Friday, June 12, 2015

It’s the Book of Mormon, Not Verse of Mormon – Part II

Continuing from the last post on how far afield theorists go when they start out by committing themselves to a pre-determined location for the land of Promise, then set about to prove it. 
The continuation of this problem is establishing a firm conviction on the meaning of a single verse—or a single idea—as almost the entire, total basis of the Land of Promise location. This is seen in Rodney Meldrum’s map (left) who champions the single idea of what he calls “the Heartland Theory,” meaning the heartland or center of the U.S., being the Land of Promise, even though his various lands are in the wrong position from one another according to Mormon’s clear and concise descriptions.
    Another is seen in the Theorist Peter Covino‘s claim of the single verse, Helaman 3:8, who built an entire concept around it, claiming this scripture shows that the Land Northward was the entire area that the Nephites expanded in, therefore limiting the Sea South to that of the Land Northward, and calling it the H38 Virus (for Helaman 3:8) when people do not agree with him, claiming all other models are wrong because they are infected with that virus, i.e., the Land Northward is surrounded by water—the four seas mentioned and excluding the Land Southward entirely. This when the scripture itself reads just the opposite and is far more inclusive: “And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east” (Herlaman 3:8).
    Or, Phyllis Carol Olive deciding that she would start with the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York, then tried to fit the rest of the Land of Promise descriptions around that single belief. The result was a map and model that had several lands in the wrong position to one another, such as the Land of Bountiful to the east of the Land of Zarahemla (when Mormon tells us it was to the north [Alma 22:29]), and placing the Land of Many Waters and the hill Cumorah in the Land Southward to the east of the Sea East (when it was in the Land northward, and nothing ever mentioned about anything existing to the east of the Sea East in the entire scriptural record which mentions the Sea East more than 20 times).
Hauck’s Map of Mesoamerica, which has an odd arrangement of seas, placement of the narrow neck and that of Bountiful and the eastern seashore, with Desolation and Land Northward to the west rather than north of Zarahemla and Bountiful, etc.
    Or, F. Richard Hauck, who constructed an abstract geometric model, in which he created a settlement and route network of the Land of Promise. Once he created that network, he began with “the tip of South America, the original, theoretical model was gradually worked north to the Arctic. Only one locality on the continent met the topographic conditions he had identified.” In the process, he found that the “physical environment of the model correlated with a portion of Mesoamerica,” and from that he began his placement.
    Or, the Theorist who has taken the single verse: “And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Nephi 1:8), and decided that meant the Land of Promise would be hidden from the view of any other people, group, or nation, therefore, that “hidden land” could not be adjacent to an ocean where people would sail past, but inland, hidden from any passers-by, in the lands around the Great Lakes area of the U.S. This, in opposition to Jacob’s comment: “but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20).
    Or to those who pick a verse or idea to the exclusion of all others. As an example, the Mesoamerican theorists who claim the land runs east-west (rather than north-south as Mormon so often describes), while claiming either the Grijalva or Usumacinta rivers, which flow south to north is the River Sidon, yet, in their skewed “Nephite North” arrangement of their models, the rivers actually flow west to east, and empty into the Sea East (Gulf of Mexico). This, despite Mormon telling us the River Sidon flowed south to north past Zarahemla (thus the Theorists creates a problem in that he skews the land to run in the wrong direction, which brings the rivers into the wrong direction, i.e., you cannot change one and not the other).
    Or as Duane R. Aston in his book wrote: “Of all the points of Book of Mormon geography, the ‘line’ that separated the lands of Desolation on the north and Bountiful on the south, is perhaps the most mysterious” (Alma 22:32). Yet, Mormon’s description is quite clear as he writes to his future readers (Mormon 3:17-20), to show where the Lamanite and the Nephite boundaries were and how the Land of Promise was laid out—he said, “Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful… 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” (Alma 22:31-32).
