Sunday, January 19, 2020

How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part III

Continuing from the last post regarding the inroads into complete dominance of the Mesoamerican scene as being the location of the Book of Mormon, and the total absence of any connecting factors between the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica.
    The point of all this is to show that Mesoamerica is not a defensible position. Of course, the first and foremost difference between Mormon’s many descriptions and the Mesoamerican theorist, is the shape and design of the Land of Promise, along with its directional alignment.
The Directional Seas are not aligned with the directions they are named; the ocean to the north of the Narrow Neck is claimed to be the Sea East, and the ocean to the south of this neck is claimed to be the West Sea

Mormon says north and south.
Sorenson, Nibley, and other Mesoamerican theorists says east and west.
But there are many other areas of immediately interest and, likewise, of immediate concern:
Nephi tells us and Mormon verifies that there were no other people in the Land of Promise other than the Jaredites, Nephites, Mulekites and Lamanites.
Sorenson, Nibley, Roberts and other Mesoamerican theorists tell us there were all sorts of other people in the Land of Promise.
Mormon says both the Jaredites and Nephites used metallurgy extensively.
Sorenson in his 1985 landmark book argues for metallurgy existence in 600 A.D., and claims the future will show us more and it is only a matter of time—however, 34 years later, no change in metallurgy archaeology in Mesoamerica has yet been discovered, despite the extensive work done in that area, both by Church archaeologist and others.
Mormon says there is a Sea North and a Sea South.
Sorenson and other Mesoamerican theorists say there are only two seas, the Sea East, located in the north, and Sea West, located in the south.
Mormon says Hagoth’s sailed to the north from his shipyard on the West Sea near the Narrow Neck of Land
 To leave the Mesoamericanists’ Narrow Neck, where Hagoth had his shipyard, the ship would have to travel southwest or nearly 1000 miles before it could turn toward the north (northwest)

Sorenson’s map shows Hagoth’s ships had to travel 950 miles to the southwest before they could turn northward. This is an interesting fact, in light of Sorenson, in his book (p266) claims the immigrants would not have traveled by ship more than 200 miles into the Land Northward.
Nephi says they planted all their seeds from Jerusalem and they grew exceedingly and provided an abundant crop.
Sorenson’s landing area for Nephi is a sub-tropical climate in an area where Jerusalem seeds would not grow and still won’t produce wheat and barley today.
Jacob says, and Nephi records on the plates, that the Nephites landed and lived on an island.
Sorenson and other Mesoamericanists claim Nephi landed on, and the Nephites lived on, an isthmus.
Moroni says that the Jaredites had two unknown animals of great worth to man, equivalent to the value of the elephant.
Sorenson says these might be the Sloth and Tapir, two animals of very limited use to man and certainly not in the category of an elephant in their value.
Mormon says the narrow neck of land can be walked across in a day and a half by a Nephite.
The Isthmus of Tiahuanaco would take a little over four days to walk across, averaging 30 miles a day or about 1.6 miles per hour for 12 strait hours, and six straight hours on the second (½) day 

Sorenson says his narrow neck is 125 miles across (actually 144 according to the Mexican government), far from crossable in a day and a half.
Mormon tells us that all the Jaredites had been wiped out and killed, that only Coriantumr and Ether remained.
Sorenson, Nibley and others tell us that Jaredites survived and lived into the Nephite era and influenced the Nephites.
Mormon says the Land of Promise was full of metals, including copper, in abundance.
Mesoamerica, specifically Guatemala produces little copper, often none for several years on end. Honduras produces very little. Compared to 5,750 tons from Chile (the leading producer in the world), 1,380 tons from Peru (3rd largest producer in the world).
Mormon tells us that gold was an abundant metal in the Land of Promise.
Guatemala produces 9 tons of gold per year compared to Peru’s 165 tons (Peru is 7th in the world in gold production, Chile was 17th, for a combined 190 tons, compared to Guatemala and Honduras who produced 10 ton combined [Chile was expected to mine 140 tons in 2016]).
Mormon tells us that silver was an abundant metal in the Land of Promise.

Guatemala produces 191.6 tons of silver per year compared to Peru’s 3,500 tons (Peru, Chile and Bolivia produced 5,900 total make them the largest producer of silver in the world, compared to Guatemala and Honduras production of 225.6 ton)
Mormon says that the hill Cumorah is within the Land of Cumorah, which is within the Land of Many Waters.
While Mormon places the hill Cumorah and the Land of Many Waters in the same area, Mesoamericanists have them far apart
Sorenson places his Land of Many Waters in Mesoamerica 350 miles away from his hill Cumorah.
Moroni tells us that the Land of Promise had a Sea that Divideth the Land.
Sorenson and other Mesoamericanists do not have such a sea. The Gulf of Guayaquil between Peru and Ecuador in South America divides the land where these two countries meet.
Mormon tell us that Mulek landed along the seashore and settled there and lived there from the time they first arrived in the Land of Promise.
Sorenson and others tell us that Mulek landed among the Jaredites in the Land Northward and migrated down to Zarahemla later.
Moses tells us in the Bible that the Flood came in 2344 B.C.
Sorenson, using the Mayan calendar, tells us it occurred in 3113 B.C.
Moroni tells us that the Nephites spoke Hebrew throughout their time in the Land of Promise.
Sorenson claims that “in the first centuries after Nephi’s landing, no indication is given that the Hebrew speech of the Nephites changed to any other tongue though the possibility remains.” Other Mesoamerican theorists claim that “it is unlikely that the Hebrew persisted down to the time of Cumorah.”
Mormon tells us that they grew Wheat and Barley in the Land of Promise.
Sorenson tells us that it must have been some other crops because wheat and barley will not grow in Mesoamerica.
Mormon tells us that the Lord provided plants and herbs to cure the disease of fevers.
Sorenson never mentions diseases, plants, herbs or cures. Besides, the cure for deadly fevers—quinine—is only found in Peru from the bark of the cinchona tree.
Mormon tells us that Hagoth built exceedingly large ships.
Sorenson claims that Hagoth’s ships were hardly like ships that came later, but were just large dugout canoes or rafts.
(See the next post, “How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part IV,” for more insights into how far afield this research went in trying to establish Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise, and why it simply is not tenable today)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part II

