Jaredite Death Barges
The death voyage in the first set of eight barges may never be discussed in Mormon circles, because that would mean the story ended there at Ether 2:7, and everything else was made up, if not the whole sadistic story! The ‘logistics’ are what make Smith’s stories absurd. He didn’t have a clue about geography, distances, environment all of which the ‘Creator of the World’ would have a pretty good idea about. The story of Lehi in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia for 8-10 years is a physical impossibility, with a rationale that would make God a sadist!
The whole concept of building 8 barges at the South end of the Caspian Sea and place all the living creatures that would repopulate the Americas after Noah’s Flood into these airtight, pitch black containers to cross a body of water that was passible around it on foot, makes God not only sadistic, but an absolutely Idiot! This inept idiot God that Smith created killed his chosen people in the ‘trial’ barge/submarine that Smith’s God personally designed! Just like he killed his his chosen people who left Jerusalem around 600 BC to follow a magic ball going in circles in the Arabian Empty Quarter that both man and beast avoided.
The directions that Smith gives in BOM 1st Nephi Ch 16 is following the Red Sea in a ‘South-Southeast direction’. (Vs 13) Smith is saying that in 600 BC they had a compass that hadn’t been invented yet. The chapter has them continue for some time in that direction until vs. 1 in Ch 17 where this compass ball directs them “…and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth” which would lead them int0 the 250,000 sq. mi of the Empty Quarter!
Mormons forget all about this and do their circular reasoning that because evidence of an ancient civilization was found in America that was talked and written about in Smith’s day, Smith with his creative imagination claims he found a book telling him about this civilization,.And since on going exploration continues to show people existed in North and South America for thousands of years, the book he brings forth telling absurd stories about them is therefore true because it shows not a stupid but miraculous God.
Of course anyone can ‘make up’ miracle scenarios, as is often the case with the Book of Mormon. But, if you start to seriously study the book with logic, it falls apart very quickly. However, if you believe that faith promoting fiction is OK, or if you are taught that logic or the wisdom of man is foolishness with God; or put another way, God can be depicted by false prophets doing things that man thinks stupid, then it just shows how little Man knows about God’s reasons. But if God created the mind of Man to think logically to get wisdom, and this becomes foolishness in His sight, we are all in deep trouble.
One Man’s perspective: Smith/God heard stories about the ‘Mound Builders’ who many Indians in Smith’s time thought were somehow their forefathers and existed in America around the area where Joseph Smith lived a millennia earlier. (2200 BC) Smith had the Jews leave from Jerusalem to America, as Smith’s story would depict, around 600 BC and is the main ‘history’ of the B of M. The 600 BC date that the BOM claims was during the reign of King Zedekiah (who didn’t take the throne until 597 BC. Smith associates this date with the year of the birth of Christ according to Smith’s angel who appeared to Nephi and his father in the desert after leaving Jerusalem. (Unless Smith had his Nephites add an extra month to their lunar calendar every three years in America, the date would be way off for the Nephites.
Smith not only wanted to give an account of the ‘Mound Builders’ to add to his tale of how the Jews who left in 600 BC became savages, he even wanted to give a plausible account of how North and South America got living creatures back after Noah’s flood wiped everything out. (According to Smith and his fantasy, the ‘Garden of Eden’ was in America.)
So, according to Smith and his God, not following Jewish mythology, the ark that set out from America with all the animals, finally landed north of present day Iraq and the people of the Ark, along with the only living animals and fowls began to repopulate the earth in Mesopotamia. We are left to wonder whether alligators, pythons and anacondas died in the flood and the Jaredites brought them to South America as well. Jared’s brother always wondered why God wanted him to bring the poisonous snakes that God used 500 years later to block people and animals for generations from getting to South America. (Ether 9:33) These are things that Man wonders about but are perfectly logical in the mind of God. So foolish Man shouldn’t be questioning God. (Or Smith’s version of a sadistic, idiot God)
There is an illogical beginning about how this record of Ether was first found and then found again later and translated and then paraphrased by Moroni. As the story goes, in finishing his father’s book, Moroni begins to make up lies about his father’s death. He didn’t realize when he escaped from Hill Cumorah that his father spent the last 15 yrs of his life abridging the tons of records that Mormon brought with him from Hill Shim in Columbia, So. America. (Smith made up an interesting Fairy Tale and that he certainly ‘ad libbed’ but once it was written by his scribe, if God was his inspiration, it would be ‘sticky’ to have to go back and change significant mistakes. Or his scribe was part of the Con.
Moroni never tells us about how he got back in the cave with all the records and his father’s corpse and how he found the 24 gold plates of Limhi that hadn’t been spoken of for over 400 yrs. (And would have been destroyed in the great Zarahemla fire at Christ’s crucifixion) Not only was Moroni able to read and translate the confounded language, but made a copy so he could paraphrase the whole record because of no more room on the (Mormon 8:5) plates. Somehow Moroni/Smith thought it was more important to preach to potential readers 1400 years later than to make plausible how this all happened. So we have all kinds of illogical scenarios how this happened, but lets move on now to the ‘death barges’ part.
