Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part III

Continuing from the previous posts regarding the attempt by scholars to include other people into the Land of Promise when no other people are mentioned by any of the writers or even such a presence is inferred. Whether or not there were, we may never know, but to manufacture the existence of others is neither scholarly nor of any value to our understanding the scriptural record or the Jaredite or Nephite experiences in the Land of Promise.
Another questionable point posed by these threorists, is the one regarding who were Coriantumr’s people and what was his kingdom? First of all, Coriantumr became “king over all the land” (Ether 12:1). Now there is only one way to interpret that—king over all the land. That is like the President of the United States being president over all the land—not just Illinois, California and Iowa—Coriantumr was king over all the land, over all the Jaredites in the land, over everyone who lived within the Jaredite kingdom.
    Somewhere along the line, there became a schism within the Jaredite kingdom, and “there were two kingdoms, the kingdom of Shule, and the kingdom of Cohor, the son of Noah” (Ether 7:20); following a battle in which Cohor was killed, his son, Nimrod who “gave up the kingdom of Cohor unto Shule” (Ether 7:22). Many wars followed until the rightful king, Omer, was overthrown and “the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land” (Ether 9:3). He was eventually followed in line by one named Shez, who, after a great famine that killed most of the Jaredites, and he was eventually followed by one named Morianton who became king “over all the land” (Ether 10:9). The kingdom was divided once again under Moron (Ether 11:15), then followed another division until finally in the days of Ether, Coriantumr “was king over all the land” (Ether 12:1).
During this time great evil covered the land and Ether was cast out from among the people for preaching and found safety in the cavity of a rock. Now there began to be a great war between Coriantumr and “many who rose up, who were mighty men,” with “secret plans of wickedness” like the secret combinations of old (Ether 11:15;13:15). When Coriantumr inherited the kingdom, himself probably the son or grandson of the mighty man who was descended from the brother of Jared.
    These Jaredite wars actually lasted from this time until the end of the record, with Coriantumr the legitimate king over all the land, but who had to face numerous challengers to his throne—first, those of the mighty men, then Shared, Gilead, Lib, and finally Shiz. During these battles, Coriantumr was beaten and imprisoned, released by his sons to reclaim the throne, had the throne usurped by Lib, and then his brother, Shiz, who, in Coriantumr’s time, the Jaredite kingdom truly became divided, with Shiz the military leader of one half and Coriantumr, the rightful king, leading the other half.
    From the time of Coriantumr, there were none of the fair sons and daughters upon the face of the whole earth who repented of their sins (Ether 13:17), and during one two year period, there was fighting among “all the people upon the face of the land” (Ether 13:31), and every man with his band fighting for that which he desired (Ether 13:25). After the loss of some five or six million Jaredite men, women, and children—called the people of Coriantumr, since he was the legitimate king over the kingdom at that time, a final running battle took place between Coriantumr and Shiz, which resulted in all dying, and Coriantumr becoming “the last (and only) man standing.”
    At this time, the Jaredite kingdom ceased to exist. Coriantumr’s people, the Jaredites ceased to exist. Coriantumr survived, as prophesied, only long enough to see another people inheriting the land his people had once occupied—the land of promise. Yet, undaunted, Nibley states: “Yet the Book of Mormon itself makes such an interpretation impossible—the Nephites were destroyed, we are told, but it is pertinent to the case of the Jaredites to ask...what is meant by destroyed?”
Adding a little later, “So when we read that the Jaredites “were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country” in the very first verse of Ether, we are to understand that the nation was smashed and dispersed, but not that the catastrophic final battle was necessarily the whole story.”
    In all honesty, it is impossible to arrive at such a conclusion from what is written in the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon. Yet, Nibley then tries to make a comparison between Ether’s example of the destruction of the Jaredites, and Mosiah’s comments about Ether’s record, as he writes: “The first thing that occurs to King Mosiah on the discovery of the twenty-four gold plates was, ‘perhaps they will give us a knowledge of the remnant of the people who have been destroyed, from whence this record came...’ showing that whether anyone survived or not, for Mosiah at least it was perfectly possible for remnants of a people to exist after that people had been destroyed.”
