Tuesday, May 5, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part VII

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “If the islands of Indonesia were impossible for Hagoth to navigate, then how did Lehi do it 400 years earlier?” Sithu M.
Lehi’s Course to the 30º South Latitude, landing in Chile, South America

Response: If you were to read those areas of the blog that have been posted about Lehi's direction of travel, you would see he went south, southeast down the Sea of Arabia and Indian Ocean to the Southern Ocean, then east across to the Humbolt current and north from there. The winds and currents do not move west to east through the Sea of Arabia and Indonesia, but east to west, coming off the South Pacific gyre and through Indonesia.
    While trade ships (shallow bottom, frail craft) of the ancient period moved along the coastal waters and maneuvered through the islands, no deep ocean vessel could have done that—neither Nephi's ship or those Hagoth built, since at least the former was "driven forth before the wind," it would have necessitated moving wherever the winds drove his ship and that would not have been from coastal Oman toward Indonesia, but south toward the Indian Ocean. If you look through the blog, you will see maps and plenty of explanation.
Lehi’s course from Salalah, Oman, to Coquimbo Bay, Chile

Comment #2: “I was looking at the map of the swirling waters around South America and up into Central America.. it occurred to me... wait.. this would not be the way the land looked at the time of Lehi. South America and Central America are not connected above water.  So that being true.. would not the ocean currents actually had been somewhat different?” Mr. Nirom.
Response: We have posted a couple of articles on this issue in the past. Keep in mind that land is not far below the surface in the cases of where it moves to the surface as it did both with the Panama Knot and also with the Amazon Basin in central and eastern South America. As such, the shelf is close enough to the surface to effect tidal waters as well as major currents. It is one of the reason the currents through Indonesia and around some of the South Sea island chains are so difficult to negotiate at times because other parts of the islands are not far beneath the surface (not all islands, but many). Thus, while the land area that eventually rose to block off the channel between the Pacific and the Atlantic allowed for that waterway to exist, it was not so deep it did not affect the currents when we add in the Coriolis Effect from the gravitational pull of the Earth turning on its axis. For more information, see our posts on this.
Comment #3: “We know that the Lord is keeping many great truths from us among the Gentiles (Ether 4:6, etc) So we cannot assume there will not be further things revealed that may be stumbling blocks to us because it contradicts “our understanding” of what has been given already” erichard.
The Lord commanded the Brother of Jared not to publish what he had seen and heard unto the world, but that he was to write it down and show it to no man

Response: Ether 4:6 is not about withholding information needed by the members or Gentiles in general, but the unique and advanced knowledge given to the Brother of Jared on the mountain.  He told him: “Behold, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard to go forth unto the world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and show it to no man. And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read. And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write. For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write” (Ether 3:21-24). It would seem from this, that at least some of what the Brother of Jared wrote down and sealed up came forth after Christ's resurrection, perhaps through Joseph Smith.
   On the other hand, he also said, “And the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to go down out of the mount from the presence of the Lord, and write the things which he had seen; and they were forbidden to come unto the children of men until after that he should be lifted up upon the cross; and for this cause did king Mosiah keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should show himself unto his people. And after Christ truly had showed himself unto his people he commanded that they should be made manifest” (Ether 4:1-2).
    Obviously, the Nephites had some of this information, perhaps all of it during those 200 years of time following the Lord's advent in America. Whether we have any or all of it through modern-day revelation, such as in the Doctrine & Covenants, etc., is not known (at least to me). Finally, the Lord told the Brother of Jared, “For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord” (Ether 4:6).
    There is no indication or suggestion here that the Lord withholds information to create “stumbling blocks” or to hinder the development of his children, Gentiles or anyone. He does reserve some advanced information from time to time until people are ready for it. If members understood how much information would be available to them if they lived more righteously, perhaps we would all be doing much better in our lives.

    On the other hand, some people, especially critics of the Church, many scientists, all evolutionists, etc., are going to be greatly surprised, even shocked, when all of the truth of the Lord is revealed, for much of it will set aside the errors of man and enthrone the truth of God.
Comment #4: “I found your article on the fortress of Kuelap fascinating. It really helps picture the scriptures in alma 48 and 49”  David K.
An artist’s rendition of what the fortress of Kuelap looked like when it was occupied. The slit in the wall (lower right) is one of only three such entrances into the city that could be heavily guarded and next to impossible to penetrate 

Response: Thank you. No amount of words can do Kuelap justice in its importance, strategic position, and overall comparison with Nephite construction of the time.
Comment #5: “I was reading an extensive article by Lynn and David Rosenvall “From the Sea West to the Sea East,” published in July 2009, in which they said, after an extensive discussion on the seas mentioned in the Book of Mormon, that: “All of the geographical features described in the Book of Mormon can be readily identified I n Baja California with the sea west being the Pacific Ocean, stretching along the entire west coast of North America, and the sea east being the Sea of Cortez (also called the Gulf of California), extending north along the east coast of Baja California to the mouth of the Colorado River. This narrow, elongated and ladder-like configuration of Baja California aligns perfectly with the lands and seas described in the Book of Mormon.” What do you think of their work?” Pamela M.
Response: We have written numerous articles in our blog regarding Baja California. While there are some features that can be applied to Mormon’s overall descriptions of the Land of Promise (but then, many places can qualify with a few matches); however, in total, there is simply no justifiable argument for Baja.
    In their “extensive discussion,” they reject two very important concepts: 1) A prophet, Jacob, speaking in the temple, describes the fact that the Land of Promise is an island in the midst of the sea over which Nephi’s ship sailed; and 2) There is also mention of a Sea North as a Sea South, however, the Rosenvalls reject the Sea North, because it disagrees with their peninsula theory, while accepting the Sea South for the same reason, even though both seas are described in the exact same terms.
    That is hardly a scholarly approach to interpretation. In addition, while the Land of Promise is described as an island, it is never described as a Peninsula, nor referred to one in any way. Additionally, the distance in the Midriff Area across the Sea of Cortez, at his narrowest point (which is around their narrow neck of land) is about 38 miles, and easily visible across the Gulf.
Top: Map of the Midriff Islands at what the Rosenvalls call their Narrow Neck of Land; Bottom: The distance across their “east sea” can easily be seen, looking at Baja from the Island of Tiburon adjacent to the Mexico mainland
While crossing from Baja California to the Mainland of Mexico would be a simple matter as can be seen from the above photo, there is no suggestion of anything like that, or that there was anything to the East of the East Sea (Gulf of California).

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