Smith/God has a leading family in the story with no last name that found favor with God and God is going to guide them to an even more fertile part of the earth than the Fertile Crescent. They are told, as with Noah, to take pairs of all the animals and fowls along with honeybees, fish and flocks and herds and seeds of every kind. Sounds like Noah, you bet, Smith was familiar with that story. With Noah God just had to lead all these animals scattered all over the world to Noah’s Ark. With Smith it was much harder, Jared’s people had to herd them to the Valley of Nimrod and then keep them fed and following two by two for over 1,000 miles to the Arctic North and then leave all the animals, mountain lions, bison, wolves, bears, humans, fowl, bees etc, etc. on the shores of the Barents Sea for 4 years without word from Smith’s God how anyone would survive for even one Winter!
North of Babel were two large Seas, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea with about a three to five hundred mile strip of land between them. Smith’s God didn’t want them to take the easy land passage, but wanted them to build, not one ship like Noah, but 8 vessels called barges to transport all of the forms of life that would later be found in the Americas! Smith overlooks this logistical nightmare and goes into no detail how this was accomplished.
How would you know how much food and water to bring if you had no idea how long it would take? There is no record of what they were told about regarding the journey’s length. We can only project going north, that the closest first sea would be the Caspian Sea that is about 5-600 miles in length from south to north.
All we have in the record of this first set of 8 barges is Ether 2:6 ‘’… they did travel in the wilderness and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.” The following verse tells us the Lord did not want them to stop after crossing this body of water and that they should keep going towards the promised land. We will never know why Smith used the term ‘many waters’ indicating to some, many different bodies of water were crossed with this first set of barges.
We do not find out until at least 4 years later that they couldn’t possibly survive in those barges for 600 miles, even though, ‘they were being directed continually by the hand of the Lord’, because God, who had designed the barges made them airtight without any light. (Light would not have helped in creating oxygen.)
Unless we are dealing with idiots and with limited skilled labor and tools, they would have to build each of the eight barges, one at a time. A reasonable God who had never designed such vessels before, would examine the construction. If God, 5 yrs later can put his finger on stones and turn them into eternal lights, nothing could prevent him from entering that first barge to see if anything was overlooked. If not, certainly the brother of Jared would go in and try to see if he could see any daylight when the only door was shut. Only stupid people led by a stupid god would not at least do this basic rule of survival.
Obviously none of these people had ever seen or built a barge like the ones God was directing them to build. According to the Bible Gen. 9:23 Noah lived after the Flood 350 years. Leaving the Ark is dated around 2348 BC, so he would die about 2000 BC. So family left Mt Ararat after landing and eventually got to the area of modern Baghdad. Undoubtedly many generations passed before the building of the Tower that was certainly started while Noah was still alive. We are told Noah was a man of the soil but with the help of God did find tools and did build a ship with no underwater doors and sealed all his planks with pitch inside and out. With Noah, he didn’t need launch or to sail anywhere, he just needed to wait until the water lifted the Ark and then wait until it stopped raining and the water receded.
It would be complicated if they had to travel thousands of miles in specific directions where they were unable to see or control and the vessels that were designed by God and were to be half submarine as well. They had to have a side door big and strong enough for elephants, cureloms as well as bison, deer, elk, horses, black bear, grizzlies, etc, essentially all the animals that would be found later in the Americas. Obviously, the entrance doors wouldn’t have to be as large for the barges with the humans as the ones that had to accommodate elephants.
(If you are skeptical about the Jaredites bringing elephants you need to go to Ch 9: 19 And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms. If Noah’s Flood killed off all living creatures in America, Jarred had to bring everything that is indigenous to America with him in the barges across the mountain waves of the Ocean!)
They would also have to bring various animal foods and water as well as for humans. Who would feed what to the wolves, bears, coyotes for 344 days? Who fed them for 4-5 years at the Arctic Circle? For the bison, cattle, sheep, goats, how much grass will they need depending on the distance and the speed of the vessels? Depending on how long it would take to cross whatever body of water the Lord wanted them to cross, the amount of cargo would depend on the miles to be covered, so the first question to God is how long will it take to cross this first body of water, assuming we have built 8 seaworthy vessels. The size would vary depending on how much cargo would be needed and the length of the voyage would partially depend on the weight of the cargo and whatever was going to propel them forward.
