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Zakuska

Bom Names: What Are The Chances?

146 posts in this topic

What are the chances of a Shoshone Indian Cheif assuming a Book of Mormon name within 16 years of Mormon Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley?

We all know that Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847.

At the Time there were 4 Shoshone Indian cheifs who lead the tribes of the Shoshone Indians. We learn that the name of one of the Cheifs who died in the Bear River Massacre of 1863 (16 years after the LDS entered the Valley) was Lehi.

http://historytogo.u...ermassacre.html

Other Intresting facts:

Sacajawea Belonged to the Shoshone tribe.

Another Shoshone name Lemhi also seems to reflect a Book of Mormon Name.

http://www.lemhi-shoshone.com/

Coincidence?

Edited by Zakuska
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Another Shoshone name Lemhi also seems to reflect a Book of Mormon Name.

http://www.lemhi-shoshone.com/

Coincidence?

Except, it isn't a Book of Mormon name.

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Except, it isn't a Book of Mormon name.

What? Sixth Century Hebrew/Jewish name?

Edited by Zakuska
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Except, it isn't a Book of Mormon name.

Limhi is, isn't that close enough?

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What are the chances of a Shoshone Indian Cheif assuming a Book of Mormon name within 16 years of Mormon Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley?

We all know that Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847.

At the Time there were 4 Shoshone Indian cheifs who lead the tribes of the Shoshone Indians. We learn that the name of one of the Cheifs who died in the Bear River Massacre of 1863 (16 years after the LDS entered the Valley) was Lehi.

http://historytogo.u...ermassacre.html

Other Intresting facts:

Sacajawea Belonged to the Schoshone tribe.

Another Shoshone name Lemhi also seems to reflect a Book of Mormon Name.

http://www.lemhi-shoshone.com/

Coincidence?

I'd say the chances were pretty slim. unless sub-chief Lehi was an early Schoshone convert to Mormonism, and intentionally took the name Lehi to reflect his new-found faith.

Is there any historical evidence that he or his people were practicing Mormons at the time of the Bear River Massacre?

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Limhi is, isn't that close enough?

here is no difference between the two names except how you write it. Is it possible that cinepro is unaware that one looks at the consonants, and ignore the vowels?

Edited by cdowis
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I am especially impressed with Lamanai, an authentic ancient city name in Belize.

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I was wrong. It turns out it did have a Book of Mormon origin:

Fort Lemhi was a mission approximately two miles (3 km) north of present-day Tendoy, Idaho, occupied by Mormon missionaries from 1855 to 1857.

Approximately twenty-seven Mormon men left the Salt Lake Valley on May 18, 1855, as instructed by Brigham Young with Thomas S. Smith serving as the leader of this group and George Washington Hill as their main Shoshonean language interpreter.[1] The party reached the Salmon River valley (then in Oregon Territory) on May 27 and selected a permanent site for its mission on June 15, 1855.

The mission was named Fort Limhi for King Limhi who was one of the kings cited in the Book of Mormon. In Mormon scripture, King Limhi organized an expedition that lasted 22 days, the same duration it required the Mormon missionaries to reach the Salmon River Country. Consequently, they named their mission after King Limhi, and Limhi eventually became "Lemhi" .

------------------------------------------------------------

The name Lemhi became applied to the Lemhi River and valley surrounding the mission site, as well as to the Lemhi Shoshone whom the mission served, the Lemhi Pass and eventually Lemhi County.[2]

At least now I know why they have this smiley: :rolleyes:

And the answer to the two questions in the OP would be "really, really good chances" and "not a coincidence".

Edited by cinepro
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And the answer to the two questions in the OP would be "really, really good chances" and "not a coincidence".

Hmm. A 16-year-old-or-less sub-chief and enemy to the Mormons whose tribe/family/parents named him Lehi in honor of the Mormon patriarch, or an older-than-16-year-old sub chief and enemy to the Mormons, taking upon himself the name of Lehi, the Mormon patriarch.

Tell me again why those chances are really, really good? Please be as detailed as you like.

Edited by Log
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Brant - do you know whether or not the name of the Shoshone sub-chief Lehi was an example of a false cognate?

