Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Natural" Eastern U.S. Terrain

But now, Robert Walter and Dorothy Merritts of Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania say those studies got it wrong, and the meandering streams are actually the result of early forms of land management imposed by the European settlers of the 17th century. The New World, they say, was a wetland.

The new study suggests that rather than rivers being confined to single, winding channels before 20th century industrialisation, they were collections of many small channels spreading across broad wetlands before European settlers dammed them in.

This may be relevant to understanding the Book of Mormon. I have a growing suspicion that the general consensus among lay members and FARMS researchers that the Book of Mormon story took place in Central America is wrong. I have this suspicion for a number of reasons--the political history of the United States, the position of the First Presidency on the location of the hill Cumorah, the methodology of the FARMS researchers, the fact that no one seems to question the assumption that in the geographical description in Alma 22, "sea east" and "sea west" actually mean "ocean east" and "ocean west" and that "land" means "continent"--but it's certainly interesting to note that the Eastern U.S. before the 17th century was a land of "many waters", per Mosiah 8:8 and Mormon 6:4.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

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