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Statement on Book of Mormon geography

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:21 AM, cdowis said:

The early Nephites may have, with their limited view, seen mesoamerica as an "island", but I cannot agree to use that term with our expanded  view of their location as being  part of a continent.

Anyway, Lehi and his family landed in the Americas.  This is my view and I'm sticking with it.   And you have given us  a plausible confirmation on my theory  on the connection regarding "Moroni" and "Cumorah".  So, option 1.

Every islander I know has once described the Americas as islands. Perhaps they do not mean too, and i am sure they know the difference, but it happens daily.

 

Edited by Anijen
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11 hours ago, Anijen said:

Every islander I know has once described the Americas as islands. Perhaps they do not mean too, and i am sure they know the difference, but it happens daily.

The internal Book of Mormon geography is seen as an island or a peninsula because Mormon states that the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla "were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward". (Alma 22:32) 

It's hard to identify any place on the American continent that fits this description.

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5 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

The internal Book of Mormon geography is seen as an island or a peninsula because Mormon states that the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla "were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward". (Alma 22:32) 

It's hard to identify any place on the American continent that fits this description.

Look at a map of mesoamerica, and make note of the  expansion to the "land northward".  For the Nephites it coulod be  considered "nearly" an island.

I don't think the Book of Mormon mentions "the sea northward".

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On 2/4/2019 at 7:15 PM, Brant Gardner said:

Full stop for a moment. Why should we believe that Joseph had a clear idea of Book of Mormon geography? He never said he did. All of his actions suggest that he was willing to take information from different sources if it might support the Book of Mormon. If we are to posit that Joseph knew precisely where it took place, do we then suggest that he neglected to tell anyone, and that all of the subsequent apostles (and especially those who became Prophet for the Church later) forgot what Joseph said? 

Are we really willing to say that Joseph kept this from everyone, and that subsequent leaders of the Church are mislead when they say there is no Church position? Must we really suggest that everyone intentionally ignored Joseph's teaching and then forgot them entirely? 

I find that very had to believe, given that there were people who had known Joseph who lived into (or at least almost into) the time when the Church started saying that there was no revealed geography.

As for a Book of Mormon geography being based on a theory that Joseph didn't know what he was talking about, that is an incorrect statement. A more clear statement would be that Book of Mormon geography is allowed to be a subject of speculation because Joseph didn't reveal the location. He knew what he was talking about--but he didn't talk about a defined Book of Mormon geography. 

You ignore Oliver Cowdery’s Eight Letters, which are now on JosephSmithPapers because Joseph Smith had them included as part of his personal history.

Bottom of page 68 to 69.

Letter IV: “He said this history was written and deposited not far from that place, ..”

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/68

Written and deposited. It was not written in Mesoamerica.

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On 2/4/2019 at 9:07 PM, Brant Gardner said:

Please give me the verse in the Book of Mormon that describes the plains of the Nephites so I can use it to anchor a geography of the text.

Not brilliant logic, but history. That is what happened. The most economical reading of Joseph was that he saw all of the Americas as a possible Book of Mormon land. When he found better evidence of civilization in Central America, he adopted it. Since he had never received revelation, and had never dictated the location, there was no reason not to. Certainly the Times and Seasons articles are quite clear that the Central American ruins were exciting--and even postulated that Quirigua was Zarahemla. Now, I know that the authorship of those are disputed, but what cannot be disputed is that Joseph made no attempt to correct it, and no apostle or subsequent prophet ever attempted to contradict them (or to confirm them--the Church has no official statement).

We are back to the issue of Joseph knowing the geography. I have laid out the fact that there is zero evidence that he knew. What are you telling me contrary to that? Sarcasm, but that doesn't really help. You indicate that Joseph saw Book of Mormon land in the US. Of course. That doesn't, and didn't, preclude him from seeing them elsewhere as well. Look at Orson Pratt's geography. Orson knew Joseph, and it would be reasonable that Joseph's ideas would be similar to Orson--maybe Orson got them from him (I really don't know). However, the fact remains that there is no evidence that Joseph had prophetic knowledge of Book of Mormon geography. If he did, then we have to explain how everyone who knew him forgot what he said.

