Sunday, June 21, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part III

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:
Comment #1: “Do you think the re-gathering of the Jews has now been accomplished?” Quinn T.
Response: According to the Pew Research Center of March 8, 2012, Jews have the highest rate of migration of any religion.  And according to Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, "the vast majority of world Jewry lives in one of two countries.  Of the 13.3 million Jews worldwide, 43 percent live in Israel and 39 percent live in the United States."  Fully 82% of all Jews worldwide have already gathered (as of 2012) to these two covenant lands of promise. That leaves only 18% and there is no way of knowing if the gathering of Israel is to be a 100% statistic or not. However, it seems that the gathering of Israel is in its windup scene, if not completed.
Comment #2: “Exactly who is the Western Hemisphere a land of promise for?” Robt W.
Response: At least that portion of the Hemisphere that is covered in the Book of Mormon is for Lehi’s descendants, whoever and however many that may be. Many years ago, there was an attitude among members that the North American continent was for the House of Ephraim, and the South American continent was for the House of Manasseh. Since Lehi was of the house of Manasseh and Ishmael of the house of Ephraim, this might give us some clue.
The division of Lehi's Land of Promise

Comment #3: There is one problem which keeps popping up in regards to the divide of the land south and north and that is the Jaredite records in the book of Ether. It seems to indicate that there were no poisonous snakes in the land north but many in the land south and that for a time they were so abundant in the border region that travel to the land south were lethal” Thomas.
Response: First, there are two directional lands mentioned in the record: 1) “Land Northward and Land Southward; 2) Land North and Land South. These are not synonymous terms, but describe two entirely different sets of land. In the Land Northward and the Land Southward, the division is the narrow neck of land (Alma 22:27-34). The second set is a division of the Land Southward into two parts, the Land North and the Land South, with the dividing line the narrow strip of wilderness. Thus, when Lehi landed, he did so in the Land South, and when Mulek landed, he did so in the Land North (Helaman 6:10). We know this because when Mosiah discovered Zarahemla, he found that he did so in the land where they landed and had always been there until Mosiah discovered them (Omni 1:16).
    Second, poisonous serpents are mentioned only three times in the scriptural record. The first is when they “came forth” after a great dearth (famine) and chased many Jaredite animals into the Land Southward before “hedging” up the way to keep any people from going into the Land Southward (Ether 9:31-33).
    The second is during the time of Lib in which the serpents were destroyed (Ether 10:19).   In both these cases they were in the Land Northward, not the Land Southward.
    The third instance is mentioned also by Moroni as he finished the record of his father (Mormon 8:1), he spoke about “those saints who have gone before me” (Mormon 8:24), that in the name of Christ they “could cause the earth to shake, cause prisons to tumble to the earth, could not be harmed by the fiery furnace, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word” (Mormon 8:24).
    Thus we can conclude that the Land Northward was full of poisonous serpents, at least around the time of the great famine, but that they were either unknown in the Land Southward, or at least not mentioned in connection with the Land Southward directly.
Comment #4: Whether guards were posted or whether a wall was built along the defensive line, the results would be the same. The motive was to keep the Lamanites from traveling into the land of Zarahemla or into the land northward” Benji K.
Top: Field without a wall and guarded only by men scattered across the top; Bottom: The same field with a high wall built across the way. Obvious, one is far more secure than the other showing it would make a difference

