Monday, February 23, 2009

Teotihaucan and the Book of Mormon

One recent archaeological opinion is that the ancient American city of Teotihuacan was a pagan and bloodthirsty civilization at the time the Book of Mormon says Jesus Christ appeared in American and the people of the land were all converted to Christianity. Some critics only superficially familiar with the Book of Mormon have been commenting how this together with genetic discoveries are somehow proof against the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

However, I still cannot rule out Teotihuacan, "the place where men become gods," as being originally settled by the Nephites. The original builders of Teotihuacan remain a mystery, but later groups such as the Toltec's and then later the Aztecs overran the empire. The recent tomb discovery at the Temple of the Moon that is being referred to contains the remnants of human sacrifice but dates to the fifth of seven expansions of Teotihuacan. The original builders were thought to have been peaceful and worshiped Quetzalcoatl. The worship of Quetzalcoatl was known to sometimes included animal sacrifices, but Quetzalcoatl is also known to be opposed to human sacrifice (wiki). The problem with the article is the dating techniques.

In reality, mtDNA data strongly supports Book of Mormon authenticity and demonstrates that what happened at Teotihuacan is probably irrelevant to the Book of Mormon people. First, the Book of Mormon presents a clear limited geography. After the visit of Jesus Christ to His other sheep in America, the gospel of Jesus Christ spread throughout the entire land of the Book of Mormon people. This does not necessarily suggest all of North and South America.

4 Ne. 1: 2 And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land (Book of Mormon Lands), both Nephites and Lamanites (No mention of other groups), and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

A series of mtDNA studies also support the authenticity of the Book of Mormon by showing that a specific mtDNA haplogroup currently found in Northern Israel and which originated in the Middle East arrived via an independent, pre-Colombian migration to the Great Lakes Region of America.

1. The Druze: A Population Genetic Refugium of the Near East. PLoS ONE. 2008 May 7;3(5)
Northern Israeli group has highest Haplogroup X concentration.

2. Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X, Am J Hum Genet. 2003 November; 73(5): 1178–1190.
Haplogroup X is a founding mtDNA haplogroup in America and comes from the Middle East.

3. The Presence of Mitochondrial Haplogroup X in Altaians from South Siberia Am J Hum Genet. 2001 July; 69(1): 237–241.
Haplogroup X in America did not come from Asia, Siberia, Mongolia, or Altai Republic but came directly from the Middle East from an independent and direct migration.

4. Distribution of mtDNA haplogroup X among Native North Americans. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Nov;110(3):271-84.
5. mtDNA haplogroup X: An ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?Am J Hum Genet. 1998 December; 63(6): 1852–1861.
Haplogroup X is a founding mtDNA haplogroup in America and is only found in Indians around the Great Lakes region.

6. Rohde, DLT , On the common ancestors of all living humans. Submitted to American Journal of Physical Anthropology. (2005)
7. Rohde DLT, Olson S, Chang JT (2004) "Modelling the recent common ancestry of all living humans". Nature 431: 562-566.
Correcting for non-random mating, the 'most recent common ancestor' (Mitochondrial Eve)of all humans by mtDNA would have lived 3000 BC or sooner.

8. Gibbons, Ann (1998). "Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock". Science 279: 28-29.
Scientists comparing the noncoding mitochondrial DNA sequence of the remains of the Russian tsar Nicholas II to that of his relatives. Using this new calibrated clock, puts mitochondrial eve at 6,000 years ago or 4,000 BC.

[Wiki: haplogroup X]
Haplogroup X is also one of the five haplogroups found in the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Although it occurs only at a frequency of about 3% for the total current indigenous population of the Americas, it is a major haplogroup in northern North America, where among the Algonquian (Great Lakes) peoples it comprises up to 25% of mtDNA types. It is also present in lesser percentages to the west and south of this area — among the Sioux(15%), the Nuu-Chah-Nulth (11%–13%), the Navajo (7%), and the Yakima (5%).