It would help if you could at least accurately portray the ideas you disagree with. Joseph never identified any people as Nephites--and pretty much all Native Americans, regardless of their location, as Lamanites. I do agree that there was a time when LDS rhetoric was not sufficiently precise, and there were many who suggested that the Nephites became the Maya (though that really isn't clear in Sorenson's writings, I don't know where you derived that idea). It is more precise to say that they participated in Maya culture. It is much like saying that members of the Church in the United States are Americans. That is basically true, but very clearly not all Americans are members of the Church.

Again, you’ve ignored Letters I-VIII on JosephSmithPapers.

Letter VII

At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/90

The Church does have an official position on Book of Mormon geography, the location of the final battles being in New York at the Hill Cumorah. 

The Church does not have an official position on other locations of The Book of Mormon.

You conflate the two to claim the Hill Cumorah is in Mexico or thereabouts.

Joseph Smith also noted in the Wentworth Letter “the remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”

The Wentworth Letter was based on Pratt’s pamphlet were Pratt speculated on a hemispheric model.

Joseph Smith corrected it to “this country” when he wrote the Wentworth Letter.

Wentworth Letter 1842:

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/church-history-1-march-1842/1

Orson Pratt 1840:

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/appendix-orson-pratt-an-interesting-account-of-several-remarkable-visions-1840/1

“this country” is also mentioned in Letter IV as coming from the Angel Moroni:

He then proceeded and gave a general account of the promises made to the fathers, and also gave a history of the aborigenes of this country, and said they were literal descendants of Abraham

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/68

The Prophet Joseph Smith was not speculating. He was told by an Angel of God.

I apologize for the font size changes in my post. It’s difficult to keep them the same size, as I’m flat on my back in bed using my iPad, which is how simple and effortless this topic is.

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3 hours ago, Burnside said:

I apologize for the font size changes in my post. It’s difficult to keep them the same size, as I’m flat on my back in bed using my iPad, which is how simple and effortless this topic is.

Simple and effortless, if only the geography proposed in these papers and letters matched the descriptions in the Book of Mormon.

They do not match at all, making this a very complicated topic.

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13 hours ago, Burnside said:

You ignore Oliver Cowdery’s Eight Letters, which are now on JosephSmithPapers because Joseph Smith had them included as part of his personal history.

Bottom of page 68 to 69.

Letter IV: “He said this history was written and deposited not far from that place, ..”

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/68

Written and deposited. It was not written in Mesoamerica.

I'm really not ignoring anything. Oliver is a second-hand witness. The one person who could have settled this completely, Joseph, did not (until a decade or more later). No matter what Oliver said, you have to deal with the two essential facts: 1) Joseph didn't make the claim, and adopted it only after it was in common usage, and 2) no leader of the church after Joseph ever suggested that the Book of Mormon lands had been located.

There is no question that Joseph retrieved the plates from a hill that later came to be known as Cumorah. It appears historically likely that Oliver was the one to make that association, just as W.W. Phelps was responsible for the shift from seer stone/interpreters to urim and thummin. It is also quite clear that Oliver believed that the NY Cumorah was the Book of Mormon Cumorah, so it is unsurprising that anything he said would reflect that belief. Since we are dealing with second-hand information at best, and filtered through Oliver's understanding, his statement makes sense--without making it true.

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13 hours ago, Burnside said:

Again, you’ve ignored Letters I-VIII on JosephSmithPapers.

Letter VII

At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/90

The Church does have an official position on Book of Mormon geography, the location of the final battles being in New York at the Hill Cumorah. 

The Church does not have an official position on other locations of The Book of Mormon.

You conflate the two to claim the Hill Cumorah is in Mexico or thereabouts.

Joseph Smith also noted in the Wentworth Letter “the remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”

The Wentworth Letter was based on Pratt’s pamphlet were Pratt speculated on a hemispheric model.

Joseph Smith corrected it to “this country” when he wrote the Wentworth Letter.

Wentworth Letter 1842:

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/church-history-1-march-1842/1

Orson Pratt 1840:

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/appendix-orson-pratt-an-interesting-account-of-several-remarkable-visions-1840/1

“this country” is also mentioned in Letter IV as coming from the Angel Moroni:

He then proceeded and gave a general account of the promises made to the fathers, and also gave a history of the aborigenes of this country, and said they were literal descendants of Abraham

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/68

The Prophet Joseph Smith was not speculating. He was told by an Angel of God.

