Still not neutral


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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

 

Example - here's a fine painting of a Roman soldier astride his horse, leading an army of Aztec warriors armed with wide daggers made of obsidian, and bearing banners signifying which house of Israel from which the folks are descended.

image.png.5e843145264303f1c38fbf44fdf136d2.png

Of course, there aren't any horses mentioned in the BoM, or obsidian, or black straight-haired hawk-nosed features.  The banners come straight out of Cecil B. Demille's The Ten Commandments, because the artist was the same guy who did some set and prop design for that movie.  Dude loved himself some big muscles.

 

 

Um...I think they may have mentioned them a few times.😬

Enos 1

21 And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.

Alma 18

9 And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.

10 Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished, because of the faithfulness of Ammon, saying: Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them.

11 Now I surely know that this is the Great Spirit, and I would desire him that he come in unto me, but I durst not.

12 And it came to pass that when Ammon had made ready the horses and the chariots for the king and his servants, he went in unto the king, and he saw that the countenance of the king was changed; therefore he was about to return out of his presence.

Ether 9
19 And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms;

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Pardon me, you are correct.  I'm mis-remembering my 1990's apologetics.  Yes indeed the BoM mentions horses, just no mention of them being ridden, just hooked on to chariots.  

Back in the day with the lack of archaeological evidence of preColumbian horses, one of the apologetic speculations was that the word translated as "horses" actually referred to some other sort of non-equine critter used to bear burdens and pull things.  It wasn't a popular speculation, too easy to mock.

Regardless, horse riding is one of the artistic liberties taken with the painting.

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On 8/23/2022 at 2:28 PM, NeuroTypical said:

Pardon me, you are correct.  I'm mis-remembering my 1990's apologetics.  Yes indeed the BoM mentions horses, just no mention of them being ridden, just hooked on to chariots.  

Back in the day with the lack of archaeological evidence of preColumbian horses, one of the apologetic speculations was that the word translated as "horses" actually referred to some other sort of non-equine critter used to bear burdens and pull things.  It wasn't a popular speculation, too easy to mock.

Regardless, horse riding is one of the artistic liberties taken with the painting.

Indeed, even the artist admitted that the paintings were just his way of expressing larger than life heroes. On the subject of animals in north America, I remember a scientist talking about mammoths in North America and how scientist used to think they were not here at the same time as humans. That was until they found a mammoth carcass with a spear point in its chest. He said, "We talked about it and someone pointed out that Mammoths do not typically make and throw spears at each other." LOL

What I find interesting is they speak of horses in the BOM, but the ancient horses they have found are all in North America. 🤔

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1 hour ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

 

What I find interesting is they speak of horses in the BOM, but the ancient horses they have found are all in North America. 🤔

Fair point, but it should also be noted that those fossils predate Adam and Eve themselves.  There is other evidence, I believe—butchery implements with apparent horse DNA on them—that suggest the presence of horses in North America through around Enoch’s time.

Regardless of location within the Americas, it’s conceivable that the Jaredites had horses more-or-less as we know them; it’s a much bigger stretch to assert that the Nephites did.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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I don't have a dog in the fight either way. But from the little I've read it seems like heartland model has a lot more going against it than the mesoamerican model does. Anyone truly interested in being directed by the evidence must acknowledge the evidence against as well as the evidence for. And right now the visual evidence, like geography and climate, which is much of what you experience in a movie, what you see, does not work well for the heartland model. So from a movie and visual experience perspective mesoamerica seems a more natural fit.

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3 hours ago, laronius said:

I don't have a dog in the fight either way. But from the little I've read it seems like heartland model has a lot more going against it than the mesoamerican model does. Anyone truly interested in being directed by the evidence must acknowledge the evidence against as well as the evidence for. And right now the visual evidence, like geography and climate, which is much of what you experience in a movie, what you see, does not work well for the heartland model. So from a movie and visual experience perspective mesoamerica seems a more natural fit.

