Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More Comments from Readers – Part II

Here are more comments from our Readers: 
    Comment #1: “There is Ralph A. Olsen who places the Land of Promise in Malay, Indonesia, despite the fact that Moroni told Joseph Smith that the people of the Book of Mormon were in the Americas, i.e., “an account of this continent’s former inhabitants” (Joseph Smith History 1:34-35). Did the Angel Moroni tell Joseph that, or was it the Angel Nephi? We can't really be sure because the original manuscript (which postdates the events in the Book of Mormon by 1400 years) says both. The Book of Mormon itself says zero about continents or America or any such modern constructs. The text says they were on an island in the sea, nearly surrounded by water. The Malay Peninsula qualifies as such. I'd love to hear your comments on the latest updates to the ‘Malay’ theory” Signed Unknown.
    Response: First of all, the flippant insertion of the Angel Nephi as having a creditable position with the Angel Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith is discussed in an earlier post (see “Was it Nephi or Moroni Visiting Joseph”), a story that has no credibility, yet has been perpetuated by critics and uninformed members for some time, now. And “no” the original manuscript does not say “both.” As pointed out in the earlier article, it was, without a question, the Angel Moroni who appeared to Joseph and told him about the inhabitants of this continent.
    Secondly, obviously, there would be no comment or use of the word “continent,” in the Book of Mormon, it was written in 600 B.C. to 412 A.D., before the idea of “continent” was ever established. Such an idea is foolish to even mention. However, during Joseph Smith’s time, there was the use of the term “continents,” and it had specific meaning, i.e., in the Americas, the word “continent” referred to what we call today “North and South America.” Not until just before World War II, did the U.S. push to separate the two continents in geographical description, an idea not supported by Latin America even today, nor by several other countries, as we have written about numerous times.
    Third, the Malay Peninsula does not qualify for an “island in the sea nearly surrounded by water,” since it is an extension of land and not an island or piece of land that is separate from other lands in the midst of the sea.
The Malay Peninsula, part of Thailand and within a crowded sea of nearly 18,000 islands, and is hardly in the midst of the sea. For Lehi (yellow arrow) to have reached it, he would have had to sail (red arrow) against the prevailing winds and currents, through the Andaman and Nicobar Island archipelago of islands extending northward from Sumatra, and then turn down a channel, i.e., the Malacca Strait toward Malay and what they claim is their land Southward

Besides, the statement itself is not accurate, for it makes it sound like the land was nearly surrounded by water, but not entirely. In the case of Mormon’s description, he is describing the Land Southward, in which he states “thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32). That is, this small neck was all that kept the Land Southward from being completely surrounded by water. This is simply not the case with the Malay model.
    Fourth, I’d love for people like you and Olsen to recognize that the winds and currents off the Pacific Ocean’s southern Gyre (circulating ocean current), which move east to west along a track parallel with Papua New Guinea that curves around Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the south past eastern Australia and then curves eastward again within the Southern Ocean toward the Straits of Magellan, where the northern part of this track is turned northward by the South American shelf to run along the west coast of South America.
Yellow arrows show the course of the winds and currents on the NASA current map that flows from the Pacific Ocean through Indonesia and into the Indian Ocean. Note the NASA lines for the strength of the currents and winds

This gyre is very well known and where it separates east of Australia and while the main current turns south, stray currents move into Indonesia and through to the Indian Ocean and continue westward across the Indian Ocean to turn south around Madagascar in the Indian Ocean Gyre. This is not rocket science, but very well understood maritime oceanography. Lehi’s ship could not have reached Malay sailing eastward from Arabia as we have pointed out several times in these articles, rendering the entire idea without merit.
    It is also of note that the internet site referenced by this unknown contributor in his comments shows a map of the world with where various sailings populated areas relative to their view of the Book of Mormon. However, the (black) arrows they have drawn in all move in opposition to actual (yellow arrows) winds and currents in the areas they have indicated.
Black arrows show the suggested directions of sailing according to the author of the map and the so-called Book of Mormon: Asia Model.” Since all arrows (including blue, green, and maroon) show movement against established currents and winds, making such sailing in 600 B.C. impossible and rendering the entire idea of the maps totally inaccurate

