Saturday, September 20, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part VI

Continuing with the list shown in the last five posts (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon. To make sure there are no foot-loose approaches to the scriptural record used here, as sometimes found in such lists of other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area. Keep in mind that, unlike other lists from other Theorists, who take a few items that favor their particular model as their list, the following list of 31 items is taken directly from the scriptural record and nothing is left out from the record that is a direct description of the land and what was found on it as described by Nephi and Mormon.
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous posts
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east” (Helaman 3:8), see also 2 Nephi 10:20-21: “And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren” (emphasis mine).
    Two factors are involved here. As Jacob says they were on an isle of the sea, that is, an island in the middle of the sea, and Helaman says they had seas in all four directions. This sounds like the Nephite Land of Promise, at least during Nephite times prior to the destruction covered in 3 Nephi, was an island. And not just an island, but an island in the midst of the sea over which they had sailed from Bountiful. Note there is no mention anywhere of sailing up any river, or into any lake, or inland from the ocean--but "for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea." Since this is the first description given of the overall Land of Promise, one might want to start their search of the promised land with this fact in mind. The Nephites were on an island, and that island was in the midst of the sea over which they had sailed from Bountiful.
    Elsewhere: None of the other areas are islands. Baja and Malay are Peninsulas; Mesoamerica is an Isthmus; Heartland is a very large land area within another, larger land area; Great Lakes is a land area scattered among ancient lakes and rivers. But none can be conceived of as islands.
    Andes: The Andean area of South America was at one time before the uplift, according to geologists, an island, and even now, the western lands (west of the Andes) is separate from and different from the eastern South America areas of Brazil and Argentina in their early development. Geologists claim three seas separated the lands east of the Andes from the west: the Pebesian and Paranense seas, along with the north, east and south portal seaways, which isolated Chile, Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador and southern Colombia from the rest of the continent, which was mostly underwater except for the Brazilian and Guayanan shields at the time of Nephi.
    • Scripture: It appears that for most of the Jaredite history, they had metal and were involved in metallurgy. Ether tells us: And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work” (Ether 10:23). Somewhere between 588 and 570 B.C. Nephi wrote: And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15). About 160 years later, Jarom added, “And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war” (Jarom 1:8), and finally, about 370 years later in 29 B.C., Helaman wrote: “And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north” (Helaman 6:9).
    The point is, metallurgy was an obvious profession among the Jaredites and Nephites, covering nearly a 2500 year period, and evidence of such should be found today of such activity in the Land of Promise.
    Elsewhere: As for the Heartland and Great Lakes, Rapp, Gibbon and Ames (Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America: an Encyclopedia, 1998), “Archaeological evidence has not revealed metal smelting or alloying of metals by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples north of the Rio Grande.” There were copper tools among the Woodlands and Great Lakes peoples, but these were made from cold-hammering surface copper left from the ice age glacial retreat, and not from smelting; however, gold, silver, and iron were not found to have been in use according to S.R. Martin (Story of Ancient Copper Working in Lake Superior Basin, 1999), though according to M. A. Levine (Journal of Archaeological Science, 2007) metal ore was present. In Mesoamerica, metallurgy has not been found to have been in use until 900 A.D., though some feel it was as early as 600 B.C. (at least 200 years after the demise of the Nephites and some 1200 years after the end of the Jaredites). A rare find on the island of Espiritu Santo off the coast of Baja California showed iron knives, iron nails and a copper ring dated to between 1180 and 1260 A.D., but nothing has ever been found earlier, and nothing on Baja itself.
    Andes:  Karen Olsen Bruhns in Ancient South America, Cambridge World Archaeology, Cambridge University Press (1994), writes: “The exploitation of metals as primary materials for objects has often been considered to be on e of the hallmarks of civilization. In South America the origins of complex metallurgy (that is, the use of metals as something more than a special, more malleable kind of rock) can be traced to the central Andean republics of Peru and Bolivia. The later metallurgical traditions of Ecuador and Colombia are almost certainly derived from the Peruvian one; Central America and southern Mexican metallurgy is clearly borrowed from Colombia” (Chapter 11 “Metallurgy,”p 174). She goes on to say that “abundant ozide and sulfide copper ores, deposits of cassiterite (tin oxide), silver ores, and gold.”
    Here, the first “worker’s tool kit was excavated” dating to 1800 B.C., and “technological innovations included welding and soldering, the fabrication of three-dimensional objects by joining preshaped metal sheets, and the making of gold alloys,” around 1000 B.C. to 600 B.C.