If the barge with the elephants, cureloms, bison, horses, cows, grizzlies, etc was 10 times heavier than the one with the Bro of Jared, with the same force of wind in the same ocean, it would take much, much longer requiring more provisions making the vessel even heavier. When God changed the direction of the wind to accommodate the needs of the first vessel what does he do about the direction of the wind for the vessels after 6 months that are anywhere from a 100 miles to 2,000 miles apart? The Mathematician that designed the first set of barges would be overwhelmed in the complexities of determining how much provisions were needed for vessels with such huge differences in cargo and weight, having no idea of the distance needed to travel.
The drawing at the beginning of the blog, is not accurate for the first set of barges that had no hatch at the top and were designed to role like logs pushed by the wind controlled by the Mormon God. They would obviously be pushed sideways as that would be what would catch the wind. How the wind got them launched or whether they all had to huddle in their airtight containers 40 days until God had it rain enough at the Caspian Sea to raise the 8 vessels, we will never know. And Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates will be very angry if you believe the God he worships would be such an idiot.
Certainly after the first barge was completed, God would have to inspect it along with the brother of Jared to see if God’s specifications had been met. Did God want a side door that opened inward or outward, did he want the hinges on the bottom, right, left side or the top?
If it hinged on the bottom and opened inward or outward, the 4 ton elephants and cureloms would be walking on it. God/Smith was doing it for the first time as well, and it did take a little thought. Whatever was decided on, God and the brother of Jared walked inside and the strongest men proceeded to close the door to see if it had a tight seal. Of course there was immediately total darkness and the brother of Jared thought surely God would say something not knowing that God can work in perfect darkness as he did for a couple of days before he created the Sun. When the brother of Jared started to stumble over the cargo, God took his hand to finish the inspection. Then the brother of Jared started to notice the air was getting a little stale and thought surely God would mention this, not knowing there is no air in space.
But Smith wants intelligent people to believe that they not only didn’t check the first finished barge, they checked none of them and led their animals and children to their deaths because of the stupidity of God and his chosen prophet leader. If all didn’t have an I.Q. of under 40, one would think that one of those barges with the inhabitants waiting a few hours for God to figure out how to launch them would realize it is pitch black and the air is already very stale, and just maybe someone with a 60 I.Q said; if we can find the door in the dark, let us open it for air and ask someone just how long we are expected to be in this airtight container and how will we see to do anything, like pee. The animals were already nervous and peeing on the floor. Why is it that certain people believe if you have enough faith you do not need logic and planning?
So what happened? Did they each go in their designated loaded barge, close the door and wait for a feeling that god was moving the barge into the water? They didn’t wait for 40 days and nights of rain to launch like Noah’s Ark, they would all be dead! Did they calculate the cargo weight and test the door that it sealed tight for each barge and would not be partially under water when they were launched? How would you keep the main door from leaking if you didn’t use pitch? And if you did, how did you get it open when you felt a solid surface? If God’s angels brought them skill saws to make planks, they needed charged batteries and the planks would still need a sealant to make them watertight.
Did they prepare the first barge and get the elephants to help push it into the water and see how it floated? If the elephant barge was the last to launch, who pushed it into the water? It would be maybe 10 times heavier than the others and much slower than the others if it ever got in the water. By then, the occupants of the first barge have been sitting there in total darkness for hours and still didn’t know that the 6-700 mile voyage would be at least 6 weeks being pushed with the wind sideways with no air and in total darkness. God was busy learning how to direct the wind and was unaware that the occupants of the first and second barge were starting to panic gasping for breath.
Now, the only way for the Apologists to get out of this dire predicament is by lying through their teeth again and make a convoluted scenario that the brother of Jared didn’t write of the departure from Babylon until after their arrival at the ‘great sea’. (Ether 2:13) Maybe after his month long vision of the world from beginning to end including, of course, his recent departure from Babylon. He marveled at the Garden of Eden in Missouri and was thoroughly mesmerized by the last stages of Steve Jobs in Silicon Valley, etc. If you think this was all mentally exhausting for the brother of Jared, you are right! The Apologists just do not want to discuss the Book of Ether and it’s absurdities!
However, we still have the stupidity of Jared and friends making all eight barges again at the great waters (Barents Sea) before realizing that there would be no light or air in them and somehow blaming God saying they made them exactly the way the brother of Jared was instructed in the vision he had while camping between the Black and Caspian Seas. Ether 2:16 “And the Lord said: Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord.” Smith never explains how these tillers of the soil acquired tools to cut precision pieces of wood from trees, build bulkheads and cut precise holes in the top and bottom of the 8 barges modified at the Barents Sea working on blocks of ice, and where did they acquired the skill to use them as farmers?
Now, for those of little faith, it is hard not to conclude that they had built barges according to instructions from the Lord somewhere in the wilderness before arriving at the ‘great sea’. So this will be one of those many mysteries that will be put on the shelve and not examined carefully like finding no evidence of a Jewish-Nephite Civilization here in North or South America. But is seems clear in Ether 2:19 after all eight barges had been built according to God’s instruction that the brother of Jared was suddenly greatly concerned: “And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? (Another stupid statement since there was no steering mechanism) And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.”
