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Found! A Literal Descendant of Aaron!

I’m excited to announce an interview with a counselor in the First Presidency!  His name is Jim Vun Cannon, and he is a member of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in Independence, Missouri.  Never heard of him?  Well, here’s a little introduction to their church.  (Later we’ll discuss a Literal Descendant of Aaron!)

Jim:  I would say where we started out was we left the C[ommunity] of C[hrist, which] was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Of course I think you all know where that came from.

We left that in [19]84.  There were a number of people who went out to Restoration branches.  At that point, people were looking up, can the church—because everyone believed that the church had to have structure and order to it.

In 1999, a number of people started meeting together.  They were high priests and gathering other priesthood together to pray and to fast and to see what could be done.  What did the law actually allow?

It turns out we found in some of the writings of Joseph Smith III, and some personal testimony and revelation that came forth, we could indeed have a church restored again, so that’s what happened at that point.

So the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ is essentially a breakoff of the RLDS Church, officially organized in the year 2000, under the direction of a new prophet, Frederick L. Larsen.  He is a matrilineal descendant of Joseph Smith, and the Remnant Church believes in lineal succession.  Jim said, “We are approximately 2700 members.  About 1200 of those members are here in the United States, and the rest of those are in foreign fields.”  I met Jim in Idaho, as the church was holding a retreat for members in the Northwestern United States.  The most interesting thing I heard was this:

Jim Vun Cannon:  Our Presiding Bishop actually is a literal descendant of Aaron.

GT:  Oh really!

Jim:  Yes.  Kevin Romer is actually.  Yes

GT:  Ok.  Wow, that’s interesting.

Jim:  So yeah, that was new for us.

GT:  Oh.  I would assume that he got that through the patriarch.  Is that how you declare lineage?

Jim:  Yeah, typically the patriarchs will give you lineage.  In his particular case he had it from the patriarch and from the president of the church.  Both had testimonies of…

GT interrupts:  Oh that he was a literal descendant?

Jim:  literal descendant, yeah right.

GT:  Ok, so the interesting thing, that doesn’t happen very often in our church.  In fact I’m not aware of any.

Jim:  This is the first I know of.

GT:  Oh really!

Jim:  Yeah, I don’t know of any of our churches, yeah.

GT:  Oh, wow.  That’s interesting.  I know a bishop, and I don’t know any bishop that would want to do this but if a bishop that is a literal descendant of Aaron, he does not need counselors, which when you’re administering a ward, why would you not want to have counselors?  I don’t know.

Jim chuckles:  Yeah, he has counselors and he doesn’t want to give them up.  I can appreciate that.

GT:  Now is that a lifetime calling too, or is that just for a period of time?

Jim:  We kind of look at that as a lifetime calling too, right now at this point.  It’s really very new to us so we’re just kind of learning that.

In our next conversation we’ll talk more about Jim’s conversion to the Remnant Church.  Have you ever heard of the Remnant Church?  I want to thank media director Morgan Wigle for helping me arrange this interview.  Do you have any questions for Jim or Morgan?

 

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Best Reasons for the Baja Theory

This is our last conversation with David Rosenvall.  In our last few episodes we’ve tried to poke holes in David’s theory of the Baja Theory of the Book of Mormon.  In this episode, we’ll talk about strengths of the theory.

I think one of the other things that makes Baja a little unique is this concept of being isolated.  The text over and over seems to imply that they were alone.  They didn’t have encounters with other people.  They were always the kings.  They were always fighting with their brothers.  When they found the Mulekites they were so excited that they put it in their record.  When they found evidence of another culture that had been wiped out, they put it in their record.  So you have to have some location that seems very isolated.  How do you isolate a group of people for that long that they don’t talk about anyone else?  In a peninsula like Baja, even today is isolated from mainland Mexico, even with all we have, so it’s a great place for isolation.  It’s a semi-arid, isolated environments are probably two of the strongest strengths that we have.

We’ll talk about the narrow neck of land.

There’s only one place you can actually see mainland Mexico from Baja.  It’s in the area just a little bit north of halfway down here at a place called Bajia De Los Angeles where you can actually see across here.  Everywhere else you can’t actually see, which is interesting because the text talks about, in this very location, the text says where the sea divides the land.  We assume they could see it, so here it’s about 40 miles.  Everywhere else it gets up into 60, 70, 80 miles.  The only place they could have seen mainland Mexico is right where it was described, right where the narrow neck, the line of defense.  We actually look at that geographically that their one location, and the only on Baja where you have a place that you can across, it’s kind of exciting.

You might want to watch this episode on YouTube.  We will zoom in on his map as he talks about different geographical features of the Baja Peninsula that he thinks correlate with the Book of Mormon.  (Don’t forget to check out our previous post on DNA.)  I hope you check out our conversation….

 

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Can David Answer Critics Questions about Animals, Steel, & Cumorah?

We’re continuing our conversation with David Rosenvall.  He’s the guy who came up with who came up with the idea that the Book of Mormon lands may have occurred in the Baja Peninsula.  We’ll also discuss some other issues with the Book of Mormon.  Are there two Hill Cumorahs?

We don’t know where he goes but we do know how long it took him that he wandered.  He again buries the plates in 420 A.D. We believe in the hill north of Manchester where Joseph Smith would eventually meet with him.  That’s a period of about 36 years.

How would one get plates that one can carry, these few plates to that sort of distance?  Well if you want to break it down per year it’s about the distance from Provo to Ogden every year that Moroni would have had to travel with these plates.  We don’t know.  We have one point that’s kind of interesting.  Manti, Utah is a place that Brigham Young states that Moroni dedicated the temple site.  If you go down there, there’s a statue of Moroni there, dedicating.

You can see if one started in Baja and had to get to New York in 36 years, one could easily take that path.  Our theory isn’t so much about two Cumorahs, it’s about two hills:  one in the text called the Hill Cumorah, and one where Joseph Smith got the plates called the hill north of Manchester.  Now I kind of like that we as the saints call that hill in New York, Cumorah.

Had you heard about this statue of Moroni in Manti?  What about steel swords?

One of the things most interesting that we have learned since we started this:  if you go down to the museums in Baja California, specifically the museum in La Paz, they’ll have a display of swords.  Half of them are Spanish swords that they know are very beautiful.  They have a certain design and they’re on display.  It just so happens they have this other collection which is a completely different design, much older, very rusted that are swords, and knives, and all sorts of metal implements that they say they have gotten from some burial sites when they dig up.  They’ve found them in of the ground.

So we have metal swords, just as described from the Baja Peninsula.  What we are missing is a full archaeological excavation of more of that.  So we’re finding it very exciting that (1) we’ve got areas where metal is still there today that you can take from outcroppings, (2) you’ve got smelting sites that are ancient.  They all claim they are pre-Spanish.  They’re smelting sites.  Number (3), they do have evidence on the peninsula, so at this point, the Book of Mormon is holding together.  Now the rest of North America, yeah you’ve got a problem with it, but not the Baja Peninsula. They’ve got metal implements.

Were you aware that metal swords have been found in Baja, or is David overstating his case?  What do you think of this theory?  (Check out part 1 and part 2.)

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