Saturday, December 19, 2015

America is the Land of Promise—But Where is America? – Part IV

Continuing with the previous posts regarding one of our readers sending us information of a blog and asking our opinion and comments. In the last post, we suggested the need to know what land the record refers to when discussing the Land of Promise. 
    Blog comment: For example, the Book of Mormon describes final battles of the Jaredites and Nephites near a hill called Cumorah. In our day, the hill where Moroni gave the plates to Joseph has been named Cumorah. There is a significant difference of opinion about the origin of the modern name, and the question is critical to resolution of the geography issue. The Book of Mormon text cannot answer the question because the text mentions Cumorah but not New York.”
    Response: This is inaccurate, not that New York is not mentioned, but that the Book of Mormon text cannot answer the question. First of all, we have a considerable amount of information about the Hill Cumorah as described by Mormon:
1. It was in a land of many waters, rivers and fountains (Mormon 6:4)
2. This land was “so far northward” (Alma 22:30)
3. This land was west of Ablom, which was by the east seashore (Ether 9:3)
    These three points tell us that the hill Cumorah was far to the north in the Land Northward and located in the Land of Many Waters, rivers and fountains, to the west of the Sea East. This places the hill Cumorah, so to speak, in the northeast corner of the Land of Promise.
This area of Mesoamerica according to John L. Sorenson’s map shows that the Land of Cumorah is far too  close to the narrow neck of land, and over 250 miles east and south of the Land of Many Waters, yet Mormon describes the two places are the same: “And it came to pass that we did march forth to the land of Cumorah, and we did pitch our tents around about the hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains (Mormon 6:4); thus, Sorenson’s locations are off for both Cumorah and the land of Many Waters
The Great Lakes also does not qualify since the Hill Cumorah is really in their Land Southward and either north of their Sea East (Finger Lakes) or in another model, south of their Sea East (Lake Ontario)
    This, of course, eliminates the Mesoamerican model, which has the hill Cumorah in the Land of Desolation just north of the narrow neck of land, on the east coast, all three points being in error. It also eliminates the Great Lakes model, since they have the hill Cumorah (the one in upstate New York) to the east of the Sea East, and nowhere near the far reaches of the Land Northward, again both points are in error.
The hill Cumorah in New York. It is a drumlin, (from “droimnin,” meaning “little ridge”), an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted half-buried egg formed by glacial ice on underlying till or ground moraine of glacial sediment. Hardly what Mormon describes that he could see in Mormon 6:11-15). Left: Note the small hill, and (right) low height). This would hardly provide any protection for the 24 survivors of the first day’s battle and keep them hidden from the blood-crazed Lamanites bent on killing every Nephite they could find
    It can also be pointed out that in Phyllis Carol Olive’s map of her Great Lakes land of Promise, her hill Cumorah is to the east of her Sea East.
Dark Green Arrow: Sea West; Light Green Arrow: Sea East; Dark Blue Arrow: Hill Cumorah (to the east of her Sea East) and not consistent with Mormon’s and Moroni’s descriptions
    As one can easily see, taking these three simple statements in the scriptural record, we can see that the Great Lakes and Mesoamerica models do not have the hill Cumorah in the correct location, therefore, their models or maps are in serious question. This actually holds true with whatever feature, area, or description we want to compare between the scriptural record and the claims of these various theorists.
    So whether Sorenson and numerous others place their Land of Promise in Mesoamerica, or like others, place it in the heartland of the United States, this one simple fact discredits all their models. So it is not so important as to where “America” is located as it is to follow the descriptions in the Book of Mormon that show us where many of the described areas are, or at least, are not, in various suggestive models of the Land of Promise.
    This is also true of such areas as:
    Narrow Neck of Land: Far too wide (144 miles) in Mesoamerica; not defined in Heartland as it is in the scriptural record.
    Narrow Pass: Not included within the narrow neck of land as described in either the Mesoamerican or Heartland models.
    Four Seas: There are no four seas surrounding the Mesoamerican model; and there are not four contiguous seas in the Heartland model.
    Isle of the Sea: Though Jacob tells  us the Land of Promise was an isle (island) of the sea, and on the same sea over which they sailed, no other model, not Mesoamerica nor Heartland, nor any of the others besides Andean Peru, shows that the land was an island prior to 33 A.D.
    In fact, we could go on and on with the scriptural record showing descriptive information about the land of Promise that match just one area, and seldom applies to any other area.
31 scriptures that match Andean South America, but few match other locations, models or theories. One might disagree with a point here or there, but the overwhelming agreement of all of these to Andean South America is worth some very serious consideration, especially when no other location can match half of these scriptural descriptions, let alone all of them
    It is almost humorous in the blog’s posts, a comparison on two charts shows their Heartland matching everything, while Mesoamerica matches almost nothing. While we certainly agree with Mesoamerica not matching scriptural references, we find it difficult to adjust to the idea as they claim that their Heartland model does in light of the above graphic. While they use their own criteria to show matches, the above graphic shows actual scripture and lists them and makes comparisons. In fact, over the course of the nearly 2000 posts on our blog site, we have shown the match of each of these and close to 35 more based on scriptural references, showing how they match and the circumstances surrounding the descriptions.
    Blog comment: “One approach would be to confine the analysis to the text; i.e., extrinsic evidence is rejected and the location of the scriptural events remain ambiguous. Another approach would be to extend the analysis beyond the text to other standard works and the teachings of Joseph Smith and two of the Three Witnesses, thereby reconciling all the credible evidence.”
    Response: Referring to the scriptural record as ambiguous is a comment made from those who cannot find that the scriptural record matches their particular beliefs and models. In reality, the scriptural record has enough information contained within its writings to describe where Nephi sailed, where he landed, what he found there, where he traveled to and founded the City of Nephi and where the Book of Mormon took place, as well as how other lands, such as Mesoamerica and Polynesia, were populated. It is not ambiguous—it simply does not agree with most theorists beliefs and ideas and therein is often rejected or ignored or discarded into a pile labeled "ambiguity," allowing them to use other criteria.
(See the next post, “America is the Land of Promise—But Where is America? – Part V,” for answers to those two questions and know where overall the Land of Promise is located and to what land the Prophets have spoken and the Lord indicated)


