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Statement on Book of Mormon geography

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

And you know this based on which published analysis?  You are the first I have found making this nihilistic claim.

 

https://mariecom.wp.tulane.edu/product/city-state-and-residence-in-mesoamerica/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/

https://www.archaeology.org/

https://utmesoamerica.org/research-publications

You won't find any references to Book of Mormon landforms, geography, anthropology in MesoAmerica, etc. in the above, so, I think these make good for good references. 

This rag seems to focus on the geography of the Middle East and how it relates, or doesn't, to descriptions in in the Pentateuch, rest of the Old Testament and New Testament:

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/magazine/

Edited by Gervin

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4 hours ago, Gervin said:

Like all professional books on Mesoamerica, this first source you list is chock full of specific evidence supporting the Book of Mormon.  The journals you list are also useful, but in a more general sense, since they do not focus on Mesoamerica.  A good example of how such information can be utilized to display Book of Mormon culture is John Sorenson, Images of Ancient America: Visualizing Book of Mormon Life (Provo: FARMS Research Press, 1998).

4 hours ago, Gervin said:

You won't find any references to Book of Mormon landforms, geography, anthropology in MesoAmerica, etc. in the above, so, I think these make good for good references. 

Since you clearly do not read any such sources, I don't know how you reach that conclusion -- which is why I asked you to cite a book or article which actually addresses that specific false claim.  There is no such book, which is why you are unable to provide a source.

4 hours ago, Gervin said:

This rag seems to focus on the geography of the Middle East and how it relates, or doesn't, to descriptions in in the Pentateuch, rest of the Old Testament and New Testament:

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/magazine/

Biblical Archaeology Review is an excellent journal (your source above) and I have been reading it for many years.  If you would bother to read it, you would see the practical methods used to establish biblical geography.  Had you done archeology on the ground as I have, you'd understand it even better.  The best book on the subject is Yohanan Aharoni, Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography, 2nd ed. (Phila.: Westminster Press, 1979).

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On 2/1/2019 at 7:17 PM, carbon dioxide said:

Like a bunch of near naked lamanites are going to survive one winter in the north east.

You know it's possible that they were near naked only in the summer. Just saying.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Like all professional books on Mesoamerica, this first source you list is chock full of specific evidence supporting the Book of Mormon. 

Here’s a link to the chapters.  Would you be so kind as to show me which one I should refer to?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329896783_CITY_CRAFT_AND_RESIDENCE_IN_MESOAMERICA

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13 hours ago, Gervin said:

Here’s a link to the chapters.  Would you be so kind as to show me which one I should refer to?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329896783_CITY_CRAFT_AND_RESIDENCE_IN_MESOAMERICA

This is a MARI publication.  John Sorenson has also published in the MARI series.  Do you have any idea what that means?  I think that chapters 2,5, and 9 would be most promising since they deal with BofM lands.  However, since you don't know what to look for, I would recommend that you first have a look at Sorenson's Images of Ancient America to get the idea  Then you could consult the  6-volume commentary by anthropologist Brant Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon (Kofford Books, 2007).  Your main interest should be modes of construction used in Book of Mormon and in Mesoamerica (materials and techniques), weapons, linguistics, religion, population figures, trade, travel, etc.  The details tell us a lot.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

This is a MARI publication.  John Sorenson has also published in the MARI series.  Do you have any idea what that means?  I think that chapters 2,5, and 9 would be most promising since they deal with BofM lands.  However, since you don't know what to look for, I would recommend that you first have a look at Sorenson's Images of Ancient America to get the idea  Then you could consult the  6-volume commentary by anthropologist Brant Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon (Kofford Books, 2007).  Your main interest should be modes of construction used in Book of Mormon and in Mesoamerica (materials and techniques), weapons, religion, population figures, trade, travel, etc.  The details tell us a lot.

If the Book of Mormon didn't exist, there is not one person in the world who would claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years. 

It's a lazy defense on your part to claim, without proof, a connection to cultures and societies that are far removed from the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.    I'm sure many in church leadership have read Sorenson as you suggest, yet they agree with me that there is no setting for the Book.  

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5 hours ago, Gervin said:

If the Book of Mormon didn't exist, there is not one person in the world who would claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years. 

Not true at all.

In early United States history many believed Hebrews came to North America. Many false artifacts were made to maintain that believe. Such as the Los Lunas Stone, Michigan Relics, Bat Creek Stone, Davenport Stone, etc.. In fact, Thomas Jefferson  when commissioning the Louis and Clark expedition one of their goals were to get evidence of Hebrews in America.