Continuing from the last post regarding the inroads into complete dominance of the Mesoamerican scene for the location of the Book of Mormon.
Elder B.H. Roberts (left), who questioned the assumption of a hemispheric geography [meaning Western Hemisphere] and population model for the Book of Mormon. In his critical examination of the Book of Mormon, eventually published in 1985 under the title Studies of the Book of Mormon, Roberts states:
    “Could the people of Mulek and of Lehi...part of the time numbering and occupying the land at least from Yucatan to Cumorah...live and move and have their being in the land of America and not come in contact with other races and tribes of men, if such existed in the New World within Book of Mormon times? To make this seem possible the area occupied by the Nephites and Lamanites would have to be extremely limited, much more limited, I fear, than the Book of Mormon would admit our assuming” Brigham H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, ed. Brigham D. Madsen, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL, 1985).
    This was also a view supported by Hugh Nibley, who stated: “The overall picture reflects before all a limited geographical and cultural point of view—small localized operations, with only occasional flights and expeditions into the wilderness (“The Book of Mormon: A Minimal Statement,” Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, Maxwell Institute, Vol 19 (1), 2010, pp78–80).
    As can be seen, the idea of Mesoamerica by 1920 had pretty much settled in the minds of most LDS Scholars. What is surprising that B.H. Roberts, himself a scholar, talks about his “crucial examination of the Book of Mormon.” After all, any truly critical examination would have to uncover all the inconsistencies of the scholar’s view and that of Mormon describing the Land of Promise within the scriptural record.
    In addition, the proposal of a limited geography is coupled with the proposal that the American continents were already populated at the time of the arrival of Lehi's group. It is claimed that the presence of inhabitants on the American continents long before the arrival of Lehi's party is well supported by existing archaeological data. The exact date of arrival of these early inhabitants is still debated among archaeologists, with a common theory being an arrival via a land bridge in the Bering Strait approximately 14,000 years ago—a fallacious idea began by scientists back in the days of developing the evolutionary process and beginning of man.
    In addition, consider the fallacy that Mesoamerican scholars rely upon the idea that 1) there are only two places in the Western Hemisphere where evidence of a civilization existed that matches the writing of the Book of Mormon, and 2) only one of those had a written language.
The three languages, obviously showing there is no connection or comparison between them. Hebrew is 600 BC, what Lehi would have known—which is called Paleo-Hebrew; Aramaic Hebrew was not adopted until 458 BC, and Masoretic Hebrew was invented in 600 AD

The problem with this is the simple knowledge that the written language of the Maya is not Nephite—nor any surviving language that can be placed within the Book of Mormon languages of the inhabitants. It is neither Egyptian nor Hebrew based, its characters have no resemblance to either, and there is no effort of scholars to suggest that they were once correlated in any way.
    Their point is simply: “Unrelated to the geography but important to some modelers is current evidence of ancient writing. They surmise, there are only two regions in the New World showing the high degree of ancient civilization required by the text of the Book of Mormon. One of these locations is centered in South America in the region once occupied by the Inca civilization. The other is centered in Mesoamerica in the region once occupied by the Maya and the Olmec civilizations.”
    While it is true that these two areas are the only place in the Americas where an advanced civilization existed in late BC times, the additional connection of a written language equates to the presence of the Nephite Nation, is erroneous, since the languages known have no connection to the languages of the Nephites.
    If simply having a language were all that mattered, then simply having animals different from those of the Book of Mormon, like the fauna of the Malay Peninsula, Australia, or the Tasmanian Devil would qualify these areas for the Land of Promise.
    Thus the Mesoamerican claim that because that area had a written language in antiquity, does not qualify it as related to the Book of Mormon people. After all, people with a history of language around the world is shown to be connected from present to pre-historical, but Mesoamerica does not and there is no connection between the Mayan characters, method of writing, style, etc., and either the Nephite Hebrew or Reformed Egyptian.
Nephite records being burned

In addition, as has already been pointed out in numerous articles, the scriptural record clearly suggests that the Lamanites, if they could find any Nephite writing after annihilating the people, would simply have destroyed it. Thus, the Nephite records, “of which there were many” (Helaman 3:13), were not to survive the Nephites, except for those hidden up to the Lord. As Mormon put it, “when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni” (Mormon 6:6, emphasis added).
    The question no Mesoamerican theorist cares to answer is, “if the Lord told Moroni that the Lamanties would destroy all their records they found, why would we expect to find any Nephite records at all, unless revealed by the Lord to those hidden in the ground?” In fact, wouldn’t it make more sense that all those records of the Nephites were either hidden up to the Lord or destroyed by the Lamanites?
    Joseph Smith’s experience in the cave at Cumorah (or the vision of a cave encountered at Cumorah), as told by Brigham Young, and verified by several other brethren, should dispel any question on this matter, since we can see from the descriptions what happened to the sacred records of the Nephites—they were hidden up to the Lord and contained in this “vault” by Mormon (Mormon 6:6), as some of the early brethren saw and recorded.
    Of this, Brigham Young said that “when Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith were in the cave this third time, they could see its contents more distinctly than before…It was about fifteen feet high and round its sides were ranged boxes of treasure. In the center was a large stone table empty before, but now piled with similar gold plates, some of which lay scattered on the floor beneath. Formerly the sword of Laban hung on the walls sheathed, but it was now unsheathed and lying across the plates on the table; and One that was with them said it was never to be sheathed until the reign of Righteousness upon the earth.” These records and other treasures in the room were “more than a mule team could draw.”
The room in which scores of Nephite records were seen

Oliver reported that when Joseph and he went there, “the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: “This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.” I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting…Don Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things, Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader” (Journal of Discourses, 17 June 1877).
    So why are we so enamored about a written language in Mesoamerica that in no way connects to the Book of Mormon nor Nephite writing of Egyptian and Hebrew? Why is that such an issue? We know that the Spanish destroyed almost all of the Maya records. We know that by the time the Spanish reached the Inca, there were no written languages anywhere in their territory?
(See the next post, “How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part III,” for more insights into how far afield this research went in trying to establish Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise, and why it simply is not tenable today)

