Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Comments to be Answered Part V

Here are some more comments that we’ve received from this website blog.
Comment #1: “Because of the lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon, Mormon scholars resort to rationalizations. One explanation they give for the lack of evidence, is that God purposely prevented evidence from being uncovered because He wanted people to accept the Book of Mormon on faith. Using this reasoning, one would wonder why God hasn’t kept all Biblical evidence hidden? Fletcher B. Hammond, a Mormon, adds another rationale. The reason nothing can be found, he says, is because “the entire face of the land of Central America [was] changed” due to the great destruction of earthquakes [at the time of the crucifixion], recorded in Third Nephi.” This, however, is not so. Book of Mormon history continued 400 years more after the supposed crucifixion-destruction, providing archaeologists with stable strata. Thomas S. Ferguson, founder of BYU’s New World Archaeological Foundation, confirms this: Innumerable excavations . . . in the time span [of the Book of Mormon] (3000 B.C. to 400 A.D.) reveal great undisturbed architectural structures, extensive relatively undisturbed ancient strata . . . right through the time of the crucifixion’” Caden.
Response: Whatever God decides to do to bring to pass His plan for this Earth and our education is beyond the knowledge of this author and, I might add, that of anyone else short of a prophet. Any comment about God purposely preventing evidence from being found is merely a wild guess and not worthy of discussion. As for the land changed—it was, but not in Central America, which shows no particular evidence of any drastic change, though in South America, significant changes took place that has been well documented in these posts. On the other hand, you are right in suggesting that this would not have changed knowledge of the pre-crucifixion period. One correction, the time period of the Book of Mormon would be from about 2100 B.C. to 421 A.D. I might also suggest that paying attention to wild or unknowledgeable speculations from people who do not know what they are talking about does little to advance any knowledge of the Book of Mormon or any of the statements within its pages.
Comment #3: “Mormons claim that Lamanite priests destroyed the Nephite documents necessary to identify Nephite remains. Thus we are not able to identify Nephite cities, and for this we should blame those priests, not the Book of Mormon. If they destroyed these alleged documents because they supposedly identified Nephite cities, why would that prompt the priests to destroy them? From their point of view, there was no Book of Mormon or Latter Day Saint religion for them to suppress. People do not attempt to suppress something if they are not aware of its existence. This is an extraordinarily important point which has ramifications elsewhere. When people do things, they usually do them for a reason. What reason did the priests have to do destroy these alleged documents?” Malcolm.
Left: Friar Diego de Landa, the Bishop of Yucatan, who gathered all the Mayan codices and burned them in the 16th century, considering them works of the Devil; Right: Mural by Fernando Castro Pacheco showing de Landa burning the codices, which was done in 1562 during a ceremony called auto-da-fe
Response: First of all, there is no mention anywhere at any time in the scriptural record that the Lamanites had any priests. But assuming they did, the answer to your question is clearly stated in the events of the Spanish conquistadors and the priests that came with them. Those priests knew nothing of the Aztec, Mayan or Incan religions—they knew nothing of any future application of those religious or sectarian matters they saw in the New World. In fact, they were awed by the accomplishments of these cultures, of the buildings, roads, highways, etc. Yet, despite the advanced accomplishments, the Roman Catholic Priests and Friars that always accompanied the conquerors burned every written text and had torn down every evidence of the culture they conquered. You ask the question, “What reason did the priests have to destroy these alleged documents?” Perhaps you might want to ask those Dominicans that destroyed the advanced knowledge and work of two cultures they believed were on a par with their own and ancient Rome. Why? They claimed it was of the Devil and they were eradicating it from existence. The Lamanites hated the Nephites with a passion, with a hatred that was a thousand years old, when they finally destroyed the Nephite Nation. That hatred resulted in the destruction of everything Nephite they could find. What is it exactly you do not understand about that when you have such a example of the exact same happenings of the Spanish, the Nazis, the Communists, etc., in our day?
Comment #3: “The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early immigrants to our hemisphere” Candice.
To some, it might be of interest that the defensive turret wall shown on the left, which was part of an ancient Israel fort, and the one on the right, which is the fortress of Kuelap in northeastern Peru, were built by the same people. The very similar construction might cause some to feel this is proof that people of Israel settled in Peru of South America
Based upon your premise, “What has ever shown up in the Middle East to which would suggest to a dispassionate observer” that the Bible was true? The world is full of Hindus, Budhists, Confucianists, Shintoists, Sikhism, Druids, Druse, Eckankar, Hare Krishna, Jainism, Santeria, Scientology, Taoism, Godum, Zorastrianism, Wicca, Neopagan, etc., etc., etc., that do not accept the Bible, nor any of its premises. Do you think any of them are going to believe that proof has been dug up out of the Old World excavations that prove Biblical events? I might also ask you, “What do the buildings, palaces, temples, roads, highways, stone walls, defensive forts and resorts, etc., etc., etc., that have been excavated in the South American Andean area mean to you?” Do you ascribe these real live accomplishments to aliens? Has anyone, anywhere, ever suggested a creditable answer to that fact?
Left: Stone doorway in an ancient Israel fort; Right: Stone doorway at Sacsayhuaman in Peru above Cuzco. Some might say these two doorways are so similar that they were built by the same people
In addition, these similarities between ancient Israel forts and ancient Peruvian forts should show enough similarity to suggest that there is a New World connection with that of the Middle East and specifically the Palestinian area from which the Nephites originated.
Comment #4: “As has been noted by others, there is a large amount of acknowledged, quoted material in the Book of Mormon. These include the prophets Isaiah and Malachi from the Old Testament, and the Sermon on the Mount from the New Testament. It can also be shown that the Book of Mormon contains an extraordinary number of unacknowledged Biblical quotes. The exact number is difficult to pin down, for a variety of reasons, but can safely be said to exceed several hundred. The New Testament is by far the most fruitful source of these quotes. Of the twenty-six books of the New Testament, twenty of them are represented by one or more quotes in the Book of Mormon. The Old Testament also furnished a small number of unacknowledged quotes. Among these are quotes from Genesis, Exodus, Job, Micah, Hosea and Psalms. One would call this plagiarism.”
Response: How remarkable that a God who inspired the writers of the Old and New Testaments would also inspire the writers of the Book of Mormon, and the result would be identical or near-identical information. Since the purpose of the Bible and the Book of Mormon are identical, and surround God’s dealing with his people in two different hemispheres, why would you think the information would be different? One of these days we will have the writings of the Lost Ten Tribes, and you will be astounded to find that much of that writing is similar to the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Comment #5: I just thought I would send you a message to tell you that your blog has fascinated me. I love the details and the logic with which you make your arguments. As a physicist and a Mormon, the information you have included has made for great bedtime reading, and I look forward to reading each night. I came across your blog only a few months ago, and I've started reading from the beginning. Anyway, thank you for your blog, and keep up the awesome work!” C. M.
Response: Thank you.

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