Furthermore, recently (last 50 years) the cocaine mummies were a big controversie. How did Egyptian mummies have cocaine in them?  It would have to show some Mesoamerican connection...

I think your "there is not one person in the world who would claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years." Is in fact backed up by evidence contrary to your position. 

 

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It's a lazy defense on your part to claim, without proof, a connection to cultures and societies that are far removed from the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.   

It is unfair to claim it is a "lazy defense" when there is plenty of evidence for plausibility.

 

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 I'm sure many in church leadership have read Sorenson as you suggest, yet they agree with me that there is no setting for the Book.  

Official CFR (were they [church leaders] agree with you).

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7 hours ago, Gervin said:

If the Book of Mormon didn't exist, there is not one person in the world who would claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years. 

Naturally, if you don't bother to read the anthropological literature, you won't have any idea as to how wrong you are.  Non-Mormon scholars have long since detected Hebrew & Egyptian in Mesoamerica, and I have added to that data.  The upshot is that, if the Bible did not exist, the entire narrative of the Bible would be lost.  Scholars might suggest some events and ethnic groups involved, but the actual story told by the biblical writes could not be reconstructed.  Indeed, until the decipherment of Egyptian, we could not tell a coherent story about ancient Egypt.  You vastly underestimate the value of written narrative history.

7 hours ago, Gervin said:

It's a lazy defense on your part to claim, without proof, a connection to cultures and societies that are far removed from the descriptions in the Book of Mormon. 

Not at all.  Archeology regularly buttresses written accounts by digging up artifacts which show what an ancient culture was actually like.  "Proof" is not something scholars obtain.  Instead, they bring clarity and likelihood.

7 hours ago, Gervin said:

  I'm sure many in church leadership have read Sorenson as you suggest, yet they agree with me that there is no setting for the Book.  

I know of no such person in LDS Church leadership who agrees with you.  Why  would they?  The evidence is against nearly everything you say.  If you disagree, name one of those  leaders for me.

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12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Non-Mormon scholars have long since detected Hebrew & Egyptian in Mesoamerica. 

CFR

Quote

The upshot is that, if the Bible did not exist, the entire narrative of the Bible would be lost.  Scholars might suggest some events and ethnic groups involved, but the actual story told by the biblical writes could not be reconstructed.

You missed the point.  Certainly, a Biblical narrative helps in decoding the geography and archaeology of the Middle East, but we would still be learning about Edomites, and Caananites, and Romans from the stuff that was pulled from the ground.  The Book of Mormon has no narrative to verify or authenticate the archaeological findings of Mesoamerica.  Any such connection can only be made by first believing that the Book of Mormon is set in Mesoamerica. 

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I know of no such person in LDS Church leadership who agrees with you.  Why  would they?  The evidence is against nearly everything you say.  If you disagree, name one of those  leaders for me.

I would say that the president of the church agrees with me that Mesoamerica is not the setting for the Book of Mormon.  If he's stated otherwise, in his official capacity, please post that information.

Edited by Gervin

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15 hours ago, Anijen said:

Not true at all.

In early United States history many believed Hebrews came to North America. Many false artifacts were made to maintain that believe. Such as the Los Lunas Stone, Michigan Relics, Bat Creek Stone, Davenport Stone, etc.. In fact, Thomas Jefferson  when commissioning the Louis and Clark expedition one of their goals were to get evidence of Hebrews in America.

Furthermore, recently (last 50 years) the cocaine mummies were a big controversie. How did Egyptian mummies have cocaine in them?  It would have to show some Mesoamerican connection...

I think your "there is not one person in the world who would claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years." Is in fact backed up by evidence contrary to your position. 

 

I'll amend my statement to say, "there is not one person in the world who would credibly claim that ancient Israelites, writing in Hebrew and Egyptian, traveled to, populated and warred in the Americas, for a thousand years."

You're right; there are many false claims out there. 

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Official CFR (were they [church leaders] agree with you).

If there is a statement by any authoritative church member that the events of the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica, then I'm certainly wrong.  I'll attach my apology to their declaration, if you'd be so kind to provide it.

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23 minutes ago, Gervin said:

CFR

See the intro and bibliography in my “*Sawi-Zaa,” 2016 version 3, online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/56696298/SAWI-ZAA .

23 minutes ago, Gervin said:

You missed the point.  Certainly, a Biblical narrative helps in decoding the geography and archaeology of the Middle East, but we would still be learning about Edomites, and Caananites, and Romans from the stuff that was pulled from the ground.  The Book of Mormon has no narrative to verify or authenticate the archaeological findings of Mesoamerica.  Any such connection can only be made by first believing that the Book of Mormon is set in Mesoamerica. 