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Random chance in languages creates false cognates. Linguists assume up to a 5% similarity in two languages can be due to chance and not connection. A perfect case in point is Lamanai, which is actually a sentence meaning "submerged crocodile." With out that particular sentence construction, the nouns themselves would be unimpressive. One I remember is that Spanish for hand is mano. In Aztec it is noma. That seems pretty similar, but the similarity is deceptive. The word for hand in Aztec is actually a root ma, which must have a possessive. The no- is the possessive "my." So the Aztec is actually "my hand." The Aztec language can only have my hand, your hand, our hands--never a disembodied, unrelated hand.

False cognates occur frequently.

Brant,

Well done.

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What are the chances of a Shoshone Indian Cheif assuming a Book of Mormon name within 16 years of Mormon Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley?
Adopting or being given names from settlers is not an uncommon practice.

Pocahontas was known as Rebecca later in her life, for example, taking the name when she converted to Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pocahontas

Geronimo was given his name by Mexican soldiers. http://en.wikipedia.....27s_background

One of the Shoshone chiefs was called "Bear Hunter", obviously a name given him by English speakers. Another Shoshone was "One-eyed Tom." Unless one can demonstrate that "Lehi" was his name prior to contact, then I don't see any evidence beyond what occurred in these other instances of name adoption.

http://historytogo.utah.gov/people/ethnic_cultures/the_history_of_utahs_american_indians/chapter2.html

Edited by calmoriah
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Random chance in languages creates false cognates. Linguists assume up to a 5% similarity in two languages can be due to chance and not connection. A perfect case in point is Lamanai, which is actually a sentence meaning "submerged crocodile." With out that particular sentence construction, the nouns themselves would be unimpressive.

Actually, that is exactly why I am impressed with the name. The Amerindians, among others, take on animal names to denote their fierceness, courage, etc. Unless you have see a submerged crocodile attack a large animal at a watering hole, you would be unaware that this phrase takes on such a fierce meaning. It is totally invisible in the watering hole, when the animal stoops down to drink, it suddenly comes out of the water and can take down very large animals.

The name indicates a dangerous predator who silently waits in hiding for its prey, and suddenly attacks with deadly force. Surely that name would be appropriate for a warrior king. It is also a play on the name "Laman" which makes it the perfect name for a Lamanite king.

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The other thing to remember is that when we talk about coincidences, it matters whether the case is predictive or not. Not long ago, there was a lottery drawing with a record prize of around 650 million dollars. Three tickets won. We might look at the winners and talk about how unlikely it was that they won. But, it isn't unlikely at all that someone won. Had we picked (as they did) the winning numbers ahead of time, it is a surprisingly rare event (for us individually). But the fact that in this case there were three winners is actually very likely (particularly given the number of people playing). For us to start talking about similarities being something other than coincidental, we have to establish a way to make the argument predictive. We might set up a baseline and see how well the total number of similarities match up to that baseline. That is, if there is statistically larger correspondence than what we would expect to see (5% lets say to use Brant's figure), then we have a greater chance that it isn't mere coincidence. If the overlap falls into a range that we might consider normal for generally unrelated languages, then we have to assume that it is coincidence. Isolating all of the similarities and only using them, or even using just a couple of particularly interesting looking similarities do not make useful predictive arguments.

Ben M.

Edited by Benjamin McGuire
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Does your theory of Book of Mormon names support or diminish the Limited Geography Theory?

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Hmm. A 16-year-old-or-less sub-chief and enemy to the Mormons whose tribe/family/parents named him Lehi in honor of the Mormon patriarch, or an older-than-16-year-old sub chief and enemy to the Mormons, taking upon himself the name of Lehi, the Mormon patriarch.

Tell me again why those chances are really, really good? Please be as detailed as you like.

Did the Shoshone have written records? Otherwise, we have to theorize that they preserved the name "Lehi" through 1400 years of oral tradition. If this sub-chief "Lehi" is the only record we have of any Shoshone with that name, then not only do we have to theorize that it was preserved orally, but that they weren't actually using it.

Or we can theorize that the name was picked up from the contemporary Mormon culture somehow. Without more information about his life and the origin of his name (for example, where did the original source for the story about the battle get this name?), it's hard for me to look at this as having anything to do with ancient Book of Mormon peoples.