Friday, January 17, 2020

How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part I

Where did Lehi land? Perhaps no other question in all of the Book of Mormon has raised so many curious looks, idle comments, and even professional inquiry. From almost the beginning, wildly speculative ideas have confounded the serious approach to determining where Lehi landed. Most people who embark on trying to determine that location have stated one way or another, from printed statements in books they have written to just a thought held in the back of the mind, that if one is going to figure out where the Land of Promise is truly located, then one must use the scriptural record as the basis of that inquiry—which sounds reasonable enough.
    However, few ever give that idea anything more than lip service. They are more interested in stating, supporting or proving a personal opinion, belief, or view, starting with, say, “A limited geography model,” which in their mind immediately eliminates North America and South America—both far too large, and allows them to concentrate on Mesoamerica or Central America, which are much smaller geographical areas, or even Baja California, Florida Peninsula, or Malay Peninsula. 
    Most people’s approach, who seek a geographical setting for the Book of Mormon lands, began with a personal view, belief, or understanding that a specific location (for various reasons) was a certain place and then gone about trying to prove their selection correct. This is when the Book of Mormon comes into play. They take some geographical highlight, such as the narrow neck of land; the size of the land, such as Mesoamerica; a mountain or hill, such as Cumorah; a people, such as the Olmec; an isthmus, such as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; a sea, such as Lake Ontario or Lake Erie; an Ocean, such as the Pacific, or the Atlantic; a wind or current, such as the El Nino, Kuroshio, or Agulhus; a written language, such as Mayan; a name, such as Moroni in the Comoros—then having taken that geographical highlight, they try to find support for it in the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon, even if it means making adjustments to what is written, altering meaning of words, relying on modern comments over the scriptural record, etc.
One of the first, though unresearched, ideas about the location was that North America was the Land Northward, South America was the Land Southward, and Central America was the narrow neck of land in between. However, while that idea persisted among members in general for many years (even as late as the 1950s) few were concerned about that aspect of the scriptural record, concentrating on the doctrines labeled “Another Witness of Christ.”
    In the background, however, were others who took to studying the geography apart from the doctrines, looking for connections and proofs of their locational choices. This led to a rather conclusive and correct understanding that the lands described by Mormon and other ancient writers could not possibly have been that large. Thus began the “Limited Geography Model” thinking.
    Book of Mormon scholars, mostly centering in BYU archaeology and anthropology department, correctly believed that if the Book of Mormon was to realistically be interpreted as an historical document, the events described therein must be limited to an area far smaller than the entire Western Hemisphere. Obviously, when one reads the movement of Moroni’s army back and forth across the landscape, it becomes apparent that Mormon was not describing an entire continent, but a much smaller area between two vast seas.
    Another keynote area of discussion arose and that was over the people who settled in these Book of Mormon lands. Given that the scriptural record clearly describes the Jaredite inhabitants of the New World long before Lehi's arrival, many LDS scholars have long taken a critical view regarding the assumption that no other people were present in the New World at the time of Lehi's arrival.
    In 1927, Janne M. Sjödahl stated that "students of the Book of Mormon should be cautioned against the error of supposing that all the American Indians are the descendants of Lehi, Mulek and their companions,” based on his belief “that the Jaredite population may not have been completely destroyed as the book describes” ("An Introduction to the Study of the Book of Mormon," Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, 1927).
    In 1938 a church study guide for the Book of Mormon stated that "the Book of Mormon deals only with the history and expansion of three small colonies which came to America, and it does not deny or disprove the possibility of other immigrations, which probably would be unknown to its writers” (William E. Berrett and Milton R. Hunter, A Guide to the Study of the Book of Mormon, Department of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, 1938, p48).
Then, in 1952 onward, Hugh Nibley (left) weighed in on his views of the scriptural record, stating that the assumption there were no other people present in the New World at the time of Lehi's arrival might be incorrect, and concluded in 1980 that archaeological evidence, showed that the assumption of an empty New World represented a "simplistic reading" of the Book of Mormon (Book of Mormon and the Ruins: The Main Issues, Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Provo, Utah, 1980).
    As early as 1917, L. E. Hills, of the RLDS Church, proposed a limited Mesoamerican geography for the Book of Mormon in three separate works ("Geography of Mexico and Central America from 2234 B.C. to 421 A.D.", Independence, MO, 1917; and "A Short Work on the Popol Vuh and the Traditional History of the Ancient Americans", Independence, MO, 1918; and "New Light on American Archaeology", Independence, MO, 1924).
   This led to an explosion of studies, works, books, and teaching at BYU. By the middle of the century, most LDS authors (almost all connected to BYU) shared the belief that the Book of Mormon events took place within a limited region in Mesoamerica, and that others were present on the continent at the time of Lehi's arrival.
    This geographical and population model was formally published in the official church magazine, The Ensign, in a two-part series published in September and October 1984, by LDS Anthropologist, John L. Sorenson (“Digging into the Book of Mormon: Our Changing Understanding of Ancient America and Its Scripture, Part 1,” Ensign, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). This was followed in 1985 by the Sorenson book, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon.
    Sorenson’s book, and almost all of the other work done at BYU and elsewhere regarding the placement of the Land of Promise there filled a growing vacuum regarding where the Book of Mormon geography was located. As has been stated here before, this idea at BYU stems all the way back to 1938 when M. Wells Jakeman graduated from the University of California at Berkeley—having entered archaeology primarily through the door of ancient history, giving him an “historic” or text-related archae­ology orientation—in contrast with those who enter the disci­pline through the door of anthropology and whose orientation is therefore that of “prehistoric” archae­ology.
From the beginning Jakeman (left) was interested in Mayan history and archaeology. In a 1938 paper, he published the first statement of Book of Mormon archaeology in its scientific dimen­sions, the initial theoretical orientation upon which most of the work of subsequent years has been based. And the fact that it was submitted to such a periodical as the Church Section seems to foreshadow a complete dedi­cation on the part of its author to the archaeological study of the scriptural foundations of Mormonism. Such a view is borne out by the following passage: “The ‘authenticity problem’ of the Book of Mor­mon is therefore the foremost problem of future [Maya research]…It is difficult if not impossible to conceive of a scientific problem fraught with greater significance for the modern world…The admittedly paramount scientific and religious signifi­cances which it involves make its undertaking, by both ‘Mormon’ and non-’Mormon’ scientists or agen­cies, a matter of greatest urgency. Further delay on the excuse of unimportance or insufficient data is no longer admissible.”
    This was a ringing challenge, a resounding call to action, both to the archaeological profession and to Latter-day Saints to study Mayan or Mesoamerican archaeology regarding the Book of Mormon. Certainly the men at BYU the “greatest urgency,” and their efforts, together with the efforts of those who have followed, have led to a substantial amount of work in Mesoamerica over the past 32 years.
    Speaking of other people in the land when Lehi arrived, Elder B.H. Roberts, an historian, politician, and leader in the Church, weighed in on this subject.
(See the next post, “How Can Anyone Defend Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise? – Part II,” for more insights into how far afield this research went in trying to establish Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise, and why it simply is not tenable today)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Were There Earthquakes and Volcanoes in the Land of Promise?

