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Response to "Difficult Questions for Mormons: Book of Mormon Culture"

A FairMormon Analysis of: Difficult Questions for Mormons, a work by author: The Interactive Bible
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Difficult Questions for Mormons
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Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention Silk (Alma 1:29)?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention Silk (Alma 1:29)? LDS Apologist John Welch cites several New World fabrics as possible matches for Linen and Silk (Reexploring the Book of Mormon, pg. 162). Agave fibers and fig bark for Linen? Ceiba fibers, pineapple fibers and rabbit hair for Silk? Welch concludes with the staggering claim 'Mesoamerica evidently exhibits almost an embarrassment of riches for the "silk" and "linen" of Alma 1:29. All but the most trivializing critics should be satisfied with the parallels.' (pg. 164) My response to Welch: You'll have to forgive my trivializing nature but rabbit hair doesn't equal silk in my book."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Materials classified as "silk" did exist in the New World during this period.



Armitage: "It is suggested by de Ávila Blomberg that wild silk was used in Oaxaca in pre-Columbian times"

The theory that "wild silk" was used anciently in Oaxaca, near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mesoamerica, "has been greatly debated."

Wild silk was produced by the Gloveria paidii, a moth, and the Eucheira socialis, a butterfly, found in the Oaxaca area (de Ávila Blomberg, 1997). It is suggested by de Ávila Blomberg that wild silk was used in Oaxaca in pre-Columbian times, a theory that has been greatly debated. However, in a 1777 document, an excavation of a pre-Columbian burial site is described as containing wild silk.[1]

Oaxaca.jpg


Sorenson: Linen and silk textiles in ancient America

John L. Sorenson:[2]

Linen and silk are textiles mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Alma 4:6). Neither fabric as we now know them was found in Mesoamerica at the coming of the Spaniards. The problem might be no more than linguistic. The redoubtable Bernal Diaz, who served with Cortez in the initial wave of conquest, described native Mexican garments made of "henequen which is like linen." [3] The fiber of the maguey plant, from which henequen was manufactured, closely resembles the flax fiber used to make European linen. Several kinds of "silk," too, were reported by the conquerors. One kind was of thread spun from the fine hair on the bellies of rabbits. Padre Motolinia also reported the presence of a wild silkworm, although he thought the Indians did not make use of the cocoons. But other reports indicate that wild silk was spun and woven in certain areas of Mesoamerica. Another type came from the pod of the ceiba tree. [4] We may never discover actual remains of these fabrics, but at least the use of the words in the Book of Mormon now seems to offer no problem.


Response to claim: "What about Chariots (Alma 18:9)? There is no evidence of actual wheeled vehicle usage in the 2,000 BC to 400 AD time frame in Ancient America"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "What about Chariots (Alma 18:9)? There is no evidence of actual wheeled vehicle usage in the 2,000 BC to 400 AD time frame in Ancient America."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Wheeled chariots pulled by draft animals are not known to have existed in the New World during this period.



Question: In what context are chariots mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon mentions "chariots," which one assumes to be a wheeled vehicle. It is also claimed that no draft animals existed in the New World to pull such chariots. It should be remembered that chariots do not play a major role in the Book of Mormon. They are mentioned in the following contexts:

Quotations from Old World scriptures

Apocalyptic teachings in Old World style

  • 3 Nephi 21:14 - Jesus speaks of "horses and chariots" in a symbolic and apocalyptic address

Used in conjunction with horses

  • Alma 18:9 - Ammon feeds the Lamanite king's horses, which are associated with his "chariots."
  • Alma 20:6 - Lamanite king uses horses and chariot for visit to neighboring kingdom
  • 3 Nephi 3:22 - Nephites "had taken their horses, and their chariots" to a central fortified area for protection against robbers

(It should be noted that we are not told if these chariots served a purpose in riding, or if they were for transport of goods, or if they had a ceremonial function. One assumes some sort of practicality or ritual importance in war, since they brought chariots to the siege.)