I agree, I don't find the so-called Heartland Model compelling at all.

When I was growing up, I assumed the Panama isthmus was the "narrow neck" mentioned several times. That's clearly incorrect, though, so as an adult I have had to adjust my internal models. Mesoamerica seems the best fit, so that's sort of my default (but not with the isthmus of Panama as the narrow neck of land).

If compelling evidence for the Heartland Model comes available, I will have no problem transferring my flag. Until then, Mesoamerica or possibly northern South America seem to me the most reasonable possibilities for the setting of Zarahemla, Bountiful, and the land of Nephi.

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On 8/27/2022 at 12:14 PM, Vort said:

I agree, I don't find the so-called Heartland Model compelling at all.

When I was growing up, I assumed the Panama isthmus was the "narrow neck" mentioned several times. That's clearly incorrect, though, so as an adult I have had to adjust my internal models. Mesoamerica seems the best fit, so that's sort of my default (but not with the isthmus of Panama as the narrow neck of land).

If compelling evidence for the Heartland Model comes available, I will have no problem transferring my flag. Until then, Mesoamerica or possibly northern South America seem to me the most reasonable possibilities for the setting of Zarahemla, Bountiful, and the land of Nephi.


I don't have a problem with the heartland model, I feel it is more LIKELY than the mesoamerican model...but that's an OPINION I have.  I especially feel it is more likely than the Yucatan peninsula theory, which is absolutely a farce (in my opinion...again). 

I don't see a problem with the isthmus of Panama being the narrow neck, there are several ways it could be accomplished.  The isthmus could absolutely have been a day's travel for certain groups of ancient inhabitants, though for most of today's modern civilization of the first world (and the second) we cannot imagine traversing such a distance in 24 hours. 

On a road, at walking speed, there are points on the isthmus that even a modern day walker could go that entire distance in 24 hours or less.  For those who are in shape and accustomed to walking, those locations would be much easier for them to traverse.  For the obese or lazy in our society, that would be an impossible location to traverse for many, even if given many days.  It is a difference of what we are used to and what was done in times past. 

Edited by JohnsonJones
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12 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Just a potentially interesting article to throw on concerning horses in pre-spanish america:

 

https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/yes-world-there-were-horses-in-native-culture-before-the-settlers-came

Fascinating. 

The question is if we have found archeological evidence of this as well?  Historical records (written records) of these periods are scant, and I do not recall any that are currently notable that refer to horses being native to the Americas (but our knowledge of records and history is always changing, and my focus in history is not American History). 

Interesting article.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a book that puts a serious knock on the Mesoamerican theory.

Joseph Smith at one time, posited that the original landings happened near Valparaiso, Chile.  The book about BoM ecology supports this idea.

I've always liked a South American location for the majority of events in the BoM.

As an aside, Murdock-Morris https://www.mmetours.com/  travel agency provides many LDS oriented tours to "BoM" lands as well as Israel etc.  This agency is not affiliated with the church although it has its origins as BYU travel.

Another aside is that the Darien isthmus is basically not passable, even to this day.  Much more that 24 hours if even possible.  There is a reason that the Pan American Highway, built during WW2, skips this part!  Not buildable either.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Mormon-Ecology-reveals-keepers-ebook/dp/B08338W4SM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2LRNDSRUI9N7E&keywords=book+of+mormon+archeology&qid=1663022868&s=digital-text&sprefix=%2Cdigital-text%2C172&sr=1-1

Edited by mrmarklin
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5 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Here is a book that puts a serious knock on the Mesoamerican theory.

Joseph Smith at one time, posited that the original landings happened near Valparaiso, Chile.  The book about BoM ecology supports this idea.

I've always liked a South American location for the majority of events in the BoM.

As an aside, Murdock-Morris https://www.mmetours.com/  travel agency provides many LDS oriented tours to "BoM" lands as well as Israel etc.  This agency is not affiliated with the church although it has its origins as BYU travel.

