Saturday, September 7, 2019

More Comments from Readers – Part III

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “You have written that Nephi was not a blacksmith, or that his father was not a blacksmith, yet, when Nephi encounters a drunken, passed out Laban, the first thing he notices is his sword made of “fine steel.” He goes on to describe, “and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine…” How would Nephi know the workmanship was exceedingly fine unless he understood what fine workmanship looked like? “And the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.” Nephi not only knows it’s steel but that it’s precious or very valuable steel. I am guessing he worked in a metal shop learning this knowledge and ability. As we read further we will see the value of having the skills of working with metals” Rudy P.
Response: Actually, the first thing Nephi notices is that it was made of pure gold. He then saw that it was made exceedingly well. Then he saw that it was made of precious steel: “And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel” (1 Nephi 4:9)
    In 600 B.C., Jerusalem, weapons were made of brass, iron or steel and possibly some still made of stone. It does not take a professional eye to distinguish between brass and iron/steel (or stone). Steel, of course, is iron with carbon added. As for why would he notice the sword first of all? Well, considering he encountered the figure in a dark street in the middle of the night in which he, himself, was sneaking about, might suggest he saw that the man was armed. It seems anyone would notice that right away simply for their own preservation. Also, considering he is writing this thirty years (2 Nephi 5:28) after the fact, should suggest that he already knows the story of the sword, its value to him (from which he makes future swords) and its immediate use (he is going to kill Laban with it). Nor do we know he knew immediately it was made of precious steel—again, he is writing this 30 years later.
    Obviously, since this sword played such a vital role in Nephi’s mind and value system at the time, it is understandable it was the first thing he writes about 30 years later. Killing Laban no doubt never sat well in his mind, though he was carrying out a command of the Lord. Certainly he struggled with the act and though finally agreeing to do so, no doubt it was still an important issue for him to justify in his writing of the account long afterward.
Comment #2: “When the Mulekites came to the Americas, you claim they settled where they landed, which means for the next 300 years the Mulekites and Nephites lived apart and never discovered one another, which seems rather unusual, especially when they had become “exceedingly numerous.” It seems rather odd that they never ran into one another during all that time” Carolyn A.
Response: This might suggest why the Land of Promise was a little larger than Mesoamericanists and Great Lakes theorists like to claim. However, we should keep in mind that both the Nephites and the Mulekites (Hebrews coming from Jerusalem) were not known for their travel. From one end of Israel to the other was about 130 miles and about 40 miles wide. Each city was made up of a particular group of people who seldom mixed together. Arab caravans traveled along the King’s Highway, bringing goods northward from the Frankincense Trail, limiting the need for travel. In addition, there was a narrow strip of wilderness between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla, marking some type of division, whether cliffs, mountains, gorges, canyons, or whatever, suggesting a limited travel route between these two areas.
The Nephites, as well as the earlier Jews of Palestine, did not travel a lot because of the great distances between areas and having only their feet to convey them

Because we are a traveling society today and have been for generations, we sometimes feel everyone is the same. But the people of the Old Testament were not big on travel or discovery. In fact, it would seem that except for the hand of the Lord (Omni 1:13) involved, they may never have connected.
Comment #3: “I have to agree with you in believing that the Jaredite final wars occurred shortly before the Mulekites arrived in Zarahemla and that Coriantumr wandered into the Zarahemla encampment or city within the first fifty years of their settlement” Jack B.
Response: It certainly seems to fit the scriptural record far better than what many theorists believe. I still feel the main issue is the promise that the Lord delivered to Coriantumr (left) through Ether about if he did not repent “they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance” (Ether 13:21). Generally speaking, when someone lives a life contrary to God, is warned, and refuses to repent, he is led face to face with the reality of that promise. Here, Coriantumr, after seeing all his people killed because of his own stubbornness and unwillingness to repent of his evil and follow the Lord, came face to face with the reality of that promise delivered to him by Ether.
    It seems most likely that this would have taken place after Coriantumr had seen:
1. The death of his household
2. The death of his people
3. The fact he was the last man standing
4. No Jaredite was left alive and another people inherited the land
    This also seems best served when some time has lapsed between his final battle with Shiz and his encounter with the people of Zarahemla.  No doubt after that battle, he wandered around for a few years, seeing the total destruction of his people and kingdom, and coming to understanding no other Jaredite lived.
Coriantumr wanders into the Mulekite settlement near the end of his life

