Saturday, January 4, 2014

So Where is the Land of Promise? – Part X

Continuing from the last nine posts, listing actual descriptions in the Book of Mormon and how any Land of Promise model should match all of those listed in that scriptural record. 
    Earlier posts in this series have covered 1) Mountains, “whose height is great”; 2) Two unknown animals; 3) Two unknown grains; 4) Plants that cure fever; 5) Land of promise as an island; 6) The four seas surrounding the Land of Promise; 7) the Climate where Lehi’s seeds grew that he brought to the Land of Promise from Jerusalem; 8) Roads and Highways; 9) Driven before the wind; 10) Lehi’s Course to the Land of Promise; 11) Both Gold and Silver and Copper; 12) Hagoth’s ships went northward; 13) Forts, fortifications and resorts; 14) Fortified wall; 15) Narrow neck of land; and 16) Defendable narrow pass or passage, 17) the sea that divides the land, 8) All manner of buildings, 19) Great temple tower, 20) Directions of the Land of Promise, 21) All manner of ore, 22) Land of Many Waters, and 23) Abundant crop growth.
    Another scriptural description is that of "no other people being described in the Land of Promise" besides the Jaredites, Nephites/Lamanites, and the Mulekites (people of Zarahemla). While Mesoamericanists and others claim the area of their Land of Promise was full of people besides the Nephites, the scriptures are totally silent about any other people and, in fact, tell us just the opposite.
Lehi told his children about his visions and promises, one of which was that the Land of Promise was given to him and his posterity by the Lord
    As an example, Lehi said, “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” (2 Nephi 1:5), then added, “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” (2 Nephi 1:6). It should be noted that both statements mention others coming to then land in the future tense, obviously suggesting none were there at the time he spoke.
    Further, Lehi added, “for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Nephi 1:8). Lehi knew from the Lord’s promise, that the land was reserved for his family and was to be the inheritance of he and his children and their posterity forever. He knew, as we should certainly understand, that this would not be possible were there other people in the land.
He also said, again using future tense words, “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” (2 Nephi 1:9), suggesting that whatever others might be involved in the land of his promise, they would come out of Jerusalem, such as the Mulekites.
    There is not a single mention, suggestion or indication in all the writing of all the ancient prophets, nor from Mormon who had all the Nephite records at his disposal, that any other people, group, party or band ever set foot in the Land of Promise between 2200 B.C. and 421 A.D. other than the Jaredites, Nephites (including Lamanites), and Mulekites. Nor is there anything that would lead one to believe that Jaredites survived beyond Coriantumr in all the Land of Promise. Yet, some insist that numerous other peoples existed in the Land of Promise, contrary to the clear and simple language of the scriptural record.
    Nor do we have any knowledge that anyone was led or arrived in the area of the Land of Promise between the Flood and the Jaredite arrival, a period of about 300 years. To clarify this, Ether was told by the Lord to tell Coriantumr to repent or he would destroy him and his nation, and that he “should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance” (Ether 13:21). Had there been anyone else in the land, this promise would be meaningless. Obviously, the promise was given before the Nephites or Mulekites arrived (suggesting a Jaredite time frame) or, again, the promise would not make sense.
    Obviously, then, any Land of Promise would have to have been isolated from other people, groups, and nations, and completely void of others when the Jaredites first arrived, and later when the Nephites arrived. The only place in the Western Hemisphere that meets this criteria is the Andean area of South America.
    In addition, another descriptive area of the Land of Promise is that of Textiles. The scriptural record informs us that Zeniff did “cause that the women should spin, and toil, and work, and work all manner of fine linen, yea, and cloth of every kind, that we might clothe our nakedness” (Mosiah 10:5), “abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth” (Alma 1:29), “to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen” (Alma 4:6), “their women did toil and spin, and did make all manner of cloth, of fine-twined linen and cloth of every kind,” (Helaman 6:13), “all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen” (Ether 9:17), and “they did have silks, and fine-twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth, that they might clothe themselves” (Ether 10:24).
Top: The early occupants of the Andean region of South America developed rich traditions of textile production. The excellent preservation conditions on the coast allowed many textiles to survive to this day. Some of the best known Andean textile traditions come from Peru: the Paracas on the south coast (500-200 BC); Bottom: 2500-year-old textiles from the Lambayequew culture of northern Peru
    Thus in the land of promise, fine-twined linen and silks were available from Jaredite through Nephite times, or from somewhere around 2000 B.C. to 385 A.D. However, only one area in all of the Western Hemisphere has a record of silks and linen being used anciently and that is the Andean area of South America. In fact, Peru and Ecuador are widely known for their textiles and silk that equaled that of the Old World according to the early Spaniards—even though the Andes did not have the silk worm, the silks they produced from other means (see earlier posts on this subject) were compared by the conquistadors with those of Seville and elsewhere as being even finer. According to Cambridge University, “Peru has the longest continuous textile record in world history. Simple spun fibers many thousands of years old provide evidence of the first human occupation in western South America. Elaborate fabrics, dating from 3000 BC up to the present, survive in large numbers.”
    On the other hand, none at all have been found in North America, or any of the other so-called Land of Promise models so often presented by numerous theorists. Not in the United States, Baja, or even Mesoamerica. 
    Obviously, then, any true Land of Promise must match all of the descriptions listed in the Book of Mormon—it is not a pick and choose arrangement in selecting those that agree with your point of view, but must match all of the descriptions, beginning with these first 25 covered in these ten posts.
(See the next post, “So Where is the Land of Promise? – Part XI,” for more of these descriptions as listed in the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon)

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