The researcher in the video link above uses the 15,000 BC as the migration date of Haplogroup X which is associated with the end of the last Ice Age (Noah's Flood?), and the disappearance of the Mammoths, and Mastodons and horses in America, and the appearance of the Clovis (Llano) culture in America. But according to the most current dating techniques, and taking into account the variation of cosmic rays hitting the Earth (thank you global warming research) affecting all radio-nucleotide dating techniques, this migration date was much sooner.

Before anyone thinks that this article endorses a Great Lakes/Nephite geography theory, I cannot rule in or out the Great Lakes, Teotihuacan, Darien in Panama, Rivas area next to Lake Nicaragua or the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, or anywhere else as the site of the Nephite civilization because there is no direct archeological evidence of the Nephite civilization.

Other papers (Kuna in Panama):

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keeping the Faith

Some of my Christian friends question the LDS view of salvation, especially our concern for what we call "enduring to the end." This means that after we have initially accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have to continue in His grace by continual faith, repentance, and good works. Or in other words, good works are a manifestation that Christ's grace and spirit are with us because it is Christ's grace and spirit which empower believers to good works.

The only, yet critical portion that LDS contribute to the whole process is that of our willingness. We offer our souls. Man has will. Jesus has come knocking on our door, and we are free to open our hearts up to Christ. But as CS Lewis says in Mere Christianity, we have to keep a willing mind and heart and remain open to Christ because once Christ enters into our house, He will immediately start making changes, and uncomfortable renovations like knocking down walls and such with a mind to transform our house into a temple worthy of His presence.

Therefore, it is always possible to fall from grace. That is why Paul said it is important to "keep the faith and finish the course and endure to the end." It is as easy to reject Christ as it is to initially accept Him. No one is perfect after they accept Christ, but there is a point when the Holy Ghost will cease to strive with the wicked.

Gen. 6: 3. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
2 Cor. 13: 5-7 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Titus 1: 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
2 Tim. 4: 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Tell me why Paul would boast of keeping the faith. Did Paul do anything of himself?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Continual Revelation from Heaven

LDS believe that revelation and prophets are necessary at all times in the Kingdom of God. However, many Christians interpret Heb 1:2 to mean that further revelation and prophets after Christ are unnecessary. Why would you need anything more after hearing it from Christ Himself?

Heb. 1: 2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

However, if revelation from heaven was to end and be unnecessary after Christ then why did the Apostles comment on topics not specifically covered by Christ? And, if as some say "Apostles only served in a witnessing capacity" then why is anything they say which is not verbatim what Christ said or did considered scripture? It seems to me that if some claim that revelation after Christ is unnecessary then why would the Apostles only write Matt, Mark, Luke and John type witnesses. Why would Acts be written and the other epistles which are not specifically Christs words or actions during his ministry? It seems if Christs word was all-sufficient as given by Matt, Mark, Luke, and John then why would God continue to reveal. Yes you say that he had to choose Paul as his 12th Apostle because Matthias wasn't good enough but then why would God give Revelations after the fact and not give it during before he ascended.

This doctrinal claim seems neat and tidy on the surface except that the God and the Bible doesn't ever specifically say continuing Prophets and revelation are unnecessary. In fact the Bible says the opposite and demonstrates continuing revelation and the calling of apostles like Barnabas, and James the brother of Jesus.

If what some say is correct that Christ's own words were all-sufficient then I would expect the apostles to have said only "I am reminded of the words of the Savior, who said...". And "the acts of the Savior on this occasion were instructive". But that's not what we get. We get the Apostles telling us of their own trials, ministry, travels, labors and the continuing revelation to meet their immediate situation.

Here are some examples of post-ascension revelation or post-atonement, post-rip-in-the-veil revelation not given by Christ Himself:

1. the angels telling the 500 witnesses at the ascension of Christ that Christ would return in like manner that they saw him go. Christ didn't say it but had an angel say it on his behalf and it was written. What about Christ being the only mediator. Who was this angel interloper?

