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Rajah Manchou

Ancestors of Navajo Arrive by Boat around 3000-2000 BC

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6 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The thing about the Olsen-Manchou model is that it is tied to archeological and mythological facts from SE Asia, some of which could easily have been acquired by early explorers from Holland.  That is why one theorist likes to conjure up Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) as a key player in the entire enterprise, and why I have suggested Dr John Dee (1527-1609).  Somehow, we must account for the EModE text.  However, that may create more problems than it solves (like spooky action at a distance in quantum physics).  Which approach would you take, Clark?

I take immeasurable and irreparable offense at the words conjure up. ;) It suggests there is nothing but sleight of hand or trickery behind the theory. How about hypothesize instead?

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1 hour ago, JarMan said:

I take immeasurable and irreparable offense at the words conjure up. ;) It suggests there is nothing but sleight of hand or trickery behind the theory. How about hypothesize instead?

Sorry about that infelicitous choice.  You are correct.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The thing about the Olsen-Manchou model is that it is tied to archeological and mythological facts from SE Asia, some of which could easily have been acquired by early explorers from Holland.  That is why JarMan likes to hypothesize Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) as a key player in the entire enterprise, and why I have suggested Dr John Dee (1527-1609).  Somehow, we must account for the EModE text.  However, that may create more problems than it solves (like spooky action at a distance in quantum physics).  Which approach would you take, Clark?

All the models have pretty big problems. I find Mesoamerica has the least number of problems but what remains is pretty glaring still. I think the strength of the Mesoamerica model is that it can explain the transmission and promises better. After all Moroni wandering after the last battle in Mexico makes a lot of sense, particularly if he is led where to go. A long sea voyage from Thailand seems a bit more of an ask. Likewise the promises of the Book of Mormon being for all the Americas makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure how to wrap that into Thailand.  An authentic angel from Thailand does make much more sense than someone taking these elements, writing a book and giving it to Joseph. Along the same lines the problem with Grotius is I have a very hard time seeing him writing a magnum opus like this with no one knowing about it. Further how it got from Grotius or a contemporary to Joseph makes no sense to me.

However as I said there are some obvious problems with Mesoamerica - metals being the biggest one.

Of course until some sort of positive evidence pops up I try and keep an open mind. I'm certainly not wedded to Mesoamerica. But it just seems the most plausible to me - particularly given how common semantic drift of signifiers is in reality. I think the reason most have trouble with Mesoamerica is because that semantic drift seems unbelievable to them. However enough Spanish writings about America show it that I think it actually explains a lot.

And to me the fraud model, while supported by the nature of the text, simultaneously seems implausible precisely because of the nature of the borrowing. A person planning a fraud just wouldn't quote the KJV that much. That'd include Grotius as much as Joseph Smith honestly. Then the actions of Joseph, particularly the first 10 years, makes no sense to me if it's a fraud. I know the arguments there - that he got in over his head, that he just kept building it up, but I just find it as fantastical as I know some find angels and plates fantastical.

Edited by clarkgoble
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

A long sea voyage from Thailand seems a bit more of an ask.

Getting the treasure and text to New York by sea voyage is a problem in any model. The difference is that it would have been far easier to transport the gold plates, the Urim and Thummim, the breastplate, the sword of Laban, and the Liahona at any point between 420 AD and 1830.

The technology for such a voyage did not exist in the 6th century BC, but we know that as Moroni began his wanderings, people were crossing the Pacific from the Malay Archipelago to within 2000 miles of South America.

If a long sea voyage seems improbable after 420 AD, how do you propose the treasure gets to South America in 600 BC?

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

All the models have pretty big problems. I find Mesoamerica has the least number of problems but what remains is pretty glaring still. I think the strength of the Mesoamerica model is that it can explain the transmission and promises better. After all Moroni wandering after the last battle in Mexico makes a lot of sense, particularly if he is led where to go. A long sea voyage from Thailand seems a bit more of an ask. Likewise the promises of the Book of Mormon being for all the Americas makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure how to wrap that into Thailand.  An authentic angel from Thailand does make much more sense than someone taking these elements, writing a book and giving it to Joseph. Along the same lines the problem with Grotius is I have a very hard time seeing him writing a magnum opus like this with no one knowing about it. Further how it got from Grotius or a contemporary to Joseph makes no sense to me.

However as I said there are some obvious problems with Mesoamerica - metals being the biggest one.

