Thursday, June 22, 2017

Not After the Manner of Men – Part III

Continuing from the previous post regarding where Nephi’s ship was constructed, built and launched. 
    One of the unique aspects of Khor Rori is that two huge rock promontories, or cliffs, one on either side of the inlet entrance, and referred to as (east cliff) Inquita’a Taqah and (west cliff) Inqita’a Mirbat, provide very important protection for a ship entering and leaving the inlet.
The cliffs on either side of the entrance to the Khor Rori inlet--top: from inside the Khor looking past the cliffs out into the Sea of Arabia; middle: Inside the Khor looking at the West Cliff on the Yemeni side of the entrance; bottom: Outside the inlet, looking past the East Cliff at the West Cliff in the distance, the inlet is in between. Note the height of the cliff compared to the camels in the middle image. This matches Nephi's comment of "throw me into the depths of the sae" (1 Nephi 17:48)

These flanking rock promontories created safe and convenient breakwaters that allowed ancient ships a corridor for sailing into the sea for nearly 500 yard before they needed to pick up the ocean current. This was the great strength of Khor Rori as a port; the natural breakwaters provided protection from both the summer southwest monsoon and the winter northeast monsoon winds, enabling the port to be used all year for shipping and for the building of ships, such as Nephi’s vessel.
One of the side channels between the entrance and Sumhuram that branches off to the east, providing an extremely attractive location for the construction site of Nephi’s ship

The site has been heavily investigated, beginning as early as the 1950s by an American expedition (the American Foundation for the Study of Man–AFSM) directed by W. Phillips and with the archaeologist F. Albright as field director. And since 1996 the Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO), directed by professor A. Avanzini, has been working in the area of Khor Rori.
    Situated along the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula near the Yemeni border, the Dhofar province (“Zafar” in Arabic) actually appears and feels like a world away from the rest of Oman. This largest of the eleven Governorates in the Sultanate of Oman is separated from just about everywhere else in the country, hugging the coast behind a mountainous area that covers over 38,000 square miles. In fact, the region’s history and identity have always been largely separate from that of the rest of the Sultanate.
An ancient copper bowl burning incense that people traveled more than a thousand miles over sea and desert to obtain and trade

Fabled in antiquity as the source of the legendary frankincense trade, Dhofar boasted one of Arabia’s oldest and most cosmopolitan cultures—whose remains continue to exercise historians and archeologists to this day. The region was only finally brought under the control of the sultans of Muscat in the mid-nineteenth century, while the Dhofaris continued to assert their independence until as recently as the 1970s before finally being brought into the Omani fold.
    What more peaceful and remote place could the Lord have provided for Lehi and his family to spend their time isolated from others while they built their ship that would take them across the “many waters” to the Land of Promise without a soul knowing of their voyage, or its final destination. As Lehi told his family: “And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Nephi 1:8).
    Thus, we can see that the Lord brought Lehi and his party some 2400 miles from Jerusalem down along the Red Sea, then across the largest sand desert in the world to this narrow strip of land beyond the mountains and along the seashore where there would be peace and quiet, no disturbances from people, where the Lord could commune with Nephi on a regular basis while he taught and showed this future prophet how to build a ship worthy of traveling into deep water and across the ocean to a land the Lord had promised Lehi.
Experienced shipwrights would have paid no attention to the inexperienced Nephi if he tried to tell them how to build a ship

It should be noted as mentioned earlier, there could have been no other people in the area, especially people experienced in building ships as so many theorists want to claim, for no experienced shipwright and builder would pay any attention to a young man with no building and maritime experience telling him how to build this ship the Lord had instructed. No builders of boats would sit still while a novice told them how to reverse their lifetime experience in building boats to construct a ship “not after the manner of men” (1 Nephi 18:2), but after the manner the Lord instructed Nephi.
    What shipwright worth his salt would sit back and let a young man who had never built even a canoe, raft or rowboat tell him how to construct a large ship capable of carrying fifty people or more out into the deep ocean? What shipwright is going to tolerate Nephi telling him “to work timbers of curious workmanship”? Or to build a boat different from the many others he had built over his life time? Anyone who thinks this way simply has had not experience with the intent and passionate independence of the Arab shipwrights who even today follow the same ancient methods of building their boats.
    If theorists would be honest with themselves on this matter, they would realize that as much as logic tells them experienced builders were necessary to build a large ship like Nephi’s, that it was not to be built after the manner of men, but after the manner the Lord instructed Nephi, there is simply no way men with any experience are going to accept such a change in their life’s work.
Nephi says he went into the mount often to inquire of the Lord. Some theorists claim there are no mountains around Khor Rori, but above the Garbeeb Plain, is the Wadi Dirbat (Darbat), which is itself on a mountain, and above that are high mounts as these images show (the river is the Wadi Dirbat)

