Thursday, September 15, 2011

Where the Events of the Book of Mormon Took Place – Part VI

Continuing with the article by Matthew Roper and John L. Sorenson, discussed in the last five posts, some of their points about the shape and size of the Land of Promise need further discussion and understanding. In their article, speaking of the Land Northward, they wrote:

“The climate throughout the entire territory was relatively warm, at least as far as the text indicates. While we read of extreme heat, there is no hint of cold weather or snow.”

First of all, we do not know what the climate was “throughout the entire territory,” let alone try to claim it was relatively warm.

There are only two specific comments about weather or climate, and both indicate heat—but those two comments are restricted to the Land Southward (Alma 46:40), and to the east coastal area of the Land Southward (Alma 51:33). We are never told what the weather was like in the Land Northward, nor along the west coastal area of the Land Southward.

The first is indicated in connection with fever and the plants the Lord prepared to cure fever. “And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land -- but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate “ (Alma 46:40). This suggests that the heat in the land was only during a particular season (some seasons means more than one, probably meaning all four, which suggests that only one of the seasons was it particularly hot, nor does it imply extreme heat.)

The word season relating to periods of time means either 1) “A time of some continuance, but not long,” or 2) “one of the four divisions of the year.” In either case, this would not be continual, but broken up in time frames. Thus, fevers (typically from hot, humid weather, were frequent at some seasons of the year, but obviously not all year long—therefore, the heat period did not last all year long, but was limited to a season, meaning either during the summer, or during the “heat season.”

In the second reference, (Alma 51:33), heat is mentioned in connection with long military marches. But nowhere does it imply that the heat in season lasted longer than a season—“a time of some continuance, but not long.”

It is obvious that Mesoamerican theorists want to claim a continual heat season since that is the weather condition of their Land Southward in Guatemala, which is described as: “The tropical climate zone encompasses areas between sea level and roughly 3,300 feet of altitude. The climate of these lowlands is indeed tropical, i.e. hot and humid day and night, year round.”

However, this is merely another indication that the Land of Promise was not in Mesoamerica since not even the weather matches.

The article also goes on to claim: “Near the east sea a relatively small area of hills was located no great distance northward from the narrow pass. The final battleground of the Jaredites (at ‘the hill Ramah’) and of the Nephites (at the same hill, called by them ‘the hill Cumorah’) was in this area.”

This area, according to Sorenson’s map shows that the Land of Cumorah is over 250 miles east and south of the Land of Many Waters, yet Mormon describes the two places are the same: “And I, Mormon, wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites, and desired of him that he would grant unto us that we might gather together our people unto the land of Cumorah, by a hill which was called Cumorah, and there we could give them battle. And it came to pass that the king of the Lamanites did grant unto me the thing which I desired. And it came to pass that we did march forth to the land of Cumorah, and we did pitch our tents around about the hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains; and here we had hope to gain advantage over the Lamanites” (Mormon 6:2-4). Thus, Sorenson’s map is off in locating both Cumorah and the land of Many Waters.

Obviously, then, Sorenson’s statement about Cumorah being: “located no great distance northward from the narrow pass,” is not accurate.

This is just another of the numerous occasions where Sorenson’s statements and map fall far short of the scriptural record in his attempt to justify his model of Mesoamerica for the Land of Promise.


  1. What about the clothing of the Lamanites (wearing loin cloths)? Wouldn't that account for the weather to some degree?

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