Comments about ‘Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Dilemmas with Great Lakes model more than just geographical’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 24 2011 6:00 a.m. MST

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JM
Lehi, UT

Thanks Mike. I think you know honest hearts appreciate your wisdom and labors and sound science (which your critics increasingly abandon, must be the right track when those bells are frantically ringing).

My BoM historicity knowledge increases each week.
Carry on Brother.

Seems the biggest straw flies after my 4 comments, oh well.

@Waikiki, BoiseCowboyetc Sometimes its difficult knowing whom to trust.

LW some of you claimed Lamanites couldnt write, and a million Mayan glyphs exist, all read, containing translated "detailed" history of hundreds, even thousands, of cities, reigns, etc dating "prior to Christ" through BoM times, with nothing related to the BoM.

Maya Specialists say Preclassic (BoM times) sources are rare, and those few Preclassic scripts arent really translatable until after 250-300AD.

Soum? ; ) What to trust?

I know Maya religious symbolism contains impossible ME and Christian details. I believe they relate well to the BoM (an exclusive genealogy of systematically destroyed Nephite culture) and Lamanites had Baal tendencies.
Weve already discussed lw claims (white, horses, etc).

Some put all trust in critical sources, but those deceiving you and sowing darkness will reward you no good thing.

Embrace light, share glad tidings of Christ, from Cumorah! !

Continued Luvyall : )

JoeBlow
Miami Area, Fl

Fairly comprehensive list for a case AGAINST the Great Lakes Model.

But, don't many of those same bullet point apply to every possible scenario?

I suspect this will all come down to a process of elimination. That would be the safest for the LDS Church as there will always be somewhere else to look.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

It is becoming more and more clear with these articles that nobody has a clue where, and even if, the events of the BoM took place.

Malay, New York, The Heartland, Meso-America, LGT, Africa, Baja, etc. Nobody has a clue.

Someone brought up the fact last week, that you do not have to believe in an actual historic BoM to receive your temple recommend. I also personally know this as a fact (as a recommend holder who informed his Bishop he does not believe the BoM happened). There are some neat parables and teachings in the BoM, but it is clearly not historical.

If you are honest with yourselves, you need to ask if the Savior doesn't care if the BoM actually happened, and a belief in the BoM isn't necessary for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom, then why even waste your time or resources trying to find evidence which doesn't exist?

To sum it up, there is no evidence for the BoM, belief in the BoM is not required and the Savior doesn't care if we believe in an actual BoM.

Just try to be good and Christlike. That's it.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

JM: The parallels between the creation myths of Tiamat and Tlaltecuhtli are intriguing. A full study comparing the complete mythologies to determine further parallels would be appropriate to help determine whether there is a direct correlation or coincidence.

I have a hard time attributing the correlation to Laman's Baal beliefs. The name "Baal" occurs exactly 0 times in the BOM. When the cultures cross, Lamanite rites are not mentioned. Lamoni describes deity as the "Great Spirit," not Baal; singular, not a pantheon; and quite reminiscent of Northern American tribes. For me, if a correlation actually exists, it would be from an earlier cross-pollination or would have been brought across the land bridge by the Mayan-Aztec ancestors. You need a stronger argument than Laman's feelings about the Jews' righteousness. As I said, however, the connection is intriguing.

On Izabal: I couldn't find Lund's explanation on the Internet and don't have time to look it up in the library. Isabel must have been pretty influential to have a region named after and have it last over 2000 years. It reminds me of the Holly map criticisms.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

Of course, the line of reasoning argued in this post only works if you hold to the a priory that the Book of Mormon peoples actually did exist. Faith aside, that is a tough pill to swallow. If we can't even say within a reasonable geography (somewhere on the North, central, or southern American continents?) where these things happened, how can we say with certainty that we know they happened. If we broaden our perspective, then the great lakes and other area's (such as New York) are the likely setting's of some of the Book of Mormon, from the ignorant perspective of it's author(s). In other words, these contradictions just prove the fiction.

brokenclay
Scottsdale, AZ

Otis, I've often found you to make some good points, but I have to disagree with you on the importance of the historicity of the BoM.

