Geology and The Book of Mormon

Posted on by

In John Lunds book “Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?”, he discusses Geology and The Book of Mormon. He notes that gold, silver and copper are mentioned several times in The Book of Mormon being found in abundance in the land. 1 If there are proposed Book of Mormon geographical theories that do not have all of these in abundance, then they would fail the test of being a possible site. Lund explains “Four separate mining areas possessing gold, silver and copper are required in order to qualify as the lands of the primary events in The Book of Mormon. Where are those criteria met? The answer is Mesoamerica, Southwestern United States, the Northern Rockies, and Western Canada. However, there is no single place east of the Mississippi River, including all twenty-six states, where one can find gold, silver, and copper together in one locale in abundance, much less four separate locations. This single fact alone is a nail in the coffin of Great Lakes advocates.” 2

Mesoamerica is known for its “abundance” in precious ores 3, which is why it was an area of such focus of the conquistadors. They raided and conquered entire civilizations in order to get gold and silver. “When Cortes reached Mexico with his army in March, the gold and silver he saw led him to conclude that ‘it is entirely possible that this country has everything which existed in that land from which Solomon is said to have brought gold for the Temple.’” 4

David, in preparing the Temple of the Lord, gathered 100,000 talents of gold, and a million talents of silver among many other valuable metals 5. A talent is roughly 75 lbs, which would make about 7.5 million pounds of gold and 75 million pounds of silver. I doubt that Cortes did the math, but he did know that he was finding A LOT of gold and silver.

Mesoamerican Indians also used a gold and copper (and sometimes silver) alloy called “tumbaga”. This mixture makes a strong product, but is still malleable, and is a much lighter weight than pure gold. Some scholars believe this is what the Gold plates were made out of 6. This was a common metal alloy that Mesoamericans used. When the conquistadors stole gold items from the natives, they would melt them down into bars and ship them back to their homeland. One of these ships was sunk in the Bahamas, and 200, 5.66 lb. tumbaga bars were found in the sunken ship 7. In order to make large amounts of tumbaga, there must be an abundance of both gold and copper in the area.

What about the Great Lakes? Well, it does not stand up to the test as well as Mesoamerica does. Lund writes “An exhaustive search of all twenty-six states east of the Mississippi found copper in Michigan, Wisconsin and one unproductive copper mine in New Jersey. Gold was found in South Carolina, Georgia and Maryland, and only trace amounts of gold in the Adirondacks and trace quantities of silver in the Appalachians. This hardly qualifies as abundance. Furthermore, these areas are separated by distances so great as to exclude the possibility of being in the five hundred to six hundred and fifty mile limitation imposed by the internal restrictions of The Book of Mormon.” 8

Mesoamerica also fits The Book of Mormon description of having Precious stones 9. The Maya had turquoise, emeralds, obsidian 10, and a quality of jade 11 that surpassed that of the Chinese jade 12. Earthquakes 13 are also mentioned several times within the text, so one would expect to find seismic activity in Book of Mormon lands. This is exactly what we find in Mesoamerica. The Motagua fault line runs through several Central American countries and has been active since the Mayan times, as well as the Chixoy-Polochic fault line. Volcanoes, a result of seismic activity, are also found throughout Mesoamerica. Lund finds that “There are sixteen active volcanoes in Mesoamerica and none east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Current scientific evidence for the past three thousand years has not found in the Great Lakes area the kind of seismic activity reported in The Book of Mormon.”14. He also notes that the Book of Mormon peoples would have a written language 15, and vultures 16 to fit the description in The Book of Mormon. Both of which, are found in Mesoamerica.

———————————————

1. Nephi 18:25, 2 Nephi 5:15, Jacob 2:12, Jarom 1:8, Helaman 6:9-11, Ether :17, Ether 10:23
2 . John L. Lund, Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?, (The Communication Company 2007), pg 128
3 . Elizabeth H. Paris, Metallurgy, Mayapan, and the Postclassic Mesoamerican World System, Ancient Mesoamerica, 19 (Cambridge University Press , 2008), 43–66
4. Jayne A. Sokolow, The Great Encounter: Native Peoples and European Settlers in the Americas, 1492-1800, (M.E. Sharpe, December 2002), pg 74
5. 1 Chronicles 22:14
6. “Of What Material Were the Plates?” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume – 10, Issue – 1, (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 2001) pg. 21
7. Warren Tucker, HWCA World NY Coin Auction 425 Catalog Vol. 2 (New York, New York, RSM Press, 2006) pg 251
8. John L. Lund, Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?, (The Communication Company 2007), pg. 132
9. Alma 17:14
10. Sharer, The Ancient Maya, pgs. 454-455, 730
11. John L. Lund, Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?, (The Communication Company 2007), pg 132
12. Mosiah 27:11, Helaman 5:27-31, 3 Nephi 8:6-19
13. Mosiah 27:11, Helaman 5:27-31, 3 Nephi 8:6-19
14. John L. Lund, Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?, (The Communication Company 2007), pg 135
15. The Book of Mormon people had a written hieroglyphic language (Mormon 9:32) as well did the Mayan. The Hopewell culture had no written language.
16. Alma 2:37-38, The Turkey vulture, a native to the Americas lives year round in Mesoamerica, but only in the Great Lakes area between May and August. Odds are the vultures mentioned were in Mesoamerica, John L. Lund, Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?, (The Communication Company 2007), pg. 135-136

37 thoughts on “Geology and The Book of Mormon

  1. BOMG

    This is tiresome.

    Will you list, like anti’s, proof requirements that are physical and ignore spiritual fulfilled land promises?

    Regarding gold, it was mined for thousands of years, not hundreds. Don’t expect any.

    Regarding volcanic activity be the explanation for events at the coming Christ, not quite. It says they had “never known those before,” i.e. WAS NOT VOLCANOES!

    Regarding a language, r u serious? Would an enemy, sworn to the genocide of its foe preserve their language?

  2. Steven Danderson

    One small problem, Tyler: Gold and other things HAVE been mined east of the Mississippi, River. For example, Dahlonega, Georgia was the site of the first gold rush in the USA. In fact, the name of the town is the Cherokee word for “gold.” So much gold was found there that, for many years, the US mint had a branch there–and the Confederates used it, as well. See, among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahlonega,_Georgia.

  3. Jeff

    You seem to reason thus:

    1. The Book of Mormon people report having gold, silver, and copper
    2. Mesoamerica also has gold, silver, and copper
    3. Therefore, Mesoamerica is the place where the BOM takes place

    This is like saying that since “The Lord of the Rings” mentions large wolves, eagles, and spiders, that Middle Earth is most likely located in Minnesota because it also has large wolves, eagles, and spiders.

    However, one big problem with this theory is that there is no evidence of Nazgul, Wargs, or Hobbits in Minnesota. No Mithril in Minnesota either! Hmmm. Well maybe Minnesota is not such a great fit for Middle Earth.

    Wait a second! There is no evidence of horses, cattle, elephants, goats, swine, wheeled chariots, steel, barley, wheat, or silk in Mesoamerica during purported BOM times either!

    Sadly, there is the same amount of archaeologic evidence of Middle Earth in Minnesota as there is Book of Mormon evidence in Mesoamerica. That’s because both are fictional works. The anachronisms above are just the first problem with BOM authenticity. I’m actually shocked that FAIR keeps trying to find a place where millions of people were purported to live for over 1000 years – and yet there is no trace of them anywhere.