Conspicuously absent is any role of the chariot in the many journeys recorded in the Book of Mormon. Nor do horses or chariots play any role in the many Nephite wars; this is in stark contrast to the Biblical account, in which the chariots of Egypt, Babylon, and the Philistines are feared super-weapons upon the plains of Israel.


Gardner: "a correct approach to a Mesoamerican battle required all three elements: king, litter, and battle beast"

Wrote Mesoamerican expert Brant Gardner, who believes the Book of Mormon was situated in Mesoamerica:

Regardless of the reason for the presence of "horse" and "chariot" in the text, we must still deal with the question of what the original text might have meant the animal and conveyance that Joseph translated as "horse" and "chariot" to be. From this point on, all is speculation—but speculation consistent with the Mesoamerican world.

The wording describing horses and chariots is at least suggestive that the king would be transported in connection with the horse and chariot: "they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth." "Conduct him" does not necessarily mean that Lamoni was conducted in the horse/chariot. Indeed, verse 9 mentions horses and chariots, but only the king is "conducted." It is possible that we are dealing with several ritual objects rather than a conveyance. Verse 12, however, does suggest that conveyances are available for the king and his servants; but if would be highly unusual for servants to ride in a culture where everyone walks. Riding would confer upon them the same social status as the king—not to be thought of unless chariots were so common that they were in universal use. And nothing in the text suggests that they were.

If we are dealing with a conveyance, there is a Mesoamerican possibility. A king might be conveyed in a litter, but the litters were carried by men, not pulled by animals. However, an interesting connection between the litter and an animal occurs on what has been termed a battle litter. Freidel, Schele, and Parker note:

Lintel 2 of Temple 1 shows Hasaw-Ka'an-K'awil wearing the balloon headdress of Tlaloc-Venus warfare adopted at the time of the Waxaktun conquest, and holding the bunched javelins and shield, the original metaphors for war imported from Teothuacan. He sits in majesty on the litter that carried him into battle, while above him hulks Waxkluha=un-Ubah-Kan, the great War serpent.... Graffiti drawings scratched on the walls of Tikal palaces, depicting the conjuring of supernatural beings from the Otherworld, prove that these scenes were more than imaginary events seen only by the kings. Several of these elaborate doodles show the great litters of the king with his protector beings hovering over him while he is participating in ritual. These images are not the propaganda of rulers, created in an effort to persuade the people of the reality of the supernatural events they were witnessing. They are the poorly drawn images of witnesses, perhaps minor members of lordly families, who scratched the wonders that they saw during moments of ritual into the walls of the places where they lived their lives.

Thus, Maya art represents the king riding on a litter. In battle, capturing the litter was tantamount to capturing that king's gods. However, the graffiti litters at least open the possibility that these were simply formal litters and not limited to battle context. These litters were accompanied by a "battle beast," or an animal alter ego, embodied in the regalia of the king and litter. Thus, a correct approach to a Mesoamerican battle required all three elements: king, litter, and battle beast.

If Joseph Smith, while translating, came upon an unfamiliar idea but which seemed to describe a kingly conveyance associated with an animal, would it not have seemed logical to him to describe it as a horses and chariot for the king? I see the plausible underlying conveyance as an elaborate royal litter, accompanied in peacetime by the spiritual animal associated with the king. This animal was a type of alter-ego for the king, and was called the way [pronounced like the letter "Y"]....[5]

Gardner's case may be strengthened by the mention of chariots being brought to the lengthy siege in 3 Nephi—suggesting again a possible ritual use associated with warfare.