False.  Just like the Bible, the narrative content of the BofM can be verified by history and archeology.  You have only to read the sources I have cited for you, and there are many others.  You approach the issue same as someone who insists that the Bible is pure fiction, and will not even consider the evidence of biblical archeology.  The head-in-sand approach just doesn't work, Gervin.

23 minutes ago, Gervin said:

I would say that the president of the church agrees with me that Mesoamerica is not the setting for the Book of Mormon.  If he's stated otherwise, in his official capacity, please post that information.

CFR that Pres Nelson has made that absurd claim.

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23 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

See the intro and bibliography in my “*Sawi-Zaa,” 2016 version 3, online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/56696298/SAWI-ZAA .

I don't have access to your intro and bibliography.  Just list the non-Mormon scholars who detected Egyptian influences in Mesoamerica.

Quote

 

False.  Just like the Bible, the narrative content of the BofM can be verified by history and archeology.  You have only to read the sources I have cited for you, and there are many others.  You approach the issue same as someone who insists that the Bible is pure fiction, and will not even consider the evidence of biblical archeology.  The head-in-sand approach just doesn't work, Gervin.

 

Invoking the Bible is a non sequitur.  Your ad hominem attacks show the lack of charity that is part and parcel of your communication "style."  When did you last present your findings at a non-Mormon event or conference?  Scholarly minds would like to know.

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CFR that Pres Nelson has made that absurd claim.

https://bookofmormoncentral.org/blog/church-releases-statement-on-book-of-mormon-geography

I assume that the President is ok with the statement, above, that clearly states that the setting of the book is not known. 

Edited by Gervin

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On 2/2/2019 at 5:22 PM, carbon dioxide said:

Yep.  Nobody ever dies of cold in the Book of Mormon.  No wars are affected by snow or cold.  No battles are delayed due to a snow storm.  Weather issues was a big problem in WW2 in Europe.  Yet not really a problem in the Book of Mormon.  Suggests to me a more temperate climate.  I believe there is a passage that talks about it being hot.  Central America just fits better when I read the BOM. 

Nephi described the Tree of Life as white 

“...and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the “driven snow.” 1 Nephi 11:8  Earlier he wrote:

1 Nephi 8:11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruitthereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. (including driven snow)

Meaning Nephi had seen driven snow.

In addition he was writing on the plates about the past events in his life, not as they occurred, meaning he was in The Land of Promise when he wrote his record.

Here’s a photo form the 1800s per the date written on it.

14A3EFE2-B8ED-41B1-9DA8-C12A0C2D5913.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, Burnside said:

Nephi described the Tree of Life as white 

“...and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the “driven snow.” 1 Nephi 11:8  Earlier he wrote:

1 Nephi 8:11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruitthereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. (including driven snow)

Meaning Nephi had seen driven snow.

In addition he was writing on the plates about the past events in his life, not as they occurred, meaning he was in The Land of Promise when he wrote his record.

Here’s a photo form the 1800s per the date written on it.

14A3EFE2-B8ED-41B1-9DA8-C12A0C2D5913.jpeg

Nephi was from Jerusalem where they have snow

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11425189/Jerusalem-blanketed-with-snow-as-winter-storm-hits-Middle-East-in-pictures.html

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1 hour ago, Gervin said:

Gervin,

Book of Mormon Central (BMC) is not neutral despite their statement you linked to.

BMC’s legal organization is stated here:

https://bookofmormoncentral.org/about

The legal organization behind Book of Mormon Central is the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit public charity chartered in the state of Utah in 2004.”

BMC “bought or merged” with Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum. BMAF’s Mission Statement is here:

http://bmaf.org/about/mission_statement

The Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum (BMAF) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization dedicated as an open forum for presentation, dissemination, and discussion of research and evidences regarding Book of Mormon archaeology, anthropology, geography and culture within a Mesoamerican context.  Our goals are (1) to increase understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex, (2) to correlate and publish works of LDS and CofC scholars, (3) to help promote unity and cooperation among scholars and students of the Book of Mormon, and (4) to provide a forum where responsible scholars can present current ideas and discoveries. BMAF has no overhead. Funds received from donations are used 100% toward our stated goals.”

.........

This their official legal description for their 501(c)3 charitable corporation.

I added the bold and underline to prove Book of Mormon Central is not neutral in their geography. And noted they work with RLDS Scholars (now called Community of Christ or CofC).