I apologize for the font size changes in my post. It’s difficult to keep them the same size, as I’m flat on my back in bed using my iPad, which is how simple and effortless this topic is.

The history of what early Saints believed is an interesting study. Joseph is one of those early Saints who also attempted to see the Book of Mormon in a real-world geography, and appears to have been open to lots off possibilities. Joseph himself was quite clear that not everything he ever said was prophetic, and pulling out statements without understanding the historical implications of them cannot make them a prophetic declaration. For example, we have the Wentworth Letter, which relies on Pratt's pamphlet. There is a change. Who made it? Joseph certainly wouldn't have copied it himself, since he had scribes to the writing any time he could. What evidence do we have that we have a prophetic change and not a copying error--even if we assume that Joseph is the source? 

If you are going to use history to make your case, it is imperative that you include the whole history and not only those small pieces that fit your thesis.

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On 2/12/2019 at 1:36 AM, Rajah Manchou said:

It's hard to identify any place on the American continent that fits this description.

Have you actually gone to mesoamerica and traveled around, or are you simply looking at a map.  You cannot go southward -- the Lamanites, you know.

Image result for book mormon geography path analysis

Edited by cdowis

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6 hours ago, cdowis said:

Have you actually gone to mesoamerica and traveled around, or are you simply looking at a map.  You cannot go southward -- the Lamanites, you know.

Image result for book mormon geography path analysis

I have gone. It is just as easy to go southward as it would be to go northward.
There's no place in Mesoamerica that anyone would stand and think, hey I'm almost completely surrounded by water, except for that one narrow neck of land to my north.

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On 2/11/2019 at 12:27 PM, Anijen said:
 
Quote

The early Nephites may have, with their limited view, seen mesoamerica as an "island", but I cannot agree to use that term with our expanded  view of their location as being  part of a continent.

Anyway, Lehi and his family landed in the Americas.  This is my view and I'm sticking with it.   And you have given us  a plausible confirmation on my theory  on the connection regarding "Moroni" and "Cumorah".  So, option 1.

Every islander I know has once described the Americas as islands. Perhaps they do not mean too, and i am sure they know the difference, but it happens daily.

 

On 2/11/2019 at 11:36 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

The internal Book of Mormon geography is seen as an island or a peninsula because Mormon states that the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla "were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward". (Alma 22:32) 

It's hard to identify any place on the American continent that fits this description.

The problem is that biblical Hebrew and ancient Egyptian linguistic experts have determined that the cognate Afro-Asiatic word for "isle, island," actually has a much broader meaning, including "coastland, firm-land," and the like.  One can see that in E. A. Speiser's comment on Genesis 10:5 (Anchor Bible, I:66), or in the New Jerusalem Bible translation of Isaiah 42:15, etc.  So too, Miriam Lichtheim's comments on "isles" in the story of Sinuhe (Ancient Egyptian Literature, I:224,233).  Thus, despite the impression given by 2 Nephi 10:20, one must deal with the real world usage of such terms.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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On 2/17/2019 at 8:51 AM, Brant Gardner said:

I'm really not ignoring anything. Oliver is a second-hand witness. The one person who could have settled this completely, Joseph, did not (until a decade or more later). No matter what Oliver said, you have to deal with the two essential facts: 1) Joseph didn't make the claim, and adopted it only after it was in common usage, and 2) no leader of the church after Joseph ever suggested that the Book of Mormon lands had been located.

There is no question that Joseph retrieved the plates from a hill that later came to be known as Cumorah. It appears historically likely that Oliver was the one to make that association, just as W.W. Phelps was responsible for the shift from seer stone/interpreters to urim and thummin. It is also quite clear that Oliver believed that the NY Cumorah was the Book of Mormon Cumorah, so it is unsurprising that anything he said would reflect that belief. Since we are dealing with second-hand information at best, and filtered through Oliver's understanding, his statement makes sense--without making it true.

