Sunday, May 3, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part V

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “Whatever exact and clear glimpse of the Land of Promise the Book of Mormon gives us is more than obfuscated by the writer of this review, who never quite gets beyond his criticisms to show us the error of the Mesoamerican theory or the more compelling theory he/she may hold to” John R.
Response: We apologize for your poor experience reading our blog. Perhaps you would care to read more of our comments about Mesoamerica, for in them we have taken every single point about Mesoamerica and compared it with scripture in order to show that their model simply does not agree with Mormon's many descriptions. It is not that we are critical of Mesoameria, we are critical of those who misuse, misinterpret, change or alter the scriptural record in order to promote their pre-determined location and view. We refer you to the book "Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican and other Theorists" for a complete coverage of several Mesoamerican theorists writings and claims and comparing them to the scriptural record.
    In addition, there are blog posts here that outline our approach to following the scriptural record to arrive at a location described in every way and meets every criteria to which one can find a scriptural reference. Hopefully your future reading will be a little more positive.
Comment #1: “Del, it seems that the 30 degrees south latitude in South America landing site for Lehi was speculated by Frederick G. Williams, not Joseph Smith. What is your source for it being Joseph's?” Kyle E.
Where Lehi landed

Response: There are more people than us that use this as a reference made by Joseph Smith. Our rationale is simply this. Williams was Joseph’s physician, confidant, personal friend, scribe, clerk of the First Presidency and at the time of this note, the First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church with Joseph as President. He wrote the information on a paper with three other important Church statements, one of which was a revelation. While we are not suggesting the 30º south Latitude in Chile was a revelation in any way, but having served as a scribe, recorder, and clerk at various levels of service in the Church, it is hard to perceive of Williams idly scribbling or doodling on this paper while matters of importance were being discussed.
   As a clerk or scribe, you write down notes to be expanded and entered later in the official record of the meeting. Nor do we perceive of Williams coming up with the idea on his own since he wrote it down—what purpose would that have served? Generally, in such important positions in such important meetings, of such important matters, one writes down things of importance discussed.
    While Mesoamericanists have to belittle and reduce this issue to a non-issue in order to maintain their viewpoints, all of our Church service stretching out over 65 years in various callings of substance and responsibility, it would seem highly likely that anything written by Williams in such a situation that would not either have been initiated by the President of the meeting (Joseph Smith) or open to discussion in the meeting of which Joseph would have participated.
Church leaders greeting one another with great respect and friendly brotherhood

While such meeting leaders are not dictators in the Church, they do command respect from those in attendance, and at such levels the love bond between the brethren is of such a degree that such respect is automatically given.
    What Williams wrote would have been discussed in the meeting, though to what extent we do not know, but Williams wrote down a positive, active statement as though it was something someone said and he was impressed with the idea.
Comment #2: “Lehi traditionally left Jerusalem in 600 BC, if Nephi was 25 and Lehi had him at 36 that puts Lehi born in like 661 BC. Sounds like Lehi could have been among those Northern Kingdom inhabitants to came to Jerusalem accepting Josiah Passover invitation. Being of the Tribe of Manasseh” Jared M.
Response: A 55 to 65-year-old Lehi, at the time of his departure, which probably was in 597 B.C., seems right. That age qualifies him to be old enough to prophesy among the people of Jerusalem, be a prophet of God, lead his family into the wilderness, and old enough from the 10-year experience to be about ready to die just after reaching the Land of Promise.
    In addition, Nephi would have been around 25 at the time of leaving Jerusalem, making Sam 27, Lemuel 29, and Laman 31, the latter old enough under Jewish law to marry and inherit his father’s estate, wealth, etc. (Age 30 was the appropriate age).
    If Lehi was 30 when marrying (being wealthy, having land for his inheritance outside Jerusalem) his family would have begun around 615, two daughters born before Laman, who married, according to Erastus Snow, Ishmael’s two sons, making the latter two sisters born at Jerusalem after Nephi but before leaving, and the final two boys, Jacob and Joseph, born during the 8 years in the wilderness, probably in the first two to three years, when the four boys and Zoram were married and having children on the trail.
Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem