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon imply a seven day week (Mosiah 13:18) when it was not known to Ancient Americans?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon imply a seven day week (Mosiah 13:18) when it was not known to Ancient Americans? The Mesoamericans used a variety of calendars, none of which match the Old World calendar. The Maya seemed to be oversupplied in the calendar department. One calendar consisted of a 260-day cycle divided into 13 'months' of twenty days. (This calendar was used by most of the ancient Mesoamericans). Each day was presided over by it's own god. Another consists of a 365-day cycle, also divided into 'months' of twenty days, eighteen of them in fact. The five leftover days were called the 'resting, or sleep of the year'. Another consists of a 3276-day cycle divided into four quadrants of 819 days (the product of 7*9*13, all sacred numbers to the Maya). And then, of course, there was the so-called 'long count' calendar, which simply counted days from the creation of the world (August 11, 3114 BC, if anyone wants to know). (Linda Schele, 'A Forest of Kings', pg. 78)."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Some New World cultures had a 7-day week, however, the Book of Mormon does not specify how long its "weeks" were.



Question: Was the "week" unknown in ancient America?

Some New World cultures had a 7-day week

It is claimed that there is no concept of a 7-day "week" in the New World, and so the Book of Mormon's reference to "weeks" is an anachronism. In fact, some New World cultures had a 7-day week.

But, the Book of Mormon does not specify how long its "weeks" were--cultures have had variable lengths of weeks.

It is also unreasonable to expect that a later New World civilization would retain a Nephite calendar with religious implications.

In assessing whether any New World civilization had a 7-day week, Helen Neuenswander agreed with Eric Thompson that this was likely among the early Maya. [6] Such imitation of the Old World pattern is not as unlikely as it might at first seem, since the number "four" has great symbolic importance to many New World cultures. The lunar month of 28 days is easily divided into four weeks of seven days each, making such a unit of time measurement a logical one.

The New World used multiple calendars, and often had more than one calendar in use in a given civilization. (Even today Jews and Muslims have their own lunar calendar, which they use for determining holy periods of time, while still using and making reference to the 'secular' solar calendar.)

The Book of Mormon mentions weeks, but does not tell us how many days they contained. Only our own cultural biases lead us to believe they must be seven days long.

Even if the Nephite believers used a seven-day calendar for religious purposes (likely in conjunction with other calendars), that is no reason to insist that such a calendar must be known or wide-spread in later civilizations. If there was no longer a valid cultural reason for tracking time in this manner, then such a calendar could easily fall into disuse. It seems, however,


Response to claim: "Why are Cimeters, an Old-World weapon of war, mentioned in Mosiah 9:16 and other verses when none have been found to exist in the New World?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why are Cimeters, an Old-World weapon of war, mentioned in Mosiah 9:16 and other verses when none have been found to exist in the New World? John Sorenson cites a Mesoamerican 'maccuahuitl' for a Cimiter (An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, pg. 262). The Maccuahuitl was a hardwood club with obsidian blades. A Cimiter is a heavy, two-handed steel blade. What's wrong with this picture?"

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Cimeters were known in the Old World prior to Lehi's departure, and there is some evidence of a similar weapon in the New World.



Hoskisson: "the mistaken assumption that scimitars did not exist in the pre-Islamic Old World"

Some critics have termed the presence of scimitars in the text of the Book of Mormon anachronistic. They base their claim on the mistaken assumption that scimitars did not exist in the pre-Islamic Old World and therefore could not have appeared among Book of Mormon peoples who claim an Old World nexus with Iron Age II Palestine.3 This assumption is based no doubt on one or more of the following considerations: (1) the scimitar is not mentioned earlier than the sixteenth century in English texts;4 (2) the Persian word samsir probably provided the etymon for the English word;5 and (3) the mistaken assumption that the period from A.D. 1000 to 1200 saw the "perfection of the Moslem scimitar."6 None of these observations asserts the presence or absence of scimitars in pre-Islamic times. Any arguments to the contrary based on these observations are simply arguments from silence and in this case would result in false conclusions.

