Saturday, September 14, 2013

Slanted Land of Promise Book Reviews – Part IV

Continuing with the last post on the FARMS review of Art Kocherhans’ book, “Lehi’s Isle of Promise,” showing the self-serving nature of such reviews and their tendency toward self-absorbed and self-advancing results. Earlier points and comments were discussed in the first three posts, more are covered below:
5) Fleugel goes on to say: “Kocherhans insists that an island location for the Nephites and Jaredites is necessary to isolate them properly from outside contact. Rejecting John L. Sorenson's views on Nephite and Jaredite cohabitation with other peoples, Kocherhans writes that, were they not cut off, "surely someone in the outside world, in their [the Jaredites'] two thousand year record, would have reported on them" (p. 133). Reported to whom?”
The idea of others being in the Land of Promise has already been discussed and shown to be inconsistent with the scriptural record. As for the isolation, it is more of Lehi’s words, rather than Kocherhans. One has to wonder if Fleugel has read or understands the Book of Mormon for Lehi told his children shortly before his death what the Lord had told him:
The Lord covenanted with Lehi to keep the Land of Promise from the knowledge of other people and reserve it for Lehi’s seed, if they remained righteous 
“But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. 
And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever. And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; 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 1:5-9).
Now the words, “it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance,” sound pretty much like what Kocherhans said that Fleugel is questioning. And the comment, "surely someone in the outside world, in their [the Jaredites'] two thousand year record, would have reported on them" (p. 133). Reported to whom?” is a rather dumb question since the Lehi already said who and why: “other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land” (emphasis mine). Obviously, Fleugel’s comments are not meant to enlighten the reader, but to diminish the writing of Kocherhans.
The Lord knew, as all of us today know, that once the Western Hemisphere was known to exist, it would be overrun with Europeans and others (gentiles) until Lehi’s seed would have no place in it. This is exactly what is seen today! So what is it that Fleugel doesn’t understand?
The problem is, when you have a place in mind (as Fleugel does with Mesoamerica), then any comments that do not support that location are suspect and should be discounted and, if possible, downright rejected.
6) Later in the book, Kocherhans writes that the "isle" is "physically as isolated today, except by air travel, as it ever was" (p. 167). This admission renders the notion of having an Andean island unnecessary.”
Again, Fleugel shows his inability or unwillingness to understand Kocherhans’ writing. Prior to the crucifixion—a period of about 600 years in the Land of Promise—the Andes Mountains did not exist in their present form and the Nephites were on an island. At the time of the crucifixion, the Andes Mountains rose up, as Samuel the Lamanite predicted (Helaman 14:23), and the land east of there rose out of the water, and the Nephites were no longer on an island except that the Andes Mountains cut off the land west of there to the Pacific Ocean and maintained the island effect as before—that is, the Andes were so high that foot travel over them has seldom ever been accomplished in history and did not become routinely crossed until air travel. In fact, books written about the early days of Chile by 20th century authors, showed that the people of Chile consider their land an island.
7) Fleugel continues with another one of his comments intended to make Kocherhans sound silly: “Kocherhans admits that 2 Nephi 10:20 is the only use of "isle" in the whole Book of Mormon. But his references to the plural form, "isles," only point out the illogic of this strict usage. He cites, for example, 1 Nephi 19, where in several verses the house of Israel is said to be scattered among the "isles" of the sea. But the Lord will "remember the isles of the sea; yea, and all the people of the house of Israel, will I gather in" (1 Nephi 19:16). Does this mean that all the people of Israel were scattered to small islands?”
The answer to this is rather simple, though it seems to have escaped Fleugel. We know today, and many prophets have spoken on the subject in general and at regional conferences, especially in Latin America and the South Pacific, and that is the location of some of Lehi’s posterity are scattered through at least Polynesia—a word, by the way, which means “many islands,” and contains between 20,000 and 30,000 islands. In addition, there is New Zealand, Easter Island and the Hawaiian Islands which are a part of overall Polynesia, that is spread over 70-million square miles. But the question Fleugel asks about all the House of Israel being scattered on islands is purely ridiculous and is not the intent of Kocherhans writing—as Fleugel well knows! He should also know that Isaiah spoke considerably about the islands of the sea, and specifically that the Jews were scattered, among other places, on the islands of the sea (Isaiah 11:11). No doubt he was speaking there of Lehi’s descendants, among others, as he was when describing speaking out of the ground (Isaiah 29:4).
Rather than trying to make Kocherhans appear silly in his comments, Fleugel would have done himself and the rest of us a greater service if he had merely pointed out what Kocherhans said and compare that against the scriptural reference without his own small- or narrow-minded belief in Mesoamerica and thus his coloring the writing he was supposed to be reviewing. In that way, each reader could then read and consider for himself the value of Kocherhans’ work.
(See the next post, “Slanted Land of Promise Book Reviews – Part V,” for additional points of Fleugel’s comments, and more information on the FARMS review that is far from accurate, and quite self-serving)

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