Of course until some sort of positive evidence pops up I try and keep an open mind. I'm certainly not wedded to Mesoamerica. But it just seems the most plausible to me - particularly given how common semantic drift of signifiers is in reality. I think the reason most have trouble with Mesoamerica is because that semantic drift seems unbelievable to them. However enough Spanish writings about America show it that I think it actually explains a lot.

And to me the fraud model, while supported by the nature of the text, simultaneously seems implausible precisely because of the nature of the borrowing. A person planning a fraud just wouldn't quote the KJV that much. That'd include Grotius as much as Joseph Smith honestly. Then the actions of Joseph, particularly the first 10 years, makes no sense to me if it's a fraud. I know the arguments there - that he got in over his head, that he just kept building it up, but I just find it as fantastical as I know some find angels and plates fantastical.

We don't really know that nobody knew about it. I would think his brother, William, who often assisted Hugo in research and editing would have been a collaborator. William may have even finished the work after his brother's untimely death. The Book of Moroni genuinely seems to me to have been written by a different author. And then there would have needed to be an English translator. There are several candidates from with the Great Tew Circle. How it would have gotten from Grotius to Joseph is indeed a puzzle. I have invented several silly explanations but they are, as I said, just silly inventions.

I actually think the infusion of biblical material speaks in favor of Grotius. What he considered his own magnum opus was a lengthy commentary on the bible finished near the end of his life. (I have not been able to find an English translation yet but I would really love to do a side-by-side comparison.) Almost all of his major writings are chock full of biblical references. As a pre-enlightenment scholar it was essential to show biblical support for his ideas.

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10 hours ago, JarMan said:

 The Book of Moroni genuinely seems to me to have been written by a different author.

The text itself says that Mormon had no hand in the text either of Moroni or Ether, but only Moroni (except for the letters from Mormon to Moroni).  So there's that.

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12 hours ago, USU78 said:

The text itself says that Mormon had no hand in the text either of Moroni or Ether, but only Moroni (except for the letters from Mormon to Moroni).  So there's that.

Yes. The Book of Moroni seems to have genuinely been written by a different individual. It's as if Mormon died and Moroni went through some of Mormon's notes and was like, hey, there are all of these procedural things that you left out. I better just stick them here. So we get basic church operations, sacrament prayers, priesthood ordinations and hey, you forgot to tell us what Christ said to his disciples when he set them apart. I better put that in here. And oh look, we've got a sermon and a couple of letters. I better throw them in, too. Now I'll give my own sermon to finish the record and DONE!

I'm exploring an early modern hypothesis. In this early modern fantasy world the main writer dies toward the end of finishing the work. Maybe he has finished a "final draft" that his editor (who happens to be his brother) is reviewing. The editor brother has discovered some important omissions that he would like his writer brother to go back and weave into the narrative. But when the writer brother dies unexpectedly the editor brother decides to just append them to the end of the story rather than attempting to alter the main body of the work. Then he finishes with his own final words and DONE!

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6 hours ago, JarMan said:

Yes. The Book of Moroni seems to have genuinely been written by a different individual. It's as if Mormon died and Moroni went through some of Mormon's notes and was like, hey, there are all of these procedural things that you left out. I better just stick them here. So we get basic church operations, sacrament prayers, priesthood ordinations and hey, you forgot to tell us what Christ said to his disciples when he set them apart. I better put that in here. And oh look, we've got a sermon and a couple of letters. I better throw them in, too. Now I'll give my own sermon to finish the record and DONE!

I'm exploring an early modern hypothesis. In this early modern fantasy world the main writer dies toward the end of finishing the work. Maybe he has finished a "final draft" that his editor (who happens to be his brother) is reviewing. The editor brother has discovered some important omissions that he would like his writer brother to go back and weave into the narrative. But when the writer brother dies unexpectedly the editor brother decides to just append them to the end of the story rather than attempting to alter the main body of the work. Then he finishes with his own final words and DONE!

There's a USU Master's thesis from the late 30s that pretty much said that, though not so kindly, from Moyle Q Rice. He was a Prof of mine, Bible as Lit, in the 70s.

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1 hour ago, USU78 said:

There's a USU Master's thesis from the late 30s that pretty much said that, though not so kindly, from Moyle Q Rice. He was a Prof of mine, Bible as Lit, in the 70s.

