Tuesday, November 17, 2020

More Comments from Readers –Part VIII

Here are more comments from our readers.

Comment #1: “Someone told me that within the Book of Mormon, the following bodies of water must be accounted for: the river Sidon (Alma 2:15), the waters of Sidon, the waters of Mormon (Mosiah 18:8), the waters of Sebus (Alma 26:34), the-land of pure water (Mosiah 23:4), the land of many waters (Mosiah 8:8), the place where the sea divides the land (Ether 10:20), the waters of Ripliancum (Ether 15:8), the large bodies of water in the land which was northward, the sea south (Helaman 3:8), the sea north (Helaman 3:8), the sea west (Alma 22:27), and the sea east (Alma 22:27). Mesoamerica has bodies of water which fit the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.”

Response: Mesoamerica does not have four major seas without naming one sea (the Pacific Ocean) as both the west and south seas. Nor is their Land Southward nearly surrounded by water except for the narrow neck (Alma 22:32). Nor do theyh have a Sea North since Mesoamerica extends northward into Mexico in a solid land form. The same can be said about a South Sea and Mesoamerica’s extension in a southward movement in a single land form. Nor was it ever an island (2 Nephi 10:20), etc. Their river Sidon runs true northward, but eastward according to their east-west land (instead of north-south as Mormon states in Alma chapter 22:27-34). The problem is, Mesoamerian theorists say a lot of things that simply are not true.

Comment #2: “Both the Nephites and the Mulekites lived simultaneously with the Jaredites for approimately 200 to 300 years, after which the Jaredites fell. Did not both the Mulekites and the Nephites bring to the western Hemisphere their own language form Palestine, presumably Hebrew? Is it possible to know the extent to which the Jaredite language influenced that of the Mulekites or later the Nephites?” Frank M.

Other than Coriantumr, the last Jaredite who spent 9 months with the Mulekites in Zarahemla, there is no recorded interaction between the Jaredites and the Nephites or Mulekites in the Book of Mormon


Response: First of all, we have no indication that the Jaredites lived into Mulekite/Nephite times. Secondly, there could have been no influence of the Jaredite language—as you will recall, when Coriantumr encountered the Mulekites, they could not understand him, so he wrote down his history on a stone, and when Mosiah arrived in Zarahemla with the Nephites, chief Zarahemla was eager to have the stone translated so he could know of this person and his history. Nor could the Nephites understand the Jaredite writing and had to have it translated by their prophet through the Urim and Thummim.

Comment #3: “Evidently Mormon took all the sacred records out of the hill Shim which Ammaron had hid there. If Moroni was running and hiding for his life, it seems all those records would have been a lot for him to carry around” Milt S.

Response: Mormon accomplished what he needed to do with all the sacred records during the ten years between retrieving them from the hill Shim (375 A.D.), where Ammaron had hid them and when the Nephites had been pushed northward to their final battleground around the Cumorah area (385 A.D.). Just before that final battle with the Lamanites, he wrote: “I had up in the hill Cumorah all the records save it were these few plates which I  gave unto my son Moroni” (Mormon 6:6). Also before that final battle, evidently during that ten year period, Mormon wrote a letter to Moroni saying, “I trust that I may see the soon for I have sacred records that I would deliver up unto thee” (Moroni 9:24).

Obviously, then, the Brass Plates and all the Nephite sacred records other than those few he gave to Moroni, which included the 24 gold plates of Ether, which Moroni later later abridged, were hidden in the Hill Cumorah or there about and sealed up unto God. Thus, the plates, which Mormon gave to Moroni would have included Mormon’s abridgement of the Nephite records and the small plates of Nephi, which included Nephi’s abridged record of his own large plates, and the unabridged record of Jacob through the words of Amaleki in the Book of Omni. It is interesting that Mormon understood that Moroni would later abridge the Jaredite record for Mormon commented during much erlier when he was abridging the record of Mosiah, “and this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things that are written in this [Jaredite] account” (Mosiah 28:19).