    Also, according to Aldenderfer, Craig, et al, in their “Four-thousand-year-old-gold artifacts from the Lake Titicaca basin, southern Peru” (2008), metallurgy developed in South American in the Andean region of modern Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina with gold dating to 2155–1936 B.C. and copper to 1432–1132 B.C. Scattolin, Bugliani, et al report that this metallurgy “was spread throughout Andean societies by the Early horizon period 1000-200 B.C.” In fact, two areas developed alongside each other–one in northern Peru and Ecuador, and another in the Altiplano region of southern Peru, Bolivia and Chile. According to R. W. Keatinge (Peruvian Prehistory, 1988), various slag heaps of ore and smelting areas. Extensive use of "portable" smelting kilns in the vicinity of Puma Punku, Bolivia, and at three additional sites in Peru and Bolivia to manufacture, in situ, "I" beams as connectors to large stone blocks during the construction process represent a seemingly anomalous function for metal smelting. The reported chemical analysis of these metal pours is 95.15% copper 2.05% arsenic, 1.70% nickel, .84% silicon and .26% iron.
    Thus we find that only in Andean South America, in all of the Western Hemisphere, was metal being worked as much as two thousand years before the time of Christ.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part VII,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part V

This is our 1500th post since first beginning this blog on January 1, 2011. Thank you for your valued support and interest

Continuing with the list shown in the last four posts (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon. To make sure there are no partial scriptures or references are used here, as often found in such lists by other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area. 
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous posts
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east” (Alma 50:34); and “he also sent orders unto him that he should fortify the land Bountiful, and secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward, lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side” (Alma 52:9); and “the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward” (Mormon 2:29); and also “And it came to pass that I did cause my people that they should gather themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward” (Alma 3:5).
    To clarify:
    • Narrow pass is by border of land of Desolation
    • Pass led into the Land Northward
    • Pass led into the Land Southward
    • Pass between Bountiful and Desolation
    • Sea on the east and sea on the west of the pass
    • Jaredites built a city by the narrow pass
    • Pass was narrow enough to be defended militarily
    • If an enemy obtained entrance into the narrow Pass, they would have the advantage of obtaining a foothold in the Land Northward and with such, the Nephites in the Land Southward.
    Thus, two things are obvious. The Pass was the only way through the narrow neck, both being the only land between the Land Southward and the Land Northward. To alter or change this makes the importance of the narrow neck and the pass meaningless from a military standpoint, to which Mormon refers.
    Elsewhere: While other Theorists try to create their own narrow necks and passes, each misses the point of the military importance—which means the pass had to be the only way through the narrow neck and the narrow neck the only land mass between the Land Southward and the Land Northward, otherwise, blocking the pass or cutting off access to the pass would not have kept an enemy from getting into the Land Northward through other means. Mormon, in his descriptions makes this quite clear. This completely eliminates Mesoamerica (125-144 miles wide), the Heartland (the Great Plains and areas denoted are mostly flat and lack any strategic pass or neck), the Great Lakes, which leaves several approaches through and around the area; and the same is true with Central America and Malay. Baja California is 50 miles across at their narrow neck, and a mountainous area inland with two separate coasts with egress, plus the various canyons and valleys. There is simply no single area to defend.
    The problem with all these other areas is that you can point out a narrow pass, or a narrow area, but it is not singular. In the many miles of width involved in each, there are numerous other ways to get beyond or through their so-called narrow necks. (In past posts, we have shown maps of each of these narrow necks and passes and how easy it would be to circumvent any one area)
    Andes: As pointed out in the last post, the second image map, Andean South America has both a narrow neck (east of the Bay of Guayaquil, between the bay and the steep Andes mountains now, and the Sea East (Pebesian Sea) of antiquity.Through this narrow neck is a pass, called the Pass of Huayna Capac by the Inca, was identified by the Spanish conquistadores, written about in 1552 by the scholar soldier Pedro de Cieza de Leon and still identifiable as late as the 17th century.
    • Scripture: “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” (Alma 63:5-6), and “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” (Alma 63:7).
    This first ship took its course to “a land which was northward,” suggesting a land different from the land northward, and the second ship went to the same (again) land northward. Since they were never heard from more, two possibilities exist: 1) they went to a land not connected to the Land of Promise and, thus, were not in the land of then Nephites any longer, or 2) the ship sank and were lost to history.
    However, since the first ship returned, it is understood that at least the first shipload reached its destination and, if they, too, were never heard from more, then it must be assumed that both ships and possibly others went to lands disconnected from the Land of Promise. This is seen especially in the final entry on this issue “And it came to pass that one other ship also did sail forth; and whither she did go we know not” (Alma 63:8). Thus, we should find a land to the north of the Land of Promise that shows Nephite-type culture and building.
