Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Land of Promise Features that Cannot be Ignored—Where are they in Mesoamerica or the Heartland/Great Lakes? Part V

Continuing with comparing the scriptural record descriptions and consider where these points are in either of othe more the northern theories, such as Mesoamerica or North America.
Where Lehi Landed
There is a growing controversy among theorists as to where Lehi landed. Some North American theorists claim is was on the east coast, others the south coast, and still others inland on a lake reached by a river. In Mesoamerica, it is claimed they landed on the south coast of Guatemla. However, we need not flounder about this question, when the scriptural record makes it quite clear.
    Lehi landed on the seashore of the West Sea. As Mormon states it: “On the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 22:28).
    But where on the West Sea coast did he land?
    Again, the scriptural record makes it clear that certain things were found at this landing site. Nephi tells us the landing site included several things which Nephi listed:
Nephi found both domestic and wild animals in the forest near where they landed

“After we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land. And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And…they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance. And…we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper” (2 Nephi 18:23-25).
    Let us be specific about what Nephi wrote regarding where they landed and settled:
1) A place to settle down so they could pitch their tents (1 Nephi 18:23). This activity took at least a fill day, perhaps more, and took place when the party was going to stay a while around water, food, and safety, thus they planned to stay here for a time;
2) The area had to be around open land where they could till the ground (1 Nephi 18:24) and plant their seeds, meaning they had to have sufficient water, such as a river nearby where water could be diverted and obtained. In addition, the climate had to be very similar to that of Jerusalem where they grew the seeds “brought from Jerusalem,” that is, the climate had to be the same as the Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem in order to provide an exceedingly large and abundant harvest;
3) The area had to be next to a forest (1 Nephi 18:25) of some size where both wild and domesticated animals could both live without one completely killing off the other;
4) The area had to be near local deposits of gold, silver and copper (1 Nephi 18:25) of sufficient size and quality for Nephi to draw attention to it.
Red area shows location of the only Mediterranean Climates in the Western Hemisphere

Obviously, then, the area of landing was not only along the coast, but so was the settlement area, since matching a Jerusalem climate for seed planting, called a Mediterranean Climate in the the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, the settlement had to be on the west coast. In fact, such a climate can only be found in the Western Hemisphere along the west coast of the Americas.
    This is because poleward extension and expansion of the subtropical anticyclone over the oceans bring subsiding air to the region in summer, with clear skies and high temperatures. When the anticyclone moves Equator-ward in winter, it is replaced by traveling, frontal cyclones with their attendant precipitation. Annual temperature ranges are generally smaller than those found in marine west coast climates, since locations on the western sides of continents are not well positioned to receive the coldest polar air, which develops over land rather than over the ocean.
    Mediterranean climates also tend to be drier than humid subtropical ones, with precipitation totals ranging from 14 to 35 inches; the lowest amounts occur in interior regions adjacent to the semiarid steppe climates. Only in Europe, where the latitude for this climate type fortuitously corresponds to an ocean basin (that of the Mediterranean Sea, from which this climate derives its name), does this climate type extend eastward away from the coast for any significant distance (Howard J. Critchfield, General Climatology, 4th ed., 1983; M.C. Peel,, "Updated World Map of the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification," Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, vol.11, 2007, pp1633–1644).
The Mediterranean Climate a very pleasant climate with warm, dry summers and cool, mild winters. It gets it's name from the Mediterranean Sea since most of the coastal land around the Mediterranean Sea experience this climate 

The Mediterranean Climate is known for warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Winter temperatures are usually between 30 and 65 degrees. Summer months all average above 50 degrees. The cause of this climate is directly related to large bodies of water such as the Mediterranean Sea and ocean currents. Such areas in the Western Hemisphere are along the California coastal areas in the north and Coquimbo Bay’/La Serena, Chile, in the south.
    We also need to keep in mind that Lehi was getting old, and both he and Sariah were near their deathbeds while on the voyage across the sea (1 Nephi 18:18). It is consistent that when they landed, Nephi would not have wanted for his father and mother to have to walk anywhere of great distance because of their health, thus we can see that they would have settled very quickly along the coast upon landing, pitched their tents, and then settled down to make the living area both comfortable and productive for food.
    This land, the area of Lehi’s first inheritance, became known as the Land of Lehi, a name adopted by those left behind after Lehi died and Nephi and those who would go with him fled northward to escape the wrath of Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael who sought to kill Nephi (2 Nephi 5:2,5). The land where Nephi then settled, was called the Land of Nephi (5:8). So we later find that while the Land of Nephi was first settled by Nephi and his descendants, it was vacated by the righteous Nephites under Mosiah I when the Lord told him to flee out of that land around 200 B.C. (Omni 1-12) and he and those who would go with him discovered the land of Zarahemla (Omni 1:13).
    It was at this time that the Land of Nephi became occupied by the Lamanites and except for a short time when three generations under King Zeniff, King Noah and King Lamoni occupied the land around the city of Nephi which area had become known as the Land of Lehi-Nephi under the Lamanites, was controlled by them from that time forward and the Nephites then controlled the land to the north, called the Land of Zarahemla (Alma 22:27-34).
     The point is, Nephi explained how he got to thre Land of Promise (in his ship that was driven forth before the wind, i.e., where the winds and ocean currents drove him), and what he found there. As we have pointed out here many times, the area where Lehi landed, around 30º south latitude, has all of the factors Nephite stated—Mesoamerica does not, and certainly North America does not.

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