Yep, That’s the basis of the Mesoamerica geography theory you support at your work with Book of Mormon Central and MormonInterpreter. I’ve noticed you work for both associations, not to be accusatory, but an observation anyone can make.

I only mention your association with these two organizations because it’s interesting how this article at Interpreter:

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-geology-of-moronis-stone-box-examining-the-setting-and-resources-of-palmyra/#more-13743

..will use Oliver Cowdery’s description of Moroni’s stone box from Letter VIII, but ignores Oliver Cowdery’s Letter VII when he wrote the final Jaredite and Nephite battles were at the Hill Cumorah in New York.

You use Oliver Cowdery as a first-hand witness for Moroni’s stone box, but claim he’s a second-witness for the location of the original Hill Cumorah.

How is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supposed to respond to that type of logic?

Oliver Cowdery helped write down the majority of The Book of Mormon as Joseph Smith translated it; he with Joseph Smith received the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods from the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, he was the second Elder of the Chruch, an Apostle, one of the six original members when the Church was founded per the laws of the State of New York, one of the Three Witnesses who saw the Angel Moroni and the Gold Plates and heard the voice of God saying the translation was correct, the Three Witnesses including Oliver Cowdery were told by the Lord to choose the first Twelve Apostles of this dispensation which they did and ordained them as Apostles, was present with Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple when the Lord appeared to them (D&C 110:2 We saw the Lord) and Moses, Elijas and Elijah restoring the Priesthood keys for the Gathering of Israel, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, and the Priesthood keys of sealing children to parents and husband and wives to each other, was 

And every holder of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods including our current Prophet and President of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson, can trace their Priesthood Line of Authority through the Three Witnesses, Oliver Cowdery being the only one of the three who received the Priesthood from John the Baptist and Peter, James and John....

Despite all the above, you claim Oliver Cowdery was a “second-hand witness” as to the location of the final Jaredite and Nephite battles at the Hill Cumorah in New York as he described in Letter VII found currently at JosephPapers.org which are on that site because Joseph Smith asked these eight letters to be included in his personal history, meaning the Prophet Joseph Smith approved of them.

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On 2/17/2019 at 8:58 AM, Brant Gardner said:

The history of what early Saints believed is an interesting study. Joseph is one of those early Saints who also attempted to see the Book of Mormon in a real-world geography, and appears to have been open to lots off possibilities. Joseph himself was quite clear that not everything he ever said was prophetic, and pulling out statements without understanding the historical implications of them cannot make them a prophetic declaration. For example, we have the Wentworth Letter, which relies on Pratt's pamphlet. There is a change. Who made it? Joseph certainly wouldn't have copied it himself, since he had scribes to the writing any time he could. What evidence do we have that we have a prophetic change and not a copying error--even if we assume that Joseph is the source? 

If you are going to use history to make your case, it is imperative that you include the whole history and not only those small pieces that fit your thesis.

see my post above. 

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1 hour ago, Burnside said:

Yep, That’s the basis of the Mesoamerica geography theory you support at your work with Book of Mormon Central and MormonInterpreter. I’ve noticed you work for both associations, not to be accusatory, but an observation anyone can make.

Your information is correct.

Quote

Despite all the above, you claim Oliver Cowdery was a “second-hand witness” as to the location of the final Jaredite and Nephite battles at the Hill Cumorah in New York as he described in Letter VII found currently at JosephPapers.org which are on that site because Joseph Smith asked these eight letters to be included in his personal history, meaning the Prophet Joseph Smith approved of them.

If feels as though you are not aware of what a second-hand witness is. It means someone who heard the information from someone else. That doesn't make them unreliable. It means that we usually have to do some verification. If they are generally a good source, they can be accepted for what they are saying. However, if there is evidence that contradicts what they are suggesting, then the strong possibility is that in that thing where we have contradictory evidence, the second-hand witness is not as strong as we would like.

The case for Oliver and the naming of the NY hill as Cumorah is one of those cases. We have it early from Oliver, but not from Joseph--even when Joseph is talking about the same hill. That happens for close to a decade, where Joseph didn't use Cumorah, but Oliver (and increasingly the whole of the community) began using Cumorah. Since there is no evidence that Oliver received revelation on the topic, we have to look at who his source might have been. The only one who could declare the name from revelation was Joseph--but that would be hard to conclude since Joseph himself didn't use that name.