    Elsewhere: There are several points here. It is impossible to sail a ship from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mesoamerica and have it take its course northward--at least not for over 1000 miles; All the rivers in the Heartland that could be used to sail northward and southward flowing waterways and almost impossible to sail into both the winds and currents; the Great Lakes northward sail from their west sea would be a very short trip and certainly not worthwhile to go by ship in such a short journey—nor could a ship sail down the Niagara River, not northward into the lakes against winds, etc. In addition, there are no great cities either in the Heartland or Great Lakes to the north of their Land of Promise, and nothing north of there to show Nephite development of groups that went north.
Top: A ship would have to travel 1000 miles before it could turn northward; Bottom: The journey into the West Sea would be useless in transporting emigrants only a few miles by ship
All Heartland rivers flow southward, most with very strong currents, and the rivers were filled with shoals and rapids before being cleared by the Corps of Engineers in the 17th and 18th centuries, making an “exceedingly large ship” impossible to sail up current against the winds

Left: If Hagoth’s ships went to a land which was northward and disconnected from the Land of Promise, it fits South America since the Panama Isthmus was underwater according to geologists, and ships leaving the Bay of Guayaquil could immediately turn northward once into the sea and land anywhere along both coasts of Central and Meso-America, where magnificent ruins match those of Andean South America
    Andes: As shown in the drawings above, Hagoth’s ships launched from the South American Land of Promise narrow neck would immediately take their course northward as Mormon describes and land along a wide front of northern Central America and Mesoamerica, where ancient civilizations built magnificient cities, palaces and temples that rival those of Andean South America.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part VI,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IV

Continuing with the list shown in the last three posts (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon. To make sure there are no misrepresentations used here, as often found in such lists of other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area. 
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous post
    • Scripture: And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32).
    First of all, this narrow neck of land served three purposes: 1) it was the only connection between the Land Southward and the Land Northward [Alma 22:32]; 2) it was narrow enough to serve as a defensive “choke point” for the Nephite military and keep dissidents like Morianton, or enemy like the Lamanites from getting beyond and achieving a foothold in the land Northward [Alma 22:33]; and 3) it separated the Land of Desolation (Land Northward) from the Land of Bountiful (Land Southward) [Alma 22:31]. There were also four characteristics about the narrow neck, and that was 1) it was narrow enough that a Nephite could walk across it in a day and a half [Alma 22:32]; 2) it was so configured that a narrow pass existed within it that led from the Land Southward to the Land Northward [Alma 50:34; 52:9; Mormon 2:29; 3:5]; 3) it served as the “line” between the north and south, i.e., “on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation” [Alma 22:32], that is, the Land Northward (Desolation) and the Land Southward (Bountiful) [Alma 22:32]; and 4) it was the dividing line between the Nephites (north) and the Lamanites (south) after the truce arranged by Mormon in 350 A.D. [Mormon 2:28].
    In addition, five events occurred near this location: 1) Hagoth built his shipyard [Alma 63:5]; 2) Emigrants boarded Hagoth’s ships and sailed to a “land which was northward” [Alma 63:6], and many emigrants passed through this area on foot to inherit the Land Northward [Alma 63:9]; 3) the Jaredites built a great city [Ether 10:20]; 4) Jaredite animals escaped the poisonous snakes by passing through this area into the Land Southward [Ether 9:31;10:19]; and 5) the Jaredites preserved the Land Southward as an animal preserve for hunting [Ether 10:21].
    It should also be kept in mind, that two lines are mentioned, one regarding the Nephite journey of a day and a half (Alma 22:32), and the other a defensive line the distance of a day’s travel (Helaman 4:6-7). These two lines are not the same and are not in the same location. The second line, a defensive line, was built in 38 B.C., “And the Nephites and the armies of Moronihah were driven even into the land of Bountiful; And there they did fortify against the Lamanites from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day’s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had foritified and stationed their armies to defend their north country” (Helaman 4:6-7).
    This defensive line was not from sea to sea, but in some way, gave the Nephites the defensive position to hold the road or way through Bountiful to the narrow neck to the north of the land. Also, for clarification, when it speaks of the line between Desolation and Bountiful, the “line” is in reference to a boundary, the same way it is used in “And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi” (Alma 50:11). This line was the narrow strip of wilderness, whose width we do not know, but again is described as “narrow.”
    Elsewhere: There is no other location where a narrow neck area in any theory model that is narrow enough for a boundary line to be drawn across it that was a day and a half width, or about 25-35 miles wide and the only egress between the Land Southward and the Land Northward, creating a defensive “choke point” to keep enemies out of the Land Northward.
