Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sea That Divided the land Part II – The Death Knoll to H38

As stated in previous posts, Arlin Nasbaum, creator of the highly flawed and totally inaccurate H38 Virus idea, bases his entire concept on Helaman 3:8 which reads: “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.” He also claims this Sea South is the same as the sea mentioned in “where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10:20).

First of all, as mentioned in the last post, in English, an article is used in a specific manner to introduce a noun, or state a noun that is already known, and is not possessive (“our,” “my,” “Paul’s,” etc.) This is called using “Indefinite or Definite Articles with Nouns.” An indefinite article “a” (an) is used for previously unknown nouns that are being introduced into a dialogue or story, and a definite article “the” is used for nouns that have already been introduced. The premise is simple—when reading what someone else has written, it is quickly apparent whether a noun has been previous introduced or whether this is the first time the noun has been mentioned. This allows the reader to know if a new item is meant, or one already discussed is meant.

In simple grammar, the following is used to clarify this point: “I saw a cat. The cat was sitting on a fence. The fence was painted white. The cat jumped off the fence when it saw a mouse. The mouse ran toward a hole when it saw the cat. The hole was very close, so the cat did not catch the mouse.”

Note that in each case when a noun is first mentioned, the indefinite article “a” is used to introduce it for the first time, then the definite article “the” is used thereafter for that noun.

Thus, when reading the scriptural record of the geography of the Land of Promise, we should be able to see this rule in effect. That is “a” (an) when first introduced or mentioned, and “the” when it is already discussed and known.

As an example, when first introduced it is called “a land of promise“ (1 Nephi 2:20), but thereafter called “the land of promise” (1 Nephi 4:14; 5:5). When the Liahona is first introduced into the record, it is described as “a round ball,” then mentioned as “the ball” (1 Nephi 16:10). When Nephi’s ship is first mentioned, it is “a ship” (1 Nephi 17:8), and the next statement calls it “the ship” (1 Nephi 17:9; 18:5). On the sea, there arose “a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest” (1 Nephi 18:13), called thereafter “the tempest” (1 Nephi 18:14), and “the storm” (1 Nephi 18:21).

Thus, when we read “where the sea divides the land,” we should recognize this sea is not newly being introduced, but is already known, if not mentioned directly. That is, the other part of the rule of using indefinite or definite articles to introduce a noun is: “already known or is assumed to be known at the point of introduction to the conversation.” That is, the definite article “the” is used, even though the noun following has not directly been previously introduced, but when the noun is already known or assumed to be known.

Thus, when Nephi writes of the Lord for the first time, “having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days” (1 Nephi 1:1), he uses the definite article since the noun “Lord” is already known. Or “prophesying unto the people” (1 Nephi 1:4), “people” can be assumed from the previous introduction of “king of Judah” and “at Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 1:4).

So when Moroni wrote “where the sea divides the land” he is referring to a sea already introduced and known, that is, the “East Sea,” “West Sea,” “North Sea,” or “South Sea.” So the only question, which of these seas is being assumed to divide the land. Here we already know that the narrow neck of land is bordered on the west and on the east by seas (Helaman 50:34), as well as on the south because the Land Southward is nearly surrounded by water (Alma 22:32), and that the sea on the west had some type of inlet or bay large enough for a shipyard and many ships to be built and launched into the West Sea (Alma 63:5-8). So it stands to reason that the sea previously introduced would be the West Sea. It would not, of course, be the South Sea, since that sea would be along the southern seashore of the island of the Land of Promise creating an island (2 Nephi 10:20).

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