On my mesomania blog, I also commented on the concept of “thinking past the sale” which is the tactic used by LDS scholars and educators to keep the overall Mesoamerican setting alive.
The two posts are related because the Mesomania spin on the Riplakish account is an example of how to use the “thinking past the sale” tactic.
The article in Mesomania Magazine is titled “Why did Riplakish Construct a Beautiful Throne?” However, the article never answers that question!
Instead, the article explains why ancient Mesoamericans built massive thrones made of stone. But it is carefully crafted to prevent the reader from even realizing the switch.
The anonymous author doesn’t explain a rationale for inferring that Riplakish had a throne carved out of stone. It just assumes that Riplakish lived in Mesoamerica. That’s the sale, but the article doesn’t go there because the author instead wants you to assume the Mesoamerican setting and think past that sale to the details of ancient Mesoamerican thrones.
The text (Ether 10:6) says merely that Riplakish “did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne.” The article instead describes at length ancient Mesoamerican stone thrones that are “massive” and “elaborate.”
The anonymous author cleverly doesn’t even cite Ether 10:7, which refers to fine work of gold. As I explained yesterday, that description lines up with the one in Mosiah about Noah’s throne, which was specifically made of wood.
This is a common tactic that you will find often when you read Mesomania material.
Source: Book of Mormon Wars