  4. Tyler Livingston Post author

    Thank you for that Steve. I was hesitant to actually post the OP, and only did so by quoting anothers work, but thought it might generate some interesting discussion. I am more than open on this subject, but, is there any evidence that this gold was mined anciently by the Cherokees? I don’t recall any gold artifacts being found among the Cherokee, and from what I’ve read, gold didn’t become an issue until the white man found out it was there. There just doesn’t seem to me much supporting an ancient gold mining operation. In Mesoamerica, we can find evidence of ancient gold mining/gathering, but not up the Americas.
    The area was not called “gold” by the Cherokees, but was originally named “Licklog”, and on October 17 1833 “New Mexico [which it was named temporarily], a mining camp, was selected by the inferior court as the county seat of kin County in 1833, but the name was changed to Talonega, or Dahlonega, the Cherokee for yellow metal” (Dahlonega:A Brief History pg 24)
    So, it was named “yellow metal” years after the start of the gold rush, by white men. It does not seem to have an ancient origin.
    Thoughts?

  5. Steven Danderson

    I was hesitant to actually post the OP, and only did so by quoting anothers work, but thought it might generate some interesting discussion.

    You’ve done a pretty good job of it thus far, and–if we can keep it from being hijacked–I can’t see why that cannot continue.

    I am more than open on this subject, but, is there any evidence that this gold was mined anciently by the Cherokees? I don’t recall any gold artifacts being found among the Cherokee, and from what I’ve read, gold didn’t become an issue until the white man found out it was there.

    I’m not aware of any mining operations similar to that of modern times. However, to be “FAIR,” [ ;) ] at least in its early stages, the California gold rush didn’t involve normal mining, either.

    Moreover, the fact that the Cherokees had a word for the stuff that apparently pre-dated the 1828 Georgia gold rush may be a testament that it existed in that area–and was not uncommon.

    In Mesoamerica, we can find evidence of ancient gold mining/gathering, but not up the Americas.

    This is obviously a point in favour of the Mesoamerican model–though not necessarily one against alternate models. There are two reasons for that: 1. The old saying, “Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.” 2. There is evidence that early settlers and others destroyed relics of ancient peoples in Florida. Thus, we cannot know (at least at present) a lot of details of this group. :(

    The area was not called “gold” by the Cherokees, but was originally named “Licklog”, and on October 17 1833 “New Mexico [which it was named temporarily], a mining camp, was selected by the inferior court as the county seat of kin County in 1833, but the name was changed to Talonega, or Dahlonega, the Cherokee for yellow metal” (Dahlonega:A Brief History pg 24)
    So, it was named “yellow metal” years after the start of the gold rush, by white men. It does not seem to have an ancient origin.

    While the town itself was named Talonega five years after the gold rush began, and Dahlonega four years after that, both are variants of the Cherokee word, Dalonige, which came into being a LONG time before that.

  6. BOMG

    Jeff, thanks for highlighting the double standard. No amount of physical evidence will convince a person the Book of Mormon is God’s word but fulfilled prophecies can, including the reality of Jesus.

    “It cannot be too strongly emphasized,” a leading archaeologist writes, “that archaeological finds in themselves mean nothing; they have to be interpreted. ( (Theophile J. Meek, “The Challenge of Oriental Studies to American Scholarship,” JAOS 63 (1943): 83, in Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 3rd ed., 1988, p. 432)

    The framework of interpretation in science is important. Do you respect land promises? Are acts of God accounted for?

    God will not allow proofs of the Book of Mormon while it is associated with Mormons – no offense.

  7. Steven Danderson

    Jeff Says:

    You seem to reason thus:

    1. The Book of Mormon people report having gold, silver, and copper
    2. Mesoamerica also has gold, silver, and copper
    3. Therefore, Mesoamerica is the place where the BOM takes place

    I’m not sure you understand Tyler’s point–and I’m almost certain that you goofed on the context! ;)

    FYI, over his last three posts, Tyler was comparing the various “Heartland”/Great Lakes theories of Book of Mormon geography (I know of at least four!) with the Mesoamerican models (I know at least three). His point (for this post, at least) was that, since there were extensive mining operations mentioned in the Book of Mormon and that mining occurred in Mesoamerica, but not in America’s Midwest; thus, it is more likely that the Book of Mormon events happened in the former rather than the latter.

    There is no evidence of horses, cattle, elephants, goats, swine, wheeled chariots, steel, barley, wheat, or silk in Mesoamerica during purported BOM times either!

    That statement is just plain wrong–and your sarcastic tone merely underscores your willful ignorance. If you cannot even be bothered to look at the data referenced at http://en.fairmormon.org/Main_Page instead of the same old anti-Mormon drivel that was refuted DECADES ago, then why should we bother with you?

    Sadly, there is the same amount of archaeologic evidence of Middle Earth in Minnesota as there is Book of Mormon evidence in Mesoamerica.

    Actually, the is MORE evidence for the latter than for the former. In fact, the Book of Ether has the same amount of archaeological support as the Book of Genesis, and the location of the River Sidon is just as well established as that of the burial place of Jesus Christ; that is, multiple locations–each with evidence for and against each–have been suggested for each location. More below.

    That’s because both are fictional works. The anachronisms above are just the first problem with BOM authenticity.

    Are you prepared, then, to call the Bible fiction–for reasons I cited above? Or are you going to expose yourself as somebody so willfully ignorant that you refuse to note anything that might qualify or contradict your pet theory; or, worse yet, expose your hypocrisy by holding Latter-day Saints to standards you don’t even begin to try to meet?

    I’m actually shocked that FAIR keeps trying to find a place where millions of people were purported to live for over 1000 years – and yet there is no trace of them anywhere.

    This leads me to suspect that you wish to be a hypocrite. Roughly half of the biblical events and places have ZERO archaeological support, yet you wish to condemn the Book of Mormon as fiction–without doing the same as the Bible.

    By the by, we know that The Lord of the Rings is fiction; its author, J.R.R. Tolkein, declared it so. However, since you did NOT write the Book of Mormon, I shall disregard your claim that it is fiction.

    And, since YOU claim that the Book of Mormon is fiction, the burden of proof is on YOU.

  8. Tyler Livingston Post author

    Steve,
    Sorry for the delay in responding, I’ve been on a Mexican cruise. It was absolutely wonderful.

    Anyway, just because they had a word for it, does not mean anything more than that they knew what it was. Most cultures know about it, but what would actually stick out if you are looking to find if they had it in abundance, would be some kind of archaeological evidence for it. But, there is no evidence of that. In Mesoamerica, we have numerous accounts of the Spanish destroying relics made of gold, melting them down, and shipping them off to their homeland. Do we have any evidence of something similar happening to the Cherokees? As far as I know, gold was never mentioned or associated with the Cherokees other than that they had a word for it. If they had actually accessed the great caches of gold, you would think we’d find at least a trace of it. But nothing. That is why I doubt that they even knew about the amount that was beneath them, and why I don’t think it fits (at least in this area) with what The Book of Mormon claims.
    Thoughts?

  9. Steven Danderson

    Hi Tyler!

    1. No problem! My dad has been in the hospital for much of last week–and the wife has had health issues that required procedures, too!

    2. The fact that the Cherokees had a word for it indicates that SOMEBODY there knew about it! ;)

    3. While I admit that Mesoamerica has much more evidence than the rest of North America of advanced civilisations, the fact that there IS evidence of a civilisation in Florida–coupled with the fact that much evidence was estroyed, making it impossible to determine just how advanced the Florida civilisation is–means that I just cannot write off Florida as a possible Book of Mormon site at present.

    While the civilisation evidence does favour Mesoamerica, geography tends to favour Florida. And climate issues are a draw between the two–both of which beat any Heartland or Great Lakes model to a bloody pulp! ;)

  10. Theodore Brandley

    In his description of their arrival at the Promised Land, Nephi wrote that they found all manner of ore, both of gold, and silver, and of copper. (1 Nephi 18:25) US Geological Survey maps show that from Mexico to Panama there is only one spot on the Pacific coast where there are known deposits of gold, silver and copper, all within a radius of thirty miles of a coastal point. That point is the middle of the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica. Another tidbit of information that ties Costa Rica to Lehi’s landing is that we know that the almond tree is indigenous to the Levant of the Middle East, and is mentioned ten times in the Old Testament. However, the almond is also considered to be native to Costa Rica. Someone must have brought almond seeds from the Middle East to Costa Rica.

