Friday, August 3, 2012

Direct Criticisms Answered-Part II

Additionally, Peter Covino on his True Book of Mormon Geography website, writes critically of this blog:

3. “The accuracy of DowDell's work is reflected by the following example of his powers of deduction: "Thus, it can be concluded that the east seashore was altered considerably and, evidently, no longer in existence, for it is never mentioned after 34 A.D." According to his logic, the seas South and North must have also mysteriously disappeared as they are no longer mentioned either. Apparently, the H38 Virus is capable of not only rearranging seas but of erasing them also.”

A depiction of an “isle” of the sea showing cardinal points or seas, including the “sea that divides the land”

Perhaps a little perspective might be involved here. Prior to the destruction described in 3rd Nephi, the terms “East Sea,” “Sea East,” and east “seashore” are mentioned 25 times—far more than any other Land of Promise feature, and far more than all the other seas combined. However, after the destruction, none of these three terms were ever mentioned again. On the other hand, the “West Sea,” ”Sea West,” or west “seashore,” are mentioned only 14 times in all of scripture--and contrary to Covino’s comment, the West Sea is referred to once after the destruction: “We marched forth and came to the land of Joshua, which was in the borders west by the seashore” (Mormon 2:6). In addition, none of the cities along the East Sea, including Mulek, Moroni, Nephihah, Lehi, Gid, Morianton, and Omner, where much activity took place before the destruction, are not mentioned at all after the destruction—in fact, the eastern part of the Land of Promise is not again mentioned, included, referred to, or otherwise inferred after the destruction.

Where once there was an East Sea, after the Andes arose at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion, there was no longer an East Sea, and many of the cities along the East Sea were destroyed

In part, this is because 4th Nephi is not descriptive of landmass, locations, cities or seas, and by Mormon’s time (310-385 A.D.), emphasis is mostly on the Land Northward. Yet, Mormon does not even mention anything toward the east in the Land Northward, though the Hill and Land of Cumorah are singled out, which was toward the east, with Ablom further east by the seashore (Ether 9:3).

In addition, the Sea North and the Sea South are mentioned only once in all the scriptural record: “from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east” (Helaman 3:8). It would not seem likely the lack of mention after the destruction had any reference to there no longer existing—however, when the eastern sea is mentioned 25 times, one might wonder why it was not ever mentioned again after the destruction, nor any of the cities situated along that seashore, or any reference to the eastern lands.

On the other hand, the big puzzle that is never addressed by any of the “isthmus” theorists, including Covino, is if there was land to the north beyond the Land of Cumorah and area of many waters, as would be the case with any “isthmus” theory, why did Mormon choose to stand and fight against an overwhelming army of Lamanites (Mormon 6:8) bent on their total destruction? After all, they had their wives and their children with them (Mormon 6:7), and since the treaty dividing the lands (Mormon 2:29), the Lamanites had been attacking and driving the Nephites forces northward continually, killing every Nephite they encountered (Mormon 5:5,7). Even Mormon knew it would be the last battle of his people (Mormon 6:6).

Surely, the Nephites could have continued retreating northware up along the so-called “isthmus” to lands furthere north, if there were any! But there were none, and there was nowhere for the Nephites to flee! So they stood and fought, and were hewn down to the last man! (Mormon 6:11). However, a few did manage to escape, and where did they run to? The North, up the "isthmus," away from the Lamanites? No! They ran southward (Mormon 6:15), but even they were later tracked down and killed (Mormon 8:2). Once again, why would they have fled into the south lands if they were on an “isthmus” with lands to the north? Talk about deductive powers!

The answer is simple. They were not on an “isthmus,” but an “isle,” or island (2 Nephi 10:20), and there was nowhere else to run north of the Land of Cumorah and area of many waters. They were trapped. Sea and impenetrable mountains to the north and east, sea to the west, and Lamanites to the south. Where could they have gone? Nowhere. So they stood and fought, and fell beneath the Lamanite onslaught until there were none left but Moroni (Mormon 8:3).

Covino is entitled to question my deductive powers, but one must wonder about anyone who would consider that the Nephites were on an “isthmus” when any kind of logic, as well as the scriptural record, shows they were not!

(See the next post, “Direct Criticisms Answered-Part III,” for more unwarranted and indefensible criticisms of this blog)

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