So, you are incorrect that I am discounting the validity of everything that Oliver said. I am saying that he didn't get the information from Moroni, and the case for getting it from Joseph is contradicted by Joseph's avoidance of the name when discussing the hill.

Yes, Oliver said it was Cumorah. No, that doesn't mean that Joseph did, and the evidence is that he didn't. 

Therefore, it seems to be a name that Oliver applied, and it was picked up. Citing Oliver on the topic does not establish that the hill was Cumorah, only that Oliver called it that by the time he wrote those letters (and I suspect earlier).

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1 hour ago, Brant Gardner said:

Your information is correct.

If feels as though you are not aware of what a second-hand witness is. It means someone who heard the information from someone else. That doesn't make them unreliable. It means that we usually have to do some verification. If they are generally a good source, they can be accepted for what they are saying. However, if there is evidence that contradicts what they are suggesting, then the strong possibility is that in that thing where we have contradictory evidence, the second-hand witness is not as strong as we would like.

The case for Oliver and the naming of the NY hill as Cumorah is one of those cases. We have it early from Oliver, but not from Joseph--even when Joseph is talking about the same hill. That happens for close to a decade, where Joseph didn't use Cumorah, but Oliver (and increasingly the whole of the community) began using Cumorah. Since there is no evidence that Oliver received revelation on the topic, we have to look at who his source might have been. The only one who could declare the name from revelation was Joseph--but that would be hard to conclude since Joseph himself didn't use that name.

So, you are incorrect that I am discounting the validity of everything that Oliver said. I am saying that he didn't get the information from Moroni, and the case for getting it from Joseph is contradicted by Joseph's avoidance of the name when discussing the hill.

Yes, Oliver said it was Cumorah. No, that doesn't mean that Joseph did, and the evidence is that he didn't. 

Therefore, it seems to be a name that Oliver applied, and it was picked up. Citing Oliver on the topic does not establish that the hill was Cumorah, only that Oliver called it that by the time he wrote those letters (and I suspect earlier).

Oliver Cowdery received the information about the final Jaredite and Nephite battles in Letter VII from Joseph Smith!

In Letter I, Oliver Cowdey wrote:

“That our narrative may be correct, and particularly the introduction, it is proper to inform our patrons, that our brother J. Smith Jr. has offered to assist us. Indeed, there are many items connected with the fore part of this subject that render his labor indispensible. With his labor and with authentic documents now in our possession, we hope to render this a pleasing and agreeable narrative, well worth the examination and perusal of the Saints.”

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1834-1836/48

Letter I states The Prophet Joseph Smith assisted Oliver Cowdery in writing the History of the Church 

Letter IV states the Angel Moroni told Joseph Smith that the record was both written and deposited near his home.

Letter VII states the final Jaredite and Nephite battles occurred in the valley west of the Hill Cumorah in New York.

So by your own words, Bro. Gardner, you just destroyed the Mesoamerica Book of Mormon geography theory that you and others for years have been promoting. Because Oliver Cowdery relied upon the Prophet Joseph Smith to write the Eight Letters published in the Messenger and Advocate.

At then end of JSH in the PoGP, the words by Oliver Cowdery also come from Letter I:

“Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, ......... “

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Mormon and Moroni ought to count as important eye-witnesses.

And no citation of any opinions from Cowdery or Joseph Smith should ignore the statement regarding the authority of God's servants in D&C 1

Quote

Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, ...

 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;

27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;

28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

If they actually knew, and did not, as some ancient apostles and just suppose the knew, despite not showing any detailed evidence of studying it out in their minds and searching, and then asking (3 Nephi 15:18-23), and if they recieved a formal revelation that all subsequent prophets and apostles seem to have overlooked, they where is there an accounting for what Mormon and Moroni, as eye witnesses, left us.   One thing I notice about the Washburns, and Sperry, and Sorenson, and Palmer, and Clark and Larry Poulson, is they actually consider and account for what Mormon and Moroni gave us.   I have many many times seen these quotes trotted out, but never have those doing the trotting suppliment their quotes with any serious confrontation that accounts for the testimony of those who actually walked and saw and lived the Book of Mormon narrative.  Those statements are the source of the difference we have.  If you actually believe the Book of Mormon, then let's see a comprehensive and detailed accounting for what we have in scripture.  Ignoring those details also ignores the source of the problem.  So tossing out the same resources that also avoids confronting the actual scriptural accounts is going to be just as impotent as the last thousand attempts.

