Monday, April 18, 2011

Understanding Mormon – Part VII

Regarding the area of the Land of Promise mentioned in the last post, there would have to be certain things to find in any model. As an example, the Land of Promise would have to have:

16. Match this landing area with a narrow neck of land separating the Land Northward from the Land Southward that would be narrow enough for it to be defended against an approaching enemy as the only egress into the Land Northward. There could be no other way around this area to gain access to the Land Northward such as marching around a lake, mountain, etc.

Nor could it be so wide that a long line of defenses would have to be set up to keep an enemy from breaking through to the land beyond (the Land Northward).

Obviously, for a narrow neck to be defensible it has to be narrow enough for a military unit to be able to successfully defend it. And, it must be a single entry into the Land Northward, so the line of defense cannot be circumvented,

Thus, when Mormon writes: “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. And it came to pass that 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. Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites -- as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires” (Alma 22:33-34). Obviously, the Nephites could defend their land and keep the Lamanites from gaining the Land Northward.

“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 it came to pass that he headed Amalickiah also, as he was marching forth with his numerous army that he might take possession of the land Bountiful, and also the land northward” (Alma 51:30)

“And now, when the Lamanites saw this they were affrighted; and they abandoned their design in marching into the land northward, and retreated with all their army into the city of Mulek, and sought protection in their fortifications” (Alma 52:2).

“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).

The point of all this is simple—the narrow neck provided a small area of egress from the Land Southward into the Land Northward. It could not be circumvented—that is, an enemy could not find a way around this narrow neck to enter the Land Northward (Mormon 3:5-6). The Nephites were able to defend this narrow neck, and the narrow pass through it, with their military forces and as long as they could do this, they kept the Land Northward to themselves.

This is a very important feature of the Land of Promise since numerous battles took place here and much defense was provided to this narrow neck. The Nephites knew that as long as they could maintain it, they could keep their enemies from getting around and behind them. Such a topographical feature could not be what the Great Lakes theorists claim, nor could it be what the Mesoamerican theorists claim, nor what the Baja California theorists claim, nor what the Malay theorists claim--none of these have narrow, defensible routes from their lands southward to their lands northward. It had to be a very narrow feature that was completely defensible and provided the only way past and into the Land Northward.

Any Land of Promise model would have to have this feature as it is illustrated here.

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