Another aside is that the Darien isthmus is basically not passable, even to this day.  Much more that 24 hours if even possible.  There is a reason that the Pan American Highway, built during WW2, skips this part!  Not buildable either.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Mormon-Ecology-reveals-keepers-ebook/dp/B08338W4SM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2LRNDSRUI9N7E&keywords=book+of+mormon+archeology&qid=1663022868&s=digital-text&sprefix=%2Cdigital-text%2C172&sr=1-1

That would be an interesting read. This is one of the things that I always found as being not in favor of the heartland model. The climate in my mind just didn't fit. Not having a lot of knowledge of mesoamerican climate I just kind of assumed that was the better fit. But perhaps that is not the case either.

Looks like the book is free for Kindle unlimited subscribers. Lucky me!

Edited by laronius
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

My father was an artist.  I think I was a disappointment to my father because I have no artistic abilities.   In some ways different kinds of artists are like engineers and mathematicians.  A real mathematician is upset if there is any practical empirical use to their achievements – whereas the soul purpose of an engineer is finding a practical empirical use for mathematics.   Some artists are quite upset if someone admiring their art thinks they know what exactly what it represents – others are upset if no one figures out what they intended.

While visiting the middle east I discovered a date palm tree that has white fruit that is quite sweat.  The tree is called the tree of life because the ripe fruit will not rot for months during long journeys through the dessert heat.  It is one of the only sources of sustaining life crossing vast regions of desert.  The most valued of these trees comes from the region where Lehi had his dream of the tree of life.   I have never seen a picture of a palm tree representing the tree of life?????

Sadly, there was very little in the Middle East that looked much like I thought it should.   Songs are messed up as well.  The song “Far Far Away on Judea’s planes”.   The reality is that there are no planes anywhere near Bethlehem and the sheep herders never had children with them – the sheep around Bethlehem were a unique and special type and the shepherds did not leave their sheep out in the open at night.

On occasion I have attempted to communicate that the Book of Mormon is not a historical document but rather a religious revelation that is not trying to depict what historians call history.  There is way too much left out of the Book of Mormon from which we can draw accurate historical conclusions of locations with corresponding events.  I feel much about the Bible as well.  Many people want a pilgrimage to sacred places – but most of Jerusalem and Israel landscape does not lend itself to know exactly what was where.  If one takes a “Rona” Tour, they will tell what visiting modern Prophets have said about things (like the Garden of Gethsemane).  But the Church does not publish such things.  I have pondered that there are many things that come only by personal revelation – which means it is not necessary (or proper???) to share with the world.

 

The Traveler

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12 hours ago, Traveler said:

My father was an artist.  I think I was a disappointment to my father because I have no artistic abilities.   In some ways different kinds of artists are like engineers and mathematicians.  A real mathematician is upset if there is any practical empirical use to their achievements – whereas the soul purpose of an engineer is finding a practical empirical use for mathematics.   Some artists are quite upset if someone admiring their art thinks they know what exactly what it represents – others are upset if no one figures out what they intended.

While visiting the middle east I discovered a date palm tree that has white fruit that is quite sweat.  The tree is called the tree of life because the ripe fruit will not rot for months during long journeys through the dessert heat.  It is one of the only sources of sustaining life crossing vast regions of desert.  The most valued of these trees comes from the region where Lehi had his dream of the tree of life.   I have never seen a picture of a palm tree representing the tree of life?????

Sadly, there was very little in the Middle East that looked much like I thought it should.   Songs are messed up as well.  The song “Far Far Away on Judea’s planes”.   The reality is that there are no planes anywhere near Bethlehem and the sheep herders never had children with them – the sheep around Bethlehem were a unique and special type and the shepherds did not leave their sheep out in the open at night.