There can be no question that scimitars, or sickle swords, were known in the ancient Near East during the Late Bronze Period, that is, about six hundred years prior to Lehi's departure from Jerusalem. There have been several early attempts to demonstrate this,7 but more recently Brent Merrill has convincingly shown that scimitars existed in the Late Bronze Age.8 In addition to the sources Merrill cited, Othmar Keel, on the basis of artifactual and glyptic evidence, dated the use of the scimitar as a weapon in the ancient Near East from 2400 to 1150 B.C., just a little after the traditional 1200 B.C. closing date for the Late Bronze Age.9 Robert Macalister found a late Bronze Age sickle sword at Gezer in Palestine (together with a Mycenaean pot), which Maxwell Hyslop dated to the "14th century B.c."10 Yigael Yadin discussed such swords in the context of warfare in the Near East, including the curved sword in use from Egypt to Assyria during the Late Bronze Age.11. [7] —(Click here to continue)


Egyptian Scimiter from Tell El-Dab'a in the Eastern Nile Delta (circa before 1500 BC)

Egyptian "scimitar." Labeling is as in original.[8]

An Egyptian excavation described a "scimeter," with a picture so labeled:

The warrior was put into his tomb in a supine slightly contracted position with his head towards the entrance. On his left hand was found an amethyst scarab; possibly belonging to a now lost ring. He was buried with his weapons and an assemblage of different pottery types. Bones of goats or sheep placed on a dish next to his head are remains of a meat offering. He wore a copper belt with an attached dagger with five middle ribs on his left side. In his arms he held a scimitar still in its sheath.[9]



Roper: "a strange double-curved weapon held in the left hand of the warrior figure on the Loltún cave relief might be considered a scimitar/cimeter"

Matthew Roper: [10]

The possibility has been suggested that a strange double-curved weapon held in the left hand of the warrior figure on the Loltún cave relief might be considered a scimitar/cimeter.[11] Its two blades curve in opposite directions from the ends of a central handle. Grube and Schele consider the object to be a weapon, and it looks something like a special version of the short-sword discussed above. We recall that the date for the figure at Loltún falls within the Book of Mormon period. Moreover, the Izapan art style in which the figure is carved originated in Pacific coastal Guatemala or southern Mexico. That region includes the territory thought by most Latter-day Saint researchers to have been the Nephite and Lamanite heartland. Thus the weapon shown at Loltún has a good chance of being one of the arms that Lamanites and Nephites were using during the central segment of Book of Mormon history. In fact, at Kaminaljuyu, the great ruined city in the valley of Guatemala, which many consider to have been the city of Nephi (or Lehi-Nephi), Stela 11 shows a warrior figure holding a curved object similar to that on the Loltún portrait. It may be even earlier than the one at Loltún, dating to the early Miraflores period (250 to 100 BC). Some Mesoamerican experts consider that the curved object on Stela 11 was the equivalent of the double-bladed weapon at Loltún.[12]


Response to claim: "Why have some (like Elder Peterson and Elder Brewerton) used the Quetzalcoatl legend to "prove" the Book of Mormon's Christ when the Quetzalcoatl (or feathered serpent) legend dates to 1,000 years before the Book of Mormon's Christ?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why have some (like Elder Peterson and Elder Brewerton) used the Quetzalcoatl legend to "prove" the Book of Mormon's Christ when the Quetzalcoatl (or feathered serpent) legend dates to 1,000 years before the Book of Mormon's Christ?"

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Some in the Church has assumed that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ (although we do not know whether Elder's Peterson and Brewerton believed this.) The filmstrip "Christ in America," which was used during the 1970's, made such a connection. While the legend of Quetzalcoatl provides some interesting similarities with Jesus Christ, there are problems associated with trying to claim that Quetzalcoatl is some sort of proof of Christ's visit to the Americas as described in the Book of Mormon.



Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Quetzalcoatl was actually Jesus Christ?