The most powerful earthquakes on record are so-called subduction earthquakes, called Megathrust earthquakes. These giant quakes are measured in terms of magnitude, which is a number that characterizes the relative size of an earthquake, and measurement of the maximum motion or vibration of the earth. The most powerful earthquake ever recorded took place in Chile in the spring of 1960, referred to as the “Gran Terremoto” with its epicenter in the town of Lumaco, 350-miles south of Santiago, registering 9.6 on the Richter scale. Five other earthquakes in Chile rank in the top ten quakes in the world: Curanilahue at 8.1; Concepción at 8.1; Araucanía at 8.1; Aysén 7.1; and Bio Bio at 7.8.
The old Richter magnitudes that were used for decades, which aren't used anymore, were calculated from ground movements (the amplitudes of seismic waves). So-called moment magnitudes, used since the 1970s, are based on a more complicated formula but were designed to be comparable for most earthquakes.
    In this measurement, the difference of a small number increase is measured by a 10-times greater scale. As an example, an earthquake of magnitude 9 shakes the earth ten times greater than a magnitude 8 quake, and 100 times greater than a magnitude of 7. The difference between a 9.6 and an 8.1 would be approximately 10.5 times greater, or would shake the earth 150 times greater.
    The point is, for a quake to be considered as “there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder” (3 Nephi 8:6); and “there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth” (3 Nephi 8:12), it need be greater, stronger, and more destructive than anything experienced before it.
    This does not mean there were no previous storms, lightnings, thunder, whirlwinds, or quakes known in the Land of Promise prior to this event. It means that whatever weathering disasters that had previously occurred, this one was the greatest or more destructive of all. And by a large margin. So large, it should be kept in mind when reading the destruction in 3 Nephi that most, but not all, earthquakes are related to volcanoes. For example, most earthquakes are along the edges of tectonic plates, which is where most volcanoes are. Most earthquakes directly beneath a volcano are caused by the movement of magma, which exerts pressure on the rocks until they crack. Then the magma squirts into the crack and starts building pressure again. Every time the rock cracks it makes a small earthquake. These earthquakes are usually too weak to be felt but can be detected and recorded by sensitive instruments. Once the plumbing system of the volcano is open and magma is flowing through it, constant earthquake waves, called harmonic tremor, are recorded, though not felt.
Four major types of seismograms: Top down: Deep quakes located away from the volcano; shallow volcanic quakes; surface events; harmonic tremor differences

However, most earthquakes are caused by the interaction of the plates not the movement of magma, but by plates sliding past each other, which causes friction and heat. Subducting plates melt into the mantle, and diverging plates create new crust material. Subducting plates, where one tectonic plate is being driven under another, are associated with volcanoes and earthquakes.
    It wasn’t until the 1960s that a full explanation began to develop regarding plate tectonics. This theory explained many pieces of the puzzle that scientists had observed, for example, continental fit, matching geology, etc. As a result, scientists now believe that the crust of the Earth consists of rigid interconnecting plates (six major plates and a few smaller ones). Plates are thought to float on the partially molten mantle, moving away from oceanic ridges where new plate material is produced and moving past each other or colliding along plate boundaries. Earthquakes and volcanoes are related to this movement.
    Plate material that is produced along the ocean floor is generally quite dense and relatively heavy. Continental plates don’t tend to get subducted, so when oceanic plate is pushed from the mid-ocean ridge towards a plate boundary with a continental plate, it tends to subduct or dive below the continental crust. In this process, water is also being subducted with the oceanic plate. Friction increases the heat along such boundaries, which causes this material to melt and mix the oceanic plate material, the continental plate material and the water.
    Where plates come into contact, energy is released. Subducting plates are associated with volcanoes and earthquakes. Andesite volcanoes tend to form at these subduction boundaries, which may have something to do with differences in plate densities and the release of gases, such as water vapor. As more heat is being produced through the subduction process, the mix of more and less volatile ingredients causes changes in density and pressure, which are linked to volcanic activity.
The outer shell of the earth, the lithosphere, is broken up into tectonic plates is broken up into 12 plates. While the seven major plates are shown above, there are also the Juan de Fuca, Cocos, Caribbean, Nazca, Scotia, Arabian, and Philippines plates

