Sunday, October 23, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XIV

Continuing with Mormon’s descriptions that enable us to find and locate the Land of Promise today by understanding what was upon the land anciently. As has already been stated, certain things are relevant and even critical in using to define the location of the geographical setting of the Land of Promise, but for a true location, all of these descriptions must be included.
    In another area of scripture, we are told of a situation that looking for the outcome today, would eliminate all areas within the eastern U.S., including heartland and Great Lakes, as well as Baja and Florida as well as Malay, and that is the prophecy made while “in the eighty and sixth year, the Nephites did still remain in wickedness, yea in great wickedness, while the Lamanites did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God, according to the law of Moses” (Helaman 13:1), and in that year, “there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people” (Helaman 13:2), but the Nephites cast him out and as Samuel started to return to his own land, the Spirit of the Lord told him to return again “and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart” (Helaman 13:3). For his safety, he climbed onto the city wall and “prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart” (Helaman 13: 4).
Top: The rolling, gradually inclining mountain; Middle: The smooth, rounded type of mountain; Bottom: The sharp, sheer mountain that rises up majestically. Obviously, mountains are not the same, and the last of these mountains (bottom) is far more prominent and impressive than the others, especially when it is much higher

    At one point, Samuel yells out: “Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name,” and then he listed a number of happenings, concluding with “thus hath the Lord commanded me, by his angel, that I should come and tell this thing unto you; yea, he hath commanded that I should prophesy these things unto you” (Helaman 14:9) and then foretold that the land would be changed at the time of the crucifixion of the Lord, saying, “there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23, emphasis mine).
    From this we should understand five things:
1. The Lord was desirous that Samuel make these prophesies;
2. Before the time of the crucifixion, there were mountains in the Land of Promise;
3. At the time of the crucifixion, those mountains fell and valleys rose to become mountains that were much higher, far more prominent;
4. The rising of these new mountains would be so swift and abnormal, that the Nephites could recognize them for what they were, a sign of the Lord’s crucifixion as foretold;
5. This event of the mountains rising would be so prominent that everyone throughout the Land of Promise, including in the Land of Nephi (to which Samuel returned and preached the same message) and in the Land Northward, that all Nephites and Lamanites would witness the event and understand its fulfilling of the prophesy.
    We should also understand that this remarkable event would be so understood by its observers throughout the Land of Promise that no one would have an excuse not to understand the death of the Savior, the atonement he brought about, and his great atoning sacrifice. That is, this was not a small, local event that only a few would witness, but one that everyone throughout the land would know about about and understand--it would be undeniable! 
    So what would make newer mountains so much more prominent that those in the land would see that the new mountains were not the same as the old mountains? What would take place that those Nephites, who may not have witnessed the actual collapse of the old mountains or the raising of the new mountains,if any, could not miss the event having happened?
    One thing is for the new mountains to be much higher and sharper defined than the old mountain, which is pretty much what Samuel said. “Whose height is great,” suggests much higher mountains.
Top: The Andes rising high in the background at over 20,000 feet; in the middle is a mountain range of normal height at about 14,000 feet, and low mountains in the foreground at about 10,000 feet. Obviously, those in the far background become quite impressive, and can be seen for quite some distance from about any direction; Bottom: The sharpness of the sheer mountains as opposed to rolling hills and gradual mountain inclines of the past would also have been quite prominent

    One of the most prominent mountain ranges in the world, and certainly in the Western Hemisphere are the Andes of South America, that run from one end of the continent to the other. Andes, from a Quechua word meaning “east,” is the highest mountain range outside Asia, the longest continental mountain range in the world at about 4,300 miles in length and 430 miles wide, with its highest point at 22,841 feet, and containing the world’s highest volcanoes. It has over 50 separate volcanoes above 19,685 feet, and 25 mountain peaks over 20,000 feet. No other area in all the Western Hemisphere can boast of so many mountains “whose height is great”--by most counts, that is, in fact, well over 100!
    The Lord, through Samuel, gave the Nephites and Lamanites a sign to know when the birth of the Savior would be: “this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day. Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born” (Helaman 14:3-4). Obviously, the Lord intended for the Nephites to know with absolute certainty when the moment of his birth would be seen throughout the Land of Promise. He also gave additional insight, “And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you” (Helaman 4:5). Yet, he told them that it was not all, “there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven… ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth” (Helaman 14:6-7).
    Now, one might wonder if there was that much notice that the Lord wanted the Nephites and Lamanites to know of his birth without a doubt—and with the destruction foretold at his crucifixion and the rising of the mountains, that these signs, also, would be so significant they could not be missed. Thus, we might conclude from this that those mountains in rising to a vast height would be so spectacular and forever noticed as a sign to all people that they would hold a very prominent place in the Land of Promise. Yet, given this understanding, we find not a single theorist writes about the significance of mountains “whose height is great,” and none draw attention to the Andes of the Western Hemisphere, the only mountains of significance in this hemisphere where the Land of Promise is considered to be located.
Left: Rocky Mountain uplift of solid slab rock; Right: Andes uplift of once solid slab rock now broken up into seams and cracks

    The magnificence and prominence of the Andes is not just in their height, but also in their makeup. As Samuel predicted, “the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up; Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath” (Helaman 14:21-22).
    We need to keep in mind that the scriptures are for our benefit, for our edification, for our understanding. Yet it is interesting that when theorists get together to talk, discuss, or write about the Land of Promise, they rely so much on their own thinking and the secular history of the world rather than on the Lord’s word who, by the way, created all that we see and discuss. Seems to be he should be the one we listen to and try to understand.
    We need to keep in mind, that since a mountain is a mountain, and unless moved by the Lord, it is going to remain more or less forever, theorists who write about the Great Lakes and the Heartland or Eastern United States were there basically are no mountains, just low hills, it is hard to understand why any of these theorists keep promoting their model when it does not pass the mountain “whose height is great” qualification of the scriptural record. What is it about the scriptural record that allows theorists to pick and choose what descriptions of the Land of Promise they will accept and what they won’t?
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XV,” for more of the descriptions that should be used to verify a location for the Land of Promise)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XIII

