Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Defending the Faith: Advancing Book of Mormon research’

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Published: Thursday, May 19 2011 4:00 a.m. MDT

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?
Fort Knox, KY

This is interesting. I am curious to know if a time might come when those studying in the areas of the Mesoamerican model and the Heartland model will eventually work together. With Mesoamerica you have the Mayans and in the Heartland you have the Mound Builders. The Book of Mormon seems to fit within the time frame of either civilization. Might not the Book of Mormon represent the whole western hemisphere, and if not, might not there be other records yet to come forward that would be similiar to the Book of Mormon representing each area and other areas like it?

BOMG
Modesto, CA

Thank you Dr. Peterson for pointing out that Sorenson has been filtering his research through a Book of Mormon geography model since before his doctoral studies, the New World Archaeological Foundation and FARMS.

You should have mentioned whom he received his model from - Thomas Stuart Ferguson, and how Ferguson realized BoM answers are not in Mesoamerica.

@?, though the pre-columbian barrier has been breached on a number of fronts, proving international trade runs contrary to the BoM as it says their lands were kept hidden FROM ALL OTHER NATIONS, not to mention the perpetual void of attention on fulfilled land prophecies which exclude Mesoamerica and the Heartland models.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

Mosiah discovered the People of Zarahemla and it is a big part of the Book of Mormon only because of the large number of converts. For two hundred years they lived on the same continent before any mention of these people.
I wonder; if Mosiah had not had such success in conversion, would Zarahemla have been mentioned in the Book of Mormon in the abridged copy we have today? How many other groups were there? How many since the Book of Mormon?
Modern Lamanites, if they exist, are likely descendents of the Laminite/Nephite story that ended 400 AD but not necessarily direct descendents of Lehis group in 600 BC.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@BOMG 9:01

You said - "@?, though the pre-columbian barrier has been breached on a number of fronts, proving international trade runs contrary to the BoM as it says their lands were kept hidden FROM ALL OTHER NATIONS..."

Two important points to remember when quoting the "from all other nations" verse in the Book of Mormon.

#1 The verse is found in 2 Nephi 1:8, just as Lehi's family arrive in the promise land. It begins, "And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations..."

The important word in this verse is "yet" indicating other groups will in fact arrive in the future.

2. 2 Nephi 1:11 explains, if Lehi's seed rebel against God, he will "...bring other nations unto them."

Throughout the BoM, there were many times when the Nephites did rebel against God, hinting they were likely occupied by other nations. Even early on, in the Book of Jacob, we read how the Nephites began to rebel.

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

BOMG
You are not quoting the Book of Mormon correctly. In Fact the very passage you attempt to quote actually says that Others are lead to this land It states that in 2 Nephi 1:5 and 6 So lets look at them shall we
5 " ...and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord."
6 "Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord."

Did you notice what Lehi actually said? He said OTHERS. A close look at the teachings of many Early Church leaders will show that OTHERS has always been taught by the LDS Church from Joseph Smith to present day including addresses over the pulpit and Church manuals. I have given references in the past and can again if needed.

BOMG
Modesto, CA

@Razzle2, good point. Also, not all Lamanites were slothful or illiterate. As recorded in Jacob, an educated, multi-lingual stranger came amongst them.

@Hipp & KC, you're missing the contradiction. Whereas Mesotheorists stipulate wind currents determined where Lehi landed, the recent Phonecian Ship Expedition has proven that erroneous. Add to that the fulfilled land prophecies and we know which sea the Gentiles crossed and by deduction, which sea Lehi & Jared crossed. Plus, the sea they crossed was never referenced again, therefore BoM lands were "hidden," not on wind or trade routes, the Liahona was needed.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

There is a story and painting of Joseph Smith teaching the Lamanites but I can't verify if it is true.
When Joseph and other church leaders were traveling they came across some Native Americans and began to teach them. After the lesson, Joseph told his companions that those Native Americans were Lamanite descendents...and the group was surprised. It never occurred to the early Church missionaries that all Native Americans are literal descendents of the Lamanites. This was a 1950's idea that grew strong when the official Introduction to the BOM was printed in the Deseret Book copies. The Introduction may have been misunderstood by some. The LDS Church recently changed the Intro to a clearer statement.
Shows how hard it is to interpret scripture. The cliff notes aka intro, chapter headings, and Bible dictionary cannot replace the real verse. However, the heart of the scripture will stand up forever.

weightless skittles
Hewitt, Texas

There have been many thoughtful points made. Also,it should be noted that in the Book of Ether, the Lord does not state through the prophets of the Jaredites, that the Jaredite nation would be hid from all other nations. The Jaredites may well have had a thriving commerce with other cultures. Afterall, they existed for two thousand years. That is an extremely long time to be hidden and probably not. The Jaredite record does not give great detail as to their commerce and breath of expansion as a nation those two thousand years. Common sense dictates that surely, interaction with other groups occurred and probably on a continual basis, if it was profitable for both groups. There is so much that is yet to be discovered about the various groups that did exist at the time of Spanish explorations as well as the Pre-Columbian groups which existed hundreds of years prior to their arrival. North, Central, and South American Continents have been ever changing since their break from the other Continents. This has caused destruction, layers of covering of earth, and sinking of land masses and changes of ecosystems. There is a lot of "digging" to do.