First, the LDS prophets have always purported the BoM to be historical. If it's not, then what does this say of the LDS hierarchy?

Second, the BoM is said to be another account of Jesus, like the Bible, which is a historical account. Why would God give one historical account and another fictional account? Let me give you an example of the Bible's veracity. In 2009, ancient Egyptian coins were discovered which bear the name and image of the biblical patriarch Joseph. This is excellent proof that he was indeed a ruler in the ancient Egyptian kingdom, supplementing the Bible's account of him. And this is a pretty big deal. If this ancient account is true, then there really is no reason why Daniel couldn't have ruled in Babylonia and Persia. No such evidence exists for the BoM.

I agree with you that the BoM is not a historical account. But I disagree with you in continuing to ascribe to it any spiritual worth.

JM
Lehi, UT

As said, science is often wrong, but, as science increasingly supports the BoM, critics must abandon science and desperately lead from Atonement, taught in scripture, by offering misguiding fruit and half truths from brotherly hands.

Certainly we reject Christ when we reject His reality, His historicity as reported in scripture given by Him.

Honest recommend holders sustain prophetic testimonies that Joseph truly had ancient plates, describing historic Christ in America.

Seems Nephites interacted with unmentioned, Moriantons (Jaredite name) Northerners, etc, and were absorbed into larger heartland Mulekite culture (different language etc and interactions). After Nephite absorption, Lamanites were taught a different Nephite language by renegades (probably already writing, keeping inaccurate traditions).

Still, at Nephite end, sacred BoM language was unknown to all others.

IAmericans traditionally connected with ancients (mentioned some previously: Nazca lines centuries apart, different people, Maya adopting from Olmec, etc.)

Lamanites etc would probably seek connections, synthesizing with ancients gods of Land, including idolatrous Jaredite culture (Adamic, Noachian remnant)(undecided Ether11. Check Mike, etc, interactions, early leader statements: one, Roper "Nephi's Neighbors"

@searching: Israelite Baal names were unpopular 600BC (although Lamanite Isabel may=ritual Baalharlot) Yet Laman argues Baalist Israelites were righteous?


JOeBlow: patience, the list fits.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

brokenclay wrote:

"First, the LDS prophets have always purported the BoM to be historical. If it's not, then what does this say of the LDS hierarchy?"

My own personal opinion is that those prophets were just giving their own opinion about the BoM. As science has developed and progressed, it is clear that the BoM is not historical. Also, these articles have shown, most, if not everything spoken by our leaders is just opinion.

brokenclay also wrote:

"Second, the BoM is said to be another account of Jesus, like the Bible, which is a historical account. Why would God give one historical account and another fictional account?"

The way I have reconciled the BoM is that I believe that Joseph Smith may have been inspired to write some uplifting and helpful parables about Jesus. The rest of the BoM is just his opinion.

brokenclay, I know the above explanation is sorely lacking. However, if one wants to remain an active Mormon in the face of so much evidence contrary to the BoM, then you really have to become a Cafeteria Mormon on steroids and completely disregard beliefs, traditions and follow what makes the most sense to you.

sharrona
layton, Ut

JM, Honest recommend holders sustain prophetic testimonies that Joseph truly had ancient plates, describing historic Christ in America?

Joseph Smith said,Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God is singular number; and by adding the word heim ,it renders it Gods. ( H of C, 1844) Wrong.
In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the Hebrew God, but grammatically plural (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7). See # 430 Strongs Hebrew concordance translates Elohim to God in the Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count Total: 2606 AV God 2346, god 244, judge 5, GOD 1, goddess 2, great 2, mighty 2, angels 1, exceeding 1, God-ward + 04136 1, godly 1.

BOMG
Modesto, CA

"Great cities"? That's a Mayan concept.

Where in the Book of Mormon does it say that?

Where in the Book of Mormon does it either the dimension or the population of "a large city."

"archaeology should have discovered up to a half a million corpses and hundreds of thousands of weapons"

No one buried the dead, their bones moldered upon the ground, the Lamanites continued to war among themselves and used the weapons.

"Large-scale fortifications"

There are more in Western New York than anywhere else in America.