Continuing with Mormon’s descriptions that enable us to find and locate the Land of Promise today by understanding what was upon the land anciently. As has already been stated, certain things are relevant and even critical in using to define the location of the geographical setting of the Land of Promise. We have already discussed several parts stated by Nephi and Jacob, and a couple so far by Mormon.
    Obviously, any true Land of Promise must match all of the descriptions listed in the Book of Mormon—it is not a pick and choose arrangement in selecting those that agree with your point of view and rejecting tose that do not. Any model must match all of the descriptions of the scriptural record to be considered the Jaredite/Nephite Land of Promise.
    So let us look at still another description that enables us to look more closely at a Land of Promise location is the continual use of forts, fortifications, and resorts (small fort) mentioned in the scriptural record. In the book of Alma alone, resort is used 3 times, fort l4, fortifications 8, fortify or fortified 13, and stronghold 14 times. Obviously, the existence of forts and fortifications were an important part of the Nephite landscape.
Typical of the Andean mountain top fortresses, this Kuelap Fortress ruins of the Chachapoyas culture also known as the Cloud Forest People, discovered 1843, showing its obvious defensive construction with only two entrances into the complex and those through this steep narrow pathway between stone walls where defenders could stand upon and shoot arrows down or throw stones (slings) while attackers had to negotiate this long, narrow climb

    Obviously, defense was on the mind of the Nephites throughout their 1000-year history and, except for the 200 years of their golden age following the advent of the Lord on the Americas following his crucifixion, the Nephites and Lamanites were almost constantly at war with one another. And unlike how we see things today, anciently wars or battles were fought during certain times of the year—Spring through the Fall, with a cessation of hostilities during the winter months while the Lamanites basically returned to their lands to sit out the weather at a time of the year where the weather that made fighting difficult to impossible.
    During these off times, Mormon writes that Captain Moroni “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 in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites” (Alma 48:9).
    Thus, we should find all sorts of forts, stone walls, and high-ground fortresses throughout the Land of Promise. Moroni not only dug ditches and built walls of timber for these fortress walls (Alma 49:18-22; 50:1-6), but he also built “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).
Major hilltop fortresses and walls around cities. Andean Peru has scores of such sites, all walled and built for defense—there are only open city complexes like found all over Mesoamerica without defense the issue. It is obvious that these Andean forts were built with serious defense in mind

    Obviously, these fortifications were not just wooden stockade walls that would deteriorate over time and disappear as some Theorists claim, but also built walls of stone that would not only withstand a concentrated attack by the enemy, but last for centuries.
    It should also be pointed out that the first mention of resorts is in connection with the    defector Zoramites “being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort” (Alma 48:5), suggesting that the Zoramites, having lived among the Nephites, were not only well acquainted with the strength of their cities (fortresses), stone walls, etc., but also their small forts—which can only mean that they knew about the Nephite system of warning outposts. Nor were these fortifications in just one particular area, for “Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for every city in all the land round about” (Alma 49:13; see also 50:11 and 62:42).
Perhaps nowhere else in the entire Western Hemisphere, and nowhere outside of Europe and Asia with their warring cultures, do we find an area as fortified anciently as that of Andean Peru—there is no question that these early people built for their defense against an aggressive and long-standing enemy where savage attacks seemed to have been the norm, judging from the construction of their forts and fortresses and walls that surrounded their cities

    In addition to major forts and fortresses, Mormon describes a unique type of building that appears only in Andean Peru, and that is what he called “resorts,” which is defined as “last resort or means of relief,” “a place to fall back,” “to resort to other means of defense,” “a strategy or course of action.” Mormon himself defines “resort” as a “fort.”
    While the purpose of these small forts, or resorts, is not mentioned in the scriptural record, other than they are included with the construction of defensive strongholds (Alma 52:6), it must be concluded that they served a defensive purpose in the war against the Lamanites. Thus, we might see that a resort or fort of this nature would be a small area not meant for serious defense, but an area of warning or an outpost—that is, a small military camp or position at some distance from the main force, used especially as a guard against surprise attack.” Such areas have been used where attacks were common as a means of providing an advance notice of an approaching army or military force.
These small resort forts, typically situated in mountain passes, overlooking valleys, or canyon approaches, served as an early warning system for the Nephites