Top: Great Lakes area, showing two approaches, between the lakes (their narrow pass) and southeast of the lakes, which is in opposition to Mormon’s descriptions; Bottom Left: Mesoamerica, showing three approaches in the 124-144 mile wide narrow neck, yellow arrow along the one coast, green arrow along the other coast, and red arrow through mountain passes in between, again in oppositon to Mormon’s description; Bottom Right: Andes area, showing yellow arrow Morianton’s flight toward the singular narrow neck and narrow pass into the Land Northward, and white arrow showing Moroni’s run to cut him off
    Andes: The Andean area has a 26-mile wide narrow neck at the east end of the Bay of Guayaquil, between this large bay and the steep Andes mountains—in the time of the Nephites, the Andes had not uplifted and the area was the Sea East, called the Pebesian Sea by geologists, also creating a 26-mile wide narrow neck.
    • Scripture: And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land -- but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate” (Alma 46:40).
    Killer fevers of the period connected with climate was “malaria,” the most deadly and uncontrolled fever ever known to man.
    Elsewhere: There has never been a natural cure other than quinine for fever in the world’s history. And quinine was used for more than two thousand years, dating back into B.C. times in only one place, where the cinchona tree grew naturally.
    Andes: The only cure ever discovered for malaria fever was the bark of the cinchona tree, a natural plant and herb indigenous to Andean South America, and found nowhere else in the world until the Dutch pirated some seedlings out in the 19th century and planted them in Indonesia.
    • Scripture: And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies” (Alma 48:5); and “he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8); and “But he kept his men round about, as if making preparations for war; yea, and truly he was preparing to defend himself against them, by casting up walls round about and preparing places of resort” (Alma 52:6).
    It is interesting that these resorts, or forts, were built before the time of Moroni as chronicled in Alma. We find that in Mosiah, King Noah “caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land” (Mosiah 11:13). That is, before Mosiah I left the City of Nephi, the Nephites had built a resort on a hill north of the land of Shilom which they used as a fort. Consequently, for at least some 300  years or so, the Nephites were builders of forts. And if the one they built on a hill over looking Shilom is any example, then one might expect to find these forts (or outposts) on hills overlooking valleys, canyons, or entrances to populated areas.
    Elsewhere: Heartland and Great Lakes people claim such buildings were built out of wood and, therefore, would not have survived to our day to see such ruins. However, we know that the Nephites built defensive positions and fortifications out of stone as stated in “Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8, emphasis mine). Consequently, some of these would have survived to our day, as such stonework has survived in both Mesoamerica and Andean South America. Baja, Malay, and Central America have no such resorts.
    Andes: Unlike Mesoamerica, in the Andes, there are hundreds of ruins of such resorts, occupying hillsides and mountain tops that served as small forts and lookouts or outposts, often near a much larger fortress, and always overlooking passes into populated city areas.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part V,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part III

Continuing with the list shown in the last two posts (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon. To make sure there are no chicanery used here, as often found in such lists of other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area.
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous two posts
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about” (Mosiah 11:12), and also And it came to pass that he fought with the king; and when the king saw that he was about to overpower him, he fled and ran and got upon the tower which was near the temple. And Gideon pursued after him and was about to get upon the tower to slay the king, and the king cast his eyes round about towards the land of Shemlon, and behold, the army of the Lamanites were within the borders of the land“ (Mosiah 19:5-6)
    Elsewhere: Outside of the Andes, only in Mesoamerica can a building be referred to as a tower, thought being next to a temple might be arguable, and being able to see beyond the tree canopy into other lands from its height might also be arguable. No other location can even suggest the ruins of such a tower and temple building location. To try and support a tower so high you can see several miles into another land made of wood (and now rotted away) is without merit.
    Andes: There are by far more ancient ruins of the Jaredite and Nephite periods in Andean South America than found in Mesoamerica. And in the area of Sacsayhuaman, the ancient ruin above Cuzco (City of Nephi), lies a former temple which Garcilaso de la Vega described in great detail in the latter 1500s. The son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca princess, Vega played in the temple labrynth as a child having been born four years after the Battle of Cajamarca and the conquest of the Inca. There he learned the Inca legends from his uncles, who were members of the nobility, and later wrote The Royal Commentaries of the Inca, in which he described the temple, the tower, and other matters in great detail. The foundations of both temple and tower are clearly visible today—with the tower once overlooking the entire valley below and into the valley beyond.
    • Scripture: and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth” (Alma 1:29; see also Alma 4:6, 26; Helaman 6:13; Ether 10:24)
    Elsewhere: Silk and fine-twined linen have been found in Mesoamerica, but nowhere else in the various models of the Land of Promise, with silk not arriving in Malaysia before 500 A.D. when traders from China and India first arrived. When Etienne Brule, the first French explorer arrived in the Great Lakes area in 1634, he wore Chinese silk to impress the natives, but they were totally unfamiliar with the cloth or fine-twined linen. Nor was silk known anciently in the Heartland or Baja.
