Friday, March 11, 2011

Were The Jaredites All Annihilated or Were There Survivors? Part I

Mesoamerican theorists insist that the Jaredite wars of annihilation and final destruction did not include all the Jaredites, and that only a portion of them were killed, thus leaving some survivors. This belief is common among Mesoamerican Theorists because Jaredite survivors are essential to their Central America model; however the scriptures make it quite clear that all the Jaredites were destroyed except for Coriantumr and Ether in those wars, and the final, great battle.

Not withstanding the clear and concise language of that total annihilation, Hauck wrote: “One thing appears certain, however—individual Jaredites survived that war,” and also claimed there was a remnant of the Jaredites in Zarahemla with the Mulekites. John L. Sorenson claims that Jaredites lived into the Nephite era and strongly influenced their behavior, while Hugh Nibley denounces any reader who believes in this total destruction and cites numerous suggestions why there were Jaredite survivors. In fact, Nibley uses a fallacious argument to make his point that Jaredites survived among the Lamanites when he writes: “In time descendants of Jaredite hunters and robbers would combine with Lamanite riffraff, as their ancestors did with the Mulekites, and the old Jaredite stock would survive like the Nephite, as a “mixture” only (1 Nephi 13:30).”

Nibley claims his argument is supported by 1 Nephi 13:30, but that is clearly a misreading or misunderstanding of Nephi’s words. Nephi in this cited work is receiving a vision of the future of his seed and the seed of his brethren (Lamanites), that after the Gentiles, who have gone forth out of captivity (English who had been subject to King George and England) and are upon the face of the land, “which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father and his seed should have for the land of their inheritance, that the “Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of they seed, which are among thy brethren.” The seed of Nephi are, of course, the Nephites, and the seed of his brethren are, of course, the Lamanites. Consequently, there would be a remnant of Nephi’s seed (the dissenters who joined the Lamanites over the centuries in the land of promise) mixed in with the surviving Lamanites, “and this remnant…is the seed of thy father” (1 Nephit 13:34). Thus, it cannot be concluded as Nibley so often does, that Nephi meant there were Jaredites among his Nephite seed that would be mixed with his brethren, the Lamanites.

Since these and other Mesoamerican theorists claim there were Jaredite survivors, let us take a look at the actual scriptures to see if there is any indication of survivors:

The record of the final destruction of the Jaredites was made by Ether while in hiding (Ether 13:14), viewing by night the evil of the Jaredites who, scattered over the whole earth (Ether 13:17), not a single one had repented of their evil. Two years after the beginning of the final battles (Ether 13:18-20), the Lord had Ether prophesy to Coriantumr that all the kingdom and all the people, including his own family would be destroyed, "every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr," and that he should live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies about another people receiving the land of promise for their inheritance who would bury him (Ether 13:21).

The battles then resumed in earnest and "there began to be a war upon all the face of the land" and "every man" was involved (Ether 13:25). When Coriantumr was wounded, he stopped fighting for two years, but "all the people upon the face of the land" continued to fight (Ether 13:31). A terrible curse came "upon all the land" and "every man" kept his weapon in hand for the defense of his property and family (Ether 14:1-2). In the next great battle, many thousands died (Ether 14:4). Lib's brother Shiz came to power and sought Coriantumr and "overthrew many cities and he did slay both woman and children and he did burn the cities" in this pursuit (Ether 14:17), and a cry went forth throughout the land "Who can stand before the army of Shiz? Behold, he sweepeth the earth before him!" (Ether 14:18)

Now we see that with the total destruction Shiz brought upon all the land, the "people began to flock together in armies, throughout all the face of the land" (Ether 14:19), and the people were divided between Coriantumr and Shiz (Ether 14:20). And "so great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead" (Ether 14:21), and "so swift and speedy was the war that there was none left to bury the dead, but they did march forth...leaving the bodies of both men, women, and children strewn upon the face of the land" (Ether 14:22). And the land stank with the smell of the dead, "even upon all the face of the land" (Ether 14:23). Another running battle took place and Coriantumr was again wounded and, because of the tremendous loss of life on both sides, Shiz ordered his army back to camp (Ether 14:30-31). The loss of life to Coriantumr's side included nearly two million men, plus their wives and children (Ether 15:2). Totaling everyone killed, the number could be 10 to 15 million souls. And this was only Coriantumr's side in the battles. A like number among the people of Shiz may well have been killed.

(See the next post, “Were The Jaredites All Annihilated or Were There Survivors? Part II”)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts. I agree in part and disagree in part. First, I agree that "kingdom" of the Jaredites was destroyed, and along with it, their civiliation was destroyed as well.

    However, I do think that at least some of them likely survived the destruction. I disagree that their survivors had any impact in the future events involving the mulekites or nephites.