Sunday, February 12, 2017

Answering Reader’s Eastern U.S. Land of Promise - Part VII: The Six Seas

Continuing with David McKane’s comments on our blog and his maps and claimed area for the Land of Promise in the Great Lakes area. 
   As stated in the last post, the Hebrews (and most ancient civilizations) did not label two areas meaning a direction when one is to the east of an area and the other to the west of that area. As an example, in your first map of the Great Lakes, you have labeled Lake Michigan the “West Sea,” and Lake Huron as the “Sea West.”
However, you have the entire state of Michigan, which you have labeled the Land of Bountiful, in between. That means that you have ancient people labeling the sea to the east of their land as the West Sea—not something people did, especially Hebrews. You also have the Land of Desolation in between your “Sea West” and your “East  Sea,” but not north of the land of Bountiful, where Mormon placed it “Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful” (Alma 22:31)—You have them east and west of each other!
In addition, you have Lake Michigan as your West Sea, which means Hagoth’s shipyards would have to be somewhere around Chicago northward, which means that the narrow neck of land, according to Mormon (Alma 63:5) would have to be just north of there, yet it is not shown on your map there, but is shown on another location entirely, between the Sea West and the Sea East, not where Mormon placed it!
One of the problems with translating ancient Hebrew is in knowing what vowels to fill in. As an example:
    The Hebrew word “narrow” לְצַמְצֵם, which means, “reduce, narrow, limit, restrict,” has eight different meanings, though all very similar, and each is spelled in Hebrew differently; Hebrew also has the word “small” קָטָן [qatan] which actually means “least,” “insignificant” or “unimportant,” however, another word [qaton] means “least,” “lesser,” “small,” “little,” or “minor.” Now since no vowels were ever used in Hebrew writing anciently, one has to insert either the ‘o’ or the ‘a’ in this case to determine whether one means “youngest” or “small.” While we do not know what Reformed Egyptian was like, we can assume, from other Egyptian short-form scripts to be the same, in having no vowels. Consequently, we are looking at two statements by Mormon, one uses “small” (Alma 22: ) and the other “narrow” (Alma 63:5).
    Thus, it should be understood that using Sea East and East Sea mean the same sea, not two different seas.
    And while we are on the “seas,” let’s consider  Hagoth, that Mormon wrote about….

Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward” (Alma 63:5).
    Again, McKane’s map shows no narrow or small neck near the West Sea as Mormon describes. In addition, where would one go on Lake Michigan in an “exceedingly large ship” since a ship could not move either onto Lake Superior or Lake Huron because of the difference in elevation? It cost a lot of money and time to build an “exceedingly large ship” and would not have recouped the cost by sailing just across Lake Michigan when the other side and to the north could have been reached so easily on foot, the lake being only 307 miles long and 118 miles across—people walked a great deal and long distances in the past, it is not like the present with a more or less sedentary population like today.
The Great Lakes Interconnected Waterways exist because of the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board of Canada who dug and built channels, canals and locks to allow movement between lakes 

    The Great Lakes Waterway is a system of natural channels and canals, along with several large locks which enable navigation between the Great Lakes. Though all of the lakes are naturally connected as a chain, water travel between the lakes was impeded for centuries. Locks have had to be built between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, and the channel between Huron and Erie had to be dredged to allow ships to sail between—these locks were constructed and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and all connecting channels are constantly dredged and deepened to allow ship traffic between the lakes. Today icebreakers are required to navigate the Great Lakes during winter, but no such vessels existed in 600 B.C. Today this is referred to as “upbound traffic”—away from the St. Lawrence River—and “downbound traffic”—toward the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean (Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping, US Army Corps of Engineering; Great Lakes Maritime Academy; Great Lakes Historical Society). And no shipping is done on the lakes for at least three months during the winter.
    Another, almost humorous example of McKane’s map not being consistent with Mormon’s descriptions is found on his website regarding what he refers to as the “Exact Location of the Waters of Mormon,” where he states “There is also an excellent candidate for the waters of Mormon found in Missouri. Being based on the geography and features of the spring and the description given by the Book of Mormon and D&C. There is a good chance this is where Alma baptized those who believed in the prophet Abinadi.”
Yellow Circle: Big Spring, Missouri, McKane’s Waters of Mormon; Red Circle, the closest point within McKane’s Land of Nephi (borders of the land), would be the location of the city of Nephi, which is about 120 miles away at a minimum 

