Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reasons for Posts on the Rising of South America

One of the reasons why Book of Mormon Land of Promise theorists turn to Mesoamerica, the Great Lakes, Heartland, and eastern United States, is that they cannot fathom the possibility of anywhere else but their model as being the correct setting for the Nephite location.
Since South America tends to be rejected out of hand because of its size, and rightly so because the descriptions in the scriptural record show a far smaller area for the Land of Promise, it becomes important to understand what this continent looked like in 600 B.C. and later.
The answers started when all indicators, such as winds, currents, flora and fauna, and minerals mentioned in the Book of Mormon led directly to the 30º south latitude landing of the Lehi Colony in the present country of Chile. But how could the Nephites have landed and been along the Andean coastal plain in South America when the continent was far too large for such for a Land of Promise as described by Mormon?
Before rejecting the fact that all indicators mentioned by Mormon and others as to the geographical setting of the Land of Promise—65 such scriptural indicators in all—and all found in the Andean area—it seemed prudent to look into the continent and see what changes might have existed during the time Lehi landed.
This research led to the startling fact that at one time most of South America east of the present day Andes, was once submerged. Study after study showed that numerous scientists had researched that very fact and found the results that much of South America once lay beneath sea level.
These findings point to a narrow strip of land, what is now called the Andean Plain or West Coastal Plain, covering much of southern Colombia, Ecuador, western Peru, western Bolivia and northern Chile—the land now located between the Pacific coast and the Andes Mountains—was basically an island stretching about twenty-five hundred miles north to south and some 60 to 100 miles east to west. However, not long after landing, and after Nephi fled northward with those that would go with him, the area of the Nephites covered only about 950 miles north to south and about 100 miles east to west (the Land Southward between the City of Nephi and the narrow neck of land).
With the Andes fault zone more or less level, and Amazonia submerged, an East Sea existed from Colombia to Valparaiso, Chile, and joined the Atlantic Ocean with rises in the Guiana Highlands and the Brazilian Shield, including a few other smaller areas scattered between Venezuela and Patagonia.
Once the Nephites moved into the Land Northward, the area they covered was about 1150 miles north to south and from 25 miles at the narrow neck to some 100 to 125 miles wide. And once the truce with the Lamanites forced them into the Land northward completely, the Nephites occupied an area about 450 miles north to south and 125 miles east to west.
Such distances, of course, seem likely within the scope of Mormon’s and others’ descriptions. Consequently, after a score of years and more, researching thousands of books in hundreds of libraries, with studies of South America and the Andean Plain, making comparisons with the Book of Mormon scriptural record and finding all 65 indicators within that location, it seemed the location for the Land of Promise was ideally located.
There was no twisting of information, changing of scriptural meaning, special definitions or unlikely comparisons needed to show that every indicator in the Book of Mormon met exactly--without any fudging or change and without any explaining away of difficult factors--with this Andean area. These indicators have been written about here in numerous past posts, and will be again. However, for the past 20 posts, a comprehensive, detailed, and cited set of posts have intended to show how South America, in its physical appearance now and in the past, meet the criteria of Lehi’s Isle of Promise—the island home Jacob described, the landing sight of the Lehi Colony.
Obviously, the South America location for the Land of Promise, in its present appearance, does not support the Book of Mormon size descriptions. It does not now, but did in the past. Once one understands the evolving of South America from its beginnings to its present appearance—which the last 20 posts have covered--the area of South America becomes a perfect setting for Lehi's land of promise.
This then answered the often raised question about South America once being underwater, showing 1) the continents disconnect with Panama, 2) the Rising of the continent east of the Andes fault line, and 3) the idea location of the 30º south latitude. In the next several posts we will cover: 1) the scientific support for these earlier posts, including the difference in time between the geologic scale and the Lord’s scale, along with the actual scientific findings to support the latter, and 2) a repeat of the 65 indicators to show that the Andean area is the Land of Promise location described in the Book of Mormon.
To set the stage for the next four or five posts, it should be noted and kept in mind that there are two ways to arrive at the formation of the earth: 1) use the oldest known writing regarding the knowledge of the ancients, or 2) use man's modern-day scientific assumptions and hypotheses. In addition, there are two approaches to the subject matter itself: 1) the Earth and Universe are God’s creations, or 2) the earth and universe came into being by a chance accident. And lastly, there are two ways to interpret information: 1) by evaluating the evidence based upon its merits, or 2) trying to fit evidence into preconceived ideas and models.

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