    Andes: Evidence of an extremely high quality silk and fine-twined linen have been found throughout various tombs and among mummies located in the Andean area dating back to B.C. times. In puma Punku (200 B.C.), was widely known for its opulence in personal adornment as well as extravagant decorations, unimaginably wondrous, adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, and trafficked by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests and elites decked in exotic jewelry. When the conquistadores arrived, they were struck with the opulence of the Peruvian cultures, and the quality of their silk and clothing they claimed rivaled that of Spain.
    • Scripture: “And it came to pass that the [Lamanite] king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided” (Alma 22:27). And on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful. And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed” (Alma  22:29-30), and “thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful,” (Alm 22:31), and “the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward” (Alma 22:33).
    Elsewhere: Basically, everyone who writes about a Land of Promise other than Mesoamerica, uses a north-south orientation; however, most models in the Heartland and Great Lakes have cities and lands out of north-south alignment. Other than Andean South America, only Baja and Malay actually use a north-south alignment for the interior of their map as well.
    Andes: Andean South America is aligned in a north-south map, complete with all lands, cities, travel, etc.
    • Scripture: “[the land of Nephi] was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west…by the head of the river Sidon” (Alma 22:27). This Sidon river was east of Zarahemla and ran by “the hill Amnihu, which was east of the river Sidon, which ran by the land of Zarahemla” (Alma 2:15). Thus, with headwaters in the narrow strip of wilderness to the south of Zarahemla, the river flowed northward past Zarahemla.
    Elsewhere: The Heartland model has the Mississippi River (Sidon) running southward; the Great Lakes has the Buffalo River (Sidon) running westward; Baja does not have a year round river in the south and central lands; Mesoamerica has two rivers that run north, but with their “Nephite North” change of cardinal points by 90º, they run eastward by their reasoning; Malay uses the Kelatan River, which runs north to the sea past their Zarahemla; however it also passes by Bountiful (on the west), which is never mentioned in the scriptural record. Nor is there any possibility that the area of the Panama Canal is the Sidon River—the fact alone that it runs east and west rules that out. Nor can the Niagara River be the Sidon River, since it does not have its headwaters in the narrow strip of wilderness bordering the Land of Nephi, nor does it divide the Land Northward from the Land Southward as this theory claims (nor can the Sea East be to the north of the Land Southward).
    Andes: There are several rivers in southern Peru that run north, many are major rivers, and each ran to what was once the East Sea where now the Urubamba River flows northward into the Amazon.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IV,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part II

Continuing with the list shown in the last post (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon in the scriptural record. To make sure there are no shenanigans used here, as often found in such lists of other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area.
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous post
    • Scripture: And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper” (1 Nephi 18:25). “Both gold and silver and copper” also suggests that these three ores (both gold and silver as precious ore, and copper as non-precious ore) were found in single locations, i.e., the same ore had all three metals.
    Elsewhere: While gold, silver and copper are scattered in many areas around the world, it is amazing how many areas have none at all. Take the U.S., a heavy producer of all three metals, yet east and north of the Mississippi River, the land is nearly void. There is no gold or silver in the great plains to speak of, which is the Heartland and Great Lakes areas, though copper has been found in that area. The chart above is based upon each of these metals found in a top fifty country, i.e., Guatemala, as an example, is 37th in the world in gold production, so it is listed on the chart; however, Peru is 5th, Chile 14th, Colombia 21st, Bolivia 28th, and Ecuador 35th, all in the Andean area and ahead of Guatemala in Mesoamerica. And while Mexico is 18th, its top three gold mines are not in Mesoamerica.
    Andes: The Andean area of South America, especially Peru and Chile have long been world leaders in the production of gold, silver and copper. As an example, Gold: Peru 5th, Chile 14th; Silver: Peru 3rd, Chile 7th; Copper: Chile 1st, Peru 3rd; or another example: Copper: Chile and Peru produce 4,464,389 Metric tons; all of Mexico, Guatemala, etc. Mesoamerica produces 172,093 Metric tons. And, as a further note, in the entire Western Hemisphere, gold, silver and copper, found in single ore, is notably found in Peru and Chile.
    • Scripture: we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20).
    Elsewhere: The Heartland and Great Lakes models could not be reached from the sea. In order to reach their West Sea (Lake Erie) for a landing, entrance into the U.S. would have to be achieved via a river (St. Lawrence or Mississippi), and as has been shown here in the past, these and other inland waterways and rivers were blocked and did not reach the Great Lakes area, or internal U.S., because of shoals, rapids, and shallow depths. Mesoamerica, Baja, Central America and Malaysia could all be reached via the sea, though winds and currents would be a major hindrance to such voyages as has been pointed out here in the past.