Response: While it may seem that way, actually there is quite a difference. Guards can be killed and eliminated from being a deterrent, however, a wall, if sturdy and tall enough, would remain a deterrent for a very long time. Since Mormon tells us that Moroni “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), it sounds like a stone wall was built, which would have been far superior to a posting of guards.
Comment #5: “In your book of Mormon, in Alma 5:27, we are told that people capable of having themselves cleansed by the blood of Christ 100 years before that blood was shed for the remission of sins (compare Heb. 9:22). Just how is such possible, or is this another gaff in the early publishing?” Jerome L.
Response: The Atonement of Jesus Christ to those who lived before the meridian of time was a future event, and the children of God lived in anticipation of that who knew and understood the high law of the Hebrew religion. For those who lived after Christ, it was a past understanding. Either way, all men will be granted their cleansing according to the time and decision of the Lord, He who grants this grace to us.
    By the way, speaking in future tense is found through the Old Testament when ancient prophets spoke of the visions and understanding they were given. Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman was told by the Lord to speak of things that had not yet happened, of things he had never seen, but knew only because the Lord gave him the understanding.
    Perhaps those who continually look for errors of what the Book of Mormon says in their minds might want to read and give good thought to Isaiah 29:16: “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding?"
Comment #6: “It seems unlikely to me that the Lord, knowing what he is going to do, would not leave us some insight of your book of Mormon in his messages in the Bible” Jed S.
Response: Well, let see. How about Isaiah, one of the most influential and best known prophets of the Old Testament, who prophesied of the Book of Mormon in rather specific terms, “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust” (Isaiah 29:4)…”And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned” (Isaiah 29:11-12)… “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” (Isaiah 29:14)…They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24).
Comment #7: “Since all the geography presented for the Nephites was given by Mormon more than 300 years afterward, I don’t think we have to worry too much about supposed great changes in the map. While much destruction may have taken place on the ground, I speculate that satellite pictures take before and after that destruction (had it been possible) would have shown only minor changes in the courses of rivers and in the shape of the coastline” Bart T.
Response: Well, let’s see. Samuel tells us that mountains collapsed and became level valleys, and Nephi says those mountains crumbled into pieces. That alone would have changed the course of numerous rivers since the mountains that spawned them were no longer there. Samuel also tells us that mountains would form where valleys have once been, and those mountains would be so high that he described their peaks as “whose height is great.” That would have created rivers where rivers had not been before and from very high mountains, those rivers would likely have been moving in several different directions.
    We are also told that seams and cracks would appear throughout the land, solid rocks beneath the surface would be split up in numerous segments, that holes opened up and several cities dropped into the earth, covered over by the earth and even high mountains. We know of one city along the east seacoast that fell into the sea and was covered by the water, suggesting a change in that coastline.
    Sounds rather serious!


  1. Regarding comment 3 one only has to become aware of the snakes in central America to see perhaps what Ether was talking about .My understanding is that is the worst place in the world for poisonous snakes .Fer de lance ,Bushmasters ,Coral snakes etc..these things are bad news.

  2. There are 224 snake species in Ecuador (the Land Northward),including boas,and numerous poisonous snakes, including Coral,Brown, Porthidium, Bothops, etc. There are 73 in Central America.

  3. I did not know that is very interesting I do understand that the jungles in Central and South America are the worst in the world I would not want to go there again thank you for all that you do

  4. I find it very disappointing that in the year 2020 people are still trying to prove the Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture. I have read it many times and have yet to find even one verse that tells me part of my mission is to prove its authenticity, to spend countless hours searching for evidence, to spend billions of dollars looking for that proof. Blogging our lives away defending it. What I have found is many, many scriptures that tell me I should share this treasure with others. I cannot phathom why anyone would waste these valuable resources, or in scriptural terms, use the gifts we are given on things of naught. Proving the Book of Mormon true by provideing physical proof WILL NOT HAPPEN, PERIOD. Belief in the message of the book comes ONLY by FAITH. Do you really believe the Lord is going to allow anyone to take faith in his word away from his people? Think of all the good that could have been accomplished if these efforts were put where the Lord has shown us he wants them. Close down you blogs, tweets, and other waste of resources and return to whatb will get you exalted.

    1. Good grief JC chill a little bit. We are having a great time exploring the lands of the BOM. We have found ample proof that this is the place it all happened. What it does for me is add a little bit of life to the book. I can visualize where the tower of Noah stood and the events that happened there. If anything this has increased my understanding and faith in the book.

      So if you dont mind please take
      Your criticism elsewhere. We are enjoying immensely studying the lands of the ancient prophets.

  5. JC. People here are not trying to "prove" the Book of Mormon is true. The Spirit testifies of truth, and that's how most of us got our testimonies in the first place. What is explored here is the geographical location of the events described. If you really believe the Book of Mormon, then you believe it happened somewhere, in a real place in the real world. What's wrong with exploring that? Or studying the text more deeply? Or spending ones retirement sharing and writing blogs? Show me any scripture which says we shouldn't study and seek additional knowledge, especially in regards to the scriptures? Feast upon the word, right?