2. That reminds me of the angel at the tomb revealing to Mary and Martha that Christ was risen. They weren't Apostles. Why would Christ send 2 angels to reveal it before He appeared himself?

3.That Paul was to be an Apostle to the Gentiles. Christ comes back personally to call Paul but then sends him to see the other Apostles.

4. That the Gospel should now be preached to the Gentiles in a dream to Peter.

5. "The Revelation" by John the Revelator

6. All the details about the Apostles ministry and healing people and preaching, and ordaining bishops, deacons, and elders in the church. Are these details scripture? Are they unnecessary?

7. If Christ's word was all-sufficient with Christ, then why would Paul bother to tell Titus what qualifications would make a good bishop or deacon. Is the epistle of Titus scripture? Is the Epistle of Titus "God breathed?" Was Paul carried up into heaven to learn these detail? Did Paul forget that he had heard Christ specifically give a list of qualifications for Bishop and Deacon while Christ lived?

If everything in scripture is "God breathed," then everything that accounts words and acts and revelations post-ascension is God giving revelation beyond what Christ said or did during His mortal ministry. So, if Christ meant for Apostles, prophets, and revelation to continue in the church then it makes sense that the Bible contains acts and prophecies after Christ and having to do with the establishment, and management of Gods kingdom on Earth. And the Bible does just that.

Catholics--- there has been an unbroken line of authority and inspiration
Protestants--- there is no need for more authority or revelation after Christ
LDS---- apostles and revelation continued after Christ until the apostasy and then continued again after a restoration.

John 14: 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Matt. 16: 17-18 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. . . . and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Avoid Personal Apostacy

Today's priesthood lesson was on avoiding personal apostasy. There were several great points brought out in our lesson:
1. Have a thankful heart and an attitude of gratitude.
2. Don't steady the Ark or Play your position or Bloom where you are planted
3. God does expect faith but not blind obedience.
4. Don't cast away thy confidence but shelve a doubt and allow God time to answer your question
5. Sustain your leaders which means avoid being passive agressive and dragging your feet.
6. The best way to avoid being cold is to avoid being lukewarm.
7. When you joined the church you left neutral ground and can never go back. If you leave the church you are no longer neutral and that is why those who leave the LDS Church can't leave it alone but become vocal critics and antagonists against the Kingdom of God.
8. Most important, always remember Jesus Christ (thx Mike).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Overcoming the Saints

The LDS Church believes the Bible speaks that the Church of Christ established by Jesus Christ would be rejected and fall into a complete Apostasy. And just as the people rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, and destroyed the temple, God would also allow His church and priesthood authority to be lost for a season. Christ did say that a church built upon the rock of revelation and upon the keys and authority of Peter would never fall. Many Christians claim that verse makes it impossible for there to have been a complete apostasy. But the issue here is that the so-called evangelical Christian church denies continuing revelation and priesthood, and prophets, and keys, and authority. So, by definition, they are apostate and the gates of hell have prevailed against them. And there are many other scriptures in the Old and New Testament which foretells of this Great Apostasy. And if that is not enough we can look to the Dark Ages were at the very moment we would expect the blessings of heaven to be poured out upon the Gentiles for embracing Christianity, what we see are the plagues of Revelations, disease, famine, ignorance, and the Judgements of God poured out upon Europe.

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Daniel sees, in Chapter 7, 4 Beasts or Kingdoms. The first represents the Babylonian Empire, the second represents the Persian Empire. The third represents the Greek Empire that splits into 4 after the Death of Alexander the Great (Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Greece). The Fourth Kingdom with 10 horns and a little horn which is as big as all the previous kingdoms combined is the Roman Empire. The 10 horns represent 10 Emperors or Caesars to Vespasian. And the little horn is the son of Vespasian, Titus who destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem and carried off the treasures of the temple to Rome and crucified possibly 3600 Jews around the walls of the city and then persecuted the Saints in Rome feeding them to the lions at the newly constructed Roman Colosseum.