    It should also be understood that the first mention of resorts is in connection with the defector Zoramites “being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort” (Alma 48:5), suggesting that the Zoramites, having lived among the Nephites, were not only well acquainted with the strength of their cities (fortresses), stone walls, etc., but also their small forts—which can only mean that they knew about the Nephite system of warning outposts. Nor were these fortifications in just one particular area, for “Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for every city in all the land round about” (Alma 49:13; see also 50:11 and 62:42).
    Obviously, any Land of Promise location must show not only erected buildings, impressive as they might be, but such fortified areas, stone walls, hillside or mountainous small forts as a remnant of a once powerful Nephite nation that withstood the constant attacks of a dedicated enemy for nearly 800 years before being finally exterminated. While there are many stone edifices in Mesoamerica, there are few fortresses and no outpost stone structures serving as lookout resorts. There are none whatever in any of the other suggested locations for the Land of Promise, except of the crudest manner. Such structures are only found in the Andean area of South America, in Ecuador, Peru and western Bolivia,and northern Chile.
    There is also a particular mention of a fortification that the Nephites built across the land to stop the advance northward of the Lamanite invasion. At this time, in 36 B.C., three years after Helaman died, the war broke out with great fervor—a war that saw the Lamanites conquering all of the Land of Zarahemla and driving the Nephites and Moronihah’s army back into the Land of Bountiful. Mormon writes: “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 fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country” (Helaman 4:7). 
For two years this war progressed as Nephite dissenters stirred up the Lamanites to battle.
So heated was the war, that the Nephites lost almost all of the Land Southward until they were driven back to a point where Moronihah had the Nephites build a fortified wall across the land in Bountiful after the army retreated northward. This fortified line was so successful, that it stopped the Lamanite advance, and the following year the Nephite army retook many parts of the land and regained many cities, which had previously fallen into the hands of the Lamanites (Helaman 4:9). The year after the Nephites gained more, even half of all their previous possessions in the Land Southward (Halaman 4:10).
    Obviously, then, this was no mere ditch or mounded earth piled up, but an impenetrable, well fortified wall that stretched across the land from the west sea eastward. Since this wall was the length of a day’s journey for a Nephite (Helaman 4:7), it obviously had some eastward terminus that was impassable by the Lamanites, such as deep canyons or steep mountains. Nor was this wall a mere temporary, quickly constructed chest-high fortification (breastwork, barricade or parapet), but a sturdy, stone wall (bulwark) that stopped the Lamanite invaders in their tracks and turned the tide of the three year war.

Top: The Great Wall of Peru, built to defend against attack from the south (right) runs parallel to the north side of the Santa Valley; Center: Pics of the actual wall, its thickness is up to three feet at the base; Bottom: the walls as it crossed the mountain passes and along the ridge

    This Great Wall of Peru, which stretches from the west coast of northern Peru near the mouth of the Santa River in what is now a large marsh, was stone and broken rocks set in mud mortar as it crossed the Santa Valley and hilly interior. It stood as high as 20 to 30 feet, with 14 stone fortresses located on hills overlooking the wall, dated to the period between 900 B.C. to 100 B.C., which should suggest to all who study the scriptural record, that any true Land of Promise must match all of the descriptions listed in the Book of Mormon—it is not a pick and choose arrangement in selecting those that agree with your point of view, but must match all of the descriptions, beginning with those discussed in these first 13 posts.
(See the next post, “So Where is the Land of Promise? – Part XIV,” for more of these descriptions as listed in the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XII

In earlier articles of this series we have covered comments made by Nephi and Jacob regarding the location and appearance of their Land of Promise. Continuing now with the many statements made by Mormon and Moroni regarding the land in order to assist us to locate the Land of Promise today. 
   Let’s start with a comment never heard from in theorists’ writing, though it is quite important, and begins our discussion with the elimination of every other place on Earth as the Land of Promise other than Andean Peru. It is found in Alma, and a simple, but straight-forward comment ignored by everyone else because it does not relate to anywhere else but the true Land of Promise.
It is a well understood fact that standing water draws mosquitoes, the precursor to fevers, particularly deadly fevers

    This is found in Alma, a statement made by Mormon for the period 72 B.C. Keep in mind that this is before the Nephites began expanding into the Land Northward, and almost all their settlements were along the west or east coast where scores of rivers flowed down from the higher elevations of the interior, creating large areas of standing water, that would have drawn mosquitoes in the hot summer months.
    Mormon mentions that “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).
The most dangerous type of killer fever was malaria in ancient Rome and played a key part in the downfall of the Empire. Ancient writers called it a zone of pestilence and people died of the fevers, and modern research indicates that the most serious type of malaria (plasmodium falciparum) ravished Rome and much of the ancient world

    In fact, various scientists and scientific journals, including Nature and National Geographic, have theorized that malaria may have killed around or above half of all humans who have ever lived. For thousands of years, traditional herbal remedies have been used to treat malaria. However, the first and only effective treatment for malaria came only when quinine was discovered, which comes only from the bark of the cinchona tree, a plant that grows only in Andean Peru. And while natives of the region had been using it far longer than a thousand years by the time the Spanish arrived, it was the Spanish who imported it back to Europe that eventually led to its stopping the endemics around the world.
    Even so, and despite all the research and the synthetics now available from quinine, and though malaria researchers have won multiple Nobel Prizes for their achievements, the disease continues to afflict some 200 million patients each year, killing more than 600,000 because certain countries have failed to take the necessary precautions of eliminating the mosquitoes and their habitats of standing water, swamps, and marshes in areas like Africa and other Third World Countries.
One hundred officers commanded malaria control units stateside and overseas during World War II, where it is claimed more soldiers died from malaria than combat when quinine supplies ran out