Thus, the activity focused along the edge of the plate boundary where two plates come into contact, such as the Chilean-Pampean flat slab that links to the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South America plate, form regions such as the Pacific Ring of Fire—a chain of earthquake and volcanic activity around the edge of the Pacific Ocean that generates 75% of the world’s volcanoes and 80% of the world’s earthquakes.
    The linkage between earthquakes and volcanoes are often found in the same place, as one likely triggers the other, though van be independent events. When a volcano erupts, the pressure of the rising magma forcing its way through the crust to the surface will often trigger earthquake activity. Scientists have been able to demonstrate this link and also know what type of earthquake observe.
    Conversely, an earthquake may trigger subsequent eruptions. As the crust changes and moves in a major earthquake, fissures or cracks can form that may act as pipelines for magma and future volcanoes. This is harder to monitor and test and is an area of active research.
    The point of this is to show that earthquakes are very well known and understood once they happen—prediction is an entirely different thing. But for understanding after the fact, the magnitude of an earthquake, that is, the measurement of its shaking strength, is easily recorded.
    Now, this leads us to one factor not considered by many theorists who claim that the wordage “As never had been known in all the land” (3 Nephi 8:5.7), meaning that no such event had ever before been seen in the Land of Promise.”
    However, for an event to be called “never had been seen before” does not necessarily exclude such events previously occurring, just that one of such magnitude or destruction had never before been seen.
The Greatest Earthquake to have occurred in recorded history

As an example, the earthquake that hit Lumaca in Chile in the spring of 1960, is referred to as the greatest and most powerful quake that had ever been recorded. It was called “Gran Terremoto de Chile” meaning “The Great Earthquake in Chile.”
    Consider that the Chilean quake of 1960, as stated earlier, was 150 times stronger than the next strongest earthquake recorded in Chile, and 300 times greater than the typical quake in that land. Thus, lit could be said about the 1960 quake that anything like it “had never before been seen in the land.”
    The point is Chile has known many great earthquakes. In fact, as stated earlier, five of the ten worst earthquakes in recorded history took place in Chile. But this one in 1960 is considered the one unlike any other that had ever occurred.
    It seems obvious that Mormon’s statement in 3 Nephi 8, that no other quake, storm, and event as happened following the Savior’s crucifixion had ever been seen in the land before that.
    This should suggest to even the most skeptical that the Land of Promise had a history of earthquakes, storms, and weather events; however, none had ever been so great as this one.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Four Brothers That Came to South America – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the rest of this ancient legend and its application to the Book of Mormon story of Lehi and Nephi settling in the Land of Promise. The first seven matches were shown in the previous post, here we continue with #8:
8)  Who had prevailed upon to return to the place of origin – Lehi asked Laman, as his first-born son, with his brothers to return to Jerusalem (1 Nephi 3:2-5) which was their place of origin for Lehi had spent all his days at Jerusalem (1 Nephi 1:4);
9)  To retrieve some golden vessels – the brothers were sent back to retrieve the brass plates (1 Nephi 3:3) and in so doing, they obtained the gold and silver and all manner of riches from their father's house (1 Nephi 3:16, 22) to use in purchasing the brass plates from Laban (1 Nephi 3:24);
10)  When one of the brothers was near death, he designated his grown son as his heir and successor – Nephi, upon getting old and ready to die, appointed his successor (Jacob 1:9), who the people decided to call Second Nephi (Jacob 1:11). In fact, Nephi appointed his brother, Jacob, to be his religious successor, or prophet (Jacob 1:1-4), to maintain the records and oversee the people.  At the same time, a ruler, or king, was appointed who may have been Nephi's own son.  This parallel is found among the Jaredites, for when the youngest son of Jared was appointed king (Ether 6:27), the record and religious leadership was maintained by the Brother of Jared and his descendants (Ether 1:34; 2:14; 3:25; 4:1).  In fact, the religious record of the Nephites was maintained down through Amaleki (Omni 1:12), a descendant of Jacob, who died without a son, and his brother had gone with Zeniff back to the Land of Nephi (Omni 1:25, 30), so he gave the records to king Benjamin, the political ruler and king (Omni 1:23; Words of Mormon 1:17).  About a thousand years later, through this line we come to Mormon who called himself a pure descendant of Lehi (3 Nephi 5:20) through Nephi (Mormon 1:5). Thus it might be that Nephi's political leader, the man who became known as Second Nephi, was one of Nephi's own sons;
11)  These people considered themselves indigenous to the land – the Nephites separated themselves from the Lamanites and settled a new land which they called the Land of Nephi (2 Nephi 5:7-8). There they spent about 300 years until Mosiah was told to flee and take those Nephites who would go with him to a land further north (Omni 1:12). For 300 years, the Nephites would have considered themselves indigenous to the Land of Nephi—it had been their only home in the land of promise;
12)  Considered themselves unwarlike – the Nephites were taught never to give an offense or raise the sword except it were against an enemy in the saving of their lives (Alma 48:14).  They were taught to fight only to defend themselves (Alma 43:9-13) and maintained throughout their periods of righteousness a benevolent attitude toward their enemy, the Lamanites, often freeing their captured armies when the Lamanite soldiers covenanted to go in peace and make war no more (Alma 62:16-17);
13)  Chose leaders who were war-leaders –Nephi was chosen by his people to be their king, but he chose the title of ruler (2 Nephi 5:18-19).  He defended them and led them in many wars (Jacob 1:10), and those who followed him as leaders (Jacob 1:11) were mighty in battle (Omni 1:3, 10; Words of Mormon 1:13).  When the Large Plates of Nephi are finally obtained, we will have a more complete record of the kings and the wars of the people and will learn the role played by Second Nephi, Third Nephi, etc., who obviously served as "war-leaders";
14)  One brother moved further away – Nephi was told by the Spirit to escape his brothers (2 Nephi 5:5-7) which he did, and settled in the land they called Nephi;
15)  The leading brother of the four was elected to be the war-leader and his great successes earned him the coveted title of capac—chieftan which was an honorific title of true eminence—he was loved by his people (Jacob 1:10), was elected by them to be their king (2 Nephi 5:18), defended them against the Lamanites (2 Nephi 5:34, Jacob 1:10); and achieved high eminence among them (Jacob 1:11)
16)  Appointed one of his brothers to be the "field guardian" of the community – Nephi appointed his two younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, as teachers and priests over the land (2 Nephi 5:26) and later Jacob became the prophet (Jacob 1:1, 4);
17)  Three brothers who became the leaders of three groups who called themselves separately but were united as one people – the Nephites were called Nephites, Jacobites, and Josephites (Jacob 1:13).  The Zoramites mentioned were descendants of Zoram, Laban's servant, and not a brother to Nephi.  Sam's descendants were never called by a separate tribal name, but were joined with Nephi's descendants (2 Nephi 4:11). Yet all were called Nephites (Jacob 1:14);
18)  The three brothers had to escape into the Andes with some of their people – After Lehi died, Nephi was told by an angel to take as many as would go with him and flee into the wilderness (2 Nephi 5:5).  That Nephi went into a highland or mountain valley can be seen in the numerous references to the Land of Nephi, which he founded at this time (2 Nephi 5:8), was up in the hills or mountains or highlands from the land of Zarahemla for the Lamanites always went down to fight with the Nephites after taking over the Land of Nephi;
19)  A long-lasting dualism occurred between the two groups – The Nephites and Lamanites separated (2 Nephi 5:5) and fought many battles (1 Nephi 12:19) until the Lamanites conquered the Nephites (1 Nephi 12:20; Mormon 8:7). These wars covered almost 1,000 years;
20)  Each cherished a separate history – The Nephite history was well documented throughout the written records, and the Lamanite history was retained through word-of-mouth for nearly 600 years (Alma 54:17, 24) and those two histories differed greatly (Alma 54:21; 55:1).
21)  There was a brother who did not combine with the league of three and led his people into the wilderness where the "warlike orientation of these footloose people was evidenced" -- Nephi described the Lamanites as "an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and seeking in the wilderness for beasts of prey" (2 Nephi 5:24) while Enos said they had an evil nature, were wild and ferocious, both bloodthirsty and full of idolatry and filthiness, and that they wandered in the wilderness (Enos 1:20). He also said the Lamanites were continually seeking to destroy the Nephites;
22)  These people of the one brother became adept at raiding the valley below --  Once King Mosiah fled northward to Zarahemla, the Lamanites took over the vacated highland homes of the Nephites in the Land of Nephi.  From that point on the scriptures talk of the Lamanites going “down” to attack the Nephites (Words of Mormon 1:13; Alma 63:15; Helaman 1:15).  Obviously, the Lamanite lands of the Land of Nephi, which was to the south of Zarahemla (Alma 22:28-34), was in a highland valley at a greater elevation than the land of Zarahemla, thus, the Lamanites continually raided the valley below;
23)  These people of the one brother perfected the ritual huarachicoy or breechcloth ceremony – The Lamanites were described as going naked (Mosiah 10:8) except for a short skin girdle—breechcloth—about their loins (Enos 1:20);
24)   One brother was so brave and strong and skilled with weapons that the other two brothers were affronted and humiliated at not being able to match his feats – Nephi was the one brother who felt capable of doing whatever was asked of him (1 Nephi 3:7, 15; 16:23; 17:50), was the better hunter for it was he that secured food along the trail when all the bows broke or lost their spring (1 Nephi 16:30-31), was skilled with the bow and sling (1 Nephi 16:15), and obviously the most steadfast and brave in following the directions of the Lord. And in all this, Laman and Lemuel were affronted that their younger brother should rule over them (1 Nephi 18:10);
25)  They were galled by envy and sought to kill their brother – Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael sought to kill Nephi on several occasions (1 Nephi 7:16; 17:48)