If God launched these death traps at the Caspian or another Sea, one would think he became aware of the prayers of those enclosed and immediately created a body state where breathing was not necessary for every living creature in those barges.
He would have to calculate to do this while there was still a little oxygen left so that when he wakens them six weeks later after the crossing that they were not so disorientated that they can’t get the doors open in the dark before the final oxygen runs out. This would have to be the first big miracle and you would think would remain in everyone’s consciousness so they wouldn’t make the same mistake with the second set of barges. But no, God, Smith, Jared’s brother, the workers, no one remembered starting to suffocate in the first set, not even the elephants, and then blanking out until the barges were opened by angels. Not even God remembered!
They are assembled in the valley of Nimrod (this makes it Biblical) God meets them there and all are told to proceed north. Now these are farmers who had flocks and herds who lived near where the people were building a tower to get to heaven. Another decision by God/Smith is to have them all go more than a thousand miles to the freezing north when they can travel three hundred milesin temperate climate to Phoenicia on the Mediterranean where they build sea going ships and an easy way to get to the Promised Land.
We have logistical decisions to make. Which of all of the animals that came out of Noah’s ark would God want to repopulate the Promised Land? So Jared’s brother had a vision of North and South America along with Canada and Alaska to see what kinds of animals and bird life would be there when the man of god, Columbus would discover it 3000 years hence. (This fable by Smith was to help the feeble minded to understand how the America’s got repopulated after Noah’s flood.)
Ether 3:25 “And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth…and the Lord said unto him; Write these things and seal them up; and I will show them in mine own due time unto the children of men.” This was of course a huge deal for the brother of Jared and he spent months with his cuneiform writing on his clay tablets. He looked as the scenes of the Promised Land as it went by as it was before and after the flood and what it would be when Columbus arrives and what he would have to bring to not make the Mormon God a liar. Vs 25 tells us that the Bro didn’t just see America but all the inhabitant of the world both past and present. That is maybe why 2/3rds if the gold plates were sealed and it would be tough to get the equivalent of two to three thousand English typewritten pages engraved on 24 plates.
The sequence of events would be as follows: Wherever they were led after the angels led them out of the eight dark air tight barges crossing the first body of water, (that would logically be the Caspian Sea, since the Lord guided them northward from Babylon) whatever time it took them to get to ‘that great sea that divides the lands’ is not stated. If they continued north to Murmansk, it might take another 2 months. If God wants to delay their arrival in the Promised Land, he could have them walk to China staying in various fertile areas to plant and harvest food for two to five years. If they went to Murmansk at the Arctic Circle, they can’t stay in tents 4 yrs. If they went to China, their sea voyage would be more than double than from Murmansk, with larger heavier barges for all the extra food and water, and 10-20 times longer than the first voyage on the Caspian Sea.
When they finally arrive at that ‘great sea’ and “dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of 4 years.” God finally appears to them with instructions and in Ether 2:16-17 tells them “Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built…and the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord.” Can anyone explain how the most intelligent being in the universe could tell them to build again the same defective barges that would now have to hold more than five to ten times the cargo and water?
At the end of Vs 18, it states: “…I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me.” Where they got the trees and how all the people and animals ate and drank for 4 years on the Arctic seashore, we are not told. We do not know if there were fields of flowers so the honeybees could survive and if the fish they were bringing were fresh water fish or ocean fish. We don’t know how far the flocks and herds strayed to find food or what horses, cows, oxen, elephants, asses, bison, cureloms or cumoms did, but they were happy to drink out of the tank with the fish. One would think they utilized the elephants and cureloms to bring trees to the seashore for construction. (Ether 9:19 “And they also had horses and asses, and there were elephants, cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.” These were just part of the variety that the brother of Jared saw in his vision that must be replenished in the Americas)
So the brother of Jared knew that at least some of the barges needed to be larger than the rest with a larger door to accommodate the elephants, cureloms and cumoms. It was actually decided at the Caspian Sea that because of the huge size of the pairs of elephants, cureloms and cumoms the elk and moose and their eating and drinking capacity, that only one to a barge would be appropriate, so six of the eight barges would have to be heavy duty with large openings of at least 9ft high and 6ft wide. That would mean a flat side of at least 12ft with a draft of at least 4ft. If there was no draft, the sides would have to be tall enough so part of the door does not drag in the water when loaded with 150 or more tons. The width of the barge would have to be at least 12ft.
So here we are 6 yrs or so after their arrival at the great sea with 8 barges lying on the beach with scaffolding and no mention of how vast this ‘great sea’ was and how long it might take for the two lighter barges with women and children and a few sheep and swine and how long it might take for the heavy ones with at least a 150 tons of cargo with 20 tons of animals. No one could remember the first voyage because then the barges were airtight and pitch black and they all died the second day.