Personally, the "contemporary culture" theory seems much more likely to me. But I'm willing to accept that it might just be me :unknw:

Also what Brant and Benjamin McGuire said.

Edited by cinepro
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One that continues to impress me is the mentioning of sheum in the text which was actually an Akkadian word for grain. I will also have to double check, but the Book of Mormon mentions "Ramah" and it is also a word in the Navajo language (in the same context too I think, referring to a sacred hill). I think someone else may have posted it, but I will mention again that Brian Stubbs did an interesting paper on some connections between Hebrew, Egyptian, and Uto-Aztecan language (I hope I said that right!)

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Did the Shoshone have written records? Otherwise, we have to theorize that they preserved the name "Lehi" through 1400 years of oral tradition. If this sub-chief "Lehi" is the only record we have of any Shoshone with that name, then not only do we have to theorize that it was preserved orally, but that they weren't actually using it.

Or we can theorize that the name was picked up from the contemporary Mormon culture somehow. Without more information about his life and the origin of his name (for example, where did the original source for the story about the battle get this name?), it's hard for me to look at this as having anything to do with ancient Book of Mormon peoples.

Personally, the "contemporary culture" theory seems much more likely to me. But I'm willing to accept that it might just be me :unknw:

Also what Brant and Benjamin McGuire said.

Give me a break....

Did the Maya have written records? Yes. Then we have to theorize that the name Lehi existed among them for 1400 years, when it didn't. If Lamanai is the only record we have among the Maya of a similar sounding Book of Mormon name, then we can theorize that the Nephites dwelt among the Maya - from contemporary Mormon culture somehow - even when Lamanai means submerged crocodile. Despite the information we have of the origin and life of the Maya where did the original Maya names come from? It's hard for me to me to look to the Maya as having anything to do with ancient Book of Mormon peoples.

Personally, the "contemporary culture" theory seems much more likely to me. But I'm willing to accept that it might just be me. :clapping:

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Brant - do you know whether or not the name of the Shoshone sub-chief Lehi was an example of a false cognate?

With as little information as I have seen, I would have to say that it is likely. However, making certain either way would involve much more work in historical linguistics of Shoshone.

That, of course, is the answer for any apparent cognate. It isn't accepted without a lot of work to make sure that it is, or is not, a cognate.

As for the argument that Lamanai would be a play on words, that is an interesting explanation for why an otherwise false cognate might have a connection. However, it is such a strained connection that without any other solid reason to propose it, the better answer is false cognate. In this case, we would have to assume that a people identified themselves with a Nephite exonym (which had pejorative connotations), or that there was an unattested use of Lamanite as a demonym for the people that the Nephites called Lamanites. Then we have to assume that the city of Lamanai had any connection to Book of Mormon peoples. It is too far from the best geography for that to be plausible.

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Tepui

Mark Wright posts here as "Hashbaz".

It really did change my perspective on the BOM considerably- so as I understand you, you see the Nephites as perhaps a culture integrated into the larger sphere of Mayan culture perhaps almost as we LDS are integrated into our respective international cultures- the "Lamanites" being those we might see as "in the world"- kind of an "us v.s. them" perspective?

Did I get that part close to right?

Yep, that's a pretty good summary of how I see it.

Edited by mfbukowski
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As for the argument that Lamanai would be a play on words, that is an interesting explanation for why an otherwise false cognate might have a connection. However, it is such a strained connection that without any other solid reason to propose it, the better answer is false cognate. In this case, we would have to assume that a people identified themselves with a Nephite exonym (which had pejorative connotations), or that there was an unattested use of Lamanite as a demonym for the people that the Nephites called Lamanites. Then we have to assume that the city of Lamanai had any connection to Book of Mormon peoples. It is too far from the best geography for that to be plausible.

Brant,

Your argument just doesn't make sense to me, but maybe I am too dumb to see it. I guess you assume thate the use of highly technical terms somehow strenghtens your argument, but I am not impressed.

Anyway, the antis favorite argument is that "it is just another coincidence" and any archeological evidence for the BOM would and could fall into that category. Sheum, for example, falls under that category.

Edited by cdowis
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