Sunday, July 5, 2015

Who Were the Mulekites? Part VIII

Continuing from the last seven posts about the Mulekites, and how Mulek escaped from Jerusalem and reached the Land of Promise, and how he and his people joined with Mosiah and the Nephites in the Land of Zarahemla. Specifically, the following is the continuation of John L. Sorenson’s writings on Mulek being taken to the Land of Promise by Phoenician sailors, with the conclusion of his issues and our responses listed below: 
    Sorenson: “Third, the Sidon River probably enters the east sea no great distance from this city of Mulek…”
    Response: “Probably” is not a cause or point to be made. There is nothing in the scriptural record to tell us where the mouth of the Sidon River was, except that it emptied into a sea. It could have been the West Sea or the Sea that Divided the Land. Even if it was the Sea East, it could have been anywhere along that seacoast, not necessarily around the city of Mulek.
   Sorenson: “…suggesting a plausible route along which the ancestors of Zarahemla and his people “came…up into the south wilderness” (Alma 22:31) to their city on the upper river where the Nephites later found them.”
Response: First of all, Zarahemla, where the Mulekites landed and Mosiah later found them (Omni 1:16), is a low, flat ground, near the sea—not up or near an upper river. In fact, no river is mentioned in connection with Zarahemla, except the Sidon to the east beyond the Land of Zarahemla.
    Sorenson: “To this evidence may be added…”
    Response: This is not evidence. It is not even likely, as the above suggests.
    Sorenson: “…two historico-geographical facts external to the scripture—the distance from Palestine to the American narrow neck-promised land was shorter via the Atlantic than the Pacific…”
    Response: Distance has never seemed to be an issue with the Lord. He takes people where he will as part of the trials and hardening process we undergo on our path toward perfection. Lehi traveled some 1500 miles on an eight-year journey to Bountiful. The Jaredites traveled that far or further on their trip to the Great Sea. Why, now, with the Muleites, would we be thinking distance is an issue for proof of a direction?
    Sorenson: “…the expertise of Mediterranean mariners was oriented westward not eastward into the Indian and Pacific Oceans.”
    Response: The chances of Mediterranean mariners being involved during the siege of Jerusalem by the Babyonians who controlled the entire eastern Mediterranean sea coast from Turkey to Egypt (and to whom the Phoenicians were then impressed subjects), in spiriting away members of the Royal Family that Nebuchadnezzar was hell-bent to capture, destroy and murder is so unlikely that it really does not warrant any consideration at all.
    Sorenson: “In my view, that they traveled via the Atlantic is certain.” 
    Response: And so it is with all Sorenson’s writings—facts, history, and reality seem to matter not one iota when it comes to his claims.
    More of the erroneous ideas about the Mulekites can be seen in Hobby’s continued writing (p31-32) when he states: “There was a much larger potential problem affecting the freedom of the entire nation of Zarahemla!  Why so?  Because the Nephites were ever sensitive to the potential for Mulekite repatriation. And should they re-mix with the Jaredite remnants to the north, it could doom the future of the already out numbered Nephites.
    Scriptures have already been quoted to show that the Jaredites, as Ether said, were all killed except for himself and Coriantumr.  It has already been stated that the Jaredites were destroyed prior to the arrival of the Mulekites and Nephites. And there is no scripture to show any indication that the Nephites were fearful of the Mulekites reuniting against them, or of joining any other group in this.  The fact that Nephite dissenters stirred up troubles for the Nephites, both as separate groups and among the Lamanites gives no scriptural evidence that these were Mulekites as Hobby and others suggest.
Ammon, a descendant of Zarahemla, stands before king Limhi, and eventually leads them out of the Lamanite lands and back to Zarahemla, saving the lives of all Limhi’s people
    There are only two people in scripture identified as descendants of Zarahemla, and neither of these were involved in insurrection, yet, Hobby and others insist that groups like the city of Morianton (Alma 50:26) and the "king-men" (Alma 51:5) were Mulekites, but such is not known from scripture.
    A case is often attempted that because the "king-men" were of high birth (Alma 51:21) and wanted to return to king rule they had to be Mulekites, since they were descendants of Mulek, of the house of Judah.  However, besides the descendants of Mosiah I and king Benjaman could also claim "high birth," as previously mentioned, any true descendant of Nephi who had been the first king of the Nephites (2 Nephi 5:18), or those who had followed him (Jacob 1:11) and their lineage (Jacob 1:15).  Since Mosiah was king around 200 B.C., what about all the kings of the Nephites from those listed in Jacob down to when Mosiah was proclaimed king?
    It seems unwise and unwarranted that the white-hat wearing good guys were always Nephites and the black hat bad guys, those who sought to destroy freedom and liberty, such as the "king-men" were always Mulekites. The scriptures make no such distinction, nor is there any indication that any of these dissenters (other than Coriantumr) and groups who fought against the Nephites were of some ethnic makeup. 
    Take Amlici as an example.  There was no suggestion he was a Mulekite or that the great war that followed in which over 19,000 Nephites were killed had anything to do with ethnic groups. Amlici was a man after the order of Nehor (Alma 2:1), a man of priestcraft that endeavored to enforce it by the sword (Alma 1:12, 15), he sought to destroy the church of God (Alma 2:4). Amlici wanted to be king (Alma 2:2) and the people debated this issue (Alma 2:5) and voted (Alma 2:6) against Amlici (Alma 2:7), but when his bid was was defeated, he was angry and stirred up his followers (Alma 2:8) who appointed him king anyway (Alma 2:9). 
    Amlici's followers, all Nephites, were then called Amlicites and the remainder called Nephites or the people of God (Alma 2:11).  This was obviously not an ethnic difference, but one of religion.  Preparations for war ensued (Alma 2:12-14). The Nephites were finally victorious (Alma 2:18) under Alma's field generalship (Alma 2:16), with 12,532 Amlicites being killed and 6,562 Nephites perishing in the fighting (Alma 2:19). The surviving Amlicites joined with the Lamanites and marked themselves to distinguish them from the Nephites (Alma 3:4) before they were finally destroyed (Alma 3:23).
Left: The Amlicites are defeated; Right: A former Amlicite, after joining the Lamanites with other Amlicite survivors, is marked as a Lamanite
    These dissenters were all Nephites for the scriptures make no other distinction.  And as shown during Mormon's time, Nephites were as evil as anyone, and ripe for destruction.  Even in Jacob's time he claimed the Lamanites were better than the Nephites in certain ways (Jacob 2:35).
(See the next post, “Who Were the Mulekites? Part IX,” for the continuation of Sorenson’s points and our responses, and the conclusion of the Mulekites and who they were)

No comments:

Post a Comment