So it was obvious to the brother of Jared that at least two strong men for the six large barges with the humongous animals is a must. The four families of the friends of Jared and his brother would supply 4 adult men (husbands). Jared volunteered with his oldest son, which would make six. The brother of Jared had a 16 year old son with a 17 year old sister that thought they could help in a barge with the elephant she had been feeding for 5 years just as long as the grizzly wasn’t in that barge.
The brother of Jared would have to stay in the first barge where all the cuneiform tablets of the history of the world were, along with the seer stones, and where he could count the days better. He and his God just didn’t realize that barges with 10 times the weight of his would take more than twice as long to get there. Why didn’t his God tell him these things? Why does he now have to tell his God that there was no air or light in the barges of the first sea crossing and they all died?
The Caspian Sea was 600 miles from end to end. But now, they have all been resurrected and have lost memory of how long it took. How long is the ‘great sea’? Well, it depends on where you launch from and your arrival point. If it is Murmansk, Russia to Montreal, Quebec, it may be only about 3,000 to 4,000 miles. It will depend if you are blown all the way with fierce winds or if God had learned about ocean currents and utilized them. (Ether 6:6 “…and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind…8…winds did never cease to blow”) If you come from China to California it will be more than double.
In all fairness to the travelers, God must inform them of what to expect. There are tons of crops that must be harvested for food and sterile plastic containers for tens of thousands of gallons of water. If you believe they lived in tents for the 4 years at the great sea, it can’t be the northern part of Russia where the temperature is below zero for 4-5 months of the year!
Storage space on a barge for 600 miles is quite different than six to nine thousand miles. It is not just the miles; it is the weight that slows them for extra weeks and months. Someone needed to figure this out as lives depend on it! How can we pack 20 times more food and water in the same size barge we used on the Caspian Sea? Have you ever tried to blow fresh air into a bottle of air and found out the old air remains unless you make another opening.
Slaves being brought from Africa died in holds of ships with large openings on the deck because there was no circulation in the bottoms of the holds and enough oxygen did not reach them. People die in sealed containers trying to get into another country and underestimated the supply of oxygen. Not only was there not enough oxygen on these barges, the supply of nourishing food for man or beast along with water was inadequate and we are not even talking about the mountain waves and the constant seasickness that prevailed!
There are now two baby elephants and four baby cureloms and commons, do we take them with us? We have herds of cattle and flocks, this means 12 -15 times more cargo of food and water for everyone! We obviously need to leave more than half the animals here. God needs to tell us if the bison, grizzly, brown bear, moose, grey wolf, coyote, polar bear along with the South American howler monkey needs to be found in the Americas or not. Can God’s Predestination Plan that he showed Jared’s brother in a vision be altered a little to make life more bearable? But if god has been doing this for innumerable worlds, it is not likely he wants to dispense with any of his creation.
If God knew all of this, why didn’t he tell us when we arrived at the great sea 4 years ago, asked the sister of Jared? We could have planted large acreages of land for provisions for a sea journey that was 12-24 times longer than the Caspian Sea voyage, depending on which barge you are in?
But is the Mormon God still learning on the job along with his ‘chosen’? When God told the brother of Jared to build the 8 barges at the ‘great sea’ exactly like the prior set, somehow, the brother of Jared totally forgot the main design disaster. He didn’t remember after the first of the second set, nor the second, third, forth, etc. until he had finished all eight as he had ‘hitherto built’. Designed for a voyage 10-12 times shorter. But he remembers it in Ether 2:19-20 and with his skill saw with lifetime batteries he neatly saws two hatches (holes) in each barge, one on the top and one on the bottom with florescent rocks for lights.
There is a price to pay for being a college dropout. The brother of Jared had learned to write on cuneiform clay tablets in Babylon, and was running out of clay here at the seashore, why did God want him to write the whole history of the world on them when there was no extra clay? We will never know why Smith used the word ‘hole’ and ‘stopping’ or ‘unstopping’ the hole in Ether 2:20, as though they had a circular saw with 16 large corks to use as stoppers that wouldn’t pop in or out when they were submerged in the depths of the ocean.
Chapter 3 makes a big deal about getting God to touch the rocks that the brother of Jared wanted God to glow continually for at least a couple of years and maybe until 1830 when Smith discovered the cave that was lighted at Cumorah where all the gold plates were stacked along with the sword of Laban. Brigham Young said there were several wagon loads of plates stacked there. Brigham said it was bright like the noon day sun in the Aladdin Cave where Mormon wrote. They are now all gone. We find that God and the Devil can move gold easily through the ground. (Mormon 1:18)
Instead of discussing the problems at hand, like which animals not to take, how to cram 10 times more provisions and water into the same size barges, etc. etc., a religious discussion is had about the attributes of God/Christ and who created what, and all the writings that the brother of Jared would be responsible for. We are told in chapters 4 and 5 Moroni’s description of all the writings the brother of Jared had to do while his brethren were planting and harvesting a still unknown quantity of provisions for a trip that they had no idea how long, whether 2 weeks or two years in length.
