Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Comments Answered – Part IV

The first eleven comments were answered in the last post. The last of the comments will be answered here:
Comment #12: “The LDS claim that Quetzacoatl was Jesus Christ shows how fallacious LDS people are. The strongest argument against Quetzalcoatl being Jesus is that the time frame doesn’t match the AD 34 Book of Mormon appearance of Christ. The period of Quetzalcoatl’s worship was AD 750 to AD 1500, seven hundred years after the Book of Mormon account. Further, Quetzalcoatl approved of human sacrifice and after he sailed away, committed suicide.” Osvaldo.
Response: The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, nor the LDS Church has ever made such a claim about Quetzacoatl. Who or what Quetzalcoatl was has no bearing on the Book of Mormon. If you were to read 3 Nephi, you would not make such a foolish statement, for there is no comment or suggestion that Jesus Christ, who appeared to the Nephites, was ever called, thought of, or described as Quetzalcoatl. While some lay people may try to make such a connection, there is none and never has been. On the other hand I might add that though Jesus Christ appeared in the flesh some 2000 years ago, we worship him today, which would suggest your time frame argument is without merit anyway. Still, Quetzalcoatl is not a figure of the Book of Mormon.
Comment #13: “You are just another Mormon apologist!” Huey.
Response: The word apologist refers to someone who excuses or apologizes for problems, mistakes, comments, beliefs, or an ideology that is not shared or accepted by others; or it could mean that someone who writes in defense of another. If you were to read what I have written in my many books and in over 700 posts on this blog over the past three years, you would not make such a foolish statement. First of all, I do not make any excuses for, or apologize for, the Book of Mormon, or any word written in it. Secondly, I do not apologize for statements made by the ancients or translated by Joseph Smith regarding words, concepts, or ideas that seem unanswerable to critics and the uninformed. Thirdly, I do not defend any part of, or ideas in, the Book of Mormon, or what Joseph Smith said or did or wrote—none of which needs any defending at all, for none of it is in question as far as I am concerned. Fourthly, if I were to apologize for anything, it is the misguided efforts of Book of Mormon geographical theorists and others, like Hugh Nibley and John L. Sorenson, who felt the need, for whatever reason, to try and explain away something written in the Book of Mormon they could not, themselves, explain or understand. Lastly, at this present time, the Lord has revealed so many things that give deeper meaning and answer most questions that can be raised about the scriptural record, and no doubt He will yet reveal more.
Comment #14: “I saw a map on the internet that shows the Yucatan that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico as being the Land of Jaredite Desolation. Do you think that could possibly be the land of the Jaredites?” Ernestine.
Left: Map of the Yucatan as the claimed Jaredite Land Northward; Right: Dry underbrush that covers most of the Yucatan Peninsula most of the year; Bottom: The green comes from subterranean water deposits during the rainy season. Note that the Peninsula is about 250 miles across and flat for as far as one can see
Response: Not a chance. Besides the fact that Mesoamerica is not the setting for the Book of Mormon Land of Promise, the map you mention lacks two extremely important geographical markers clearly mentioned by Mormon and an absolute requirement for any model: 1) There is no narrow neck of land and narrow pass between the Land of Bountiful and the Land of Jaredite Desolation in this area, and certainly no evidence of the sea ever having created one as shown on their map, and 2) There is no land in all of the Yucatan that could be described as the “Land of Many Waters” with its “river and fountains.” Having traveled throughout the Yucatan (the Free and Sovereign State of Yucatán—Estado Libre y Soberano de Yucatán), I can say that due to the extreme karst (limited surface water) nature of the whole peninsula, the northern half is devoid of any rivers at all. Water basically runs underground. It simply does not fit Mormon’s description. You might also want to consider the fact that there are no reports in history of an earthquake ever happening on the Yucatan Peninsula, and seismologists claim there is no possibility of an earthquake happening there since there isn't a fault line for this to happen. If the Yucatan was the Land Northward, where Nephi tells us “there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward” (3 Nephi 8:12), and where quakes, etc., were very severe, there would have to be fault lines somewhere on the Peninsula, which there are not.
Comment #15: In a valiant attempt to accommodate the serious animal problems in the Book of Mormon, John L. Sorenson suggested that the names were mistranslated by Joseph Smith, saying, maybe the term ‘horse’ really means ‘deer’ and maybe ‘swine’ really means ‘peccaries,’ etc. Well, if a farm boy, Joseph Smith, had trouble translating (with divine assistance) an Egyptian symbol representing an animal, then I shudder to think of errors introduced when he tried to translate esoteric religious terms from symbols. Thank heaven, Malay Peninsula theory allows us to interpret most, if not all, terms literally. We need to have confidence in a scripture meaning what it says” Kurt.
Response: Joseph Smith did not have difficulty in translating words from the plates—John L. Sorenson has trouble trying to fit the scriptural record into his inaccurate Mesoamerican Theory and model, which led him to the habit of trying to explain away all comments that did not fit his geographical template and paradigm. As for Joseph Smith, he correctly translated horse, elephant, goat, wild goat, etc., correctly. As for Malay, perhaps you would like to reconsider your view of the numerous statements in the scriptural record that do not agree with your Malay theory model—there are so many, it is hard to count. You might want to see earlier posts here that covered these Malay difficulties in a series of eighteen posts in early February of this year.
Comment #16: “Mormon authors still continue their attempt to establish a link to the Old World by compiling books with pictures of the South American ruins. Some have even gone so far as to photograph the tower at the palace at Palenque, giving the impression it is one of the very towers mentioned in the Book of Mormon. They neglect to mention it was built in the seventh century A.D., 300 years after the Book of Mormon story ends” Dierk.
Palenque was begun at least in the last century B.C., with the Temple of Inscriptions (right) started around 675 A.D. Though smaller than other sites like Tikal or Copan, it is a good example of Mayan architecture
Response: First of all, Palenque (Bàak' in Modern Maya) was a Maya city state in southern Mexico, not South America, that flourished in the 7th century. According to Michael Schrom in “Palenque.” On the other hand, according to other sources, the Palenque ruins date from 226 B.C. to its fall around 1123 AD. Evidently, the site had been abandoned by the Maya for several centuries when the Spanish explorers arrived in Chiapas in the 16th century. The first European to visit the ruins and publish an account was the priest Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada in 1567; at the time the local Chol Maya called it Otolum meaning "Land with strong houses," and de la Nada roughly translated this into Spanish to give the site the name "Palenque," meaning "fortification." Palenque also became the name for the town (Santo Domingo del Palenque), which was built over some peripheral ruins down in the valley from the main ceremonial center of the ancient city. After its decline it was absorbed into the jungle, but a very small portion of it has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors (it is claimed some 1000 structures have yet to be uncovered). Having said all that, I must both agree with you that anything found there is likely not going to be in the Nephite period, and second, and most importantly, Mesoamerica is simply not the area in which the Book of Mormon Land of Promise took place. Secondly, I have two questions for you: 1) “Who do you think built the magnificent ruins in South America?” For the most part, hundreds of sites date between about 1000 B.C. and 400 A.D., which is the Book of Mormon period. And, 2) “Who do you think later built the magnificent buildings in Mesoamerica?” 
These ruins tend to date from about 100 B.C. to about 600 A.D. and later, which would begin around the time Hagoth’s ships went north with some 25000 emigrants. While the Book of Mormon at least gives us a workable solution to those two questions, science, archaeologists, anthropologists, etc., have not one single idea where they came from, how they got there, and what happened to them. Perhaps you would like to suggest an answer to those questions, or maybe you might want to consider the Book of Mormon, whether you agree with the religious message, might be a legitimate answer to these questions.

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