Saturday, December 18, 2010
Have any of you pondered just how amazing First Nephi is in terms of the intellectually rich evidence it provides for the plausability of the Book of Mormon? For the intellectually and spiritually honest, it can open one's mind to the possibility that maybe this is an ancient text with origins unexplainable by the usual claims of fabrication and forgery by a sinister farm boy. I've previously highlighted the delightful evidences we have from the Arabian Peninsula (see my Book of Mormon evidences page, for example), but today I'd like to remind you of one piece of that body of evidence: the bulls-eye placement of Bountiful on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, nearly due east of the ancient burial place Nahom (or Nehhem, as it is shown on one map from the University of Sana'a in Yemen). Following the detailed directions given in the Book of Mormon plausibly takes us to the eastern shores of modern Oman, where in fact we have a couple of excellent candidates for the place that anti-Mormon critics once dismissed as an impossibility (and apparently still can't honestly acknowledge today).
The area of the Peninsula that offers such rich finds for the Book of Mormon is more than merely interesting. It is truly amazing. The region the Book of Mormon describes as a plush, green area with fruit trees and many other criteria that appear to plausibly fulfilled by real locations, is counterintuitive, surprising, and unexpected in a Peninsula that "every knows" is little more than a vast dessert. But among that entire Peninsula there is a little green band of vegetation on the coast due east of Nahom (or Nehhem or Nihm, the name of the ancient tribe who left us ancient altars from Lehi's day with their tribal name inscribed thereon, showing that the Semitic root of NHM was the key name associated with that ancient area). The plausible candidates for Bountiful are an important enough find that it is dangerously irresponsible to dismiss such an intriguing and gracious hint of ancient origins as just a lucky guess. It is not "proof" that Jesus is the Christ, but evidence that we should not be too hasty to dismiss the Book of Mormon as mere fantasy and fraud. Open your mind and your heart, read the text, and learn for yourself if it truly is an ancient witness for the reality of the Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, and evidence that the work of the gathering of Israel and the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ has begun.
There are many other videos of interest about the evidence from the Arabian Peninsula. Here's one more. Important note regarding the last video: You don't need a cool hat to be a fan of the Book of Mormon or to be an LDS scholar. But I guess it helps.
Oh, did I mention iron ore? Yeah, it's a cool story from the Bountiful region. And I just updated my link to an important old article at LDSMag.com that is hard to find unless you know just where to look. It's >"Geologists Discover Iron Ore in the Region of Nephi's Bountiful" by Ron Harris in Meridian Magazine at LDSmag.com. (I dare you to find it using Google! I think everyone else's links to this article are dead after LDSMag changed the URL.) Excellent, easy-to-smelt iron ore has been discovered in the region of Bountiful on the eastern coast of Oman, consistent with the Book of Mormon. This article discusses the significance of the find and confirms that the iron ore near the area can be converted to workable metal using wood-fired technology. The video adds further insight. Cool stuff--and part of the growing body of shreds of evidence for the plausibility of the Book of Mormon that simply don't exist.
Posted by Jeff Lindsay at 9:35 AM