In Chapter 6, Moroni/Smith stop preaching to Smith’s potential converts and focuses back on what happens next. (Probably, two years more have elapsed while all of the religious writing is done and crops are planted and harvested.)
Without any indication to anyone as to the voyage length and how much provisions and water would be needed, we have Ether 6:4 “…when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them…that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their barges, and set forth in the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.” Commending themselves to a God who’s record was a disaster, or mixed at best up to this point. Dumb people!
Well, this is a lot easier said than done! If the barges are sitting on the beach at a place where the tide does not hinder the construction, we have at least 6 barges filled with tons and tons of large animals and provisions. Someone needs to decide where the provisions and water goes and where the elephant, horse, bull, ox, cow, bear along with maybe a wolf, jaguar and a few sheep and goats go. A little barrier is needed to be placed around the hatch on the bottom. God had told them at the end of chapter 2 after this last set of barges had been completed that this coming voyage would be different because on the ocean He would create mountain waves and furious winds.
Why no one had the guts to ask just how long this torture would last and whether we packed enough provisions and water on the barges that weigh 10 times more than the first two barges with the women and children, we will never know! Is it too much to ask God with the ‘mountain waves’ and the barge is at a 45 or 60 degree angle, what happens to tons of cargo and tons of animals? Do people get crushed? What did you have in mind, God, with the holes in the top & bottom when an elephant crashes into it?
So how does this barge with two hundred tons of cargo ‘set forth into the sea’, or, any of the barges, for that matter? Do they build ramps six feet high for the cattle, elephant, bison, etc to walk through the door and down to the floor level of the barge without knowing what force will set them into the water and without damaging the barges with the massive weight? Did God make another mistake by not having docks where the barges are loaded with both, provisions, animals and people? Certainly having wolves, coyotes, bears, bison, bulls, oxen, elk, horses along with the elephants and flocks, it would be tricky to coax them all to walk gingerly down the dock to their bobbing new home for 2 yrs.
Lets stop to think what series of events would be in a true story with reasonably intelligent people, when God heard the prayer of the brother of Jared and instructed them along with their friends to meet him northward in the valley of Nimrod. In Ether 1:38 Jared’s brother was told they would be led by God to a choice promised land…in vs. 41 they are told as was Noah to take animals both male and female of every kind, he is also to take seeds of every kind…so all these farmers knew was that they would be farming and raising flocks and herds and basically doing what Noah did except there is no word to them before their departure, that a Noah’s Ark adventure would be involved where tools and expertise would be needed to build it. There may have been some folklore about Noah and the ark but the brother of Jared was not told to bring any scripture that didn’t yet exist.
Ether 2:2-3 gives the feeling that the valley of Nimrod was where they collected everything that God intended for them to take, including a tank of fish, honeybees and fowls that were caught and presumably kept in improvised cages. They are told in vs. 5 that they would be guided into a quarter where Man had never been. Just where that was, we will never know.
Nothing is said about the cattle, cows, bulls, oxen, elephants, bison, bear, wolves, coyote, cureloms, etc that they had to bring with them. We have to keep searching to become fully aware of the variety of animals that needed to go into those 8 barges both times! Ether 6:4 tells us “…that they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them…”
We have to go to Ether 9:18-19 to learn about a few more of the animals they brought like “And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man. [Like maybe Buffalo, deer, elk, bear, etc all found in America] And they also had horses and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.”
So, in Smith’s storytelling, since he teaches the only living creatures that survived Noah’s flood were the ones that were breeding around Babel and of course the Jaredites would have to bring them in order to speak of them as part of their civilization. And later Nephi told of them being there when the Nephites arrived. 1Nephi 18:25. Good Mormons can only believe the Jaredites brought them as well as all the species native to the Americas.
So, the logistics are beyond belief. Here the farmers with their farmer tools arrive at this first body of water that could have been avoided by walking around it. And are told to build 8 barges using farmer tools. They may have had an ‘axe like’ tool to chop down trees for firewood, but no homes were built of wood. They would have to chop rough planks from whatever tree might have grown there. They would need no such a tool like a ‘saw’ to build huts of adobe brick. There could have been some barge builders on the Tigris that would float goods down the river that had a type of chisel and God could send someone back to see if that person might come along and bring his tools…providing his language hadn’t been confounded….Smith was smart enough to know the less said here, the better!
It is likely the ‘Lord’ spoken of here was not the God that instructed Noah in his shipbuilding efforts. That Lord at least knew with rough timber, you needed a lot of pitch between planks to keep the water out. Genesis 6:14 “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.” The Bible God at least knew that gopher wood was more suitable for ocean travel vessels than just any old tree that might be growing at the seashore.