BOMG
Modesto, CA

@skittles, it's pointless to argue one thing for Jaredite lands as it was prophesied they would become Nephi's land, God foreknowing a division would occur between Nephi and his unbelieving brothers, He guided them to land south of Jaredites lands, then guided Nephi's people northward until they did in fact inhabit Jaredite land. (Eth.13.21)

Regardless, you fail to recognize the smallness of both lands which were equally bordered by the same seas East and West, so if one was hidden, so too was the other.

Since Jaredite lands were surrounded by FOUR SEAS, it's stands to logic that they were more isolated than the Land Southward was.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

We can learn from the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ that the Bible does not hold all of God's dealings with man. Likewise, we would be stiff-necked to think all of his dealings are in the standard works of the LDS Church. Mulek and his people were chastised for not keeping a record. Parts of the Gold Plates were sealed. Mormon had to abridge the book from many records. Jesus spoke of "Other Sheep" he would visit.
It is possible other peoples were guided by God to the hidden lands without mention in our modern scripture.
IF Asians crossed the Bering Strait thousands of years ago, I don't think they could have done it without His help.
It is possible He has his hands in many things not yet revealed to us. Discovery never has to threaten our faith. However, we do need open-minds to find God's marvelous work.

sharrona
layton, UT

Razzle2 said,Jesus spoke of "Other Sheep" he would visit?(John 10:16) The other sheep are: the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained a righteousness that is by faith.(Romans 9:30) And Isaiah boldly says I was found by those who did not seek me, I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me,(Romans 10:30).
Moroni 7:47 . "But charity(love) is the pure love of Christ . Makes no sense in the original Greek. Charity, mid-12c.,benevolence for the poor," caritas from the Latin Vulgate often used as translation of Greek, agape "love". Charity is the Latin translation of agape(love).

weightless skittles
Hewitt, Texas

Dear BOMG, You are making many assumptions. First and foremost, the Jaredites came before the Abrahamic Covenanted Lineage. The Jaredites may very well have had a full knowledge of the gospel with the Melchizedek priesthood having been given to the Brother of Jared. With such a full understanding and a need to leave the area of Babel, it was not that the people needed to be hidden but rather to be kept from the wickedness of those people and the corruption of the language and knowledge of the gospel that was be polluted. Two thousand years is a very long time. Yes, the Jaredite nation was northward of where the Nephites landed and yes, it is true that the Lord warned the Jaredites that others would come and inherit their land if they did not repent. But, this does not preclude the real possibility that the Jaredites were interacting with other cultures. There is much in the Book of Mormon the very clearly indicates that other groups were here in the Americas and the numbers of people given very much indicate that to be the case. Again there is much to be uncovered about these people.

BOMG
Modesto, CA

@Skittles, I acknowledge the hidden reference was for the Nephites, you're "assuming" it was for the Jaredites. I gave three witnesses that support my position that if Nephi's land would be hidden so too would the Jaredites. If you can counter those three witnesses, with verse, go ahead.

In case you're out of the loop, the presumptive view that all Native Americans descended from BoM peoples is no longer agreed upon. Instead, Sorenson, et. al., plus the Mormon Church, have conceded that is not the case, therefore:

1. Of course other nations and people were in America by the millions, north to south, just look at their language differences.

2. BoM lands were small, 1.5 days wide (40-60 miles).

3. BoM land were surrounded by FOUR SEAS on the north and THREE SEAS on the south.

4. BoM "WAR TIME" numbers are not equinumerous with populated BoM land areas. Those were one time war infusions from adjacent indigenous populations. How do I know, because it took 3.5 years to gather them in for both final wars.

?
Fort Knox, KY

BOMG: It kind of sounds like you are saying the Book of Mormon took place on an island which there are a few verses about them either being on an isle of the sea or they seem to be talking about isles of the sea in general and comparing these to their isle location.

I guess something to think about is did Moroni have possesion of the Liahona at the end of the record of the Book of Mormon? So perhaps the location of the Book of Mormon could really be anywhere and the Lord could have guided Moroni to the place where he buried the plates that would later be revealed to Joseph Smith.

I'm still in favor of the Heartland model, but interested in understanding the theories others have about where the Book of Mormon took place. It happened somewhere. 2 Nephi 10:21 says, "wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren."

Another question is does any or all of the American continent count as an isle of the sea?

?
Fort Knox, KY

I think it's ok to wonder where the Book of Mormon happened. But until more is revealed it's hard to know where. We shouldn't get upset with each other because one sees some things one way, while another person sees things in a different way. All things will be revealed in due time. We just need to be patient. We should learn from the things that have been revealed and prepare ourselves for the time when more is revealed.

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