Thursday, April 20, 2017

Location of the Land of Promise – Part I

Recently an outspoken critic decided to take a pot shot at our work and wrote: “Quit looking in the wrong places. Jews made bricks. They did not build megalithic structures like the pyramids” (Mike H). It is always interesting to hear from people, and in many cases to see how limited is their knowledge on what they choose to sound off on. One trip to Jerusalem would show even the most uninformed that the Jews worked with stone based on the ancient construction that still exists in many parts of the city and region.
Top Left: An abandoned house outside Jerusalem that long pre-dates Lehi; Top Right: A house in Jerusalem that dates to Lehi’s time—both houses were made of stone, not bricks or much-bricks. Bottom: The wall around Jerusalem that dates back over 2000 years, all made of stone, and the remnants of the earlier wall at the base, now crumbled, was also of stone

    The point is, based not only on numerous buildings and houses still extant, and more being discovered each year as the city renovates first one area, then another, there are found all around Jerusalem and inside the city, numerous stone quarries, and that the permanent buildings, including private houses, were built of stone cut form these quarries—especially Solomon’s Temple and his palace as recent excavations there have shown.
    For any intelligent person to claim that the Jews or any group of people anciently built with bricks (anciently these were mud mixed with straw and left to bake in the sun), those edifices did not weather well (though better than wood) as can be seen in Andean Peru at many sites that were mud-brick built.
Three examples of sun-dried adobe-brick major constructions in Andean Peru that have deteriorated back into their dirt state. You do not find this anywhere in Israel, especially Jerusalem, even of ancient buildings because they built with stone

    On the other hand, when you build with stone, it lasts for a very long time, and sites of ancient stone buildings are found nearly in every country, but not in North America, where early settlers used sticks and thatched roofs, and later wood, while in the southwest, where there was limited wood, they built with adobe bricks, the latter edifices lasting much longer than those of middle and eastern U.S. When the Hebrew/Jews settled in Jerusalem, they built their temple and public buildings, including the king’s palaces, out of stone quarried in the Jerusalem area. In fact, many of these quarries that are limestone have come to call such stone "Jerusalem Stone."
Left: A limestone quarry still operating in Jerusalem; Right: Jerusalem stone quarry (limestone, dolomite and dolomitic)—both these quarries were in operation in ancient times

    Yet, this critic of excellent work done to the Lord would have the Nephites living in squalor within tiny barely usable huts that Lehi and his ancestors had not seen backward for ten generations or more—yet that is all that people of the North American eastern United States area (Heartland, Great Lakes and eastern U.S. theorists) could manage to build until long after the time of the Nephites.
Hopewell and Adena style houses and structures they built during the period of the Nephites

    Nor were their public buildings of any greater achievement—descendants of David and Solomon, whose palaces and temple were one of the achievements of the age, built with stone and overlaid with wood from Lebanon and gold, these stick huts were the best the children of God could accomplish for Elohim? I find it absolutely insulting and terribly degrading to the great achievements of Nephi and the early Nephites that their temple, built like Solomon’s, could not be better than what evidence of the eastern U.S. shows us of the period of time of the Nephites.
Hopewell and Adena type long huts or meeting places where the tribes could congregate and serious business of the tribe be conducted

    What, then did Nephi teach his people to build when he 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.

What ever happened to common sense and intellectual honesty? No one can, without any degree of integrity whatsoever, claim that Nephi and his people built huts of sticks and thatched roofs when Nephi had just built a ship without any prior experience that was capable of sailing across the great ocean depths, being constantly battered by the forces of waves and currents and then be only able to build stick huts for their permanent quarters—and a temple to God out of twigs and hides.
Compare Solomon’s temple, which Nephi would have seen numerous times and entered, to the public buildings of the ancient North Americas. Now does anyone really believe that Nephi would have settled for such a structure to dedicate to the Lord?

    The critic went on to blatantly claim: “They had nothing to do with Peru. They didn't do anything in Mexico or Guatemala either.” Now how on earth would this person know that? Certainly not a single structure in ancient North America shows any sign of an advanced civilization, which Lehi, Nephi, Sam, and Zoram belonged to when they were in Jerusalem, dating back to at least David, some 400 years before Lehi left Jerusalem. Is there any evidence of an advanced civilization with some four hundred years behind them anywhere in North America at the time of the Nephites? With all the archaeology digs that have been done, and all the claims made over the “mound builders,” and all the archaeology and anthropology studies that have been done as a result, one would think that some semblance of an advanced civilization and culture would have been found if one had existed.
    But none has.
    The most advanced people anyone has found is on the one hand the Adena/Hopewell Indians (the Mound Builders) and the Iroquois-Six Nation Indians on the other hand. Neither group has advanced beyond the savage or early settler stage, neither had swords, neither knew steel metallurgy, neither had a strong religious background, neither had built up the land, organized its people beyond very early stages (though the Iroquois had advanced beyond the Adena-Hopewell in this), and neither had built roads to any degree, let alone highways as Mormon wrote: “there were many highways cast up, and many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place” (3 Nephi 68), let alone major city complexes like the city of Nephi, the city of Zarahemla, and the city of Bountiful, and none had temple or temple worship in their history.
    Nor has anyone found, after over 300 years in this land, defensive walls built of stone—as Mormon wrote: “and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8). That doesn’t meant a few stones piled on top of one another in a few places—it means a defensive wall, designed to keep an attacking enemy force from getting over it, around it, or through it and there is not a single piece of evidence that anywhere in North America until the Colonial period, were any type of defenses ever built with such design.
When the Spanish arrived, they considered these walls around Sacsayhuaman in peru to be impregnable (at that time they were over one-third higher than now)

    It just simply insults one’s intelligence for people to make wild, unfounded, undocumented, and non-factual statements of the Land of Promise being in North America when not a single solid evidence has been found that ties it in with the Book of Mormon Land of Promise descriptions Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni had written about.

Rather than making such ill-informed statements like: “They were never there,” and that the “Pyramids were made pre flood on every continent,” as this critic has stated, without having any idea what he or she is talking about, they and we would be better served if they spent  some time in researching information about those subjects they are criticizing rather than giving their knee-jerk reactions to something evidently far beyond their level of knowledge.

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