Saturday, July 26, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part XV

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 fifteenth 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:
    15. “Where is the indigenous natural cure for fever found in the natural plants of the Land of Promise in your model as Alma tells us the Lord provided for the Nephites?” (Alma 46:40)
Fever (Malaria) Endemic World Map, showing in dark red those areas where spraying during outbreaks is one of the emergency control measures to curb the spread of malaria
    First, Alma tells us that “there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land -- but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate” (Alma 46:40).
    Second, fever that kills people is generally considered to be malaria, a malady brought on by climate and the presence of standing water and Anopheles mosquito-borne parasitic protozoans (Plasmodium).
Third, malaria remains the most significant parasitic disease of humans, with 219 million documented cases annually, claiming over 770,000 deaths each year. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in a broad band around the equator, including Sub-Sharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
    Fourth, while there are some preventative medications available today for people traveling where malaria exists, during Nephite times, there was only one cure for this fever and that came from the bark of the cinchona tree, which contains quinine. This tree, by the way, is indigenous to, and grew only on the slopes of the Andes mountains, mainly in Peru.
Cinchona pubescens or Quina is a genus of about eight species in the family Rubiacaea, native to the tropical Andes forests of Western South America. The bark of this genus is the source of a variety of alkaloids, the most familiar of which is quinine, an anti-fever agent especially useful in treating malaria, and known as medicinal plants
    Fifth, in the early 1600s, local Quecha Indians in Peru were seen using ground bark from a tree they called Quinquina (“bark of barks”), a term from which the later term quinine derived. Some of the ground bark was sent to Rome by the Jesuits to have tested against malaria. The cure worked so effectively, that the powder became known as Jesuit Powder. Soon Europeans were exporting the seeds and bark from the tree in such huge amounts that it became one of Peru’s most valuable natural exports.
Left: Quecha Indians teaching Jesuits about the Cinchona tree bark who had used the bark (right) to successfully treat shivering and fevers for a very long time
    Sixth, until the Dutch stole some seedlings and planted them in Indonesia in the 19th century, Andean Peru was the sole source of quinine in the world. By 1938, 80% of the world supply came from these Indonesia cinchona farms; and since 1945, when synthetics were developed because Japan controlled almost all the quinine in the South Pacific during World War II, cinchona trees have become less important.
    Seventh, however, during Nephite times and for centuries later, the cinchona tree and its bark existed only in the Andean area of Peru where it was well known to cure fever among other maladies by the local Indians.
    So we ask again, “Where is the indigenous natural cure for fever found in the natural plants of the Land of Promise in your model as Alma tells us the Lord provided for the Nephites?"

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