Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Answering the Great Lakes Theorist – Part IV

Continuing with a reader named Guy and his lengthy critical comments: 
    Reader: “Prophecies & Promiases:  Not surprisingly DowDell entirely ignores land promises and prophecies: Shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands” (1 Nephi 2:20).
    Response: Almost every prophet and almost every Church Leader, especially in our day, has claimed that both North and South America are the Land of Promise and Zion and a Choice Land Above All Other Lands.” It is funny how almost all Great Lakes Theorists seem to ignore that as they attempt to limit the Lord’s interest in his creations and his designation of the Land of Promise.
On under the manual/book of Mormon for Chapter 50, “Ether 1:38-42 A Chosen Land,” it covers Ether 1-5 in which it shows a map of both North and South America and states “the Book of Mormon refers to the Americas as a chosen land—chosen to be the place for the Restoration of the gospel and, eventually the New Jerusalem. Both the members of the house of Israel and the Americas have been chosen to assist Heavenly Father in spreading the gospel throughout the world.”
    Regarding Moroni’s explanation to Joseph Smith, the angel said, ”there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;
Joseph Smith History, Chapter 1:34 (
    In Joseph Smith’s day, and all the way up to just short of World War II, as we have discussed in these pages many times, the Americas (both South and North America) was referred to as one continent; even today Latin America refers to the Americas as one continent).
    Joseph Smith stated “...speaking of the Land of Zion, It consists of all N[orth] & S[outh] America but that any place where the Saints gather is Zion which every righteous man will build up for a place of safety for his children...The redemption of Zion is the redemption of all N[orth] & S[outh] America"  (Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, edited by Dean C. Jessee, " Joseph Smith's July 19, 1840 Discourse," Brigham Young University Studies 19:3, Spring 1979, p392).
    A North and South America Promised Land was also taught by several modern Prophets and leaders like Wilford Woodruff, "This land, North and South America, is the land of Zion; it is a choice land—the land that was given by promise from old father Jacob to his grandson and his descendants, the land on which the Zion of God should be established in the latter days" ("The Signs of the Coming of the Son of Man, Etc.," Journal of Discourses, reported by David W. Evans 12 January 1873, Vol. 15, London: Latter-Day Saint's Book Depot, 1873, p279).
Elder Ezra Taft Benson: "This is our need today—to plant the standard of liberty among our people throughout the Americas...the struggle for liberty is a continuing one—it is with us in a very real sense today right here on this choice land of the Americas" (Conference Report, October 1962, p14–15; “To the peoples who should inhabit this blessed land of the Americas, the Western Hemisphere, an ancient prophet uttered this significant promise and solemn warning”: Conference Report, October 1944, Third Day—Morning Meeting, p.128), and others, like Elder Milton R. Hunter, “This is one of the most important days of my life, and in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…We came in full view of the valley of the Great Salt Lake; the land of promise, held in reserve by God, as a resting place for his Saints.” Conference Report, April 1947, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p67); and Orson Pratt: "And the Lord gave unto them the whole continent, for a land of promise…”Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh: Ballantyne and Hughes, 1840); cited in David J. Whittaker, The Essential Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1991, 11). Elder George F. Richards stated, “The land of North and South America is a very much favored portion of our Father's footstool, and he has declared with his own mouth that it is a land of promise-a chosen land-above all other lands” (Conference Report, October 1922, Afternoon meeting p80).
    Elder George F. Richards, “Afterwards, Mulek, with a colony from Jerusalem came to this country. These colonies were located in the southern part of North America, in Central America, and in the northern part of South America. And all this land, as well as that into which they migrated to the north and to the south was designated by the Lord as the land of promise” (Conference Report, October 1922, Afternoon Session, p81). Elder Sylvester Q. Cannon, “This western hemisphere is a land of great promise” (Conference Report, October 1939, Afternoon Meeting, p123);
Elder Melvin J. Ballard (left): "I turn the key, unlock, and open the door for the preaching of the Gospel in all these South American nations...that thy name may be honored and glorified in this part of the land of Zion." Melvin J. Ballard: Crusader for Righteousness, Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1966) p81.
    In addition, we find the same from Theodore Tuttle: "South America…land choice above all other lands. This land is included in the Book of Mormon declaration. It does not refer to North America alone; when the prophets were speaking they included both South America and North America as the land of promise" ("South America—Land of Promise," address to BYU student body (14 April 1964); cited in BYU Speeches of the Year, 1964 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1964, p3); Ted E. Brewerton: "Three groups left the land of Jerusalem and crossed the oceans...and arrived in the promised land, the Americas" ("The Book of Mormon: A Sacred Ancient Record," Ensign November 1995, p30).
    In our day, we find: President Joseph Fielding Smith, who explained that all of North and South America is a choice land: “The Book of Mormon informs us that the whole of America, both North and South, is a choice land above all other lands, in other words—Zion. The Lord told the Jaredites that he would lead them to a land ‘which is choice above all the lands of the earth’ ‘Ether 1:42]”  (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., 1954–56, 3:73).
    President Ezra Taft Benson, who also spoke of the Americas being chosen lands: “In 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith made this solemn proclamation: ‘The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south’ (Teachings [of the Prophet Joseph Smith], p. 362). The Lord Himself decreed: ‘This is a land which is choice above all other lands’ (Ether 2:10).  This nation is part of the land of Zion. This is a land dedicated by God’s servants. When a Book of Mormon prophet referred to the nations of the world, this hemisphere was designated as ‘good’ (Jacob 5:25-26)” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 123).
    Reader: “Ether 2:8-11 states what Moroni called “the everlasting decree of God” (verse 10) concerning this land of promise. Stated three or four times, this decree is that “whatsoever nation shall possess [this land] shall serve God, or they shall be swept off” (verse 9).”
All of the original maps referred to the two continents simply as one continent called “America.”
    Response: No one is contesting the scripture, just where the Land of Promise is located; and based on those church leaders, Joseph Smith, and the angel Moroni quoted above, it is the North and South America continent, called the Americas. Thus, Ether 2:9 above refers to both North and South America, or more accurately, the Western Hemisphere.
(see the next post, “Deconstructing Del DowDell - Part V, for more of our answers to the lengthy comments from a Great Lakes Theorist)

1 comment:

  1. The quote from Elder George F. Richards seems to indicate a more Mesoamerican context. His statement includes the entirety of Mesoamerica, but additionally includes large pieces of North and South America. An expansion on that quote may be needed to show how he was using "colonies".