Thursday, May 9, 2013

Did Others Live in the Land of Promise?

John L. Sorenson, and all the other Mesoamericanists involved in their models for the Land of Promise, have for several years been claiming that other people occupied the Land of Promise, despite the fact that none are mentioned at any time over a 2500 year period. Without any scriptural evidence whatever, these theorists are rock solid in their belief and promotion of other peoples in the Land of Promise other than the Jaredites, Nephites, Mulekites and Lamanites.
Who these people were is not known, other than through sketchy and questionable Mesoamerican history and archaeological claims, many stretching back before the Flood as though the Flood never occurred. Yet, despite all this effort to convince us that others existed, Mormon, who had all the records of the Nephites, as evidenced by his comment: “And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi” (Words of Mormon 1:3, emphasis mine), not one word is written or implied that there were any other people in the Land of Promise.
There is simply no way for anyone to claim such a monumental event as having untold numbers of other people in the land and around the Nephites that went unmentioned. After all, the Nephites were involved in building of ships and in shipping (Helaman 3:14), obviously they would have been involved in such areas as trade and shipping of goods (Helaman 3:10), and would have encountered anyone else in the land. Yet, not one word. They also spread through the entire land of promise (Helaman 3:8), yet not one word of encountering any other people in the land. The Jaredites were driven back and forth upon the entire Land Northward, fighting battles of extermination, leaving bodies of men, women and children strewn across the entire land (Ether 14:22), yet not a word about any other people in that land. Mormon, himself, was involved in fighting battles and gathering everyone into his army from the Land of Zarahemla to the Land of Many Waters in the far north, yet not one word about any other people.
Prophets are called of God, are inspired in their writing, sometimes constrained from writing more than the Lord wants, and have been remarkable and spiritual men down through the ages
Sorenson, in his book and subsequent writings, disparages the Nephite prophets, calling them scribes and record keepers, and claiming they had no interest in anyone else other than their Nephite nation, and ignored all the other people in the land, etc., however, in speaking of the prophets of the Nephite period, the Lord said: “Yes, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions. Now this is not all—their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possesses this land; and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life; yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be” (D&C 10:48-51)
There are several things that should be crystal clear here: 1) The Nephite prophets did not mention anyone living in the Land of Promise during their period, and, in fact, the Lord makes it clear that they prayed that, “if it were possible that other nations should possesses this land,” 2) They did not know who might be coming to the Land of Promise, whether they were a nation, a people, a kindred, or a tongue, for the Lord said “of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be,” 3) This concern of these prophets was for their enemies, the Lamanites, and surely, if they prayed for God to bless their enemies who wanted to kill and annihilate them, would they not also have extended their request to the Lord to bless all those who were upon the land that were not Nephites or Lamanites? And 4) They also prayed for whoever might come to this Land “that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life.”
Now this is pretty simple and clear. The Nephite prophets prayed to the Lord to bless the Lamanites and anyone who might come to this land. Surely if there were already people on the land, this magnanimous appeal to the Lord would have in some way included them as well. After all, most of us pray for our friends and neighbors, but few of us probably pray for our enemies—yet, the Mesoamericanists would have us believe that these erstwhile Nephite prophets of whom the Lord speaks prayed for their enemies, but not their friends and neighbors?
However, these prophets did not ask the Lord to bless people already on the Land of Promise if, in fact, there were, other than the Lamanites. Nor did the Lord mention anyone, either in this discussion. Now this seems perfectly, and inarguably clear and  needs no further explanation; however, Mesoamericanists sometimes have great difficulty understanding or accepting a scripture that is crystal clear, so perhaps we should take the space to clarify the meaning of D&C Section 10:47-52:
1. Other nations: other than the Nephite nation. The Nephite prophets knew of no other nation nearby at the time, and did not know if anyone else were to occupy the Land of Promise, and if so, what people or nation that might be, so the Lord says they used the wordage “unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be: (D&C 10:51). Obviously, there were no other people in the Land of Promise at this time, nor can Sorenson claim there were but that these prophets ignored them, since these prophets asked the Lord to bless all who might occupy the land!
2. They left a blessing on this land that “whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land,” yet they did not refer to anyone living there at the time, other than Lamanites. So if there were all these others that Sorenson and others have been claiming, why did they not mention them? And since they are all God’s children, why did the Lord not mention them?
3. The Nephite prophets left a blessing upon this land “that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.” Obviously, the prophets did not know of anyone in the land at the time, only that there might be others led there in the future, to which they wanted a blessing on the land for them whoever “they may be.”
4. The Lord told Joseph Smith that the prayers of these former Nephite prophets “should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers” (D&C 10:47), sounds like the Lord intends to bless all those who were to occupy this land…funny he would not bless all those people Sorenson and other Mesoamericanists claim were in the Land of Promise at the time.
There simply is no way for anyone to claim that there were other people in the Land of Promise. Mesoamericanists simply need to withdraw from their insistency about Mesoamerica being the Land of Promise and start looking for somewhere that matches the scriptural record. Will they? No. They will simply go on claiming their model to be accurate, the best available match to the Book of Mormon, etc. However, as has been shown in these past more than 1,000 posts in this blog, that is simply not true.

1 comment:

  1. I love it that you bring these things up! I can remember thinking that someone at one time use the fact that there were already people there to diffuse the critical evidence of DNA and the Indians. They sort of made Lamanite DNA disappear due to a mixing of DNA with the local people who were already there.

    These people were on an island and there was no one on that island that the Lord did not bring there and written by the prophets of that time. It is good to know the truth.