It should be noted from Nephi’s words that the Lord told him: “Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord” (1 Nephi 17:7). Later, Nephi said, “I did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord” (1 Nephi 18:3). It is interesting that in neither case does Nephi tell us it is a high mountain as he does during his earlier vision when he said he went “into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen” (1 Nephi 11:1), or when he “did go forth up into the top of the mountain” when he was directed to go for game (1 Nephi 16:30). Is this significant? Perhaps not. On the other hand, we have no reason to assume we are looking for a high mountain around Khor Rori, which, by the way is surrounded by the Jabal Qara mountains.
    All Nephi needed was a mountain. And since the area was bereft of people in 600 B.C., where evidence shows the area was not occupied until at least 500 B.C. onward, all Nephi need was some area of height where he would not be disturbed and where the Lord could  communicate with him—where he went oft.
In fact, the process of building the ship was evidently so complicated and different from anything anyone would have known, that Nephi had to go into the mount frequently for the Lord to show him many great things (1 Nephi 18:3). Nor should we neglect to remember  that Nephi, if he was around ship builders, would never have needed to ask the Lord where to go to find ore that he could melt and make tools to construct the ship--they would have been available for purchase or use.
    We need to recognize when we read the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon, that in addition to all the most valuable knowledge we can acquire about the Gospel and about the workings of God with man, and the Plan of Salvation, and all the other doctrinal information contained therein, is a valuable set of lessons as to how we can do and accomplish things in our lives—Nephi was the perfect example for he tells us quite clearly, “I will go and do the things which the Lord had commanded,” because he knew and makes it also quite clear to us that “for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). This is true whether it is in going back and getting the brass plates, which Nephi understand all the parameters of the assignment, or in building a ship, the parameters of which Nephi had no idea, experience or reason to believe it could be done.
    Nephi did not need help in building his ship other than his own family and that of Ishmael’s sons and people. No experienced ship builders were needed, no maritime knowledge was required. The Lord knew all that man knew and far more and could convey that to Nephi in such a manner that he was fully capable of accomplishing. Obviously, the Lord led Nephi to this one spot, the only natural harbor that exits in southern Oman where an ocean-going ship could have been constructed.
    The ship was not only built “not after the manner of men,” but it was also built not by maritime shipwrights and builders. It was built by Nephi under the Lord’s tutelage, which Nephi makes quite clear in the beginning of 1 Nephi 18.


  1. 2Nephi 1:8 is another real problem for the Malaysia folks because certainly that penisula was part of a known Continent. Even if it were an island (which it never was) it still wouldn't qualify under this scripture.

    1. This map was drawn by Cosmas Indicopleustes, one of the first Christian missionaries to travel east and report on his findings.

      He reached as far as Sri Lanka, and didn't go further because westerners in that era were afraid of going too far east, for fear they would be punished for trying to return to Paradise. You can clearly see that the Malay Peninsula was not known to Christians until well after the closing of the Book of Mormon.

      See those islands beyond the ocean in the east on the map? One of those is believed to represent the what was known about the Malay Peninsula in the 6th century AD. So the Malay Peninsula does indeed qualify as an island that was "kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations".

    2. How about before the Christian era though. This penisula was known and you've pointed out about people sailing around them. According to this scripture Malaysia does not qualify in any way.

