History and Scientific Facts Tossed Aside in Helaman

09 October

1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

I’ve always been fascinated at how the word of the Lord provides just the right verse, or passage needed for any given situation. Today’s example is case in point! It’s important, beloved, to show the dear Mormon why their canon is flawed. Equally important is the method of how we’re to share this important info.

There’s a passage in the BoM you can lovingly share with a Mormon showing why their canon wasn’t inspired of God. There’s simply no way events in Helaman took place and were repeated in the 19th century in Joe Smith’s backyard.

Early in the 19th century, America took a huge risk by investing $7m to a venture many called ‘Clinton’s Folly’, or ‘Clinton’s Big Ditch’. In the end it turned out to be one of the best investments this country has ever known.

On July 4, 1817 NY Governor Dewitt Clinton put the first spade to the dirt marking the beginning of NY’s future as a world financial capital. Being dubbed the ‘wedding of the waters’, or ‘river of gold’, it was completed in October 1825. The cost was worth its weight in gold by reducing both transportation time and costs for goods by 75%.

Instead of relying on pack mules to carry loads of grain from farm to table, products were now loaded onto carts and placed on ferries. It was the first major interior transportation highway for America, and it also served as a major tourist attraction at the time. Within a decade it had paid for itself.

Not long into the construction of America’s new waterway system, an unexpected caveat awaited discovery…

Limestone.

Lining the walls of the canal necessitated the use of some type of concrete or its equivalent, making this on their list of must-haves. However, in order to even make cement, limestone and a large amount of a combustible fuel, are both needed.

Their worry was short-lived because at the beginning of DeWitt’s grand scheme, limestone was discovered, and plenty of it. In this case, the trees being rooted out of their soil served as the much needed requirement for the combustible fuel source. Burning the limestone down to decompose it, served as the needed ingredient to make cement. This whole process is known as calcination.

With our mini history and chemistry lessons behind us, we have a question.

Foregoing the grammar issues in this BoM passage, why did Helaman state they made cement houses because they didn’t have enough wood?

Do  you find it odd this took place in Smith’s neighborhood, and somehow the same materials found their way into the BoM? Why, or why not?

Helaman 3:6-11; “And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate.
7 And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.
8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.
9 And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.
10 And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping.
11 And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.” [emp. mine]

For other issues about cement, and other problems in Joe Smith’s gospel, see Book of Mormon Artifacts and Metallurgy and Coincidences in Mormonism.

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One Response to “History and Scientific Facts Tossed Aside in Helaman”

  1. Anonymous October 12, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    Ah, I see you’re going by the limited geography theory.
    Now it says there were no trees like, 1850 years ago. Alot of time to grow more.
    “cement” could easily mean something like bricks made with mud and straw
    You have to be careful using modern perceptions with translation because it is literally impossible to do exactly. For example the Conquistadors caught and ate many “peacocks” in the New World. Were they lying? No! They were turkeys! In France they have a type of apple that grows out of the earth, not on a tree! What a miracle! They call it a “pomme de terre”. Crazy!

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