Whether Quetzalcoatl can tell us anything about the Book of Mormon remains unproven

It is claimed that LDS scholars believe that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ. However, since Quetzalcoatl's association with a "feathered serpent" constitutes "snake worship," some Christians claim that this association is therefore inconsistent with worship of Jesus Christ.

Some LDS authors have seen Christian parallels to Quetzalcoatl. At least some of these parallels were probably imposed, however, by the secondary sources who also sought a Christian connection to native myth. Quetzalcoatl plays a minor—if any—role in modern LDS apologetics. Critics should not, however, act as if the association of a "snake" with Christ is completely foreign or strange—certainly the brass serpent placed on a pole and raised up by Moses has some symbolic links to Jesus.

Whether Quetzalcoatl can tell us anything about the Book of Mormon, however, remains unproven. FairMormon does not at present recommend relying on this as "evidence" for the truth of the Book of Mormon account.

The legend of Quetzalcoatl is of interest as a corroborative element in supporting the Book of Mormon, but it is not an element of anybody's belief

Although critics would like to make the LDS association of Quetzalcoatl with Jesus Christ some sort of key element in an effort to "salvage their cherished faith," the reality is that Quetzalcoatl is rarely if ever discussed. The legend of Quetzalcoatl is of interest as a corroborative element in supporting the Book of Mormon, but it is by no means a critical element of anybody's belief. The association is intriguing to the LDS, as even the critics agree that certain elements of the legend are consistent with the Book of Mormon teaching that Jesus Christ appeared in the New World. Wallace E. Hunt Jr. lists the following elements, all drawn from non-LDS sources:

  • Quetzalcoatl was the creator of life.
  • Quetzalcoatl taught virtue.
  • Quetzalcoatl was the greatest Lord of all.
  • Quetzalcoatl had a "long beard and the features of a white man."
  • The Mesoamericans believed Quetzalcoatl would return.


Question: Have Mormon apologists ignored aspects of Quetzalcoatl which are inconsistent with Jesus Christ?

Those who have seen Quetzalcoatl as evidence for Christ's visit to the Americas generally saw the Quetzalcoatl legend as an apostate remnant of the truth

Critic Richard Abanes claims that the similarities in the comparison of Quetzalcoatl with Jesus Christ are "minor," while continuing on to note that "what LDS apologists tend to not mention are a few additional aspects of Quetzalcoatl, none of which seem very consistent with Jesus Christ." The following aspects of the Quetzalcoatl legend are those that some claim that are "deemphasized" by LDS apologists:

  • Snake worship
  • Human sacrifice made to Quetzalcoatl
  • Quetzalcoatl's twin brother Xolotl

Have "LDS apologists" (meaning, in this case, any LDS scholar) ignored or deemphasized aspects of the Quetzalcoatl legend?

Those (e.g., Milton R. Hunter) who have seen Quetzalcoatl as evidence for Christ's visit to the Americas generally saw the Quetzalcoatl legend as an apostate remnant of the truth. Thus, they saw some parallels which they felt applied to Jesus, while recognizing that fifteen hundred years of apostasy and corruption led to other elements being "grafted on" or altered.

While a legitimate perspective, this approach has the disadvantage of seeing parallels and ignoring contradictory aspects.


Question: What are the problems of trying to associate Quetzalcoatl with Jesus Christ?

Despite the enthusiasm of some earlier researchers, the Quetzalcoatl as Christ link has substantial problems

Chief among these is the fact that most writers have not used the original sources of the Quetzalcoatl myths, but have relied on secondary sources—these sources often came via the Spanish, who likewise had an interest in seeing Christian parallels with native Amerindian myths.

When the original sources are studied, it becomes clear that the Christian parallels to Quetzalcoatl are not as significant as some authors have previously thought.


