Friday, May 1, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part III

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “Comment “I read this exchange on the internet and wondered what you thought of it…”For the past 50 years, some scholars have suggested that common Latter-day Saint usage of Cumorah confuses two different places and that the modest hill where Joseph Smith recovered the plates is not the eminence of the genocidal battles. [Fair enough; some scholars have suggested that. But it's a direct contradiction to what Oliver Cowdery said was a fact in Letter VII.] Further, the Cumorah battlefield is seen by many scholars as the key for identifying the location of the ancient lands described in the book. Hence, much rests on its correct placement. [That makes sense.] All these observations lead to a paradox explored here: before archaeology can reveal Cumorah’s secrets, it must first be employed to identify its location. [It's only a paradox if we disregard what Oliver and Joseph and David Whitmer said. Each of them had personal encounters with Moroni, unlike any archaeologist. They gave us a specific pin in the map.]
The Hill Cumorah. Note how small the hill is, and how it would not have provided protection for the survivors and could have easily have been run over by the Lamanites

Response: This is a post, dated April 17, 2016, of Jonathan Neville’s evaluation “Fun with John E. Clark, of Clark’s article Archaeology and Cumorah Questions,” with the bracketed parts Neville’s comments about Clark’s written article.  The point is, Neville spends all his effort and energy regarding Oliver Cowdery’s Letter VII article he wrote to W.W. Phelps, which we have commented on several times, pointing out how Oliver has his opinion and though he fervently feels strongly about it, it is none-the-less his opinion and not based on anything in the scriptural record said to the detail of the Cumorah battle, or the location of the Cumorah hill.
    Trying to convince us that somehow Moroni told Oliver special, detailed information is out of character with the doctrines of revelation, and are not supported officially by the Church and never have been. After all, “personal encounters” with Moroni had to do with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel and priesthood—it did not have to do with, as far as anything ever stated, that Moroni divulged secret information to Oliver, despite Neville wanting us to think so.
    And as far as a specific pin the map, what on earth does Neville think Mormon gave us? Because of Mormon, we know where things are, not because of Oliver Cowdery. And Moroni was Mormon’s son—are we to think that Moroni knew more about Cumorah than Mormon, the man who commanded a quarter of a million soldiers in that final batter at a place he arranged and knew about?
Comment #2: “Do you really think that there are apostles of God living today?” Arthur W.
The so-called primeval slime, where evolutionists claim life begun

Response: Absolutely! Why don’t you? Christ set up his Church during his time in mortality, and an organization guided by prophets, apostles, elders, seventy, etc. Far too many think of God as far away and hard to understand, but to us and those like us, we believe that God is heavily involved in our lives, answers prayers, has his church on earth, and guides the world’s events based on a Master Plan that has served him in previous worlds and the growth and eternal life of man. Why would anyone want to think that God established man on earth, then left him to fend for himself without guidance and hope? Or worse yet, to think that man accidentally evolved from the slime of the earth millions of years ago?
Comment #3: “I have lived in Ohio most of my life, and Cincinnati has been my home for the last several years. I have seen some of the Hopewell mounds, and they remind me of the description of mounds, timbers, and stone walls described in the Book of Mormon.”
Response: That is not how Mormon describes the use of mounds.  The Hopewell mounds and those throughout eastern North America and the Mississippi Valley are referred to as flat-topped pyramidal earthen structure, flat mounds, i.e., they are square, rectangular, or wavy, but for the most part, cover a large area. Their purpose has yet to be determined more than 1) Burial Mounds, and 2) Effigy Mounds.
Monk’s Mound in Illinois. Not there is not a defensive wall about it nor are their heaps of earth surrounding it. It is just a flat level mound of Earth that has no connection to the Book of Mormon

The largest platform mound is Monk’s Mound called Cahokia at Collinsville, Illinois, dated to 900-950 AD. It is 426-feet wide east-west, 1,037-feet long north to south, and with four terraces or levels, reaches an overall height of 100-108-feet. The first level covers 1.75 acres and rises 35 feet above ground level, with a ramp (south ramp) leading up to the first level.
    One of the more famous effigy mounds is the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio, which is five feet tall, 20-feet wide, and over 1330 long and shaped like a serpent.
The Serpent Mound—hardly matching anything in the Book of Mormon

On the other hand, those mounds mentioned in the Book of Mormon describe a specific size, shape, and purpose. In discussing the defensive efforts of Capt. Moroni, Mormon states: “Now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites” (Alma 50:1, emphasis added).
    Mormon goes on to described the purpose of these heaps of earth: “And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities. And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high” (Alma 50:2-3).
    It is clear that the Nephites built such defensive heaps of earth around their army and around the cities. As Mormon states: “Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land” (Alma 50:6).  However, Mormon also makes it clear that the walls Capt. Moroni built around his army and around every city throughout the land was made of stone: “he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, 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, emphasis added).

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