Sunday, July 27, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part XVI

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 sixteenth question is directed to John L. Sorenson and all other Mesoamericanists who love to tell us about their Isthmus and two seas, but neglect the mention or concern themselves about the north and south seas mentioned in Helaman.
    The question to ask is quite simple and strictly scripturally based:
    16. Where are the four seas in your Mesoamerican model that Helaman tells us existed in the Land of Promise?” (Helaman 3:8)
    And the followup questions, 16A. Where is the Sea that Divides the Land, Ether mentioned?” (Ether 10:20).
    First, following a period where there was no contention between the Nephites and Lamanites, there began to be much contention and many dissensions (Helaman 3:3), and during this time “there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land.”
A representative Land of Promise as an island showing Helaman's four seas in the cardinal compass points mentioned in the scriptural record (Helaman 3:8), which are basically opposite one another
    Second, Helaman tells us:And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east“ (Helaman 3:8).
    Third, this description is in conjunction with Helaman describing how scattered throughout the entire Land of Promise Lehi’s children had now become “from the land Southward to the Land Northward.”
    Fourth, to make sure his future reader would understand the enormity of the Nephite accomplishments and their expansion, Helaman adds, “But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work” (Helaman 3:14).
    Fifth, Helaman goes on to talk about the prosperity of the Church and the Nephite nation (Helaman 3:25).
    Sixth, it is only a side note that Helaman left us about the seas, however, it is meant to show that the Nephites had expanded throughout the Land of Promise from “sea to shining sea,” both from north to south and from east to west, and from this we can understand that there were definitely four seas, one at each cardinal point of the compass.
A representative Land of Promise with four seas basically opposite one another in the four cardinal positions, and also showing Ether’s sea that divides the land
    Seventh, in order to satisfy Helaman’s language, these four seas must be basically opposite one another—from the sea north to the sea south, from the sea east to the sea west—and be large enough to warrant them being used as terminous points to the Nephite expansion.
    Eighth, when coupled with Jacob’s statement in 2 Nephi 10:20, that they were on an isle of the sea, these four seas again suggest to us that the Land of Promise was an island; however, that has been pointed out in other posts—here we are involved with the four seas that Helaman tells us basically surrounded the Land of Promise; one in the north, one in the east, one in the south and one in the west.
    Ninth, regarding the "sea that divides the land," Ether tells us that near the narrow neck of land, there was a sea. "And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land" (Ether 10:20).
    Tenth, this sea is not named, suggesting it was not seen as a different directional sea (east, south, north or west), but a locational area, i.e., this sea (or waters) divided the land.
    Eleventh, and since the only division of the Land of Promise ever mentioned in all of the scriptural record is that area between the Land Northward and the Land Southward, and that the Land Southward (land of Nephi and land of Zarahemla) were "nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward" (Alma 22:32), obviously, there was a body of water separating the Land Northward from the Land Southward, and this is that waterway Ether mentions dividing the land. 
    So we ask again, “Where are the four seas in your Mesoamerican model that Helaman tells us existed in the Land of Promise?” (Helaman 3:8), and "Where is the sea that divides the land?"

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