Tuesday, June 23, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part V

Comment #1: “I Like the part of the title of your blog that says "Lehi never saw mesoamerican" and you should add "Lehi never saw south america." I have seen your maps and the distances, but in no way fit the distances described in the BoM. BoM describe short mileage, not hundreds or thousands of miles. Seems you attack Olive's books, which is the most accurate of all to the truths of the BoM, yet you ignore your immense level of flaws... mileage being one big one” Miles M.
Response: Thank you for your comment; however, if you are going to criticize a view, perhaps you should know more about the view you are criticizing. As for Lehi’s landing being in South America, we refer you to that book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, which is not just a clever statement, but an 800-page book of hundreds of referenced facts and scriptural citings to back up the claim.
Secondly, we have discussed distances we have discussed many times, specifically in the two areas of: 1) No distances are described in the Book of Mormon that can be used with any semblance of accuracy, and 2) while the events described in the Book of Mormon tend to show a more compact area, we need to keep in mind that most of the text deals with events between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla, a rather compact area, or between the Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Bountiful, another rather compact area, or at the end, only in the Land Northward, with most of that close to the narrow neck, another rather compact area.
    As for your comment about not even hundreds of miles, it should be considered that one can figure out the distance of 21 days of travel, which all writers on the subject place this somewhere between about 400 and 500 miles. However, we do not place that figure so low or any distance for the reasons we have discussed numerous times. On the other hand, at a minimum of 15 miles a day, 21 days of travel would still be 300 miles or so—placing the Waters of Mormon a distance of 315 to 375 miles from the Land of Zarahemla. However, the valuable of that is questionable since the Waters of Mormon are an unknown distance from the City of Nephi, and the Land of Zarahemla is an unknown distance from the city of Zarahemla. Still, it is at least hundreds of miles.
    Such reading, of course, can be misleading, but only if one tries to place a specific distance on a place. As an example, how far did Nephi travel from the Land of First Inheritance to what they called the Land of Nephi? How far is many days travel? It is an idiom in Hebrew language to mean almost any distance, so how can you determine how far they traveled? You cannot. And as such, you cannot say it was not far, or very far. It is simply an unknown.
Three unknown distances: 1) from City of Nephi to Waters or Mormon; 2) Waters of Mormon to the Land of Zarahemla; 3) Land of Zarahemla to the City of Zarahemla

Third, how on earth can one come up with any distances at all other than the 21 days of Alma’s travels from the Waters of Mormon to the Land of Zarahemla, and that is completely misleading as stated above. Best not to throw stones at someone’s maps and distances when such an unknown factor exists. What we do know, is that 21 days of travel between somewhere near the City of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla took 21 days of travel to reach. That is not a short distance under any circumstance—especially when you are fleeing for your life.
Comment #2: “Do we know what happened to the Small Plates after Amaleki finished with them and they were delivered to King Benjamin?” Dana T.
Response: We can trace fourteen specific steps or events, by mentioning each individual who takes possession of them:
1. King Benjamin delivers the plates to his son Mosiah who becomes the final Nephite king (124 BC).
2. Mosiah places them in the possession of Alma's son, Alma the younger (92 BC). This Alma had been converted miraculously and later becomes the first chief judge of the people. He eventually gives up the office of chief judge to spend full time in his other office of high priest of the people.
3. Alma passes the plates along to his son, Helaman (74 BC) who valiantly leads the two thousand stripling warriors at the same time that Captain Moroni is leading the Nephite army in other parts of the land.
4. The plates eventually end up in the possession of Helaman's son Helaman, but prior to that, they are held for a four-year period by the older Helaman's brother, Shiblon (57 to 53 BC). The younger Helaman writes the large part of the book of Helaman, serves as a righteous chief judge in Zarahemla, and sees the rise of the Gadianton robbers.
5. Helaman hands the plates on to his son Nephi (39 BC) who, with his brother Lehi, preaches valiantly and converts thousands of Lamanites. At one point Nephi and his brother are protected from destruction in a Lamanite prison by a miraculous protective ring of fire. Nephi later preaches from his garden tower and miraculously predicts the murder of the chief judge Seezoram.
6. Nephi disappears mysteriously, but not before he delivers the plates to his son Nephi (1 AD), who is the prophet during the time of great wickedness between the time of the Savior's birth and the Lord's appearance at the temple in Bountiful. Nephi eventually becomes one of the Lord's twelve disciples or apostles.
7. Nephi is succeeded by his son, also named Nephi. This Nephi dies in 111 AD.
8. The record is then kept by his son Amos, who keeps the record for eighty-four years and dies in 194 AD.
9. Amos gives the record to his son also named Amos. This Amos dies in 305 AD.
10. Amos's brother Ammaron keeps the record in his stead. In 320 AD Ammaron is constrained by the Holy Ghost to hide all the sacred records in a hill called Shim. After hiding the records, Ammaron is inspired to approach a boy named Mormon who is ten years old at the time and command him that when he reaches the age of twenty-four, Mormon should remove from their hiding place the large plates of Nephi and take possession of them.
11. Mormon does so in 335 AD. Years later, Mormon abridges the large plates of Nephi onto another set of plates, the plates of Mormon (380 AD). Mormon is eventually slain by Lamanites in about 385 AD. Before his death he hides the large plates of Nephi in the hill Cumorah.
12. Mormon gives his abridgement and the small plates to his son Moroni, who finishes them and hides them before his death.
13. Moroni shows where the plates are hidden in the Hill Cumorah in western New York to Joseph Smith who eventually retrieves them and translates the writing into the Book of Mormon.
14. Joseph Smith, along with Oliver Cowdery, return the plates to the New York Hill Cumorah where an opening occurs and they enter a room where piles of other plates are stacked around the room. They place the plates on a table and leave.

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