"volcanic activity"

Guatemala has over 30 volcanoes, if that was BoM land, such a thing would have been mentioned more than in 3 Nephi.

The void of data in the BoM for Mesoamerica speaks the loudest:

-no mud slides
-no torrential rains
-no typhoons
-no hurricanes
-no floods
-no ash from volcanoes
-no earth quakes (except supernatural)
-no motes around cities

brokenclay
Scottsdale, AZ

Your honesty with the facts is truly refreshing to me, Otis. Often I get a defensive response from people. Thank you for the civil words in your response. If I could ask without ill intent, what then are the reasons you have for remaining active LDS, if most of what the church is built upon is simply misleading opinion? What is it that continues to make sense to you?

The Bible gives the world an account which is both historically verifiable to a high degree and life-changing on a personal level. The legitimate Holy Spirit has always revealed God existentially to the Christian people (John 14:21). I've had these experiences personally on occasion, and it was more than just an emotional feeling; it included a rational, vision-type aspect. And we have evidence like I mentioned above showing that the Bible is historical-- there are scores of examples. The bottom line is, orthodox Christianity gives you a historical foundation on which to build a relationship with the real Holy Spirit. I invite you to look into this worldview. There is no other religion on earth that can claim this.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Don't forget that the Doctrine And Covenants is a book of scripture that IS historical.

And? So what? It means little, of course, that D&C is historical - it doesn't convert anybody. So with the Bible being historical. It doesn't prove it scripture.

But the BOM being proven historical? That is different. Faith is then thrown away, and no longer do we even have a religion - it becomes a field of study and science - nothing to believe in.

@Otis
"As science has developed and progressed, it is clear that the BoM is not historical."

Funny how so many of us see it the exact opposite.

"The way I have reconciled the BoM is that I believe that Joseph Smith may have been inspired to write some uplifting and helpful parables about Jesus. The rest of the BoM is just his opinion."

May have? Where is the historical proof that JS made it up? All the historical evidence proves that he did NOT make it up. Even critics cannot agree on this. Ironically, believing JS made it all up takes a lot of faith given the ample historical evidence he did not make it up.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To Otis:

I understand where you are coming from but to be able to testify of the Book of Mormon as Another testament of Jesus Christ is essential to testifying that Joseph Smith is/was a prophet of God.

Key elements in a testimony is that Jesus Christ lives and is the head of this Church (LDS). That the priesthood and all the keys pertaining to it were restored by Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.

As I stated last week Christ doesn't care if we know where it occurred but he does care that what is written in the Book is true. Other key elements is that the President of the Church is the only person on earth that receives revelation for not only the Church but the world. The other is that Christ is our redeemer and savior.

To say otherwise of the Book of Mormon is incorrect. The quotes I cited last week are not just opinions but Christ's words to us. They will stand as a testimony for or against us at the judgement day. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our Religion. Without it, we have no religion.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT

brokenclay wrote:
"If I could ask without ill intent, what then are the reasons you have for remaining active LDS, if most of what the church is built upon is simply misleading opinion"

Mainly cultural reasons (My great great grandfather was Abraham Hunsaker who was baptised in 1839). Also, a large part of Gospel is centered around Christ and his teachings. I try to instill those values in my children.

Utes Fan wrote:
"As science has developed and progressed, it is clear that the BoM is not historical. Funny how so many of us see it the exact opposite."

I am always open to learning about any evidence that may support the BoM. Please share your evidence.

Bill in Nebraska wrote:
"As I stated last week Christ doesn't care if we know where it occurred but he does care that what is written in the Book is true."

Acutally, the Savior doesn't care. It is certainly not a requirment for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom or a temple recommend. It's clear the BoM is not important to the Savior. What is important to Him, is how we live our lives and how we treat each other.

JM
Lehi, UT

@Otis critic, why pretend, and why dishonestly deny BoM evidence when mountains exist, OW and New?

Hiding wont save ; )

@broken: Awesome if coins truly establish Prophet Joseph. However, no such Biblical evidence existed 2008 (or as quickly as BoM evidences are coming forth); therefore critics argued BoM descent from mythic Bible stories like Joseph was another blunder (as yall argued previously John8 fiction etc), thus these coins are BoM evidence, supporting primary BoM origin.

