Friday, July 25, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part XIV

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. 
    This Fourteenth question is directed to all Theorists who claim Lehi landed in their pet model area of the Land of Promise, and that it matches the scriptural record.
    The question to ask is quite simple and strictly scripturally based:
    14. “Where are the two unknown grains that were planted in the City of Nephi area by Zeniff that are mentioned along with corn, wheat and barley?”
LtoR: Corn, Wheat, and Barley
    First, Zeniff makes it quite clear what they planted, “And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land” (Mosiah 9:9).
    Second, it might be assumed that when Zeniff led “as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land,” he took with him not only people, but all the supplies that would be needed, including seeds from Zarahemla.
    Third, these seeds grew abundantly, not just the first year, but even twelve years later, and were a source of the Lamanites to steal their crops and “glut themselves with the labors” of the Nephites (Mosiah 9:11-12).
Fourth, the seeds Zeniff and his people brought from Zarahemla included two unknown grains called Sheum and Neas—nor did Joseph Smith have any knowledge of these two grains and was unable to label them with any known names, thus used the names from the Nephite record.
    Fifth, they must have been important crops since they were mentioned, both by Zeniff, and later by Mormon in his abridgement, and were likely well-known to the Nephites of the time as well as to Mormon some 600 years later. Thus, it might be understood that these two grains were as much stables to the Nephite diet as were corn, wheat and barley.
    Sixth, based on all of this, it also might be assumed that these two grains had some special or unique properties about them, such as being a healthy food staple, sturdy growth, high nutritional value, or easily stored, etc.
    Seventh, these two grains must be located, now or during Book of Mormon times, in the Western Hemisphere, and be able to be grown in locations where corn, wheat and barley can be grown abundantly.
    Eighth, from today’s perspective and knowledge, there are two very important grains indigenous to the Western Hemisphere that had a long history of several thousand years and have re-emerged in the past two hundred years to become “the current darling of the health food scene,” called quinoa (referred to as the mother of all grains) and the other is kiwicha (referred to as the King’s grain), both indigenous to the high plains of the Andes, and grown since at least 2000 B.C. in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, and is referred to today as “The Miracle Grain of the Andes,” and Global development experts call it a “superfood “one of our most important weapons in the fight to end world hunger.” In fact, dieticians are calling these grains the “super superfoods,” and said to be better for you than wheat, rice and barley.
A Quinoa field in western Bolivia; Peru, Ecuador and Chile have also seen an explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years, which has quadrupled prices at retail outlets
    Ninth, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and kiwicha (pronounced kee-wee-cha), have been grown in the Andes for 4,000 years, clear up to and including the Inca Empire period, and almost as widely used throughout the Americas as corn. After the Conquest, however, it fell into disuse and only recently has it been reintroduced outside the Andean area where the high plains natives lived on it for centuries.
Top: Colorful Quinoa fields; Bottom: the Kiwicha plants. Both provide edible seeds of superior nutrition
    Tenth, in all the Western Hemisphere, there are not two other grains of any import, that would have been unknown to Joseph Smith in 1830 that would fit the value of these two grains planted by Zeniff along with his corn, wheat and barley, deserving attention and repetition by Mormon. These two grains are found in Andean South America, have grown since Jaredite times, and continually down until the time of the Conquest, and have been revitalized in the past two hundred years to become two of the most important grain crops in the world.
    So we ask the question again, “Where in Mesoamerica, the Heartland, Great Lakes, Baja California, or other model, are the two unknown grains that were planted in the City of Nephi area by Zeniff that are mentioned along with corn, wheat and barley?"

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