Friday, January 27, 2017

Where Do We Find Accurate Dates? – Part VIII

Continuing with Joseph L. Allen’s descriptive information in his book Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, that poses as Land of Promise discussion but really is meant to solidify his Mesoamerican model, and continuing with his comments: “Mulek landed in the Land Northward, which was the area of the heartland of the Jaredites.  Sometime later (the Book of Mormon record does not say what year), a group of the descendants of Mulek went into the wilderness in the Land Southward and settled in a place they called Zarahemla.”
It is surprising how many fail to read Omni and the prophet Amaleki who tells us where the people of Zarashemla (Mulekites) landed, and it is not in the Land Northward, but, according to the scriptural record, which states that after Mulek and his people left Jerusalem: “they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:16).
    However, because of Allen's Mesoamerican model requiring a people to be in the Land Northward other than the Jaredites around 600 B.C., Allen is willing to go against scripture and say the Mulekites landed in the Land Northward, in the heartland of the Jaredites. It has already been mentioned that if this happened, it is likely that a small band of non-militaristic Hebrews would have been wiped out by the fierce, "large and powerful" Jaredites, men who were strong and warlike who, within a short time of this event, killed several million of their own in a bloody civil war. 
    Secondly, Amaleki makes it quite clear where the Mulekites landed. Perhaps as an eye-witness to the events, we ought to pay attention to his account: "And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness, until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla. And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla." Amaleki goes on to tell us specifically that the people of Zarahemla "came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.  And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth" (Omni 1:16).   
This simple statement shows that Mulek landed in the land where Mosiah found them (Land of Zarahemla) and they (Mulekites) had dwelt (lived) there (in the Land of Zarahemla where Mosiah found them) from that time (time of their landing) forth (until that time when Mosiah found them).
    More of Allen: “The landing of the Mulekites would have been along the Gulf of Mexico.”
    It would have been extremely difficult for a sailing ship to maneuver against opposing winds to cross the Atlantic from anywhere around Jerusalem, Africa, or out of the Indian Ocean.  Leaving the Mediterranean, as ships did around this time, took them south toward Africa and along that continent—not until the 14th-century, did Portuguese sailors venture out into the Atlantic for a wider swing around Africa, and not until Columbus in 1492 A.D., did anyone realize they could cross westward from the area of the Canary Islands—and even then, they would have been driven into the Caribbean islands long before knowing another land (Mexico) lay beyond.
Yellow Line: The line of islands from off Florida all the way south to Trinidad and South America kept Columbus from reaching Mexico or Mesoamerica, diverting most vessels that reached this land initially to the South as Columbus’s four voyages went. Today a ship's captain would know there was land beyond these islands, but that would not have been understood by Phoenician pilots in 600 B.C.

Not even the explorer Columbus ever found Mexico in four voyages in which he sailed all over the Caribbean, as far south as north-eastern South America, and as far northwest as Honduras.
    On the other hand, if Mulek's route was similar to that of Lehi, out of the Indian Ocean, the winds would have taken him pretty much along the same path as Lehi, and that could not possibly have been into the Gulf of Mexico, let alone into Mesoamerica. 
    Allen: “From there, compelled by the necessity of establishing themselves in a propitious spot and perhaps harried by their enemies”
    Speaking of the Mulekites, Allen makes this wild assertion that they had enemies in the land.  Then he goes on to say that this conclusion is consistent with the Book of Mormon, wherein the people of Zarahemla went into the South Wilderness and settled along the Sidon River. While it is true that Zarahemla is near (west of) the Sidon River, nothing else is remotely correct with Allen’s assertions about the Book of Mormon. There can be no conclusion that the Mulekites moved once they had landed (Omni 1:15), nor can there be any conclusion that they had enemies of any kind. The wars mentioned by Amaleki were civil wars since they were accompanied by serious contentions (Omni 1:17), much like the history of Lehi's sons. And as to establishing themselves in a propitious spot, it would seem that the Lord brought Mulek into the place where Mosiah and the Nephites would eventually find them for the Lord guided Mosiah's movements until he came into Zarahemla (Omni 1:13). 
    Allen: “In correlation with other documents, the above-mentioned migration possibly may have been as late as 1300 AD.”
    The other documents, of course, are the Mayan Calendar, Ixtlilxochitl’s writings, etc. There is no mention in the Book of Mormon that the Mulekites were involved in any migration once they reached the Land of Promise—in fact, Amaleki tells us that the Lord led them into the Land of Promise exactly where Mosiah found them and they had lived there ever since landing. To make up some other landing site is contrary to the record and what an eye-witness has said, which should preclude any comment about a Mulekite migration.
    Allen: “Although a few archaeological sites depict a decline in civilization at 350 AD, many other  sites in Mesoamerica show a continued and dramatic growth over the next 400 years”
During the last 100-plus years of the Nephite nation, during this 400 years of growth Allen mentions, the Nephites and Lamanites were heavily involved in war; and any lulls in that war were spent in building up defenses--it seems in light of this that no national growth would have taken place

    Since the Nephites were wiped out before this 400 years of dramatic growth, one can only wonder what type of dramatic growth could possibly take place when the entire Land of Promise was in a state of siege and civil war during the 4th century A.D., with the Lamanites chasing the Nephites northward and finally annihilating them. To consider that the Lamanites, in this state of debauchery could be building, trading and involved in commerce with one another while at the same time involved in a constant state of civil war among themselves for at least 40 years (Mormon 8:8), is hard to imagine; and Nephni tells us from his vision that these wars lasted for many generations (1 Nephi 12:21).
    Allen: “Because the archaeological record shows a high amount of trade activity between Mexico City (Teotihuacan) and Guatemala City (Kaminaljuyu), and including points in between (Oaxaca/Monte Alban), the wicked 350 AD Nephite culture was simply in the way of trade and commerce. The annihilation of the Nephites at 385 AD does not seem to show a major impact on the rest of Mesoamerica.  From 350 AD to 900 AD, a vast amount of building and commerce activity occurred in Mesoamerica. 
A state of constant war existed between the Nephites and Lamanites for almost all of the 4th century A.D., and a state of Civil War existed among the Nephites after that for at least 40-50 years, but probably much longer

    It would be interesting to know who Allen thinks was building after 350 A.D. onward, and who was doing trading and commerce. The Nephites were the people who were involved in shipping and trading, in commerce and building, not the Lamanites. In addition, how could it be possible for the annihilation of the Nephites not to have any impact in the Land of Promise when Moroni tells us between 385 AD and 421 AD, the land was in constant civil war, with the Lamanites warring against each other with the whole face of the land one continual round of murder and bloodshed, with no one knowing when the war would end (Mormon 8:8). This hardly sounds like having little impact, or like a time for building and flourishing in trade and commerce.
    Perhaps, as aforementioned, Mesoamerica is not the land Lehi landed upon, and his later descendant Nephites lived upon for 1,000 years.
    It should be perfectly clear that the writings of Joseph L. Allen and those of his associates regarding the Land of Promise being in Mesoamerica is full of erroneous assumptions, speculations, and counter ideas from what is written in the Book of Mormon regarding the Land of Promise. Yet, Allen, like so many other theorists, has their following—people, for some reason or another, want to accept what Allen writes without checking it out against the plain and simple truth of the scriptural record. Certainly, Allen’s dates are far off the mark from what the Lord dictated to Moses.

No comments:

Post a Comment