    Andes: Only the central coast of Chile to Peru could have been reached by a drift voyage, “driven forth before the wind.” And, according to geologists, the western area of South America anciently, including much of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia, and central to northern Chile were above water west of where the Andes mountains now rise, forming an island since the area to the east was mostly submerged beneath the surface.
    • Scripture: we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20). This island, surrounded by four seas (north, south, east and west) is verified in Helaman 3:6.
    Elsewhere: No other area so far submitted as a model has been shown to have been an island in 600 B.C. and up to the time of the crucifixion described in 3 Nephi, except Andean South America.
    Andes: The area now west of the Andes was an island prior to the crucifixion and destruction heralded in 3 Nephi. Samuel the Lamanite described mountains arising “whose height is great” which match the Andes. The Amazon basin and much of the rest of South America were below the surface, creating an East Sea, which geologists have called the Pebasian Sea in the north and the Paranense Sea in the south, which led to the north and south portal seaways into the Atlantic, before the lengthwise ridge of the western Continent was uplifted.
    • Scripture: And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel” (Mosiah 8:8). “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15), and also “And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine” (2 Nephi 5:16). See also 3 Nephi for a list of cities the Lord called “great.”
    Elsewhere: On the graph above, only Mesoamerica is checked besides the Andes, for only these two areas in all the models show buildings of various kinds and match the scriptural record. There are no such ruins of any type found in the other areas.
    Andes: Like Mesoamerica, the Andean area is full of the ruins of large cities matching the scriptural record.
    • Scripture: “we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum” (Mosiah 9:9).
    Elsewhere: Certainly there were no crops in the Heartland or Great Lakes that Joseph Smith, a farmer, would not have known about and been able to name. In addition, grains and fruit seeds (Jerusalem, Bountiful) would not grow in tropical climates like Mesoamerica, Central America, and Malaysia; nor in Baja, with its salt marshes; coastal dunes; chaparral scrub; and forest, which is found in the mountains and extremely dry growing conditions; grains and fruit do grow in the Heartland, but not well in the higher temperatures of the Great Lakes.
    Andes: We have recorded here in numerous posts the Peruvian grains of quinoa and kiwichi, two of the most nutritious grains known and certainly on a par with corn, wheat and barley, whose existence and names (quinoa and kiwichi) were unknown in the U.S. until the 20th century.
    • Scripture: “with seeds of all manner of fruits” (Mosiah 9:9)
    Elsewhere: These fruit seeds were brought from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 8:1), meaning they were seeds from a Mediterranean Climate, which does not exist in any area other than Andean South America and California.
    Andes: As has already been stated, grains and fruits grow extremely well in central/coastal Chile (Mediterranean Climate), and also in the higher plateau valleys of Peru, whose unusual coastal winds create a near semi-Mediterranean climate.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part III,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part I

Anyone can come up with a cafeteria list of things that a model of the Land of Promise must have to match the scriptures; one Theriost uses five, another ten, still another twelve, but the truth of the matter is there are at least 27 to 31 scriptural descriptions (depending on how you collectively list them), that Mormon used to describe the geographical setting of the Land of Promise for his future reader. In addition, there are some thirty others that are not so direct, such as circumcision, irrigation, travel wordage, distances, etc., that are arguable, but do exist. But the first 27 to 31, though some of those may be a point of interpretation, each exists and must be dealt with since they are specifically listed in the scriptural record.  
    To base an entire model and theory on a single issue, such as Sorenson’s cardinal directions (Nephite North); or the Great Lakes Hill Cumorah; or Heartland’s America First (Land Northward), etc., is simply not worthy of discussion.
    There were, after all, these following scriptures describing the land at the time the Nephites occupied the Land of Promise. And they cannot be ignored since they are Mormon’s own writing; and the only way to deal with his writing and the descriptions in the scriptural record is to list them and show that they existed at the time of the Nephites in the model being used:
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions
    Before continuing, some ground rules need to be accepted and clearly understood and followed:
    1. Mormon’s words have to be accepted as they were written by him, translated by Joseph Smith, and verified by the Spirit.
    2. Nephi’s ship, based on the record of its power “driven forth before the wind,” must be shown how it arrived in the Land of Promise by winds and currents; and seas or rivers must have been navigable at the time
    3. The physical appearance must exist today, or be shown (not just told) why it is different today than at the time of the Nephites (geological evidence needs to support any changes claimed in land masses, oceans, lakes, etc.)
    4. Directions must be followed; a land not mentioned in the scriptures cannot be included (i.e., Lamanite lands other than the Land of Nephi and the area of First Landing; there can be no land east of the Sea East; the river Sidon must flow in the direction of the scriptural account; the lands of Zarahemla and Nephi and the narrow strip of wilderness must stretch from sea to sea as stated, etc.)
