Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brandley’s Map-Final Comments

To summarize Theodore Brandley’s map of his Land of Promise in North America, we need only compare, in addition to the last seven posts, some of his locations with how they are described in the scriptural record:

1. Alma 50:13 states: “And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.”
It can easily be seen in Brandley’s map that the City of Moroni is nowhere near the Land of Nephi, in fact, he has it to the east of the Land of Nephi, more than 1000 miles away when it should be “on the south by the line of possessions of the Lamanites.” But Brandley has no line of possession of the Lamanites anywhere in the vicinity, and certainly not anything to the south that was occupied by the Lamanites!
2. Helaman 4:6-7 states: “And the Nephites and the armies of Moronihah were driven even into the land of Bountiful; And there they did fortify against the Lamanites, from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day's journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country.”
Heleman is describing a battle or series of battles between the Lamanites and the Nephites in which the Lamanites drove the Nephites northward into the Land of Bountiful. At this point, the Nephites dug in their heels and made a stand, “fortifying from the west sea, even unto the east.” However, since Brandley’s map has the Land of Nephi to the WEST of the Land of Bountiful, it would not be possible to fortify a line form the West Sea (which is to the south) toward the east to stop the Lamanite advance.

3. Omni 1:12-13 states: “I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness -- And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness, until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.”
On Brandley's Map, Mosiah would have traveled about 500 miles to reach the city of Zarahemla, some 350 miles of that on basically level ground

One of the things you cannot do and maintain credibility is create a Book of Mormon city in an ancient location that does not meet scriptural description. When Amaleki, who was with Mosiah when he discovered Zarahemla, said they “came DOWN into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla,” we have to find Zarahemla in an area where someone traveling from the Land of Nephi would “come down” to reach it. Along the path from the area where Brandley places the City of Lehi-Nephi (around Loredo, Texas), there is no high ground at all on the way to his Zarahemla, at Poverty Point, Louisiana, some 500 miles to the east and a little north. 

Loredo sits at 438 feet elevation. Along that general route, you have Mathis, Texas, at 161 feet, Beeville, Texas, at 210 feet, Victoria, Texas, at 95 feet, Houston, at 43 feet, Beaumont, Texas, 16 feet, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 13 feet, Alexandria, Louisiana, 75 feet, and Monroe, Louisiana, 75 feet, to finally Poverty Point, about 100 feet. In fact, no matter how you come into Poverty Point, you do not “come down” to it. To the north is Oak Grove, 121 feet, Epps to the west at 98 feet, Delta to the south at 89 feet, Transylvania to the northeast at 98 feet, and Tallulah to the southeast at 85 feet. 

The point of this is that Mosiah left the Land of Nephi and “came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.” According to Brandley’s map, if Mosiah left the City of Lehi-Nephi, and traveled through southern Texas and western Luisiana, it would not have been possible to “come down into the land of Zarahemla” as shown by the elevations listed above. Yet, the scriptures are full of references to the Lamanites “coming down” to the Land of Zarahemnla: Alma 51:13; 53:10,12; 56:3,25; 57:15-16,28-30; 62:7; 63:15; Helaman 1:15,17; 4:5; 6:4; Mormon 3:7-8; 4:17,19. Brandley’s map does not allow for the Land of Nephi to be at a significant higher level than his Land of Zarahemla.

4. Alma 22:31 states: “And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.”

Brandley's Narrow Neck does not match the scriptural record which states this neck was used as a passage from the south to the north, but the Delmarva Peninsula does not connect to any land to the south

These are the animals described in Ether 9:31-34, which fled into the Land Southward. This is also described in Ether 10:19-21, which states: "And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed. Wherefore they did go into the land southward, to hunt food for the people of the land, for the land was covered with animals of the forest. And Lib also himself became a great hunter. And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land. And they did preserve the land southward for a wilderness, to get game. And the whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants.” Consequently, we can see that the animals fled into the Land Southward through the narrow neck of land “by the place where the sea divides the land” and “built a great city” and “preserved the land southward.” None of this makes any sense when looking at Brandley’s location of his narrow neck location. Nor does it make any sense that the animals would flee in only that direction when they could have fled southward in any number of areas along the west side of the Blue Ridge, and up into the mountains themselves since they are only 2,000 feet in elevation (climbs to 6,000 feet further south in the Carolinas) and mostly rolling and gently sloping hills (not like actual mountains we know in the West).

Following are images of the Water Gap through the Blue Ridge Mountains which Brandley claims is the Narrow Pass. Would  Mormon have called this landscape a Pass? And would animals have had to come through this gap where two rivers join? Why not just go up over the low, sloping hills? And would such a pass keep the Lamanites at bay?

Various views of Brandley's Narrow Pass into the Land Northward. There is never a mention of a river connected with the narrow pass; however, there is a Sea mentioned which does not exist here: "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)

5. Alma 50:7-8 states: “And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his armies should go forth into the east wilderness; yea, and they went forth and drove all the Lamanites who were in the east wilderness into their own lands, which were south of the land of Zarahemla. And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.”

However, Bradley’s map does not allow for either of these two points to occur. Zarahemla’s east wilderness, which is along the east seashore, does not exist in Brandley’s map; Moroni could not drive those Lamanites along the east wilderness  into their (Lamanite) own lands south of the land of Zarahemla since in Brandley’s map, the Lamanite lands are not south of the Land of Zarahemla; and the Land of Nephi could not “run in a straight course from the east sea to the west” since in Brandley’s map the Land of Nephi is north and east of the West Sea, and lies about 1000 miles west of the East Sea.

It would seem that anyone promoting a specific area and map of his Land of Promise, would at least make his map closely aligned to the scriptural record.

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