Interesting. Who did he think produced the Book of Mormon?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2019 at 12:23 AM, JarMan said:

We don't really know that nobody knew about it. I would think his brother, William, who often assisted Hugo in research and editing would have been a collaborator. William may have even finished the work after his brother's untimely death. The Book of Moroni genuinely seems to me to have been written by a different author.

I guess I'm more saying that the Book of Mormon would have been a substantial undertaking and thereby a rather notable text. It's unlikely in my view that they wouldn't have discussed it with many people and yet simultaneously be completely unknown to scholars. Since this is a place where solid data is possible with a rather famous figure, I think hard data is necessary to make it persuasive. 

On 6/11/2019 at 11:21 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

Getting the treasure and text to New York by sea voyage is a problem in any model. The difference is that it would have been far easier to transport the gold plates, the Urim and Thummim, the breastplate, the sword of Laban, and the Liahona at any point between 420 AD and 1830.

Well it's not a problem for the mesoAmerican, south American or Great Lakes models of course.  I think one also has to explain why Joseph became so confused on the location. Of course that's the main (and arguably one of the few) reason for the Great Lakes model. However I think the mesoAmerican model can explain that well also. It seems to be a very big challenge for Asian models.

Edited by clarkgoble

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2 hours ago, JarMan said:

Interesting. Who did he think produced the Book of Mormon?

Joseph. Probably. He didn't care who.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Well it's not a problem for the mesoAmerican, south American or Great Lakes models of course. 

The sea voyages across the Pacific and Atlantic are a big problem for the Mesoamerican, South American and Great Lakes models. If not the biggest problems.

The Asian model doesn't take for granted that sea voyages from the Arabian Sea to the Americas were possible previous to the 5th century BC. It is however certain that these migrations were possible to the Malay Archipelago, and there's evidence that three BoM-like voyages took place at the right times:

  • Grandson of Noah named Amur leads a group called the Kumr from the Arabian Sea to the Malay Peninsula in boats resembling Noah's Ark. Supported by accounts in SE Asia that a group led by a Morian named Marayu arrived 2600 BC and established a kingdom that flourished in a land known as Rahma for 1800 years. 
  • An exiled prince from the Near East named Kambu, a variant of Old Persian and Aramaic Cambyses, sails with his party from the Arabian Sea to the northern Malay Peninsula. Supported by the first archeological sites appearing in the region of Khao Sam Kaew dating to the 5th century BC.
  • A trader has a divine vision and wakes up to find divine instruments to take on a sea voyage. God controls the winds to lead his vessel to the Malay Peninsula. Supported by archeological evidence of the first iron-age civilization appearing in Kedah in 582 BC. The founder of Kedah is a warrior chief named Maroni.

All these historical accounts date to the Book of Mormon time period and there is archeological evidence to support them, including populations with ANE DNA.

How do you propose the brass plates and the Sword of Laban that was found in the stone box got from Jerusalem to the Americas in 500 BC? Is there any evidence such a voyage occurred, or was even possible?

In the Asian model, Moroni gets to Western NY in the same way that Peter, James and John get to Western NY. Boat not required.

Edited by Rajah Manchou

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I guess I'm more saying that the Book of Mormon would have been a substantial undertaking and thereby a rather notable text. It's unlikely in my view that they wouldn't have discussed it with many people and yet simultaneously be completely unknown to scholars. Since this is a place where solid data is possible with a rather famous figure, I think hard data is necessary to make it persuasive.

Certain historical evidence, if it existed, could be definitive. We actually have more than 8,000 letters to or from Grotius as well as his extensive published writings. It is all published and indexed on the web. However, almost everything is written in Latin, French, or Dutch. Only a very small portion of his letters have been translated into English.

What makes you think he would have told people about this rather than keeping it on the  DL? I would guess he'd keep it secret outside of one or two close associates or family members. Whatever his motives might have been I don't think he'd want people to know he had written it.

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So where in Malaysia will the New Jerusalem be built?  An when do we scrap the 10th Article of Faith?

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11 hours ago, Balinaka said:

So where in Malaysia will the New Jerusalem be built?  An when do we scrap the 10th Article of Faith?

Why would you need to scrap the 10th Article of Faith?

Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built by the remnant of the Tribe of Menasseh. Some presently live in a small stretch of land between Bangladesh and Myanmar called Zoram. Zom or Zomi, is the tribal name of these people.

