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.

Friday, November 4, 2022

What is "manifestly absurd?"

In his book Mormon's Codex, John Sorenson promoted M2C. 

Popular LDS scholar Terryl Givens wrote the foreword for Mormon's Codex, claiming the book is "the high-water mark of scholarship on the Book of Mormon." Foreword, Mormon's Codex, p. xvi. 

Givens was correct about that--in the sense that, for many LDS intellectuals, repudiation of the prophets constitutes "scholarship on the Book of Mormon."

The intellectuals in the M2C citation cartel, including Book of Mormon Central, FAIRLDS, and the Interpreter, continue to promote M2C, just as Mormon's Codex does.

The book includes this comment regarding the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah:

“There remain Latter-day Saints who insist that the final destruction of the Nephites took place in New York, but any such idea is manifestly absurd. Hundreds of thousands of Nephites traipsing across the Mississippi Valley to New York, pursued (why?) by hundreds of thousands of Lamanites, is a scenario worthy only of a witless sci-fi movie, not of history.

John Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex (Deseret Book, 2013), p. 688.

I suppose most people find it difficult to believe that hundreds of thousands of Lamanites would "traipse" from Mesoamerica all the way to western New York. It's axiomatic that the fake scenario Sorenson set out is "manifestly absurd."

Even RLDS scholar L.E. Hills, who developed the M2C map that many LDS scholars continue to promote today, thought it was "useless" to show the final battles of the Jaredites in New York State.

(click to enlarge)

But here's the irony: it is the fake M2C scenario that Hills developed and Sorenson copied that is "manifestly absurd." 

By repudiating the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah, the M2C intellectuals have conjured up an interpretation of the Book of Mormon that fits nowhere in the real world. Instead, they give us fantasy maps such as the one taught at BYU.

A far more productive approach is accepting the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah and interpreting the text accordingly. 

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