Thursday, August 8, 2013

How Mesoamerican Theorists Rely on Man’s Records – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding man’s effort to rely on his own means and records rather than those of past prophets. In the last post we covered the first five conditions that would have to exist for the Mesoamerican Theorists along with John L. Sorenson’s claim that other people besides Lehi’s descendants and the Mulekites as well as the earlier Jaredites existed in the Land of Promise:
6)  Have indigenous groups of people in the promised land before Lehi's landing that had the same appearance of copper-olive skins, dark hair, brown  eyes, and slight builds so that the Lehi colony would not stand out among them, or differ sharply in physical appearance from many Indian groups.
7)  That Amaleki, and following historian/prophets, despite learning that other people, including Jaredites, inhabited the land of Zarahemla, and made up a portion of the people of Zarahemla, bound together in some elitist agreement not to mention these peoples in the record, but lump them under the common group of descendants of the Mulek expedition.
8)  That prophets of God like Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Mosiah, Benjamin, Alma, Helaman, Nephi and others consented to maintain this elitist attitude and not record any record of a separate, indigenous people, occupying the promised land, or having been controlled by Nephite dominance, having mixed in with, intermarried, or in any way even suggest a separate people other than the three groups recorded.
9)  That the prophet Ether, living at the end of the Jaredite civilization and close to the time the Lehi colony reached the promised land failed to record any indication of a people other than his own Jaredites, to which he gave a very extensive genealogy to commence his record, or that somehow was in league with the later Nephite prophets not to mention a single instance of an indigenous group of people occupying the land.
Now for this influential Jaredite prophet not to have mentioned other people in the Land of Promise, one has to believe that he had some ulterior motive to keep silent about such large numbers of indigenous people. Yet, Ether is described by Moroni in the most esteemed manner, saying that “great and marvelous were the prophecies of Ether (Ether 13:13), and so great were his prophecies that Moroni was forbidden to write them down in his translation (Ether 13:13).
Obviously, Ether was a man of greatness, as was Nephi, Mormon and Moroni, yet not one mentioned anything about any other people being in the Land of Promise, and while Nephi’s exposure to the land was evidently limited to the southern half of the Land Southward, Mormon and Moroni traveled the width and breadth of the entire Land of Pormise, both the Land Southward and the Land Northward. And Mormon had all the records of the Nephites (Mormon 6:6), which were many (Helaman 3:13-14), that contained all the doings of the Nephites, including their shipping, which would obviously have been for trade, and certainly would have included any other people in the land that were involved in trade and interaction.
Yet nary a word is mentioned! Not one single word, hint, suggestion, or comment regarding another people anywhere in the land!
In addition, if there was another indigenous population existing in the land of promise that absorbed the Nephites as claimed, we would expect to find some evidence of this mixture resulting in entirely different appearing descendants.  However, all archaeological evidence shows that the Nephites retained their same physical appearance for the entire 1,000 years of their history—certainly there is no mention of any changes to the Nephite people. 
Speaking of the Nephites Mormon says, “The spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers” (Mormon 5:16), and that “they were once a delightsome people (Mormon 5:17) “but now, behold, they are led about by Satan” (Mormon 5:18) and that “the Lord has reserved their blessings, which they might have received in the land, for the Gentiles who shall possess the land” (Mormon 5:19) and that “the Lamanites shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles (Mormon 5:20).
Notice that the spirit had already ceased—past tense—and that the Gentiles shall—future tense—possess the land and the Gentiles shall—future tense—scatter the Lamanites. Also note that no other people are mentioned regarding the land of promise and being in it even though the past and future are brought together in a single promise.
In other words, the Nephites were past redemption and whatever promises they might have had in the land of promise, if they had remained righteous, would now be given by the Lord to the Gentiles—who had not yet arrived in the land of promise.
These Gentiles that would arrive were the same ones that Nephi saw in his vision where he “beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land” (1 Nephi 13:12). This man, of course, was Columbus…
…and those Spanish conquistadores that would follow who  “the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which is among thy brethren” (1 Nephi 13:30).
The point is, Nephi saw no other people in the land of promise, and Columbus was yet to arrive.
Would this not suggest, even to the most prudent reader, that there were only three groups of people in the land of promise—the Nephites, the Lamanites, and the Gentiles who had not yet arrived.
It should also be noted, and importantly so, that when the Spanish arrived in the New World, all they found were Indians! There were no other people, no other race, no other civilization but Indians! Cortez found Indians in Mexico, Pizarro found Indians in South America, and the Europeans found Indians in North America. There were no Viking settlements, no European settlements, no Asian settlements, there were no other people than the Indians. Now, if there had been other peoples, wouldn’t one think that there would be some type of mixture of people?
Yet, there was none. Only Indians. And those are accounted for the Book of Mormon. There were no Jaredites, there were no Nephites—only Lamanites. Even so, Mesoamerican Theorists continually try to ram the idea of indigenous people down our throats because their Central American model demands it.
Another consideration is the fact that since all these people found by the Spanish and Europeans were what became known as Indians, then why was their skin dark? What had caused that? We know from the Book of Mormon why the Lamanites were dark—but why all these so-called indigenous people Sorenson and other Theorists claim existed in the Land of Promise of a dark skin?  There were no white- or yellow-skinned people found by the Spanish in Central or Andean South America. We learn from Moroni that “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land, it became a choice land above all other lands,” (Ether 13:2) and that the Lord told Lehi that “all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:5), thus if there were any other people in the Land of Promise after the Flood, they would have been led there by the Lord, and if their skin was dark, it had to have been as a result of the Lord. Certainly, if the Lord had dealt with another people in that land, it would have had some influence on the Nephites—as did the Jaredites (Alma 46:22).
But again, not a single word, hint, or expression that there were any other people than those mentioned. Thus, it can only be concluded that there were no other people in the Land of Promise than those mentioned in the scriptural record, and claims that there were is simply folly.


  1. As far as we know from our scriptures, you are correct that none other people were on the land of promise besides those spoken of in the Book of Mormon. However, there are other ancient records that have not come forth yet. Right? And we know that when groups come, they are not forced to be righteous. And in fact, among the Jaredites and among the Lehites and Mulekites many turned from righteousness. Probably the majority. So I think we cannot say absolutely that there was not fallen people on the land left from other migrations when Lehi and his group came. I think this because at one point the BoM says that there were many more Lamanites than there were Nephites and Mulekites together. Since the Lamanites and Nephites were not so different in size when they landed and separated, this does not make sense. In the BoM anyone who joined the Lamanites were called Lamanites. So if other fallen people merged with the first Lamanites it would make sense they were so much more numerous than the Nephites.

  2. I realize that you joined the group late, so you might not know that this question has been addressed and answered numerous times in various posts, as well as in the book "Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica." In short, Moroni writes in Ether that the land of promise was held in reserve after the Flood, and only those who were led here were done so by the Lord. The time between the Flood and the Jaredites was only a few hundred years or so, leaving little room for another group to arrive (and from where and how?), and then down to the Nephites arrival the land was occupied and written about, and Lehi himself was promised much about the land being held from others for his posterity, and both Lehi and Nephi were given a vision of the future of the land of promise all the way down to the time of the gentiles arrival. There simply is no place where another people can be fit into the land. And most importantly, since the Book of Mormon mentions no other people, it is less than scholarly to invent other people and try to squeeze them into the land when not a single writer mentioned in any way any other people around.