Monday, February 4, 2019

Being in the Camp of the Heartland Theory – Part III

Continued from the previous post with more of a reader’s comments and our responses regarding his Heartland beliefs. In the last post we ended with the reader’s comment of: “Then there is the Book of Mormon prophecy about the gentiles who will come to the America’s...” which we answered, with the following a continuation of his comment:
• Reader: “…and would be in a land of Liberty. That does not fit anywhere but the United States.”
Response: Let’s not be so parochial and exclusive. While the Constitution of the United States provides for the freedom of all people, the entire Western Hemisphere is generally considered a land of freedom. This may be less true today because of the rise of evil throughout the world, including within the U.S., but after the War of Independence in this country, and the wars of independence throughout Central and South America, this entire land of the Americas was a land of liberty full of opportunity. Even today, people have the freedom to cross their borders and leave their country, while in many countries of the world that freedom is denied its citizens, as is the right to speak out against their own government.
• Reader: “That is very compelling.”
Response: Not at all when you take into account the actual facts, actual scriptures, and actual events.
• Reader: “Then there is [sic] the parallels between the time frame of the peoples now known as the Hopewell culture to the Nephite/Lamanite Book of Mormon people. Pretty close as to be an almost exact match.”
While the Nephites crossed the sea from the Middle East by ship, the Algonquin originated in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario in Canada, expanding into northern Michigan and later down into Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The Nephites were far to the south of North America and did not move northward into Central and Mesoamerica until Hagoth built his ships in 55 BC

Response: This is such a fallacy. There are no matches between these cultures. First of all, the Nephites arrived in the Land of Promise about the year 587 BC and were totally annihilated in 385 AD—the Hopewell culture flourished along rivers in the northeastern and midwestern United States from 100 BC to 500 AD, in the Middle Woodland period (Douglas T. Price and Gary M. Feinman, Images of the Past, 5th edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2008, pp274–277).
    In addition, there were no similarities with the Hopewell in most of the Nephite’s recorded accomplishments:
1. The Nephites had 1,000 years of development behind them when they arrived in the Land of Promise, with buildings, temples, synagogues, and houses built of long-lasting stone, that in many cases was the marvel of the world in Lehi’s time—the Hopewell built mounds of dirt and stick huts with thatched roofs on top.
2. Nephi built a temple like unto Solomon’s temple. No such edifice has ever been found, in any condition, in North America, but stone buildings of temple-like stature have been found in Central and South America.
3. The Nephites and Jaredites before them made items of importance out of gold, silver and copper, as well as iron and steel, which they dug out of the ground and smelted and cast—the Hopewell knew copper only, and did not even know smelting and casting, only hammering and shaping natural copper.
4. The Nephites had textiles of fine fabric, including silk—the Hopewell had animal skins and coarse fabric, used bark to cover their stick huts, and used mostly stone rather than metals for weapons.
Ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where burials were commonly above ground in stone caskets and some in caves (lower center) cut into the hillside

5. The Nephites, who lived the Law of Moses, at least for the first 600 years, which states that the dead could not be buried in the ground, but in caves, stone boxes, or catacombs—the Hopewell buried their dead in the ground, sometimes placing heaps of dirt on top of the dead forming huge burial mounds.
6. The Nephites had kings and Chief Judges, and leaders that commanded huge armies—the Hopewell had leaders, but they were not like powerful rulers who could command armies of soldiers (“Hopewell Culture,” Ohio History Central, Ohio Historical Society).
    The list could go on and on, but surely you get the point if you stop and really understand these two cultures, for they had almost nothing in common.
• Reader: “The fact the Hopewell culture left evidence that they died out in the New York area after thriving in Ohio and the midwest for so long.”
Response: The Hopewell occupied lands from Florida to the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario. There is disagreement whether they originated in New York or in Illinois, before spreading to Ohio, and their culture was inherited from the Adena—hardly a match with Nephite history, who arrived intact and had no previous progenitors in the Western Hemisphere.
• Reader: “The only DNA found to this date, that could possibly be from middle east peoples, is found in the Algonquian tribes and nowhere else.”
Response: First of all, the Algonquian and Haudenosaunee populations found in North America from the Great Lakes east to the Atlantic coast, and southward to the Carolinas, first emerged across the Great Lakes and along the Northeast coast. These people showed strong evidence of cultural continuity over much of the Northeast with human settlements being stable with the lands carrying capacity—and were made up of hunter-gatherers, with their settlements being movable camps.
The Jaredites came from an ancient building society, who erected large, magnificent ziggurats; the Nephites and Mulekites came from the building society that erected a huge stone city and built Solomon’s Temple, the envy of the ancient world. It is obvious that only the stone structures in Mesoamerica and South America represented the building background of the Nephites, certainly not stick and thatched huts in North America 
    None of this suggests either Jaredite, Nephite or Mulekite cultures as they arrived in the Americas, i.e., the Jaredites from an advanced pastoral and building culture; the Nephites from an advanced societal and building culture; and the Mulekites from the Royal Family within a highly advanced and building culture. None of the three Book of Mormon peoples lived in movable camps, but were well settled and the latter two having been so for nearly a thousand years eah.
    Secondly, it is claimed that to date all study participants belonging to the subclade of Q-Y4294 currently defined as Q-Y4300 descend from Algonquian speakers located on the Atlantic coast at the time of European contact. It should also be noted that the pre-Algonquian language began around 2000 BC. DNA STRs found at DYS464 are diagnostic for potential members Q-Y4300. Y4300 appears at this time to represent a northerly group that diverged from the original population.
    For clarification, the mtDNA haplogroups, subclade X2a, is a major mtDNA subclade in North America, among the Algonqian people, comprising up to 25% of mtDNA types, and widespread frequencies throughout Siberia (Kets 93.8%, Selkups 66.4%, and low frequencies throughout Asia and the Middle East, and at high frequencies in the Americas (Wendy Tymchuk, Senior Technical Editor, “Learn about Y-DNA Haplogroup Q,” Genebase Tutorials, Genebase Systems, 2008).
    Thirdly, until one reads and comprehends the stance of the Church regarding DNA between the ancient Nephites and the current indigenous tribes, it is not a subject one should be writing about as a basis for Book of Mormon peoples.
(See the next post, “Being in the Camp of the Heartland Theory – Part IV,” for more of this reader’s comments and our responses)


  1. Del, do any of these guys that write you about this stuff write you back and tell you might have a point? I never seem to be able to be able to make headway with these people even though the evidence is abundantly clear that the other models do not follow the BOM and therefore are wrong.

  2. Only on very rare occasions. Generally, those who respond, merely insist on saying the same thing over and over again (their talking points). Based on a lot of their replies, it would seem they do not read what is written by us--just want to repeat their views without any effort to evaluate their thinking against the scriptural record.
    The problem is,and it is simply human nature, once a person thinks they know something, close their mind to learning anything contrary--we used to call it years ago: "My mind is made up, so don't bother me with facts."