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Book of Mormon Lands


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"Annoyed" argued on another thread that the New England states could include many of the lands in the Book of Mormon. So far, I cannot see the argument based on a number of objections, some already mentioned. The Book of Mormon geography has been addressed multiple times, but with an increase in a more northerly model, nothing like rehashing it.

Cold Weather

The first is weather. Cold and ice isn't mentioned in the Book of Mormon. There are no passages relating to soldiers perishing in the cold, crossing on ice, and so forth. Yet in other historical accounts, such as the Romans in Germany, Allied forces during the Battle of the Bulge (and other conflicts during the war), George Washington crossing the Delaware and camping in Valley Forge, historical accounts during the Civil War -- all mentioned snow and ice and the effects they had on both the soldiers and the war; yet there is no mention of it in the Book of Mormon.

Annoyed responds: Oxygen was not mentioned, are we to believe there was none? However cold is mentioned. May I ask, when is the cold/flu season? Winter. Has malaria been cured by herbs? No. The Book of Mormon is clear, they were not in a tropical, malaria ridden area.

They at times wore "thick skins."

I see no argument here. The fact that there are no accounts mentioning cold and ice is significant because cold climates have always been mentioned by military commanders as major obstacles in fighting, resupplying and just surviving it. Raging snow storms, ice and sleet; marching in the snow, many times without shoes and, of course, extremely high casualty rates from just the exposure. Had the Book of Mormon taken place in that area, there would have assuredly been high casualty rates among the Nephites and Lamanites, yet there isn't a word.

As for thick skins, I don't see the argument as in primitive cultures often used thick leather skins as basic armor to protect against cuts and blows from clubs and so forth. The snow and ice are not something military commanders omit from their accounts. We also have the narrow pass (through the narrow neck) being cut off for five years because of poisonous serpents. It is one tough snake that can battle a New England winter!

Cumorah

When one travels to New York and looks at the tiny drumlin called "Cumorah," there's nothing necessarily strategic about it, neither is there anything remarkable about it. Camping tens of hundreds of thousands of people round about it? It doesn't wash. Populations also don't mesh. Those populations were in Mesoamerica, but not in New York.

Annoyed states: It's interesting how people visualize the final battle and interpret the verses. They gathered to the "land of Cumorah" with the hill as the FURTHEST point from the battle front, ergo, the battle was not around the hill at all. Cumorah was in a land of "many waters," but no one ever lived in Cumorah, therefore, that feature of Cumorah has no relevance to core Book of Mormon lands. Cumorah, on a map, should NOT be within Book of Mormon inhabited areas, i.e. not part of the Land Northward, which WAS inhabited from the Sea West to the Sea East and from the Sea South to the Sea North. No one was planning on burying the dead, so they chose an area beyond where they lived. The strategy had to do with the water, land and hill, not only the hill. Knowing the enemy would be coming FROM the Land Northward, the Nephites first set up fortifications where they would disembark. The water routes were important for traveling to Cumorah as they gathered distant supporters and supplies.

To say that the hill itself was only incidental to the great battle doesn't compute with me. Lands with a great deal of fresh water are not ordinarily lands that people avoid; rather, they tend to attract both people and animals. In Mesoamerica, the lands of Cumorah were well north of the Lamanites, yet the Lamanites were very familiar with it. If it was only incidental, why mention it at all? Where is the strategic value of it when it's not really high enough to watch sweeping, epic battles? And why would Moroni travel for years only to return to the hotspot of conflict, where capture would have been instant death? Brigham Young and others mentioned that Moroni, in his travels, had dedicated the sites of many latter-day temples, yet these stretched out across what is now the United States. Given the geographic location of Cumorah, being north of the narrow neck of land and near the coast, how does this work out on a map?

Annoyed says: Is that an "offical church statement" of "Moroni" dedicating "temple sites?" That's not a piece of the "puzzle."

Yes. It's a critical piece. Phyllis Olive, who's been very vocal in her insistence that the Book of Mormon lands are in the Great Lakes region quotes Joseph Fielding Smith (who she refers to as "Apostle Smith" just in case anyone misses the reference to apostolic authority) as saying, "the Prophet Joseph Smith himself is on record, definitely declaring the present hill called Cumorah to be the exact hill spoken of in the Book of Mormon." Actually, Joseph Smith is not so on record. Her refutations of the Mesoamerican theory, in fact, has made me even more convinced that she and others are wrong.

