Thursday, September 18, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IV

Continuing with the list shown in the last three 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 misrepresentations 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 post
    • Scripture: And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the 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).
    First of all, this narrow neck of land served three purposes: 1) it was the only connection between the Land Southward and the Land Northward [Alma 22:32]; 2) it was narrow enough to serve as a defensive “choke point” for the Nephite military and keep dissidents like Morianton, or enemy like the Lamanites from getting beyond and achieving a foothold in the land Northward [Alma 22:33]; and 3) it separated the Land of Desolation (Land Northward) from the Land of Bountiful (Land Southward) [Alma 22:31]. There were also four characteristics about the narrow neck, and that was 1) it was narrow enough that a Nephite could walk across it in a day and a half [Alma 22:32]; 2) it was so configured that a narrow pass existed within it that led from the Land Southward to the Land Northward [Alma 50:34; 52:9; Mormon 2:29; 3:5]; 3) it served as the “line” between the north and south, i.e., “on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation” [Alma 22:32], that is, the Land Northward (Desolation) and the Land Southward (Bountiful) [Alma 22:32]; and 4) it was the dividing line between the Nephites (north) and the Lamanites (south) after the truce arranged by Mormon in 350 A.D. [Mormon 2:28].
    In addition, five events occurred near this location: 1) Hagoth built his shipyard [Alma 63:5]; 2) Emigrants boarded Hagoth’s ships and sailed to a “land which was northward” [Alma 63:6], and many emigrants passed through this area on foot to inherit the Land Northward [Alma 63:9]; 3) the Jaredites built a great city [Ether 10:20]; 4) Jaredite animals escaped the poisonous snakes by passing through this area into the Land Southward [Ether 9:31;10:19]; and 5) the Jaredites preserved the Land Southward as an animal preserve for hunting [Ether 10:21].
    It should also be kept in mind, that two lines are mentioned, one regarding the Nephite journey of a day and a half (Alma 22:32), and the other a defensive line the distance of a day’s travel (Helaman 4:6-7). These two lines are not the same and are not in the same location. The second line, a defensive line, was built in 38 B.C., “And the Nephites and the armies of Moronihah were driven even into the land of Bountiful; And there they did fortify against the Lamanites from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day’s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had foritified and stationed their armies to defend their north country” (Helaman 4:6-7).
    This defensive line was not from sea to sea, but in some way, gave the Nephites the defensive position to hold the road or way through Bountiful to the narrow neck to the north of the land. Also, for clarification, when it speaks of the line between Desolation and Bountiful, the “line” is in reference to a boundary, the same way it is used in “And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi” (Alma 50:11). This line was the narrow strip of wilderness, whose width we do not know, but again is described as “narrow.”
    Elsewhere: There is no other location where a narrow neck area in any theory model that is narrow enough for a boundary line to be drawn across it that was a day and a half width, or about 25-35 miles wide and the only egress between the Land Southward and the Land Northward, creating a defensive “choke point” to keep enemies out of the Land Northward.
Top: Great Lakes area, showing two approaches, between the lakes (their narrow pass) and southeast of the lakes, which is in opposition to Mormon’s descriptions; Bottom Left: Mesoamerica, showing three approaches in the 124-144 mile wide narrow neck, yellow arrow along the one coast, green arrow along the other coast, and red arrow through mountain passes in between, again in oppositon to Mormon’s description; Bottom Right: Andes area, showing yellow arrow Morianton’s flight toward the singular narrow neck and narrow pass into the Land Northward, and white arrow showing Moroni’s run to cut him off
    Andes: The Andean area has a 26-mile wide narrow neck at the east end of the Bay of Guayaquil, between this large bay and the steep Andes mountains—in the time of the Nephites, the Andes had not uplifted and the area was the Sea East, called the Pebesian Sea by geologists, also creating a 26-mile wide narrow neck.
    • Scripture: And 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).
    Killer fevers of the period connected with climate was “malaria,” the most deadly and uncontrolled fever ever known to man.
    Elsewhere: There has never been a natural cure other than quinine for fever in the world’s history. And quinine was used for more than two thousand years, dating back into B.C. times in only one place, where the cinchona tree grew naturally.
    Andes: The only cure ever discovered for malaria fever was the bark of the cinchona tree, a natural plant and herb indigenous to Andean South America, and found nowhere else in the world until the Dutch pirated some seedlings out in the 19th century and planted them in Indonesia.
    • Scripture: And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies” (Alma 48:5); and “he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8); and “But he kept his men round about, as if making preparations for war; yea, and truly he was preparing to defend himself against them, by casting up walls round about and preparing places of resort” (Alma 52:6).
    It is interesting that these resorts, or forts, were built before the time of Moroni as chronicled in Alma. We find that in Mosiah, King Noah “caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land” (Mosiah 11:13). That is, before Mosiah I left the City of Nephi, the Nephites had built a resort on a hill north of the land of Shilom which they used as a fort. Consequently, for at least some 300  years or so, the Nephites were builders of forts. And if the one they built on a hill over looking Shilom is any example, then one might expect to find these forts (or outposts) on hills overlooking valleys, canyons, or entrances to populated areas.
    Elsewhere: Heartland and Great Lakes people claim such buildings were built out of wood and, therefore, would not have survived to our day to see such ruins. However, we know that the Nephites built defensive positions and fortifications out of stone as stated in “Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8, emphasis mine). Consequently, some of these would have survived to our day, as such stonework has survived in both Mesoamerica and Andean South America. Baja, Malay, and Central America have no such resorts.
    Andes: Unlike Mesoamerica, in the Andes, there are hundreds of ruins of such resorts, occupying hillsides and mountain tops that served as small forts and lookouts or outposts, often near a much larger fortress, and always overlooking passes into populated city areas.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part V,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

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