Thursday, March 13, 2014

Could Central Baja California be the Narrow Neck? – Part II

Continuing from the last post about Central Baja California not being the narrow neck of land, and the entire peninsula not being the Land of Promise. 
    In addition to the earlier comments in the last post, at 48 miles across, it would take a Nephite walking at the rate of 2.7 miles per hour for 12 straight hours, then another 2.7 miles an hour for 6 more hours the following day. While the average person can walk at that rate for a short time, it would be highly unlikely that an average  man could maintain such a pace for 12 straight hours—and that is over basically level, hard-packed ground, where Baja is rough country, with a spine of mountains running down its middle length, and at this point the topography is mountainous almost the entire way across the peninsula.
As these pictures, taken across the area of the Theorists “narrow neck of land” show, almost everywhere are mountains, even along the coast. Note also, the land is mostly up and down, with boulders, uneven ground, etc., which would slow down anyone trying to walk across this peninsula—maintaining a pace of even one mile an hour over such ground would be very difficult
    On an almost humorous note, this Baja Peninsula that Theorists try to claim is the narrow neck of land and completely misunderstands Mormon’s comment, claims that this narrow neck of land “was sufficiently narrow that it could be protected by one army and was described by Mormon as a “point” (Alma 52:9).
    However, when we look at that scriptural reference, we find something entirely different: “And he also sent orders unto him that he should fortify the land Bountiful, and secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward, lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side” (Alma 52:9—emphasis mine). Mormon is not talking about a point of land in this passage, its shape, size, or anything else. When Mormon wrote that, he was referring to a geographical area of the overall narrow neck. This is much like saying, when you reach that point in the music, remember to play double forte—very loud,” or, “See that huge boulder at the bottom of the slide? When you reach that point, turn south.”

One look at the Theorist’s Baja map, shows five very distinct errors:
1) The sea to the east is called both the north and east seas, and the sea to the west is called both the west and south seas, which leads to a problem for someone in the Land Northward when they refer to a seashore to the east (Ether 9:3; 14:26). So if the seashore was to the east, they would not refer to it as the North Sea. We also know that to the north was a very large sea they called Ripliancum, which means “large” and “to exceed all,” which should suggest a North Sea.
    This also raises the question, why is the sea to the east referred to as the North Sea above the narrow neck area and the West Sea below the narrow neck area, but the sea to the west is referred to as the West Sea all along the west coast until you get near the southern end of the peninsula where it is called the South Sea. This inconsistency makes no sense at all.
2) One of the obvious problems with Baja is that the land does not narrow as Mormon describes –“small neck,” “narrow neck,” for there is no “neck” anywhere in Baja, as mentioned in the last post. In the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the language especially known in the New England area at the time Joseph Smith was translating the plates, a neck of land is defined as: “A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body, or a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts.” Neither of these two definitions meet anywhere in Baja since there is no distinct area where the land narrows into a small and narrow neck as Mormon so clearly states (Alma 22:32; 63:5).
3) The map shows a very long distance between the area where the city of Nephi would be located (just south of the Valley of Alma), and the Land of Zarahemla, a distance it might be added, the Lamanites covered numerous times going to battle. It does not seem realistic that they would travel so far in order to reach the battle area.
4) Another point about Baja, is that when Coriantumr led his army up the central part of the land (Helaman 1:25), that area in Baja is very mountainous, and cannot be considered the “capitol parts of the land” (Helaman 1:27); nor would there have been sufficient room in the “center of the land” in Baja for the Nephites to gather from the Robbers (3 Nephi 3:21). None of these
5) Land of Desolation is shown to the south of the narrow neck, when Mormon tells us specifically it is to the north of the narrow neck in the Land Northward (Alma 22:31-32; 63:5).
    In addition, these Baja Theorists claim that The narrow neck of land was possibly a natural land bridge or a man-made bridge that spanned the spot where the sea (large river) divided the lands of Desolation and Bountiful. After the earthquakes at the time of the Crucifixion, it may have been nothing more than a narrows in the river or a ford.”
As can be seen by this photo/map example, the land of this area of the Theorists narrow neck of land is hilly and mountainous. The yellow arrows show the same line of sight on both map and photo. Note the red arrow showing the rugged, almost impassable area of their actual narrow neck
    The problem with this is, not only is there nothing in the scriptural record to suggest such a thing, how would a man-made bridge get made? During the famine when the animals fled into the Land Southward (Ether 9:32) the poisonous serpents stopped and “hedged up the way” so the people would not follow into the southern land (Ether 9:33). In fact, after the famine lifted, the Jaredites “preserved the land southward for a wilderness to get game” (Ether 10:21), thus it would appear from this that the Jaredites had never crossed the narrow neck or gone into the Land Southward. It would seem strange to build a bridge to a land that no one had ever before entered.
    It would certainly not have been “a narrows in a river,” since a river is never called a “sea,” nor would Ether/Moroni say “a narrow neck of land by the place where the sea divides the land” (Ether 10:21), if it had been a river. Obviously this is a statement that would not be indicative of two lands with a bridge or man-made causeway between them. So why don’t we just take Mormon and Moroni’s description of a narrow neck of land separating the two lands at face value and as they describe.
    For further information on the fallacies of this Baja Theory, see “The Fallacy of Extremist Theories—the Baja California Theory, Part V, as well as the entire 24-part series in January of 2011 in this blog.

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