Monday, July 14, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part IV

Using strictly the scriptures, I would like to ask the following questions of those many Theorists who claim their pet theories about the location of the Land of Promise are consistent with the scriptural record. 
    The fourth question is directed to Rod L. Meldrum, who has written extensively about his Heartland Land of Promise:
    4. “How exactly did Lehi and his family get from their ship upon landing on the coast to the Heartland several hundred miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico?”
    First, as has been pointed out in these posts earlier, not a single river emptying into the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico was navigable more than a few miles inland for a deep ocean vessel before extensive dredging, deepening and locks were built by the Corps of Engineers in the 19th century. The St. Lawrence was blocked by rapids at Montreal, over 200 miles distance from Lake Erie, and the Mississippi was not navigable inland more than 90 miles because of rapids and shallow waters around Baton Rouge. (See our posts between May 28, 2014 and June 5, 2014).
Second, the closest point to any landing on the coast is just over 200 miles, and Lehi and his wife were very old, sickly and described as nearly brought down to their graves by Laman and Lemuel’s rebellions, by the time they landed (1 Nephi 18:18).
    Third, there is not a single comment, suggestion or indication that Lehi traveled anywhere after landing. All that is mentioned is that upon landing, they pitched their tents, tilled the earth, planted seeds, and brought in an abundant crop (1 Nephi 18:23). After that, they journeyed around their new home and discovered what it contained (1 Nephi 18:25), including animals and ores.
    Fourth, after all of this, the Lord commanded Nephi to take some of the ore he found and make plates so he could record the record of his father and their journeyings in the wilderness and both his prophecies and those of his father (1 Nephi 19:1).
    Fifth, had Lehi traveled or journeyed in the wilderness after landing to a new area to settle, hundreds of miles inland toward the “heartland” and the Great Lakes, as Meldrum claims, then Nephi’s recording of “our journeyings in the wilderness” certainly would have included this since the Lord commanded him to record all of this—but there is not a single word about such an event.
    Sixth, following making the plates, Nephi and Lehi both preached to the family, and then Lehi blessed his children. After that Lehi died, and Nephi was told to flee from his brethren and take all those who would go with him.
Seventh, one can only wonder at what rebellions Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael might have caused had they been required to walk hundreds of miles after landing and being cooped up on the ship for a few months. Certainly their attitude during such an endeavor would have caused Nephi to write something about it. But there is not a word!
   Eighth, Mormon refers to this land of First Inheritance, or where they landed, as along the West Sea "and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore" (Alma 22:28), not hundreds of miles inland!
Two separate low-mountain ranges (Appalachian and Catskills run vertically between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Coast that would have to be crossed (and maybe even the Acadian Mountains), including this Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains and Forest
    Ninth, moving inland from the coast in 600 B.C. would have been an extremely difficult endeavor since the entire area was thickly forested along the entire coast, and around the southern part of the eastern U.S. quite swampy. Any trek inland would have required an enormous effort through such terrain as existed then, with no roads, horses, wagons, etc., to ease travel. 2100 years later, the early settlers did not penetrate inland, but built their settlements along the coast because of the extreme difficulty of moving inland.
    So once again, we ask the question, “How did Lehi get from where he landed along the coast to the interior of the land Meldrum refers to as the Heartland, along the Ohio, Mississippi and Great Lakes region?" There is certainly nothing in the scriptural record to allow for such a trek and relocation after landing.

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