    On the other hand, in the North-Eastern US, where I believe the Jaredites landed, there is an abundance of various ores. The great-grandson of Jared, Shule “went to the hill Ephraim, and he did molten out of the hill, and made swords out of steel” (Ether 7:9). There had to be iron ore nearby the Jaredite landing site. Forty miles northwest of Newark, near Andover, New Jersey, is a hill which had a massive deposit of hematite iron ore which was mined by Native Americans, then by early white settlers before the Revolutionary War, and again in the mid 1800’s. It is estimated that a total of 400,000 tons of ore was taken from this location (Harvard University, New Jersey Geological Survey, Final Report of the State Geologist, 1910, pp. 79,83)

    The Jaredites mined various kinds of metals.

    And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work. (Ether 10:23)

    There are over 340 different minerals that have been found in northwestern New Jersey, including gold, sliver and copper. This is about 10% of all known minerals and constitutes a world record for the number of mineral species from a single locality. The Sterling Hill Mining Museum, about 15 miles (25 km) north of Andover, is listed on the Register of Historic Sites. The rich mineral deposits in the state of New Jersey may be supporting evidence for the supposition that this was the site of the landing of the Jaredites.

    Theodore

  11. Steven Danderson

    Theodore,

    What about the gold and other minerals closer to your home than the northeastern USA?

    I really don’t think the Jaredites landed THAT far north! ;)

  12. Theodore Brandley

    Steven,

    There were minor ore deposits of gold, silver, copper and iron, scattered all along the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia to Alabama. As you mentioned, there was considerable gold mining near Dahlonega in north Georgia in the 1800’s. However, none of these deposits were close to the sea, as required by the text of the Book of Mormon. It is only farther north and into New Jersey when metal deposits were found close to the sea.

    The Jaredite King Omer, second great-grandson of Jared, had his kingdom overthrown for a while, and the Lord warned him to flee with his family. He traveled to Cumorah, and from there eastward back to the sea, to a place which was called Ablom. He was subsequently restored as king of the lands of their original inheritance. (Ether 9:1-13). With the Palmyra Cumorah being the Cumorah of the Book of Mormon, this places the Jaredite landing in the Northeast.

  13. Steven Danderson

    Theodore, a few points:

    1. I really don’t see why the text requires mining to be near the sea.

    2. It is possible for somebody to be king of a country–without living there. Queen Victoria, for example, was empress of India, yet she maintained residence in London–thousands of miles away.

    3. Southern Alabama isn’t far from the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, metropolitan Mobile is AT the sea! ;)

    4. While I have no problems with Jaredite (or Nephite/Lamanite) lands stretching to upstate New York, we must be mindful that the further north we place the bulk of Book of Mormon events, the more climatological problems we run into.

  14. Theodore Brandley

    The land of Moron was the place of the Jaredites landing and was the seat of power. (Ether 7:6, 9; Alma 22:30) Iron ore was mined for swords to defend the king, who was the grandson of Jared. The hill where the ore was located even had a name at that time. It is unlikely that they went a great distance from their home to mine and smelt ore.

    Also, there are no climate clues, hot or cold, concerning the land Northward/Desolation where the Jaredites dwelt.

  15. Steven Danderson

    Theodore,

    I think you’re reading Alma 22:30 a little too literally–almost to an extreme. While the text does say that Desolation was “so far northward”–and I admit that your placement is possible–I think the context would imply that Desolation was northward of most Nephite settlements like Zarahemla–and Lehi-Nephi, rather than the extreme north.

    If we’re going to be THAT literal, why not have the Jaredites land at Hudson Bay–where the Canadian Shield makes the land desolate indeed? ;)

  16. Theodore Brandley

    Steven,

    “Extreme” is a subjective term. If the City of Bountiful was in Mesoamerica, then New Jersey would be an extreme distance for the land Desolation. However, if Lehi landed in Cost Rica, and the original City of Nephi was in Guatemala, the city of Lehi-Nephi was on the Rio Grande, Zarahemla was in Louisiana, and the city of Bountiful was just north of Atlanta, then New Jersey would not be too extreme to be in the land of Desolation. If Palmyra, New York, is not too extreme to you to be Cumorah, then New Jersey should not be extreme to you to be in Desolation.

    On the other hand, Hudson’s Bay would be “extreme” since its entry way, the Hudson Strait is only ice free for two and a half months of the year. The Jaredites crossed the “raging deep” which is an apt description for the North Atlantic, but Ether didn’t mention the “frozen deep.” ;-)

    In the Book of Mormon, “desolate” is also a relative term:

    And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate. (Helaman 3:6)

    Theodore

  17. Steven Danderson

    Theodore Brandley Says:

    “Extreme” is a subjective term. If the City of Bountiful was in Mesoamerica, then New Jersey would be an extreme distance for the land Desolation.

    Indeed. ;)

    However, if Lehi landed in Cost Rica, and the original City of Nephi was in Guatemala, the city of Lehi-Nephi was on the Rio Grande, Zarahemla was in Louisiana, and the city of Bountiful was just north of Atlanta, then New Jersey would not be too extreme to be in the land of Desolation.

    Maybe not in comparison with the other distances, but those other distances DO seem extreme, considering the technology of the day.

    While travelling from Tampa, Florida to Asheville, North Carolina is only an extended daytrip nowadays, back in the horse-and-buggy days (as late as a century ago!), the 640-mile distance through swamp and mountains just wasn’t very feasible for most people! ;)

    If Palmyra, New York, is not too extreme to you to be Cumorah, then New Jersey should not be extreme to you to be in Desolation.

    Maybe not, but considering that the Jaredites’ landing is near the narrow neck, according to Alma 22:30, New Jersey DOES seem a bit extreme!

    Apalachicola, Florida strikes me as a better candidate!

    On the other hand, Hudson’s Bay would be “extreme” since its entry way, the Hudson Strait is only ice free for two and a half months of the year.

    Actually, it is ice-free for about six months each year.

    The Jaredites crossed the “raging deep” which is an apt description for the North Atlantic, but Ether didn’t mention the “frozen deep.”

    Well, Hudson Bay’s bottom isn’t frozen. In fact, the underside of the Arctic Ocean isn’t frozen, either! ;)

    There IS a problem, though: Hudson Bay just isn’t very deep–roughly three-fifths that of the Great Lakes.

    On the other hand, the Gulf of Mexico is just as deep as the Atlantic Ocean!

    In the Book of Mormon, “desolate” is also a relative term:

    And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate. (Helaman 3:6)

    Sounds just like the coastal plain of Georgia! ;)

  18. Theodore Brandley

    Steven,

    The Hudson Strait may be navigable with icebreakers for 6 month of the year but it is only “ice free” for an average of two and a half months. ;-)

    Maybe not in comparison with the other distances, but those other distances DO seem extreme, considering the technology of the day.

    It is precisely this modern bias, or presentism, that spawned the limited geography Book of Mormon theories, including yours. It wasn’t until well into the 20th Century of modern transportation that the Limited Geography theories began to be formulated. The 19th Century Latter-day Saints found no problem with the distance between Cumorah and Central or South America. And why should they? They were regularly traveling long distances themselves without the aid of modern transportation methods. Within seventy-five years of the founding of the United States of America US military forts dotted the continent. Within twenty years of the founding of the Church, without the use of modern transportation, the Latter-Day Saints were shuttling back and forth from New York to Ohio, to Missouri, to Illinois, and then to the Salt Lake Valley and California. The Mormon Battalion, with women and children, marched 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego. By 1887, without the use of the railroad, the Saints had colonized as far south as Mexico and as far north as Western Canada. The first ward in Western Canada was organized as a unit of the Cache Valley, Utah, Stake. The stake president, Charles Ora Card, lived in the Canadian settlement for three years while administering the Cache Valley Stake, seven hundred miles to the south, through the Rocky Mountains! He was also in regular attendance at general conferences in Salt Lake City.