Annoyed: How anyone can believe what you just said in the light of prophecy is beyond me. Is everyone ignorant of the fact that Book of Mormon lands would become COVERED BY MULTITUDES OF WHITE PEOPLE and those WHITE PEOPLE would become the LAND OWNERS?? How does that square with areas outside of the United States?

The scripture applies to this continent and, indeed, to the entire Western Hemisphere, all of which was overrun by the gentiles. If this interpretation that the United States is the promised land, what of Canada? Is it also not included? The fact is, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada all are a part of "this continent." The Book of Mormon doesn't completely confine the entire land to Mesoamerica, as many LG theorists allow for wide migrations northward.

The things that convince me about Mesoamerica are the lack of snow and ice references in the Book of Mormon, the lack of the New York Cumorah being a strategic location and the inability of New England proponents to produce a credible map. There are other things, like the absence of level roads, the lack of concrete, and lack of populations described in the Book of Mormon and the inability of the New York drumlin to contain a cave full of records. But if it can be proven, I can change my mind. It's just that I've been swayed the other way by the strength of what I feel to be superior research.

"... and that Lehi went down by the Red Sea to the great southern Ocean, and crossed over to this land, landed a little south of the Isthmus of Darien..." (TPJS pg. 267)

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I been missing the mentioning of snow and cold in the BoM too in order to place it in North America. Dr. Jerry Ainsworth has some good points on his netsite here: www.mormonsites.org Reading rooms are worth taking a look at. There is also pictures on his site on at least two possible cumorahs. I think Jerrys Cumora is a pretty good option. You sure can see far from it and climbing on it is a pain... so if Moroni had climbed up there it is not sure the Lamanities eiteher knew or cared to clib after. Also on top you find fruit and water which makes surviving there possible while heeling the sores.

Jerrys ideas of Moroni are also interesting, That his mother was not of Nefite nation, as Mormon writes, that ALL the Nefites were bad. He probably went more north to find a good rigious wife. Maybe Ammarons land? Also, that Moroni was not a solder. When Moroni was around 12 to 23 Mormon was not practising warfear at all. So possibly Moroni had not been a solder but his 10.000 mentioned were the women and kids who also needed someone to take care of them and move them from one place to an other, while men were fighting. He sees Moroni more as a very well educated and learned person and scribe and as such his life was very important to protect.

Dr Ainsworth also says that Mormons family may have moved to Ammarons land when he was little, so he met Ammaron and got the books from him. (My toughts are taht when he around 20 came to get the books he met his wife. This might fit the age of Moroni too.) Anyway he moved his family according to Dr. Ainsworth to Theoticuan which was the "university" of those days so Moroni could get the best education that was available.

I think his book is worth reading as also his netsite. He has many good toughts.

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I don't understand his "thick skin" argument myself. Almost all the references to the Lamanites in the BoM are to them "wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins" (Enos 1:20). This is true even in a military context (Alma 3:5; "and they were naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins"). The one and only context where we see "thick skins" is when the Lamanites try to emulate the technology improvements of Moroni:

  • Alma 49:6 Now the leaders of the Lamanites had supposed, because of the greatness of their numbers, yea, they supposed that they should be privileged to come upon them as they had hitherto done; yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness.

It's a military armor context. Most of the time they are National Geographic Naked. Doesn't relate to a Great Lakes theory. And that's the naked truth. :P

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Cold Weather

The first is weather. Cold and ice isn't mentioned in the Book of Mormon. There are no passages relating to soldiers perishing in the cold, crossing on ice, and so forth. Yet in other historical accounts, such as the Romans in Germany, Allied forces during the Battle of the Bulge (and other conflicts during the war), George Washington crossing the Delaware and camping in Valley Forge, historical accounts during the Civil War -- all mentioned snow and ice and the effects they had on both the soldiers and the war; yet there is no mention of it in the Book of Mormon.

Let's not be too hasty here. Climates shift over long periods of time. (The little Ice Age during the Dark Ages is such an example). And based on variables like the strength of jetstreams and ocean currents, there are even local microclimates within the broader picture. So rather than inject presentism into this aspect of the discussion, does anyone have access to reliable data which suggests what the climate of the region was like around 100 BC?

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If the climate was warm in the Great Lakes region, the proponents most likely would have picked up on it. Phyllis Olive makes this observation:

A comment by Sier de Roberval, the first governor general of America's "New France," who in describing the Iroquois of the St. Lawrence region (A New York based tribe) should put such a notion to rest, for he said: "They are a people of goodly stature and well made; they are very white, but they are all naked, and if they were appareled as the French are, they would be as white and as fair, but they paint themselves for fear of heat and sunburning." [Malory, p. 170.]