    The location he chooses is called Big Spring, Missouri, which is one of the largest springs in the U.S. and the world, and is an enormous first magnitude spring that rises at the base of a bluff on the west side of the Current River valley in the Missouri Ozarks, on the south edge of Van Buren, 11 miles east of Fremont, 24 miles southeast of Eminence, and 150 miles south of St. Louis. Since McKane’s maps do not show the location of the city of Nephi, and assuming it would be near the border with the Land of Zarahemla, we can determine that the nearest point that would be within McKane’s Land of Nephi (Kentucky border) is about 99 miles, and most likely it would not have been that close to the border with the Land of Zarahemla (Mosiah 18:4), and probably a minimal of about 120 miles. That means all of Alma’s converts had to travel back and forth from the City of Nephi to the Waters of Mormon, about 240 miles on a weekend or so in order not to be missed and create a commotion within the city and among king Noah’s guards, which unfortunately it eventually did (Mosiah 18:31-32).
 Left: McKane’s small or narrow neck that was to be a stopping point against the Lamanites to keep them out of the Land Northward; Right: This area is about 120 miles across, with two entrances, about 25 miles and 20 miles respectively to the north and south of Lake St. Clair 

    Another huge problem is that if you look at McKane’s “small or narrow neck” area between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, a distance of 120 miles and two paths, 20 and 25 miles wide respectively on the north and the south of Lake St. Clair, it would have been a difficult area to guard against an intrusion of a large armed force—besides, as shown below, it could have been circumvented by the Lamanites at any time by circling either to the east or west of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Hardly what Mormon described.
(See the next post, ”Answering a Reader – Part VI,” for more information on David McKane’s model around the Great Lakes of his Land of Promise and our responses to his comments on our blog and his boast that his maps have no discrepancies with the scriptural record)


  1. I find it interesting that the people spoken of in Mosiah 8:8 were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days as it says and were not able to find Zarahemla. The funny part about that is that it is easy to find the narrow neck of land and yet not know that you've crossed it. In David's lousy, ridiculous model it would be difficult even finding the narrow neck. It's just one of the countless errors in his maps.

    When this great debate is all over Del I hope David can slink away into his own delusional cave. If not I'm certainly going to ignore all of his comments because they've been answered masterfully by you Del. Thanks again for your great work.

  2. My friend Bob and I read this blog together. Today he noted that David's model has a problem because of the Algonquin native Americans. Science believes they have been producing copper since 2000 BC in that area. They simply cannot be the Jaredites, because all the Jaredites were destroyed.

    “Professor Roy Drier, on an expedition for the Michigan University of Mining and Technology in the 1950s, claimed to have found 5000 ancient copper pit mines around the northern shores of Lake Superior in Michigan. Drier estimated the mines he discovered were in operation from at least 2000 BC."

    --Indians in the Americans: the Untold Story, page 26

    1. Interesting article erichard. BOM does not match the Heartland model in any possible way.

  3. erichard: You might want to know that what they did with that copper was what is cold hammering--not really considered metallurgy in the true sense of the word--In Peru, true metallurgy was being practiced during the Jaredite times and the Nephite times with numerous copper, gold, and silver mines in operation. In fact, every archaeologist/metallurgist I've ever read that has studied ancient Americas has said that metallurgy began in South America, and even give a date of 8000 BC, but certainly a solid finding from 2500 B.C.