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine thought the change the times and laws, and doctrines of the true Christian faith. Time, times, and dividing of times or 3 1/2 years is a recurring reference made by Daniel and John in Revelations to the Apostasy as the famine of Elijah lasted 3 1/2 years.

Rev. 13: 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.

John in Revelations describes only the fourth and last beast or kingdom of Daniel. Because this fourth Kingdom which is the Roman Empire would be more powerful than any of the preceding Kingdoms, John describes this beast as having 7 heads (Babylon (1), Persia (1), Greece (4), and Rome (1)) and 10 horns with the little horn referring again to Titus who was the son of Emperor Vespasian at the time He destroyed the temple at Jerusalem and then later became Emperor himself.

Amos 8: 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

Amos says that unlike past apostasies, this time a person would search north, south; the entire Earth and not find it. Never had there been a spiritual famine like this. When Abraham left Ur, he found the everlasting covenant with Melchesidek. When Moses left Egypt he found the gospel with Jethro the High Priest of Midian. When the Jews at the time of Christ sought for the truth they left Jerusalem and found the true baptism in the wilderness with John the Baptist. But this time according to Amos, the truth would not be found.

Matt. 24: 2, 29, 34 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: . . . Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

While referring to the temple, and His body, Christ saying that not one stone being left upon another also makes reference to His church which Christ also likens to his body as He does the temple. With respect to the Church of Christ, no one stone would be left upon another doctrinally speaking. The stones are still there scattered about, but not even the ruins of the original as it was meant to be remain. And like the Jews worshiping at what they think is the western wall of the temple, Christians will find out that they have been also worshipping at the wrong wall.The sun, moon, stars not giving their light refers to the heavenly light of revelation ceasing. And the church not built upon the rock of revelation from heaven cannot stand against the gates of hell. And Christ says that all these things in Matt 24 would be fulfilled in that generation.

These scriptures have multiple fulfillment. But they have been fulfilled once. The tribulation was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus and Vespasian. 3600 or more Jews were crucified outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. Titus looted the temple and brought back the treasures and gold of the temple to Rome. When Titus was made Emperor Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, there was drought, famine, and plagues that swept through the Empire and another fire in Rome. Emperor Titus blamed the Christians and had them killed for sport in the newly constructed Roman Colosseum.

2 Thes. 2: 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Paul says the apostasy would happen before the Second Coming of Christ and that the son of perdition would be revealed. Many Christians look to the future for a fulfilling of this prophecy. And while it may have multiple fulfillment, it has already been fulfilled as Christ said it would in that generation.

1 Jn. 4: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

John says here and elsewhere, as does the Epistle of Barnabas that the antichrist is already in the world and has already been revealed.

Rev 12:14-16 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

John in Revelations says the woman, or the Church of Christ would go into the wilderness like the Jews who spent 40 years in the desert. But the Earth would help the woman. How? The Book of Mormon comes from the Earth like a "voice speaking from the dust", and "low out of the ground" as Isaiah says to restore the truth of Gods word and gospel to the Earth.

Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel in Chapter 2 gives the interpretation of King Nebecanezzar's Dream saw the image with a head of gold, shoulders of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. The head of gold represented the Babylonian kingdom, silver is Persia, bronze is Greece, and Iron is Rome. But during the days of the feet of Iron mixed with clay would God set up His everlasting kingdom which will be cut out of the mountain without hands and roll forth and destroy the image and then fill the whole Earth. The rock of which Daniel speaks does not start during the days of the Roman Empire, but during the Days of the feet of iron and clay which is today in the Last Days with our United States of American and Mexico, European Union, Soviet Socialist Republic, UN, NATO, and NAFT treaties.

