultures since the beginning of recorded history. Praise for the patient listener is cut into stone tablets from Sumeria. It is lauded in the Old Testament. It is praised in the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita.” I also ran across this one, which is more on a humorous note: “A physicist once opined that if beings could be made from antimatter, then to them what we call goodness and virtue would look like vice and folly. It’s a comical characterization, but what else can you say?”

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