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Posted by: sillysally ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 06:51PM

Speaking about his soon-to-be-published book, "Mormon's Codex", John L. Sorenson says:

"Beginning as early as 1955 I undertook to synthesize what I was learning about ancient Mesoamerica (that is, southern Mexico and northern Central America) into a form intended to answer the question, how did the Book of Mormon account relate to the civilization that once occupied that area?"

reference: http://www.fairlds.org/fair-conferences/2012-fair-conference/2012-reading-mormons-codex

In an article about John's "Mormon Codex", the Deseret News says:

"Since the publication of his 1985 book, "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon," he has been regarded as arguably the leading exponent for the theory that the book's narrative took place within a limited geographic setting. This contrasts with the traditional understanding of many LDS Church members over the years that the events described in the book transpired throughout North and South America."

reference: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765595129/Scholar-details-striking-parallels-between-Book-of-Mormon-and-ancient-civilization.html?pg=all

--------------------------------------------------

Although I'm now an atheist, I still find Mormon apologetic research fascinating; however, and unfortunately, I don't have the time to conduct my own research on new Mormon apologetic research. Because of this, my hope is that the "RFM experts" (i.e., Packham, Benson, and the rest of you ... you know who you are) will chime in to discuss the life, works, and ideas of John L. Sorenson, including your thoughts on his forthcoming book.

It seems like it's been too long since the members of RFM have had a detailed discussion on new "Mormon apologetic ideas and theories." Additionally, I miss reading posts by R Packham and Steve Benson, where'd you two go?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2012 06:51PM by sillysally.

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Posted by: cantbsabser ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 06:59PM

I'm no expert like Packham, Benson, etc and I am not even sure who John L Sorenson is but in my opinion he doesnt know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Seriously the mormon codex? I bet it will sound titiliating to all the sheep and he is going to sell a bunch of book and make a ton of money on what he will present as fact but is in reality fiction.

God will tell Joe Smith to marry a 14 year old but wont tell him or any other prophet where the BoM took place so the Sorensons, mormon travel companies, moron church and desert book can make money.

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Posted by: sherlock ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:03PM

And to think that he's devoted 60 years of his life to Book of mormon apologetics research. What an unbelievable waste of time. Very sad indeed.

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Posted by: xyz ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:14PM

"American Gods" is so much better than the Book of Moron could ever hope to be. As are "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass."

I don't waste my valuable time with Mormon fantasy writers anymore. Especially the ones like Sorensen who can't tell where their fantasy and reality stop and start.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: November 19, 2012 01:05AM

Seriously, I wasn't kidding below when I said I get sidetracked from rubbing Sorenson's nose in his shinola (no matter how "nice" he may be in person) when I get to see and read about stuff like this...

Melville rocks!

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/rare-white-humpback-whale-spotted-near-norway.html#mkcpgn=fbsci1

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Posted by: Inverso ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:21PM

Sigh. I had a class from him (which he taught from a photocopied manuscript of 'An Ancient Setting...'). He was a sweet guy. I wish good people didn't get sucked into this bs and waste their energy and talent.

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Posted by: MarkW ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:40PM

My reaction to the statement "he has been regarded as arguably the leading exponent for the theory that the book's narrative took place within a limited geographic setting. This contrasts with the traditional understanding of many LDS Church members over the years that the events described in the book transpired throughout North and South America."

Yeah, it contrasts with Joseph Smith's understanding and all prophets and leaders until recently. It even contrasts with Moroni's understanding per the his statements to Joseph when he visited him as an angel and described the BoM as "giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent".

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:04PM

I agree MarkW. First it was a hemispheric model. Then it was a great lakes model. Then it was in Chile. Then Peru. Then it was in Mesoamerica. Now it is Great Lakes and Mesoamerica battling it out. All this time, typical LDS read the BoM and still think hemispheric because the plain parts of the book of mormon make it plainly hemispheric. The precious parts (i.e., reading between the lines and inferring via "scholarship") lead one to realize that it's possible to fit other, limited (even vanishing) geography models.

In other words, the geography is all over the map (pun intended). Why? BECAUSE IT IS FICTION. It's like finding Narnia on maps of Europe. You can make up a literary fit all over the place. Mordor is not off the table at this time...

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:47PM

I obviously haven't read Sorenson latest attempts. But
scholarship of BoM Geography...? OMG. These folks are really down deep in the rabbit hole.


If the book of mormon were true, you couldn't help but stumble into a jaredite-boat load of archaeological evidence. Why?

