Thursday, July 10, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part I

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 first question is directed to Phyllis Carol Olive and her Great Lakes Theory:
    1. “Where are the ‘mountains whose height is great’ that Samuel the Lamanite prophesied about in the Land of Promise?” Samuel proclaimed: “and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23).
    First, Samuel was referring to signs that would be given to the Nephites at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion; therefore, we are talking about great mountains in the Western Hemisphere.
    Second, these mountains would have to be noticeable to the people over a large area (most of the Nephite nation), not some isolated area that would not be seen by most of the populace. This means the mountains prominences cannot be hidden within a series of hills or mountains, but noticeable and great to be seen and qualify for Samuel’s langue.
The Nevado Huascarán in central Peru (Land of Zarahemla, Land Southward), situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the western Andes. The granite core mountain has two distinct summits, the higher with an elevation of 22,205 feet, and a prominence of 9,108 feet
    Third, this prophesy was directed to the Nephites, both in the Land Southward, and in the Land Northward; therefore, these mountains could not be isolated to one particular area, but be more than one jutting of a single or series of peaks scattered over the entire visible spectrum of the Land of Promise. Thus be seen in the Land Southward and the Land Northward.
The Chimborazo, in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes (Land Northward) in Ecuador. Its peak is 20,564 feet and lies along the equatorial bulge, making it the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center, and having a singular prominence of 13,564 feet, visible for miles around
    Fourth, while given to the Nephites, Samuel himself was a Lamanite from the Land of Nephi, called of the Lord to be a prophet and to prophesy to the Nephites in the Land of Zarahemla. When his assignment was completed, he returned to his own land (Land of Nephit) where he “began to preach and to prophesy among his own people” (Helaman 16:7). Thus, it seems obvious that these mountains would have been visible to the Lamanites as well since Samuel prophesied of the coming of the Savior and his death and the signs signaling these events.
The Llullaillaco, in the Puna de Atacama region (Land of Nephi, Land Southward) of the Atacama Desert, and at 22,110 feet, the second highest volcano in the world and seventh highest peak in the Andes. It has a prominence of 7690 feet, visible for over 125 miles at the Paranal Observatory in Chile
    Fifth, if these mountains of which Samuel prophesied were not prominent enough to draw attention throughout the Land of Promise, then his entire message to the Nephites is cast in question, and the signs the Lord told him to proclaim are in doubt. Why even mention it if these mountains Samuel foresaw were not extremely prominent? And why say their “height was great” if it was not, indeed, great?
    Sixth, nor can we say it is just series of hills hidden with a vast rolling landscape of hilltops that show no sign of prominence or uniqueness, such as those found in the eastern United States?
Allegheny Mountains, no higher than 4800 feet, are to the east and southeast of the Great Lakes area Land of Promise
Catskill Mountains of New York between Albany and New York City barely rise over 4000 feet elevation, and basically considered a dissected (eroded) plateau. They lie to the east of the Great Lakes area "Land of Promise"
Appalachian Mountains, with a height of 6,683 feet, are far to the east and south of the Great Lakes area Land of Promise
    For those not familiar with upstate and western New York, perhaps the following district map will be helpful. Keep in mind, that Phyllis Carol Olive’s Land of Promise lies in area #1 and #2, with the hill Cumorah just to the left and above the #2. And for what it is worth, I have driven all through areas #1, #2, #3, #4, #6 and parts of #5, and much of the area is comparatively flat, especially those areas to the south of the Great Lakes (above #1, #2 and #4).
In addition, I’ve driven through what is called the “Endless Mountains” in Pennsylvania (part of the Appalachian Mountain chain) just south of the Great Lakes area, with the highest peak rising to only 2693 feet, which includes Susquehanna county. It is not truly a series of mountains, or even hills, but a dissected (eroded) plateau.
The Endless Mountain Region in northeastern Pennsylvania. You can drive though this area with ease, and is mostly for hiking, camping and other activities
    Seventh, you cannot, after all, have a Land of Promise without those descriptions clearly spelled out in the scriptural record! So we ask again of the Great Lakes Theorists, where are the mountains “whose height is great” of which Samuel the Lamanite prophesied? (Helaman 14:23}. They are certainly not in the northeastern area of the U.S., New York, Great Lakes, etc. After all, Samuel only prophesied those things that the Lord told him to say (Helaman 13:4). If a mountain's height is called "great", that is the Lord's words. So who is correct? The Lord through Samuel, or the Great Lakes Theorists?

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