I noted earlier on this discussion thread the 1924 book by RLDS Louise Edwards Hill, and the RLDS HA Stebbins BoM lectures and how their works are being plagiarized by LDS Scholars today.

 

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On 2/2/2019 at 4:50 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

I suppose, if one adheres to the plenary inspiration theory strongly enough, every utterance of a prophet is prophecy.  Of course, Joseph Smith himself said exactly the opposite:  "a prophet [is] a prophet only when he [is] acting as such” (History of the Church, V:265).  LDS prophecy is limited to actual prophetic utterances.  Nowhere do we have the Lord's assurance that Joseph knew anything about Book of Mormon geography via prophecy, or that LDS prophets are infallible.,

So your basis for a Book of Mormon geography theory is that Joseph Smith didn’t know what he was talking about.

That’s brilliant.

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Just now, clarkgoble said:

Yes they do. You should really at least make a Google search before making claims like that.

 

So you believe Nephi used the phrase “driven snow” that his descendants would never understand because they resided in Mesoamerica where there is no driven snow if any snow. That’s interesting.

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4 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Yes they do. Also here. That latter picture had 37 cm of snow. You should really at least make a Google search before making claims like that.

Jerusalem at the time of Nephi was closer to the ice age era and even colder than now where we're well into a heavy warming period.

Can't speak for Robert but I'd just point out that what one believes and what one knows aren't the same thing. It could well be that Neilson and Oaks believe in a mesoAmerican setting but don't think we know it for sure.

 

Why would two members of the First Presidency contradict Letter VII written by a member of The First Presidency, Oliver Cowdrey?

Have you heard of Letter VII?

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39 minutes ago, Burnside said:

Why would two members of the First Presidency contradict Letter VII written by a member of The First Presidency, Oliver Cowdrey?

Have you heard of Letter VII?

Because they don't see it as a revelation and because they are fallibilists. Particularly with respect to Cowdrey I think there are compelling reasons to distrust his views as somehow inerrant. Letter VI doesn't present itself as a revelation I'd note, but a letter between Cowdery and Phelps. It doesn't claim that the location is by explicit revelation but appears to be just an inference from where Joseph got the plates and the end of the Book of Mormon.

To turn things around, do you think members of the First Presidency are able to make human inferences from scripture or do you think everything they say is infallible? Particularly Oliver Cowdery because if you do I have lots of quotes you need to explain.

42 minutes ago, Burnside said:

So you believe Nephi used the phrase “driven snow” that his descendants would never understand because they resided in Mesoamerica where there is no driven snow if any snow. That’s interesting.

Not to state the obvious but 1 Nephi 11 happens before Nephi is even commanded to build a boat. He's had a partial vision of the promised land, but it's not clear that he'd be choosing his words based upon what he thinks his descendants will understand. 

But again to state the obvious it also snows in Guatamala and southern Mexico. The worst storm of the past 30 years actually happened June 4, 2016 where they got 14 feet of snow in the mountains. So again a Google here would be helpful before making claims. Also Guatamalas has mountains above 13,000' up to Chiapas in Mexico where there's frequently snow.

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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2 hours ago, Gervin said:

I don't have access to your intro and bibliography.  Just list the non-Mormon scholars who detected Egyptian influences in Mesoamerica.

Morris Swadesh and Pierre Agrinier Bach both demonstrated that the languages of Oaxaca, Mexico, were heavily Semitic, while Mary LeCron Foster argued that Mayan was related to Egyptian (as an Afro-Asiatic language).

2 hours ago, Gervin said:

Invoking the Bible is a non sequitur.  Your ad hominem attacks show the lack of charity that is part and parcel of your communication "style."  When did you last present your findings at a non-Mormon event or conference?  Scholarly minds would like to know.

Which scholarly minds?  Name one.  The Bible is an excellent analog, and I could use Homeric Epic in the same way.  The same rules apply worldwide.  Only someone who is not a scholar would not understand that.

2 hours ago, Gervin said:

https://bookofmormoncentral.org/blog/church-releases-statement-on-book-of-mormon-geography

I assume that the President is ok with the statement, above, that clearly states that the setting of the book is not known. 

Just as I suspected.  You made a deliberately false statement about Pres Nelson, and are not able to support it.  Under the rules of this board, you are required to admit that you have no evidence to back up that false statement.

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2 hours ago, Burnside said:

So you believe Nephi used the phrase “driven snow” that his descendants would never understand because they resided in Mesoamerica where there is no driven snow if any snow. That’s interesting.

CFR there is no snow in Mesoamerica. 

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