Monday, September 22, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part VIII

Continuing with the list shown in the last seven 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 misunderwstasndings, as is often found in such lists of other Theorists whoi choose only those scriptural references that they feel supports their model, we list all of Mormon's descriptions, and the full scripture, along with the existence or lack of existence in other models (under “elsewhere”), and the existence in the Andean South America area under "Andes."
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 there were many highways cast up, and many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place” (3 Nephi 6:8). Many of these highways were later destroyed, “And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough” (3 Nephi 8:13).
    Obviously, these roads and highways were more than simple dirt trails, for “casting up” and “broken up” certainly denotes something more permanent, such as stone or some type of cement.
    Elsewhere: Only three places in the entire Western Hemisphere show signs of such roads, and that is in Peru, to a lesser extent in Mesoamerica and a few in Central America. There are no such road systems in the Eastern United States, Heartland, Great Lakes, etc., nor in Baja, and not in Malay, where ancient rivers were their highways.
    Andes: Throughout the Andes, from Ecuador to Chile, runs a 25,000 miles roadway that provided access to over 1.2 million square miles of territory. This road, which could reach 66 feet in width, ran between 1600 and 2600 feet above sea level, and on steep slopes they built stone steps resembling giant flights of stairs, and in desert areas near the coast they built low walls to keep the sand from drifting over the road.
    While it is called the Inca Road today, it was only used by the Inca to solidify their empire. While the Inca are given credit for building it by unknowing people, the road system was in existence more than a thousand years before the Inca came to power in the 1400s, some dating back to the Wari people (500 B.C.) and even long before—according to Professor Urton of Harvard University, as early as 1000 B.C.
   The system had various means to bridge water courses, with multiple types of bridges used throughout. Some bridges were made of simple logs, while others were built of stone or floating reeds were used in marshy highlands, and deep canyons and rivers were crossed by suspended rope bridges, and narrower mountains roads had walls to keep one from falling into the canyons. After the conquest, the Spaniards dug up many parts of the roads and allowed others to deteriorate and fall into ruin under iron-clad horses’ hooves. Today, only about twenty-five percent of the original road system is still visible.
    The roads were a miraculous feat of engineering, and the longest road, named the Qhapaq Ñan (Great Road), or Main Andean Road locally, was called the Royal Road by the Inca, and renamed the Camino Real by the Spanish conquerors, traversed virtually the entire length north to south of the South American Continent. It was comparable, experts say, to the Roman road system, but even more remarkable for the rugged terrain it traversed for more than 3,000 years.
    • Scripture: “And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder. And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land” (3 Nephi 8:5-7), and “And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward. But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth“ (3 Nephi 8:11-12).
    As stated in the previous post, when Samuel the Lamanite prophesied of these events (Helaman 14:23), and Nephi saw them in a vision (1 Nephi 12:4), they were a portent, an omen, a sign to the people of the crucifixion and completion of the Savior’s mission. Obviously, these events were a foretoken for all the people to know and understand—they were not some insignificant event as John L. Sorenson claims, but an earth-altering, mind-numbing phenomenon that saw mountains tumbling into pieces and falling to become valleys, and elsewhere valleys rising into mountains of great heights, cities sinking into the earth or beneath the seas, others covered by the earth or shaken to the ground, as seen both by Nephi and by Samuel the Lamanite in visions. They both saw and heard tumultuous noises—loud, deafening, thunderous, and clamorous noises in the earth, as quakes “shook till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places left desolate” (3 Nephi 8:14). Solid foundational rocks “which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up; Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath” (Helaman 14:21-22), and those rocks on the surface were “broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:18).
    Elsewhere: According to the U.S.G.S., “Earthquake Hazards Program,” east of the Rocky Mountains it is rare for earthquakes to break the ground surface. In the Heartland, the area of Memphis, Tennessee, is considered vulnerable to a severe earthquake, but the Great Lakes barely has a possibility.
USGA Map of earthquake hazard areas in the lower 48. The area of Memphis Tennessee east of the Rocky Mountains, is the only area in the highest hazard category. The blue area of Great Lakes is nearly the least (only white is less)
    Chile and Peru, Central and Meso-America, Baja and Malay all fall in the Ring of Fire, which is a 25,000 mile stretch of geologically active land extending in a horseshoe shape around the Pacific Rim, which is an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. Malay itself does not have much in this area of earthquakes and volcanoes, but is so close to Sumatra, which does, that it is included.
    Of the last 1500 earthquakes recorded in the Central United States, only 6 reached 4.0 or higher, with 4.3 the highest, of which four of these were in Oklahoma, one in Texas, and one in Michigan; more than 1200 were under 3.0, with 113 in the state of Missouri, all under 2.0 magnitude. 122 were recorded in Tennessee, all under 3.1. Seven earthquakes recorded in Ohio, all under 2.2. Only two in New York, 2.4 and 2.1 magnitude.
    The highest magnitude earthquake in Guatemala was recorded at 7.9 and the next at 7.6 over the past 300 years, with nine quakes over 7.0.
    Andes: The Peru-Chile trench, also known as the Atacama Trench, is one of the biggest trenches at a plate boundary, reaches a depth of 26,460 feet below sea level, is 3,666 miles long, and covers an expanse of 228,000 square miles. In the past 450 years, there have been 11 earthquakes of 8.0 magnitude or higher, with six of those at 8.7 or higher, and two at 9.0, with one of those at 9.5 magnitude, the largest earthquake ever recorded on the earth.
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IX,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)


  1. Have you seen this absolute silliness? I follow these guys, but it's getting harder and harder. Ridiculous.

  2. We have been pointing this out over the past nearly five years. If you really want to see absolute silliness, see our book "Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican and Other Theorists."