Your Friday Firestorm #43

And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward. And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward. And thus ended the thirty and seventh year.

And in the thirty and eighth year, this man built other ships. And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward. And it came to pass that they were never heard of more. And we suppose that they were drowned in the depths of the sea. And it came to pass that one other ship also did sail forth; and whither she did go we know not.

(Alma 63:5-9)

Discuss.

Comments

  1. I’ve always loved this passage. So ripe for spin offs and new scriptures to be found. Who are these people? Who are their descendants? Island of the Blue Dolphins?

  2. Robert Boylan says:

    The word, “curious” in ye olde English meant “skilled,” so this is a passage many LDS mis-read, as well as the description, by Nephi, of the Liahona being of “curious workmanship.”

  3. MikeInWeHo says:

    They went apostate a formed a new colony which exists to this day. I have proof.

  4. It would be nice to see where they went off to…

    My guess is that they went north from the Guatemalan peninsula and landed in like Florida or something. Maybe Cuba.

  5. “And we suppose that they were drowned in the depths of the sea”

    I think that was correct. Bye bye Hagoth, we hardly knew ye.

  6. Rapa Nui. Or Cabo San Lucas. I’m going with Cabo.

  7. OK mikeinWeHo, you have me sold for my next vacation. But wouldn’t Hagoth’s group be in the Pacific?

  8. This is from the Church News, July 9, 1988:

    The Book of Mormon speculates that some of the colonists on Hagoth’s ships “were drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Alma 63:8.) While the book gives no further explanation regarding their fate, it is generally accepted by today’s members that the colonists did not drown but drifted off course, landed on some of the islands of the Pacific that became part of what is now Polynesia.

    “The only way we know these Polynesian people are from Hagoth is by revelation through presidents of the Church and from patriarchal blessings. The Book of Mormon doesn’t teach it,” said Monte S. Nyman, BYU associate dean of religious education.

    Robert E. Parsons, BYU associate professor of ancient scripture, has a copy of a report made by Stuart Meha, a New Zealand Maori who was among a group of members who traveled to Salt Lake City in the early 1900s to go to the temple.

    Meha wrote that the Maoris, upon arriving on the U.S. western coast, sent a telegram to the Salt Lake City New Zealand Missionary Society: “Who knows but what Hagoth has returned. Pea.” (Pea is Maori for “perhaps.”)

    President Joseph F. Smith met with the members before their return to New Zealand. President Smith, who had served as a missionary in Hawaii, knew pea meant “perhaps” in Hawaiian and Maori. Meha reported that President Smith said, “I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, ‘You are some of Hagoth’s people, and there is no pea [perhaps] about it.'”

    Other prophets have referred to Pacific islanders as descendants of Lehi. In the Hawaii Temple dedicatory prayer, Nov. 27, 1919, President Heber J. Grant gave thanks that the “descendants of Lehi, in this favored land, have come to a knowledge of the gospel. . . .” He asked that the Lord bless the “natives of this land . . . that all the great and glorious promises made concerning the descendants of Lehi, may be fulfilled in them. . . .” (Temples of the Most High, compiled by N.B. Lundwall.)

    In the dedicatory prayer for the New Zealand Temple, April 20, 1958, President David O. McKay expressed “gratitude that to these fertile islands thou didst guide descendants of Father Lehi. . . .” (Church News, May 10, 1958.)

  9. I’ve also heard through the Mormon rumor mill several supposed comments from President Kimball on the relationship between Hagoth and the Maori. However, I have never been able to find any sources for the comments. Has anyone ever heard of any of these?

  10. Um, hello? Wasn’t Hagoth the first Polynesian? I had a Samoan Sunday School teacher and a Tongan home teacher and heard plenty about this, including verification from the dedication prayers of various temples.

    Personally I’m with Bob H.

  11. All but the first line of (8) was supposed to be in block quote format.

  12. And every Samoan and Tongan LDS missionary got a great story to tell…..

  13. The word, “curious” in ye olde English meant “skilled,”

    Um, Robert, that ain’t olde English, or even anything resembling olde English.

  14. Peter LLC says:

    The first pyramid scheme?

    “If you invest in my expedition, you will totally get an awesome return; after all, just look at what the folks in the first ship brought back!”