    So severe was the disease, that during World War II, when the United States was unable to acquire quinine from the Cinchona trees in Indonesia that the Dutch imported there in the 19th century, and due to the lack of production from the cinchona trees in the Andean areas of Peru and Ecuador, malaria became the most important health hazard encountered by U.S. troops in the South Pacific, where about 500,000 men were infected. According to Joseph Patrick Byrne (Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues, 2008) "Sixty thousand American soldiers died of malaria during the African and South Pacific campaigns.”
    Throughout history, malaria has been a serious scourge on the world’s population. Fevers causing death, or malaria, did not have a name anciently, but was the greatest fever malady the world has ever known. It was a plague on ancient civilizations from the beginning of time. In fact, we live on a malarious planet and even today, with all our advanced technology, malaria is still endemic to 106 countries, threatening half the world’s population. It is figured that this year malaria will strike half a billion people, and at least a million will die—and that is with the knowledge of mosquitoes, malaria controlling drugs and techniques known today. In the time of the Nephites, malaria was known simply as a fever that killed—the word malaria being coined much later in time from an Italian word mal’aria meaning “bad air.”
    However, fevers date back about 40 centuries. These killer fevers were well documented by the Chinese and Greeks, and even the father of medicine, Hippocrates. Not until the 17th century A.D. was quinine discovered generally, though the Andean natives had been using it for over two thousand years. It was found in the medicinal bark of the Chinchona tree, which was indigenous only to the Peruvian Andes. There, the bark had been used to not only successfully combat the fever of malaria, but a host of other diseases and maladies.
    Nowhere else on the planet was found the cinchona tree, its medicinal bark, and quinine—the only cure for malaria fevers that has ever been discovered until the 19th century when the Dutch stole starts from the Andes and planted the cinchona tree in what is now Indonesia. Only in this Andean area of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia did quinine exist anciently and naturally, a root and plant that fought both fevers and other “diseases to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.”
Left and Top Right: Cinchona pubescens or Quina is a genus of about 8 species in the family Rubiaceae, native to the tropical Andes forests of western South America; Bottom Right: The bark of this genus is the source of a variety of alkaloids, the most familiar of which is quinine, an anti-fever agent especially useful in treating malaria, and are known as medicinal plants

    It is interesting that in a subtropical area where the Lord led the Nephites, where malaria anciently was an elite killer, that he did not leave them defenseless, but saw fit to plant and have grow the cinchona tree and evidently tell them how to harvest the bark and make quinine out of it, for Mormon included Alma’s description of the plant and its properties enough for us to understand that this quinine producer not only saved the Nephites, as Mormon said, “not so many died 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.”
    In addition, because the Nephites used the quinine producing bark of the cinchona tree, the Spanish became familiar with it and ended up transporting it back to Europe where it eventually was the sole cause of so many lives saved from malaria through Europe and Asia.
    It is always interesting to see how the Lord prepares in advanced and arranges for events of one area or time to benefit those of another place or time. Consider the Jaredites bringing honey and seeds into the seashore area where they built their barges and left for the Land of Promise—centuries later the area was a veritable Bountiful full of fruit and honey as Nephi describes it “and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish” (1 Nephi 17:5). Or the animals the Jaredites brought to the Land of Promise after the Flood killed off every living thing, and through the plague of the poisonous snakes, drove animals into the Land Southward that by the time the Nephites arrived, Nephi said: “we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men” (1 Nephi 18:25). Or the crops the Pioneers planted along the way that grew to benefit the next pioneer group that passed that way.
    In the case of the fevers, knowing how men would fall prey to such disease, a cure was arranged for and few died: “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).
There was only one place in the entire world prior to the 1800s A.D. where cinchona tees and quinine to cure killing malaria fevers could be found (Map of the world from

    It is not difficult to find the location of the Land of Promise when you follow the scriptural record and look for what it tells you. When only one place in the entire world has what the scriptures tell you existed in the Land of Promise—the answer is quite simple.
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XIII,” for Mormon’s description of the buildings and their purposes found all over the Land of Promise)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XI

Continuing now with Mormon's descriptions of the land and how it was configured, and what any model and location of the Land of Promise must include, either now or at the time of the Nephite occupation. 
    As we discuss the Land of Promise from the viewpoint of Mormon, and also Moroni, who together abridged the majority of the scriptural record, and lived at a time following the golden age of the Nephites—the 200 years following the advent of Christ in America.
Mormon began commanding the army at age 16, acquiring knowledge first hand of the land’s topography, layout, configuration and elevations in preparation for leading men in battle

