David Bokovoy Posted January 5, 2010 Share Posted January 5, 2010 On another LDS themed message board, a poster drew attention to a quote written by Bruce H. Porter, co-author of the now infamous book, Prophecies and Promises - The Book of Mormon and the United States of America. In Porter's statement, he offers the following comment concerning those who support a Mesoamerican link with the Book of Mormon:"It will be a long and tedious fight to get those who have spent, and earned so much money on the Central America theories... to give credit to Joseph Smith"I have to wonder, to whom precisely does Porter refer to as the individuals who have "earned so much money on the Central American theories" and therefore refuse to "give credit to Joseph Smith"? Brant Gardner? John Sorenson? As one who has had a bit of exposure to scholarly research and publication with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, I have a hard time believing that these individuals have earned much of anything off of their sincere efforts to advance their scholarly research on Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon. It just doesn't happen, folks. In fact, the only way that people can make money in this field is by leading tours to Book of Mormon lands. Though I've never directed one personally, I know for a fact that LDS tours of this nature can and do bring in a significant amount of money. I find the fact fascinating therefore that in the introduction to the same quote, Porter, i.e. co-author of the infamous book in question, tells us that today, he "now [makes his living] lead[ing] LDS scripture tours mostly to the middle east and church history sites."In terms of leading tours to Book of Mormon sites, you can find his business advertised here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKjH5ftAEWcIn other words, Porter is making money advancing his specific geographic model. Now, I have no problem with anyone earning money leading LDS tours. Some of my closest friends have done so. I do have a serious problem, however, with individuals who are making quite a bit of money promoting a specific geographic model for the Book of Mormon turning around and criticizing those who for academic reasons do not accept their ideas as valid with a statement that suggests that those who promote a Central American theory have "earned so much money" off of their work. Unless they're directing tours, they haven't "earned so much money" advancing a Mesoamerican model. Making money is what tour guides such as Porter and his ilk are doing, and it personally makes me a bit ill to see the pot calling the kettle black, especially in areas pertaining to religious faith and academic research. Link to comment
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