  15. “Curious” – Webster’s 1828 dictionary

    1. Strongly desirous to see what is novel, or to discover what is unknown; solicitous to see or to know; inquisitive.

    Be not curious in unnecessary matters, nor to pry into the concerns of your neighbors.

    2. Habitually inquisitive; addicted to research or enquiry; as a man of a curious turn of mind; sometimes followed by after, and sometimes by of.

    Curious after things elegant and beautiful; curious of antiquities.

    3. Accurate; careful not to mistake; solicitous to be correct.

    Men were not curious what syllables or particles they used.

    4. Careful; nice; solicitous in selection; difficult to please.

    A temperate man is not curious of delicacies.

    5. Nice; exact; subtile; made with care.

    Both these senses embrace their objects–with a more curious discrimination.

    6. Artful; nicely diligent.

    Each ornament about her seemly lies, by curious chance, or careless art, composed.

    7. Wrought with care and art; elegant; neat; finished; as a curious girdle; curious work Exodus 28 and 30.

    8. Requiring care and nicety; as curious arts. Acts 19.

    9. Rigid; severe; particular. [Little used.]

    10. Rare; singular; a a curious fact.

  16. I doubt you’ll ever hear from an official publication again that the Polynesian people are descended from those on this expedition.

  17. It’s easy to reconcile science and religion. Let me demonstrate:

    Hagoth was clearly descended from a group of Malay natives who had sailed across the Pacific years before and infiltrated the Nephite society at their unknown location in the Americas. Hagoth was technically a “child of Lehi” due to intermarriage.

    If anyone questions my source, let me assure you that it was either from “a BYU professor” or “one of the Seventy,” but I can’t remember exactly who . . .

  18. KyleM (16) – I think you’re right. With the pigeon-holing that took place with the Book of Mormon introduction’s “principal ancestors,” I’d be surprised to see an official publication of the church mentioning it, barring a revelation to the prophet, or some recognition that previous statements were revelations.

  19. While church leaders have stated that the polynesians were descended from Haggoth, they were wrong IMO. This is not a problem for me since I do not insist that they have to know everything and give them slack to speculate on things. After all, anthropology is not their area of expertice.

    The anthropological and genetic evidence indicate that the islands of the pacific were colonized from west to east by peoples from asia. Samoa and Tonga were first settled about 3,000 years ago as part of the original Austronesian-speakers’ (Lapita) migration which originated out of S.E. Asia some 6,000 years ago. Haggoth left about 55 A.D. So even if Haggoth really existed and made it to those islands, they were already peopled. Hopefully he did not land on an island settled by canibals. :)

  20. The Samoans and other Polynesians cannot be from Hagoth and his bunch, because Hagoth and his bunch went NORTH, not SOUTH! Polynesia is SOUTH of Central America, not NORTH.

  21. They left to the north but that says nothing about what then transpired. Note I tend to agree with you regardless of what Pres. Kimball said. But I think we have to acknowledge the limits of the text.

  22. Re(18) Not that I am making an argument for the Hagoth-Polynesian theory, but couldn’t (at least some) Polynesians still descend from Hagoth even given the information you mention? I guess the fact that the islands may have been settled first by other people doesn’t seem to make it any less plausible to me that Hagoth and/or the people in his ship(s) could have been among the ancestors of at least some of the polynesian people (such as by mixing with the indigenous people). Of course, it doesn’t make it more plausible, either.

    Does any of this sound familiar? (BofM peoples descending from Israelites, etc.)

  23. It never explicitly states that Hagoth went forth into the ships he built. For all we know, he was in the ship building business, not necessarily a sailor.

  24. Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond gives a pretty descent description of where Polynesians came from based on genetics and analysis of their languages. It’s possible, JT, but not terribly likely to be literally true.

  25. Polynesians and Pacific Islanders were labeled as Lamanites by early Mormon missionaries. I find it fascinating that instead of accepting that label (like many Latin American Mormons have done), they instead chose to assume an identity as “children of Lehi” and used little-known and discussed Hagoth as their connection to the Book of Mormon’s sacred narrative of history. Grant Underwood has done some terrific work on the Maori in New Zealand as a case study of this phenomenon.

