Thursday, February 9, 2017

Citation cartel spin on Zelph

Today BookofMormonCentral.org sent out an email to all its contact people about Zelph. They sent this link to the Godfrey article: https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/node/122 which they recently uploaded to their archive.

Godfrey is skeptical of the Zelph account as you can see from the highlighted portion of the abstract:

When the twenty men who formed the vanguard of Zion's Camp left Kirtland, Ohio, on 1 May 1834, they could not know that one of their most lasting and intriguing contributions to Latter-day Saint history would take place, not on a Missouri battlefield but rather on top of a large mound in Illinois. There, on 3 June 1834, members of Zion's Camp located a few bones, including a broken femur and an arrowhead, approximately a foot below the earth's surface, and these remains became the catalyst for revelation to Joseph Smith regarding the skeleton's identity. Joseph called the land "the plains of the Nephites." They believed that the mounds had belonged to "that once beloved people," and they interpreted the mere fact that skulls and bones were readily found as evidence of the divine authenticity of the book.

Godfrey repeats the citation cartel's insistence that Joseph Smith wrote the 1841 Bernhisel letter, of which there is zero evidence. Joseph didn't sign it, he never mentioned it, and all the historical evidence points to Wilford Woodruff as the author. But the citation cartel will never tell you that.

Godfrey also repeats the citation cartel's insistence that Joseph Smith wrote, edited, or approved of the anonymous Times and Seasons articles that claimed the Book of Mormon took place in Central America.

The Godfrey article articulates the basic position of the citation cartel that Joseph Smith didn't know anything about the Book of Mormon, that he speculated, that he misled the Church about Cumorah, and that he changed his mind over time. "Evidently Joseph Smith’s views on this matter were open to further knowledge. Thus in 1834, when Zelph was found, Joseph believed that the portion of America over which they had just traveled was “the plains of the Nephites” and that their bones were “proof’of the Book of Mormon’s authenticity. By 1842 he evidently believed that the events in most of Nephite history took place in Central America."

Godfrey's skepticism fits the narrative of the citation cartel, so of course Book of Mormon Central would add this article to their archive while excluding other views.

And, of course, FairMormon does the same thing here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Geography/Statements/Nineteenth_century/Joseph_Smith%27s_lifetime_1829-1840/Joseph_Smith/Zelph

________________

If you want a perspective alternative to that of the citation cartel, you can read this article by Donald Q. Cannon, which of course Book of Mormon Central does not add to their archive because it doesn't fit their narrative: http://emp.byui.edu/marrottr/341folder/zelph%20revisited%20cannon.html

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What can I say more?

You've probably noticed we haven't posted much on this blog for a while. The few posts we've made make the point: BookofMormonCentral, which purports to be a repository for all research and evidence about the Book of Mormon, is really BookofMormonCentralAmerica.

It's not even in disguise.

They outright refuse to show any alternatives to their Central America theory of Book of Mormon geography.

BookofMormonCentral is a sham, basically.

I've done everything I know of to try to work with them and encourage them to at least let people know there are alternatives to their Central American theories, but without success. They are intransigent.

They are teaching the world--including the youth of the Church--the following:

1. There are two Cumorahs: Mormon's Cumorah in southern Mexico (Mormon 6:6), and what they consider to be the "fake Cumorah" in New York, which was mistakenly named by unknown early Church members and is now known to the citation cartel as Moroni's Cumorah. The idea that the hill in New York is the Cumorah 6:6 is a false tradition. You can see this on display in the North Visitors Center on Temple Square today.

2. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery misled the Church about Cumorah being in New York for a century. It was only RLDS scholars, whose work was adopted by LDS scholars, who taught the truth about Cumorah being in Southern Mexico.

3. Although he was Church Historian and a 20-year member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Joseph Fielding Smith was speaking as a man and also misled the Church when he denounced the two-Cumorahs theory. He continued to mislead the Church when he repeated his warning about the two-Cumorahs theory when he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

4. Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve who, in General Conference addresses, identified the New York hill as the site of the final battles of the Nephites and Jaredites were also misleading the Church.

5. Joseph Smith merely speculated about Book of Mormon geography. He changed his mind later in life and relied on scholars to figure out where the events took place. In D&C 128 he was referring to an unknown hill in Mexico.

6. D&C 28, 30, and 32 reflect a quaint folk belief among early Church members that the Indians were Lamanites. The real Lamanites are in Central America.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

All of this leads to my title, taken from Jacob 6.

8. Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets...

12 O be wise; what can I say more?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Another day at the office

Despite our best efforts to prevent anyone from learning about the false tradition Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery started when they wrote and published Letter VII so many times, the word is getting out.

We've made it clear that the prophets and apostles who have republished and quoted from Letter VII over the years, and who have stated in General Conference that the real Hill Cumorah is in New York, are all perpetuating this false tradition.

