Monday, September 15, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part I

Anyone can come up with a cafeteria list of things that a model of the Land of Promise must have to match the scriptures; one Theriost uses five, another ten, still another twelve, but the truth of the matter is there are at least 27 to 31 scriptural descriptions (depending on how you collectively list them), that Mormon used to describe the geographical setting of the Land of Promise for his future reader. In addition, there are some thirty others that are not so direct, such as circumcision, irrigation, travel wordage, distances, etc., that are arguable, but do exist. But the first 27 to 31, though some of those may be a point of interpretation, each exists and must be dealt with since they are specifically listed in the scriptural record.  
    To base an entire model and theory on a single issue, such as Sorenson’s cardinal directions (Nephite North); or the Great Lakes Hill Cumorah; or Heartland’s America First (Land Northward), etc., is simply not worthy of discussion.
    There were, after all, these following scriptures describing the land at the time the Nephites occupied the Land of Promise. And they cannot be ignored since they are Mormon’s own writing; and the only way to deal with his writing and the descriptions in the scriptural record is to list them and show that they existed at the time of the Nephites in the model being used:
A Chart showing 31 major points of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record, all of which match Andean Peru and how so few other areas have any or much in the way of these descriptions
    Before continuing, some ground rules need to be accepted and clearly understood and followed:
    1. Mormon’s words have to be accepted as they were written by him, translated by Joseph Smith, and verified by the Spirit.
    2. Nephi’s ship, based on the record of its power “driven forth before the wind,” must be shown how it arrived in the Land of Promise by winds and currents; and seas or rivers must have been navigable at the time
    3. The physical appearance must exist today, or be shown (not just told) why it is different today than at the time of the Nephites (geological evidence needs to support any changes claimed in land masses, oceans, lakes, etc.)
    4. Directions must be followed; a land not mentioned in the scriptures cannot be included (i.e., Lamanite lands other than the Land of Nephi and the area of First Landing; there can be no land east of the Sea East; the river Sidon must flow in the direction of the scriptural account; the lands of Zarahemla and Nephi and the narrow strip of wilderness must stretch from sea to sea as stated, etc.)
    5. One scriptural description or statement cannot be used if others conflict or show a different meaning. All scriptural references on a subject must be included and consistent.
    6. Everything mentioned must be covered (having copper is not sufficient; must have had copper, gold and silver, and in abundance)
    7. Topography must exist as stated (i.e., must have mountains “whose height is great”; a major river flowing to the sea; lands and cities in the directions from each other described, etc.)
    8. Land size must reasonably fit the events and populations described.
    9. The land at the time of the Jaredites had to have had two unknown animals; and at the time of the Nephites had to have had two unknown grains, matching the scriptural description.
    10. Must have bodies of water in the directions described, and seas must indeed be seas, not rivers (i.e., there are six major seas mentioned, north, east, south and west, Ripliancum and the one that divides the land).
    11. If radio carbon (C-14) dating is used, it must be of hard evidence, i.e., significant buildings and structures as described in the scriptural record. Standard archaeological and anthropological condepts of diffusion, guesses, beliefs, normal archaeological developments, etc., simply do not meet Jaredite, Nephite and Mulekite development in the Land of Promise since they arrived as already coming from highly advanced societies.
    12. If one is going to use historical factors (i.e., Olmec as Jaredites), then their time frame and location must match the scriptural record (i.e., Olmecs lived in their Land Southward contrary to the Jaredite record).
    13. There can be no changing the scriptural record. (i.e., people cannot be added that are not recorded; events recorded cannot be eliminated, ignored, or claimed to be in error; Mormon’s writing, as it was translated, is to be considered accurate (i.e., the only true way to do this is to take the actual descriptive statements in the scriptural record and list them without altering, changing, or having to explain away their meaning in order to achieve a match).
    In the 31 major descriptions in the chart above, this is what has been done in the following comparisons. Mormon’s descriptions are listed along with the scripture reference. And in order to make it crystal clear, 1) the scripture is listed; 2) the descriptions used elsewhere is then listed; and 3) the matching description in Andean South America is shown.
    Once again, any disagreement has to be with the scripture and its relationship to a specific model, not just with Andean South America. In addition, comparisons must be factually shown, not just something one thinks, believes, states.
    This effort is meant to try and eliminate emotional attitudes, beliefs, stubborn opinions, etc., and bring everything under the point it should be and, frankly, seldom is—the scriptural reference.
    The 31 descriptions are and will be listed below and the following posts until all are covered:
    • Scripture: “we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land. And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days” (2 Nephi 18:8-9).
    Elsewhere: Despite claims to the contrary, direct ocean currents from southern Arabia for a “drift voyage” (dependent only on winds and currents) do not move eastward toward Indonesia, nor through Indonesia to Malay, nor outward into the Pacific, toward the Western Hemisphere. The early ”so-called” trade routes were not drift voyages, but coastal voyages requiring setting in at night, which would have made the “great storm” (1 Nephi 18:13-15) impossible along the coast where the ship would have been demolished being blown into the shore.
    Andes, South America: coastal waters from southern Arabian Peninsula moves outward into the Sea of Arabia, the Indian Ocean, and into the Southern Ocean, then across the sea to the east in the West Wind Drift and with the Prevailing Westerlies, until the Humboldt Current moved the ship northward along the Chilean coast to where the currents died down to a minimum at 30º south latitude and a ship could be steered into shore.
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24).
    Elsewhere: Seeds from the Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem in 600 B.C. would have only grown in another Mediterranean Climate, especially “exceedingly” and providing an "abundant" crop. Only five such Climates exist outside the Mediterranean: South Africa, two southern tips of Australia, central/southern California, and La Serena, Chile.
    Andes, South America: A Mediterranean Climate exists in La Serena and Coquimbo Bay, 30º south latitude in Chile, where winds and currents would have taken him and where Lehi could have landed.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part II,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

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