Moroni writing on the last plates he had available to him


It should also be understood that Moroni had no additional plates made, for he said, “Ore I have none…I am alone” (Mormon 8:5). Either he did not possess the skill to make such plates, or he was so fearful of being discovered during the process of finding gold, smelting it, and pounding it into sheets, that he dared not make the attempt. Obviously, “these few plates I give to my son,” included some extra plates upon which Moroni could write the abridged history of the Jaredites (Ether 1:1-2), and add his later comments (Moroni 1:1).

Comment #4: “Were Lehi and Ishmael related?”

Response: There is no direct wordage in the Book of Mormon that they were related. However, as Hugh Nibley pointed out: “The interesting thing is that Nephi takes Ishmael (unlike Zoram) completely for granted, never explaining who he is or how he fits into the picture—the act of sending for him seems to be the most natural thing in the world, as does the marriage of his daughters with Lehi’s sons. Since it has ever been the custom among the desert people for a man to marry the daughter of his paternal uncle (bint ’ammi), it is hard to avoid the impression that Lehi and Ishmael were related" (Hugh Nibely, Lehi in the Desert, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1952, p40).

Actually, “son of your uncle,” is ibn khali, and “daughter of your aunt,” is bint ‘ammi. In addition, “your paternal aunt’s daughter” is “bint amtak,” and “maternal uncle’s son is “ibn khal.” These words change depending on relationships and often can mean more than one thing.

It should also be noted that Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh (Alma 10:3) and Ishmael was a descendant of Ephraim (Journal of Discourses 23:184), the common lineage of these two descendants of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. Joseph Smith says the record of Lehi in the 116 missing manuscript pages refers to at least two of Ishmael’s sons marrying Lehi’s daughters. Nephi himself mentions his sisters at the end of his record. As no mention is made of further births to Lehi and Sariah after Jacob and Joseph, the assumption can be made that these sisters are the daughters who married Ishmael’s sons—but this would likely be inaccurate since women, their birth, life and death, are seldom mentioned in Hebrew writing.

Comment #5: “I've seen a lot of your information on the defensive walls around most of the ancient cities in South America but one thing I don't see is the "dirt mounds" referred to over & over in the Book of Mormon. Not that they are found in Mesopotamia-America either, but do you know if there is any evidence of this, or at least an explanation as to why not?” Robert L.

Territory of the Woodland and Adena (mound-building) cultures


Response: If you are referring to the Mounds found in the Mississippi Valley and attributed to the Adena and Hopewell cultures, they were built from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mts. The greatest concentrations these mounds are found in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Archeologists, scientist and historians who study the evidence of past human lifeways, classify mound building Indians of the Southeast into three major chronological-cultural divisions: the Archaic, the Woodland, and the Mississippian traditions.

These early cultures built the Mounds and other earthworks. They were ceremonial structures, typically flat-topped pyramids or platforms, flat-topped or rounded cones, elongated ridges, and sometimes a variety of other forms. There is scant evidence, other than opinions, as to what these mounds were used for other than burial locations and artistic design.

Mounds used for burial in England were called barrows, and in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales the equivalent term is cairn. None of these were built for defense. There is no evidence, other than opinions cached in stockade fencing that deteriorated and disappeared over time, that these mounds were ringed with stockade type walls.

In addition, when making a comment like “There weredirt mounds" referred to over & over in the Book of Mormon,” one should first look to see what is written in the scriptural record. As an example, the word “mounds,” dirt or otherwise, is not mentioned in the entire Book of Mormon. The word “dirt” is mentioned twice; with “ditch” mentioned four times and “ditches” once.


1 comment:

  1. While not many earthen trenches with breastworks of timber would be expected to remain intact during 2000+ years of weathering and aging, some scars of ancient defensive trenches do remain. Look at the fortress of Yayno via satellite on Google Earth and you'll see the scars of ancient defensive trenches. Or find the Ruinas Urumalca where more trenches can be seen on Google Earth. They originally made an approach to those fortresses quite difficult since the enemy not only had to attack uphill, but had to cross those trench works, and then breach the outer stone wall.

    So, you don't need to look at a mound and wonder how it might have served some purpose in battle. You can still see actual ancient ruins of fortifications with trenches and walls. You just have to look in the right place. Oh, and Peru is covered with ancient walls, and ancient roads, both of which are mentioned in the scripture as having covered the land.