Coincidentally, Joseph Smith claimed the original term for Zion was Zom, and he etched the word Zom on a tree growing over the cornerstone of the temple plot in Independence, Missouri.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2019 at 7:54 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

That is why JarMan likes to hypothesize Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) as a key player in the entire enterprise, and why I have suggested Dr John Dee (1527-1609).  Somehow, we must account for the EModE text.  However, that may create more problems than it solves (like spooky action at a distance in quantum physics).

How about William Tyndale, from a post-mortal vantage point?

Edited by blarsen
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6 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Why would you need to scrap the 10th Article of Faith?

Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built by the remnant of the Tribe of Menasseh. Some presently live in a small stretch of land between Bangladesh and Myanmar called Zoram. Zom or Zomi, is the tribal name of these people.

Coincidentally, Joseph Smith claimed the original term for Zion was Zom, and he etched the word Zom on a tree growing over the cornerstone of the temple plot in Independence, Missouri.

According to Moroni, Ether taught the New Jerusalem would be built on "This Land",  meaning the land of the Jaredite and Nephite civilizations.  The 10th article of faith states the New Jerusalem will be built upon the American continent, and Joseph Smith pinned it down further to Independence Missouri.  If Ether was talking about Malaysia when he wrote "this land" , then I don't see any way to reconcile the two.

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2 hours ago, Balinaka said:

According to Moroni, Ether taught the New Jerusalem would be built on "This Land",  meaning the land of the Jaredite and Nephite civilizations.  The 10th article of faith states the New Jerusalem will be built upon the American continent, and Joseph Smith pinned it down further to Independence Missouri.  If Ether was talking about Malaysia when he wrote "this land" , then I don't see any way to reconcile the two.

There isn't just one New Jerusalem:

Why Do the Prophets Speak of Multiple Jerusalems?

We're not even entirely sure what is meant by the term New Jerusalem.

Regardless, an officially recognized remnant of the Tribe of Manasseh is building a New Jerusalem in their corner of the world. If they succeed in fulfilling the spirit of the law, I'm certain it will be easy to reconcile the insignificant letters.

Edited by Rajah Manchou

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On 6/13/2019 at 7:33 PM, JarMan said:

Whatever his motives might have been I don't think he'd want people to know he had written it.

Why on earth would he spend so much time and effort on a fictitious book and not want anyone to know about it? I confess that's where this whole model falls apart for me.

8 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

There isn't just one New Jerusalem:

Why Do the Prophets Speak of Multiple Jerusalems?

We're not even entirely sure what is meant by the term New Jerusalem.

Regardless, an officially recognized remnant of the Tribe of Manasseh is building a New Jerusalem in their corner of the world. If they succeed in fulfilling the spirit of the law, I'm certain it will be easy to reconcile the insignificant letters.

I think the issue for the believer (here ignoring inspirational fiction models) is latterday scripture in the D&C such as section 28 or 57. This seems incongruitous with the Thailand model. Now one can argue the "fuzziness" of revelation and how ones assumptions color it as God speaks to us in our weakness. And of course the heartland model proponents point to these same scriptures to argue for a northeast location for the Book of Mormon given the New Jerusalem and references to Lamanites. However I think that can be reconciled with mesoamerica due to groups moving around the Americas via well known trade routes. Thailand involves far more problems than merely getting Moroni from there to America. It requires rejecting straightforward readings of many D&C prophecies.

I know trade routes and how it affects genetics is still controversial. There are rather heated archaeological debates just over mayan influences on Florida. At minimum though we know the Aztec Pochteca were traveling long distances. While Mayan or Aztec contact with the Hopewell or subsequent groups is still quite controversial, it's at least reasonably plausible. The Hopewell proper (ending around 400 AD) certainly had wide trade routes.

So there's a rather plausible explanation for D&C references to native Americas in New York through Ohio as Lamanites. I'm not sure there is for Thailand.

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6 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Why on earth would he spend so much time and effort on a fictitious book and not want anyone to know about it? I confess that's where this whole model falls apart for me.

He wanted people to know about it. He just didn’t want people to know he was the one who wrote it. That type of thing happens all the time. 

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21 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Thailand involves far more problems than merely getting Moroni from there to America. It requires rejecting straightforward readings of many D&C prophecies.

I see it differently. The Heartland and Mesoamerican models have an insurmountable problem, the Native Americans referred to as Lamanites in the D&C prophecies are verifiably of Asian descent, not Israelite. The Asian model has no problem explaining how Asians got to the borders of the Lamanites. 