Such a limited criteria for the placement of any prehistoric people in any particular land seems strange to say the least. Moreover, such a supposition would presuppose they enjoyed only hot weather, never cold. Contrary to the popular notion, heat was not the only weather condition mentioned in the scriptures; hail, which we can associate with cold weather, was also mentioned, once when the prophet Abinadi prophesied hail would be sent down to smite them (see Mosiah 12:6), and a second time when Helaman mentions hail in a discourse to his sons. (See Helaman 5:12).

The mention of hail may have been a good point had cold weather ever been mentioned, but the term "hail" refers to anything that falls with force from the sky. Certainly hail may have been seen in the mountain heights, but in the Old Testament, "hail" in the form of judgments was often associated with stones, not ice. One source notes:

There fell 'a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since its foundations' (Exo 9:18). Stones of 'barad,' here translated 'hail,' is, as in most places where mentioned in the Scriptures, the term for meteorites. We are also informed by Midrashic and Talmudic sources that the stones which fell on Egypt were hot; this fits only meteorites, not a hail of ice. In the Scriptures it is said that these stones fell 'mingled with fire' (Exo 9:24)... and that their fall was accompanied by 'loud noises' (kolot), rendered as 'thunderings'...

"Thunderings" was actually one of the words used by the Book of Mormon in the fulfillment of Abinadi's prophecy.

Continuing from above:

The Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan describe how a cosmic catastrophe was accompanied by a hail of stones; in the oral tradition of the Indians, too, the motif is repeated time and again: In some ancient epoch the sky 'rained, not water, but fire and red-hot stones,' which is not different from the Hebrew tradition. (Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky)

In summarizing, Velikovsky notes:


  • Popul-Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayas, narrates: "It was ruin and destruction...the sea was piled up...it was a great inundation...people were drowned in a sticky substance raining from the sky...The face of the earth grew dark and the gloomy rain endured days and nights...And then there was a great din of fire above their heads."
  • The Manuscript Quiche from the people of Mexico: "There descended from the sky a rain of bitumen and of a sticky substance...The earth was obscured and it rained day and night. And men ran hither and thither and were as if seized by madness; they tried to climb to the roofs, and the houses crashed down; they tried to climb the trees, and the trees cast them far away; and when they tried to escape in caves and caverns, these were suddenly closed."
  • The Annals of Cuauhtitlan speaks of an "age which ended in the rain of fire."
  • In Siberia, the Voguls record: "God sent a sea of fire upon the earth...The cause of the fire they call 'the fire-water.'"
  • In the East Indies, the aboriginal tribes state that "water of fire" rained from the sky; "with very few exceptions, all men died."
  • The Papyrus Ipuwer: "Gates, columns, and walls are consumed by fire. The sky is in confusion." The fire almost "exterminated mankind."
  • Midrash Tanhuma, Midrash Psikta Raboti, Midrash Wa-Yosha "state that naphtha, together with hot stones, poured down upon Egypt. 'The Egyptians refused to let the Israelites go, and He poured out naphtha over them, burning blains [blisters].' It was a 'stream of hot naphtha.' Naphtha is petroleum in Aramaic and Hebrew.

So "hail" in the Book of Mormon proves nothing. As for the Iroquois of the St. Lawrence region, what is Olive trying to prove? Another source reports: "Snowshoes made winter hunting easier for the Iroquois. They traveled up to 50 miles a day wearing the snowshoes in deep snow. The Iroquois also wore snowshoes in ritual dances." Yet there's no mention of snow in the Book of Mormon except for Nephi's allegorical reference. No snowshoes, either. Documenting summer heat does not prove anything about the Book of Mormon, but that seems to be exactly what Olive is trying to do; or why did she mention it? I recall asking a lifeguard in Cancun, Mexico, which was nicer, the summer or the winter. He simply shrugged and said, "It's pretty much the same." Just what one would expect from the accounts in the Book of Mormon.

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I don't think assuming a similar climate model for the Great Lakes region is necessarily one of presentism. When we're talking about a trajectory from an ice age to the present day, the norm would be a gradual overall warming trend, right? (Or maybe not, based on any e-mails we can find from 100 BC.) With this assumption, it would have been colder back then, if anything. I agree entirely that a contrary microclimate in the Great Lakes region could have occurred and--if it did--would entirely change the course of our conversation. But it's not "presentism" to assume the default greater trend unless or until we see evidence to the contrary, is it? Wouldn't it be more prudent to assume the general trend until we can see a realistic historical climate model for the Great Lakes area that might suggest a microclimate that is different than the overall trend?