  26. I find it interesting to see what the teenagers of today (generals in the war in heaven) are learning about this passage in seminary(“Latter-day prophets have declared…”):

    Alma 63

    Or Institute students:

    Alma 63

  27. Justin, wow.

    Discouraging but not surprising.

  28. I don’t mean to get off topic here, but as anthropology and genetics and the Book of Mormon creep into the discussion, I can’t help but throw something out there. This is why it’s called a firestorm, right? I’ve read just about all of the theories on reconciling current understandings of the genetic makeup of native americans and the claims of the Book of Mormon. But I have never read a theory that sounds anything like what I used to think (perhaps for good reason).

    When I was younger and read the Book of Mormon passages of God making the skin of the Lamanites darker, I guess I always pictured a fundamental change in their bodies – a change in their genetic make-up. Later in life I looked back at this as the sweet thoughts of a naive lad. Yet at the same time, if there really is a God, and he really does have all power, and he really did inspire the Book of Mormon, doesn’t it make sense that if he really did change the color of their skin (ie, not just making them a little tanner – no pun intended for Jerald and Sandra), it would involve a change in their genetic make-up, one that could resemble that of another race of God’s children (in this case, Mongoloid)?

    A theory like this, of course, would be scoffed at by the scientific community. But is it any less plausible than the resurrection? Turning water to wine? Healing someone from paralysis?

    While I find a limited geography theory more plausible in my mind, I guess I’m not sure why my former theory never worked. Perhaps it is because there is too much additional evidence of other peoples inhabiting the Americas, or, as mentioned above, because it just doesn’t sound good from a scientific perspective. Of course, latter-day saints generally believe in a rational “theology” (in the sense used by John A. Widtsoe), and believe that God works by natural means. Yet even if my previous theory wasn’t very plausible, it has caused me to wonder recently why I (and I don’t think I’m alone on this blog) sometimes shape my understanding of some spiritually based knowledge (such as the creation, the peopling of Book of Mormon lands, etc.) as if God did no miracle.

  29. Prphets aren’t anthropologists? If prophets can’t give athoritative exegeses on scriptural passages, what _can_ they do? Word of wisdom? They’re not doctors. Chastity? They’re not marriage councilors.

    That’s okay, I agree that they’re wrong on a lot of stuff. But I don’t believe they have a superior or priviledged connection to God, either. If one does believe that, questioning their ability to interpret scripture based on a lack of specialized education reminds me of 2nd Nephi 9:28.

  30. Kristine (23) – Great book (Guns, Germs, and Steel). You’re right – I am arguing more along the lines of the “possible” route than the (scientifically) “probable” route. I just wasn’t sure how info such as that covered by Diamond’s book makes it any less probable than it already is. In addition, given that we are dealing in improbables (ie, the Book of Mormon, prophetic statements), I thought I would try and give some benefit of the doubt to Presidents Smith, McKay, and Kimball, whether or not they were prophesying at the time. But you’re right – not very probable.

  31. JT–my Grandpa’s theory was that the curse of dark skin came from mixing with the people who were there previously. I realize you may be suggesting a different, more miraculous mechanism for changing the genetic code, and hence the skin color, of the Lamanites, but you’re hardly the only one out there who thinks there had to be a substantial change in the genetics of the Lamanites.

  32. Peter LLC says:

    If prophets can’t give authoritative exegeses on scriptural passages, what _can_ they do?

    Stick to giving exegesis that has some kind of salvational purpose, that’s what. It’s when they start pointing to crumbling foundations and declaring “Lehi was here” that the experts start to fuss.

  33. Since it’s a firestorm, I have a good friend with Hawaiian ancestry, and he has a relative with a written genealogy based on oral tradition that traces the lineage back through many generations of incomprehensible Hawaiian names to “Hagoth, Builder of Ships”. I’ve seen a copy, but obviously provenance is an issue, as in all oral traditions.

  34. Just a question. If God changed the Lamanites at a genetic level, why did he change their DNA so that it looks like they came from Eastern Asia? Why did he make it look like they migrated? Why not change it to something that had no link with other peoples? Is he trying to fool us?

    I think that the limited geography is the only real possibility if the BofM is a literal history. The Nephites did not intermix with the large indigenous population and eventually all died out, while the small original group of Lamenites intermixed with that population diluting their genetic information to the point it cannot be found. This exlains their greater numbers and change in color. It also keeps there from being any physical evidence for the BofM and forces us to continue to walk by faith. It does not explain everything, but it is all I got left.

