Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sorenson vs. Roberts on the Jaredites

John L. Sorenson, in his “An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon,” on page 140, writes:

“We are given no hint of who taught Lehi’s descendants to grow corn, nor of who gave them the seed. Of course, the people of Zeniff—-the corn growers of Mosiah 9-—had come from Zarahemla, but where would they have got it? The obvious source in Book of Mormon terms would be Jaredite survivors.”

It is hard to imagine why the Jaredites would be an obvious choice since they were totally wiped out and never had any contact with the Mulekites, other than one Coriantumr, the last Jaredite, who encountered the Mulekites when he was nine months away from death, and after he had suffered from numerous wounds encountered in a lengthy war. Would he have been carrying corn seed with him at this time? That seems doubtful.

It is interesting that no less than B.H. Roberts, perhaps intellectually the most eminent and influential of all the official leaders of the church in the early twentieth century, on writing about the Jaredites, makes it clear that the Jaredites did not survive their final battle as all later Mesoamerican theorists claim. In his book, “Studies of the Book of Mormon,” second edition, Roberts writes on page 163:

“The Jaredites were destroyed down to the last man of them, near the beginning of the 6th century, B.C.”

And to the land being previously occupied when they arrived as Mesoamerican Theorists also claim, Roberts adds on page 164:

“The original colony came to the land-—“into that quarter where there never had man been;” and they left the land, for a second time, as empty of human inhabitants as when they had found it. Nothing remained but the crumbling monuments of their ruined temples, altars, roads, and cities.”

Brigham Henry Roberts is widely regarded as the foremost historian and theologian of the Mormon Church, and in his writings, many of which are not available to the general public, he makes it clear that the Land of Promise was not occupied by other people as Mesoamerican Theorists claim, and that there was no overlap of the Jaredites and Nephites, Mulekites or Lamanites, again as Mesoamerican Theorists claim.

This article does not bring into question the life of B. H. Roberts, nor his on again, off again, attitude about the matters he believed in or doubted. What is meant here is that a man who was intellectually without peer, saw in the writings of the Book of Mormon, a story about the Jaredite that was clear, precise, and did not need to be altered from the original manuscript. In this, he showed what was said about the Jaredites in a clear and precise manner, and that is why he is included in this article--to show that so many in later years have tried to corrupt the plain and simple truths about the Jaredites in order to make their ancient history match their current Mesoamerican models.

Perhaps we ought to take the writings as the original prophets living at the time wrote them, how Joseph Smith through the help of the Urim and Thummim translated it, and how early intellectuals reading the matter understood it. The changes manufactured by recent Mesoamerican Theorists, such as Sorenson, is both disingenuous and misleading—-perhaps disingenuously misleading.

No comments:

Post a Comment