Rev. 14: 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

John says that after this apostasy, there would be another angel who would come to Earth with the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation. This isn't another gospel but it is another angel sent from God.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Isaiah 19 Speaks of America

Avraham Gileadi gives a great translation of Isaiah. Chapter 19 speaks of the future of Egypt. But since the words of Isaiah can be applied to anyone, if you change the word Egypt to America, it sure sounds like Isaiah could be talking about the United States of America.

1. An oracle concerning [America]: When the Lord enters [America] riding on swift clouds, the idols of [America] will rock at his presence and the [Americans'] hearts melt within them.
2. I will stir up the [Americans] against the [Americans]; they will fight brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor, city against city and state against state. (Civil War)
3. [America's] spirit shall be drained from within; I will frustrate their plans, and they will resort to the idols and to spiritists, to mediums and witchcraft.
4. Then will I deliver the [Americans] into the hand of a cruel master; a harsh ruler will subject them, says my Lord, the Lord of Hosts.
5. The waters of the lakes shall ebb away as stream beds become desolate and dry.
6. The rivers shall turn foul, and [America's] waterways recede and dry up. Reeds and rushes shall wither;
7. vegetation adjoining canals and estuaries, and all things sown along irrigation channels, shall shrivel and blow away and be no more.
8. Fishermen will deplore their lot and anglers in canals bemoan themselves; those who cast nets on water will be in misery.
9. Manufacturers of combed linen and weavers of fine fabrics will be dismayed.
10. The textile workers will know despair, and all who work for wages (or with people) suffer distress. (Economic Depression)
11. The ministers of [Obama] are utter fools; the wisest of [President's] advisers give absurd counsel. How can you say to[the President], We ourselves are as wise as the [Founding Fathers]?
12. Where are your wise men indeed? Let them please tell you, if they can discern it, what the Lord of Hosts has in mind for [America]!
13. The ministers of [Obama] have been foolish, the officials of [Bush] deluded; the heads of state have led [America] astray.
14. The Lord has permeated them with a spirit of confusion; they have misled [America] in all that it does, causing it to stagger like a drunkard into his vomit.
15. And there shall be nothing the [Americans] can do about it, neither head nor tail, palm top or reed.
16. In that day the [Americans] will be as women, fearful and afraid at the brandishing hand the Lord of Hosts wields over them.
17. The [Middle East] shall become a source of terror to the [Americans]; all reminded of it shall dread what the Lord of Hosts has in store for them.
18. In that day five Hebrew‑speaking cities in the land Egypt will swear loyalty to the Lord of Hosts. One shall be known as the City of Righteousness.
19. In that day there shall be [a temple] erected to the Lord in the midst of the land of [America] and a monument to the Lord at its border. ...
20. ... They shall serve as a sign and testimony of the Lord of Hosts in the land of [America]: when they cry out to the Lord because of the oppressors, he will send them a savior, who will take up their cause and deliver them.
21. The Lord will make himself known to the [Americans], and the [Americans] shall know the Lord in that day. They will worship by sacrifice and offerings, and make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. ...
22. ... The Lord will smite [America], and by smiting heal it: they will turn back to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.
23. In that day there shall be a highway from [America] to [Europe?]. [Europe?] shall come to [America] and [Americans] go to [Europe?], and the [Americans] shall labor with the [Europeans?].
24. In that day Israel shall be the third party to [America] and to [Europe?], a blessing in the midst of the earth. ...
25. ... The Lord of Hosts will bless them, saying, Blessed be [America] my people, [Europe?] the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mosiah the Messiah

Since Elder Ballard invited members of the Church to participate online in defending the doctrines of the Church, I have visited a particular religious forum which is exceptionally antagonistic towards LDS beliefs. In fact, several of my friends had lost interest in investigating the LDS Church because of this very website and forum.

