Comment #1: “I have studied much about the different ideas of where the Book of Mormon took place and keep coming up with new ideas and names. Knowing that there are in the neighborhood of 25 ideas about the location. Will you give me a short answer as to the geography of Book of Mormon lands as it relates to Lehi and his group as you see it. Then I will take the dive and purchase your book” Petri1gc.
Response: Hmmm, 35 years research in one paragraph. Well, Nephi’s ship was driven forth before the winds, the ocean currents and winds blew south off the Arabian Peninsula, taking Nephi’s ship to the south and then southeast in the counter-clockwise South Indian Ocean Gyre, then into the Southern Ocean heading due east until hitting the Humboldt Current moving up the west coast of South America to the Tropic of Capricorn around the 30º South Latitude where the winds and currents die down and allow a simple landing for a ship “driven forth before the wind,” allowing a landing in the Bay of Coquimbo at La Serena, Chile.
This is where the Mediterranean Climate provided the abundant growth of the seeds “they brought from Jerusalem,” also a Mediterranean Climate area. After Lehi’s death (1-3 years later), Nephi flees northward, eventually reaching the area of present day Cuzco, building his city, Temple, and fortress to defend himself against his brothers and the sons of Ishmael (Lamanites) at the area known today as Sacsayhuaman, where the ancient foundation of a tall tower (built by king Noah next to the temple) can still be seen (it was still standing at the time of the Spanish conquest). The rest of the Book of Mormon takes place mostly between Cuzco and Lima (Pachacamac—Zarahemla), and north to Cajamarca (Bountiful), with the Gulf of Guayaquil the area of the narrow neck of land. This is all spelled out in great detail in the first book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica. The Jaredites and their barges and landing are covered, along with those who went north in Hagoth’s ships and where they landed, etc., are covered in the second book, Who Really Settled Mesoamerica; the third book, Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican & Other Theorists, deals entirely with all the other Land of Promise theories and comparing each to the scriptural record, using the theorists own statements and comparisons. The fourth book, Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths, shows why the Earth is not 4.55 billion years old, and covers numerous scientific “facts” that are incorrect and why, based on scientific principles and scientists’ research and statements (you never hear about), to show that the Book of Mormon is correct, both scientifically and historically.
Comment #2: “Your idea of South America being underwater is too far-fetched for me. This makes your entire theory wrong as far as I’m concerned” Hamilton R.
Response: Either you haven’t been reading all that has been printed on this subject, or you simply know nothing about geology. Take for instance, above all we’ve written, the so obvious sequence of erosional marine terraces along the western South American coast.
Typical sequence of erosional marine terraces: 1) low tide cliff/ramp with deposition, 2) modern shore (wave-cut/abrasion) platform, 3) notch/inner edge, modern shoreline angle, 4) modern sea cliff, 5) old shore (wave-cut/abrasion) platform, 6) paleo-shoreline angle, 7) paleo-sea cliff, 8) terrace cover deposits/marine deposits, colluvium, 9) alluvial fan, 10) decayed and covered sea cliff and shore platform, 11) paleo-sea level I, 12) paleo-sea level II
It is a well known fact that tectonic forces played a central role in the uplift of marine terraces along the Ecuadorian and Colombian Pacific coasts. Sandy terraces in southern Ecuador have been eroded by numerous small seasonal streams, leaving small areas of alluvial soils (Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Vol 5, Middle America, ed Peter N. Peregrine and Melvin Ember, Yale University, 2001, p269). When the continent tilted in the west from the subduction of the tectonic plates, it created Pacific coastal marine terracing, i.e., raised beach or perched coastline of relatively flat, horizontal or gently inclined surface of marine origin, mostly an old abrasion platform which has been lifted out of the sphere of wave activity (sometimes called "tread"), creating on the Atlantic side a wetland vegetation supplemental area of submerged and emergent vegetation along the low-energy coastline of the Amazon Basin.
Left: The terraced Pacific coast of Ecuador; Right: The submerged wetland Atlantic coast of Brazil
Comment #3: "You wrote about Nephi's ship having to reach the sea from the inlet where he built it through the currents, etc., and how difficult it could be and why it was important to have the two mountain cliffs on each side. I never understood what you meant until I saw a movie this week called "The Finest Hours" that showed a small powerboat trying to get out past a sand bar in a storm. That was so graphic that I now realize what you keep writing about that ships can't go just anywhere" Diana T.
Response: Generally speaking, you get the idea. The Chatham sand bar in Massachusetts is an extremely long sand bar and the Chatham Lighthouse is necessary to warn of the hazard to incoming shipping; the Coast Guard Motor Life Boat Station is necessary because the sand bar changes and moves about from the impact of strong ocean waves, especially when a stiff east wind (heading inland) is blowing. When moving out to sea from Chatham Harbor and Pleasant Bay (just south of Aunt Lydias's Cover) it can be a difficult maneuver, especially when a storm is blowing. In fact, there is always a duty Surfman standing in the front door with binoculars in hand watching the bar and studying the wave patterns, just in case. Before the lighthouse was built, and for sometime afterward, the Surfman would walk the beaches of Cape Cod slinging a lantern and trying to keep his Coston signals dry beneath his oil skins in case he spotted a stricken vessel. A Surfman from the other direction would also walk his beaches, typically a three mile distance in between Life Stations, where they would meet and exchange notes on the waves and Surfman checks, before retracing their earlier route; However, the Cape Cod situation is far worse than what we were referring to in our article, yet there can be similar dangers trying to crest the waves coming shoreward over sand bars and troughs as the article suggested, especially in a sailing vessel without power. By the way, the halfway houses (Life Stations of the Life Savings Service) are gone now, replaced by radios, telephone lines and mechanized vehicles.
One of the old Life Stations, called Halfway Houses and named when in use "The North Patrol House," and though originally sat on the beach below the foot of Holway Street, it was moved closer toward Chatham Light at the foot of Water Street, and still stands today, located on Forest Beach road. The Chatham Lighthouse is shown in the movie 'The Finest Hours' you mentioned (an excellent and extremely intense story based on a true incident that took place in 1952—and for all those readers who have such a readiness to accept Lehi sailing and landing just about anywhere they choose, the movie shows weather patterns, currents and winds and how difficult they are to go against even in a 37-foot power launch)
Comment #4: “You seem to think that the term used in the promise to Lehi “a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands” (2 Nephi 1:5)” has to do with a land far larger than the United States, which can only be so described” David S.
Response: One of the problems we make is thinking the Lord thinks in the same scope as we do, and that the early history of people covers the same land masses and concepts we have today. Both thoughts and approaches are in error. From the time of Noah down to Lehi, a period of about 1700 years, the world only knew of the land masses of Europe, Asia and Africa. That was the world. Those were the countries of the world, the people of the world, the governments of the world—nothing else and nowhere else existed.
At that moment in time, the Lord opened the eyes of people through Lehi of an entirely new world existing halfway across the oceans which he had preserved “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land, it became a choice land above all other lands” (Ether 13:2). That land, what we call “the Americas” today, or the Western Hemisphere, was unknown to anyone (other than the Jaredites in complete secrecy) and held no place in the knowledge of all men at the time.
By 1820, its origin and first settlers were still basically unknown to man, leading Moroni to tell Joseph Smith of a record, “giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang” (JS 1:34). That is, ”this continent,” as opposed to the “old continent,” or old world, or Asia (Middle East), etc.