On occasion I have attempted to communicate that the Book of Mormon is not a historical document but rather a religious revelation that is not trying to depict what historians call history.  There is way too much left out of the Book of Mormon from which we can draw accurate historical conclusions of locations with corresponding events.  I feel much about the Bible as well.  Many people want a pilgrimage to sacred places – but most of Jerusalem and Israel landscape does not lend itself to know exactly what was where.  If one takes a “Rona” Tour, they will tell what visiting modern Prophets have said about things (like the Garden of Gethsemane).  But the Church does not publish such things.  I have pondered that there are many things that come only by personal revelation – which means it is not necessary (or proper???) to share with the world.

 

The Traveler

That is dangerous ground to tread, brother.  President Oaks has penned a few words in response to any who argue that the Book of Mormon is just a revelation of wholesome stories:

https://rsc.byu.edu/historicity-latter-day-saint-scriptures/historicity-book-mormon

To take that position, you have to go over or around Joseph Smith, his prophetic calling and testimony, and almost every other prophet since.  If you want to debate the historicity of the Old Testament, be my guest.  But I believe the Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book" and is a true account of a branch of the House of Israel on the American continent who were visited by the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Edited by LDSreliance
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13 hours ago, Traveler said:

think I was a disappointment to my father because I have no artistic abilities.

I doubt that. I always thought I disappointed my old man because he was a good athlete when he was younger and I never had an once of athletic talent. When I told him that I thought I disappointed him he looked at me like I was crazy. Never crossed his mind. 

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37 minutes ago, LDSreliance said:

That is dangerous ground to tread, brother.  President Oaks has penned a few words in response to any who argue that the Book of Mormon is just a revelation of wholesome stories:

https://rsc.byu.edu/historicity-latter-day-saint-scriptures/historicity-book-mormon

To take that position, you have to go over or around Joseph Smith, his prophetic calling and testimony, and almost every other prophet since.  If you want to debate the historicity of the Old Testament, be my guest.  But I believe the Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book" and is a true account of a branch of the House of Israel on the American continent who were visited by the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

 

I think you are comparing apples and oranges.  The works of Josephus are considered historic whereas the New Testament are considered inspired religious texts.   It does not mean that we cannot glean historical information from the New Testament any more than we can glean spiritual information from historical texts such as the works of Josephus.  I was talking about the intent of the text.   I will give an example:  In the Book of Mormon, it talks about Nephi building a ship to cross the waters.  An accurate historical text would have details about the ship in enough detail that we could build a decent replica.   The reference we have to a mast on the ship does not indicate how many masts there were or how the mast(s) held the sail or sails or even the size or shape of the sails.   There is no indication if there were oars – how the living quarter were placeed or how the animals were kept.  We do not know if the family of Lehi encountered anyone else or traded in their travels even though they were journeying through well populated areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

We are told that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, but we are also told that many true and important things (concerning the kingdom of G-d) are yet to be revealed.  Is there an answer as to exactly what is the “Fullness of the Gospel”?  I am thinking that for those that insist that the Book of Mormon is an accurate historical document will not understand what is being referenced by the “Fullness of the Gospel” in that historical setting.

I sort of agree with you about a record of a branch of Israel.  But if you read from the title page of the Book of Mormon it written by way of commandment to Jew and Gentile not for historical purpose but by prophesy and revelation.  I submit that the accuracy of the Book of Mormon is not historical but is accuracy in prophesy and revelation and as such is the most accurate text currently available to man.  The account is not a complete historical account but is complete in prophesy and revelation - and I would add "specific to our day" and not for some past generations.