    Spending billions of dollars trying to prove it? Wow. Hard to find a more unrealistic and disqualified statement than that. Where have billions of dollars been spent on the effort to prove the scriptures are true? Are you talking about missionary work? If so, that is absolutely a mission of the church, yet missionary work is a sharing of a message through personal testimony and not an attempt to prove anything, except though the Spirit. Anyway, your statement sounds bitter and misinformed. I guess I owe you an apology for my love of the Book of Mormon and my desire to understand it's messages more fully, even when the writers talk about the places they traveled and lived. I'll try to skip over that stuff from now on and only focus on your favorite verses, whichever those are.

    Honestly, one day I hope to stand where Christ did when he visited the Nephites, and it will feel awesome. I'm saving up my $2 billion for that trip. I know Del is spending his $2 billion on writing this blog. 😁

  6. Dearest Iterry, I'm not sure what you are calling ample proof. Anything that anyone has "discovered" is nothing more than speculation. Everything I've watched or listen to always has that caveat. Absolutely nothing has been proven as actual fact. If it was the church would be all over it. Hypotheticall, if you had facts, the Lord will not let it take away the faith of his children. That's what its all about. Digging holes and chopping through jungles sounds like fun, at least I think it would be fun. But if I were doing to try to prove the book, then that would be a real waste of time. Do you really believe that Christ is going to let anyone find real factual beyond disputation evidence until he is ready.
    My friend Todd, all the studies, explorations, printed materials are not free. Some one pays for it. Billions of dollars gone trying to find something that at best would be a nice artifact for some one. The real treasure of the book is within its covers. That's where the Savior wants us to look for treasures and the answers to the mysteries of the book and life. And finally, Br. Todd, thousands of people since Christ have already stood at that place and didn't know it. How many places did Christ stand and nobody knows that they just stood there?
    Nothing in my lines or any ones lines can give a true sense of awesomeness scriptures can give. If you want to read about finding buried treasures, which is exactly what discussing here, then might I suggest reading what our Prophets, not treasure hunters have said on the subject. Spin it how you will. The Lord, through his Prophets, has said, read, study, ponder, pray about, and share the gospel from the Book. Ask this Question.
    "Which would I want the most: a-stand where Christ stood when he visited the Nephites, or,
    b-stand "with" Christ when he visits us again? Sort sounds like a 10 virgins scenario.
    Feel free to point out anything in looking for or talking about evidence of where it took place in this blog is going to help in Exaltation? Keep our eyes on the prize. Its not burried in a hole or jungle. If Christ wanted us to know he would have told us already.
    PS, we haven't reached the point of faithfulness and righteousness to have the sealed portion revealed yet. Lets hit that benchmark first. Then I will personally lead an expedition to waste more time, talent, and money. Its all so simple. You are with me (keep my commandments) or you are against me (do what you think better serves the Lord. Free Agency, makes us or breaks us. The Lords choicest blessings to all.

  7. Dear brother JC, so you just want to float along and wait until the Lord hands you something on a silver platter. You aren't willing to make the effort to figure out other elements of the gospel that might be important. You think that by keeping your head in a bucket all things will be given to you without any effort. Joseph Smith would have been appalled at such ignorance and lack of curiosity.

    We are taught in the revelations to search and the mysteries will be opened if you ask and search. It is true that searching the message of the scriptures is important. But I would cast dispersions on those who want to learn more about the geography and lives of those people which you are doing.

    I want to explain something to you that is very important to the gospel of Christ. One is something call the power of God. This is rejected by most LDS people particularly those who teach at BYU.

    In the BOM it says clearly that the entire face of the land was changed. Mountains of exceeding height were cast up. Mountains collapsed into valleys. Cities were sunk into the sea. In order for someone to accept the South American location. They must believe in the power of God. That is important to exaltation.

    Most members will not and cannot find where the Nephites lived because of this fine point. BYU will never accept it because they believe in evolution and an old earth. Those things will cause you to deny the power of God and you likely will not be exalted if you cant accept the power of God.

    South America was an island before the death of Christ. We have found the narrow neck, tower of Noah, wall of defence in Helaman, place of first landing. All of these things can only be understood and accepted if you understand what happened at the death of Christ.

    Again, finding the location where it all occurred has increased my faith because it does fall in line with the book that God gave us. Pull you head out of a bucket and stop this sanctimonious crap you think has something to do with the gospel. It does not. No man can be saved in ignorance.

