Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Error of H38

It is true that many theorists misplace the various seas mentioned in the Book of Mormon, like moving the Sea West to the south (Joseph Allen), or Sea West to the east of the Sea South (Richard Hauck and V. Garth Norman), or the Sea South to east of the Sea East (Phyllis Carol Olive), and numerous others, but in the same token, it is just as silly to move the Sea South to the middle of the Land of Promise (Arlin Nusbaum).

First of all, the seas mentioned in the scriptural record are directional seas, that is, they denote a direction. Therefore, the sea must be placed in the direction of their name. Secondly, since the Land of Promise was an island (2 Nephi 10:20), these seas must be connected, forming one total sea around the island. This is obvious in the statement made by Jacob and recorded by Nephi: “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” (2 Nephi 10:20). Let’s take a look at this statement:

1. “we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance,” which obviously means the Land of Jerusalem (1 Nephi 1:4; 2 Nephi 2:2-3).

2. “but we have been led to a better land,” which obviously is the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:23).

3. “for the Lord has made the sea our path,” which obviously refers to the ocean over which the Lehi Colony sailed to the Land of Promise in Nephi’s ship, called Irreantum when they sailed (1 Npehi 17:5).

4. “and we are upon an isle of the sea,” which obviously can mean only that the Land of Promise was an island at the time Jacob made this statement. In addition, since the sea was their “path,” and they were led to this “better land,” and that land was “upon an isle of the sea,” it must be concluded that they set sail on an ocean at one point and landed upon the Land of Promise on that same ocean at another point.

Therefore, it must needs be that the Land of Promise was on an ocean (the word sea meant ocean in Joseph Smith’s time according to Noah Webster’s 1828 “American Dictionary of the English Language”), and that ocean was the same one into which they set sail (1 Nephi 18:6,8), which sea was called “Irreantum” by Lehi, which meant “many waters” (1 Nephi 17:5). Thus, the ocean (Arabian Sea) they set sail upon, must also be connected to the sea that surrounded the Land of Promise island. This is obvious by looking at any map, for the Arabian Sea is part of the Indian Ocean, which is part of the Southern Ocean, which is part of the Pacific Ocean, which surrounded the Land of Promise island.

Thus, since the Land of Promise was an island, and the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla (obviously including the Land of Bountiful) were nearly surrounded by water except for the Narrow Neck of Land (Alma 22:32), there had to be a sea in every direction—west, east, and south. And including the Land Northward, a north sea.

In the scriptural record, we find two indications of very large bodies of water. First, bordering Bountiful (1 Nephi 17:5), and the second in the north of the land Northward (Ether 15:8). One indication is Irreantum “many waters” and the other is Ripliancum “to exceed all,” both of which describe an ocean that would appear unending to those who stood on its shores or sailed upon it. And since the Land of Promise was an island, the “to exceed all” water in the north was part of the Irreantum “many waters” where the ship was launched.

And to make sure we have no doubt that Jacob meant that the land of Promise was an island, he also said, “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).”

Now this brings us to the so-called H38 Virus. As described by its creator, the H38 Virus “is looking for a single body of land surrounded by four bodies of water. It is particularly aggressive against models with a larger northern body of water. Here is an example of what the H38 Virus is seeking to remove from Book of Mormon Geography models:”

According to the website, the H38 Virus stands for Helamn 3:8 which says: ”And it came to pass that they did multiply 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).”

See the previous post, “Lehi's not Ether's Land of Promise – Part IV,” to see how H38 misinterprets the cornerstone scripture of their entire argument.

However, more for humor sake than anything else, the Land of Promise and Land Northward shown in “Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica,” also can be considered to have a Sea South, though it is doubtful the Nephites ever called it such.

Concluding with the H38 website, the author’s personal profile ends with: "Every man and woman who ever testified of the truthfulness of that book will be judged by what they did with it." –Arlin

I couldn’t agree more! —Del

(See the next post, “There is But One Land of Promise in the Book of Mormon,” to see how erroneous it is to think that the Land Northward was more special than the Land Southward)

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