    The Nephites also had a recoded heritage of long distance travel. In the first leg of their journey they traveled about 250 miles from Jerusalem to the River Laman. They retraced that distance four more times to obtain the Brass Plates and the family of Ishmael, for a total travel distance of 1250 miles. This was before they began their real journey. From the River Laman they traveled another fifteen hundred miles across the Arabian Peninsula, and then more than half way around the world on a sailing ship.

    If the Latter-Day Saints covered the North American continent in sixty years without the use of modern transportation, there is no reason to suppose that the Nephites would not do the same in six hundred years.

    There is no text in the Book of Mormon that would confine the saga to a limited geography. This theory was spawned by modern transportation bias. Many passages in the text of The Book of Mormon testify to their covering a vast landmass.

    Theodore

  19. Steven Danderson

    Theodore Brandley Says:

    The Hudson Strait may be navigable with icebreakers for 6 month of the year but it is only “ice free” for an average of two and a half months.

    Honestly, six months. “[Hudson Bay] is largely frozen over from mid-December to mid-June when it usually clears from its eastern end westwards and southwards.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_bay.

    But this is a red herring. I really don’t believe that the Jaredites landed at Hudson Bay. I spoke hyperbolically in criticism of your proposed landing site. More likely, the Jaredites landed via the Gulf of Mexico, at roughly Apalachicola Bay, near Florida’s narrow neck.

    It is precisely this modern bias, or presentism, that spawned the limited geography Book of Mormon theories, including yours.

    You are misusing the word, presentism. Moreover, you assume a bias that I do not have.

    It wasn’t until well into the 20th Century of modern transportation that the Limited Geography theories began to be formulated.

    The switch occurred because the hemispheric model was unfeasible–in more ways than one.

    The 19th Century Latter-day Saints found no problem with the distance between Cumorah and Central or South America. And why should they?

    Many Latter-day Saints (including me) have no problems with the Jaredites travelling the distance between Mesoamerica and upstate New York. THAT migration took DECADES. Rather, it is the large distances between the Nephite and Lamanite cities where the problems lie.

    There is a reason that major cities usually were placed along navigable rivers or oceanside harbours: until the age of the railways, land trasportation was simply too hard–and too expensive–over great distances.

    As a result of that expense, Nephite and Lamanite cities would have remained isolated city states–with little contact with each other.

    If the Nephites of Mormon’s time were THAT far away from the Lamanites, why bother giving chase? ;)

    Within seventy-five years of the founding of the United States of America US military forts dotted the continent.

    You forget that the railroads were beginning to blanket the USA–at least as far west as Kansas City–during that time.

    To the westof there, except for the once-in-a-lifetime pioneering trek that people took, the only regular travel was by pony express–and that with a comparitively few people.

    Within twenty years of the founding of the Church, without the use of modern transportation, the Latter-Day Saints were shuttling back and forth from New York to Ohio, to Missouri, to Illinois, and then to the Salt Lake Valley and California.

    But once they settled, how often did they travel BACK?

    I would venture, “Very seldom”–except for the occasional mission.

    The Mormon Battalion, with women and children, marched 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego.

    ANOTHER once-in-a-lifetime event.

    By 1887, without the use of the railroad, the Saints had colonized as far south as Mexico and as far north as Western Canada. The first ward in Western Canada was organized as a unit of the Cache Valley, Utah, Stake.

    I remind you that this took place over DECADES, and the rails made inter-city travel easier.

    Charles Ora Card, lived in the Canadian settlement for three years while administering the Cache Valley Stake, seven hundred miles to the south, through the Rocky Mountains! He was also in regular attendance at general conferences in Salt Lake City.

    And how many people in his Stake joined him?

    There is a very good reason why the Saints had trouble breaking 25% Sacrament Meeting attendance during the “horse-and-buggy days:” To travel the distance between one’s rural home and the nearest Meeting House took the better part of a day–each way.

    The Nephites also had a recoded heritage of long distance travel. In the first leg of their journey they traveled about 250 miles from Jerusalem to the River Laman. They retraced that distance four more times to obtain the Brass Plates and the family of Ishmael, for a total travel distance of 1250 miles. This was before they began their real journey. From the River Laman they traveled another fifteen hundred miles across the Arabian Peninsula, and then more than half way around the world on a sailing ship.

    Again, we are not talking about a once-in-a-lifetime migration from the “old country” to a “promised land.”

    Travelling from Joliet to Chicago, IL nowadays (a 40-mile trip) takes about an hour–except during “rush hour!” ;)

    150 years ago, that same trip took half a day!

    Travelling from Tampa, FL to Atlanta, GA (about 450 miles) takes about eight hours today. During the time of the Nephites, that same trip would be a month and a half–assuming decent roads. However, give the interspersed swamps and hills and rivers, the trip may be longer yet.

    There is no text in the Book of Mormon that would confine the saga to a limited geography. This theory was spawned by modern transportation bias. Many passages in the text of The Book of Mormon testify to their covering a vast landmass.

    The Old Testament history of the Israelites [post Noah! ;)] occurred in an area about 800 miles east-west and 1,200 miles north-south, but 90% of that history was in an area smaller than New Jersey. Regular intercity travel is simply impractical over longer land distances–both in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon.

  20. Theodore Brandley

    Steven,

    I know that your Hudson Bay comment was hyperbole and a red herring, but I still must defend my statements of fact. ;-)

    My original statement was that, “Hudson’s Bay would be “extreme” since its entry way, the Hudson Strait is only ice free for two and a half months of the year.” A reference for this states, “Hudson Strait is ice-free from mid-July to October” http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Hudson+Strait

    Notice that I was talking about the Hudson Strait, and you are giving me facts about the southeastern portion of Hudson Bay, about 1,000 miles south of Hudson Strait. (Interesting exercise in communication) ;-)

    Now back to the important stuff. Your stated:

    You are misusing the word, presentism. Moreover, you assume a bias that I do not have.

    One definition of presentism is: “an attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences.” Your statement that, “but those other distances DO seem extreme, considering the technology of the day,” conveys the modern attitude that the ancients couldn’t cover that much ground because they didn’t have modern technology. May I remind you of the area controlled by the ancient Persians, or the Greeks, or the Romans, or the Mongols, etc. I sincerely believe that it is a modern bias that without modern transportation the Nephite civilization must have been limited in their geography.

    Rather, it is the large distances between the Nephite and Lamanite cities where the problems lie.

    For example?

    There is a reason that major cities usually were placed along navigable rivers or oceanside harbours: until the age of the railways, land trasportation was simply too hard–and too expensive–over great distances. As a result of that expense, Nephite and Lamanite cities would have remained isolated city states–with little contact with each other.

    I agree with you about water transportation being a major asset to ancient transportation. There is considerable evidence that the Nephites and the Lamanites were ship building and seafaring people. Zarahemla was built on a navigable river and there is evidence that most of their major centers were on the sea or on navigable rivers. Rivers were the ancient super highways of the ancients.

    However, there are many examples that the Nephites also crossed large distances of land. For exampl, it took Captain Moroni, the most part of a year to move a portion of his army through friendly territory from Zarahemla to Bountiful (Alma 52:11,15,18). This makes no sense if the distance was only two or three hundred miles across Mesoamerica, or some narrow peninsula. Helaman’s epistle from the war theatre near the west sea to Captain Moroni near the east sea, described the battle situation over a period of four years (Alma 56:1,9). If the distance between them had only been two or three hundred miles, runners could have kept them in regular communication. The fact that these military officers only communicated about the conduct of the war once in those four years is further evidence that there was a great distance between them.

