Friday, June 19, 2015

Are These Just Coincidences? – Part I

According to Nephi, Mormon and Moroni, there are seven unique things that describe the Land of Promise and should be observable today (or at the time of landing) in any location one wants to place the Nephite nation. These items are:1. A climate and soils that matched those of Jerusalem so that seeds brought from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 8:1; 18:24) would grow exceedingly and provide abundant crops (1 Nephi 1:18:24);
Seeds in 600 B.C., like most seeds today, required a matching climate to where they were grown, i.e., seeds from Jerusalem needed a matching climate as that of Jerusalem, which is a Mediterranean Climate
2. Two animals (Ether 9:19) that are useful to man (as useful as the elephant and more useful than horses and asses) that were unknown in the United States in 1830, and have a very long history in the land where Lehi landed;
3. Two grains (Mosiah 9:9) that are high in nutritional value on a par with wheat and barley that were unknown in the United States in 1830, and have a long history where Lehi landed;
4. An herb or plant (Alma 46:40) that cured killer fevers, such as malaria;
5. Mountains in both the Land Northward and the Land Southward “whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23), that rose up out of valley floors and seen by all for a sign (Helaman 14:28);
6. Three ores (1 Nephi 18:25) that were so abundant in the land that they were a constant factor of wealth and metallurgy throughout the Jaredite (Ether 9:17; 10:23) and Nephite (Alma 1:29) periods—approximately 2600 years;
7. The land as an island (2 Nephi 10:20) with four seas surrounding it (Helaman 3:8), and an indentation for the narrow neck of land where the “sea divides the land” (Ether 10:20).
    The question is, it is only a coincidence that only one place in all of the Western Hemisphere matches these seven scriptural points Nephi, Mormon and Moroni listed as existing in the Land of Promise?
1. Jerusalem Climate: Jerusalem has a Mediterranean Climate, of which there are only five outside the Mediterranean area itself that has such a climate in all of the world, and only two in the Western Hemisphere—Central and Southern California, and 30º South Latitude in Chile, the area of Coquimbo and La Serena.Is it only a coincidence that Andean South America has a Mediterranean Climate;
2. Two indigenous animals of the Andean area of South America, the llama and alpaca match the description and usefulness described in Ether. No other area in all of the Western Hemisphere has two animals that are so useful to man as these two; which had a very long history in the Andean area, dating back several thousands of years, and were unknown in the United States until late in the 19th century, long after the Book of Mormon was published. Is it only a coincidence that these two animals described match those two in Andean South America?
3. Two indigenous grains to Andean South America match and even exceed the nutritional value of wheat and barley, called today quinoa and kañiwa (cañihua), both unknown in the United States until the 20th century. Both grains are referred to as “superfoods” or “super grains,” both grow in Peru and Bolivia and indigenous to Andean South America. Is it onlyh coincidence that no other unknown grains match the scriptural record outside Andwean South America?
4. Killer fevers, like malaria from the protozoans found in mosquitos, have been a plague to humans in Central and South America, as well as Africa, India, and Indonesia for millennia. There is no cure, however, treatment from the only natural control of malaria fever, quinine, controls the and renders the disease manageable. Natural quinine is found only in the bark of the chinchona tree, which is both indigenous to Andean South America and only found there until replanted in the 19th century into Indonesia. Is it just coincidence that the plant the Lord placed in Andean South America is the only one that can cure fevers as the scriptural record said of the Land of Promise?
5. Mountains. For mountains to have been a sign as they rose out of the valley floor as Samuel prophesied, they would have had to 1) rise to a great height, 2) not be muted in their height and visual impact by being within mountain ranges where individual peaks are not very visual, and 3) cover the entire Land of Promise so that the Nephites, both in the Land Southward and in the Land Northward, were aware of their rising. While there are high mountains in several places, only one set of mountains fits this entire requirement and that is the Andes of South America, which run vertically throughout the entire Land of Promise, rise sharply from near level ground, and reach a height that truly is “great.” The Andes mountain system of South America and one of the great natural features of the Earth. The Andes consist of a vast series of extremely high plateaus surmounted by even higher peaks that form an unbroken rampart over a distance of some 5,500 miles, with 24 separate peaks over 20,000 feet, and 48 more between 17,000 and 20,000—72 peaks over 17,000 feet. By comparison, no mountain in Central America is above 14,000 feet, and only three above 17,000 in all of Mexico. Is it just coincidence that the tallest mountains “whose height is great” in all of the Western Hemisphere are found in Andean South America
Top: Mount Iztaccihuatl (19,551), third tallest mountain in all of Central America and Mexico; Middle: Twin peaks of Huascaran (22,205) in Peru; Bottom: Mount Cotopaxi (19,347). The bottom two mountains look much higher by observation than that of the top
    Is all of this just a coincidence? Is it only a coincidence that of the 31 specific scriptural references of descriptive information regarding the Land of Promise all match Andean South America? Is it just a coincidence that even the winds and currents that took Nephi’s ship “driven forth before the wind” on its course to the Land of Promise only matches South America? Is it just a coincidence that all of the information regarding the Land of Promise matches South America?
    At what point do we stop calling thnings a coincidence and start to accept that Andewan South America is the Land of Promise described in the Book of Mormon?
    In addition, there are other descriptions that should also be considered in the uniqueness of the Land of Promise:
1. Walls of fortified stone (Alma 48:8).
    Such stonework of cut and dressed and well-fitted stones like those of Israel and Mesopotamia is found only in Central and South America. Stone walls for defense, stone walls surrounding lands, is only found in Andean South America.
2. Circumcision—Law of Moses (2 Nephi 5:10)
    According to what has been found in numerous burial sites and mummies of Peru and Andean South America, the ancients practiced circumcision.
(See the next post, “Are These Just Coincidences? – Part II,” for more on how coincidental it must be that all these scriptural references match Andean South America, and in many cases, only Andean South America)

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