Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No Other People in the Land of Promise

Mesoemricanists have always claimed that there were other people in the Land of Promise other than those specifically mentioned in the scriptural record. This is an idea championed by Hugh Nibley and John L. Sorenson, and all the Mesoamericanists since. Yet, the scriptural record does not support such an idea, not just because none are mentioned, but because the record shows no other people were involved. To better understand this, let us take the scriptural account regarding this matter:
1. Moroni, in translating and abridging Ether’s record of the Jaredites, wrote: “Ether…truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof.” In this case we learn that anyone in the Land of Promise after the Flood of Noah’s time would be required to serve the Lord, and that this land was a choice land above all other lands;
    2. Further, Moroni wrote: “And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7). This simple scripture tells us that the Lord had preserved the land, which was a choice land, for a righteous people, and that this righteous people were the Jaredites who the Lord brought to this land.
3. After the Jaredites had been in this land for centuries of strife and civil wars, “in the days of Coriantor there also came many prophets, and prophesied of great and marvelous things, and cried repentance unto the people, and except they should repent the Lord God would execute judgment against them to their utter destruction; And that the Lord God would send or bring forth another people to possess the land, by his power, after the manner by which he brought their fathers.” (Ether 11:20-21)
    In reading this last scripture, several things need to be understood:
    1) This was directed to the Jaredites (no one else is mentioned);
    2) The message was delivered by several prophets;
    3) The Lord was warning the Jaredites of their pending destruction;
    4) The Jaredites knew that the Lord had led their fathers to this land;
    5) The Jaredites were told that this land which had been given to them through the Brother of Jared would be taken away from them;
    6) The Lord would send or bring forth another people to inherit the land
    7) The Lord would bring [future tense] this new people in the same way he brought their fathers
    Consequently, there is no possible way to read this and not understand that such a pronouncement would not be made if there were others in the land. This shows that the land was the Jaredites, and theirs alone, and would be given to another people if they did not repent and shape up.
8) This is the same warning that Ether delivered to Coriantumr, when “in the second year the word of the Lord came to Ether, that he should go and prophesy unto Coriantumr that, if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people -- Otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr” (Ether 13:20-21).
    Here the Lord makes it clear through Ether to Coriantumr that his kingdom and his own household would all be destroyed, and all the Jaredites would be destroyed, except for Coriantumr, in the final battle that would end the Jaredites’ occupation and inheritance of the Land of Promise, and that the land would be given to another people. Again, if there were already people in the land, especially that the Jaredites knew about as Mesoamericanists claim, this promise would be a hollow one, for in that case, the Jaredites would already know, as would Coriantumr, that there already were other people in the land, so what would be the loss?
    4. When Coriantumr refused to repent and continued the war, the two combatant armies gathered in all the Jaredites to battle:
    1) Now there began to be a war upon all the face of the land, every man with his band fighting for that which he desired. And there were robbers, and in fine, all manner of wickedness upon all the face of the land” (Ether 13:25-26, italics mine)
    2) “And Shared wounded Coriantumr in his thigh, that he did not go to battle again for the space of two years, in which time all the people upon the face of the land were shedding blood, and there was none to restrain them” (Ether 13:31, italics mine)
    3) “And now there began to be a great curse upon all the land” (Ether 14:1, italics mine)
    4) “And many thousands fell by the sword” (Ether 14:4, italics mine)
    5) “Lib was a man of great stature, more than any other man among all the people” (Ether 14:10, italics mine)
    6) “And Coriantumr had taken all the people with him as he fled before Lib in that quarter of the land whither he fled” (Ether 14:15, italics mine)
7) “And there went a fear of Shiz throughout all the land. And it came to pass that the people began to flock together in armies, throughout all the face of the land” (Ether 14:18-19, italics mine)
    8) “that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead.” (Ether 14:21, italics mine)
    9) “And the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the face of the land” (Ether 14:23, italics mine)
    10) and they fled to the land of Corihor, and swept off the inhabitants before them, all them that would not join them” (Ether 14:27)
    11) “And it came to pass that they did gather together all the people upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether” (Ether 15:12, italics mine)
    12) “they were for the space of four years gathering together the people, that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive all the strength which it was possible that they could receive. And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and their children -- both men women and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breastplates, and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war -- they did march forth one against another to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not (Ether 15:14, italics mine)
13) “they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz” (Ether 15:29, italics mine)

Coriantumr then killed Shiz and became the “last man standing,” as the Lord had Ether prophesize. To finalize this, and to make sure the future readers understood, the Lord had Ether go down, “And he went forth, and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled” (Ether 15:33, italics mine). Thus we see that 1) All the Jaredites were killed except for Coriantumr and Ether, 2) All the people in all the land were involved in this, therefore, there were no others in the land than the mentioned Jaraedites, and 3) There were no other people in all the land that was called the Land of Promise.
    Thus, it cannot be said that the Jaredites coexisted in the Land of Promise with other people as Mesoamericanists continually claim. If there were numerous different peoples in Mesoamerica during Jaredite times, and later Nephite times, then one must acknowledge that Mesoamerica was simply not the area of the Land of Promise!

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