Thursday, May 28, 2015

Looking Through a Keyhole – Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts about looking through a keyhole at a particular spot for placement of the Land of Promise, such as citing the hill Cumorah in the Great Lakes area and saying this must be the Nephite lands, etc., rather than starting with the scriptures and following through with what they tell us about this Land of Promise.
    In addition to those several steps outlined in the previous post, there is the changeable things you can look for that match the scriptural record, such as areas where significant highways and roads went “from place to place and land to land.”
    Continuing with the list from the last post:
14) Fortified walls of stone [Alma 48:8; 50:5; 62:23]
The Nephites built of stone as the record shows, consequently, stone walls and buildings should be found in the Land of Promise, for they do not deteriorate like wood. Only two places show such construction in the Western Hemsiphere
15) Narrow neck of land [Alma 22:32; 63:5; Ether 10:20]
    This narrow or small neck connected two lands, would have been visible to those on foot of the time as a “narrow neck,” which simply does not fit Mesoamerica; also, this narrow neck served as a defensive “choke point” which would be easily defended and not able to circumvent, which eliminates any place in eastern U.S.
16) Defendable narrow pass [Alma 50:34; 52:9; Mormon 2:29; 3:5]
    This was the only access between the Land Southward and the Land Northward, again eliminating Mesoamerica and the eastern U.S.
17) Sea that divides the land [Ether 10:20]
    The Land of Promise was divided into two parts, the Land Northward and the Land Southward, with a narrow neck of land in between connecting the two land masses. Any sea that divides the land would have to be part of this narrow neck area
18) All manner of buildings [Mosiah 8:8]
    When Limhi’s 43-man expedition returned from the Jaredite lands in the Land Northward they reported on finding the land ”covered with ruins of buildings of every kind.” These buildings had been built sometime after 2100 B.C. and would have stood for more than a thousand years by the time they were seen by the Nephites, suggesting they were made of stone like the towers built in Mesopotamia, the Jaredite homeland, which means they would have stood for quite some time afterward
19) Great temple tower [Mosiah 8:8; 19:5]
    This tower was built by king Noah (an example of a temple tower is shown to the left), and was used as a lookout point to keep track of the Lamanite movements in and around the area of the city of Nephi, where the Nephites had returned to occupy though the lands were then in Lamanite hands. This would not have been some simple wood tower of a couple stories in height, but one that would allow a great height vantage point to see throughout the surrounding land as evidence by king Noah looking out and seeing the lamanites approaching from the land of Shemlon (Mosiah 19:6)
20) North-South directions of the Land of Promise [Alma 22:27-34]
    It seems only logical that if Mormon wrote about north-south directions of the layout of the Land of Promise that the land would be so shaped. In addition, since Mormon was writing to a future readership, and inserted this information into the record in a 568-word addendum strictly for our benefit to better understand where the Lamanite lands and the Nephite lands were located in relation to one another, that the directions he used, Joseph Smith translated, and the Spirit ratified, would be correct. For modern man, such as John L. Sorenson, Joseph L. Allen, and other Mesoamericanist writers to change those directions so they would fit their pre-determined model seems outright fallacious, and meant to mislead.
21) All manner of ore [1 Nephi 18:25; Ether 10:23]
    While ore is found everywhere, not all ore is found everywhere—some ores are very isolated. As an example, gold is not found in the Great Lakes area and for theorists of that area to say it must have been mined out since Nephite times is an evasion of facts. This is especially seen in the light that gold in Mexico and Andean Peru, which was mined as early as anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere is still being mined, and Peru and Chile, as an example, are world leaders as well as Mexico on these ores today.
22) Land of many waters, rivers and fountains [Mormon 6:4]
    Not only do there need to be lakes and rivers, in this area of many waters, but also Mormon mentions “fountains,” meaning an area of water sources bubbling up out of the subterranean aquifer. Such sources are typically found in the mountains, where water sources originate—which is not the case in eastern U.S.  It should be noted that gold was never discovered in New York, north or western Pennsylvania, or in the area of the Great Lakes; and found only on placer gold deposits (not hard rock gold) in Illinois, Indian, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. While the U.S. is a leading producer of gold, it is found in the west, mostly in Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, plus Alaska.
23) Abundant crop growth [1 Nephi 18:24; 2 Nephi 5:11; Mosiah 9:9,14; 11:15];
    For seeds from Jerusalem to have grown well in 600 B.C., as mentioned here many times, they would have had to be planted in similar climate as Jerusalem, i.e., a Mediterranean Climate. Only California and central Chile (plus certain elevations of central and eastern Peru) match that climate in all of the Western Hemisphere.
24) No other people in Land of Promise
    The scriptural record leaves no room for, suggestion of, or indications regarding any other peoples during Book of Mormon times in the Land of Promise other than the Jaredites, Nephites/Lamanites, and the Mulekites. This eliminates Mesoamerica, and the Great Lakes area.
25) Use of silks and fine-twined linen [Alma 1:29; 4:6 26; Ether 10:24]
    No such silks or fine-twined linen has been found in the Americas dating to Nephite times other than in Andean Peru.
26) Metallurgy [Helaman 6:9; Ether 10:23]
    No such metallurgy has been found in the Americas dating to Jaredite/Nephite times other than in Andean Peru, and there they date to early Jaredite times.
    27) Volcanoes and earthquakes [3 Nephi 8, 9].
These exist along the so-called “ring-of-fire” along the coastal areas of Andean South America, Central America, U.S. and Alaska. There has never been any significant volcano or earthquake activity in the eastern U.S., heartland, etc., of the U.S.
28) Use of circumcision (Law of Moses – 2 Nephi 5:10)
    Lastly, you need to look for a land in the Western Hemsiphere where circumcision was practiced during Nephite times, and there is only one place in all that area which such has been found in mummies.
A keyhole view is not much better than sticking one's head in the sand. Both limit one to a predetermined view that does not allow for an expansion of their view, thinking, or understanding 
    Thus, to find the location of the Land of Promise, we have to find an area that now and/or during the time of the Jaredites/Nephites, matched the entire list of descriptions found in the Book of Mormon. And we have to do it without changing the meaning, twisting the words around, inserting words that are not in the scriptural record, or deleting words or ideas that do not agree with one’s personal point of view, or claiming that these erstwhile prophets did not know what they were writing about, such as not knowing directions or what their land was like, or how it was laid out from north to south, or whether or not they meant sea when they said sea, etc. Such an area would never be found, however, by those who look through the keyhole of their pre-determined view of the location of the Land of Promise. One needs to broaden their view beyond a singular area of pursuit—and the easiest way to do that is to start with the scriptures, not some other singular viewpoint.

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