Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Answering a Reader’s Eastern U.S. Model – Part IX: The Land of Desolation

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.
    McKane writes: “You make a lot of assumptions about Cumorah that are just plain incorrect. One of the glaring mistakes you made is saying that Cumorah is North of Desolation that is incorrect.”
    Response: Saying something is incorrect is one thing, proving it is another. You have a questionable point of view, covered in the last post. However, let’s take a look at Mormon’s comment: “And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken…” (Alma 22:30).
    Now consider Mormon’s words:
    “The Land of Desolation extends “so far northward” that it reached “the land which had been people and been destroyed.” That is, the Land of Desolation ran northward into the land, which was north of it, where the Jaredites had been destroyed, i.e., the area where they fought their last battles, which was near the hill Cumorah, which, according to Mormon was located in the Land of Many Waters. “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; and here we had hope to gain advantage over the Lamanites.”
Consequently, Mormon describes in his insert of description material in Alma 22, that:
1. The Land of Desolation runs from south to north and is quite extensive;
2. North of the Land of Desolation is the Land of Many Waters;
3. Within the Land of Many Waters is the Land of Cumorah;
4. Within the Land of Cumorah is the hill Cumorah;
5. The Jaredites were destroyed around this hill Cumorah, which the Jaredites called Shim (Ether 9:3).
    It is pretty hard to interpret this information in any other way, especially not to place the hill Cumorah to the south of where the Nephites were located in the Land Northward as McKane does, and especially not in the Land Southward, as that would indicate it to be by the events of the time in which Mormon requests the two sides to meet at the hill Cumorah for a final battle.
    McKane: “Before the Nephites go to Cumorah they are in the Land Desolation the place of their retreat.”
Response: This is true, and born out by the fact that Mormon made a treaty for the Nephites with the Lamanite king: “…In which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided and the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward, and we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward” (Mormon 2:28-29).
    Obviously, then, the two sides in 350 A.D. were separated by the narrow neck of land, with the Nephites to the north (in the Land Northward) and the Lamanites to the south (in the Land Southward). Thirteen years later, in 363 A.D., against Mormon’s warnings, the Nephite armies went up into the Land of Bountiful from the narrow neck of land to attack the Lamanites, who soundly defeated them, driving them back into the Land of Desolation to the north of the narrow neck. In 375 A.D., the Lamanites again attacked the Nephites in the area of the Land of Desolation, driving them out of the city of Desolation (Mormon 4:16-17), soundly defeating the Nephites who fled (Mormon 4:19), to Boaz where two battles were fought before the Nephites fled again (Mormon 4:21), and fled through towns and villages, taking the people with them (Mormon 4:22).
    The Nephites then fled to the city of Jordan (Mormon 5:3), where the Nephites put up a strong defense (and in “other cities”) and kept the Lamanites from getting beyond them (to the north of them) and “they could not get into the country which lay before us. To destroy the inhabitants of our land” (Mormon 5:4), but whatever lands, towns and villages and cities they had passed through, the Nephites had gathered in the people in their flight and the
Lamanites had burned everything they had passed while giving chase (Mormon 5:5).
    In 380 A.D., the Nephites took flight again before the Lamanite attacks (Mormon 5:6), and all those who could not keep ahead of the following Lamaniates were killed (Mormon 5:7). The Nephites continued to “march forth before the Lamanites” (Mormon 6:1). Now, at this point, with the Nephites continuing to stay ahead of the Lamanites, i.e., traveling northward all this time with the Lamanites following to the south of the Nephites.
    At no time did the Lamanites ever get to the north of the Nephites, and at no time did the Nephites ever get to the south of the Lamanites.
At this point, Mormon’s forces are scattered (yellow circle) in a broad area for the Nephites are maintaining the defense of several cities (Mormon 5:4), and numerous (blue circle) Lamanite forces were scattered throughout some of the Nephite territory, and would have attacked any Nephites trying to gather together, prompting the letter Mormon writes to allow him to get all his people into one area

    At this point Mormon tells us he writes to the Lamanite king (Mormon 6:2). In effect, Mormon is probably tired of running before the Lamanites, and decides on a strategy whereby he may be able to get an advantage over the Lamanites (Mormon 6:4). Having been born in the Land Northward, and evidently knowing this land, he had thought that the area of Cumorah would be his best chance of the Nephites defending themselves in a major battle. So he sits down to write the Lamanite king and invite him to a battle—a habit not unknown at the time and for centuries later. What he wanted from his writing was for the Lamanite king to agree to this battle, thereby allowing the Nephites to gather all their people into the land of Cumorah without the Lamanites attacking them while they gathered together, and get themselves ready in force before the Lamanits attacked again.
    The idea that he was asking permission to pass through Lamanite-controlled lands to Cumorah is ludicrous, and shows McKane’s lack of understanding, Yet, he insists on writing: “To go to Cumorah that was controlled by the Lamanites south of Desolation Moroni has to ask permission of the Lamanite king to enter Cumorah.” Mormon says it is north, but Mckane evidently feels he knows more than Mormon on this, as well as other issues.
    Another McKane comment: “North America has migrating Buffalo south America has no migrating land mammals.”
    Response: First of all, the words "migrate" or "migrating" do not appear in the entire Book of Mormon. Secondly, the animals of the Book of Mormon did not migrate out of the Land Northward into the Land Southward--they were driven by the threat of poisonous serpents which the Lord turned on them in order to drive some of the Jaredite herds and flocks into the Land Southward for his future plans to provide for Lehi's arrival (and probably for that of the Mulekites as well). Therefore, whether or not South America or McKane's North American Land of Promise has migrating animals or not is of no importance.
    However, since NcKane brings it up, we'll respond to it. The word “migrating” means “An animal moving from one region or habitat to another and back, especially regularly according to the seasons.” It also means “A person moving from one area or country to settle in another, especially in search of work.” It is also defined as “Passing periodically from one region or climate to another” and described as “usually a response to changes in temperature, food supply, or the amount of daylight, and often undertaken for the purpose of breeding—mammals, insects, fish and birds, all migrate.”
Varied colored paths show the migration routes of mammals, birds, and other creatures in the University of Washington study of South America

    While it is true the buffalo migrated in search of grass, in North America, the same is true of South America, with thousands of animals migrating both northwestward and southward out of the central area. In fact, researchers from the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy, “plotted the movement of 2,954 species based on climate pattern shifts,” with animals that have migrated into South America being tapirs, deer, bears, rabbits, vicuñas, guanacos, alpacas, and llamas.
(See the next post, “Answering a Reader – Part X,” 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)

No comments:

Post a Comment