I knew this forum existed and had visited it briefly in the past, but not until Elder Ballard invite members to be more active on line did I really feel good about spending time at all on the site. But since I have I really have to hand it to our LDS critics on this particular website. They really do their homework. And they know LDS doctrine in some respects better than most LDS do. And if you want an obscure quote from the Early LDS Church leaders on any particular subject, they can usually find it for you.

And every once in a while they really come up with a post that is very inspiring and profound. Such was the case tonight with a great post by Joshua Lee who points out that it is curious in the Book of Mormon how that while the people of Zarahemla descended from Judah and had the blood of the son of King Zedekiah through Mulek, that the people appointed King Mosiah to be both their king and their priest. In this way, Mosiah becomes a Messianic figure.

Joshua Lee says:

"Why did the people of Zarahemla, who had a claim to the throne of Judah, accept Mosiah as their king, who was from the tribe of Manasseh? This is odd, especially in light of the people of Zarahemla having just learned from Mosiah of the "record of the Jews," during which years of warfare had been fought and recorded between Israel and Judah over this very controversy. However, in spite of this, the story goes:

Omni 1:12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla ...13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness ... until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla. 14 And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. ... the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews. 15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.

Omni 1:18 But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language. And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates. 19 And it came to pass that the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king.

Even the verse selected below from Isaiah for inclusion in the Book of Mormon seems to highlight this dilemma:

Isaiah 9:21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
2 Nephi 19:21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

But that's not all - here we see that the people of Zarahemla are now to be numbered with the Nephites, the descendants of Manasseh:

Mosiah 25:13 And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi.
What does all of this portend?Well, according to the blessing of Jacob, that Mosiah has become "Messiah" (a nice touch with the name cognate here, BTW), because he has fulfilled this promise:
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Of course, this presents a bit of a problem within the scope of the promise to David.So, to sum up, I see this usurping by a "false Mosiah" as a big problem within the Book of Mormon. Thoughts?"

My response was:

Wow, I love you guys. What a great post on how Mosiah as a type of Christ. Your post was very beautiful and inspiring and has increased my faith in the Book of Mormon. Remember that both Ephraim and Judah will be given a birthright inheritance in the Last Days. Ephraim is given a birthright in the New World, and Judah is given a birthright to govern in the Old World. When Christ comes and all land is one, Ephraim and Zion will be the center of religious teaching and Jerusalem will be the center of Government and Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords. Since King Mosiah is a type of the Messiah as all prophets are, he is both a king and a priest over the people. The people wisely saw that the birthright should go to him with the priesthood and the spiritual gifts.

Matt. 20: 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Isa. 11: 13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

Cureloms and Cumoms

Some criticize the Book of Mormon for mentioning elephants and horses as well as two unknown species of animals referred to as cureloms and cumoms. At the time, critics says that the mention of elephants and horses in the Book of Mormon was absolute proof that the Book of Mormon was a fabrication by Joseph Smith because the elephant and the horse have never been found anywhere on the American Continent. Now that numberless examples of elephant and horse remains have been found, critics claim that according to the radio-carbon and other radio-isotope dating, which they criticize when it comes to the creationism/evolution debate, these North American elephants and horses lived in the American Continent longer than the Book of Mormon says they exist.

And what of Cureloms and Cumoms? Well, no one is for sure what they are. But the Book of Mormon suggests they are relatively large, able to be domesticated and useful. Early Mormon apostle Orson Pratt identified cureloms as mammoths in the Journal of Discourses (12:339-340).

But you say that Mammoths died out before the Jaredites arrived. According to history, the Mammoths and Mastodons and horses in America soon died upon the arrival of the first settlers in America in 10,000 BC (15,000-8,000BC). The Glaciers are said to have started to retreat in 16,000 BC. But the important thing here is that when ever the first Americans did arrive, the Elephants and horses disappeared. Why do we know this, because there are Mammoth and horse bones, human bones, and arrows and stone blades with mammoth and horse flesh on them in the same strata at multiple sites.