At such a time he encountered the Mulekites in Zarahemla, he would have undeniably understood that God’s prediction upon his had come about and Ether’s prophesy was true.
    The Jaredites knew this land was their inheritance from the Lord since the early days of Jared and his brother (Ether 1:38; 2:15). Now, after a few years of desperately seeking someone still alive and coming to the realization all had perished, he finds a new people living in his land. They would not have been there too long, or the effect of inheritance might have been lost. So, sometime within twenty-five years of the Mulekite landing, and perhaps that long since his battle with Shiz, Coriantumr stumbled upon Zarahemla in his search for any of his people still alive.
    What a devastating blow to learn he had been wrong, God was all-powerful and Ether was right.
    This timing also suggests that by the time Limhi’s expedition found the remains of the Jaredite final war, buildings, bones, etc., about 350-400 years had passed away. This brings us to the fact that they were not just bones, these men found, but “dry bones” (Mosiah 21:26). This was 121 BC. If the Mulekites had found Coriantumr within the first 50 years of their arrival, there would have been 400 years between these two events, plenty of time to dry the bones of a destroyed people.
Comment #4: Hi. You have some interesting arguments. I am curious, however, to know where you found the information that the Nephite cities were built of stone?”
The ancients built of stone, since it was easier, with stone available, and basically just a matter of stacking

Response: Nephi was tutored by the Lord in his building skills (1 Nephi 18:2-3), later, Nephi taught his people how to build (2 Nephi 5:15), including “buildings,” which by definition are solid structures, i.e., Webster 1828: “framing and erecting…as a house, church or shop, etc.” Today, the definition is about the same: “a structure with a roof and walls, such as a house, school, store, or factory” and “a relatively permanent enclosed construction over a plot of land, having a roof and usually windows and often more than one level, used for any of a wide variety of activities, as living, entertaining, or manufacturing.”
    When you combine this “relatively permanent” with the Jerusalem from which Nephi, Sam and Zoram came, and the tutelage of the Lord, we arrive at the kind of structures that would be both permanent (not just for now or temporary but for generations to come) with arrive at what Nephi would have known in Jerusalem, buildings built of stone. See “Did the Nephites Build out of Stone?” Parts I thru IX.
    What else would the Nephites build out of—wood that deteriorates over time? The Lord knew this was to be a people living in the area for 1000 years. The buildings of the Jaredites, also familiar with building out of stone from Babylon, lasted for at least 1500 years when seen all over the Land Northward by Limhi’s expedition. Such buildings would have to be out of stone, brick, adobe, just about anything that would last. Jerusalem was built of stone, the temple and walls of the city were all stone and predated Lehi’s time by some 300 years or more. The evidence of stone buildings in Central and South America attest to this building of stone—if not by the Nephites then there was a people in most of the Western Hemisphere during the time of the Jaredites and Nephites of which we not only have no record, but who built in the manner of Europe and Asia and the Middle East and the history of the Nephites and Jaredites are lost to history because their buildings and walls did not remain, such as in North America where only wood must have been used since there is nothing of stone left to mark such an advanced civilization as the Nephites would have.


  1. Replies
    1. In the Andes there are many megalithic stone buildings and walls that are far beyond what the Inca with brass tools could have built. In many place later stone work of a much lesser quality is ON TOP of the megalithic stone work.

      If the Nephite did not build these high quality stone structures, then who did? And it is hard to imagine how they could have built these structures without iron tools.