    Your argument that pre-modern transportation people only made long journeys once in a lifetime would be true for most people, but there were individuals and classes of individuals who regularly covered great distances. Individuals such as couriers, traders, government officials, military personnel, etc. Orson Hyde and many other Saints made the 1,000 mile trip between Winter Quarters and the Salt Lake Valley back and forth several times. Many also made the journey between Salt Lake and California many time by horseback or wagon. Your argument does not put any limits on the distances on this continent that the Nephites may have settled.

    Any way, I enjoy discussing things with you, Steven. However, I must fly away to Alberta in the morning and will again be away from my computer for a few days (I must get a laptop so that we can keep in touch) . ;-)

    Theodore

  21. BOMG

    @Theodore Having reviewed verses that appear significant to each of your models, I can concur with Greg Smith that your use of:

    “For example, it took Captain Moroni, the most part of a year to move a portion of his army through friendly territory from Zarahemla to Bountiful (Alma 52:11,15,18)”

    is a stretch. You ignore v.7 which says Moroni sent Armies and v.8,9,10,11 in which he made FOUR correspondences all within the SAME YEAR.

    What Moroni did the FOLLOWING year was amazing and in fact speaks of a VERY SMALL area. (Alma 52:15)

    1. Moroni gathers, organizes, and equips with food and weaponry THREE ARMIES.

    2. They FORTIFY, which means saw, chop, build, dig and make fortifications on the SOUTH and on the WEST – leaving armies at both areas – before heading north to Bountiful.

    3. Which routes they took is not stated. Accounts of travels the direction they first went (south and west) are full of hardships and confusion, i.e. not paved highways.

    4. When they went north, the same occurred. They passed through lands others experienced hardships and confusion.

    5. What month they left that year is not stated.

    6. Moroni sends another communication to Teancum.

    7. Seasons. The Book of Mormon is clear there were seasons.

    You still have not addressed the OTHER battle scenarios I previously cited. Saying you don’t follow/understand is a crock. Cherry picking distance references confuses the public and is bad research.

    @Danderson,

    “Jaredites’ landing is near the narrow neck, according to Alma 22:30″

    Another stretch. Their bones were strewn from the West Sea to the East and how ANYONE can pin that verse to the Narrow Neck is again bad research. your relentless hinderance to the true lands in Western New York because of “current” weather patterns is another stretch which was refuted.

  22. Steven Danderson

    Theodore Brandley Says:

    Notice that I was talking about the Hudson Strait, and you are giving me facts about the southeastern portion of Hudson Bay, about 1,000 miles south of Hudson Strait. (Interesting exercise in communication) ;)

    Indeed; it IS interesting. Hudson Strait is entirely irrelevant to Hudson Bay, since, according to Ether 6:5-12, the Jaredites were “shut… tight like unto a dish” until they debarked onto the “New World.”

    But we digress. ;)

    One definition of presentism is: “an attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences.” Your statement that, “but those other distances DO seem extreme, considering the technology of the day,” conveys the modern attitude that the ancients couldn’t cover that much ground because they didn’t have modern technology.

    Actually, no. I use basic mathematics, science, and economics in my analysis. On the other hand, YOUR presentism consists in assuming that, since we can do something NOW, people could do it in the past. Sometimes that IS true, but not always.

    May I remind you of the area controlled by the ancient Persians, or the Greeks, or the Romans, or the Mongols, etc. I sincerely believe that it is a modern bias that without modern transportation the Nephite civilization must have been limited in their geography.

    It’s not the distance itself that I question; rather, it is travelling the distance in a time frame that makes the interaction which the text portrays economically feasible.

    For example, one can travel the (roughly) 40-mile distance from your home in Newnan, Georgia to Atlanta by automobile in roughly 45 minutes. Thus, daily interaction is reasonable. However, in the horse-and-buggy days, such travel takes almost four hours, making daily interaction quite unlikely.

    I agree with you about water transportation being a major asset to ancient transportation. There is considerable evidence that the Nephites and the Lamanites were ship building and seafaring people. Zarahemla was built on a navigable river and there is evidence that most of their major centers were on the sea or on navigable rivers. Rivers were the ancient super highways of the ancients.

    And away from those “superhighways,” travel was arduous–and expensive.

    Continued.

  23. Steven Danderson

    Theodore Brandley Says:

    However, there are many examples that the Nephites also crossed large distances of land. For exampl, it took Captain Moroni, the most part of a year to move a portion of his army through friendly territory from Zarahemla to Bountiful (Alma 52:11,15,18). This makes no sense if the distance was only two or three hundred miles across Mesoamerica, or some narrow peninsula.

    Two nits:
    1. Moroni didn’t just move troops; he also built fortifications and supply lines–and large distances make the latter difficult to maintain.
    2. The text does not state that it took “the better part of a year” but that it occured DURING the year.

    Your argument that pre-modern transportation people only made long journeys once in a lifetime would be true for most people, but there were individuals and classes of individuals who regularly covered great distances. Individuals such as couriers, traders, government officials, military personnel, etc. Orson Hyde and many other Saints made the 1,000 mile trip between Winter Quarters and the Salt Lake Valley back and forth several times. Many also made the journey between Salt Lake and California many time by horseback or wagon. Your argument does not put any limits on the distances on this continent that the Nephites may have settled.

    Again, it’s not the distance itself that I question; it’s the distance beyond which frequent mass-interaction is economically feasible that’s the problem.

    There is a reason why sacrament meeting attendance in the 19th century is less than now–and the fact that EVERY member had pulled up stakes in the old homes to travel thousands of miles into an inhospitable desert makes a lack of faith EXTREMELY unlikely! ;)

    Any way, I enjoy discussing things with you, Steven. However, I must fly away to Alberta in the morning and will again be away from my computer for a few days (I must get a laptop so that we can keep in touch). ;)

    I enjoy the interaction, as well.

    By the by, netbooks–especially those with Linux rather than Windows as the installed OS–can cost less than $200.
    ;)

  24. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    @Danderson,
    “Jaredites’ landing is near the narrow neck, according to Alma 22:30″

    Another stretch.

    No, it’s what the text says.

    Their bones were strewn from the West Sea to the East and how ANYONE can pin that verse to the Narrow Neck is again bad research.

    An area with bones covering 90 miles or so is NOT insignificant!

    As a comparison, there were tens of thousands dead in the Battle of Gettysburg, yet the national cemetery covered less than 10 square miles. See:
    http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=201057

    your relentless hinderance to the true lands in Western New York because of “current” weather patterns is another stretch which was refuted.

    YOU made the assertion that the Book of Mormon lands were in upstate New York–thus, YOU bear the burden of proof.

    For one thing, you have posted nothing that gainsays that metropolitan Rochester, NY nowadays has an average April low and high of 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively–which, in these days of “global warming,” exceeds in warmth Aprils in Book of Mormon times. See:
    http://www.rssweather.com/climate/New%20York/Rochester/

    Moreover, your model relies on the existence of Lake Tonawanda, which, according to best evidence, CEASED to exist 10,000 years ago–millennia before the arrival of Jared and his band. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_Lake_Tonawanda

    One other thing: Attacking the character and intelligence of those who are do not unquestioningly accept your model is NOT a good way to persuade them!

  25. BOMG

    Danderson, your reluctance is noted, but is embarrassing. The weather card is only used by theorists who have nothing else to use. Nonetheless, we refuted such shallow reliance by the following:

    1. They experienced different seasons, as Western New York.
    2. They experienced a cold/flu season, which illnesses were cured by herbs, as Western New York.
    3. They experienced hail, as Western New York.
    4. They experienced heat, as Western New York.
    5. Some wore little as Indians did in Wester New York – the winter.
    6. Has references to “snow” which makes sense to those receiving the record in Western New York including white Gentiles and Lamanites who lived in Western New York, fulfilling prophecy – oops, did I mention a fulfilled land prophecy.
    7. Provided references showing “no snow” in Western New York.