But then again, I'm not scientist. This just seems logical.

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Don't accounts of war all mention the difficulty involved in jungle warfare? Heat related problems, rain, transportation difficulties, dysentery, malaria--aren't all of these missing from the BoM also?

You raise a good point. However, these are problems most likely experienced by newcomers, such as the United States military in the jungles of Vietnam, the Philippines and so forth. For people who are perpetual residents of such environs, these things are seldom mentioned. I have friends who served in both the Philippines and the jungles of Vietnam. While they had horrible problems with these things, the natives didn't.

One of the fascinating aspects of Mesoamerica is that the peoples had well established supply routes, both commercial and military. The Book of Mormon peoples we know also had problems with poisonous serpents and they had waterways that could clear large numbers of bodies, both which make sense in Mesoamerica.

Modern warfare often requires that soldiers trudge through swamps and areas with leeches, whereas ancient warriors may or may not have had to do similarly. The written record indicated that wars were, as they were anciently, done more formally. Usually, dysentery and malaria affected those who were strangers to the region more than those who had already built up their immune systems. How often they experience hurricanes we don't know, but when Christ was crucified in the Old World, the Book of Mormon records that a great storm came up. Such storms, perhaps, were commonplace or rare -- we don't know. But while the Romans (and even Hannibal) bitterly complained of snow and ice during their campaigns, about the only other thing that really bothered them was mud that kept them from using their chariots.

Again, whether it was the Romans, Carthaginians, Washington at Valley Forge or crossing the Delaware, or whether it was the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans dealing with the brutal Russian winters, cold weather and its hardships are almost always highlighted. One fellow I knew who had fought in Europe told me of having to sleep in foxholes huddled together with other men who otherwise would have felt uncomfortable about sleeping in such close contact with fellow soldiers. "We were so cold that we couldn't feel our hands or our feet," he said. "When supplies of new boots came in the backs of trucks, you just grabbed what you could and didn't care if it was a perfect fit. You traded up where you could, but most of the men were so desperate to just get the boots and socks on!" This was what he remembered most. In his case, he had one shoe that fit and another that didn't, but the cold adversely affected both sides in the war.

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Another issue is culture and technology == written records (codex), calendar, complex political and religious organization, etc. Do we find that in NY and the Great Lakes region, or are they found in mesoamerica.

Why do you assume the lazy Lamanites kept records, had a calendar, or did anything in a way that resembled the Nephites?

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I don't understand his "thick skin" argument myself. Almost all the references to the Lamanites in the BoM are to them "wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins" (Enos 1:20). This is true even in a military context (Alma 3:5; "and they were naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins"). The one and only context where we see "thick skins" is when the Lamanites try to emulate the technology improvements of Moroni:

  • Alma 49:6 Now the leaders of the Lamanites had supposed, because of the greatness of their numbers, yea, they supposed that they should be privileged to come upon them as they had hitherto done; yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness.

It's a military armor context.

Perhaps it's the opposite. Would you wear something that would hindered your ability to RUN, or WIELD a sword? Of course not. It's an admission that they chose to wear their winter clothing during a summer's battle.

Most of the time they are National Geographic Naked. Doesn't relate to a Great Lakes theory. And that's the naked truth. wink.gif

Indeed, early explorers of the region commented how the indians wore little, even in the winter.

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Jerrys ideas of Moroni are also interesting, That his mother was not of Nefite nation, as Mormon writes, that ALL the Nefites were bad. He probably went more north to find a good rigious wife. Maybe Ammarons land? Also, that Moroni was not a solder. When Moroni was around 12 to 23 Mormon was not practising warfear at all. So possibly Moroni had not been a solder but his 10.000 mentioned were the women and kids who also needed someone to take care of them and move them from one place to an other, while men were fighting. He sees Moroni more as a very well educated and learned person and scribe and as such his life was very important to protect.

Dr Ainsworth also says that Mormons family may have moved to Ammarons land when he was little, so he met Ammaron and got the books from him. (My toughts are taht when he around 20 came to get the books he met his wife. This might fit the age of Moroni too.) Anyway he moved his family according to Dr. Ainsworth to Theoticuan which was the "university" of those days so Moroni could get the best education that was available.

I think his book is worth reading as also his netsite. He has many good toughts.

