Thursday, December 14, 2017

Finding the Land of Promise – Landing – Part II

Continuing with finding the Land of Promise from Book of Mormon statements or descriptions, if you try to identify a single object to start, then let us suggest you are approaching the Book of Mormon geography backward. As discussed in the previous article, Nephi clearly tells us that he was “driven forth before the wind” (1 Nephi 18:8-9), and in following those winds and currents they lead to only one basic area where Nephi could have landed, and Jacob describes that landing area in general terms (2 Nephi 20:20). 
   To verify that one specific area of landing, you can look at what Nephi tells you he found exactly where he landed—not some distance away, not where he later founded the City of Nephi (and Land of Nephi), but where he landed. And that info is clearly set forth at the end of Chapter 18 of 1 Nephi, where he states:
1. (1 Nephi 18:24) He planted his seeds, therefore, you would need to find a climate (which would include temperature, soil, precipitation, etc.) where "seeds from Jerusalem" grew exceedingly and provided an abundant crop. Now Jerusalem is a Mediterranean Climate as any climate index will show you from ancient atlas to the internet. So where, along that path that the winds and currents would have taken his ship "driven forth before the wind" would you find a Mediterranean climate where his seeds would grow? Keep in mind that in 600 B.C. seeds did not grow just anywhere--even today, seeds have a growth area and climate requirement found on the back of every seed packet.
2. (1Nephi 18:25) He states he found a forest, which included all types of animals; however, the animals are movable and are only secondary to this. This forest was within walking distance of the landing site, i.e., where they landed and pitched their tents.
3. (1Nephi 18:25) He states that they landed in a location where gold, silver and copper were so plentiful that Nephi remarked about finding it where he landed, while walking about, making it within walking distance of their landing, such as a distance you would walk in a hunting or exploring journey around your base of operations—the tents you pitched and where you have your base camp. We are not talking about this ore being deep in the ground, or not visible sufficiently that it would not immediately be seen as Nephi walked around. In addition, these ores are mentioned in a single occurrence, so the gold, silver and copper needs to be in single ore (that is, a single rock formation—not found just anywhere, but not that rare, either).
4. (1Nephi 18:25) The forest location was large enough where both domesticated type animals (though running wild at the time) as well as wild beasts (carnivores), would have been found. What is found today among animals is immaterial, since animal habitats can change with seasons over the centuries.
    Having gone this far, you would now be ready to take the next step in finding the location of the Land of Promise. In fact, there are few places where a Mediterranean Climate can be found, then add the ore and forest, this limits areas to a single location along that ocean current path where the winds blow and currents move.
    So now you have these three types of things to look for in the area where Nephi’s ship would have sailed.
1. A location where winds and currents would have taken a sailing ship "driven forth before the wind" which means fixed sails—not tacking and maneuvering all over the place—much like everyone sailed before the later Age of Sail when mariners learned to use more than winds and currents to reach destinations;
Mediterranean Climates of the World

The above map is adapted from: Ecosystems of the World, Vol. II, Mediterranean-Type Shrublands (F. DiCastri, D.W. Goodall and R.L. Specht, Eds.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1981.
2) Climate conducive to planting seeds from Jerusalem (Mediterranean);
3) Permanent location items (ore, forest, etc.)
    Frankly, after more than 30 years of doing this, reading thousands of books (long before the internet), journals of travelers, ancient histories, etc., as well as naval journals, wind and current studies, reading about the men who discovered these winds and currents etc., and studying plants, seeds, climate, etc., this location became obvious. That is, in such a study, a single location in the Western Hemisphere should be rearing its head in your research since there is only one place in all the Western Hemisphere that would match these three points that Nephi describes.
    Once you have arrived at this point, the next step is to find a place where Nephi would have moved to in order to escape the death threats of his brothers, and the sons of Ishmael, that was far enough away so no immediate discovery would be likely, where a defensive city and civilization could be built, and where all the things described in the scriptural record could be found—including gold, silver, copper, other precious metals, including iron, and wood for serious construction efforts (like framing Solomon's Temple), where buildings of every kind had been built north of there (Jaredites), where several cities had been built by Nephi and his descendants over the next 400 years before Mosiah left that area.
    Next, you  look within that area for:
1. Signs of an ancient civilization around 600 to 200 B.C. that more or less begins with buildings matching the achievements in the ancient city of Jerusalem;
2. For stone construction where masons cut and dressed stones somewhat like Israel’s building of Jerusalem;
3. For ancient signs of advanced metallurgy, with masons capable of making both decorative and construction type metal products;
4. For ancient signs of advanced textiles, of fine-twined linen, silk, etc.
5. For roads and highways that went from place to place, city to city and land to land, and connected the ancient kingdom where the Nephites are thought to have occupied;
6. For similarities in Egyptian and Mesopotamia cultures;
    After this, you can start looking for perishable but solid evidence of items that at least existed in the Nephite era (including Jaredites), such as:
1. Two interesting animals that would have been unknown in the U.S. in 1830s, but more valuable to man than horses and asses, and on a par with elephants, that are indigenous to the area;
2. Two valuable grains that would not have been known to Joseph Smith, a farmer, in 1830 U.S., but nutritious on a par with wheat and barley;
3. You look for an herb or plant that is a cure for killing fevers, like malaria, and keep people from dying from it (Alma 46:40);
    Then there is the unchangeable things you can look for that match the scriptural record, such as areas where significant mountains in both the Land Southward and the Land Northward rose to levels “whose height is great.”
    And for such things as signs of an ancient people that accomplished great things, built great cities, and worked with their hands, which Nephi tells us he caused his people to do.
    Now, by this time, if you have really done your homework, been open-minded, followed exactly the wordage of the scriptural record without reading into it other than what it means, you likely will be in the right area. Then, and only then, will you have a chance at finding certain described places, that time would not have altered or changed.
(See the next post, “Finding the Land of Promise – Another Look at Cumorah – Part III, to see more of the comparison between Mesoamerican claims and that of the scriptural descriptions of the Land of Promise)

1 comment:

  1. Lucy Mack Smith quoted Joseph using Cumorah before receiving the plates:

    Presently he smiled, and said in a very calm tone, “I have taken the severest chastisement, that I have ever had in my life”. My husband, supposing it was from some of the neighbors, was quite angry; and observed, “I would would like to know what business any body has to find fault with you.”
    “Stop, father, Stop.” said Joseph, “it was the angel of the Lord— as I passed by the hill of Cumorah, where the plates are, the angel of the Lord met me and said, that I had not been engaged enough in the work of the Lord; that the time had come for the record to brought forth; and, that I must be up and doing, and set myself about the things which God had commanded me to do:"

    While you are on the Cumorah topic, could you critique this blog which is also on Cumorah?