  35. Kristine – that’s what I suspected. I had just wondered why I had never heard it before – perhaps I don’t get around enough. I think the mixing with the people that were already there is part of the limited geography theory, and is, imho, the most plausible. My point, though (and I probably didn’t make this very clear), was not that I had a novel theory (there’s not much that’s novel about it), but that for a story that requires a belief in the miraculous in the first place, why it would be gauche to include the mere possibility of the miraculous in its setting. (This was supposed to tie into the Hagoth theories some way, but I never completed the knot, albeit a slippery one.:))

  36. Steve Evans says:

    Right on, Peter LLC. Except that the boundaries there are problematic.

  37. Matt Thurston says:

    #25, simply amazing… but likely very appealing to seminary and institute students. And most Institute and Seminary teachers I’ve known live for speculation of this sort.

  38. So the prophets were dead wrong, thinking personal opinion to be revelation? Deceived by Satan? Lying? See, right about here I start running into serious problems with the whole “scientists’ current theory trump prophets” line of thinking. Where does it stop? There is no logical stopping point other than it’s all hogwash. No Lehi. No Hagoth. No prophets.

    Isn’t there some middle ground that can make them both right? Hagoth sailed North, but got blown off course and ended up heading South, where he and his men met some lovely local ladies. He chose the prettiest and got busy making ancestors for Islanders of the Sea folks.

  39. Bob (33) – the things you mention is why I now think, like you, that the limited geography theory is the best one out there. And yet, deep down, I find that this “miraculous means” theory is still stuck in my well of possibilities. After all, it actually seems a little more congruous to the text, at least when reading 2 Ne 5:21: “that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” Admittedly, this could mean any number of things, including providing an opportunity to mix with another people. I keep wondering if I am a naive simpleton for even thinking it possible. Perhaps.

    Regarding the questions you asked at the beginning, you should know the answer: the devil planted evidence to make it look like they migrated from Asia into Alaska, just as he planted dinosaur bones in the earth to make it look like the earth was older than 6,000 years (did anyone else have a renegade primary teacher tell them this in primary? yet another reason why correlation can be a good thing).

  40. My point, though, is not to throw a BofM theory out there, but to ask why it sounds silly sometimes to provide explanations involving the miraculous in a question that presupposes a belief in the miraculous?

  41. RE: #38

    LOL @ JT. Nice.

  42. sister blah 2 says:

    JT @ #38:

    just as he planted dinosaur bones in the earth to make it look like the earth was older than 6,000 years (did anyone else have a renegade primary teacher tell them this in primary?

    In seminary actually. An entire day given over to a guest speaker with a whole trunkload of visual aids and whatnot, including a (well-known to be hoax) photo of a fossil human footprint next to a dinosaur footprint “proving” that the two coexisted. Quite a show. (I love how, assuming the photo was real, it still begs the question of whether or not such evidence can prove things at all, since the rest of the arguments were that it can’t. :-))

  43. Bro Jones says:

    Lasy month I read Thor Heyerdaal’s book on the KonTiki voyage. His theory was that the polynesian islands were settled at different times by people from both directions. But his groundbreaking ides was that there was a group in Peru who were skilled in using rafts, who were run out of town after a war. I cannot remember the year, but it was after the time of the BofM.

    I’m surprised nobody brought him into the debate yet.

  44. The New Era did an interview with Thor Heyerdahl back in 1972. Below are two of the questions:

    Q—We’re all students of the Book of Mormon, and we’d be interested in your thoughts on the old and new world comparisons.

    Dr. Heyerdahl—Well, I’m not a Mormon, and it was not because of any religious belief that I came to my conclusions. I understand we’ve come to our conclusions using completely different paths. What I can say is that the more research I do, the more I come to a conclusion about the relationship of people in the new world to people in the old world that seems to be in favor with what I understand you have come to by different channels. From my studies I feel more and more strongly that there is some kind of link between the area of the Mediterranean and the Mexican Gulf areas.

