Showing posts from 2014

The Nephite Practice of Burying Treasure unto the Lord

The following insight is based on the work of John L. Sorenson. It is not an original thought on my part.

In Helaman 13:19, the Lord, through Samuel the Lamanite, castigates the people for not burying treasure unto him: "For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; and cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; for none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land".

In the following verses we learn that the people buried treasure so as to hide it from their enemies, as they themselves fled for their lives. The Lord answers this by saying that if they are going to bury treasures for any reason then it should be unto Him. Some would argue that this reference to buried treasure is a throwback to Joseph's own treasure digging activities and magical beliefs. His culture and b…

Sorenson's Book of Mormon Geography in Google Maps

The good people at Lehi's Library have put John L. Sorenson's Book of Mormon geography on Google Maps. This is a great resource that I will retroactively install in my Book of Mormon posts.

An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Coe

Abstract: In August 2011 John Dehlin conducted a three-part interview with famed Mesoamericanist Michael Coe. Dehlin operates the podcast series Mormon Stories, which features interviews discussing the faith and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article examines a large number of dubious claims made in those interviews, providing clarifications, responses, and references to numerous sources dealing with those issues. Much more detail will be forthcoming in Dr. Sorenson’s new book, Mormon’s Codex.

Read the rest at The Interpreter.

Testing a Methodology: A Malaysian Setting for the Book of Mormon

William G. Dever correctly posits that “in history-writing of any kind, the choice of method is fundamental, because to a large degree it determines the outcome of the inquiry. Where you arrive depends not only upon where you think you are going, but also upon how you decide to get there.” In his own work, he has suggested a methodology that he has termed “convergence.” That is, “it is possible to learn about the past, not simply by amassing more bits and pieces of disjointed ‘evidence,’ but rather by coordinating the pieces of evidence and situating them within a context relating knowledge to a deliberate quest.” It is a process where multiple data converge into a cohesive understanding relating to a particular time and place.

Read the rest at The Interpreter.

Book of Mormon Minimalists and the NHM Inscriptions: A Response to Dan Vogel

Abstract: Biblical “minimalists” have sought to undermine or de-emphasize the significance of the Tel Dan inscription attesting to the existence of the “house of David.” Similarly, those who might be called Book of Mormon “minimalists” such as Dan Vogel have marshaled evidence to try to make the nhm inscriptions from south Arabia, corresponding to the Book of Mormon Nahom, seem as irrelevant as possible. We show why the nhm inscriptions still stand as impressive evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

Read the whole thing at Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy

Read it here, at The Interpreter.

Zarahemla and Pompei: Volcanoes in the Book of Mormon

In 3 Nephi 8, we can read about the destructions that signaled the death of Jesus Christ, to the Nephites in ancient America. The above awesome video, which is worth a watch for it's own sake,is a recreation of the destruction that took place at Pompei; it can be found at the Museum Victoria website. Is the destruction in 3 Nephi 8 a volcanic one? I will leave that for the reader to decide; read 3 Nephi 8 then watch the video. If it is a volcanic destruction then that is a very strong clue as to where the Book of Mormon takes place.

Brant Gardner's List of Book of Mormon Evidences.

Brant Gardner is a consultant for a privately held software firm in New York. He has published articles on Nahuatl mythology and kinship and has formal training in Mesoamerican studies. The following list will be beneficial for those who know both the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica very well. For those who don't, I recommend anything from John L. Sorenson and Michael Coe
Geospatial convergences Internal geography corresponds to a specific region in Mesoamerica
Book of Mormon has over 400 geographic references which are consistent in their interrelationships, both spatial and topological.
Sorenson’s correlation is best known. Poulsen’s is an important alternative using the same basic area, but resolving directional issues.
One set of references in Helaman may combine to point specifically to Teotihuacán
Relative relationships of Jaredite, Nephite and Lamanite territories.
The meeting of Mulekites and Nephites in the Grijalva River Valley is convergent with archaeological evidence of the…

The Book of Mormon and Archaeology

Most of what is written on the Book of Mormon and archaeology is garbage. People like John E. Clark, John L. Sorenson, Mark Wright and Brant Gardner are the exceptions and not the rule. This is a great presentation by a respected archeologist, who happens to be a Mormon.