    Thus, the “weather card” was been sufficiently dealt with and your reluctance to acknowledge the facts shows bias. (bookofmormongeography.org/topics/weather)

    Regarding Lake Tonawanda, it still exists, we have pictures of it on our web site, with a documented source for its size in 1850 as 25 MILES LONG – HELLO?

    “It is twenty five miles in length from east to west, and from two to seven in breadth. It is bounded on all sides by plains a little elevated above its surface.” (J. H. Mather, and L. P. Brockett, M. D., A geographical history of the state of New York: embracing its history, government, physical features, climate, geology, mineralogy, botany, zoology, education, internal improvements, &c. With a separate map of each county. The whole forming a complete history of the state. Utica, John W. Fuller & Co., 1851, p. 400)

    (bookofmormongeography.org/book-of-mormon-geography-lake-tonawanda)

    Incidentally you missed the “Narrow Neck/Cumorah” assumption entirely. Go back and re-read – no offense.

  26. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    Danderson, your reluctance is noted, but is embarrassing.

    It isn’t embarassing me. ;)

    The weather card is only used by theorists who have nothing else to use.

    Actually, it’s the first of MANY cards. I have a LOT more problems with your model! ;)

    1. They experienced different seasons, as Western New York.

    Florda has four seasons, as well: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, and Fall.
    ;)

    2. They experienced a cold/flu season, which illnesses were cured by herbs, as Western New York.

    Again, not unique to New York State. Flu shots are recommended here in Florida, as well,

    3. They experienced hail, as Western New York.

    I’ve experienced hail here in Florida. Again, not unique.

    4. They experienced heat, as Western New York.

    Heat is more common in Florida–especially from September to May.

    5. Some wore little as Indians did in Wester New York – the winter.

    Even the “polar bears,” who swim in Lake Michigan in winter (after cutting through the ice), wear only bathing suits. Still, I don’t think loin cloths were ever wintertime “standard issue” in the Great Lakes region.

    6. Has references to “snow” which makes sense to those receiving the record in Western New York including white Gentiles and Lamanites who lived in Western New York, fulfilling prophecy – oops, did I mention a fulfilled land prophecy.
    7. Provided references showing “no snow” in Western New York.

    Nusbaum, either it was warm in winter or cold in winter. Choose!

    At any rate, loin cloths are NOT “standard issue” in snowy weather–if for no other reason that it is LOUSY for concealment! ;)

    Moreover, snow is mentioned in the Book of Mormon ONLY in connexion with Nephi’s experience in the “Old World” [I Nephi 11:8].

    Thus, the “weather card” was been sufficiently dealt with and your reluctance to acknowledge the facts shows bias. (bookofmormongeography.org/topics/weather)

    We all have biases. YOU have one in the opposite direction.

    Regarding Lake Tonawanda, it still exists, we have pictures of it on our web site, with a documented source for its size in 1850 as 25 MILES LONG – HELLO?

    Then why isn’t it shown in contemporaneous maps–like DeWitt’s map of New York–dated 1802? See:
    http://www.stonybrook.edu/libmap/img015b.jpg

    However, there IS Tonawanda Creek of the length you describe on that map–it formed part of the Erie Canal. At present, that is all that is left of Lake Tonawanda. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonawanda_Creek

    However, I WILL grant that after occasional flooding, that creek could form a large body of water that you describe.

    According to Helen M. Martin (2006) in Ne-Saw-Je-Won: As The Ottawas Say, A Tale Of The Waters That Run Down From Lake Superior To The Sea [Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing], Lake Tonawanda ceased to exist about 10,000 years ago, when Lake Iroquois grew and engulfed it [53-61]. See:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=ZUq4n3zaV2YC&pg=PA55&dq=lake+tonawanda&hl=en&ei=4UzoTIaMI8L98Aay-uydDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=lake%20tonawanda&f=false

    Incidentally you missed the “Narrow Neck/Cumorah” assumption entirely. Go back and re-read – no offense.

    Perhaps you should read the text? No offence.

  27. BOMG

    Like a merry-go-around with you. First you attack the Western New York model by using current weather conditions as a stadard and now you’re trying to apply the word “unique” to it – a word we don’t use, but nice try.

    Did I say it was or wasn’t this that or the other in FL? You’re becoming defensive without justification. Nevertheless, you said to Brandley you “science” in your approach.

    So, you won’t accept pictures, whether from my own camera, or a satellite; or its dimensions from an eye witness in the 1840 as given in the Geographical History of the State of New York?

    You jump on the silly bandwagon across the board and first toss out the weather card, which was debunked and answered, plus the desperate attempt to apply the winter clothing card.

    Honestly, we’re discussing the geography, and so far, you’ve done anything but discuss that, except ignore and spin the wheel. You may have time to play games, but I don’t.

    You and Brandley need to:

    a. Formulate your Internal Maps.

    b. Identify which land or other prophecies were fulfilled in your models and how.

    c. State why you’re interested in Book of Mormon geography and what good would come from everyone accepting either of your models – aside from stroking your egos.

    Until then, I suggest you both STOP putting the cart (the physical) before the horse (the internal) and muddying the field.

  28. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    Like a merry-go-around with you. First you attack the Western New York model by using current weather conditions as a stadard and now you’re trying to apply the word “unique” to it – a word we don’t use, but nice try.

    *I* use the word “unique” for a good reason. As the proponent of the upstate New York model, YOU bear the burden of proving it. That is, you must persuasively tell why the Book of Mormon events could have occured in upstate New York–and nowhere else.

    Up to now, you haven’t done so. You have no moral right to sluff this responsibility off on me or anybody else.

    Did I say it was or wasn’t this that or the other in FL? You’re becoming defensive without justification. Nevertheless, you said to Brandley you “science” in your approach.

    That’s right; meteorology is a science–as is climatology; after all, we’re talking about weather. Physics is a science; Brother Brandley and I spoke of measuring distance, speed, and time. Economics is a “social science”–in fact, it is called “the hardest of the ‘soft sciences.’”

    By the by, since I claim that the Book of Mormon events MIGHT have happened in peninsular Florida, I have the burden of proving THAT. If I fail to persuade you, either I should work on strengthening my arguments–or agree to disagree.

    Really, I’m not bothered by the fact that you disagree–especially since I haven’t fully developed that theory–and much of the evidence is missing. That means that I must keep working until I either establish that theory as fact or gain enough contrary evidence to abandon it.

    I suppose you will do the same with YOUR theory–as you should.

    So, you won’t accept pictures, whether from my own camera, or a satellite; or its dimensions from an eye witness in the 1840 as given in the Geographical History of the State of New York?

    And you won’t accept a map done by somebody who was there to observe–in 1802, neither will you accept present-day observers?

    According to Aaron Hall, 2005, The environmental gradients and plant communities of Bergen Swamp, N.Y., U.S.A. [Rochester, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology], only a few small lakes, rivers and marshes remain of Lake Tonawanda [5-6]–and he cites R.S. Walker, 1974, The vascular plants and ecological factors along a transect in the Bergen-Byron swamp, Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Sciences, 12:241-270, and P.A. Stewart and W.D. Merrell, 1937. The Bergen Swamp: An ecological study, Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Sciences, 7:209-262. For Hall’s paper, see:
    https://ritdml.rit.edu/bitstream/handle/1850/1121/AHallThesis2005.pdf

    Obviously, you won’t accept anything I cite either. I guess we’re even–no? ;)

    You jump on the silly bandwagon across the board and first toss out the weather card, which was debunked and answered, plus the desperate attempt to apply the winter clothing card.

    Not quite. We have dueling authorities here, and yours, I cannot at present check out (Mine you can access on the web.). As the proponent of the NY theory, you need to tell me why I must reject my authorities for yours.

    Honestly, we’re discussing the geography, and so far, you’ve done anything but discuss that, except ignore and spin the wheel. You may have time to play games, but I don’t.