  1. Excellent comments about the location of Cumorah and the land of promise. Years ago I tried to match the maps that John Sorenson produced to BOM. I found that they didn't match the description at all as you pointed out. In your previous post you mention V Preddis and Kocherhands. I'm familiar with the work of Preddis but not Kocherhands. Have you looked at her maps to see how they stack up with the scriptural record? Have you produced any maps of the cities of the Nephites and Lamanites? I think it's clear where the City of Nephi and Zarahemla were located.

  2. I have only recently become acquainted with Preddis' work, thanks to a reader who suggested it. What I have seen so far is that she is right on in many things as far as I'm concerned. I just got her book and am now reading it and plan to cover some of her ideas in a future article as a some of our readers have suggested.
    As for maps, as I have commented on many times, I feel the scriptural record is limited on descriptions of cities and other physical areas (rivers, mountains, wilderness, etc) and most cannot be identified and I am reluctant to start making guesses I cannot back up from the scriptural account like all the other theorists around do repeatedly. I feel there is sufficient information to place the City of Nephi based on the temple and tower descriptions, and Zarahemla based on the landing information, and possibly Bountiful from a lack of other ancient sites in the area, and the narrow neck and narrow passsage seems quite clear to me, as does the area of the Land of Many Waters in Ecuador. But other than that, I have yet to read a scriptural description sufficiently detailed to suggest other areas. Even Sidon is still not clear as far as I am concerned, though I believe its location can be suggested because of the descriptions suggested among the many battles. But at the moment, I am cautious about its existence as a river after the crucifixion, since it is mentioned only as "Waters of Sidon." And I feel clear about no East Sea after the crucifixion since it is never mentioned after that though it is mentioned more than a score of times before that event.