Four main brothers came to the Land of Promise:  Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi (1 Nephi 2:5).  These were the sons of Lehi at the time the family left Jerusalem.  Two more sons were born in the wilderness during an eight-year trek (1 Nephi 17:4; 18:7), and were quite young when they reached the Land of Promise for during the voyage, they still required much nourishment (1 Nephi 18:19), very possibly one was still at his mother's breast. However, there can be no doubt that four main brothers were among the Lehi Colony when it reached the Land of Promise.
    Therefore, we should find something in the history or legends regarding the first settlers of this land as brothers, and we do in South America, in the ancient history of Andean Peru.
     Of all the old legends and myths of native beginnings of various cultures, this one of Peru is the most consistent with the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Four Brothers That Came to South America – Part I

We have written about this before, but the history of the different locations for the Book of Mormon are secular in nature and rely more on assumptions and opinions than fact. The problem is, even in the secular area, theorists neglect or ignore the history of the area they promote.
    Take North America, as an example. There are no ancient references of the history or origins of the earliest people. Their stories of origin are deeply based in nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, fire, sky and the heavenly bodies. Some myths are connected to traditional religious rituals involving dance, music, songs, and trance. Those that mention human beings are closely connected to animals, including birds and reptiles, and often feature shape-shifting between animal and human form.
    Modern man refers to such early civilization as archaeological and anthropological patterns of development, but no references to such things as original beginning. Ancient legends and myths a people have, of course, are often inaccurate, having been expounded upon over the lifetimes of those who pass it along by word of mouth. Yet, each legend or myth is generally founded on some factual events. A good example of this is the belief among ancient cultures was a great Flood that ended the world—each culture has its own version of that event, but each culture knew of the event and passed it on to subsequent generations.
    In South America there is a legend among the peoples of Andean Peru, that four brothers came into the land generations before to people the area. The actual legends of these four brothers suggests a similarity to the Book of Mormon.
As Nephi said, “my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam” (2 Nephi 1:5), indicating the original four brothers of Lehi’s family. In South America, there is a legend among the ancients, as recorded by several Spanish chroniclers at the time of the conquest, of the ancient Peruvian beginnings involving these four. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, Juan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti, Miguel Cabello Balboa, Pedro de Cieza de Leon and Juan de Betanzos, as did Garcilaso de la Vega, Alonso Ramos Gavilan, and Martin de Moru. In fact, almost every chronicler has some reference to the story of the Wandering and the Four Brothers that settled the Andes. They wrote of these legends referred to in the early 1500s as the “Mists of pre-Inca history,” covering four successive Peruvian epochs, beginning with the people of the First Age (Pacarimoc Runa) who were white, agriculturists, and strong in their religion for they worshipped Viracocha, the Creator of all things, as the one and only God.
    According to the foremost legend, there was originally four sons who were sent by their father to administer in his name and were perceived as propagators of the truth and militant soldiers of a new and exclusive gospel. These four brothers led a large group of people who wore fine clothes and carried seeds with them, and emerged near Cuzco. and there were four "sisters" with them.
Each of these original brothers was married to a "sister-wife" and they had a golden staff of "peculiar properties" which "informed them when their mission was at an end" by remaining fixed on an "unknown promised land toward which they were journeying."
   This golden staff or rod was to show these eight and their followers where they should seek their homeland. Enroute "difficulties developed with the oldest and most troublesome of the brothers," who had been prevailed upon to return "to the place of origin to retrieve some golden vessels they had failed to bring with them." And when one of the brothers was near death, he designated his grown son as his heir and successor.
    This legend dates to a people who spoke a pre-Quechua language and considered themselves indigenous to the valley of Cuzco—later given Quechuan names by the Inca, they were never part of the Inca, a people who considered themselves “unwarlike,” but chose leaders who were "war-leaders" and whose services were not hired or paid. The leading brother of the four was elected to be the war-leader and his great successes earned him the coveted title of capac—or chieftan, which was an honorific title of true eminence. Later, this brother moved further away and appointed one of his brothers to be the "field guardian" of the community.
    Three brothers became the leaders of three groups or tribes who called themselves by separate names but were united and had to escape into the Andes with some of their people. There was a brother who did not combine with the league of three, and a long-lasting dualism occurred between the two groups, with each group cherishing a separate history, which carried down even into Inca times.