Nevertheless, more and more people are learning about the ridiculous Heartland and Moroni's America ideas about Book of Mormon geography. It's exasperating.

To give you an idea of what it's like to maintain control of the situation, here's a webcam from our office on a typical day:



Please help us prevent members of the Church from thinking that Cumorah is in New York. Emphasize the two-Cumorahs theory whenever you get a chance.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Moses Was a Mayan

We don't know how many people noticed this, but we can now announce that Moses--the Moses of the Ten Commandments, who wrote the Book of Genesis--was a Mayan.

Remember back on September 9, 2016, we published a fantastic no-wise that proved Samuel the Lamanite was a Mayan because he prophesied in terms of one baktun--the Mesoamerican measure of 400 years. Here's the link: https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-did-samuel-make-such-chronologically-precise-prophecies

We even provided a new translation:

As Clark put it, “Samuel the Lamanite warned the Nephites that one baktun ‘shall not pass away before … they [would] be smitten’ (Helaman 13:9).”8

We didn't mention this at the time, but Moses, too, recorded a prophecy in terms of 400 years:

Genesis 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

This can now be translated this way: "And they shall afflict them one baktun."

We've come full circle.

Genesis itself is a Mesoamerican codex!

Note: There are some people out there who think the Nephites were of Semitic origin and therefore would have been familiar with Genesis and the significance of the children of Israel being in bondage to the Egyptians for 400 years. But Samuel the Lamanite was not referencing Genesis; he didn't even mention Moses! It's clear from our own translation that he was referencing Mayan mythology and calendars.

Just because Nephi, Jacob, and King Limhi referred to the Children of Israel being brought of out the land of Egypt doesn't mean Samuel the Lamanite knew that history. It's far better to realize that Moses, when he wrote Genesis, was referencing Mayan mythology and calendars.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Another absurd No-Wise to be proud of

We're happy to announce we've come up with another No-Wise you should read. Meridian Magazine re-published it here: http://ldsmag.com/why-did-snakes-infest-jaredite-lands-during-a-famine/

It's one of our best ones yet. You'll be impressed that we managed to bring up volcanoes again! This time it's in connection with the Jaredites. You see, birds won't fly away in times of drought. No, it's better if volcanoes kill them.

That makes a lot more sense, because there are volcanoes in Mesoamerica. See, we even showed a map of volcanoes in Mesoamerica to prove the volcanoes killed the birds, which let snakes reproduce wildly, etc., etc.

Now, check out our awesome Jaredite serpents map. See how easy it is for snakes to set up a 120-mile wide roadblock through the jungle? Exactly how the Book of Ether describes it.

Complete with the volcanoes the Jaredites constantly contended with.


We actually cited an article from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a city located on the Susquehanna River, as evidence that the serpents in Ether 9 were in Mesoamerica!

Pretty sweet, huh?

Here's what the articles says: "The hot, dry summer has drawn an unusual number of rattlesnakes out of their mountain lairs and into the valleys."

The article includes a photo of a rattler with this caption: "A venomous Timber Rattlesnake shown here from Clyde Peeling's Reptiland is common to this area."

But that's in Pennsylvania, and we obviously don't want to show a map of Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, some careful readers might notice.

Therefore, we have to provide a

**Trigger warning.**

Hopefully you haven't read Moroni's America, but if you have, we need to warn you that we're going to address the ridiculous ideas in that book so you know we're not coming anywhere near it. We're continuing to censor any reference to it on this web page, except to warn you about anyone who perpetuates the false tradition started by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery about the New York Hill Cumorah.

You'll recall that, according to the ideas in Moroni's America, the Susquehanna River leads directly to the small neck of land. Which is not far from the hill Ramah, which the Nephites called Cumorah. But we know that hill is in southern Mexico, and we would have cited an article from Mexico if we could have found one, but the one in Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River, is the best one we could find. Don't infer from this citation that we think there are poisonous serpents in North America near the false tradition of Cumorah.

Here's a related map that we wouldn't want our followers to see, so keep it to yourselves.


You also recall that according to Moroni's America, the Jaredite lands were north of the land of Zarahemla, which made Zarahemla the land southward to the Jaredites. This map shows the historcial range of poisonous serpents exactly where Moroni's America says they would be, and they block the passage to the south. 

But because we know Moroni's America is based on that false tradition started by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, if anyone questions you about this, just explain that LDS scholars, including the Council of Springville, have determined that there is less than a 2% chance that Moroni's America has any validity.

In other words, anyone who tells you that Cumorah is in New York is lying, even if they're in the First Presidency and they say it in General Conference. 

Because we should trust the scholars, not the prophets and apostles.

