Thursday, November 12, 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 mean to tell me that Joseph Smith one day was digging a well and just so happened to find this rock that he called a seer stone and from that translated the Book of Momron? Sounds more than a little strange and quite convenient to me” Brand C.

Response: I think there are a lot of things of the Lord that would sound strange to those who question everything and also to those who had done so little studying. As for the seer stone, on the occasion of Brigham Young consecrating the seer stone on the altar of the Manti Temple in 1888, said, “it was the stone the Prophet joseph Smith found by revelation some thirty feet under the earth and carried by him through his life.”

The seer stone Joseph Smith found and used by putting it in a hat so what was written on it from time to time when translating the Book of Mormon


He also said that “It was the stone Joseph discovered while digging a well with Willard Chase a half-mile from the Smith farm, which, according to Lucy Smith, “Enabled Joseph to see things that were invisible to the naked eye.” Emma Smith said it was a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color” and Hosea Stout, upon seeing it in Brigham Young’s possession in 1856, said it was “a dark color almost black with light colored stripes and about the size but not the shape of a hen’s egg.”

Brigham Young said Joseph told him that “every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness.”

Comment #2: “In what order was the Book of Moron translated. I had always thought it was from 1st Nephi to the end with Ether translated by Moroni before he wrote his own book. But someone told me in a class the other day that it was not done in its regular order” Charli G.

Response: According to information that can be found in the Harold B Lee Library at BYU, most evidence supports the idea that Joseph and Oliver began their work in April 1829 with the speech of King Benjamin (Mosiah 1-6), and translated to the end of the book of Moroni in May. After that, he translated the Title Page, and finally translated the small plates of Nephi (1 Nephi-Omni) and the Words of Mormon before the end of June. The text of the Title Page, "the last leaf" of the plates of Mormon (HC 1:71), was used as the book's description on the copyright form filed on June 11, 1829 (see “Book of Moron Translation by Joseph Smith,” Tim Rathbone and John W. Welch 1992).

Comment #3: “I was reading something by someone named Jerry Grover where he claims that the terms bronze and brass in the Book of Mormon could have been something entirely different than what we know today, and that brass in the Book of Mormon could be just about anything. Do you think that’s true?” Lawrence S.

Response: First of all, Jerry D. Grover, Jr., who admits he has no credentials that would qualify him for his translation, claims he translated the Anthon Transcript that has befuddled LDS scholars for years, including Hugh Nibley. He is a Mesoamericanist in regard to the Land of Promise, claims to be a professional civil engineer and geologist.

He has written a book Geology of the Book of Mormon (Grover Publications, 2015), which is advertised as “utilizing geologic and geophysical analysis with clues in the Book of Mormon itself to provide an eye-opening placement of the Book of Mormon in its geologic setting.” It is a highly technical book, and probably not for everyone as it includes extensive details and a professional academic technical analysis of volcanoes, fault systems, meteorology as the author takes on and explains and documents all Book of Mormon references to geology and meteorology.” gives him a 100% five-star rating from 4 reviews. It is an interesting approach, but a hard read.

As for the metallurgy you mention, he delves into an historical background of metals, showing that unlike our modern technological world of defined chemistry and exact international standards of metals and alloys and their definitions, the historical and ancient world was not so organized, and that sometimes metallurgy was as much a religious and medicinal endeavor as it was a material science. In addition, he claims that further confusion was created because, for the most part, the historians themselves were not metallurgists, so in trying to describe something of which they may have no first-hand knowledge of process or terminology, and also their problem with the translation of these ambiguous terms into another language which itself may have less than specific terminology.

Gaius Plinius Secundus, called Pliny the Elder, was a Roman philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire


In quoting from Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus, AD 23-79, a Roman of Equestrian rank (eques: lower of two aristocratic classes, like a knight) who wrote a 37 volume set entitled Natural History, an encyclopedia of what passed for scientific information in that time and his only surviving writing), in attempting to describe a metal of his time, Pliny used the term aes in Latin, which can mean bronze (copper and tin), but also can mean brass (copper and zinc), and that most ancient aes also contained lead.

Pliny also describes the three types of Corinthian bronze (aes), having gold and silver, so aes can also be defined as an alloy with those metals. He then suggests that the terms bronze or brass (even Book of Mormon brass) are terms that should be approached with caution when attempting to identify any historical or ancient alloy, as they often are catch-all terms for the various alloys of copper, and are often defined by the appearance and color, rather by the metals contained in the alloy.

As to your last question about the Book of Mormon “brass,” when brass or bronze are used in less technical ways describing ancient usage, especially in ancient writings, the actual metal contents might be in question; however, the Book of Mormon was written under the guidance of the Spirit, was translated under the guidance of the Spirit, and that when it says “brass” in the Book of Mormon it means brass—copper and zinc—for the Spirit knows the difference, and that information in the sacred record is not misleading in any way or for any reason—God is not the author of confusion.

Comment #4: “So who built Caral? The Jaredites did not go into the land south right? Isn't Caral too old to be the Mulekites or Lehi's family? Who had 1000 years of peace?” David K.

Caral-Supe, a large pyramid complex in north central coastal Peru north of Lima of the Norte Chico civilization. Red circle the yet unexcavated pyramid within the mound 


Response: As has been pointed out here on numerous occasions, the dating of Carbon-14 process is always in question by its very nature of origin. Read the articles previously written on the fallacy of C-14 dates. On the other hand, one thing these dates can prove, is what local preceded another, i.e., which is the older, etc. According to these dates, Caral-Supe was inhabited between 2600 B.C. and 2000 B.C., which scientists then place before the Flood (2344 B.C.), which place the dates in error. It was a large settlement in the Supe Valley, about 125 miles north of Lima along the Pacific coast, and part of the well-studied site of the Norte Chico civilization.

Caral was part of as many as 30 major population centers in which is now the Norte Chico region, considered to be one of the oldest known civilization in the Americas and one of the six sites where civilization originated independently in the ancient world.

It is considered a pre-ceramic civilization and, therefore, given such an old date. It is always hard to accept that a people who could build such magnificent pyramidal complexes and cities did not know how to make ceramics. If they had found ceramics they would have given it a much younger age, which is one of the problems with archaeology and their set ideas. The radiocarbon dating was done in 2004—if they did it today, they would get a younger age, though it would be rejected now, since a claim of 4600 years has already been established.

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