    Aston only mystifies this clear wordage because he has his mind made up that this line is not the boundary (the narrow neck of land) between the two larger land masses (Land Northward and Land Southward), but the escarpment that creates the Niagara Falls that is the line that ran through the land.
Red Line is the escarpment, or long steep slope fault line, although no such separation of landforms between the Land Southward and the Land Northward (the cliff over which the Niagara River falls) is mentioned, suggested or hinted at in the scriptural record
    Or, the single idea of the requiring the Land of Promise to be around the Great Lakes, Aston claims that the Land of Many Waters and the Hill Cumorah were in an area in the Land Southward (instead of Northward as Mormon tells us) and to the east of the Sea East, though nothing in all of the scriptural record suggests anything was to the east of the East Sea.
    Or, since Aston is so convinced the Great Lakes is the Land of Promise, he doesn’t have enough seas to match Helaman 3:8, therefore decides to have Lake Erie both the Sea East and the Sea South, and Lake Ontario both the Sea East and the Sea North, and, like Peter Covino, creates a south sea to the south of the Land Northward and holds the Land Northward in a separate section as the land completely surrounded by water, i.e., the four seas.
    Thus, he says, “Taken collectively, those things lead to much confusion for those geographers that attempt to identify directional seas in more simplistic models for Book of Mormon geography, where only two or three seas are envisioned.
    Yet, Helaman makes it clear why four seas are mentioned, as he is stating how much the Nephites have expanded in all of the Land of Promise (not just the Land Northward), and shows it by saying from sea to sea, as we in America talk about “from sea to shining sea,” meaning the entire country, Helaman used this same meaning when he stated: “they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east” (Helaman 3:8).
     When the mind is made up about a location, mistakes are constantly made when trying to apply a scriptural statement to that location that simply does not apply because the area is not the same land. As can be seen time and time again, with every pre-determined location model, the scriptural record suffers from changes in meaning to complete elimination, in order for a match to be made. Take for example the map below which shows the East Sea and the West Sea totally out of position in relation to the Land Southward, with the Sea East to the north of that land among other mistakes in the descriptions Mormon left us.
Red Arrow point to Sea East, which is located on the map to the north of Zarahemla, not the east as Mormon describes; Blue Arrow: shows the Sea West not bordering on the Land of Nephi as Mormon describes
Brown Arrow: Land Northward; Blue Arrow: Sea East, located north of the (Green Arrow) Hill Cumorah and Land of Cumorah; Red Arrow: Zarahemla located south of the East Sea, west of Cumorah, and north of (Yellow Arrow) West Sea, all in opposition to Mormon’s descriptions
Yellow Arrow: Land of Zarahemla  (no east or west sea around) is to the east of (Green Arrow) Lamanite lands, which is to the west by a considerable distance of (White Arrow) the Land of Nephi, which also has no West Sea bordering it, or nearly completely surrounding it as Mormon describes
Brown Arrow: Lehi’s landing site adjacent to the Sea East; Red Arrow: Land of Nephi to the West of (Blue Arrow) Desolation and the north of (Green Arrow) Bountiful; Sea East north of Sea West—all in opposition to Mormon’s descriptions
As these various maps of the Great Lakes and Heartland models show, none comply with the descriptions that Mormon left us for our better understanding of the locations of the various lands within the Land of Promise. All, plus numerous others of Land of Promise models, result in such errors because of a concentration on one or two verses or descriptions rather than the entire land Mormon described.

1 comment:

  1. I've always been a believer of the Central and South American theories. I've been to ruins throughout central and south America. However, it never rang true. This Hopewell connection is hard to disregard. Additionally, all the evidence of Hill Ramah and Hill Cumorah, not to mention the places Joseph Smith indicated such as Zarahemla and Manti. I'm leaning toward the Eastern US model being about as accurate as anything put forward today and I'm quite excited about it as well. It's been a fun journey to learn something new and to realize if nothing else if the "Prince of America" Moroni had visited even Columbus and is trying to protect this great land of liberty. I can think of no other land in central or south america that could lay claim to a land of liberty or freedom. God has set this land as a standard. You make good points, but I think there is much truth to a true North American model. Just my opinion.