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.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


The question of mountains seems to be a big one for Mesoamerican advocates. Sorenson, for example, claims "The land southward, which extended from the isthmus/neck along a mountain range, was divided generally in two parts." (Mormon's Codex) Of course, the mountain range is purely Sorenson's fabrication; nowhere does the Book of Mormon mention a mountain range. Sorenson also claims the narrow strip of wilderness "was formed by rugged mountains." Another complete fabrication, not even suggested by the text. This is another example of how Mesoamerican advocates have to add their own terminology to the text to "make it fit" their preferred geography.

I prefer sticking with the text and not adding words. Explanations are fine, but when one has to change the text to fit a geography, the process is backward.

That said, what is a "mountain" in the Book of Mormon?

For now, I'm not even going to consult Websters or Oxford or Hebrew. Just look at what Section 117 says.

Let the properties of Kirtland be turned out for debts, saith the Lord. Let them go, saith the Lord, and whatsoever remaineth, let it remain in your hands, saith the Lord.
 For have I not the fowls of heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains? Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?
 Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.
 Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?
 Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion.

So far, I haven't come across a "Two Adam-ondi-Ahman" theory, but maybe someone has proposed that. In the meantime, it seems pretty clear that Adam-ondi-Ahman is the site in Daviess County, Missouri, along the Grand River, 70 miles north of Kansas City. Here is a nice photo looking down on the plains in the valley:


The site is mostly a valley, with the high points being Spring Hill and other hillsides. This type of terrain is common to the Midwest, from this part of Missouri through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. These are the kind of "hills" and "mountains" from which armies of robbers could "sally forth." 3 Nephi 4:1. [Note: the Oxford English Dictionary defines the term "sally" as "a sudden rush (out) from a besieged place upon the enemy; a sortie." It can also mean "a sudden start into activity." It's difficult to conceive of how an army could "sally forth" out of high mountains.]

In Central America,  Sorenson claims the narrow strip of wilderness "correlates with the band of peaks at the head of the Grijalva River basin along the present Guatemala-Chiapas border (including the volcano Tacana, Central America's tallest peak.)" I'm not sure how an army would "sally forth" out of this kind of mountain.


Bottom line, if Adah-ondi-Ahman has "mountains," so does Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, etc.

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