    Q—How was your theory received?
    Dr. Heyerdahl—With great argumentation, with terrific debate! Scientists said that it would be impossible for anyone to leave America with a raft. Well, I had collected a thick volume of evidence, but no scientists wanted to read it because they said that balsa rafts and reed boats were the best vessels used by South American Indians and such vessels would get waterlogged and sink in two weeks. Well, even to me a reed boat sounded completely crazy at that time. So I discarded that. But I thought that a log raft would be sturdy enough to make it. Fortunately I knew nothing about sailing—otherwise, I never would have gone ahead. But I just believed in my ideas enough to do it anyway. The scientists kept warning me that a balsa raft would sink in two weeks. They’d taken a piece of dry balsa and put it in a tank, and it did absorb water and sink in two weeks. But if you do it like the Indians, go into the jungle and cut a tree with sap, the sap acts against impregnation. So together with four Norwegians and a Swede, right after World War II ended, I built the raft we called Kon-Tiki, after the legendary sun god of Peru. We left Peru and in 101 days had floated to Polynesia.

  45. #24 “Polynesians and Pacific Islanders were labeled as Lamanites by early Mormon missionaries.”

    It is very interesting that they were thought of as Lamanites to the early missionaries and was probably a result of their skin color. The quote from Joseph F Smith was that they were descendants of Lehi, but didn’t specify through which of his sons. If they indeed came from Hagoth, however, they would be Nephites, not Lamanites. And some people on the islands today not only believe they are Nephites, but that they descend from Lehi’s son, Joseph, who was given the promise that “thy seed shall not be destroyed.” (2 Ne 3:23) If Hagoth was a direct descendent of Joseph, this could be a fulfillment of that prophecy.

  46. Bro. Jones, did you not notice the link in the post under “discuss”?

  47. I always thought Hagoth was a horrible, maurading, albeit lazy, Viking with an overbearing wife, and a fairly incompetent band of tribesmen.

    When he left and went north from the Yucatan (in keeping with the LGT) and he ended up in Scandinavia and was the principle ancestor of the Vikings.

    I am sure the plates should have been translated as Hagar. Or I guess the name could have just mutated over the centuries. Either way, every day my newspaper confirms to me that this is the true as I read of his escapades.

  48. Kari, I like!

    That would explain why our early missionaries had so much success in Scandinavia, because of all that believing blood of Israel . . .

  49. If God turned the genetic makeup of the Lamanites from Israelite into Asian as a curse for their wickedness, what did the Asians do to get that curse of dark skin etc.

  50. Dan (#20), Ok, but you say they ended up in Cuba or Fla even though the passage says they went into the western sea. Cuba and Fla are on the East side of Central America. You can’t have it both ways.

  51. Bro Jones says:

    Steve #46
    Of course not!
    but thanks

  52. James (49) – I think your statement applies whether God somehow miraculously changed the genetic makeup of the Lamanites or whether it was changed as a result of intermingling with another race of people. However, as an aside, I still don’t think the dark skin was the curse per se. Rather, as mentioned in the verse quoted in post (39), I believe it was to differentiate the two peoples so that the Nephites would not marry out of the covenant. (“that they might not be enticing to my people…” (2 Nephi 5:21)). I’d like to think that if the Nephites were actually from Africa or east Asia, the Lamanites would have been “cursed” with a white skin for the same reason.

    Speaking of the topic of race and the Book of Mormon, I thought Bushman’s analysis of the subject in RSR was one of the best I have ever read.

  53. sister blah 2 says:

    …therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship….

    And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward….

    Loved the book, great read, but I wouldn’t call the KonTiki ship “exceedingly large” (wouldn’t even really call it a “ship”). Large is highly subjective, and certainly we have a wholly different idea of scale in the era of McMansions. But looking at the second paragraph, it says “many people” and provisions. This offers a more objective idea of “large” and doesn’t mesh with the KonTiki raft.

    Also about the second paragraph–As I understand it, the KonTiki raft would most likely not be physically capable of returning to its port of origin. It didn’t really have much by the way of steering; it could only float where ocean currents led it. So there would have to happen to be a current that goes from where they were to somewhere else–going close enough to land for a stop-off–then curl backwards to where they started.