The logistics are very tricky especially for gods and people who have never done this skilled complicated type of activity. In the history of shipbuilding no new ship has been launched fully loaded with people and cargo. They would launch the vessel to see if it was seaworthy and then have a dock waiting to load cargo and passengers. If they had more than one vessel to launch, they would not build an extra dock for each new vessel. They would wait for the first to be loaded and then the second vessel would be moved to the dock. In the case of the first set of barges, the wait in the water for the first barge to the last barge being loaded could easily be a day or more. This would be time enough for all the occupants to die. It is not important as they would all be dead in two days unless God created his first miracle because he heard the cries of help after a few hours. Strange, everyone including God has amnesia on this event.
In the next verse, after setting themselves in the sea “…and the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow…towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.” If you are a 5 ton elephant and you are tossed toward the entrance door at a 45degree angle, bad things start to happen.
The barge immediately gets turned on one of its sides, which is wider than the bottom and has over twice the flat surface of any other part of the barge. It has to be at least 10 to 12 ft high with enough flat surface underneath the door so the door, that hasn’t been tested, does not drag in the water with the tons of cargo. A barge has little or no ‘draft’ and would be a very rough ride on a stormy sea. So the wind has to catch this flat surface of the side and push the barge sideways the entire voyage.
The door would have to be massively strong to remain airtight after being hit by 5 tons at 5 or 10 miles per hour. Hopefully God or one of his angels was watching and tried to figure out how to right the barge again. It did have one big advantage over the other barges and was that the two hatches that were just a foot or so above water could now be both opened and circulating air could be had by the occupants if God would slow the wind a little.
Otherwise, he would have to reverse the tempest and hope a wave would raise the barge to its normal position, however this would now be much tougher because the weight of the elephant and all the cargo was now on the side with the door in the water. Too bad the Mormon God didn’t study engineering in the world he lived in before becoming God.
Here is another thought, the Mormons believe and teach “as man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become”. This is a powerful image for a lot of the uneducated converts to Mormonism. With this church, you could be a lowly farmer or janitor with no education and still attain Godhood, if you paid your tithing and obeyed the leaders of the LDS church.
Here we are obviously dealing with an exalted farmer or possibly a singer like King David who would know nothing about shipbuilding or engineering. It is also interesting this ‘godhood’ concept for lowly man that it doesn’t require him to come again to an earth to be crucified to save it. This is almost never discussed…for Mormons who become Gods it is just glory and gold covered streets with mansions of beautiful women who never age and bear children every year forever!
But, here we have a different Christ than what we find in the Bible. This Christ is the Lord God who the Jaredites are dealing with; a resurrected exalted man who must come to earth again with yet another ‘mortal’ body. The original B of M is the strongest supporter of the Triune theory of God. It speaks of Mary being ‘the mother of God’ until it was changed to the ‘Mother of the Son of God’. The prophet Abinadi in the book of Mosiah 15:1-4 “And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. 2. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—3. The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son…And they are one God, yea the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.”
If we follow what the Book of Mormon says here, then all of those aspiring to be Mormon Gods would have to be willing to subject themselves to the ‘flesh’ again and be the ‘sacrifice’ for all the children he created with his many wives for another world somewhere in the universe.
So the Mormon God is always learning and it seems that the Mormon God who designed these barges has a lot to learn about shipbuilding and how it affects little barges on the ocean with their occupants when fierce winds make mountain waves. And why fresh air cannot get down to the occupants unless there is some way to circulate the air while the barge is gyrating violently. When the barges all flip on their largest flat surface, which they all will ultimately do and both hatches are exposed where both can be open, then if the Mormon God finds that he can manipulate the ocean currents as easily as the wind, he could leave them on their side with fresh circulating air with a much more comfortable trip with no mountain waves. No matter which side the barge is flipped on, they will still have to get their skill saws out and cut openings for all the animals to get to dry land. Which means there has to be at least 8 skill saws if there are 8 barges landing in different places.
Otherwise, with just one hole, even if open all the time, many if not all the occupants will die. But because of the 10 fold doubling of the weight with the 6 barges, even with a nice safe current, the speed of the 6 heavy laden barges will be much slower and their arrival much, much later to the destination with the necessity of more food and water. So if God thinks he’s done after Jared’s barge arrives and goes on to do other things, who knows where the other 6 barges will land a year later without God directing the current?
With no wind and no current they could be bobbing up and down in the ocean for years to come! Or until Jared cries to the Lord, what happened to the other 6 barges! We have eaten all the little piggys that were in our barge and we badly need the barge with the chicken, goats, cows and seeds for planting along with our farmer tools, since I don’t remember which barge, please bring them all as quickly as you can without the fierce winds and mountain waves. Feed them with manna and quail if you have to. You can get practice for the Moses exodus coming up that you showed me when you showed me the whole civilization from beginning to end. Wow! What Predestination! Will everyone keep to the script?
