Friday, January 8, 2021

The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part III

Continuation of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record: 1 thru 10 are in the previous posts. Here we continue with 11 below:

Buildings built around 500 BC in Peru, still standing today


(11) All types of buildings. Mormon records that when King Limhi reported to Ammon about his 43-man expedition he sent to find the city of Zarahemla to secure aid for the Nephites who went back to live in the Land of Nephi, the expedition stumbled over the battlefields of bodies, and the empty cities of the Jaredites. The buildings they reported seeing, had already been standing abut 500 years and remained easily identifiable so those of the expedition could identify them. As Limhi reported it:

“Having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel” (Mosiah 8:8, emphasis added).

Thus, it can be concluded that any Land of Promise would have to today have some of the remaining buildings, foundations, or marks in the ground showing where such buildings once stood; however, none of the lands of the Theorists models shows any types of previous occupation where construction of buildings took place. For those Great Lakes and Heartland Theorists who claim Nephite buildings in the Land of Promise were made of wood and were destroyed by newer expansion of modern work, it should be kept in mind that such buildings lasted at least 500 years when first discovered, and also no such buildings were ever reported in the Colonial period before modern construction, and would not have been an issue.

Peru. Only in South America and Mesoamerica have such ancient buildings been found. In Mesoamerica the buildings are all the same, that is, all are made of cut-stone blocks, most shaped in a stepped-pyramid fashion.  In South America, there are many forms of building, from cut stone to fieldstone to adobe to mud to brick, often built around grass-covered terraces, originally intended for planting crops and other food stuffs. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 100,000 sites in Peru, of which 10,000 have been excavated. By comparison only about 4,400 have been identified in the Maya area of Mesoamerica.

Left: Quinoa; Right: Kiwicha; Two superfood grains, quinoa and kiwicha, are very important in Andean South America


(12) Unknown Grains.  When Zeniff and others left Zarahemla to return and reclaim the land of their fathers in the Land of Nephi, they “tilled and planted seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land” (Mosiah 9:9, emphasis added). While three of the grains are simply identified, two are not. Besides corn, wheat and barley, Mormon included the unknown grains of sheum and neas, wihout any explanation, evidently by the third century AD, these two grains had become so well-known and used, that to Mormon they required no further explanation than corn, wheat or barley. However, to us today, they are not so evident.

Consequently, any current location chosen by Theorists for their Land of Promise, must be identified with two unknown or little known grains included with a current or stable history of use of these two unidentified grains. Before determining this, it must be understood that Joseph Smith, in his translation, grew up as a farmer in an extended family of three generations as farmers, would have known all the grains known and planted in North America, as well as many in Europe through farmer’s written and verbal discussion. Thus, the fact that he did not know the meaning of the words neas and sheum, should suggest that the grains were unknown in the U.S. at the time. Obviously, Joseph would have known about two such grains in North America. In addition, there are not two important grains in Mesoamerica or its history.

Peru: Only in Andean Peru do we find two important and valuable grains on a par with corn, wheat and barley. These two grains, quinoa and kiwicha, have high nutritional value, and have existed for thousands of years in the Andes. What is more, Quinoa is a fantastic source of plant-based protein and in fact, is the only plant-based protein to contain all nine essential amino acids. What’s more, it has a high fiber content, which helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. It also helps to improve satiety after consumption, so we feel full for longer. The grain is packed full of vitamins and minerals, which help to enhance immunity and boost circulation. And it is naturally gluten-free so can be part of any healthy diet, and can be consumed in a number of ways.

Kiwicha is considered an anti-aging food due to its cumulative anti-carcinogenic, anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidant, and anti-lipidemic properties. Kiwicha contain all 10 essential amino acids, and is also high in the amino acid lysine, distinguishing it from other grains which typically contain very little lysine and need to be combined with other foods to make a complete protein. In addition to being gluten-free, it is high in fiber, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Kiwicha contains phenolic acids, carotenoids, and flavonoids which impart antioxidant properties. It also contains squalene, an organic compound found in some plants, which acts as an anti-cancer agent and may be cardio-protective as well due to its ability to lower LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Nowhere in Mesoamerica and North America are there unknown grains, or other grains of such value.

Left: Citron; Center: Carobs; Right: Pomegranates; some of the fruits common in Jerusalem in Lehi’s day


(13) Grains and Fruit. Nephi tells us that when they left their home outside Jerusalem, they “gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruits of every kind” (1 Nephi 1:8, emphasis added). As for the fruits of every kind, those that were used were grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (date honey), as well as peaches almonds, peanuts, pistachio nuts, apples of various kinds, carobs, black strawberries, and citrons (one of the three original citrus fruits from which all other citrus types developed). Of the seven items allowed in the temple in Jerusalem, five were fruits, and were wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranates, olive (oil), and date (honey) (Deuteronomy 8:8). Those brought to the Land of Promise from Jerusalem would have included these seven foods: grapes, dates (date honey), figs, olive and pomegranates. In addition, other seeds of fruit trees and vines in Jerusalem at the time Lehi left were peaches almonds, nuts, apples of various kinds, carobs, black strawberries, citrons, peanuts, and pistachio nuts.

Peru: When Pizzaro reached Peru, he found the people planting and eating “much maize” (corn), “and other seeds and roots which they eat.” The Spanish marched through a valley filled with maize and past a mountain covered with maize…”all this land has abundant supplies of maize and many flocks. In addition, “they passed a village and there were tilled fields, trees, and many fruit gardens.” In addition, they found indigenous people who ”have little maize but subsist almost entirely on the fruit of the trees.”

It was also recorded: “This land in places is fertile with maize and fruits because the people sow and irrigate their farms with water from the rivers that come down from the mountains…they sow the crops in the level ground on the banks of the rivers, distributing water through channels. They grow much maize, and other seeds and roots which they eat” (Francisco and Hernando Pizarro, 1524-1533; And Subsequent account by Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca, 1609-1612; an account written by Francisco Xeres, 1534, pp32-33; Edited by C.R. Markham, The Hakluyt Society 1872, Series one, Number 47, London: The Hakluyt Society).


(See the next post, “The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part IV,” for the continuation of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record)

No comments:

Post a Comment