Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What Nephi Found Upon Landing Compared to Other Sites – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding the four things Nephi described that took place and Lehi and his party found upon first landing in the Land of Promise. The first two were described in the previous post, following are the final two: 
3. They found near their camp beasts of every kind in a nearby forest.
    Note the importance of these beasts:
    [1] They found domestic animals: cows, oxen, asses, horses, and goats;
    [2] They found wild animals: wild goats and all kinds of wild animals;
    [3] These domestic and wild animals were for the use of man, i.e., they could be used for both domestic purposes, such as beasts of burden, and for food, and their hides, bones, horns and hooves were used for necessary daily living.
Note that this forest, today called the Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park in the Coquimbo/La Serena region reaching almost to the Atacama Desert within the Valdivian temperate rain forest of the Cordillera de Talinay, part of the Chilean Coastal Range. Because of the coastal fog (Camanchaca) hanging on the mountain slopes that moistens the subtropical vegetation, the hydrophilic forests survive despite being surrounded by semiarid scrublands. It should also be noted that Nephi and his groujp found these beasts and the forest as they walked or traveled about their campsite, no doubt in an investigatory "journey" to see what lay about them, and what resources, areas of interest or dangers might be nearby as any new settlers would want to do.
4. They found all manner of ores, including gold, silver and copper.
    Note that this ore must have been exposed on the surface of the ground, to have been noticed as they journeyed around their base camp during wanderings of discovery and hunting expeditions. This means it was native ore found on the surface, including nuggets, placer and alluvial deposits, as well as surface ore deposits of red, orange or yellow extrusive rocks from volcanic lava flows that could be easily seen, for this was all found “upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness” (1 Nephi 18:25).
    It should be noted for Theorists who claim otherwise, that here the word “journey” in 1828 New England where Joseph Smith was located, meant “the travel of a day, going from one place to another, for any distance, for any reason,” and did not necessarily imply a permanent move, but included short distances, going from “home to a distance” and included returning. Just as importantly, it should be also noted that Nephi describes the condition of his parents, Lehi and Sarah as being both "stricken in years" and "brought down upon their sick-beds," by the time of their landing and would not have been up to an extensive journey overland to a far location before first settling, as many Theorists claim, especially like the Heartland, Great Lakes and eastern U.S. modelers insist. In addition, with two married couples of unknown duration in the sons of Ishmael and the five newly married couples, Lehi's four sons and Zoram, it is highly likely there were very young children involved, including Jacob and Joseph, who would probably have meant that the landing party would have stayed near the shore where they landed. In fact, Mormon so describes it when he says of Lehi's party, "in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their father's first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore" (Alma 22:28).
    Thus, all of this means that wherever Lehi landed, these four descriptions must be present, or were present at the time of the landing. Any location claimed today that does not have or had these descriptive elements simply cannot be the Land of Promise. As an example, this landing site not only had to have had a forest nearby, but the forest had to have been extensive enough for both domestic and wild animals to have co-existed within it for a long period of time.
In addition, this landing site not only had to had tillable soil for planting, but that soil had to be conducive to planting seeds brought from the climatic conditions that existed in Jerusalem—that is, a Mediterranean style climate. As  has been stated before, this climate is distinguished by warm, wet winters under prevailing westerly winds and calm, hot, dry summers, such as those conditions characteristic of the Mediterranean region or basin, where Jerusalem is located, a climatic condition found also only in areas between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator, which is in parts of California, Chile, South Africa, and southwestern Australia.
    Within Mediterranean climates are Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biomes, which are characterized by dry summers and rainy winters. Summers are typically hot in low-lying inland locations but can be cool near colder seas. Winters are typically mild to cool in low-lying locations but can be cold in inland and higher locations. All these ecoregions are highly distinctive, collectively harboring 10% of the Earth's plant species, and outside the Mediterranean basin with its Olive trees, is the Western Cape of South Africa with its “Fine Bush,” central Chile with is Matorral shrubland, California with its chaparral and woodlands, and Australia with its sieropohyll.
    The resulting vegetation of these climates are the garrigue in the Mediterranean Basin, the chaparral in California, the fynbos in South Africa and the Chilean scrubland in Chile, a climate where the so-called “Mediterranean trinity” has traditionally developed: wheat, vine and olive. They are known under the Köppen Climate Classification as (Csa) "hot dry-summer" and (Csb) "cool dry-summer climates—often referred to as "Mediterranean."
    Under the Köppen climate system, the first letter indicates the climate group (in this case temperate climates). Temperate climates or "C" zones have an average temperature 32 °F, but below 64 °F, in their coolest months. The second letter indicates the precipitation pattern ("s" represents dry summers). Köppen has defined a dry summer month as a month with less than 1.2 inches of precipitation and with less than one-third that of the wettest winter month. The third letter indicates the degree of summer heat: "a" represents an average temperature in the warmest month above 72 °F, while "b" indicates the average temperature in the warmest month below 72 °F.
    These Köppen dry-summer climates (Csa, Csb) usually occur on the western sides of continents. Csb zones in the Köppen system also include areas normally associated with Oceanic climates, such as much of the Pacific Northwest, much of central and southern Chile, parts of west-central Argentina and parts of New Zealand.
    It might be of interest at this point to know what was written of this by George Q. Cannon, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who served in the First Presidency under four successive presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow. In addition, he was the church's chief political strategist, and was called "the Mormon premier" and "the Mormon Richelieu" by the press. His family was converted in England and crossed the ocean, arriving in Nauvoo in 1843 when he was 16. He worked for the Times & Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor run by his uncle, John Taylor. He was 17 at the time of Joseph Smith’s death. One of his sister’s married John Taylor.
    George Q. Cannon in 1888 wrote of this climate in The Life of Nephi, the Son of Lehi (The Contributor Company, Salt Lake City, UT) “The Prophet Joseph, in speaking of their place of landing, said, it was on the coast of the country now known as Chili—a country which possesses a genial, temperate and healthy climate.” It is interesting that in the early 1840s, when Cannon would have heard this, that Joseph knew about the climate of central Chili, when that information was unknown in New England, and about a climate that was not defined until well into the 20th century. In fact, the connection between the U.S. and Chile was not even established until the early 1800s, and except for some contact in Washington, D.C., and a “special agent” from South Carolina sent there, contact was basically non-existent. Yet, Joseph Smith evidently knew things about the country, at least around La Serena and Coquimbo that other Americans did not know.
    In addition, Cannon in his book, goes on to claim that Joseph Smith said of the Nephites after landing: “They immediately turned their attention to agriculture. They prepared the ground and put in all the seeds which they had brought with them from the land of Jerusalem. They found the soil admirably adapted for agriculture. Their seeds grew finely and yielded good crops, and they were blessed with abundance” (The Life of Nephi, the Son of Lehi, The Contributor Company, Salt Lake City, UT 1888, Ch XIV, pp93-94; full title: The Life of Nephi, the Son of Lehi, who emigrated from Jerusalem, in Judea, to the land which is now known as South America, about six centuries before the coming of our Savior).
    The point that should be completely understood, is that in 600 B.C., seeds from Mediterranean Jerusalem would only have grown exceedingly, if at all, in another like Mediterranean climate. This, by the way, eliminates all of many theorists’ popular sites, such as all of Mesoamerica, all of the Heartland America and the Great Lakes models. It also eliminates landings around Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and all of Central America; Malay and Islands of the Sea; central and northern Africa; Hawaii; southern and central Baja California; and Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
    In short, within the Western Hemisphere, this leaves only central and southern California in North America, and central Chile in South America as a matching landing site for Lehi.

No comments:

Post a Comment