Because
1) the rapid, cataclysmic destruction of more than a dozen cities as depicted in 3 Nephi 8-10 would leave marked and dramatic evidence.
2) the utopian, rich, industrious, populous, peaceful, non-racist society described in 4 Nephi would have left archeological evidence about as great as the Greek civilization. Cause there's never been a society that "good" for that long and that industrious in all of history.

There is no face-of-land changing, uber destruction of a dozen cities in three days anywhere. Not even close.

Instead of a populous christian society, the major mesoamerican populations of that era (~150AD) practiced a not-so christian human and infant sacrifice at the temple (Teotihuacan) that is host to the god that many Mops represent as Christ (Quetzalcoatl). (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_the_Feathered_Serpent).
Instead of worshiping Christ and his sky daddy, the Teotihuacán civilization worshiped a plurality of gods
( http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_7.htm & http://archaeology.la.asu.edu/teo/intro/intrteo.htm)

If AmeriChrist wiped out all the wicked (3 Nephi 8 & 9) then how could there be human sacrifice and idolatry in Mesoamerica at the same time the nephites who spread over the face of the whole land (Mesoamerica) were the bestest christians ever known?

And (again my broken record) we would expect that archaeology evidence from the 35-220AD era (according to 4 Nephi):

• huge population “multiplied” across the land (v. 10, 23)
• great industry and building (v. 7-8, 26)
• complete peace (v. 2, 4, 13, 15, 20)
• little or no poverty (v. 4, 23)
• no slavery (v. 3)
• no racism; no segregation (v. 17)
• all were Christian; no idolatry (v. 2 & 3 Ne 8-9, 4 Ne:2)

Sorenson can't believe he explains this in his new book...

Even if the geography of more than a dozen cities which stretched from sea to shining sea (Helaman 3:8) were somehow limited to a small region, it would be found given the claims of a utopian society rising out of the ashes of Destructo-Jesus' fiery burning and drowning of so many people. Think about the vikings who visited a remote (extremely limited geography) location of icy Canada and left lab-fulls of trace evidence. Smith's Nephite population claimed to spread righteously, industriously, peacefully and prosperously from sea to sea over the face of the whole land leaves nothing except a bitter taste in our mouths.


According to the Desnews: "Sorenson said that in his forthcoming book, he identifies 420 "correspondences" between the Book of Mormon and what scholars understand regarding Mesoamerican civilizations."

420. That explains Sorenson's reasoning right there.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2012 07:56PM by Jesus Smith.

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Posted by: anon2 ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 07:48PM

His book is pseudo trash. Here are some good things to read.

Michael Coe interview about Mormons on PBS
http://www.pbs.org/mormons/interviews/coe.html

Michael Coe interview at Mormonstories
http://mormonstories.org/?p=1880

Mormons and Archaeology by Michael Coe
http://mormonstories.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Dialogue_V08N02_42-1.pdf

Sorenson's response would be funny if it were not so sad:

An Open Letter to Michael Coe from John L. Sorenson
http://www.fairlds.org/authors/sorenson-john/an-open-letter-to-dr-michael-coe

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Posted by: anon2 ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:24PM

Here is an example of how the Mormon mind works with science. Sorenson uses the sweet potato as evidence for oceanic voyages. But when a person thinks about this, Mormonism falls apart.

Polynesians are believed to be from Hagoth in the Book of Mormon. The story is in Alma 63, verses 4-9. They allegedly left the American continent about 50 B.C. but they must have forgotten to take their sweet potato with them because it does not show up in the Pacific Islands until about 1,000 AD.

See: Modeling the prehistoric arrival of the sweet potato in Polynesia http://www.climate.uvic.ca/people/alvaro/SPotato.pdf

If the sweet potato is evidence for the Book of Mormon, why didn't the people before Christ take it with them into the Pacific islands? Mormons ignore unpleasant facts that do not support the Book of Mormon stories.

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Posted by: xyz ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:56PM

despite his certain knowledge that they had absolutely no case.

But at some point you have to stop treating them like a mentally handicapped child and start realizing that they are nothing but incredibly persistent rock-headed jackasses.

I think for Mr. Coe that happened about the same time as that PBS documentary was being made. He was still polite about it, but you could tell he had had just about enough of the Mormons and their hogwash.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:08PM

The mormons will all think it's a book about storing personal hygiene items. Ooops, I'm sorry you said codex not kotex.

Such an easy mistake to make.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2012 08:08PM by Mia.

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Posted by: xyz ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:56PM

ROTFLMFAO!

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Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 08:52PM

Who's publishing it?