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12 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

I see it differently. The Heartland and Mesoamerican models have an insurmountable problem, the Native Americans referred to as Lamanites in the D&C prophecies are verifiably of Asian descent, not Israelite. The Asian model has no problem explaining how Asians got to the borders of the Lamanites. 

I don't know how the Heartland model deals with other indigenous peoples but for the Mesoamerica model key to the model is a small group (30-50 people at tops) coming into a population of millions. So I don't see how this is a problem for it. For the hemisphere model I'll grant you but not the Mesoamerica model. 

Not quite sure what you mean by your last sentence. If the Thai model has Hebrews mixing in with a large Asian populace, isn't it exactly the same in this regard as the Mesoamerica model except for the problem of explaining the tie between Lamanites and American natives? I must be missing something.

On 6/17/2019 at 6:51 PM, JarMan said:

He wanted people to know about it. He just didn’t want people to know he was the one who wrote it. That type of thing happens all the time. 

Why would he want that?

I recognize why people publish anonymously, although typically their friends know about it unless the text is very controversial. I guess this depends upon what you see his aims as. But again, the big problem here is that lack of really even ambiguous circumstantial evidence that could be taken as pointing to this as his production. 

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49 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Why would he want that?

I recognize why people publish anonymously, although typically their friends know about it unless the text is very controversial. I guess this depends upon what you see his aims as. But again, the big problem here is that lack of really even ambiguous circumstantial evidence that could be taken as pointing to this as his production. 

I'm talking about someone who lived contemporaneously with Galileo, Hobbes, and William Prynne (to name just a few who were persecuted for their writings). He had also already been previously imprisoned for holding the wrong religious beliefs. Anonymity would have been a must.

You bring up a good question, though: What would be the motive to create such a work? I have a similar question: What are the motives for the creators of any scripture? Let me suggest one possible answer. Scripture is a codification of a society's combined religious teachings, wisdom and ethics learned and developed over a period of many generations. So the motive for the Book of Mormon's creation is to demonstrate a holy and ethical way for individuals to live and for nations to govern. This second part (ethics in government, particularly in warfare) is what points so uniquely to Grotius. His seminal work De jure belli ac pacis (On the law of war and peace) is an ethical guide for conducting just war. Mormon's war ethic is unmistakably and undeniably Grotian.

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13 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

for the Mesoamerica model key to the model is a small group (30-50 people at tops) coming into a population of millions.

In other words, key to the Mesoamerican model is a small group of 30-50 individuals of Middle/Near Eastern descent coming into a population of millions in North America. That's a pretty big problem.

14 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

If the Thai model has Hebrews mixing in with a large Asian populace, isn't it exactly the same in this regard as the Mesoamerica model except for the problem of explaining the tie between Lamanites and American natives? I must be missing something.

Identification of the inhabitants of the islands of the sea and the American Indians as Lamanites has been discussed since the early church. There are countless statements on the relationship. Here are two of many:

"I should like to address my remarks to you, our kinsmen of the isles of the sea and the Americas. Millions of you have blood relatively unmixed with gentile nations. Columbus called you `Indians,’ thinking he had reached the East Indies. Millions of you are descendants of Spaniards and Indians, and are termed mestizos, and are called after your countries, for instance: Mexicans in Mexico; Guatemalans in Guatemala; Chilianos in Chile. You Polynesians of the Pacific are called Samoan or Maori, Tahitian or Hawaiian, according to your islands. There are probably sixty million of you on the two continents and on the Pacific Islands, all related by blood ties. The Lord calls you Lamanites."
- Spencer W. Kimball

"The term Lamanite includes all Indians and Indian mixtures, such as the Polynesians, the Guatemalans, the Peruvians, as well as the Sioux, the Apache, the Mohawk, the Navajo, and others. It is a large group of great people...There are no blessings, of all the imaginable ones, to which you are not entitled–you, the Lamanites–when you are righteous. You are of royal blood, the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Lehi."
- Spencer W. Kimball

I think you're getting hung up on anachronistic terms (Malaysia, Thailand, Thai) that make the model feel foreign and distant. Something like the Island of the Sea Model would make more sense. The former inhabitants of Southeast Asia, the Malay Archipelago up the Pacific Rim across the Pacific Islands and into the Americas share the same DNA. 

In an unexpected way, the Book of Mormon is historically accurate and all the D&C prophesies are correct, we've just got the geography backwards. 

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