Unfortunately Dr. Ainsworth's knowledge of Cumorah and Moroni are inaccurate. Here's what he lacks:

  • Where is Cumorah in relation to the other lands?
  • Why did the few Nephites who fled, flee "south" and not north, east, or west?
  • Where was the hill in relation to the battle field?
  • Where was the frist front line of battle?
  • What geographical feature determined that first front line?
  • How did Moroni know what was going on in the area long after the battle?
  • Where did Moroni find extra plates?
  • How does he account for the statments of early church leaders about Cumorah and Zelph?

This assumes he has major bodies of water worked out. Where's the South Sea on his model?

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Don't accounts of war all mention the difficulty involved in jungle warfare? Heat related problems, rain, transportation difficulties, dysentery, malaria--aren't all of these missing from the BoM also?

There is one mention of the effect of heat in Alma 51:33

"And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day."

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Perhaps it's the opposite. Would you wear something that would hindered your ability to RUN, or WIELD a sword? Of course not. It's an admission that they chose to wear their winter clothing during a summer's battle.

This is a rather silly statement. They weren't wearing the skins just a few battle earlier in Alma. It was an attempt to counter the new armor methods introduced by Moroni. They came back with shields and thick skins in reaction to the military innovations of the Nephites.

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There is one mention of the effect of heat in Alma 51:33

"And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day."

You would have that result in ANY state of the US, in the summer.

This is a rather silly statement. They weren't wearing the skins just a few battle earlier in Alma. It was an attempt to counter the new armor methods introduced by Moroni. They came back with shields and thick skins in reaction to the military innovations of the Nephites.

Where did they get those skins so fast? It was their winter clothing. In other words, they already had the skins and knew how to use them as clothing. You don't see that?

And there were
some
who died with
fevers
which at
some seasons of the year
were very frequent in the land but
not so much so with
fevers
because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases to which men were
subject by the nature of the climate
(Alma 46:40)

Clearly there were seasons, a cold season.

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It seems that this type of clothing was not limited to summer, but winter also. I know that according Randall Spackman, these wars would have been in the dead of winter.

That is all conjecture, which is fine once we deal with what the scriptures say. Address Alma 46:40:

And there were
some
who died with
fevers
which at
some seasons of the year
were very frequent in the land but
not so much so with
fevers
because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases to which men were
subject by the nature of the climate
(Alma 46:40)

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You would have that result in ANY state of the US, in the summer.

Honestly, what makes you think that it was summer? The BoM quite clearly places this event at the end of the Nephite year:

Alma 51:33 And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day.

34 And it came to pass that Teancum stole privily into the tent of the king, and put a javelin to his heart; and he did cause the death of the king immediately that he did not awake his servants.

35 And he returned again privily to his own camp, and behold, his men were asleep, and he awoke them and told them all the things that he had done.

36 And he caused that his armies should stand in readiness, lest the Lamanites had awakened and should come upon them.

37 And thus endeth the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; and thus endeth the days of Amalickiah.

Alma 52:1 And now, it came to pass in the *twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, behold, when the Lamanites awoke on the first morning of the first month, behold, they found Amalickiah was dead in his own tent; and they also saw that Teancum was ready to give them battle on that day.

Sorenson illustrates that the battles tended to take place near the end of the year, and that the summer months were spent raising crops in order to supply the armies. From "Seasons of War, Seasons of Peace," Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, page. 251, I'll translate the chart into text form:

Number of Miliary Actions Reported in Each Calendar Month

Nephite month -Number of military actions

9th -0

10th -1

11th -12

12th -6

1st -5

2nd -11

3rd -5

4th -3

5th -3

6th -0

7th -0

8th -0

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Honestly, what makes you think that it was summer? The BoM quite clearly places this event at the end of the Nephite year:

Will you squint at a gnat to swallow a camel?

Alma 46:40 says "season" and "climate," yet you are straining at a verse that says one "day" of heat?

From Olive's web site:

New York Archaeologist, William A. Ritchie explains that the archaic period, (that being the era of the Jaredites), experienced the latter portion of the hypsithermal episode, which is believed to have considerably surpassed the present in average warmth.2 Moreover, for a thousand years between 2000-1000 B.C., little rainfall came, with the result that the northeast experienced a number of devastating droughts, just as was noted in the account of the Jaredites who lost a great many of their people to the famines which followed.

And it came to pass that when they had humbled themselves sufficiently before the Lord he did send rain upon the face of the earth; and the people began to revive again, and there began to be fruit in the north countries, and in all the countries round about. And the Lord did show forth his power unto them in preserving them from famine. (Ether 9:35.)