One famous detail regarding translation is that Joseph didn't know that Jerusalem had walls.  When the quesition came up, they had someone get a book and look it up.  No angels were involved.  Much later,  in Nauvoo, when Joseph read Stephens's Incidents of Travel, he was notably impressed, said so, and encouraged the LDS to make appropriate comparisons.   He did not settle the question by appealing to personal revelation on that topic.

The statement that Cowdery gave describing the events of the Book of Mormon translation does not necessarily apply to describing the historical letters he wrote, nor does he give equal authority to every letter, but "the fore part."  And as Matt Roper and Richard L. Anderson seperately showed, a big part of the help was the 1832 history.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA  

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6 hours ago, Burnside said:

Yep, That’s the basis of the Mesoamerica geography theory you support at your work with Book of Mormon Central and MormonInterpreter. I’ve noticed you work for both associations, not to be accusatory, but an observation anyone can make.

I only mention your association with these two organizations because it’s interesting how this article at Interpreter:

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-geology-of-moronis-stone-box-examining-the-setting-and-resources-of-palmyra/#more-13743

..will use Oliver Cowdery’s description of Moroni’s stone box from Letter VIII, but ignores Oliver Cowdery’s Letter VII when he wrote the final Jaredite and Nephite battles were at the Hill Cumorah in New York.

Using the fallacy of guilt by association is simply wrong, Burnside.  Gardner's reasoning is unimpeachable, and you should deal with those arguments, rather than inventing the false notion that he is employed by those organizations.  He is employed by neither.

6 hours ago, Burnside said:

You use Oliver Cowdery as a first-hand witness for Moroni’s stone box, but claim he’s a second-witness for the location of the original Hill Cumorah.

How is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supposed to respond to that type of logic?

Oliver Cowdery helped write down the majority of The Book of Mormon as Joseph Smith translated it; he with Joseph Smith received the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods from the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, he was the second Elder of the Chruch, an Apostle, one of the six original members when the Church was founded per the laws of the State of New York, one of the Three Witnesses who saw the Angel Moroni and the Gold Plates and heard the voice of God saying the translation was correct, the Three Witnesses including Oliver Cowdery were told by the Lord to choose the first Twelve Apostles of this dispensation which they did and ordained them as Apostles, was present with Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple when the Lord appeared to them (D&C 110:2 We saw the Lord) and Moses, Elijas and Elijah restoring the Priesthood keys for the Gathering of Israel, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, and the Priesthood keys of sealing children to parents and husband and wives to each other, was 

And every holder of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods including our current Prophet and President of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson, can trace their Priesthood Line of Authority through the Three Witnesses, Oliver Cowdery being the only one of the three who received the Priesthood from John the Baptist and Peter, James and John....

Despite all the above, you claim Oliver Cowdery was a “second-hand witness” as to the location of the final Jaredite and Nephite battles at the Hill Cumorah in New York as he described in Letter VII found currently at JosephPapers.org which are on that site because Joseph Smith asked these eight letters to be included in his personal history, meaning the Prophet Joseph Smith approved of them.

You clearly buy into the false notion of infallibility of LDS leaders only in order to vaunt their wrong and late opinions into something like authoritative doctrine.  They made the same sort of mistake any one of us might have made under the same circumstances.  And you appear to have blindly followed them into that same fever swamp of credulity only for the sake of argument?  Looks like an instance of old fashioned filibustering by you, Burnside.

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53 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Using the fallacy of guilt by association is simply wrong, Burnside.  Gardner's reasoning is unimpeachable, and you should deal with those arguments, rather than inventing the false notion that he is employed by those organizations.  He is employed by neither.

