Thursday, March 24, 2011

Theorists’ View of Where the Mulekites Settled – Part III

In an article that appeared on the Maxwell Institute website (the first paragraph was covered in the last post), the following statement appears:

“The Mulek party is reported to have first arrived in the land northward (see Helaman 6:10), then some of their descendants “came from there up” to where the Nephites found them, in and around the city of Zarahemla on the upper Sidon River (Alma 22:30–31; see Helaman 6:10).”

Since the Land of Zarahemla was “down” from the Land of Nephi (Alma 27:5;51:11;57:15), and that the city was basically where they landed and had always dwelt (Omni 1:16), the term “came up from there” to where the Nephites found them, is both inaccurate and disingenuous. Zarahemla would have been much lower than the inland area of the City of Nephi and the Land of Nephi, and actually along the coast, there would be nothing lower than their sea level altitude.

As for first arriving in the Land Northward, this again is inaccurate. There have been several posts on this issue here, so briefly, the point being that the quoted scripture, Alma 22:30, says: “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, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing.”

Now, Mormon, who is injecting this statement into Alma, is writing from a vantage point in 385 A.D., about 972 years after the Mulekites landed, and about 600 years after the Mulekites joined with the Nephites and were called Nephites from that point on—therefore, the people of Zaraemla would have been Nephites to him. In addition, the 43-man expedition sent to find Zarahemla by Limhi and became lost and wandered into the Land Northward, were made up of Nephites who had gone back to the Land of Nephi “to inherit the land.” None of the people involved in Mormon’s statement would have been Mulekites.

In addition, the actual wordage of the description has to do with the Jaredite lands, not the Mulekites. That is: “it being so far northward that it came to the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, it being the place of their first landing” has reference to the Jaredites. The inserted thought: “of whose bones we have spoken” has reference to a verification of the Jaredites—that is, these bones had been mentioned orreferenced before in Mosiah and in Alma, and here Mormon is merely reminding the reader who inhabited this Land Northward, that is, a land that had been “peopled and been destroyed.” What people had been destroyed? The people whose bones lay scattered across the land—bones and destruction that has been earlier introduced in other passages. Mormon then adds, “who were discovered by the people of Zarahemla” to make certain the reader knows what people are being discussed.

If we were to read “The Pilgrims sailed so far west they came to America, it being the place where they planted crops that did not grow, and were saved by food from the Indians, it being the place of their landing” we would not confuse the fact that it was the Pilgrims who landed there, not the Indians. However, in Mormon’s statement, we are not familiar with the history of these two groups sufficient to read the passage as written. So we also have the verification of Amaleki that they landed where Mosiah found them at Zarahemla.

Also, as covered in earlier posts, Helaman 6:10 refers to a division of the Land Southward, for Mulek was led into the Land North (Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Bountiful), and Lehi into the Land South (Land of Nephi and First Inheritance). That is, Mulek was led into the Land of Zarahemla and Lehi into the area of First Inheritance.

As for the upper Sidon River, this river is to the east of Zarahemla. The Mulekites would have landed along the seashore and probably did not know of the River Sidon until they began “journeying in the wilderness” as Nephi did.

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