But what about the date of 10,000 BC? Can any Christian put any stock in this date as accurate? It denies that Adam was the first man who, according to the Bible, lived 4000 BC. Yes, there are 40 types of radio-isotope dating which all agree with each other, but all 40 scientific radio-dating techniques are based on a flawed assumption. And that flawed assumption is that radio/isotope dating assumes a constant rate of cosmic rays hitting the Earth which is what produces the radioactive isotopes or influences the ratio of radioactive isotopes and nonradioactive isotopes.

Thanks to all the global warming and environmental research that has been done, we know that the rate of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere sending all kinds of strange particles through the Earth and making the various isotopes is not constant but inversely proportional to extent of the solar wind. We also know that when there is a lot of cosmic rays hitting the Earth, there are no Sun spots, and the Earth gets very cold like happened during the Mini Ice Age in the 16-17th Centuries. There are also problems with acidified ground water dissolving certain minerals out of rock. Shows the variation in cosmic rays hitting the Earth by C14.

And what about genetic mtDNA dating techniques? These are flawed too because they do not account for non-random mating which a group at MIT did correct for in their models. Mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the Mother and therefore only changes in response to DNA mutation which also depends on environmental factors and cosmic rays among other things. This MIT group published their data in Nature and said that the first common ancestor of all humans could have lived as early a couple thousand years before Christ.

5. Rohde, DLT , On the common ancestors of all living humans. Submitted to American Journal of Physical Anthropology. (2005)
6. Rohde DLT, Olson S, Chang JT (2004) "Modelling the recent common ancestry of all living humans". Nature 431: 562-566.

So, what do we know? We know that the appearance of humans in America coincided with the disappearance with several large mammal species in the Americas according to the Book of Mormon. And this is exactly what the archaeological record shows. Not so far fetched also seeing as how the arrival of the Europeans almost meant extinction for the North American Bison. While this isn't proof of the Book of Mormon, it is closer to evidence for the Book of Mormon rather than evidence against.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Daniel foretells the Great Apostacy

Daniel 7
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

[First Beast is the Babylonian Empire]

5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

[Second Beast is the Persian Empire]

6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

[Third Beast is the Greek Empire that split into 4 parts: Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Greece]

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

[Fourth Beast is the Roman Empire]

8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

[The 10 horns are 10 Roman Emperors until Emperor Vespasian in 69-79 AD]

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

[100 million present at some great future event when the Saints are led by the "Ancient of Days"]

11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

[Speaks of the restoration which should occur during the days of the kings represented in Dan 2 by the feet of Iron and Clay which is today in the Last Days. Christ Christ will come in the clouds of heaven at His second coming to receive His kingdom from the "Ancient of Days" which refers to Father Adam.]

15 ¶ I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

[Four Empires: Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman]

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

[The Roman Empire would be greater than all the 3 previous]

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

[The small horn was the son of Vespasian, Titus, who was left at Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, crucified over 3600 Jews outside the walls of the city, and brought many Jews to Rome as slaves as well as looted the treasures of the temple].

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

[Titus and the Roman Empire prevailed against the saints and the kingdom of God as also John said (Rev. 13: 7), and the church went into apostasy and the western world went into the Dark Ages (Rev. 12: 6)]

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

[Titus and his father Vespasian built the great Roman Amphitheater, and after destroying Jerusalem and the temple Rome was cursed with fire, drought, famine, mount Vesuvius eruption, and plagues. Titus blamed the Christians and had them martyred]

25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

[wear out the saints refers to the Apostasy, and the Roman Empire creating the Catholic Church which attempted to "change the times and the laws" of the Church. The time, times, and half a time refers to a symbolic 3 1/2 year period which was the length of time of the famine of Elijah. This is referring to the spiritual famine of Apostasy that would occur during the Dark Ages also spoken of in Amos 8:11].

26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.