Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part IX

Continuing with the list shown in the last eight 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 partial comments 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 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 posts
    • Scripture:  And it came to pass that we did march forth to the land of Cumorah, and we did pitch our tents around about the hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains; and here we had hope to gain advantage over the Lamanites” (Mormon 6:4). This land is also found in Limhi’s rescue party “having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel” (Molsiah 8:8).
    Thus, somewhere in the far north, in the Land Northward, where the Jaredites lived, battled and died, is a land of:
    1. Many waters
    2. Rivers
    3. Fountains
    We also need to keep in mind that while Limhi’s expedition that discovered the bones, buildings, armor, and plates, did not use the word “fountains,” obviously because they were not familiar with this area, Mormon, who was familiar with it, does use the term "fountains." That is, he knew that the origination of the water was in this area—something he would have known obviously being very familiar with the area and choosing it as a battleground for his beleaguered army as a last resort.
    It is also important that we distinguish between the three nouns Mormon uses. First of all, many waters would generally be interpreted as lakes, ponds, and pools; second, rivers would also include streams, rivulet, and brooks; and fountains would be natural springs, sources of water, rivers, wells, i.e., where a pool, lake or river begins by water seeping, or being pumped up, from beneath the ground. In Webster’s 1828 dictionary, he defines it as “the spring or fountain from which a stream of water proceeds, or any collection of water within the earth or upon its surface, in which a stream originates.” These springs have their sources in subterranean ponds, lakes, or collections of water.
    Consequently, to find an area that can be described as a “land of many waters, rivers and fountains,” we must have an area where numerous bodies of water exist whose sources are within these waters that form the lakes, rivers, streams, etc. It cannot be a collection of water, no matter how large, originating from other sources. We also should find an area high up in the mountains or at a great elevation where water sources would be expected to be found.
    Elsewhere: While the Great Lakes area is a land of many waters, it is not a land of source water. That is, according to the Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Great Lakes themselves are maintained from the upstream inflow, groundwater, and surface water runoff, which drain the adjacent land. In addition, heavy rain in Lake Superior causes a rise in all five great lakes, suggesting a continual runoff from other sources into the lakes in general. In 2013, because of low rainfall in the north drainage basin above the lakes, the runoff flow lowered the five great lakes, especially Michigan and Huron, to record lows, threatening shippers, carriers and industry, putting the $34-billion Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping industry in peril.
    As for the Heartland, there are no fountains involved in the entire area of their Land of Promise, since their rivers all have their sources far to the north or west. As for Baja, much of the entire peninsula depends on wells for water. While the northwest is better watered with the Tijuana River and the Colorado River floodplain, the Colorado drains into the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). It might also want to be understood that the southern half of Baja is Mexico’s driest state, and is running out of water at the present time. In addition, water sources are also running out along the northern half of Baja. This is a very dry area with no place at all that could be truthfully designated as a land of many waters.
    The east coast of the Malay peninsula is water-rich, and the peninsular land is drained by a dense network of rivers and streams, the longest being the Pahang River. Two areas in Malay might qualify for a land of many waters, however, they are both south of the Kra Isthmus in the model’s Land Southward, i.e., Khao Sok Ratchaprapha, in the Ban Ta Khun (amphoe) District, located in the Surat Thani province; and another further south covering some six districts along the coast, called Songkhla Lake.
    However, these latter waters are not really lakes, but actually a lagoon complex with a 380-mile-wide strait to the Gulf of Thailand and, being salt water, not really “many waters” at all, and opens into the Thale Luang to the north, a mangrove swamp north of that and a small Thale Noi wetlands reserve beyond. One might even consider two areas far to the north of there, i.e., Vajiralongkorn and Sinakharin, but both lie beyond the Land Northward within the Asia mainland (mainland Thailand), northwest of Bangkok. The point is, there is no area of “many waters, rivers and fountains” located in the Land Northward of the Malay model.
    Andes: On old maps of Ecuador, there is an area labeled “Land of Many Waters,” in which there are numerous lakes, rivers, and their sources in an area to the southwest of Quito, Ecuador, which we have outlined and shown map diagrams in the past in these posts.
    • Scripture: And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms” (Ether 9:19).
    We need to keep in mind that these two animals were 1) unknown to Joseph Smith, a farmer, in the New England area in the early 1800s; and 2) they were on a par in worth with the elephant and of more importance and use than the horse and ass (donkey).
    Elsewhere: So far in the world’s Species List, there are no other animals that match Ether’s description in the entire Western Hemisphere other than the two now known in Andean South America. Certainly Sorenson’s claim of the sloth and tapir do not match the descriptions by any means.
    Andes: Much has been written about the two animals of great value to the indigenous people of the Andes in these posts over the years. The Llama (pronounced LAWH-muh) and Alpaca (pronounced El-PACK-uh), have been shown to be two animals that not only match Ether’s descriptions, but were unknown in the United States prior to the 20th century, and are the only two such animals in all the Western Hemisphere. In addition, much has been written here over the past three years about these two animals, and their wild predecessors, the guanaco (pronounced Gwa-NAH-co) and the vicuña (pronounced Vye-COON-ya).
(See the next post, “Comparing Various Lands of Promise With the Scriptures – Part X,” for more comparisons based on the original chart shown at the top of this post and the scriptural references cited)

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