    We need to keep in mind that they, especially Mormon who commanded the entire Nephite army in its final battles with the Lamanites from the age of 16 to when he died at the age of 75 in the final battle at Cumorah, in almost all the battles of the final seventy years that began at the Waters of Sidon in the south, and culminated in the Land of Many Waters in the far north at the hill and land Cumorah, he walked and covered the entire Land of Promise throughout the Land Southward, and most, if not all, of the Land Northward.
    No other person can be said to have known and understood the Land of Promise as did Mormon, both as a prophet and as a field commander, understanding the layout of the land and its entire topography over which he fought and traveled those sixty years of his life.
    We also need to keep in mind that Mormon, as the final Nephite prophet (other than Moroni) was not only recording the events of those sixty years of conflict with the Lamanites, but wrote under the direction of the Spirit for a future people, and did so in order for them to understand everything that took place that he saw fit, or that the Spirit, directed him to write. As an example, Mormon tells us in Mormon 3 that he wrote to the Gentiles and house of Israel (vs 17); to the 12 Tribes of Israel (vs 18); to the Remnant of this people, that is the Lamanites (vs19); and that he wrote unto you all—every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam (vs 20), which  covers everyone of a future time--our time.
    This means that he would have done so in order to those of a future period could well understand what he wrote. And to make sure, he added points from time to time to help his future readers better comprehend what he was discussing, which is obvious in Chapter 22 of Alma, from verses 27 through 34, in which he concluded “And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron, Omner and Himni, and their brethren” (Alma 22:35). Mormon, after all, was writing under the direction of the Spirit (Mormon 3:20), and did as the Lord commanded him (Mormon 3:16), and wrote as the Spirit testified to him of things to come (Mormon 3:16).
Understanding all this, we cannot then claim that Mormon’s writing needs to be understood in light of different meanings—such as Sorenson’s different directions, for if he meant different directions, certainly the Spirit would have corrected it for the future readers through Joseph Smith’s translation (above), since God is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Nor can it be said, as so many theorists want to claim, that there were other people in the Land of Promise before and during the time of the Nephites, for not a single word is included about them; nor can it be said that the scriptural record prophets did not record things correctly, or were not fair to the Lamanites, or were only concerned with themselves, since they wrote under the Spirit and Mormon abridged their writing under the direction of the Spirit.
    Thus, what we read is the exact way the Spirit wanted us to understand Mormon’s writing, which is to say the exact way that the Lord wants us to understand Mormon’s writing and the entire scriptural record. To claim otherwise is simply to go against the written word and the meaning and purpose of the entire scriptural record.
    So with that in mind, let us see how Mormon describes the size, shape, and configuration of the Land of Promise. And as we do so, we should keep in mind what theories and writings of scholars today are inconsistent with that writing of the prophets and Mormon.
    As we have already seen, Nephi and Jacob gave us a very clear description of where they sailed and where they landed and what they found there. Now we will look at what Mormon left us in numerous descriptive details of how we can evaluate our understanding, our models, our locations for the Land of Promise against those of the man who walked it from one end to the other, and fought over it during sixty years as commander-in-chief of the Nephite armies.
In order to do this, we need to see what Mormon wrote and understand his simple land straight-forward meaning. We cannot change, alter, adjust, or ignore anything he wrote that is descriptive of the Land of Promise. Nor can we raise questions about whether or not Mormon understood the land about which he was writing. We need to understand he knew more about it, and wrote what he knew, far more than anyone today could ever know unless the Lord was to reveal more, no matter how many letters they have after their name, how many languages they speak, or how much they have studied. In other words, we need to eliminate the arguments all theorists fall back on when the scriptural record states something they want to disagree with. Our job here is not to disagree with the scriptural record, nor assume we know more than Mormon, or try to add what we think Mormon left out. If it isn’t in the scriptural record, we will not discuss it or cover it. We will rely solely on the Book of Mormon as the basis of all that we discuss, for short of a revelation to the contrary, or an official stance of the Church, all we have is the scriptural record and that is all that we will use.
    Nor will we use opinions unless they support what is written in the record, i.e., we may think that Mormon meant to say this, or that he should have said this, etc., but we cannot use any such excuse for adding, or taking away from what he wrote. We need to learn to accept the scriptural record as it was written and leave it at that. We may expand on what is already written or suggested in the scriptural record.
As an example, when it says that Samuel the Lamanite prophesied of mountains “whose height is great,” we can talk about mountains in the area of our location, about their height, etc., or what “great height” for mountains might be, etc., or something is mentioned througout the scriptural record up to the point of the changes in the land described at the crucifixion, but not mentioned afterward, and what they might, if anything mean, but not try to find some animal that is not mentioned to describe one that is mentioned that Joseph smith would have known and understood, such as a horse is a horse, not something else, etc., or where it mentions two (unknown) animals that were as useful to man as the elephant and the donkey, we can discuss what animals that might have been, but those animals must be part of our location and must fill the requirement of the scriptural reference, i.e., sloths and tapirs are not as useful to man as the elephant, nor was the buffalo or mountain goat found in any location that is considered by any theorists—they were too far west from heartland or great lakes, etc., too far north for Baja California, and did not exist in Mesoamerica or Florida, etc.
    In other words, we need to eliminate speculative opinions, and be reasonable, factual, and knowledgeable about what we write.
Now, having said all of that, we will take a look at the scriptural record that Mormon and Moroni abridged, keeping to the simple and straight-forward writing of these prophets that both had first-hand acknowledged were guided by the Spirit in their writing.
    We also need to keep in mind that the Earth is not 4.55 billion years old; the biblical account dictated by the Lord to Moses covering the period of time of the Patriarchs spells out a world, from the time of Adam leaving the Garden onward, of about six thousand years, and a period of creation, using the criteria of the scriptures that a day to the Lord is equal to a thousand years to us, then that period of time would have been approximately seven thousand years, or a total period of time of about 13,000 years. Thus, things that science claimed happened millions of years ago wold have occurred thousands of years ago, etc.
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XII,” to see what Mormon and Moroni told us about the Land of Promise by which we can evaluate any place existing today)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part X

Contining with Amaleki’s comments about the placement of the city of Zarahemla and Mormon’s description of the location of the Land of Nephi, the narrow strip of wilderness and the Land of Zarahemla. 
Using the advanced knowledge of stonework and building techniques learned from the Lord, Nephi taught his people to build buildings and work with their hands

    After Nephi settled in what they called the land of Nephi and built the City of Nephi, which later would be called the land and city of Lehi-Nephi by the Nephites in Zarahemla (Mosiah 7:1, 6). Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom and the others down until Amaleki, all lived out their lives in this area, often referred to as the land of Nephi in the scriptural record, a period of about 350 years. During that time, the Nephites built the cities of Shilom adjacent to the city of Nephi, and also the city of Shemlon—when Zeniff went back to reclaim the city of Nephi (Lehi-Nephi), he was given that city and also the city of Shilom. The city of Shemlon was retained by the Lamanites (Mosiah 7:7, 21; 9:6, 8; 19:4).
Sacsahuaman, or the City of Nephi, was built along the plateau overlooking the valley of Cuzco behind three formidable levels of zig-zag stone walls that completely blocked off the one side, with the cliff on the other, in an almost impregnable location. Note the size of the stones compared to the people in the foreground