This scenario would make Lehi 64 when leaving Jerusalem, and about 75 to 77 when dying in the Land of Promise. This means he would have been born around 661 B.C.; 65 years after Isaiah; 61 years after the fall of the northern kingdom; 49 years after Babylon split the Assyrian empire; 44 years after Sargon II of Assyria, conquered the Hittites, the Chaldeans, and Samaria; 40 years after Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem when Hezekiah built the water tunnel and withstood the siege; 11 years after Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, added January and February to Romulus’ 10-month calendar; 3 years after Pharaoh Tirhakah of Egypt’s 25th (Ethiopian) dynasty was defeated at Eitekeh by Sennacherib; One year before the Jewish settlement in Elephantine (Egypt); 4 years before Constantinople (Byzantium) was founded by sailors from Greece; 9 years before Ashurbanipal took Manasseh as a prisoner to Assyria; 35 years before the Scythians of Armenia invaded Syria, Palestine and Assyria.
Comment #4: “I have really enjoyed your blog and books (the first two, haven’t gotten the last two yet), and use the information in many discussions, especially among my returned missionary friends, two of which were in Mesoamerica and one in South America. It is a lot of fun. Thank you for all your insights” Jerry J.
Response: Thank you for your kind words.
Comment #5: “Do you think the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon will ever be unsealed and translated and given to us? Also, do we know how much of the plates were sealed?”  Jack S.
Response: We are not told specifically how several of the Book of Mormon plates were sealed, but Elder Orson Pratt stated that it was two-thirds of them. This figure has been widely accepted because of the popularity of Elder Pratt’s writings (Journal of Discourses 3:347). David Whitmer, one of the three special witnesses who actually saw the plates is reported to have said that “about half of the book was sealed,” while Elder George Q. Cannon wrote that one-third of the plates were sealed, and the Prophet Joseph Smith simply stated, “The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed” (History of the Church 4:537).
Sealed portion of the Book of Mormon
If the highest estimate is correct and two-thirds of the plates were sealed, that would mean there are the equivalent of 1,062 pages sealed since there are 531 pages in the current Book of Mormon. That would make a total of 1,593 possible pages had the whole set of plates been translated. Since Moroni engraved the sealed-portion plates as well as 51 pages in the Book of Mormon, his total of 1, 113 pages written would be about 70 percent of the total plates delivered to Joseph Smith.
    If the smaller estimate is correct, then the numbers would be lower with about 266 pages sealed, making a total of 797 pages. Moroni would then have written 317 pages, or approximately 40 percent of the plates handed to Joseph Smith.
    As for the sealed portion being translated, the Lord told the brother of Jared that the things which he saw and heard should not be revealed to the world until after Jesus should glorify his name in the flesh (Ether 3:21).
    In keeping with this command these great revelations were not revealed to the Nephites by king Mosiah in 92 BC. But they were made available to the Nephites after Jesus ascended to heaven in AD 34, and they enjoyed them for several generations.
    Moroni was also commanded to write his own words and seal them all up with the interpreters (Ether 4:4–5). The Lord told Moroni that when the Gentiles in the last days exercise faith in Christ even as the brother of Jared did, then will they have the words of the brother of Jared “even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations” (Ether 4:7).


  1. The most important detail or geographical significance is that when Nephi left the land of their first inheritance to leave/escape the rebellion of the Lamanites he went UP to the Land of Nephi. All the Meso America lands with evidence of culture have NO UP LAND convenient to any possible landing sight. Second is that from that original migration everything that follows was North and never South. Same applies to the Heartland theory. In the Mississippi river plain there is no UP or North from any possible UP from any probable landing site.

  2. Yes I think your correct James, but these other guys have teaching positions at BYU and tours and firesides where they will not tolerate different opinions. Also long youtube videos. I would almost rather slam my fingers in a car door than have to try to talk any sense into them.Good grief look at how many blog posts Del has done over the years and how few subscribers he has!