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: November 18, 2012 11:20PM

This gal thinks I'm the devil incarnate (when she isn't dissing Benson), and if she and I agree on something--and we do on Sorenson--then you can take it to the bank. Of course our "battles" began when I suggested LDS apologetics wasn't a subject for serious scholarly study, particularly the issue of pre-Columbian "hyper-diffusionism."

http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon399.htm

I keep promising to do Part II of this one, where I reviewed Sorenson's "Biological Evidence for New World/Old World 'Exchanges'" but I keep getting sidetracked because authentic history and science is much more rewarding...

http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon606.htm

On the issue of "Modern Frauds," I find Clifford Irving, James Frey, Jayson Blair, and even Erich Von Däniken to have more relevance on the historical stage than Sorenson or his "non-Mormon" colleague, Carl Johannesen. Shoot, even Mark Hofmann is better known...

Sorenson and Johannesen previously authored "World Trade and Biological Exchanges before 1492," and I addressed those claims in the above link (Simon Southerton pointed me in this direction years ago). Here's the link for those who think ldsfreedomforum.com is too outlandish to take the time to investigate but there might be information out there that is less ridiculous.

http://www.amazon.com/World-Trade-Biological-Exchanges-Before/dp/0595524419

It's revealing to consider the number of Amazon reviews of this one (four) and compare that figure with Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel." Here, I'll look up the latest on that one...

Okay, there are currently 1,359 reviews of GG&S...

http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552

There's a lesson there...

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: November 19, 2012 01:42AM

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: November 19, 2012 08:01PM

It was an apologetic fantasy trip in search of a drug rehab center.

I found it so wandering, absurd, desperate, silly and nonsensical that I finally gave up wasting my time and went back to doing pool laps.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2012 10:18PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: November 19, 2012 08:16PM

I hear rumors of concern at high levels of BYU. They fired the apologists who were too argumentative and embarrassed them. They now realize they have no bright young minds in the pipeline who can replace those guys.

It seems that the bright young people who study relevant fields discover by the time they are PhD candidates that they can't bear to spend their lives defending this stuff. They aren't stupid.

Students who are good prospects in Mormon Studies or Bible Studies or Islamic Studies or history are strangely averse to getting into this fight. It's like what SL Cabbie said, there are so many better things to spend your time on.

Sorenson is what they are left with.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2012 08:17PM by Heresy.

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Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: November 21, 2012 09:02AM

Heresy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sorenson is what they are left with.

And he's 88.

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Posted by: amos2 ( )
Date: February 13, 2013 05:06PM

...that the BoM AO is too small to find, because, well, they can't find it.
It has gotten SO small, we might ask how all few million of them fit into it, and how they didn't affect the peoples of Asiatic-origin all around them.

They want it both ways.

They want to claim findings throughout the Americas from Canada to Chile as BoM evidence, yet they want to shrink the area so small as to be...lost.
If the pan-american findings are so good, there's no need to "limit" the geography.
If the geography was so limited, they can't say every arrowhead from Canada to Chile could be from the BoM.

Problem is, even if limited, BoM geography can only be compressed so small, because it gives relative distances in units of foot-travel.
For example, the original landing site occupied by the Lamanites after the Nephites fled MANY days away eventually MERGED as the future population swelled.

We're talking about a minimum of a decent sized and populated US state. An area of several thousand square miles and a peak population of several million...according to minimum descriptions in the book itself.

That's not all that "limited".

Especially since there are findings of real limited colonies...namely the Viking settlement in Newfoundland.

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Posted by: rationalguy ( )
Date: February 13, 2013 05:13PM

Writing some BS book all wrapped up in intellectual-sounding claptrap with tons of footnotes about how the BoM could be true. It's been done to death. The BoM is crap, it's made up and has absolutely no support from mainstream academia. Another Mormon crackpot is how I view it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2013 05:14PM by rationalguy.

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Posted by: davidlkent ( )
Date: February 14, 2013 03:42PM

John L. Sorenson: Yes, I remember the archeology class I took from him. Not nearly as engrossing as the one I was auditing from Hugh Nibley at the same time--but just as bug-nutty. I expect this last book is a mercy-publication, in return for his toeing the party line all these years.

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Posted by: robertb ( )
Date: February 14, 2013 11:12PM

Reading John Sorenson's book An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon gave me my final assist in letting go of the Book of Mormon. His book raised more questions than it answered by far. The answers it did give made little sense. He had a map in the book based on the internal descriptions within the text and a few speculations about how it aligned in the real world. It became clear to me that they didn't. I finally accepted the Book of Mormon civilization never existed in the real world and that Mormon scholars were just dancing very fast.

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: February 14, 2013 11:17PM

I can't speak to Sorenson's stuff directly, but this is the best thing I've found analyzing the MesoAmerica limited geography hypothesis: http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com/

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