long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Writing in Mesopotamia

I came across this comment on Dan Peterson's blog on Pathos. This comment reflects one of the major elements of the Mesoamerican theory:

I've read books on the North American setting, and none of them appeal to me as substantial enough to match the facts. For example:
Mesoamerica is one of only five regions of the world where writing was independently developed. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...
That, in itself, should ring a very loud bell.


Here is my response:

The fact that Mesoamericans developed their own writing is an argument against the BoM events occurring there! Throughout the BoM, the authors emphasized they used old world writing (Hebrew and Egyptian). Nowhere did they state or imply that they adopted the writing of indigenous people. When the Jaredite plates were found, King Limhi asked Ammon if he could interpret languages. He couldn't. The King asked if anyone could interpret languages, and Ammon said only a seer could. The Mesoamerican theory requires that the Nephites live among people who wrote an entirely different language, yet the BoM makes plain that the ability to translate was so unheard of that only a seer could accomplish it.
We should be looking for a society in which writing was unusual and rare (taught by Kings to their sons as in Mosiah 1), with records kept on sacred metal plates that had to be constantly protected against destruction by enemies.
By contrast, in Mesoamerica we have abundant writings (despite the efforts of the Spanish to destroy them all) in an indigenous language unrelated to Hebrew or Egyptian. It's difficult to conceive of a society that fits the Book of Mormon less than Mesoamerican society in this respect.

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