Saturday, May 18, 2013

More Comments to be Answered Part VII

Here are some more comments that we’ve received from this website blog.
Comment #1: You claim that the narrow neck of land which separates the Land Northward from the Land Southward, is sandwiched between two seas. However, careful analyses of all the references in your Book of Mormon to this topographic feature fail to identify the presence of two seas flanking this transportation corridor” Baird N.
Response: Not careful enough, it seems. In describing the flight of Morianton to the "borders of the land Desolation" and Moroni's march to intercept them, we are told in Alma:  "and they did head them, 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)
As Morianton rushed to gain the narrow pass through the narrow neck of land to the Land Northward and safety, Moroni marched to intercept them, beating Morianton and his followers to the narrow pass. There he stopped Morianton, killed him in battle, and defeated his followers
Thus, there can be no doubt that the east sea and the west sea were on each side of the narrow neck of land between the land of Desolation and the land of Bountiful.  In fact, this is exactly what is said earlier.  It is written that "a narrow neck of land separated these two lands--the overall land southward from the overall land northward" (Alma 22:32), and that "the land southward was surrounded by water except for this narrow neck of land" (Alma 22:32). 
In addition, we find that Hagoth built ships in this area of the narrow neck of land between the land Bountiful and the land of Desolation, and launched those ships into the west sea (Alma 63:5).  Thus, it seems rather clear that there was a west sea and an east sea flanking the narrow neck, which, by the way, is never called a transportation corridor in the scriptural record. I believe it was F. Richard Hauck in his 1988 book Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon, that the term “transportation corridor” was used.
Comment #2: “It stands to reason that in the seventy-two years from 55 B.C. to 17 A.D., during which the northern colonies were first settled and then abandoned, no very extensive territory could be colonized,” Jacques.
An interesting idea. However, the scriptures give us an entirely different picture of this settlement in the Old Jaredite domain north of the narrow neck of land.  When the Nephites moved into "the land northward to inherit the land" in 46 B.C. (Helaman 3:3), they "spread forth into all parts of the land" (Helaman 3:5).  They spread so much that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east"  (Helaman 3:8). That sounds like a vast territory being colonized. It should also be noted that there is no mention of the Land Northward being abandoned by the Nephites. They did withdraw from the Land Northward during their seven-year war with the Gadianton Robbers, which finally ended around 23 A.D., and the Nephites returned to their own lands about 26 A.D. (3 Nephi 6:2), where they “did prosper and wax great” in the entire Land of Promise.
Comment #3: “I have read that where the Lehi group first landed and settled along the coast was a tangle of forest and swamp and certainly not conducive to farming. But I have been to the Bay of Coquimbo and La Serena in Chile where you claim Lehi landed and it is not like that at all,” Buddy D.
Bay of Coquimbo where Lehi landed. It is in a Mediterranean Climate, like that of Jerusalem, where his seeds would have grown abundantly
Response: I believe it was John L. Sorenson in his 1996 book An American Setting for the Book of Mormon, who first made that statement, which he used in defense of his claiming the Lamanites were not able to plant and farm after Nephi fled, and was also the cause of their wearing only loincloths because of the heat, etc., even though Nephi tells us their first crop in the area of their landing “did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24). The problem is that Sorenson, like so many other Theorists, uses Mesoamerica for his setting, and Coquimbo and La Serena as you know are along the 30º South Latitude in Chile, South America, which has a Mediterranean Climate (like Jerusalem), where seeds from Jerusalem would grow exceedingly, unlike Mesoamerica, which has a tropical climate and seeds from Jerusalem would not have grown.
Comment #4: “Hugh Nibley claimed that the Book of Mormon mentions the rising and sinking of the land, forming new "hills and valleys" (3 Nephi 9:5-8)--with no mention of major mountain ranges,” Allyson.
Response: Nibley, for all his marvelous achievements, was not always correct about the Book of Mormon. When Samuel the Lamanite got upon the city walls of Zarahemla and began preaching the words the angel had given him, he said, “And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall  be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great" (Helaman 14:23). First of all, a mountain “whose height is great” can never be called or referred to as a hill! Secondly, I’m not sure what Nibley thought a mountain range included, but mountains is stated in the plural, both in those laid low and those that rose to a great height. Mountains make up a range, and if it is correct that these mountains were the result of tectonic plate movement, which geologists tell us are the cause of forming mountains, then we might suggest with some certainty that a mountain range rose up, “whose height is great.”
“Mountains whose height is great,” suggests that such mountains look high as well as being high for the prophecy to be understood at the time of the mountains appearing
Comment #5: “Some scholars feel that to be consistent with the overall context of the Book of Mormon, it should be assumed that the Land North in Helaman 6:9-10, 12, is synonymous with the term Land Northward that is used throughout the Book of Mormon text, and that the Land South is synonymous with the term Land Southward. However, you seem to separate these descriptive locations,” Tatum.
Response: While I do that, and have shown through scripture reference why they are separate in the past many times, let me just quote one scripture to make the point that these are separate terms and mean separate locational boundaries. When the war with the Gadianton Robbers was concluded around 26 A.D., the gathered Nephites returned to their own lands throughout the Land of Promise. In stating this, Mormon writes: “And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward” (3 Nephi 6:2). The Land North and the Land South are two divisions of the Land Southward, which is where the war was waged (3 Nephi 3:24). When the war concluded, they returned to their homes in the north and in the south of the Land Southward, and also to their homes in the Land Northward.

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