    Then why do you still play the “Force-others-to-accept-the-NY-model-without-question” game?

    Actually, I HAVE discussed geography. For example, you haven’t satisfactorily answered my concern that your Land Southward is NOT “nearly surrounded by water.” Moreover, you haven’t satisfactorily answered how the Jaredites could have had a “first landing” near YOUR narrow neck.

    You and Brandley need to:
    a. Formulate your Internal Maps.

    Been there, done that, posted the locations. Obviously, you haven’t gone anywhere near them.

    b. Identify which land or other prophecies were fulfilled in your models and how.

    Promised Land prophecies can best be answered by establishing where the Book of Mormon events occured. Those who believe that the Promised Land is the USA should have no problem accepting Florida, as it is part of the USA. Other prophecies are irrelevant.

    c. State why you’re interested in Book of Mormon geography and what good would come from everyone accepting either of your models – aside from stroking your egos.

    There is only one reason why people should accept ANY model of Book of Mormon geography: They are persuaded that it is true. I don’t want anybody to accept my model if it isn’t.

    Look, if the accuracy of your model is demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt (either by physical evidence or by God and/or His Prophets), I have no problem accepting it. But until that physical or spiritual evidence is presented, I’m not biting.

    Until then, I suggest you both STOP putting the cart (the physical) before the horse (the internal) and muddying the field.

  29. Steven Danderson

    Why? If our model doesn’t match the text or anything in the “real world,” then isn’t that a sure sign that our model is wrong in some fashion?

  30. BOMG

    “Obviously, you won’t accept anything I cite either. I guess we’re even–no?” and “dueling authorites”- Danderson

    I accept maps for the purpose they’re made. Do you?

    I accept precise measurements. Will you?

    I understand that lakes can grow and shrink; and weather patterns change.

    Regardless, I do not shun information, neither should you.

    The article you cite dated 1974 post dates purposeful efforts to drain the lake, thus, receive my reference and accept that it reliably measured a considerable size body of water (Tonawanda) 1450 years after the BoM.

    If the lake was 25 miles long in 1850, one could postulater it was considerably larger 1450 years prior, and was infact a “sea that divided the land” fulfiling the requirements that a Land Northward is surrounded by FOUR SEAS and a Land Southward surrounded by THREE.

    “The force others game…” -Danderson, no, it’s encouragement.

    Everything you ask is explained on the web site, but I’ll reply. If the Land Northward was surrounded by four seas, it stands to reason that its Sea South would be a Sea North for the Land Southward, thus, “nearly” surrounded is obviously north, west, and east – not south.

    Nothing says the Jaredites “landed” by the Narrow Neck, just as nothing says the Hill Cumorah is by the Narrow Neck.

    Where’s the link to your Internal Map? :-o

    Wow on the fulfilled prophecies comment. You should peruse them sometime.

  31. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    I accept maps for the purpose they’re made. Do you?

    If they’re accurate.

    I accept precise measurements. Will you?

    If they’re accurate–and relevant.

    There is a reason for my caution. Do you understand what it is?

    I understand that lakes can grow and shrink; and weather patterns change.

    As do I. The question is whether the climate of upstate New York changed to a climate where a heavy jacket is required in early April–even in daytime–from one where it is usual to wear only a loincloth.

    The question is also whether Lake Tonawanda was still around during Book of Mormon times, or became non-existent as the glaciers retreated.

    While I commend you for showing evidence for your position, in my judgment, the best evidence is STILL against you.

    Regardless, I do not shun information, neither should you.

    I do if it’s inaccurate–and so should you.

    The article you cite dated 1974 post dates purposeful efforts to drain the lake, thus, receive my reference and accept that it reliably measured a considerable size body of water (Tonawanda) 1450 years after the BoM.

    Bergen swamp is HARDLY a sea–unless you consider the Everglades also a sea. ;)

    Look, Nusbaum, Bergen Swamp and Tonawanda Creek are only small remnants of the original Lake Tonawanda, and I live within a daytrip from Lake Okeechobee–which dwarfs the glacial Lake Tonawanda. Moreover, near the Florida peninsula’s “narrow neck” Alachua Lake had popped up from time to time–even during Book of Mormon times.

    Since I grew up not too far from Lake Michigan, I don’t consider either of them big enough to be seas, either! ;)

    If the lake was 25 miles long in 1850, one could postulater it was considerably larger 1450 years prior, and was infact a “sea that divided the land” fulfiling the requirements that a Land Northward is surrounded by FOUR SEAS and a Land Southward surrounded by THREE.

    That’s a BIG “if”! Since contemporaneous maps of the area by those who were there don’t include the lake, at best (for the moment), I can only render a “Scottish Verdict”–not proven. ;)

    -Danderson, no, it’s encouragement.

    Where I come from, encouragement does NOT include insulting others’ characters and intelligence!

    If the Land Northward was surrounded by four seas, it stands to reason that its Sea South would be a Sea North for the Land Southward, thus, “nearly” surrounded is obviously north, west, and east – not south.

    Um, no. A land surrounded on 2 1/2 sides (Your narrow neck keeps it from being three sides.) is NOT “nearly surrounded by water. Moreover, the text indicates that the narrow neck is the exception keeping the land from being TOTALLY surrounded by water

    Nothing says the Jaredites “landed” by the Narrow Neck, just as nothing says the Hill Cumorah is by the Narrow Neck.

    Reread the text about the Jaredite landing place.

    As for Cumorah, I’ve said nothing here about its location. However, I’ve no problem with it being located between Manchester and Palmyra, NY.

    Where’s the link to your Internal Map?

    In verbal form, it is here:
    http://www.fairblog.org/2008/10/05/usingand-misusing-scholarship-and-revelation/
    and here:
    http://www.fairblog.org/2009/03/31/a-look-at-meldrums-revised-dvd/

    Wow on the fulfilled prophecies comment. You should peruse them sometime.

    I have–and I think it a stretch that your geography fulfills the prophecies. Moreover, I find the prophecies (geography-wise) vague to the point of irrelevance for the purposes of this discussion.

    But, as Dennis Miller says, that’s just my opinion–and I could be wrong! ;)

  32. BOMG

    @Danderson:

    “Bergen Swamp and Tonawanda Creek are only small remnants of the original Lake Tonawanda…Since I grew up not too far from Lake Michigan, I don’t consider either of them big enough to be seas, either”

    Thus the need to stop filtering truth on your limited experience. I understand you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, but have the decency to respect facts:

    Q. How long is the “Sea” of Galilee? 13 miles.

    Q. How long was Lake Tonawanda in 1850? 25 miles.

    Q. Which is longer? Lake Tonawanda.

    Q. If Lake Tonawanda is larger, than the “Sea” of Galilee, could it be considered a “sea” also? Yes, since the word “lake” is not used in the Book of Mormon – evidence they were not near salt water oceans and did not have to distinguish between the two.

    Thus, Danderson, your refusal to acknowledge facts is deplorable. No amount of evidence will sway you from your pre-conceived agenda/model.

    Btw, your slam on Meldrum was not impressive. You assume the Land Southward was a peninsula, which is not supported at all. Thus your criticism using an unscriptural ruler is flawed, as was your use of Garreaux’s work as if it were a standard.

    Your “verbal form” answer for an Internal Map was comical. Please respect the field enough to draw one up.

    @Danderson: “Um, no..the text indicates that the narrow neck is the exception keeping the land from being TOTALLY surrounded by water”

    Really? then the Land Northward should not be described as being completley surrounded either – but it is!

    Btw, you ignore land distances. A “Narrow” neck, blockable by snakes, is NOT several blocks, meters, or miles wide.

  33. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    Thus the need to stop filtering truth on your limited experience. I understand you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, but have the decency to respect facts:

    I see. Because I dare to question your conclusions, I am stupid, lying and indecent. Pardon me for daring to not worship you.