Comment #2: “This is awesome. Love the map. South American BOM tour?”
     Response: Not at my age. Wayyy too much walking and climbing down there.
    Comment #3: “When I see the exceedingly high mountains of the Andes I now think of that prophecy of Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman 14 where it says –and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men Hel14:28. So your work is made impossibly difficult, accept for a few, to convince others of the power of God. Intellectual honestly – yes- but also convincing them of the power of God is real as well” iterry.
    Response: Exactly. The power of God as shown in the scriptural record is awesome. To add to his work in the creation of all things—shows all things are possible for the Lord.
    Comment #3: “The evidence points to winds and currents from the Middle East leading vessels directly to the Malay Peninsula. That is the intellectually honest answer.”
    Response: Evidently, you are unaware of the winds and currents that move about the Malay Peninsula, or you are listening to Olsen or others who promote Malay as a model for the Land of Promise against all scriptural meaning. If you will look at the map below you will see that the winds and currents come off the Pacific Ocean and move through Indonesia, basically moving toward the west, or hitting the Peninsula from the east and continuing on through to Arabia and Africa, where they turn southward. The far north currents come off the Pacific and move between Sumatra/Java and Borneo, and those hitting the southeast coast of the peninsula are turned northward and back up toward the Philippines and into the North Pacific Gyre. Stated differently, arriving at the Malay Peninsula from the east is simple, from the west would be impossible for a wind-driven vessel in 600 B.C.
Yellow circle is the Malay Peninsula, shown in red. All other land masses in blue. The lavender arrows show a combination of wind and ocean sea currents. Note that all currents and winds on the west of the Peninsula move away from Malay, not toward it—which would have pushed Nephi’s ship to the west and eventually southward and then southeast and finally east below Australia in the Southern Ocean


  1. "Evidently, you are unaware of the winds and currents that move about the Malay Peninsula, or you are listening to Olsen or others who promote Malay as a model for the Land of Promise"

    We've discussed this before so I'm not sure why its come up again. The monsoon winds blow west half the year and east the other half of the year. Right now, at this very moment, the winds are blowing from the Arabian Peninsula directly towards the Malay Peninsula.


    All the arrows you have drawn on the map are accurate for half of the year. The winds reverse for the other half. Boats have been blown to the Malay Peninsula for at least two millennia. There is substantial evidence that it is not only possible, but that it happened quite frequently. You've mentioned Tim Severin before on your blog. He did it. So we know it is possible.

    I am not aware of any evidence that boats were blown from the Arabian Peninsula to Chile. Ever, in all of history. Can you provide one example?

    1. Here are some animations showing current and wind conditions in real time, today. There is no going against the wind or currents half of the year.



    2. Jay, The winds and currents blow from Asia to Chile. FG Williams recorded that is where they went. Why is this so hard to believe? I don't get it. Malayisa is the Last place they would have gone because there were people there - They were Orientals/Chinese and descend from Japheth. Nothing matches to that model and I don't get why you want to hang on to something so absurd of an idea. It's like you believe the earth is flat or something. It doesn't work in anyway. All the scriptures say they came to the Americas. Give it up Jay - your model is wrong. Ira

    3. The Malay Peninsula was barely inhabited previous to 600 BC. There were small bands of hunters and gatherers (just as the Book of Mormon suggests for the Land Southward), but the first signs of civilization in the southern part of the peninsula appear in the 6th century BC, within a few decades of the Lehite departure.

      The first signs of civilization in the northern part of the peninsula appear within a few decades of the Mulekite departure.

      I don't understand how it is possible either. It could be a coincidence, but the timing is so tightly matched that I can only think there is some relationship. That's just my perspective, you're welcome to yours of course, and I'm not going to say you are wrong for thinking differently.

  2. The bom suggest no such thing. There is not one Scripture that says there were any other people here. The Lord brought them to a land without any other people at all so that they would not be contaminated by their pagan practices and that is why your model is wrong.

    1. How do you explain the presence of people in Chile, Peru and Ecuador and the rest of South, Central and North America before Book of Mormon times?

      Whatever your answer to that question is, just apply it to all other models.

    2. When is before bom times? Do you accept Noah's flood?

  3. The bom clearly teaches that there was a flood, tower of Babel, and a dispersion from the tower. The America's were wiped clean by the flood. There were no people before the Jaredites. The ice age people in North America came after the flood. The carbon 14 dating system is quite inacvurate.