So when we read in Ether 6:4 “…flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them…they got aboard their barges and set forth into the sea” . So Smith was leaving a lot of room for all kinds of creatures to be brought here to America that would have died in Noah’s flood including all the ‘poisonous serpents’ spoken of in Ether 9:31-33 that would indicate the ‘narrow neck of land’ as being Panama which is 45 jungle miles as the crow flies in width and a possible ‘days journey’ for a Nephite .(if someone spent a few weeks hacking out a path) There would be steep rugged mountains to be crossed, rather than the Isthmus of Tehuantepec theory where the distance in more like 125 miles in width and certainly more than a days journey. It is swampy and mostly jungle with paths to be hacked and gorges and mountains to be climbed. (Helaman 4:7)
In deciding which animals that came out of the ark to take with them, choices were made. They did not take the useful camel or dromedary but chose rather the Llama and Alpaca along with the guanaco and took the last of their kind in the Middle East as they did with the bison and buffalo and coyote and the Polar Bear, penguin and seals that are to this day indigenous only to the North and South American Continents. Ha! The Howler Monkeys and the colorful bird life of the jungles of Brazil were a special challenge to the brother of Jared until he arrived in the Valley of Nimrod, where to his great astonishment, the Lord had prepared another Garden of Eden where all of these birds and animals had been replenishing since coming out of the ark. This story of the vision of the brother of Jared was neither written nor seen in any ordinary fashion of his day. It will take a latter-day prophet with the daring of Joseph who has no fear of Man, God or Devil with a creative imagination to exceed all things since the prophet Moses.
He will bring forth to frail Man with his lack of faith the evidence of a master plan behind all of this. There are those feeble uninspired ones who think that God has created ‘worlds without number’ and didn’t learn anything other than what primitive man knew. Let me tell you God had an iphone long before Steve Jobs, he just called it a Seer Stone, and for lack of a better word Joseph referred to the thing that everyone looks into for inspiration as a white stone that would tell them everything. (The white stone being the the iphone screen.)
Does anyone in their right mind think the vision that God showed of the beginning of the world to the end was somehow made up on the clouds? Does any good Mormon believe for a minute that his God who has created and peopled worlds without number was still writing on ‘stone’ when he gave the Ten Commandments? He had his iPad that was handed to Moses and kept in the sacred Ark of the Covenant. Has everyone forgot that God’s course is ‘one eternal round’? Do you think God is working a new experiment with every world that he creates and peoples with his own children? Does anyone ‘search the scriptures’ anymore, other than at FARMS?
No! Man’s logic is not always ‘foolishness’. Clay was not always available so God had an angel bring the brother of Jared an identical seer stone with a video taken of the previous world that God created and that followed the same identical script. They were all equipped with 1,000 yr. batteries.
Yes, Moroni said that the brother of Jared ‘wrote’ a lot of things, but what was meant was that he ‘recorded’ a lot of things and saved it on his seer stone. (iphone) Moroni was not a Seer, he was fixated on becoming an Angel and did not find Mosiah the Seer’s translation or the Interpreters or iphone to help him with his translation. Ether 3:28 “…he (brother of Jared) should seal up the two stones which he had received and show them not…” The last we heard of these iphone stones before Smith, was with King Mosiah in Mosiah 28 where he as a Seer was given not only the stones that Smith claimed to have in 1828 but Mosiah made a complete translation of the 24 plates with the help of the iphone stones with the thousand year battery that God has since replaced twice.
It is interesting how the early stories of Smith translating told by his first scribe and his wife of placing the ‘seer stone’ (iphone) in Smith’s hat and dictating what he saw appear on the screen. To the 19th and 20th Century Man, this seemed impossible that a whole library of information could be contained on something as small as one’s thumb. But now we know, with God and Steve Jobs, nothing is impossible!
Oh ye of little faith! Why would Emma, Martin, and all those good people lie about the translation that the iphone performed in Smith’s hat from the ancient text? But our subject is the 8 barges and as many critics point out, why 8 when Noah only had one vessel? In reviewing the film over and over again on his iphone stone, the brother of Jared saw where each species ended up when Columbus discovered the Americas. He knew the Polar Bears along with the seals and penguins and a couple of wolves, elk and caribou needed to be up north so he put them along with the grizzlies and salmon fish along with the cumoms in barge 6 that would be headed to Alaska, which was the name he saw on his iphone map. He thought Ikkimo and Ikkimi would be the ideal pair to care for them in the barge and would end up being the first Eskimos.
So there was a very valid reason why God needed 8 barges to go to several different continents with the species that would later be found and that Man had to accept by faith. Just dropping the Kangaroo off in Australia was a feat that will be described only in the full text of the iphone vision that will be released to all those with the Celestial Ap to download it, if they are proven worthy.
So keep the faith, brethren…there are answers out there for those who seek…