Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year


Comment #1: “I’ve read that the Jaredite animals did not go south until driven there by the poisonous snakes. Why didn’t they go south before that?” Evan M.
Response: From the scriptural record we do not know that they did not. However, from an understanding of animals, other than migratory patterns developed over centuries, animals rarely leave their habitats since they live in a particular area because they have evolved to survive in the conditions of that habitat. If the animal has physical and behavioral adaptations to survive there, then they are more likely to reproduce and more animals of their kind will thrive in that habitat.
Overpopulation of wild animals can lead to migration; however, domestic herds that are managed by farmers can keep the herds within the proper size

However, if the animals grow more than an area can handle, some will move elsewhere. In addition, if an animal is not adapted to live in a particular habitat, or the conditions of that habitat change, it must go someplace else or it will die. This could include the increase in predators, or an decrease in animal population, famine, drought, etc. Animals can adapt to a particular environment because of the availability of food and shelter (from both predators and weather), safety, and even instinctual behavior.
    The selection of habitat is a specialized process that generally takes hundreds of years to develop. In the Land of Promise of Andean Peru, just south of the narrow neck, the land is barren without water or flora, and the coast is a rainless desert which would normally keep an animal from up and heading in that direction. It would appear the Lord had in mind to keep the animals in a particular area until he was ready for them to migrate elsewhere.
Comment #2: “Do you know where the secret passage Gideon spoke of behind the city of Nephi is located?” Thomas T.
Response: It would appear so and have identified it in our written articles about it. As a matter of fact, ancient chroniclers in Peru wrote about the extensive network of tunnels underlying Cuzco—they are called chincanakuna or simply chincanas in Quechua. There are two such chincanas at Sacsayhuaman, near the rockslide in front of the massive walls of the ancient fortress.
One of the tunnels behind Sacsayhuaman

Located behind the grounds (behind the back wall) behind Sacsayhuaman (on the back side of the complex) are small labyrinth, tunnels, and vaulted niches in the walls, with the tunnels and passages lead through the hills and rocky mounts. They can easily be found if you know where to look. According to Thomas R. Ybarra, (Lands of the Andes, Coward-McCann, New York, 1947, p136), one such passage led from the fortress to the Temple of the Sun in Hurin-Cuzco. As Mormon writes: ”The Nephite departed by night and they went round about the Land of Shilom” (Mosiah 22:11), and then bent there course in a northeast direction past the land of Amulon and on through the Vilcabamaba wilderness toward the land of Zarahemla.
    Though Limhi said his people departed secretly, with their herds and flocks, and all their people they would have left a wide swath of “tell tale” trail of escape. The next day upon awakening, the guards saw the Nephites were gone and a Lamanite army was sent in pursuit and they followed them for two days until “they could no longer follow their tracks; therefore they were lost in the wilderness” (Mosiah 22:16).
    Unless one has seen this country, it might seem odd to lose tracks, but this country is like a jungle, a heavily overgrown forest and in places must be hacked through with some type of blade (machete). Other parts are open space of soft black mud covered with dry moss. Still other areas are covered with tall grass that springs back up after passing. And other areas are too boggy to traverse. It was wile lost in the wilderness that the Lamanites could not find their way back to the area of Nephi and stumbled across the Alma’s city of Amulon (Mosiah 23:30-31)
Comment #3: ”I’m trying to verify that an original copy of the Book of Mormon recently sold for $100,000.00. Do you know if that is true?” Patty B.
Response: There were 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon printed in 1830 at a cost of $3,000–or sixty cents each. The early missionaries, including Samuel Smith, sold these books for $1.25. Only about 500 of the original 5,000 copies have survived. By today’s dollar value, that means that the 1830 dollar was worth about $25.00 today, or that $1.25 per copy would be about $31.25 today. Today, original Book of Mormon copies sell for $75,000–$100,000. In fact, some of these earlier editions–which were owned by well-known Church leaders have sold in excess of one million dollars!
But, as President Hinckley said in October 2007, “Recently a first edition [Book of Mormon] sold for $105,000—but the cheapest paperback edition is as valuable to the reader who loves its language and message.”
Comment #4: “I have an old map showing a lot of water in Ecuador labeled Los Rios. Is this the area you claim is the Land of Many Waters?” Kaylene M.
Response: Basically. Los Rios (which means “The Rivers”) is a Province today, but before that it was an area labeled on maps simply as “The Rivers.” It might be of interest to know that anciently, on very old Spanish maps, it was labeled simply “Land of Many Waters” (Tierra de Muchas Aguas)—a friend of mine received an old map found by a missionary in Ecuador many years ago so labeled. We were very excited about it when first seeing it.
The district known as Los Rios, which has several rivers (Ecuador is full of rivers); however, this is not the Land of Many Waters, which is to the northeast of Los Rios and surrounding Ibarra where Mt Imabaura is located

But to specifically answer your question, the rivers shown in the Los Rios area are the extension of the rivers described by Mormon (Mormon 6:4); however, the land described earlier, that Limhi’s expedition reached, “having traveled in a land among many waters” (Mosiah 8:8) refers to the area north of where you are looking, and is referred to more accurately by Mormon as the Land of Many Waters, Rivers and Fountains (Mormon 6:4), and would be the area referred to on modern maps as surrounding the Laguna Velasco Ibarra where there are scores of lakes, swamps, standing water, ponds, etc., as well as major and small rivers, and the fountains from which the water springs, including the major mountain snow melts in the area.
Comment #5: “How come there aren't any clues in the Book of Mormon about the "real"
native Americans whose ancestors crossed the Bering Strait from Asia? Any thoughts on this?
” Rudy P.

Response: Since no one came across the so-called Beringia land bridge, which, doubtfully, ever existed, as we have written about extensively in this blog.  It is not hard to see why there are no clues anywhere, even in the findings of the archaeologists, since other than speculation, the so-called land bridge has little geological support. On the other hand, the Book of Mormon is not a history of the founding and development of the Western Hemisphere, but a Second Witness and Testament of Jesus Christ, involving the Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites, and Mulekites, none of which came from the north overland.

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