Response to claim: "When the Nephites landed in the Americas there were already millions of inhabitants in the land with large cities and infrastructure. Why are these people not mentioned?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "When the Nephites landed in the Americas there were already millions of inhabitants in the land with large cities and infrastructure. Why are these people not mentioned? The Book of Mormon seems to indicate that the continent was empty at the time. 2 Nephi 1:8 One wonders if 'knowledge' of the land had been kept from the natives who had already been there for thousands of years?"

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The Book of Mormon hints at the presence of others in the land, but does not explicitly mention them.



Question: Why aren't other inhabitants of the America's mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is likely a "kinship record," which is a history written from the point of view of a social clan: the Nephite ruling class

The Book of Mormon is not primarily a history of a people. It is the history of a message—the doctrine of Christ—and those who either embraced or rejected it. It is also likely a "kinship record," which is a history written from the point of view of a social clan: the Nephite ruling class. Thus, the text focuses the majority of its attention on the doctrine of Christ, and how that doctrine affects the relatives of the kin group keeping the record.

The Nephite record keepers clearly understand that there is more going on, and are quite clear that the labels "Nephite" and "Lamanite" are political terms of convenience, where membership is varied and fluid. As Jacob said:

But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings. Jacob 1:14

Boyd K. Packer: "The presentation of the Book of Mormon as a history of the ancestors of the American Indians is not a very compelling nor a very accurate introduction"

Elder Boyd K. Packer emphasized that the Book of Mormon's view of itself is often not how some members of the Church portray it:

The Book of Mormon is often introduced as "a history of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, the ancestors of the American Indians." We have all seen missionaries about the world with street boards displaying pictures of American Indians or pyramids and other ruins in Latin America. That introduction does not reveal the contents of this sacred book any better than an introduction of the Bible as "a history of the ancient inhabitants of the Near East, the ancestors of the modern Israelites" would reveal its contents. The presentation of the Book of Mormon as a history of the ancestors of the American Indians is not a very compelling nor a very accurate introduction. When we introduce the Book of Mormon as such a history–and that is the way we generally introduce it–surely the investigator must be puzzled, even disappointed, when he begins to read it. Most do not find what they expect. Nor do they, in turn, expect what they find…The Book of Mormon is not biographical, for not one character is fully drawn. Nor, in a strict sense, is it a history. While it chronicles a people for a thousand and twenty–one years and contains the record of an earlier people, it is in fact not a history of a people. It is the saga of a message, a testament.[13]


Question: Was the Lehite colony too small to produce the population sizes indicated by the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon contains many overt references, and some more oblique ones, to 'other' peoples that were part of the demographic mix in Book of Mormon times

A superficial reading of the Book of Mormon leads some to conclude that the named members of Lehi's group were the only members of Nephite/Lamanite society.

The Book of Mormon contains many overt references, and some more oblique ones, to 'other' peoples that were part of the demographic mix in Book of Mormon times. Indeed, many Book of Mormon passages make little sense unless we understand this. The Nephite record keeps its focus on a simplistic "Nephite/Lamanite" dichotomy both because it is a kinship record, and because its focus is religious, not politico-historical.

But, as one author observed, it is

inescapable that there were substantial populations in the "promised land" throughout the period of the Nephite record, and probably in the Jaredite era also. The status and origin of these peoples is never made clear because the writers never set out to do any such thing; they had other purposes. Yet we cannot understand the demographic or cultural history of Lehi's literal descendants without taking into account those other groups, too.

Hereafter, readers will not be justified in saying that the record fails to mention "others" but only that we readers have hitherto failed to observe what is said and implied about such people in the Book of Mormon.[14]:34


John L. Sorenson: "Several puzzles about the history of the Nephites and Lamanites are linked to the question of whether they found others already living in their promised land"

John L. Sorenson,

Several puzzles about the history of the Nephites and Lamanites are linked to the question of whether they found others already living in their promised land. It seems important enough to call for serious examination of the text of the Book of Mormon for all possible evidence. Let us first look at what the Nephite writers say about their own group. Then we will see what we can learn about other groups described or mentioned in the record. In each case we will not only look for direct data on population size, ethnicity, language, and culture but also will draw plausible inferences about those matters.[15]


Response to claim: "Why didn't Nephi compare and contrast the New World with Jerusalem?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why didn't Nephi compare and contrast the New World with Jerusalem? These were two vastly different places."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda and/or spin - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Nephi was not writing a record about geography - he was writing a spiritual record of his people. He only described geography when it was relevant to the story that he was telling.