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Honestly, what makes you think that it was summer? The BoM quite clearly places this event at the end of the Nephite year:

Sorenson illustrates that the battles tended to take place near the end of the year, and that the summer months were spent raising crops in order to supply the armies. From "Seasons of War, Seasons of Peace," Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, page. 251, I'll translate the chart into text form:

Number of Miliary Actions Reported in Each Calendar Month

Nephite month -Number of military actions

9th -0

10th -1

11th -12

12th -6

1st -5

2nd -11

3rd -5

4th -3

5th -3

6th -0

7th -0

8th -0

Here's another view from Coon:

Keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread (in the first month) required newly harvested barley to be brought to the Temple for a wave offering. Fifty days later the grain offering of new wheat had to be made (late spring early summer)

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Will you squint at a gnat to swallow a camel?

Alma 46:40 says "season" and "climate," yet you are straining at a verse that says one "day" of heat?

From Olive's web site:

Honestly, I am not "straining" at anything, although I would, given a choice, prefer to strain out a gnat from my soup than squint at it.

1) John Larsen mentioned a number of things that he claimed weren't mentioned in the BoM. One of them was the effect of heat, which was incorrect. I pointed out that there was a mention of heat.

2)You then mentioned that there were hot days in the summer in any state. I then pointed out that the BoM clearly indicates that this instance of heat occurred the end of the Nephite year. You notice I didn't say that it was winter. I also pointed out that battles seemed to occur at the end of the Nephite year. There's a reason why Sorenson calls it the Nephite year and only numbers the months rather than giving them names. We do not know how the Nephite year correlates with our year.

You seem to move beyond what I actually said.

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It was their winter clothing. In other words, they already had the skins and knew how to use them as clothing. You don't see that?

And there were
some
who died with
fevers
which at
some seasons of the year
were very frequent in the land but
not so much so with
fevers
because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases to which men were
subject by the nature of the climate
(Alma 46:40)

Clearly there were seasons, a cold season.

I disagree with the interpretation of this last verse, but even if true it's clearly unrelated to the military context of the skins. In the escalation of military technology, Moroni first puts thick clothing on his soldiers in the context of weaponry:

Alma 43:19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing--

Alma 43:20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites;

Note how the superior weaponry and clothing of the Nephite army is contrasted to the lack of the same on the Lamanite side. If the Lamanites already had winter clothing ready, then why are they naked at this point? The military context here is evident, and the next time the Lamanites show up, they try to close the technological gap they experienced earlier:

Alma 49:6 yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness.

Alma 49:7 And being thus prepared they supposed that they should easily overpower and subject their brethren to the yoke of bondage, or slay and massacre them according to their pleasure.

Note again the military context. They have provided themselves with all the military technology that made the Nephites superior in the previous encounter. Your premise that this has no military context and is related to flu season is nothing to sneeze at but most likely inaccurate. Under this theory, Lamanite and Nephite soldiers are robing or disrobing during a summertime battle because they simply have it handy.

Sounds more like a screenplay by Mel Brooks.

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All this talk of lack of information on things such as snow or cold or diseases, etc... is all fine and dandy (ha made a pun), however I think we tend to forget that the BoM is an abridgment of a record of a people. Much details will be left out. Regarding cold it does get cold and there is snow in the Andes, so why isn't that mentioned?

I will also add that there are articles that I have read (specifically in Ancient American magazine) that can lend credence to claims in the Great Lakes region. Examples are articles detailing a large battle between two competing tribes in Ohio region, Native American stories of being told by the Great Father to destroy the people east of the Mississippi river, large cities found in the Mississippi, Copper and Silver mines and smelters in the Great Lakes, a series of ancient fortifications along the Mississippi river and trade of goods such as the metals up and down the river, the Michigan tablets (still debatable), Cahokia mounds, etc... For one why would Moroni travel up from South or Central America to New York? Lots of mountains and hills between. Plus the desert of the US/Mexico region is very difficult to travel even by animal. He had to know where water was present.

I'll give my 2 cents worth on a hypothesis:

Jaredites landed on the western coast of S. America and developed over time.

Nephi and his brothers landed in the same area

After splitting from his brothers Nephi took his family and others and headed north and came to the Mississippi delta and sailed up. Establishing the Nephites up north and east and the Laminites were vast and large throughout west and south of the Mississippi river all the way through S. America.

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