You clearly buy into the false notion of infallibility of LDS leaders only in order to vaunt their wrong and late opinions into something like authoritative doctrine.  They made the same sort of mistake any one of us might have made under the same circumstances.  And you appear to have blindly followed them into that same fever swamp of credulity only for the sake of argument?  Looks like an instance of old fashioned filibustering by you, Burnside.

Amazing logic: A Book of Mormon Geography theory plagiarized from an RLDS (Apostate) author makes LDS leaders fallible.

Maybe a picture book will help you:

1924 published in Independence, MO by a member of the RLDS Church:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89058377359;view=2up;seq=58;skin=mobile

2013 published by a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/from-the-east-to-the-west-the-problem-of-directions-in-the-book-of-mormon/

1AE64423-C724-4178-BE01-F25E3058EBB2.jpeg

F44C2BAB-A090-4DCD-BCBF-6506A82EA33B.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Burnside said:

Amazing logic: A Book of Mormon Geography theory plagiarized from an RLDS (Apostate) author makes LDS leaders fallible.

Maybe a picture book will help you:

1924 published in Independence, MO by a member of the RLDS Church: .................................

Once again, in typical anti-intellectual fashion, you falsify history, positing that those pesky Mormons must have been in contact with some RLDS persons, all without any evidence, mind you.  Had you simply read the BofM and carefully noted the distances traveled between various cities, it would have become evident to you (without any prompting) that the area had to be very small.  That's how inductive logic works, Burnside.  Do you even bother to consider other POVs?

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On 2/17/2019 at 7:51 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

I have gone. It is just as easy to go southward as it would be to go northward.

Nothing personal, but this is a stunning admission that  you are unfamiliar with the text of the Book of Mormon -- the geopolitics, the very basics such as the relationship of the  Lamanites vs the Nephites, the geographic location of the Lamanites, etc. 
And you speak with such certainty  of your ignorance of such "minor" details that we have no common ground for a discussion..

 

Edited by cdowis

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2 hours ago, cdowis said:

Nothing personal, but this is a stunning admission that  you are unfamiliar with the text of the Book of Mormon -- the geopolitics, the very basics such as the relationship of the  Lamanites vs the Nephites, the geographic location of the Lamanites, etc. 

And you speak with such certainty  of your ignorance of such "minor" details that we have no common ground for a discussion..

I'm not Robert Smith or Brant Gardner-level familiar with the text, but I've read enough to be eligible for discussion, I hope. Looks like you caught the flaw in your edited comment. Going south didn't always mean war. Nephites did go south, all the way to Lehi-Nephi and the Land of Ishmael. Adventurers and missionaries from Zarahemla would have known whether or not the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, apart from one small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. Mesoamerica doesn't fit this understanding Mormon would have had.

Edited by Rajah Manchou

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15 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Once again, in typical anti-intellectual fashion, you falsify history, positing that those pesky Mormons must have been in contact with some RLDS persons, all without any evidence, mind you.  Had you simply read the BofM and carefully noted the distances traveled between various cities, it would have become evident to you (without any prompting) that the area had to be very small.  That's how inductive logic works, Burnside.  Do you even bother to consider other POVs?

I posted evidence earlier.

Book of Mormon Central merged with BMAF and they work with CofC scholars-even today. RLDS = CofC.  They so state on their websites or one of them. I believe BMAF where it states the purpose of its 501(c)(3) - you know for the IRS.

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1 hour ago, Burnside said:

I posted evidence earlier.

Your evidence was empty and meaningless.  It did not support your false claims.

1 hour ago, Burnside said:

Book of Mormon Central merged with BMAF and they work with CofC scholars-even today. RLDS = CofC.  They so state on their websites or one of them. I believe BMAF where it states the purpose of its 501(c)(3) - you know for the IRS.

Before the existence of BMC, BMAF did indeed invite some RLDS Book of Mormon believers to participate in annual meetings here in Utah.  Most of that was at my suggestion because I had some RLDS friends -- most of whom have since left the RLDS Church (since then known as the Community of Christ, which has abandoned many of the Restoration distinctives).  However, most of that took place in very recent decades, long after Sorenson and FARMS had reached completely independent conclusions.  If anything, we influenced the RLDS members, few of whom knew anything about archeology or anthropology (with the exception of the late Ray Treat and Shirley Heater).  Your chronology is upside down and backwards, Burnside. 