Notes

  1. Careyn Patricia Armitage, "Silk production and its impact on families and communities in Oaxaca, Mexico," Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Iowa State University (2008) off-site References de Ávila Blomberg, A. (1997). Threads of diversity: Oaxacan textiles in context. In K. Klein (Ed.) The unbroken thread: Conserving the textile traditions of Oaxaca (pp.87-151). Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.
  2. John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 232. See also Sorenson, "Silk and Linen in the Book of Mormon," Ensign (April 1992): 62.
  3. A.P. Maudslay, trans. and ed. Bernal Diaz del Castillo: The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1517-1521 (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy, 1956), p. 24. (Note: Sorenson p. 232 note 52 corresponds to endnote 52, p. 382).
  4. I.W. Johnson, "Basketry and Textiles," HMAI 10, part 1 (1971), p. 312. Matthew Wallrath in Excavations in the Tehuantepec Region, Mexico, American Philosophical Society Transactions, n.s. 57, part 2 (1967) p. 12, notes that wild silk was collected and spun in the isthmus area, and that the cloth had very high value. Clavigero also reported that fiber of the ceiba tree's pod was woven by Mexican Indians into fabric "as soft and delicate, and perhaps more so, than silk." C. Cullen, ed., The History of Mexico, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1817), p. 41. (Note: Sorenson p. 232 note 54 corresponds to endnote 53, p. 382)
  5. Brant A. Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 Vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2007), 4:287–288. Footnotes and one obvious typographical error have been silently omitted. Italics added to the internal quotation.
  6. Helen Neuenswander, “Vestiges of Early Maya Time Concepts in Contemporary Maya (Cubulco Achi) Community: Implications for Community,” Estudios de Cultura Maya 13 (1981): 125–163.
  7. Paul Y. Hoskisson,"Scimitars, Cimeters! We Have Scimitars! Do We Need Another Cimeter?", Warfare in the Book of Mormon, (1990)
  8. Irene Forstner-Mueller, "Recent find of a warrior tomb with a servant burial in area A/II at Tell el-Dab'a in the Eastern Nile Delta," Forum Archaeologiae 12/IX/99 (http://farch.tsx.org/forum0999/12tell.htm).
  9. Irene Forstner-Mueller, "Recent find of a warrior tomb with a servant burial in area A/II at Tell el-Dab'a in the Eastern Nile Delta," Forum Archaeologiae 12/IX/99 (http://farch.tsx.org/forum0999/12tell.htm).
  10. Matthew Roper, "Swords and "Cimeters" in the Book of Mormon," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 8/1 (1999): 34–43. wiki
  11. William J. Hamblin and A. Brent Merrill, "Swords in the Book of Mormon," in Warfare in the Book of Mormon, ed. Stephen D. Ricks and William J. Hamblin (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1990) 343.
  12. Antonio P. Andrews, "El 'Guerrero' de Loltún: Comentario Analítico," Boletú­n de la Escuela de Ciencias Antropológicas de la Universidad de Yucatán 8–9/48–49 (1981): 42; Lee A. Parsons, The Origins of Maya Art: Monumental Stone Sculpture of Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala, and the Southern Pacific Coast (Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1986), 78–79.
  13. Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991), 280–282.
  14. John L. Sorenson, "When Lehi's Party Arrived in the Land Did They Find Others There?," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 1/1 (1992): 1–34. wikiGL direct link
  15. John L. Sorenson, "When Lehi's Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 1:1 (1992)