    5. One scriptural description or statement cannot be used if others conflict or show a different meaning. All scriptural references on a subject must be included and consistent.
    6. Everything mentioned must be covered (having copper is not sufficient; must have had copper, gold and silver, and in abundance)
    7. Topography must exist as stated (i.e., must have mountains “whose height is great”; a major river flowing to the sea; lands and cities in the directions from each other described, etc.)
    8. Land size must reasonably fit the events and populations described.
    9. The land at the time of the Jaredites had to have had two unknown animals; and at the time of the Nephites had to have had two unknown grains, matching the scriptural description.
    10. Must have bodies of water in the directions described, and seas must indeed be seas, not rivers (i.e., there are six major seas mentioned, north, east, south and west, Ripliancum and the one that divides the land).
    11. If radio carbon (C-14) dating is used, it must be of hard evidence, i.e., significant buildings and structures as described in the scriptural record. Standard archaeological and anthropological condepts of diffusion, guesses, beliefs, normal archaeological developments, etc., simply do not meet Jaredite, Nephite and Mulekite development in the Land of Promise since they arrived as already coming from highly advanced societies.
    12. If one is going to use historical factors (i.e., Olmec as Jaredites), then their time frame and location must match the scriptural record (i.e., Olmecs lived in their Land Southward contrary to the Jaredite record).
    13. There can be no changing the scriptural record. (i.e., people cannot be added that are not recorded; events recorded cannot be eliminated, ignored, or claimed to be in error; Mormon’s writing, as it was translated, is to be considered accurate (i.e., the only true way to do this is to take the actual descriptive statements in the scriptural record and list them without altering, changing, or having to explain away their meaning in order to achieve a match).
    In the 31 major descriptions in the chart above, this is what has been done in the following comparisons. Mormon’s descriptions are listed along with the scripture reference. And in order to make it crystal clear, 1) the scripture is listed; 2) the descriptions used elsewhere is then listed; and 3) the matching description in Andean South America is shown.
    Once again, any disagreement has to be with the scripture and its relationship to a specific model, not just with Andean South America. In addition, comparisons must be factually shown, not just something one thinks, believes, states.
    This effort is meant to try and eliminate emotional attitudes, beliefs, stubborn opinions, etc., and bring everything under the point it should be and, frankly, seldom is—the scriptural reference.
    The 31 descriptions are and will be listed below and the following posts until all are covered:
    • Scripture: “we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land. And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days” (2 Nephi 18:8-9).
    Elsewhere: Despite claims to the contrary, direct ocean currents from southern Arabia for a “drift voyage” (dependent only on winds and currents) do not move eastward toward Indonesia, nor through Indonesia to Malay, nor outward into the Pacific, toward the Western Hemisphere. The early ”so-called” trade routes were not drift voyages, but coastal voyages requiring setting in at night, which would have made the “great storm” (1 Nephi 18:13-15) impossible along the coast where the ship would have been demolished being blown into the shore.
    Andes, South America: coastal waters from southern Arabian Peninsula moves outward into the Sea of Arabia, the Indian Ocean, and into the Southern Ocean, then across the sea to the east in the West Wind Drift and with the Prevailing Westerlies, until the Humboldt Current moved the ship northward along the Chilean coast to where the currents died down to a minimum at 30º south latitude and a ship could be steered into shore.
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24).
    Elsewhere: Seeds from the Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem in 600 B.C. would have only grown in another Mediterranean Climate, especially “exceedingly” and providing an "abundant" crop. Only five such Climates exist outside the Mediterranean: South Africa, two southern tips of Australia, central/southern California, and La Serena, Chile.
    Andes, South America: A Mediterranean Climate exists in La Serena and Coquimbo Bay, 30º south latitude in Chile, where winds and currents would have taken him and where Lehi could have landed.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part II,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Lands of First Inheritance

There are three lands given the label “Land of First Inheritance” in the scriptural record, one references the Lamanite land of first inheritance, a second the Nephite land of first inheritance, and the other references the Jatedite land of first inheritance. One of the problems is that some historians and Theorists get these mixed up or consider at least two of them the same. 
When Lehi landed, they “went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land” (1 Nephi 18:23). Here Nephi made plates of ore and recorded the record of his people (1 Nephi 19:1), he taught his brothers (1 Nephi 19:22), answered their questions about the Brass Plates (1 Nephi 22:1, ending with 22:31). Afterward, Lehi preached to his family (2 Nephi 1:1), and prophesied (2 Nephi 1:6), and blessed his family (2 Nephi 2:1, ending 3:25), afterward, Lehi died (2 Nephi 4:12).