    This is the type of problem one encounters when reading information like this—since most people do not look up references, they accept what is written. However, sometimes theorists are terribly wrong, as in this case! It was not King Mosiah who said this, and the statement quoted had nothing to do with a time frame after the record was read by King Mosiah, and therefore no reference can either be made to King Mosiah in this, nor that he thought there were remnants of Jaredites after reading the record. The fact is, it was King Limhi who makes this comment. And King Limhi could not read the plates of Ether, had no idea what they contained, and only knew that a large number of people had been killed, whose bodies and buildings had been discovered by some of his people he sent to find Zarahemla, but became lost and stumbled onto the old Jaredite lands (Mosiah 8:7-8).
    One might give Nibley the shadow of the doubt and say it was an honest mistake—however, he uses this fallacious and disingenuous argument by combining events that happened about 30 years apart, and among two entirely different people living in two entirely different areas, to try and prove an extremely important point of his—that Jaredites survived the last, great battle, and in so doing, to show that what we read in the scriptures are not always as simple and obvious as they appear.
    It might also be of interest, by the way, that King Mosiah never said or indicated that any Jaredites might have survived that last battle after reading Ether’s plates—in fact, after telling the people of the content, the people “mourned exceedingly and were filled with sorrow” (Mosiah 28:18). One would think, that if there were any survivors it would have been mentioned here and that the people were glad of that. But it is all about being filled with sorrow that the Jaredites had been destroyed. After this, Mosiah conferred the record, among other things, to his son, Alma.
In addition, Nibley writes that “There is nothing in the Book of Mormon that shows direct contact between the Nephihtes and the Jaredites.” Interestingly, despite his knowing this fact, it does not stop him from suggesting that there was such contact, stating, “There is always a go-between— the Mulekites, who, as the story of the elder Coriantumr shows, were the nearest neighbors to the Jareditees and separated, as we learn from Mosiah’s account, by a considerable distance from the Nephites.” Indeed, with the only Jaredite mentioned in the entire 1000-year history of the Nephite record being Coriantumr, whom the Mulekites discovered in the area of Zarahemla, a city and land no Nephite entered until Mosiah led some from the City of Nephi down into the land of Zarahemla somewhere around 200 B.C., one can see the vast distance involved.
    Now, despite there being no mention of anyone other than Coriantumr, Nibley goes on to write, “Everything points to the absorption of a good deal of Jaredite culture by the people of Zarahemla shortly after their arrival.” So we find that Nibley claims the Mulekites were intermingled with Jaredite “survivors,” and absorbed a good deal of Jaredite culture. How anyone might arrive at this conclusion is interesting since there is absolutely no mention of anything Mulekite in the way of culture, heritage (other than coming out of Jerusalem “at the time Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon” (Omni 1:15), or genealogies. Thus, Nibley centers his reasoning on two things, 1) the names of dissenters, and 2) claiming all the dissenters were Mulekites. Of this latter, Nibley writes; “is there something significant about those Nephites who bear Jaredite names? The answer is a surprise: Every one of these men had a Mulekite background and is a leader of subversive movements against the Nephite state and religion!”
    Again, this is very interesting that every Nephite dissenter was a Mulekite, since we have very little record of such lineages—the only definite connection is Coriantumr, who “was a descendant of Zarahemla,”
(See the next post, “The Disservice of Manufacturing of Other People – Part IV,” for more on the fictitious “other people” in the Land of Promise)

1 comment:

  1. The allegory of Zenos shows the Jaredite kingdom was "cut down" before the Nephites were planted there. Jacob 5:44 If some of the Jaredites continued among the Nephites would not this have been noted in the allegory?

    "And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof."