Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Did Moroni Mean “All the People on All the Face of the Land”?

Just about every theorist that has written about the Land of Promise in the Book of Mormon has taken exception to the written word of the scriptural record an made claim that not all the Jaredites were destroyed or killed in the final battles that ended with Coriantumr killing Shiz and the destrution of the Jaredite kingdom. 
The Jaredite wars eventually came down to the leaders of each Jaredite faction, Coriantumr, king of the Jaredite kingdom, and Shiz, a usurper and the last of a long line of individuals attempting to overthrow the government
    To a person these theorists claim that some Jaredites survived and, as some suggest, mingled with the Lamanites, or as others suggest, mingled with the Mulekites and, thus, with the Nephites and influenced their development and growth.
    Richard Hauck writes that: “One thing appears certain, however—individual Jaredites survived that war,” and also claimed there was a remnant of the Jaredites in Zarahemla with the Mulekites. John L. Sorenson claims that Jaredites lived into the Nephite era and strongly influenced their behavior, while Hugh Nibley denounces any reader who believes in this total destruction and cites numerous suggestions why there were Jaredite survivors. In fact, Nibley uses a fallacious argument to make his point that Jaredites survived among the Lamanites when he writes: “In time descendants of Jaredite hunters and robbers would combine with Lamanite riffraff, as their ancestors did with the Mulekites, and the old Jaredite stock would survive like the Nephite, as a “mixture” only (1 Nephi 13:30).”
    This brings us to the subject above and the meaning of the statement: “All the people on all the face of the land.” First of all, what is meant by the word “all”?
    In Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, he defines the word “all” as “every one, the whole number.” He states that “the word signifies then, the whole or entire thing, or all the parts or particulars which compose it.” It is also defined as “wholly, completely, entirely.” This includes “the whole number” such as “all men.”
    It is difficult to place any other meaning, or see how anyone could place another meaning upon “All the people on all the face of the land.” That would simply mean everyone—no one was excluded.
    To recap the situation, in the final days of the Jaredite kingdom, there was one basic division of people and “Coriantumr was king over all the land” (Ether 12:1). At this time, the Lord called Ether to go among the people and prophesy; however, in the end the people cast Ether out and he was forced to dwell in the cavity of a rock (Ether 13:14). And in that very same year, there began to be a great war among the people, for there were many who rose up, who were mighty men, and sough to destroy Coriantumr by their secret plans of wickedness” (Ether 13:15).
    And Coriantumr gave battle unto them who sought to destroy him and the battle waged on. In the second year, the Lord caused Ether to prophesy to Coriantumr that “if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people” (Ether 13:20), “otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household, save it were himself. And that he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr” (Ether 13:21).
After his final battle, Coriantumr wanders into the Mulekite settlement where he saw the people who would receive the land
    These two factions waged war and it went back and forth and during this time “all the people upon the face of the land were shedding blood, and there was none to restrain them” (Ether 13:31).
    A great curse overcame the land where a man laying his tool or sword on a shelf or place of keeping, upon the following day, he could not find it. Every man then held on to what was his, neither lending or borrowing, keeping the hilt of his sword in his right hand, in the defense of his property and his own life and that of his wives and children.
    Following a two year period where Coriantumr had been wounded and his arch rival, Shared killed, the war renewed and over another two year period, more and more joined the ranks of both groups, with a man of great stature (height) named Lib took up the fight against Coriantumr, but the latter killed him and his brother, Shiz, pursued Coriantumr and the battles were so swift there were none to bury the dead and the scent of death troubled the people by day and night.
    Coriantumr was wounded several times and fainted from loss of blood. Shiz ordered a break in the war and both armies returned to their camps. When Coriantumr recovered of his wounds, he began to remember the words which Ether had spoken unto him and he saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children (Ether 15:1-2). “He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they were fulfilled thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned and refused to be comforted” (Ether 15:3).
    Coriantumr wrote to Shiz, “desiring him that he would spare the people, and he would give up the kingdom for the sake of the lives of the people” (Ether 15:4), but Shiz required Coriantumr’s life and the war continued.
    And it came to pass that they did gather together all the people upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether (Ether 15:12). Wherefore, they were for the space of four years gathering together the people, that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive all the strength which it was possible that they could receive” (Ether 15:14).
    "They did gather together all the people upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether"how much more explicit and exact can you get? Everyone who was still alive except for one manthat sounds like everyone to me! How could Moroni have been clearer? Everyone but one!
    The war then continued, with both sides fighting from morning until night, and when the night came again they did rend the air with their cries, and their howlings, and their mournings, for the loss of the slain of this peoples (Ether 15:17), but it did not stop the fighting, for in the morning, they were at it again. And the Spirit of the lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people, for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds they they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle (Ether 15:19).
    And they ate and slept, and prepared for death on the morrow.
    Wherefore, he did pursue them, and on the morrow he did overtake them; and they fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold Shiz had fainted with the loss of blood. And when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz. And Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had no life.
    The Lord spake unto Ether, and said unto him: Go forth. And he went forth, and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled; and he finished his record; (and the hundredth part I have not written) and he hid them in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them.
    There simply can be no question that Coriantumr was the last Jaredite standing.
As Ether had told Coriantumr in his prophesy, that if he did not repent, “they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr” (Ether 13:21).
    All the Jaredites were killed. Only Coriantumr lived, and he later wandered into the settlement of the Mulekites of Zarahemla, where he died after nine months, and was buried by them (Omni 1:21).
    So what does "All the people on all the face of the land" mean? It means exactly what it says, ALL the people on the face of ALL the land. While Theorists love to claim they know more than the rest of us, and that they know more than the scriptural record states, it still does not give them leeway to change what is said and thereby alter the meaning and intent of the scriptural record.

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