    3. But who over ran Malaysia when it was discovered? According to 2Nephi if the other nations knew about it they would over run it. So who over ran the real land of promise when it was discovered? Spanish, England, Netherlands, Sweden,Germany, and the list goes on and on. Nobody over ran Malaysia because it wasn't the promised lsnd
      And that is why the model fails.

    4. This is just one of the reasons that I don't believe it fits. Very few regarded this land as a place to settle. The Dutch were only interested in trade. Very few Dutch ever settled there. So again the scriptures are a real problem for any discussion outside of North and South America.

    5. Chile: Independence from Spain (1818)
      Peru: Independence from Spain (1821)
      Ecuador: Independence from Spain (1822)
      Colombia: Independence from Spain (1810)
      Mexico: Independence from Spain (1821)
      USA: Independence from Great Britain (1776)
      Canada: Independence from Great Britain (1867), but it is still technically a British monarchy.

      Malaysia: Independence from Great Britain (1957)
      Indonesia: Independence from Dutch (1945)
      Cambodia: Independence from France (1953)
      Myanmar: Independence from Great Britain (1948)
      Thailand: Always independent

      Many Arab and European "gentiles" settled on the peninsula and became the rulers during the same centuries that Europeans were settling in the Americas. Colonization patterns in the two regions are very similar. The only difference is that Southeast Asia was overrun from a much earlier (and later) period.

    6. The difference is not even close. Any suggestion there is a similarity between this continent is nonsense. Besides all that Ether 2 says something that you are completely ignoring and that is that the people in America shall worship Christ. All of North and South America are Christian. None of the orientals are Christian. So that alone dismisses Malaysia. So coupled with the idea that this penisula is part of the mainland of China means it can't be the place. Ether 2 is a real obstacle for the Malaysia folks. Are you going to tell me that most are now Christian?

    7. Yes, the highest concentrations of Christians in the world are in the stateless area called Zomia which extends from the Malay Peninsula through the hills of Burma and India. There are millions of Christians there, and they are the same groups that identify as Tribe of Joseph through Manasseh.

      They almost all worship Christ, actively. In the region called Zoram it is more than 87% Christian.

    8. Well, your wrong. according to Malayisa is a multicultural and multiconfessional country, whose official religion is ISLAM!!!!!!!!! As of 2010 Population and Housing Censis, 61.3% practices Islam, 19.8% Buddhism, 9.2 Christianity. 6.3% Hinduism, and 1.3% traditional Chinese.

      So again Malaysia fails completely the test. I don't know where you get your fantasy statistics about these people being of the House of Israel but it's not true. Ether 2:10 says very clearly that the people will be swept off if they do not worship the God of the land who is Jesus Christ. These people of Malaysia and China NEVER ever ever worshiped Christ. This is why Malaysia is wrong. They aren't Christian, they have never been Christian and they never will be Christian and they certainly are not of the House of Israel. You simply are wrong in all this and the scriptures tell you that you are wrong. You need to look somewhere else. Try Chile for a starter.

    9. Again, the model I propose is not based in Malaysia. It is based on the Malay Peninsula, but primarily set in the hills of Burma and the plains of Thailand. This is the #1 reason why we are miscommunicating. For example, I note that 87% of the people of Mizoram are Christian, and you look up Malaysia in the encyclopedia to claim I am wrong.

      The people of Mizoram (not Malaysia) claim to be the House of Israel, and they have been recognized as such by the Israeli Knesset. Again, this is not something I am making up. No matter how many times I share these recent news articles confirming it, you still claim it is some fantasy I have invented.

    10. Again the religion does not match the major religion of the area. What you are looking at apparently is one small tiny sect and then blow it all up to make it look like the dominate religion. The predom religion is Islam period. It has always been the case and always will be. That is why your model does not work because the people are not Christian except for a small minority. Ether 2 is very specific about the continent where the Nephites lived. They are to worship Christ. Nowhere on that continent you say they lived is any place where they are Christian. This proves that you are looking at the wrong continent. It can't be any other way. The rabbis are wrong and so are you.

    11. For perspective, the stateless area called Zomia I am referring to has a population of around 100 million people and is roughly one-third the size of the United States. The Christians that live there are numerous. Its likely that there are more Christians in this area than there are Mormons. And I don't think you would refer to Mormonism as being "one small tiny sect".