 
One brother led his people into the wilderness where the "warlike orientation of these footloose people was evidenced" and became adept at raiding the valley below," and perfected the ritual huarachicoy or breechcloth ceremony.
    One brother was so brave and strong and skilled with weapons that the other two brothers were affronted and humiliated at not being able to match his feats. They were galled by envy and they sought to kill their brother.
    It should be noted that though the earliest repetition of these legends have been badly eroded by time, what remains has been faithfully recorded. Obviously, the legends have been enhanced with exotic additions, had survived more than a thousand years by the time Sarmiento and others recorded them, yet enough remains to draw some interesting parallels with the Book of Mormon.  Taking each point one at a time, we find:
1)  Four sons left Jerusalem -- Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi (1 Nephi 2:5);
2)  Sent by their father -- Nephi and his brothers were twice sent by their father Lehi back to Jerusalem, first for the brass plates (1 Nephi 3:4, 9) and secondly for Ishmael's family (1 Nephi 7:1-2);
3)  Propagators of the truth and militant soldiers of a new and exclusive gospel -- obviously, Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph were teachers of the truth and expounded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nephi, himself, called Jacob and Joseph to be teachers and priests to his people (2 Nephi 5:26);
4)  Each brother was married to a sister-wife -- Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi each married a daughter of Ishmael (1 Nephi 16:7), thus each wife was a sister to each other wife. In addition, these wives were also descendants of Joseph as were Nephi and his brothers (1 Nephi 5:14; 6:2; 2 Nephi 3:4), thus making the daughters of Ishmael and the sons of Lehi cousins, or brothers and sisters in the tribe of Joseph;
5)  A golden staff of peculiar properties which informed them when their mission was at an end by remaining fixed on an unknown promised land toward which they were journeying -- this part of the legend should be broken down into the following parts: 
The Liahona, a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness 
a.  Golden staff – the Liahona was a ball of fine brass of curious workmanship (1 Nephi 16:10);
The Liahona, a round ball of curious workmanship and fine brass, And within the ball were two spindles; an the one pointed the whether we should go into the wilderness

b.  Of peculiar properties – the Liahona had spindles that pointed in directions (1 Nephi 16:10), with words that appeared written on it (1 Nephi 16:27), and worked by the faith of those who used it (1 Nephi 16:28; 18:21).  The instrument also stopped working in the face of wickedness (1 Nephi 18:12);
c.  Fixed on an unknown promised land – the Liahona was used by Nephi to guide him across the seas to the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:21-23).  About 500 years later, Helaman, while instructing his sons, reminded them that the Liahona pointed the Lehi colony on a straight course to the promised land (Alma 37:44);
d.  It showed them when their journey was complete – the 8 to 10 year journey through the wilderness and across the many waters culminated when the Lehi Colony finally reached the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:23). Evidently, later it showed Nephi where to settle after fleeing from his two older brothers (2 Nephi 5:6-7);
6) They led a large group of people who wore fine clothes and carried seeds with them – When Lehi left Jerusalem, he “gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind” (1 Nephi 8:1, 18:6) and planted them in the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:24). Also, they were dressed in the cothing of their day, which was far more advanced than typical of an advanced civilization (Jerusalem) than what the natives wore who promoted this legend; 
7)  The oldest and most troublesome of the brothers – time and again the oldest son, Laman, caused problems from the moment they left Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:12) to the time they reached the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:11, 18; 2 Nephi 5:2-4), many times threatening to kill Nephi (1 Nephi 7:16; 17:48) and return to Jerusalem (1 Nephi 7:7);
(See the next post, “The Four Brothers That Came to South America – Part II,” for the rest of this ancient legend and its application to the Book of Mormon story of Lehi and Nephi settling in the Land of Promise)


Monday, January 13, 2020

How Did Mormon Describe Nephi’s Temple and Noah’s Tower? – Part IV

Continued from the previous post regarding the insert that Mormon placed in his abridgement of Alma and also of the construction of the fortress of Sacsayhuamen or Nephi’s temple and Noah’s tower.
One of the three doorways into the fortress at Sacsayhuaman’s lower zigzag walls. For a defensive consideration, there is only one small doorway on each terrace which gave access to the interior buildings and towers on the hillside behind