The BoM establishes the miraculous Bible, the Bible supports the BoM! : ) luvut.

@searchingidentity, missed your points.
Enjoying learning. Laman Baalism speculation began after noticing some rites among other plentiful, detailed ME and ancient Christian American symbolism (impossible for Beringia theorists, 12,000BP).

Baal (unutterable), lord of heaven, Biblically local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images (Wiki) Great Spirit uttering ok but peculative Laman religion, tree focus, probably wasnt strict Baalism (like other Israelites), likely altered by Lamoni time.
Yes, secret combination rites, Lamanite religion etc described only in passing, like Biblical Baal rites. BoM mentions sacrifice, perhaps ritual war (interestingly mighty hunters quickly practice ritual warfare, clubs, etc, like original ball ritual war in primordial-water place) etc
Isabel led many.

Sharronna: stretchy, again, FAIR etc : )

Waikiki Gal
Waimanalo, HI

Otis,
Thanks for your honesty. There are many people just like you. As Elder Holland recently said, there are many people firmly in this Church that do not believe in the Book of Mormon. I agree with you that the only thing that really matters in this life is to try to be good to other people and your family. Nothing else really matters in the end, certainly not the Book of Mormon. Thanks again for your honesty.

Apocolypse Cow
Sunny and 75, CA

JM,

I hope you are aware that all of your evidences about the Mayans are completely disputed by FAIR and FARMS and even Michael Ash. Nobody really believes the Mayans had anything to do with the Nephites or Lamanites. FAIR and FARMS are pushing a Limited Geography Theory where the events supposedly took place in a very small geographic location and only involved a very limited group of people that were isolated and had no or very limited contact with other people. So it appears that your mountain of evidence is really a pile of something else.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

To Otis -

I commend you for finding ways to stay in the church despite your doubts. So many active members don't seem to understand other members who don't believe it all. And many don't have much patience for members who have real questions and doubts.

Millions have literally walked away from the church and never looked back. But members like you hold on to the testimony the DO have rather than leaving because of what they DON'T. I hope you know you are far from being alone in the church. I struggle every day with hanging on to the church despite many holes in my testimony including the lack of BofM evidences.

There are a couple of websites that can be very supportive. If you google New Order Mormon or StayLDS, you will find that thousands like you are trying to remain in the church despite real struggles.

Few active members realize that it is far easier to happily believe everything than to stay active while struggle with real doubts.

cmtam
lake forest, ca

Bill in Nebraska;"Another testament of Jesus Christ" and another,also false.
British- Israelism teaches, "The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) are "lost" after their capture by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Through
intermarriage with other nations, their unique national identity is "lost". Great Britain and the USA [LDS] are believed to be the Anglo-Saxon ancestors of the tribes Ephraim and Manasseh so it may be inferred by British Israelism -(BofM)are really the chosen people of God. "This theory was first put forward around the year 1519.

The key verses that refute British Israelism is 2 Kings 17:18-23:Verse 18"Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his
sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only." Here "out of His sight" is interpreted as "disappeared into oblivion." "There was none left but the tribe of Judah only " is interpreted as "descendants of Judah are the only tribes in existence today."
It was poular again around 1740-1840.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Otis: When you are asked do you sustain the Leaders of the Church as Prophet, Seers and Revelators and answer yes. Sustain is more than just saying yes. There is much more to it than that.

Yes, the Savior does care if the Book of Mormon is true, otherwise why would he have had Joseph Smith translate it. I suggest going back and Reading Neal Anderson talk from General Conference that talks about never leaving him. Also, go and reread Elder Holland's talk where he testified of the Book of Mormon in depth. The only way to know of its truth is by the Spirit and only the Spirit.

Things I don't understand I know will be revealed someday and so I just put them on a shelf as Neal Anderson so well put it.

Evidence of the Book of Mormon is in the Cover itself. You will not find it by science alone. Science will never prove or disprove the Book of Mormon, so yes your testimony of the Book of Mormon does matter. It is a key to a strong testimony. Without that your testimony is weak and thus flutters like the wind proven.

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