  54. MCQ (#50)

    You forget that the limited geography theory (currently favored by most apologists, and even beeing alluded to by some GAs) posits that all of the events of the BOM occurred on/around the Yucatan peninsula, and that the Nephites didn’t spread beyond that area (e.g. they didn’t make it to the west coast of central or south america). The west sea is the Carribean, on the west of the Yucatan.

    If the LGT is the appropriate way to think of things, then it is really difficult to think of Hagoth and his band as being the progenitors of those living in the Western Pacific Islands.

  55. As one having worked in Hawaii, I’ve often felt that Hawaiians are more related to their Polynesian sisters and brothers than to any Lamanite or Nephite clan.

    Unless Hagoth really did land on an island and wed and islander then it’s possible his genetic dna was inferior to his wife’s and so his kids would have looked more like the native population.

    Some members look for black and white answers to genetic lineage. If there are billions of people on the earth then the probability that they come from pure ancestral lines is myth. You would have family members only marry a specific race through succeeding generations based on the preservation of your lineage and not love. What a bore that would be . . .

  56. I think I have figured it out. Haggoth and his bunch landed on a strange hidden island where time does not work right. They were the islands original inhabitants. After many years, strangers came with many machines and equiptment. They installed many underground hatches and built a city in the midst of the island. They were called Darhma. After many conflicts, the original inhabitants, with the help of one of the Darhma people, killed off all of the invaders.

    That would make a pretty good TV show.

  57. #53 – I think the point is that if a small raft could do it, a large ship certainly could do it.

    I think the white-skinned Ainu of Japan were the descendants of Hagoth’s groups – at least that was the legend on my mission. After all, modern Japanese as reformed Chinese is a very good possibility of how reformed Egyptian could have evolved. That’s an absolutely fascinating topic.

  58. John Hamer says:

    I was inspired to write a continuation of this scripture several years ago. I wrote out the complete outline, but only finished one chapter (2nd Migrations 29:1-71) “In which Hagoth gives his final address to the people, exhorting them to remember the words of the prophets. Hagoth then blesses his children.”

    This is a taste of how it goes:

    1. Now behold the times were accomplished and the days of Hagoth were numbered, and the number was great, for ninety and two years had passed since he was born in the land of Joshua and forty and nine had passed since he, led as he was by his curiosity, brought the people up out of the land of the Nephites.
    2. Therefore he called together the people of Hagoth, all of them round about from the whole island of Hagoth, and also those who dwelled on the islands of Lib, and of Gergish, of Perionti, and of Lehi and also the islands which were beyond the island of Lehi. Thus all the people of Hagoth were called together, who were descended of those who set forth from the land of the Nephites in ships, save it were those dwelling on the islands of Ubal, of Mirom, and of Sheriandi and those islands round about.

  59. Steve Evans says:

    Awesome, John. It would fit in with the wagonload of plates.

  60. #57 Ray, a fascinating idea. Do you have any reference material that you can point me to on this hypothesis or was it purely anecdotal?

  61. I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I thought this observation from John Sorenson in An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon was interesting:

    What about the LDS tradition that Hagoth, the Nephite shipbuilder who failed to return home, was an ancestor of the Polynesians? Years ago I compiled a large body of shared culture traits that indeed suggest historical links between those islands and various parts of the Americas, and this has been supplemented by others. Yet the evidence does not allow our pinning down any single time or place for a migration of trade that would persuasively explain the similarities. It remains impossible to demonstrate any clearcut connection between the two areas, although debate continues. Having been a missionary in Polynesia, I am well aware of the Hagoth theme in LDS tradition, but the evidence available does not support it as historically based fact. Neither can we rule out the possibility of a rare voyage between the mainland and the islands. Most of the evidence cited one way or the other is either weak or unclear. Those who choose to believe that Hagoth reached Polynesia must rely mainly on faith rather than on reliable evidence. The Book of Mormon itself, of course, says only that the man and his mates disappeared from the knowledge of the people in Zarahemla. For all they knew he might have died at a ripe old age on the west Mexican coast without a suitable vessel in which to make the return voyage. And neither do we know. (p. 269)

  62. #60 – ArielW, it is purely speculative, and I really am not convinced at all, but there are some fascinating issues with the Ainu that still have not been explained fully – or even at all.