    Now the city of Nephi (Lehi-Nephi) was built in a cup-shaped valley high up in the hills or mountains (Mosiah 7:6), and at a much higher elevation than that of the land of Zarahemla, which was on the north of Nephi (Mosiah 7:1-2; Alma 22:27-33; 50:7), and according to Mormon, was divided from the Land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness (Alma 27:14), with all three—Land of Zarahemla, the strip of wilderness, and the Land of Nephi running from the Sea East to the Sea West (Alma 22:27; 50:8, 11), although the Land of Zarahemla also contained other lands to the east, and its borders ran along the Sidon River (Alma 2:15), with the Valley of Gideon to the east (Alma 6:7).
At one time Sacsayhuaman, the City of Nephi, was so impressive, that the conquering Spanish thought it had been built by the Devil, it was so magnificent in its construction size, appearance and techniques. They tore down as much as they could, but remains are still impressive in its size and magnificence, drawing tourists from all over the world

    Now, after this lengthy period of Nephi building and expansion in what is now called the Land of Nephi, in which the Nephites had spent their entire 350 years or so, evidently not having moved to the north, into or beyond the narrow strip of wilderness, the Nephi nation began to fall away from the Church and righteous living. In fact, the Nephite had become so wicked, despite numerous wars and contentions with the Lamanites (Omni 1:10), there were only a  few righteous left, which the lord preserved and “delivered them out of the hands of their enemies” (Omni 1:7).
    Around 200 B.C. or so, Chemish, the brother of Amaron, passed the records on the small plates to his son Abinadom, who passed them on to his son, Amaleki, who described Mosiah being told to leave the city and land of Nephi and to take all those who would go with him (Omni 1:12): ”they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness, until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.” (Omn 1:13).
Now the Land of Zarahemla was an extensive area, bordering along on the north of the narrow strip of wilderness—which was evidently a mountainous region that included the headwaters of the Sidon River (Alma 22:27), which would have flowed from the south toward the north, down the mountain through the narrow strip of wilderness and past and through the lands of Zarahemla toward the north and eventually to the sea.
    Amaleki, the last of the Nephi prophets through the lineage of Jacob, with no family and a brother who had gone with Zeniff back to reclaim the lands of their inheritance in the lands of Nephi (Lehi-Nephi), ended up giving the records to King Benjamin (Omni 1:25; Words of Mormon 1:3, 10) which were later joined with the records held by Mormon (Words of Mormon 1:6), was an eye-witness to the discovery of the people of Zarahemla, which we know as the descendants of Mulek and his party which left Jerusalem and were guided by the lord to the Land of Promise, landing and settling where Mosiah found them, obviosuly along the seashore where they landed.
As Amaleki put it: “And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:16), adding, ”And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them” (Omni 1:17).
    Unfortunately, Mesoamericanists disregard this information of Mulek landing and settling where Mosiah found them because it does not fit into their Mesoamerica model and questionable secular history of the area, consequently, Mesoamrican theorists have created a scenario where Mulek landed in the Land Northward among the Jaredites (Sorenson p120), eventually traveled southward to settle the City of Mulek (Sorenson p249) along the east coast to the east of Bountiful, and then eventually some traveled to settle in Zarahemla (p249). 
    However, the fact of the matter is what Amaleki, an eye-witness to this meeting with Zarahemla and a recorder of what the chief Zarahemla told Mosiah about his history and that of his people, and the Mulektes traveled across the ocean, being led by the hand of the Lord, to land along the West Sea shore and settle there, where Mosiah found them (Omni 1:16).
How far Mosiah traveled from the city of Nephi to the city of Zarahemla, wandering in the
wilderness, “admonished continually by the word of God,” and being “led by the power of his arm,” is not known. Later, when Alma reverses that route, we are told it took him a total of 21 days to travel from the Waters of Mormon, which would have been within a day or two total from the city of Nephi, to the time he “arrived in the Land of Zarahemla” (Mosiah 24:25). Whether or not that phrase means arrived at the city of Zarahemla or just the borders of the land, is not known, so even though this is the only definitive time and distance measurement in the entire scriptural record, it too is clouded with a little questionable information. So whether or not it took 21 days, of 24 or 25, is simply not know, yet a distance factor can still be closely determined, if not exactly. Figuring 20 miles a day travel distance, times 21 days, we have a total of 420 miles; at 25 days, it would be 500 miles; consequently, we can say the distance between the City of Nephi and the City of Zarahemla is between 400 and 500 miles.
    The distance between Cuzco and Lima, or more accurately, between Sacsayhuaman (Nephi) and Pachacamac (Zarahemla) is about 600 miles. Thus, if the scriptural reference is to the borders of the Land of Zarahemla, then the further distance to the actual city, 650 miles would be just abut right. In addition, from Sacsayhuaman along the east coast (seashore when the Sea East existed) and the cities of Moroni to Lehi, Morianton, Omner, etc., where most of the Lamanite attacks were located, the distance is much shorter (from about 75 miles upwards to about 400 miles). The majority of the cities along this east coast seashore belt fall within about 100 to 200 miles of the City of Nephi. 
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part XI,” for Mormon’s descriptions of the land and how it was configured)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part IX