You also recall that according to Moroni's America, the rivers function as borders between the land northward and southward. Never fear. We apologize to you, our readers, but we had to acknowledge the biological reality that snakes would stop at a river border. "If a river or otherwise wet habitat lay between the Jaredites and the land southward, then a large population of snakes would settle there and “hedge up the way” to the land southward."

Don't be concerned, though. We just mentioned this as a possibility. We're not saying rivers actually were borders in the Book of Mormon.

Now, repeat after us the Springville Creed:

Never doubt us.
The Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica,
Cumorah is in southern Mexico, and anyone who says otherwise is perpetuating a false tradition.

Because we're scholars.

__________________________________

Here's the Pennsylvania article in its entirety in case that link doesn't work.

August 18, 2005 


A venomous Timber Rattlesnake shown here from Clyde Peeling's Reptiland is common to this area.
Photo by Michael Bavero/The Daily Item



Heat and drought bringing
snakes out of their dens



By Eric Mayes
The Daily Item

HARRISBURG — The hot, dry summer has drawn an unusual number of rattlesnakes out of their mountain lairs and into the valleys.
Rattlesnake sightings seem to be higher than normal this year, said Dan Tredinnick, press secretary to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Although lacking hard statistics on either the population of rattlers in Pennsylvania or the number of humans who have encountered them this summer, he said his office is getting more calls about them than normal.
"We don’t have any quantitative data," said Mr. Tredinnick. "But anecdotally, that is being reported all over Pennsylvania."
The combination of heat and little rainfall is probably the cause, he said.
"If people are seeing snakes and other reptiles that (lack of water) is very likely the reason," he said. "Just like us, they need water."
Areas where they might traditionally slake their thirst may have dried up, he said, leaving the snakes no other choice but to go looking for new watering holes.
"They will go and seek other areas and the type of habitat they need," he said.
There may be other causes depending on the location. Human activity such as lumbering or clearing land for new homes could drive snakes into new areas but widespread sightings this year seem to point to a lack of water.
His advice for anyone who encounters a rattlesnake is "leave it alone."
"Certainly don’t kill it," he said. "As much as it sounds like a cliche, the snake has more to fear from you than you do the snake. Frankly, they want to avoid us. You give a snake a wide berth, it’s certainly not going to pursue you and that applies to venomous and non-venomous snakes."
A snake census is under way that should help officials track snake populations of all types throughout the state, Mr. Tredinnick said.
Rattlesnakes are scarce, which is why they should not be killed.
"They are considered to be a candidate species," he said. "They’re not quite endangered; they’re on the cusp."
And man continues to intrude on their territory.
"Because of habitat fragmentation, they are not found in most areas of the state," he said. "They are looking for heavily wooded areas or rock fields for denning and basking sights. They rely on heat from the sun and radiant heat the rocks provide." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Scholars are right

There has been a bit of discussion around the Internet about this Letter VII (7) nonsense and its connection to the Hill Cumorah.

We here at BookofMormonCentralAmerica know Cumorah is not in New York.

Letter VII (7) is the product of pure speculation by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. They were wrong, and they misled the Saints as a result. They misled many leaders of the Church. We would prefer that no member of the Church read letter VII, but if you do, realize that LDS scholars agree Cumorah cannot be in New York. It can be lots of other places, but just not in New York!

To clarify our position, we put together this table of authorities to help explain whom you should trust.

People who perpetuate a false tradition about Cumorah being in New York
People who teach the truth about Cumorah not being in New York
Joseph Smith
LDS scholars who promote a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon
Oliver Cowdery
LDS scholars who promote a Baja Californian setting for the Book of Mormon
David Whitmer
LDS scholars who promote a Panamanian setting for the Book of Mormon
Lucy Mack Smith
LDS scholars who promote a Peruvian setting for the Book of Mormon
Brigham Young
LDS scholars who promote a Chilean setting for the Book of Mormon
John Taylor 

Heber C. Kimball

Wilford Woodruff

Orson Pratt

Parley P. Pratt

Joseph F. Smith

Heber J. Grant

George Albert Smith

Joseph Fielding Smith

Marion G. Romney

Mark E. Peterson





True, there are some disagreements among LDS scholars in the right column, but they all agree on one thing: The Hill Cumorah cannot be in New York!

The best way for you to steer clear of the people in the left column is to stick with Book of Mormon Central. They run a wonderful website that frequently reinforces the non-New York Cumorah. Here's the link: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/

Be sure to read the Interpreter, Meridian Magazine, BMAF.org, FairMormon, the Maxwell Institute, BYU Studies, and other web pages affiliated with Book of Mormon Central. Don't read anything that contradicts or challenges the consensus of LDS scholars and educators who have been properly trained in the Mesoamerican ministry.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

All nations, kindreds, tongues and people

The other day I read a blog post that claimed Mesoamerica had to be the setting for the Book of Mormon because "an ideal location would be in the New World for the blood of Israel and Christ's influence to spread over much of the earth in ancient times."