    Q. How long is the “Sea” of Galilee? 13 miles.

    Q. How long was Lake Tonawanda in 1850? 25 miles.

    Q. Which is longer? Lake Tonawanda.

    Q. If Lake Tonawanda is larger, than the “Sea” of Galilee, could it be considered a “sea” also? Yes, since the word “lake” is not used in the Book of Mormon – evidence they were not near salt water oceans and did not have to distinguish between the two.

    And Lake Okeechobee is larger yet. Is it a sea? And the Florida Strait is even larger. And yes, it IS a sea.

    The question is, is it the RIGHT sea?

    Thus, Danderson, your refusal to acknowledge facts is deplorable. No amount of evidence will sway you from your pre-conceived agenda/model.

    Actually, I HAVE no preconceived agenda.

    But you’re almighty, aren’t you? You know all, don’t you? How dare I not unquestioningly accept your will!

    I suspect that the REAL Deity wants you OFF of His Judgment Seat! ;)

    Btw, your slam on Meldrum was not impressive. You assume the Land Southward was a peninsula, which is not supported at all.

    How STUPID of me, for daring to accept the phrase “nearly surrounded by water” for what it says, instead of the meaning that YOU give!

    Thus your criticism using an unscriptural ruler is flawed, as was your use of Garreaux’s work as if it were a standard.

    If you didn’t have a problem with standard English, you would see that I was using Garreaux’ work to illustrate what I meant by North America–to distinguish from Mesoamerica theories.

    You see, since Mesoamerica is part of North America, the “Heartland” and Mesoamerica theories would otherwise ALL be North American models! ;)

    Your “verbal form” answer for an Internal Map was comical. Please respect the field enough to draw one up.

    I see; you’re the final judge. Look, if you cannot figure out what I mean, there’s no room for discussion–and anything you might say against it is simply ill-informed.

    Really? then the Land Northward should not be described as being completley surrounded either – but it is!

    If you want to split hairs THAT much, ALL lands are completely surrounded by water! Since the text reads as it does, I understand to read that the land containing Zarahemla and Lehi-Nephi to be surrounded by water–except for that narrow neck.

    You know, standard English…. ;)

    Btw, you ignore land distances. A “Narrow” neck, blockable by snakes, is NOT several blocks, meters, or miles wide.

    You conflate the narrow neck with the narrow pass. Reread Ether 9:31-34; it doesn’t say that the entire narrow neck was blocked–just the way that the people took.

    Look Nusbaum, since YOU champion the New York model, it is YOUR duty to prove it to those who don’t believe it. That does NOT mean attacking their intelligence and character.

    Up to now, to paraphrase Richard Harding Davis, your haughty, know-it-all rudeness is exceeded only by your haughty, know-it-all rudeness! ;)

  34. BOMG

    To say you haven’t warranted such directness would be an understatement. Personally, it is beneath me to haggle with someone who acts like they know it all; criticizes others without knowledge, i.e. without meeting the first demand of BoM geography – if you respect FAIR, Clark, or Sorenson – to formulate an Internal Map.

    Think twice before you discount again the land where the BoM came forth.

  35. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    To say you haven’t warranted such directness would be an understatement.

    Then why attack those who disagree?

    Personally, it is beneath me to haggle with someone who acts like they know it all

    If it REALLY was beneath you, you wouldn’t act like a know-it-all. *I’m* not the one who demands that others unquestioningly accept my theory.

    criticizes others without knowledge, i.e. without meeting the first demand of BoM geography

    The first demand of Book of Mormon geography is to READ THE TEXT.

    if you respect FAIR, Clark, or Sorenson – to formulate an Internal Map.

    Only if I’m trying to persuade you of my theory. Trouble is, I’m NOT.

    YOU came up with the New York theory; YOU are the one required to prove it. *I* have NO requirement to DISPROVE it.

    Think twice before you discount again the land where the BoM came forth.

    Who’s the know-it-all again–the one who claims to have all the answers that others must accept? Maybe you should look in the mirror for the know-it-all….

  36. BOMG

    People become bitter when they lose arguments. I see you’re back stepping also, perhaps you should retrace the discussion both with me and Brandley.

    I have met the requirements of the law and have provided two+ witnesses for all positions taken. In fact, we have the ONLY model that is congruent across multiple view points – prophetic, internal and external. Got that? Three congruent witnesses.

    And so it goes with land distances, seas, and boundaries – three witnesses for all. You pontificate about Florida, peninsulas and some ridiculous notion of what “seas” aren’t.

    Before you blow another gasket, have some respect and review our information – since we took the time to generate an Internal Map, and put up more information than ANY OTHER MODEL.

  37. Steven Danderson

    BOMG Says:

    People become bitter when they lose arguments.

    And people cast insults instead of arguments when they find that their evidence is insufficient to persuade others.

    I see you’re back stepping also

    I don’t know what you mean by “stepping back,” but I’ve better things to do than to be bullied by somebody who, rather than look at contrary evidence that is as obvious to others in the area as a massive heart attack, chooses to insult those others because they won’t slavishly believe your conclusions.

    perhaps you should retrace the discussion both with me and Brandley.

    Why? I see problems with BOTH of your models. The main difference between you and Brother Brandley is that he endeavours to address them and you don’t. Instead, you choose to cast insults at me because of those problems.

    I have met the requirements of the law and have provided two+ witnesses for all positions taken.

    But are those witnesses reliable in their testimony? I’ve presented multiple witnesses with contrary testimony, but, rather than telling me why yours is more reliable, you choose to insult me. How “loving” and “scholarly”!

    In fact, we have the ONLY model that is congruent across multiple view points – prophetic, internal and external.

    But is that model consistent with the text of the Book of Mormon? I and others have pointed out several inconsistencies that we saw, yet rather than address our problems by showing why they are only APPARENT inconsistencies, you declare yoursself the winner and insult the rest of us. See more below.

    Got that? Three congruent witnesses.

    Those aren’t witnesses; the “multiple view points – prophetic, internal and external” are actually types of evidence.

    What did they teach you in graduate school about building arguments, anyway? ;)

    And so it goes with land distances, seas, and boundaries – three witnesses for all.

    Again, are those witnesses more reliable than those to the contrary?

    Look, Nusbaum, if I were advancing the position that upstate New York cannot be the site of Book of Mormon events, then, unless I can show that your witness are unreliable, you have more than enough to blunt that effort.

    However, I am NOT saying that. Rather, my position throughout has been, “I don’t know, but I don’t think that the Book of Mormon happened there.” That means that, like other fair-minded people, if you produce enough evidence to overcome reasonable doubt, I would be more than happy to move my position from the null hypothesis of “I don’t think so” to the alternate hypothesis of “Yes.”

    And, since your position is that the Book of Mormon MUST have happened in New York, you are REQUIRED to produce that evidence–and have NO MORAL RIGHT to bully me into changing my position. None.

    And so it goes with land distances, seas, and boundaries – three witnesses for all. You pontificate about Florida, peninsulas and some ridiculous notion of what “seas” aren’t.
    Before you blow another gasket, have some respect and review our information

    I HAVE reviewed your evidence. While it may be sufficient to prove a claim that the Book of Mormon events MIGHT have happened in upstate New York, it is NOWHERE NEAR sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it DID–especially in light of the contrary evidence presented.

    Moreover, it is not I who blew the gasket. While you are throwing conniption fits because we remain unconvinced, I really don’t give a Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award if you remain unconvinced that Florida is the site. After all–if you have following the dialogue between Brother Brandley and me–you would realise that I haven’t reached the point where I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt–I am convinced that a Florida locale is POSSIBLE.

    since we took the time to generate an Internal Map, and put up more information than ANY OTHER MODEL.

    If the internal map doesn’t square with the relevant Book of Mormon cues, then it–plus any information you add to it–is worth bupkis.

    The textual geographic cues I cited in the Book of Mormon serve as my internal map. Deal with it.

Comments are closed.