Book of Mormon geography/Models/Limited/Meldrum 2003/Section 6:Tents, Temples, and Teepees

Table of Contents

Claims made in section 6: Tents, Temples and Teepees

Page Claim Response Author's sources

DVD 6-1:54

  • The narrator concludes that the Book of Mormon people used tents from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. According to the narrator, "ancient peoples almost always had tents as a survival strategy" because "they didn't know at that time if the Syrians or the Babylonians or somebody were going to come to call and they might have to leave their permanent structures."
  • Actually, Lehi's family could just as easily have had tents if his family traveled as traders.
  • It is possible that the people had tents because they were often required to go to battle against the Lamanites. Any army would use tents or other temporary structures.
  • The "tents" mentioned in the Book of Mormon are also likely booths or temporary structures used for the Mosiac festival of sukkoth (see Mosiah 2:2-6).
  • Reviews of DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, Section 5: Identifying the Nephites, FAIR (2009).
  • None

DVD 6-2:51

  • In 124 B.C., the people brought tents to listen to King Benjamin's speech. This is used as proof that the people lived in tents.

DVD 6-3:30-3:44

  • It is claimed that the Lamanites may have lived in tents in order to keep up with the movement of their food supply. The Lamanites are claimed to not have done "much in the way of city building."

Fact checking results: This claim is false

This is used to imply that the Lamanites were nomadic. However, when the sons of Mosiah travel to Lamanite country on their mission (prior to the time of Christ) the Lamanites were clearly living in cities. (This is in contrast to the DVD's claim that "they didn't do much in the way of city building.") From the descriptions of their kings and kings over kings, they were not only cities, but large ones with a complex social organization. There is some evidence for Lamanite nomadic hunting and gathering early in Nephite history (Enos 1:20), but this is not the dominant Lamanite lifestyle through most of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon text disagrees with the presenter's claim that the Lamanites were nomadic throughout most of Nephite history.
  • According to the Book of Mormon, Lamanites also lived in cities:
    • "And these are the names of the cities of the Lamanites which were converted unto the Lord; and these are they that laid down the weapons of their rebellion, yea, all their weapons of war; and they were all Lamanites." Alma 23:13
    • "Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called Jerusalem." Alma 21:2
  • Nomadic peoples can rarely threaten settled, agricultural societies with annihilation, since agricultural societies have higher birth rates, higher population densities, and more surplus food and expertise.
  • Reviews of DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, Section 5: Identifying the Nephites, FAIR (2009).
  • None

DVD 6-5:55

  • The ruined city of Chichen Itza is Mayan.
  •  The author's claim is false: This city "was initially occupied by the Itzaes and later by the Toltec, people who are unrelated to the Maya" (Jerry Ainsworth (20 Sept 2008).).
  • None

DVD 2-5:55

  • Mesoamerican theorists claim that Chichen Itza is a potential Nephite temple because the image is used on the cover of the Church film The Testaments.
  •  The author's claim is false: "Well, not by anyone who knows what they are talking about. The Nephite nation was destroyed before the construction of Chichen Itza, which makes it difficult for it to have been a Nephite city" (Jerry Ainsworth (20 Sept 2008).)
  • None

DVD 6-6:20

  • Mesoamerican temples shown in a photo could not be "Nephite temples" because they date to "about 900 years A.D."
  • To state that these structures were built "about 900 years A.D." is a gross over-simplification of facts. This statement ignores the complexity of overlapping Mayan cultures. The Maya built new structures on top of older structures. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to examine early pre-Classic Mayan structures which do date to Book of Mormon times.
  • "When the Lamanites took over the Nephite cities, they completely tore them down and reconstructed them, or they built over them. Therefore, the chances of you seeing a Nephite building are extremely remote. Probably non-existent, unless you wish to dive down and see the city of Moroni which sunk at the crucifixion. He is therefore not comparing Nephite buildings to ancient Israel, but Lamanites buildings, and he is surprised that these buildings are used for apostate rituals" (Jerry Ainsworth (20 Sept 2008).).
  • Amerindians as Lamanites/Maya and Olmec
  • Reviews of DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, Section 5: Identifying the Nephites, FAIR (2009).
  • None

DVD 6-6:40

  • The Church produced film "The Testaments" depicts Mayan temples as existing during Nephite times.
  • None

DVD 6-7:11

  • Mayan temples do not look like Solomon's Temple.
  • None

DVD 6-7:24

  • Mayan temples were used to perform sacrifices, which is not consistent with the use of Solomon's Temple.
  • None

DVD 6-7:24

  • Hopewell (supposedly "Nephite") temples were used for 'proper' purposes, unlike Mayan structures..
  • None

DVD 2-7:44

  • Pyramids at Chichen Itza were "temples" were built for and/or were used for tombs, and "all of them, have dead people in them," using an image of El Castillo as an example.
  •  The author's claim is false: "I know of no tombs that have been found in this building, or any other pyramid at Chichen Itza."
  • "Early in the study of the Maya, one of the largest pyramids at Tikal was completely dismantled by the archaeologist in charge, Chris Jones. There were no tombs found in that whole pyramid. As I have already stated, there have been tombs found in some of the pyramids, but to say they all have dead people in them is simply incorrect" (Jerry Ainsworth (20 Sept 2008).).
  • None

Heartland (Meldrum) Geography claims