As has been earlier stated, the architecture in Sacsayhuaman has numerous buildings such as residential structures, towers, shrines, warehouses, roads and aqueducts. Between the outer defensive walls the intervals are interrupted with towering stone doorways. It is easy to feel dwarfed standing next to the stones. The biggest cornerstone stands 28 feet high, and the average height of the wall stands 20-feet in height. The unbelievable workmanship of the stones has puzzled professionals for centuries.
    These defensive walls at Sacsayhuaman were formed by serrated, or zigzagging platforms whose huge limestone walls fit perfectly together. Though today it is estimated that Sacsayhuaman retains only about one-fifth of its original structure, the manner of construction of the walls, doorways, and interlocking stones of the entire complex, as well as the sloping angles of building, have ensured and maximized their resistance to earthquakes and remained much as they were originally laid—except for those stones the Spanish tore down to build their own city below. Time has proved the efficiency of the construction of this entire area for more than a thousand years.
    According to the Peruvian chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sacsayhuaman was the greatest architectural work found anywhere in Andean Peru. So advanced and architecturally sound, with most stones weighing between 90 and 125 tons, they were cut in quarries and hauled miles to the site, shaped and fit into place as they now stand, though anciently the complex was so much larger—today, only the stones that were too large to be moved remain at the site.
    It is indeed beyond the power of imagination to understand now these indigent Inca who the Spanish encountered, unacquainted with devices, engines, and implements, could have cut, dressed, raised, and lowered great rocks, more like lumps of hills than building stones, and set them so exactly in their places. For this reason, and because the Indians were so familiar with demons, the work was attributed to enchantment by the conquistadors. Even today how this was accomplished anciently.
    So how could ancient man have made such stones that fit together so perfectly, and weighing as much as a couple of hundred tons?
Quarries from which many of the stones of Sacsayhuaman were cut. Note the right angle cuts of both the shaped stones and the quarry stone from which they were cut

Marks on the stone blocks indicate that they were first cut at the quarry, then pounded into shape once they were taken to the building site. The blocks were evidently moved using ropes, logs, poles, levers, and earthen ramps (telltale marks can still be seen on some blocks), and some stones still have nodes protruding from them or indentations which appear to have been used to help workers grip the stone.
    This process of first cut, then shaped is clearly indicated by unfinished examples left at quarries and on various routes to building sites. The fine cutting and setting of the blocks on site was so precise that mortar was not necessary, but finished surfaces were achieved using grinding stones and sand.
    According to ancient chroniclers, within the temple fortress of Sacsayhuaman, there were once military barracks, a palace and store houses as well as an enormous water reservoir. In addition there were numerous rooms a short distance from the outside walls, all directed to the Plaza in the valley below and all connected by trapezoidal doors.  In fact, it should be noted that the doorways throughout the complex, as found in other areas of ancient construction in ancient Peru, were trapezoidal, similar to those trapezoidal doorways of ancient Egypt.
    There was also a very large tower. The site was described in detail by the chroniclers Pedro de Cieza de León, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa and Garcilasso de la Vega.
    It should be kept in mind that the scriptural record, king Noah “built a tower near the temple, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon” (Mosiah 11:12). This tower would have had to been strongly built in order to be so high. It would not have been a temporary structure like that built for king Benjamin inside the walls of the temple (Mosiah 2:7), but a permanent structure, not only because of its height, but also for a warning post where the borders of the lands could be observed and watched, as well as into two other surrounding lands.
King Noah built a tower near the temple on a hill from which he could see into the lands of Nephi, Shilom and Shemlon; the tower on top of the hill at Sacsayhuaman that overlooks the valley of Cuzco provides an excellent view of the entire valley 

In Sacsayhuaman, on the far left of the fortress, there is the foundation of a circular tower. This site is called Muyuq Marka (meaning “round place”) near the temple of the sun (read temple of the Son). The foundation of three concentric circular stone walls, connected by radial walls, still remain. The tower once had four floors and must have reached a height of about 65 feet. Quite a remarkable site, especially as the early builders usually favored square buildings rather than round. In fact, the other two towers in the complex were square.
    Currently there are only the foundations of the tower, the Spanish having destroyed the buildings in the early days of the occupation, their foundations covered with earth and forgotten. For many years of excavation and study at Sacsayhuaman, the towers were unknown. Not until 1934 were they uncovered when a careful reading of the early chroniclers, especially Pedro de Cieza de León, indicated the existence of the towers and their exact location within the complex. The main, circular tower,  which had been buried beneath centuries of dirt buildup, was located and recovered by Dr. Luis E. Valcárcel, considered the father of anthropology in Peru.
The complex stone base or foundation of the Muyuccmarca tower situated near the ruins of the Sacsayhuaman temple

The excavation of the earth around where the tower once stood revealed three concentric, circular stone walls connected by a series of radial walls. A web-like pattern of 34 lines intersects at the center and there is also a pattern of concentric circles that corresponded to the location of the circular walls.
    It was obvious at the time of discovery that these walls were the foundation stones of the tower mentioned in the early chronicles. Found in the writings of chronicler Pedro Sancho de la Hoz, along with several others, is the name for these three towers, which were called Muyuccmarca, Sallaqmarca, and Paucarmarca. All early chroniclers writing about Sacsayhuaman said that the size of these structures were considerable. Garcilaso adds tht under the towers there were immense tunnels that interconnected with each other between the three towers. He also writes that in his childhood he used to play there but only until the beginning of its destruction by the Spaniards.
    These three towers were:
Diagram of the Sacsayhuaman complex above Cuzco

• Muyuccmarca (Muyuq Mark, also called “La torre de Cahuide”). It had four floors, the first a square floor, the higher three were cylindrical, tapering from 12 feet to 10 feet across. It was a work that generated the admiration of several early chroniclers
• Sallaqmarca (Sallac Marca) was located next to the main tower of Muyuccmarca in the center of the complex, and was rectangular in shape. Considered by many architects to have been a deposit or reservoir for water.
• Paucarmarca was in the east side of Sayaqmarca, and is still mostly covered with earth, possibly being square shaped. The foundation remains of the Paucarmarca tower are that remain today.
    It should also be noted that the virtual depiction of the site by Dr. Antonio Beltrán and Professor Ricardo Mar do not show Sallaqmarca and Paucamarca, but only the Muyuqmarca tower, which figures prominently in the design. 
    While we may never know for certain if this was Nephi's temple and Noah's tower, the present evidence does suggest that it likely was--a fact no other theory even talks about, let along tries to prove within their theory.