 

The Traveler

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17 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I think you are comparing apples and oranges.  The works of Josephus are considered historic whereas the New Testament are considered inspired religious texts.   It does not mean that we cannot glean historical information from the New Testament any more than we can glean spiritual information from historical texts such as the works of Josephus.  I was talking about the intent of the text.   I will give an example:  In the Book of Mormon, it talks about Nephi building a ship to cross the waters.  An accurate historical text would have details about the ship in enough detail that we could build a decent replica.   The reference we have to a mast on the ship does not indicate how many masts there were or how the mast(s) held the sail or sails or even the size or shape of the sails.   There is no indication if there were oars – how the living quarter were placeed or how the animals were kept.  We do not know if the family of Lehi encountered anyone else or traded in their travels even though they were journeying through well populated areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

We are told that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, but we are also told that many true and important things (concerning the kingdom of G-d) are yet to be revealed.  Is there an answer as to exactly what is the “Fullness of the Gospel”?  I am thinking that for those that insist that the Book of Mormon is an accurate historical document will not understand what is being referenced by the “Fullness of the Gospel” in that historical setting.

I sort of agree with you about a record of a branch of Israel.  But if you read from the title page of the Book of Mormon it written by way of commandment to Jew and Gentile not for historical purpose but by prophesy and revelation.  I submit that the accuracy of the Book of Mormon is not historical but is accuracy in prophesy and revelation and as such is the most accurate text currently available to man.  The account is not a complete historical account but is complete in prophesy and revelation - and I would add "specific to our day" and not for some past generations.

 

The Traveler

We will have to agree to disagree.  All I am saying is that your line of thinking can be taken to discount anything and everything related to this gospel.  None of it can be proven with empirical evidence or with the human brain and its logic and reason.  But, by the same token, it cannot be disproven, either.  If you want to know if the Book of Mormon was historically accurate, you have to use the Spirit and those senses as President Oaks states in that treatise.  You can't conclude that based on a trip to the Middle East not meeting your expectations.

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20 hours ago, LDSreliance said:

 You can't conclude that based on a trip to the Middle East not meeting your expectations.

If the texts were accurate historical text, then a trip to the Middle East would be exactly what was expected.  The point of President Oaks is that the characters of the Book of Mormon were indeed individuals that lived in space and time - unlike those in parables like the Good Samaritan.  I would liken this to “The History of the Church” by BH Roberts as a historical text and the “Doctrine and Covenants” as prophesy and revelation.

If you are still interested, I would point out something else (historical) that we can glean from text intended for prophesy and revelation.  In the “Pearl of Great Price” – Book of Abraham chapter 3 contains prophesy and revelation that was given to Abraham in ancient Egypt.  Likewise, in the “Doctrine and Covenants” section 88 contains prophesy and revelations given to Joseph Smith in the 19th century.  What is interesting is that the prophesies and revelations of these text are in essence the same – but one according to the science and mathematics of ancient Egypt and the other according to Newtonian mathematics of the 19th century.

Regardless of what ever argument one puts forth concerning the origins of the Book of Mormon – those choosing to reject the Book of Mormon will determine whatever excuse they will.  There is a preponderance of empirical evidence of accuracies in the Book of Mormon – especially concerning locations known in the Middle East.  But the Book of Mormon is not for the purpose of understanding history accurately but rather prophecies and revelations for the end of times.   But if you like you can reject my efforts to add to your understanding of the Book of Mormon.

I have enjoyed our conversation and look forward to more.  Thank you for your witness.

 

The Traveler

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9 hours ago, mirkwood said:

I find the topic fascinating.  It does not impact my salvation at all, but it is very interesting to me.

I met an archologist in Mexico (LDS and Mexican citizen) that was converted when he found a place of many ancient records but was forbidden to remove any of them.  He also claimed to know where Zarahemla was but that is also a forbidden place.  He has since passed away with whatever his knowledge (belief) was.   He did say to me that G-d will make these things known in his own time – this I believe.

As a side note – I do enjoy visiting sacred Church historical sites.  I would consider any Book of Mormon site, sacred.  I have also visited Israel – many of the popular religious Bible sites kind of left me cold.  Of all religious places, the site I was most moved and still touches me whenever I remember my visit, was Winter Quarters (graveyard) in Nebraska.   One in every 5 residents of Winter Quarters are berried there and the vast majority of them were mothers with newborn infants.

 

The Traveler

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