    NOBODY has any clue where they came from linguistically, and there are apparent skeletal connections to Western North America and Latin America. Based on the DNA analysis, the standard assumption is a Russian or Mongolian origin, but the language is totally unrelated to Russian and Mongolian – which would fit many beliefs regarding the origin of the Jaredites. It would be quite natural for those who believed their ancestors had crossed the great waters in the past (Nephite or Jaredite) to attempt to return to the land of those ancestors – and Northeast Asia would fit the course described for Hagoth’s ships’ journey.

    (I also agree that it is not apparent Hagoth himself ever sailed with the ships. In fact, in verse 7 he appears to have been building ships before the first one returned. He very well might have been nothing but a contract builder and travel agent for a group of people trying to leave for uninhabited land.)

    Good old Wikipedia has some basic links. I’m not aware of any good works written from a Mormon perspective – as it most likely is just wishful thinking on the part of Japanese missionaries and church members.

  63. Whenver I think of Hagoth i tend to think more of a trade route between the northern lands and those of the south. Surely many ships would have been lost at sea. But the fact that ships returned signals a constant route more than a going and never coming back. Also its seems too late on history for a development of polynesian cultures. Wasnt this time aroudn 200bc or so? Also the closest islands are Hawaii and Rapa Nui. While the trade winds would have guided the ship towards the island, coming back against the wind might’ve well have been an impossible task. Those going to polynesia would not have been able to come back. Moreover the progression on the pacific island development shows a colonization progressing from West to East, and not from East to West. It was the Lapita people (who’s real name we dont know), who initiated pacific explorations around 3000 years ago.

  64. Whenver I think of Hagoth i tend to think more of a trade route between the northern lands and those of the south. Surely many ships would have been lost at sea. But the fact that ships returned signals a constant route more than a going and never coming back. Also its seems too late on history for a development of polynesian cultures. Wasnt this time aroudn 200bc or so? Also the closest islands are Hawaii and Rapa Nui. While the trade winds would have guided the ship towards the island, coming back against the wind might’ve well have been an impossible task. Those going to polynesia would not have been able to come back. Moreover the progression on the pacific island development shows a colonization progressing from West to East, and not from East to West. It was the Lapita people (who’s real name we dont know), who initiated pacific explorations around 3000 years ago. I have also read (National Geographic Magazine, issue of March 2008) that the Lapita people’s lenguage originated in Taiwan, while their pottery may have come from the Phillipines. I believe the polynesians might’ve been more directly related to the Jaredites. After modern (and ancient) polynesians are large in stature, as the Jaredites were according to the Book of Mormon (remember the Nephite expedition that got lost and ended up in forsaken Jaredite territory, where the breast plates found were much too large for the Nephites to wear). Just a thought

  65. Jared Lewis Livingston says:

    What about this http://mentinah.com/. Read the pdfs. Tis the record of Hagoth and those whom with he accompanied.

  66. Max Lawson says:

    Being LDS, I have been doing some research on this very recently. The nephites were of large stature – giants if you will. seven feet tall generally. The Nephites in North America are associated with the Moundbuilders of the MId west and more so of the Ohio Valley. Some have stated that the Adena and Hopewell peoples are the people of Lehi. We here have found skeletons of huge persons in Conneaut Ohio circa 1820’s some mummified in the mounds and in a large four acre cemetary. It is generally believed by some that the Smithsonian Institution is trying to cover this up due in large part that it will turn the world upside down. There is a tradition among the Hawaiians that the first Hawaiians were large (seven feet tall)with red hair. The Conneaut Giants also had apparently similar characteristics. There are some BOM scholars who absolutely will not give up on the Central/South America landing and domicile sites for the people of Lehi. What about New York state? I believe Cumorah is right where it belongs but for some reason we do not believe. Why? Do you know what the word Niagra means in Algonquin? Narrow neck of land. I believe that Hagoth left not from the West Coast, but from the St. Lawrence river. I`d love to present this more. Finally, near Waikaloa here on the Big Island of Hawaii one of our church members operating a backhoe during the construction of one of the resorts fell into a burial. Inside was a mummified red haired seven foot body with sword and shield placed not in a canoe of hawaiian design but a 100 foot long ship. Since Hagoth constructed his great ship from the local lumber, I’d like to get a piece and see if it came from the hardwood forests of new york or ontario.

    If anyone is interested, please contact me. I don’t think I am far off.

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