Continuing from the last post in which Jacob’s pronouncement of the Nephite Land of Promise being an island in the midst of the sea. 
    We can verify that by Mormon’s comment about the great expansion into the Land Northward. As he put it: “in the forty and sixth, yea, there was much contention and many dissensions; in the which there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land. And they did travel to an exceedingly great distance, insomuch that they came to large bodies of water and many rivers. Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land“ (Helaman 3:3-5, emphasis mine).
To inherit the land suggests that this land in the Land Northward had not yet been settled, in fact, the first movement into this land of Desolation and further north had only been entered six years earlier when “In this year (54 B.C.) there were many people who went forth into the land northward” (Alma 63:9).
    But when the large migration mentioned in Helaman 3:5 took place, Mormon tells us the Nephites multiplied “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.
    Such a statement would only be possible if the land was basically surrounded by water. It would be like a U.S. historian saying that Americans began to spread across the country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. While Mesoamerican and other theorists want to limit this understanding so it does not conflict with their Land of Promise models, there is no other way to read this statement except to say that the Land of Promise in Jacob and Helaman’s time was basically surrounded, or had large enough bodies of water in each of the four compass directions to make the statement of an “island” and “four seas” meaningful. Mesoamerica, as an example, is not surrounded by water—it has two coast lines of water, the north and south (Sorenson’s east and west), which makes the statement meaningless regarding Mesoamerica. The heartland of America, Meldrum’s Land of Promise, has water only in two directions, east and south; the Great Lakes, Olive’s Land of Promise, has seas in only one direction, east, unless you include the Great Lakes, then you add another direction, basically west, and in a stretch, north. But none of them, including Malay, Baja California, etc., has more than three, and Central America has only two.
    Thus, each model leaves the theorist with the need to alter the meaning of the scriptural record in both Jacob’s statement and Helaman’s statement, in order to fit their model into the Land of Promise.
    So, if one is going to find the Land of Promise, they need to identify an area that was an island in Jacob’s time and had four distinct and large seas in Helaman’s time—and none of the models suggested by either Mesoamericanists, Heartland, Great Lakes, Eastern U.S., Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Baja California, Malay, or eastern Africa, can qualify. The only area suggested to-date is Andean Peru (below), which was surrounded by water from pre-Jaredite times up to the time of the Crucifixion and the rising of the Andes Mountains as Samuel the Lamanite foretold (Helaman 14:23).
Three independent seas anciently had direct access to the Atlantic Ocean before South America rose to the surface as a continent: 1) the Pebesian Sea, with an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean to the north, and ran along the eastern edge of the Western Andean Shelf before the Andes rose majestically as Samuel the Lamanite predicted; 2) the Parananse Sea which was the northern inland portion of 3) the Paranan Sea that had an outlet to the south into the Atlantic Ocean. There was also the Amazon Sea, which was an inlet of the Atlantic that later, as the eastern coastal area tilted upward from the tectonic plate collision in the west along the Coastal Thrust Front brought the continent upward to the surface. Prior to that event, the Guiana and Brazilian Shields in the east were simply large areas of exposed Precambrian crystalline igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks that formed tectonically stable areas and were the nucleus of the continent. As the eastern coastal area tilted upward, these two shields rose to form the highland eastern coastal ranges, with the Chaco Foredeep and the Benni Foredeep both elongated sediment-filled sea-floor depressions bordering the island arc and orogenic belt during uplift.
    There were three upland areas that make up the Guiana (Guayanan) Shield in the east: 1) The Guiana Highlands; 2) The Tumucumaque Uplands, adjacent to Guiana; and 3) The Chiribiquete Plateau that runs along the northern and western rim of the overall Shield, and cover today’s eastern half of Venezuela, Guyana (British), Suriname (Dutch), French Guiana, and Amapa (Brazil). Between the two Shields (Guiana and Brazil) ran the East Portal Seaway (Amazon Sea), with the North Portal Seaway to the north (Pebesian Sea) and the South Portal Seaway (Paranan Sea), which would be where the Parana River now flows into the Rio de la Plata estuary between Uruguay and Argentina on its way to the Atlantic Ocean.
When the eastern coastal Shelf tilted upward, bringing the continent to the surface, the rush of the Parananse Sea into the Paranan Sea and then out into the Atlantic caused the opening in the eastern coastal seashore, with at least four rivers, including the Uruguay and Parana Rivers and the Rio de la Plate estuary in its wake 

    The point being, that much of South America was under water, and all geologists agree it surfaced at the time the Andes rose. Of course, science using a 4.55 billion year old Earth, claim this happened recently, but still millions of years ago. On the other hand, with the age of the Earth shown by Moses in Genesis and the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, we bring that event much closer to the present—in fact, with the understanding in Helaman of Samuel’s prophesying that at the time of the crucifixion valleys in the Land of Promise would rise up into mountains “whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23), fits these two events together and shows how the Andes came up in a matter of a few hours. Naturally, science does not accept this, but then the Lord works in ways science has yet to accept.
    It might be of interest that while this eastern part of South America, the six countries to the east of the Andes, called the countries of the Plains, with the exception of Venezuela, are those that lie wholly along the ancient part of the continent that was once underwater, other than the two shields and eastern highlands mentioned above, the fact of this lowland that was underwater can be shown even today, with the Orinoco Valley, like the Valley of the Amazon to the south, slopes slightly toward the east, and is separated from the Amazon only by the low Parime Mountains (believed by the Spanish as the home of Lake Parime, the legendary city of gold, El Dorado).
Red Arrow: Mouth of the Orinoco River; Yellow Arrow: Mouth of the Amazon River; Green Arrow, where both the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers meet