    At this time, Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael became angry with Nephi (2 Nephi 4:13), and sought to kill him (2 Nephi 5:2, 4), and the Lord told Nephi to leave and flee into the wilderness, taking all those who would go with him (2 Nephi 5:5). Nephi’s little party traveled for “many days” before settling down and pitching their tents (2 Nephi 5:7) in a place they called “Nephi.”
After planting a first crop along the seashore, Nephi planted a second crop in the area of his City of Nephi
    The time frame of these events is suggested to have lasted perhaps no more than a year, because after planting and harvesting in the area of their landing (1 Nephi 18:24), it appears they planted a second crop in this new area they later called the “City of Nephi” where "they planted again", as Nephi said, “And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind”  (2 Nephi 5:11, emphasis mine).
    The area of first landing became the land of the Lamanites, where Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael remained after Nephi left. This is verified later when the Lamanites are being described as “knowing nothing concerning the Lord, nor the strength of the Lord, depending upon their own strength,” and were a “wild and ferocious and blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers” (Mosiah 10:11-12), and this tradition is that they had been wronged in Jerusalem, wronged in the wilderness, wronged crossing the sea, and “they were wronged while in the land of their first inheritance, after they had crossed the sea” (Mosiah 10:13), Because “they [the Nephites] had taken the ruling of the people out of their [the Lamanite] hands” (Mosiah 10:15).
Mormon referred to this area of first landing as “on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 22:28). Thus, the Lamanites’ fathers, whose fathers were Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael, obtained the landing at the seashore as the land of their first inheritance.
    Later, Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael, or their children (people) followed Nephi northward with whom there were contentions and battles among the Nephites and Lamanites. As Jacob tells us, Nephi wielded the sword of Laban in the defense of his people (Jacob 1:10).
    From this time forth, the Lamanites (Lamanites, Lemuelites and Ishmaelites [Jacob 1:13]) did “seek to destroy the people of Nephi” (Jacob 1:14; Enos 1:24; Jarom 1:7; Omni 1:2, 10, 24).
    After some 350 years or so, the righteous Nephites in the Land of Nephi and the City of Nephi, were warned of the Lord and under the leadership of Mosiah, left the land and traveled northward to discover the Land and people of Zarahemla (Omni 1:12).
    Not long afterward, a group of Nephites in Zarahemla “who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of Nephi; for there was a large number who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance” (Omni 1:27). When that group failed, a man named Zeniff took control “begin over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers,” and collected as many as were desirous to go up to posses the land” (Mosiah 9:3). That is, the Nephites in Zarahemla considered the land of their first inheritance to be the land in the area of the City of Nephi, having lived there for more than 350 years.
    This is verified later, when this Zeniff, the leader of those who went back to claim this land and the City of Nephi, sought a man among them who was familiar with the “land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance,” that he could become a spy among the Lamanites and see to their intentions (Mosiah 9:1).
Once they succeeded, Zeniff tells us “And it came to pass that we did inherit the land of our fathers for many years” (Mosiah 10:3). This same understanding is seen two generations later when Limhi, Zeniff’s grandson, states: “Behold, I am Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who came up out of the land of Zarahemla to inherit this land, which was the land of their fathers, who was made a king by the voice of the people” (Mosiah 7:9).
    It is also verified when Moroni answered the letter of the Lamanite king Ammoron about exchanging prisoners (Alma 54:1), where both Moroni and his armies (Alma 52:15), and Ammoron and his Lamanite armies (Alma 52:2; 54:6) were all in the Land of Zarahemla. Angered at Ammoron’s belligerence, Moroni threatens him with God’s justice and the sword of his almighty wrath unless he “withdraw your armies into your own lands, or the land of your possessions, which is the land of Nephi” (Alma 54:6), and if Ammoron would not, Moroni would “come against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance” (Alma 54:12).
    Thus, the Land of Nephi was the land of the Nephite’s first inheritance. Moroni goes on to say, “I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first inheritance” (Alma 54:13).
    There is no mention of a land of first inheritance for the Mulekites (people of Zarahemla). When they learned that “the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13), they joined and became numbered with the Nephites. Thus, the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king” (Omni 1:19).
    The other land of First Inheritance was given to the Jaredites, within the Land Northward, where their barges first landed. This is referred to as the Land of Moron (Ether 7:5), which was where the king dwelt (Ether 7:6), and later, when Shule defeated the king (Ether 7:9), he later lost part of the land to Cohor, who “did obtain the land of their first inheritance” (Ether 7:16).
    However, the Jaredites lost this land of first inheritance when Coriantumr died, for he would only lived to see “another people receiving the land for their inheritance” (Ether 13:21).