Of course, the text says nothing of the sort. For the Nephties, it was a big deal just to have a few missionaries go to the Lamanites. Nothing is ever mentioned about going to "much of the earth."

The rationale in the blog was that in the Old World, Israel was the crossroad of civilizations so the Gospel could spread from that point. "The formulaic phrase 'all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people' occurs 16 times in the text exclusive of the testimonies of the witnesses and Moroni's instructions to the prophet Joseph. The Book of Mormon writers cared about wide dissemination. In pre-Colombian times Mesoamerica was the crossroads of the western hemisphere."

However, it's an inapt comparison. To the extent the Book of Mormon writers "cared about wide dissemination," it was in reference to the latter days when the gospel would be restored and Israel gathered.

I've listed these references below so you can see they were primarily in relation to the last days, not the ancient days, and they are being fulfilled in our day, as prophesied, primarily from the promised land where Nephi lived and wrote these prophesies; i.e., the United States of America. The exceptions, noted below, had nothing to do with the Nephites taking the gospel to all the world.

Think about this carefully. The Book of Mormon writers did care about taking the gospel to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people--but they knew it was not going to happen in their day. Instead, they saw it happening in the future, after the gospel would be restored.

Where was the gospel restored? In the United States.

From where is the gospel being taken to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people? From the United States.

No one can seriously claim that Mesoamerica is sending the gospel to all the world. As wonderful as the missionaries from that area are, they are relatively few in number and mostly supported by the Saints in the United States anyway.

Another assertion in the blog post is the idea that the "blood of Israel" was spread out from Mesoamerica or Central America. We all know that the indigenous people in Mesoamerica, according to the DNA, are Asians. The only recognizable "blood of Israel" in the ancient Americas, according to DNA, was among the indigenous people in North America, primarily around the Great Lakes and New York area. While I agree we cannot prove or disprove the Book of Mormon by DNA, there is no evidence to support the claim that the "blood of Israel" was ever found in Mesoamerica. To claim it spread out from there is, well, you figure it out. To the extent the "blood of Israel" exists at all in ancient Mesoamerica, it would have been brought back after the Mayans returned to Mesoamerica following their migration northward after Mayan civilizations collapsed around 800 A.D. If I understand correctly, the Central American theory claims that Lehi landed in the midst of Mayan civilization (never mentioned in the text), that the Nephites were completely absorbed into the larger culture (also never mentioned in the text) so that their "blood of Israel" was diluted to the point where it is no longer detectable. That's not an irrational explanation; in fact, it's the only explanation that can be made if one believes in the Central American setting.
_____________________

Back to the text. From the Book of Mormon, we have a string of prophecies about the gospel being taken to the world in the latter day:

1 Nephi 5:18
18 That these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed.

1 Nephi 11:36
36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

1 Nephi 14:11
11 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

1 Nephi 19:17
17 Yea, and all the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord, saith the prophet; every nation, kindred, tongue and people shall be blessed.

1 Nephi 22:28
28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.

2 Nephi 26:13
13 And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.

2 Nephi 30:8
8 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

Mosiah 16:1
1 And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth his hand and said: The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just.

Mosiah 27:25
25 And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; [this refers to the universal nature of the gospel, not missionary work]

Alma 9:20
20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come; [this refers to how the Nephites were blessed above every other nation and has nothing to do with missionary work]

3 Nephi 26:4
4 And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

3 Nephi 28:29
29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

The other scriptures also use the phrase in this context about the latter days:

Doctrine and Covenants 10:51
51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
[This one is critical. The Lord tells Joseph that the Book of Mormon was the fulfillment of the promise to the prophets and disciples who prayed that the gospel would come unto their brethren the Lamanites in the future. "Now, this is not all--their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land; and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life; yeah, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue or people they may be." This revelation was given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, not Quirigua or Tikal. Other nations have possessed the land Nephi referred to, including the Indian nations, the British, the French, the Spanish, and eventually the United States. No land in all the world is a melting pot like the United States. As the revelation describes it, "this land" was to be "free" unto "whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue or people they may be."]

Doctrine and Covenants 42:58
58 And I give unto you a commandment that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

Doctrine and Covenants 112:1
1 Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Thomas: I have heard thy prayers; and thine alms have come up as a memorial before me, in behalf of those, thy brethren, who were chosen to bear testimony of my name and to send it abroad among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, and ordained through the instrumentality of my servants.

Revelation 7:9
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 13:7
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

The testimonies of Joseph Smith and the witnesses verify the realization of the prophecies in the latter days. The gospel was restored in the United States and from there it is being taken to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

Joseph Smith—History 1:33
33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many ...

The Testimony of Three Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of ...
_________________________

When we read the text, we can read it through any of several filters, but ideally we would read it without a particular lens over our eyes and minds.