    In fact, in the western part of the valley, toward the source of the Orinoco River, it is not separated at all, the water at some seasons flowing from the Orinoco into the Amazon, and at others from the Amazon into the Orinoco, through a river that connects them. The Orinoco valley does not have forests, like the Amazon, but its plains are grassy, and called llanos. South of the Amazon, the La Plata Valleys are really one great plain, also covered with grass, though this is coarser called pampas, with the plains reaching from the Andes to the Atlantic, except where the scattered ranges of the mountains in eastern Brazil rise from them. In all three valleys, there are two season, wet and dry, and even today, during the west season the entire areas is a flood plain since the land is barely above sea level to begin with.
    As for the problem with Land of Promise theorists, as we have suggested throughout the history of this blog is in people having a pre-determined idea in their minds where the Land of Promise was located before they ever started out to write about it. Then, in so doing, have to find scriptures that validate their model and either ignore those that do not, or find a way to alter the meaning of the scriptural record that does not agree with their point of view so that it does. Thus Sorenson creates a totally new directional system for Mormon’s simple north, south, east and west; Olive ends up with a map with almost every major land area in the wrong place according to Mormon’s simple directions and descriptions; Meldrum with his Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers all running in the opposite direction from the scriptural record of the Sidon River, with Bountiful east of Zarahemla, Lamanite lands to the West of Zarahemla (no Sea West or Sea East), and Sea South to the east of Bountiful, and no mountains “whose height is great” to be found anywhere in the Great Lakes are Heartland models.
None of these areas, of course, qualify for Jacob or Helaman’s statements, nor Mormon’s numerous descriptions as each is simply stated in the scriptural record. Only that area of Andean South America, including present-day Ecuador and part of southern Colombia, Peru, Western Bolivia, and northern Chile (with a small edge of Argentina) forming this area along the Western Shelf of South America (sometimes referred to as the Andean Chain). For more information on this, see our book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica. 
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part X,” for Amaleki’s comments about the placement of the city of Zarahemla and Mormon’s description of the location of the Land of Nephi, the narrow strip of wilderness and the Land of Zarahemla)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part VIII

Continuing with this series, and moving on now to Jacob’s description of the Land of Promise, and Amaleki’s coverage of Mosiah’s move further northward. 
    We have written about Jacob’s comments several times, but we will cover it briefly here again in this series since we have new readers and it is important to keep some of this information in chronological order.
When Nephi was untied by his brothers and given back control of his ship at the tail end of the storm that threatened to capsize the vessel, he merely says: “after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it…I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm. And I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land. And after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land” (1 Nephi 18:21-23).
    As they sailed up the Humboldt (Peruvian) Current, the land came into view. Obviously, the southern end would have been noticeable, since that is basically where they landed according to Mormon, along the West Sea: “in the borders by the seashore, and 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).
    How much of the land they would have seen can only be guessed at, and whatever led Jacob to have the opinion he had of the land mass is not stated. However, forty years after leaving Jerusalem (2 Nephi 5:34), when the Nephites were settled in the City of Nephi in the Land of Nephi, after the temple “like unto Solomon’s” had been built, the people, for whatever reason, were evidently feeling that the Lord had forgotten them, that they had been cast off from their inherited lands of Jerusalem and were highly agitated over the issue.
To properly understand Jacob’s eventual remarks, we need to set the stage for a moment of what was taking place and why Jacob said what he did. First of all, during a two-day conference in the temple, Jacob arose to speak. Nephi writes: “The words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi” (2 Nephi 6:1). And these were the words of Jacob as Nephi recorded them: “Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things. Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls” (2 Nephi 6:2-3). Jacob spoke for some time, covering several points and reading from Isaiah on the Brass Plates, at one point saying, “Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever?” (2 Nephi 7:1), and eventually concluding the first day with: “And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more; but on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.”
    On the second day, Jacob again rises to speak, saying, “And now I, Jacob, speak unto you again, my beloved brethren, concerning this righteous branch of which I have spoken” (2 Nephi 10:1). During this time, Jacob adds, “this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations” (2 Nephi 10:10-12).
Obviously, Jacob is trying to ease the minds of his listeners that this land upon which they now lived is not only a land the Lord knows and that they have not been forgotten by God, but that this land is favored even over the land of the Jews. Jacob adds, “Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men” (2 Nephi 10:15), Jacob then says to answer everyone’s concern and as Nephi records, “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” and after assuring them that they Lord still knew them and where they were he adds, “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.”
    Obviously, this was not a surprise to his audience. They had been in the Land of Promise for forty years, they had built numerous buildings, at least three cities and probably more, a temple, and no doubt were well familiar with their land. So Jacob goes on: “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” (2 Nephi 10:21). Jacob is assuring his audience that they are not the only ones upon an island in the midst of the great ocean—a fact that evidently had been troubling the minds of the Nephites for some time, knowing they were on an island and well away from the mainland of Israel where God’s people lived.
    Jocob continues: “For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also. Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves -- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. (2 Nephi 10:22-23).
    Now we need to keep in mind that while numerous Land of Promise theorists with their pre-determined models do not like this idea, since their lands do not equate to an island, either now or during the time Jacob spoke this, the point is the Land of Promise was an island, it was in the midst of the ocean over which they sailed, and its accuracy and importance cannot be diminished by weak arguments of how did Jacob know this, etc. In fact, Nephi continues on after this statement with the comment: “And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time; nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written, for the things which I have written sufficeth me” (2 Nephi 11:1). Isn’t it interesting that of all the things Jacob said in a two days conference in the temple, Nephi chose to record this information—the Lord had not forgotten them, they were on an island in the midst of the sea, but were not cast off, and that this island, the Land of Promise, was a better land than Israel, and had a destiny beyond anything the Nephites could imagine.
It seems that it is time that those who truly seek to know the location of the Land of Promise stop promoting areas that do not match the scriptural record, do not follow the information the Lord’s prophets have given us as to the many descriptions of the Land of Promise.  At the time Jacob spoke and Nephi recorded, the Nephites were on an island in the midst of the sea—this is not an arguable point! No more than any comment made by a speaker at a General Conference of the Church. We call such talks scripture today! Jacob spoke not about geography, but our dealings with the Lord, and how we need to act. He concluded his comment with: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.” (2 Nephi 10:24-25).
(See the next post, “Finding Lehi’s Isle of Promise – Part IX,” for more on the island Jacob describes and Nephi records, that was the home of the Nephites)