  8. You can always tell when someone is losing a debate. They start personally attacking you, friendly debate goes out the window. You keep talking about this evidence that is put forth as proof, fact. It is neither, even the ones discovering new things tell us this. At least the credible ones. You obviously think I'm ignorant, another personal attack. I may be but I don't accept something because it looks good. I know enough about our Gospel to know that persoanl attacks are never part of the Gospel. Defending bad behavior has never and will never get anyone into Heaven. Think about that when you pray tonight. Ask the Lord to approve your methods of dialog with others. I could care less if you ever change your mind. I hate to see you change your place of residence in the next life because you've decided only you can be right even if can't prove it. May the Lord get inside your heart to change how you interact with people. Return to the things the Lord has actually said he wanted you to do. Before we seek for worldly riches, seek first the kingdom of God. Maybe you know all you think you need to know about that kingdom. I assure you that no one does. Seek for the joy he offers. No where is joy assigned to material objects, only to the spiritual feelings of the heart. Any who, good luck in the treasure hunt.

  9. PS., I don't need to waste my energy looking for other elements of the Gospel that, and I quote you, "might" be important. I have the elements that the Savior told me were important. And if the Prophet Joseph Smith thought it was important enough to go looking for some proof he would have sent out missionaries to get it. Surely he knew. If it wasn't important enough then its not important enough now. You don't have to explain the power of God to me. That's the very power that prevents anyone from "proving the BOM is real. As has been said, If you have the scriptures you haven't read them. If you've read them then you don't understand them.

  10. I didnt call you anything. I labeled your stuff sanctimonious crap. That isn't calling you a thing. Sorry, the debate if you want to call it that was not lost. I've said what needed to be said. You want to reject then go back to putting your head in a bucket. We'll go back to enjoying what this blog has to offer by way of the lands of the BOM. It's truly inspiring.

  11. what you've said is the same, to use your words, sanctimonious crap. No evidence to back your statements. Call your comments what you want. Its a broken record. Just one fact. One. That's all you need to provide and I will concede all the other sanctimonious crap put forth as fact. One, just one. No need to worry. I'll won't respond again until you provide that one fact. Just one. A suggestion for something to add to your vocabulary. A simple phrase even us sanctimonious idiots know. Here it is, look closely so you want miss it. I DON'T KNOW, which is what you should be saying instead of there is ample proof. I really want to see it. If proof exists I really want to know. Saying proof exists doesn't make it so. If you have the proof please share it with all of us head in the sand people. Please, I beg you, share.
    Waiting with low expectations for that one fact. Just one. I like a good discussion just like everybody else, but at the end of the day, its just a discussion. I don't pass off someone else's findings as ample proof. The BOM of Mormon is truly inspiring, talking about it and the lands they inhabited is great. So why muck it up with unsubstantiated statements posing as facts? You have no proof because there is no proof, ample or not. One, just one.

  12. Wow. That was a quite Sherem-like post. Demanding proof. Or like Korihor and Alma- one who demands proof and the other who sees it in everything around him.

    If you're looking for proof, you're going to struggle. If you're seeking the spirit, then truth becomes apparent, even in plain sight.

    Nobody here wants to convince you of anything, but sure, we'll feel attacked if you call us charlatans for studying and discussing what is written in scripture.

    My desire to physically stand where Christ stood wasn't suggesting that is most important or that it would somehow be unique to me. It's something I'd like to do. You may want to spend money going to Hawaii or some other place. I, personally, would like to spend time in Peru. So, I guess that makes me a terrible person?

    The Church does not take an official stance on Book of Mormon geography. There are very good reasons for that. Does that mean that prophets don't know where it happened? Not necessarily. There are good reasons that things are revealed at the right times. It isn't in the interest of "proof" any more than Jacob or Alma had to prove the truth to Sharem or Korihor.

    Truth is not hidden by God. It is available to those who seek it. In many cases it is in plain sight, but we are the ones who refuse to look. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened. It's us as God's children that are on that side of seeking and knocking.

    I don't question your testimony of the gospel. But I don't appreciate your attack on people who study scripture in an attempt to understand the settings and surroundings of those who wrote the scripture. It brings additional insight into their words and teachings to embrace the context of the stories. It's not a contest of proof, but a quest for knowledge and understanding.