Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part III

Continuing with the list shown in the last two posts (and below) of the various scriptural record descriptions of the Land of Promise and how any model must meet each and every one of these descriptions listed by Mormon. To make sure there are no chicanery used here, as often found in such lists of other Theorists, we list the full scripture, the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area.
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. Those marked in yellow were covered in the previous two posts
    • Scripture: And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about” (Mosiah 11:12), and also And it came to pass that he fought with the king; and when the king saw that he was about to overpower him, he fled and ran and got upon the tower which was near the temple. And Gideon pursued after him and was about to get upon the tower to slay the king, and the king cast his eyes round about towards the land of Shemlon, and behold, the army of the Lamanites were within the borders of the land“ (Mosiah 19:5-6)
    Elsewhere: Outside of the Andes, only in Mesoamerica can a building be referred to as a tower, thought being next to a temple might be arguable, and being able to see beyond the tree canopy into other lands from its height might also be arguable. No other location can even suggest the ruins of such a tower and temple building location. To try and support a tower so high you can see several miles into another land made of wood (and now rotted away) is without merit.
    Andes: There are by far more ancient ruins of the Jaredite and Nephite periods in Andean South America than found in Mesoamerica. And in the area of Sacsayhuaman, the ancient ruin above Cuzco (City of Nephi), lies a former temple which Garcilaso de la Vega described in great detail in the latter 1500s. The son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca princess, Vega played in the temple labrynth as a child having been born four years after the Battle of Cajamarca and the conquest of the Inca. There he learned the Inca legends from his uncles, who were members of the nobility, and later wrote The Royal Commentaries of the Inca, in which he described the temple, the tower, and other matters in great detail. The foundations of both temple and tower are clearly visible today—with the tower once overlooking the entire valley below and into the valley beyond.
    • Scripture: and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth” (Alma 1:29; see also Alma 4:6, 26; Helaman 6:13; Ether 10:24)
    Elsewhere: Silk and fine-twined linen have been found in Mesoamerica, but nowhere else in the various models of the Land of Promise, with silk not arriving in Malaysia before 500 A.D. when traders from China and India first arrived. When Etienne Brule, the first French explorer arrived in the Great Lakes area in 1634, he wore Chinese silk to impress the natives, but they were totally unfamiliar with the cloth or fine-twined linen. Nor was silk known anciently in the Heartland or Baja.
    Andes: Evidence of an extremely high quality silk and fine-twined linen have been found throughout various tombs and among mummies located in the Andean area dating back to B.C. times. In puma Punku (200 B.C.), was widely known for its opulence in personal adornment as well as extravagant decorations, unimaginably wondrous, adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, and trafficked by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests and elites decked in exotic jewelry. When the conquistadores arrived, they were struck with the opulence of the Peruvian cultures, and the quality of their silk and clothing they claimed rivaled that of Spain.
    • Scripture: “And it came to pass that the [Lamanite] king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided” (Alma 22:27). And on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful. And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed” (Alma  22:29-30), and “thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful,” (Alm 22:31), and “the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward” (Alma 22:33).
    Elsewhere: Basically, everyone who writes about a Land of Promise other than Mesoamerica, uses a north-south orientation; however, most models in the Heartland and Great Lakes have cities and lands out of north-south alignment. Other than Andean South America, only Baja and Malay actually use a north-south alignment for the interior of their map as well.
    Andes: Andean South America is aligned in a north-south map, complete with all lands, cities, travel, etc.
    • Scripture: “[the land of Nephi] was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west…by the head of the river Sidon” (Alma 22:27). This Sidon river was east of Zarahemla and ran by “the hill Amnihu, which was east of the river Sidon, which ran by the land of Zarahemla” (Alma 2:15). Thus, with headwaters in the narrow strip of wilderness to the south of Zarahemla, the river flowed northward past Zarahemla.
    Elsewhere: The Heartland model has the Mississippi River (Sidon) running southward; the Great Lakes has the Buffalo River (Sidon) running westward; Baja does not have a year round river in the south and central lands; Mesoamerica has two rivers that run north, but with their “Nephite North” change of cardinal points by 90º, they run eastward by their reasoning; Malay uses the Kelatan River, which runs north to the sea past their Zarahemla; however it also passes by Bountiful (on the west), which is never mentioned in the scriptural record. Nor is there any possibility that the area of the Panama Canal is the Sidon River—the fact alone that it runs east and west rules that out. Nor can the Niagara River be the Sidon River, since it does not have its headwaters in the narrow strip of wilderness bordering the Land of Nephi, nor does it divide the Land Northward from the Land Southward as this theory claims (nor can the Sea East be to the north of the Land Southward).
    Andes: There are several rivers in southern Peru that run north, many are major rivers, and each ran to what was once the East Sea where now the Urubamba River flows northward into the Amazon.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IV,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

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