Tuesday, November 10, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part I

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:

Comment #1: “First, Another fascinating and insightful post. Understanding "pitching their tents," what their tents were like, the type of area they lived in, etc., brings the Book of Mormon to life and helps me better connect with Lehi and his family and their teachings. Thank you for your work Del. Second, Do you have any ballpark estimate as to how many days the journey of Nephi’s ship would have taken based on typical current and wind speeds, to reach the Land of Promise?” David K.

Columbus’ three ships: Santa Clara (Niña), la Pinta and la Santa Gallega (Santa Maria).


Response: Thank you. And for your interesting question, while there can be no definitive answer, we can surmise a close proximity. First, Columbus traveled 4,032 miles with the ocean current, leaving August 3 and arriving at the Canary Islands, and leaving there on September 6, arriving at San Salvador (today Turks and Caicos) in the Bahamas on October 12, a total of 71 days; however, from Canary Islands to Bahamas was only 3,600 miles in 36 days or 4.2 mph. The Mayflower took 63 days to cover 3,500 miles at 2.3 mph. A racing yacht around the world in 1973, covering 27,120 miles in 144 days at 7.9 mph. Wind-power-only vessels specially designed to maximize speed have yet to reach an average speed of 10 mph on sustained voyages. However, a Yankee Clipper, designed for speed with tons of sail, crossed the Atlantic in 15-days (360 hours) at 9.7 miles per hour (3,492 miles)—but a Yankee Clipper, sailing the Southern Ocean achieved for 436 miles (10,464 hours) reached a sustained 18.2 miles per hour, suggesting the speed of the currents and winds in the Southern Ocean can move a vessel at twice the speed of crossing the Atlantic with winds and current.

In addition, the distance through the Indian Ocean to the Southern Ocean to Coquimbo Bay, Chile, would be approximately 13,000 miles, of which abut 7,200 would be in the Southern Ocean waters, moving at twice the speed of regular waters. So 5,800 miles would be moving around 9 miles per hour in the strong winds and currents of the Indian Ocean; consequently, it would take about 27 days to reach the Southern Ocean, where travel would be at around 18 miles per hour, or twice that of earlier speeds, equaling another 17 days, or a total trip of 44 days—add 6 days losing time in the storm and making it back up, we are looking at about a 50 day trip from Khor Rori to Coquimbo Bay via the Southern Ocean.

A route through Indonesia against winds and currents coming off the Pacific toward the Indian Ocean


Compare to a theorist’s trip eastward through Indonesia, island hopping across the Pacific and to Mesoamerica, a distance of 9,106 miles, at maybe 4 miles per hour, you are looking at about 95 days of sustained travel—a lot longer with the slower progress through Malacca Strait, Indonesia islands, stopping for supplies along the way in the Pacific, which would probably add another 30 days or so, or a trip of 125 days, twice the time it took the Mayflower and stopping for supplies would have been absolutely necessary, not to mention as we have written several times about the opportunities for rebellion by Nephi’s brothers and the sons of Ishmael during such stops.

Now, if you compare travel speed via the Southern Ocean with the Kon-Tiki: 4,340 miles at 1.7 mph 318 days; Jaredites: a voyage of 344 days at 2 mph (271 days); RA  II: 4,948 miles at 2.4 mph (226 days)—then Nephi’s ship, built under the instruction and in the manner the Lord designed and instructed, made a relatively fast voyage at 50 days.

Again, this is speculation, but based upon known speeds and known distances, and actual 600 B.C. to 1900 A.D. ship speeds, may be quite accurate.

Comment #2: “Why do you claim the Olmec were not the Jaredites?”

Response: Most Mesoamerican theorists consider the Olmec to be the Jaredites, yet the Olmec were not restricted to the Land Northward in their theory. In addition, most researchers consider the heartland of the Olmec culture which became widespread over Mesoamerica from 1400 BC until roughly 400 BC, to have been centered in the Vera Cruz area, with San Lorenzo being the major center. Also in what is referred to as the Olman or Olmec Metropolitan Zone, there was Tenochtitlán, Tres Zapotes, Laguna de los Cerros, and the smaller sites of El Manatí and El Azuzul.

Olmec lands and development area in Mesoamerica


However, several of these areas that the Mesoamerican Theorists consider to be within the Olmec cultural area, are actually, along with many others, in their Land Southward, not the Land Northward as the scriptural record states. These include La Venta, which was a major Olmec site, but located south of their Narrow Neck, San Miguel, Ixhuatián, La Oxaquena, La Soldados, El Mayacal (Yucatan), El Manatí (Yucatan), Cuello (Yucatan), El Mayacal (also Yucatan), San Miguel, Ixhuatián, La Oxaquena , La Soldados, and eight others from Chiapas (including Balancan, Chiapa de Corzo and Xoc), and running along the west coast to Chalchuapa and Monte Alto, and to Copán in Honduras.

In addition, while the Olmec only showed up in Mesoamericas around 1400 BC, that was some 600 or 700 years after the Jaredites were in the Land Northward of the Land of Promise. Thus, one cannot logically, let alone accurately with the scriptural record, claim that the Olmec were the Jaredites.

Commernt #3: “I am greatly enjoying the recent articles. I will admit to a nautical ignorance for much of my life. When growing up away from the coast, it is easy to just assume the oceans are like a lake, just bigger” Michael R.

Response: Most of the theorists who write about the Book of Mormon Land of Promise also have a nautical ignorance and it causes them to make comments and lay out courses that were simply impossible or highly improbable in Lehi's time with a ship “driven forth before the wind.” In this, it helps to have grown up along the coast and spent much time in and around the ocean, not to mention studying oceanography for many years.

Comment #4: Thank you, Del, another fascinating post. One thing I've been a bit confused about. The ancient stories of the Savior's appearance seem to be centered around Lake Titicaca. The scriptures say that occurred in the land Bountiful. You have the land bountiful placed much further north (for many good reasons). How do I reconcile the two?” David K.

Response: Appreciate your continued interest in our blog, and thank you for your kind words. As for the disparity between Titicaca and Bountiful, the legends as recorded by the early Spanish chroniclers who heard them from the natives they conquered whose forbears had passed them down for more than a thousand years after the demise of the Nephite nation, plus the establishment of the original people of Peru and the Andes, according to their legends, they came with four brothers, their origin (stopping place) coming out of the Lake Titicaca region.

As for the Savior, He is included in these legends once in a while as one who appeared then left, but no location is given regarding his appearance, and no doubt out of default, was simply placed in the same origination point as the first Peruvians. Of course, we know that the Savior visited the area of Bountiful after the crucifixion (3 Nephi 111:1,3), which is much further north than Titicaca. The Savior is given several names, but Pachacamac is one—the name given to the ancient City of Zarahemla by modern researchers, with its Temple of the Sun and Moon. The Savior is often included within the Titicaca legends because he was the Creator God of the ancients, and by the time of the Inca (1400 years after the crucifixion), the legend simply became shorter, and the first establishment of the people and the Creator God became intermixed in a time frame that was actually separated by some 600 or more years.

When dealing with ancient legends and so-called myths, we need to keep in mind that they crossed from real stories to fictional accounts as ancients told and retold them, and especially within the Inca nation, since they were always including every and any positive historical fact within their own pantheon to build up their power and might in the eyes of those they fought and conquered.

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