Had you lived in Missouri back in those days, as i did, you could have stopped by once in a while and I could have explained the facts of life to you.  You could have gotten a ride with me to the John Whitmer Historical Assoc annual meetings, or to the regular meetings of the FRAA (Foundation for Research on Ancient America)  -- both RLDS ventures.

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40 minutes ago, Burnside said:

I posted evidence earlier.

Book of Mormon Central merged with BMAF and they work with CofC scholars-even today. RLDS = CofC.  They so state on their websites or one of them. I believe BMAF where it states the purpose of its 501(c)(3) - you know for the IRS.

Burnside, please help me understand. Are you implying that Brant Gardner, John Sorenson, and other contributors should NOT be credible because they have written for these non-profit agencies? Are you facialy stating John Sorenson plagiarized from the book New Light on American Archaeology?  Have you not considered a sea on the west and a sea on the east could be designated "West Sea" and East Sea" independently without plagiarization?

Do you accept any later theories that Joseph and other church leaders may have changed or adopted (such as the letter to John Bernhisel (november 16, 1842)? Or, do you hold fast to Oliver's opinion in the Letter V, written seven years eight months earlier? These letters do not show an official position on Book of Mormon geography but the personal opinion of Oliver Cowdery. 

On 2/16/2019 at 8:27 PM, Burnside said:

The Church does have an official position on Book of Mormon geography, the location of the final battles being in New York at the Hill Cumorah. 

The Church does not have an official position on the setting geography of the Church. If you feel that Oliver Cowdery's letters are equal to an "official position" then you would be in error, including official declarations from the Church that it does not hold any such position. History of the Church and the Joseph Smith Papers are a collection of history not equal to an official position."

Quote

The Church does not have an official position on other locations of The Book of Mormon.

Neither do they have an "official position" of Cumorah more than that is were the plates were retrieved by Joseph Smith.

 

Quote

Joseph Smith also noted in the Wentworth Letter “the remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”

As shown in Letter 5, Joseph was referring to the inhabitants of this country as literal descendants of Abraham. No where does Joseph say the aborigines or remnant are Lamanites or Nephites. 

 

Quote

The Wentworth Letter was based on Pratt’s pamphlet were Pratt speculated on a hemispheric model.

"speculated" is a correct word to use here. The hemispheric model was the accepted and only geographic model at that time. Ideas, theories will (and have) change over time as new information is learned. However, even using a hemispheric model is evidence of the popular thought that South America and Central America was included. Why would they be included? Are you saying the official church position is the Book of Mormon included other countries other than the US 

 

Quote

The Prophet Joseph Smith was not speculating. He was told by an Angel of God.

You are quoting Oliver Cowdery's opinion, who was quoting Joseph Smith, who was quoting Moroni. Brother, that is considered speculation.

From lds.org:

  • “Though there are several plausible hypotheses regarding the geographic locations of Book of Mormon events, the Church takes no official position except that the events occurred in the Americas.” here
  • “We can allow for the reality that God is still more concerned with growth than with geography." here
  • "The sacred writings chronicle God's dealings with his people in the western hemisphere centuries ago." here 
  • " Summarize Alma 22:27–35 by explaining that Mormon, the Nephite prophet who abridged and compiled the Book of Mormon, described the geography of the land where the Nephites and Lamanites lived." here 
  • "Church leadership officially and consistently distances itself from issues regarding Book of Mormon geography in order to focus attention on the spiritual message of the book" here
  • "You may want to point out that the precise locations of places mentioned in the Book of Mormon are unknown today." here
  • "DNA studies are also speculative. In short, DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon." here

 

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21 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Once again, in typical anti-intellectual fashion, you falsify history, positing that those pesky Mormons must have been in contact with some RLDS persons, all without any evidence, mind you.  Had you simply read the BofM and carefully noted the distances traveled between various cities, it would have become evident to you (without any prompting) that the area had to be very small.  That's how inductive logic works, Burnside.  Do you even bother to consider other POVs?

Yes. I considered the Prophet Joseph Smith’s POV.

He was around before the Stephen and Catherwood travel book and those RLDS persons.

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