      Here's an interesting article about the similarities between Zomia and Israel, written by one of the leading scholars on Christian history.

    12. Sorry but the problem still is that the land of promise will worship Christ. That isn't true on your continent. They are mostly Islam as I pointed out. It does not matter one bit that there are 9% Christian in that nation. So that continent fails the test.

      Now let's look at North and South America. This continent is overwhelming Christian. That's a fact. The reason the US is such bad shape now is because she is in the process of rejecting Christianity. If we continue done this path we will be swepted off as prophisied.

      As I said this is not true of Asia. They can worship who ever they please. China has been around for thousands of years and haven't been swepted off yet. This scripture in Ether 2 is the most clear scripture of all of them that completely negates Malaysia as even a remote possibility.

      What I'm surprised at is why the few of you that glob on to this theory can't look at simple straight forward scripture and figure this out for yourself. Follow what the scriptures and stop making things up. Just because you like the people of Malaysia doesn't mean they are of the House of Israel. They certainly cannot be Lamanite.

    13. Sorry unknown your model fails. You did not address the fact that the Malaysia penisula's official religion is Islam.

      North and South America is the land of promise. This continent was Christian until the destruction. When we received the BOM we then knew of the curse on this land. All of America is Christian. This is undeniable. This is amazing to me. You pick and choose your scriptures.

      Have you ever in your life heard of the New Jerusalem? It isn't going to descend in some pagan country like Malaysia. It will descend in the land of promise in America.

      You have no leg to stand on in this debate. Ether 2 completely destroys your claim.

    14. Again, the model I propose is not based in Malaysia. It is based on the Malay Peninsula, but primarily set in a stateless region that is roughly 1/3rd the size of the United States. The area is called Zomia, not "Malaysia".

      Remember Joseph Smith claimed that the word Zom and Zomar was another word for Zion.

      But it seems you would prefer to continue miscommunicating rather than acknowledge that you are misrepresenting this model. I think the discussion has run its course.

    15. I am not misrepresenting anything. Ether 2 has destroyed any claim that any place in Asia is the Land of Promise. That scripture alone destroys your model. You can claim all you want that a small little group you claim are Israelites live there and they are Lamanites but the reality is that it can't be because it isn't the land of Promise. Ether 2 unknown/Jay - It's the scripture that destroys your claim. And until you can address this fact that the entire peninsula is Islam/pagan you have no claim.

      Yes this discussion is over. But more importantly anybody reading this ought to know for certain that the land of Promise is America. Not some pagan nation near China.

    16. "But more importantly anybody reading this ought to know for certain that the land of Promise is America. Not some pagan nation near China."

      Check the map.

      North America is actually "some pagan nation near China." North America is closer to China than it is to Chile.

    17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    18. Your comment is outrageous. North and South America is the land of promise. This continent has been reserved for Christians. The continent of Asia is reserved for pagan nations. You've lost the debate. Trying to make a bunch of pagans members of the House of Israel is absurd. It's proved in Ether 2. Nothing more to be said.

    19. The continent of Asia was known as Paradise in Judeo-Christian tradition for millennia. It still is highly respected in many Middle Eastern traditions. Even Christopher Columbus was looking for Asia and the great hidden Christian kingdom he believed was there.

      Again, I am not trying to make any pagans into the House of Israel. They are already accepted as such and are returning to Israel. You can reject the gathering already taking place if you prefer. No skin off my back.

  2. I wonder where Hagoth got his ship building skills from?

    1. Same as the other ship builders I suppose. He experimented. It does say he was curious. They did have harbors as Del has pointed out in the ruins around Titicaca.

  3. Interesting discussion.

    Looking at things purely from the perspective of Scripture, Malay sumply cannot be the place described as the place in the Book of Mormon.

    Wrong continent, for one thing.

  4. We still have the Revelation from Fredrick G Williams that states Lehi landed in Chile.. and more specifically.. 30 degrees South. How much more specific can one get from someone in the 1830's with no access to the internet?