Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The H38 Virus Rears its Ugly Head Once Again

We received the following question from one of our readers recently that deserves answering in a complete post:
Comment: "I saw on a website that someone claims of your South American Land of Promise: “The H38 Virus effectively shifted the Sea South to south of the Land of Nephi where no body of water is ever referenced - neither directly or indirectly. Importantly, DowDell refuses to acknowledge that the land in his model is not hidden and his Internal Map fails to show the Great Deep which did not border Book of Mormon lands.” Do you have an answer to this?"
Response: These criticism were answered in my posts dating to early August of last year under “Direct Criticisms Answered – Parts I, II, and III” and three posts at the end of April, 2011 regarding his H38 Virus claim. But even though I have written numerous posts on this website about Peter Covino’s H38 Virus, that is, the meaning of Helaman 3:8, there has never been a response (the H38 Virus is always in attack mode, never, it seems, in response or answer mode).
First of all, for someone to base an entire concept on a single verse in the Book of Mormon has always amazed me. But let me quickly answer the comments in the paragraph above: 1) Nowhere in the scriptures does it say the Sea South is anywhere but in the South. The south of the Land of Promise is the Land of Nephi, and south of that was the sea, which was part of the sea over which the Lehi Colony traveled (see 2 Nephi 10:20)—which is an obvious direct reference to a sea all around the Land of Promise; 
2) All land in the Western Hemisphere was kept from the knowledge of all mariners, explorers, settlers, emigrants, etc., until sometime around the fifteenth century—I would say it was so well hidden, that no one even landed upon it (the Vikings were in Greenland and Leif Erickson spent a little time in New Foundland, Canada) and no one ever colonized it until the Spanish in the early 16th century. How hidden does it have to be? By the way, the word "hidden" is never mentioned in the scriptural record--Lehi was promised "and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever (2 Nephi 1:9)--nothing about being "hidden";  3) The Great Deep is the ocean, that is deep water, sometimes called Sea, which covers 3/5th of this entire planet in a never-ending flow, as one mass or body partially separated by continents. Jacob, who was on the ship that brought the Lehi Colony to the Land of Promise, claims the Lord made the sea their path—that is, they were traveling upon the sea in their ship—and they were on an isle of the sea (2 Nephi 10:20)—they landed upon an island in the midst of the sea over which they were traveling. The 1828 dictionary tells us that the ocean is the sea, or the sea is the ocean, and that deep is defined as the sea, and great as vast, unusually large, the whole. This obviously tells that Jacob claims the Great Deep bordered the entire Land of Promise. Only Covino could interpret this differently.
He also said on his website: “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." (What Happened to the East Sea, May 16, 2011).” 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.”
To which I responded in my website: “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 mentioned in 3 Nephi, 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 in 3 Nephi 8.” But we do know that where there was level ground, mountains rose of whose height was great (Helaman 14:23). 
A simple depiction of the narrow neck of land separating the two major lands. It is one of the more prominent features of the geography of the Land of Promise, yet after 3 Nephi 8, it is never mentioned again, nor is the East Sea, or any of the cities that were built along that seashore
In addition, it might also be said that the narrow neck of land is not again mentioned after 34 A.D., however, the narrow pass or passage is mentioned after the destruction (Mormon 2:29 and Mormon 3:5). Also, regarding a Sea North, there is only the one mention of this in Helaman 3:8. But, there is mention of a Sea that Divides the Land in Ether 10:20.
So let’s take Helaman 3:8 first. “And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.”
While Covino separates that verse from everything else, claiming it only has reference to the Land Northward, he ignores a second verse, more or less stating the same thing: “And thus it did come to pass that the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began to build up their waste places, and began to multiply and spread, even until they did cover the whole face of the land, both on the northward and on the southward, from the sea west to the sea east” (Helaman 11:20). To make this clear the entire Land of Promise is being described, we see a separation of the Land Northward in another scripture where only that portion of the Land of Promise is covered with people “The whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants” (Ether 10:21).
These two verses tell us that Helaman is explaining the growth of the people in the Land of Promise (“did cover the whole face of the land”), not just one part of it. “From the Sea South to the Sea North, from the Sea East to the Sea West,” and “Both on the Northward and on the Southward, from the Sea West to the Sea East.” This seems pretty clear that the area Helaman is describing is the entire Land of Promise, which is found surrounded by four seas, including the Sea North—mentioned only once in all scripture—and the Sea South, also mentioned only once in all scripture.
In addition, with the Sea that Divides the Land (Ether 10:20), what is that describing? After the great famine, the Jaredites built a city in the Land Northward near the narrow neck of land, “by the place where the sea divides the land,” and preserved the land beyond the narrow neck—the Land Southward—as a preserve (Ether 10:21) filled with the animals chased there by the poisonous serpents (Ether 9:31) before they were destroyed (Ether 10:19).
Now consider an entire Land of Promise that is divided into two large portions, the Land Southward and the Land Northward. Between these two lands is “a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32) that connects these two lands. This narrow neck of land is formed by the sea encroaching from the east and the west, on either side (Alma 50:34). This arrangement (see sample drawing below) leads Ether do describe a “sea that divides the land” (Ether 10:20).
A simple depiction of an “isle” of the sea (2 Nephi 10:20) showing cardinal points or seas, including the “sea that divides the land” (Ether 10:20)
That is, there is one land with a large bay or inlet on one side that cuts into the land, at which juncture, the land is divided into two large, separate areas, connected only by a small  neck of land.
One last point to make. Covino, on his website in the same article of criticism, then adds, “Sadly, his entire model is outside of the fulfilled land prophecy zone, having zero regard for official church history, church canon, and LDS prophets, apostles, and Book of Mormon witnesses who said the Hill Cumorah in Western New York was the place where the final battles occurred.”
1) There is no fulfilled prophecy zone per se—certainly not in the United States. As has often been reported within these posts in the past, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and several other prophets and General Authorities have stated that the entire Western Hemisphere, specifically North, Central and South America is all the Land of Promise!
2) As has been reported here in these posts numerous times, no prophet or general authority, speaking for the church, has ever claimed that the Hill Cumorah or the last great battle that wiped out the Nephites in 385 A.D., took place in the United States. There has been much speculation on this, but most of that occurred in the middle part of the last century, and has been pretty much discredited by almost all LDS since that time.
3) The comments made regarding Zelph and the bones found, etc., have also been covered extensively in these posts, showing the details of those remarks that have been changed and altered by the Church from the early reports in journals.
Lastly, if any prophet or General Authority, speaking for the Church were to say anything different than has been published by me in my books or on this website, I would be the first to acknowledge that!

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