Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Going Northward in Hagoth’s Ships

Much has been erroneous written and reported about the scriptural record of the shipwright Hagoth. Some claim Hagoth himself was an adventurer and sailed away in his ship. Other claim Hagoth headed into the Land Northward. Still others claim Hagoth was shipwrecked during his voyage and unable to get back to the Land of Promise. However, nothing in the record even suggests any of these views are supported, let alone mentioned.
    Mormon makes the story of Hagoth, following the death of  both Helaman and Moroni, quite clear: “And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward. And there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward. And thus ended the thirty and seventh year. And in the thirty and eighth year, this man built other ships, and the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward” (Alma 63:5-7).
A ship being built in Hagoth’s shipyard on the shores of the “west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward”

Obviously, Hagoth was building other ships while the first ship mentioned sailed northward with numerous immigrants and returned. Thus, we see that Hagoth was a shipwright, a builder of ships, and not an adventurer or sailor who went off into the sunset and was never heard from again.
    In another instance, shipping is mentioned: ““Timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping” (Helaman 3:10). The word “timber” traces back to an Old English word “tem(b)ra,” the Old German “zimbar,: and Old Norse timbr, initially “timbran or timbrian, the word for “to build,” and became the meaning for “house” or “building” that also came to mean “building material,” “wood,” and “trees” or “woods.”
    What was called “timber” in the time of Joseph Smith was “standing trees [and the stem of a tree] which are suitable for building or for tools, utensils, furniture, carriages, fences, ships and the like, as a forest contains excellent timber. It also means “beams, rafters, scantling, boards, planks, etc.” Today, the meaning has not changed much, being defined as: “the wood of growing trees suitable for structural uses; growing trees themselves; wooded land.”
    Finally, there is the statement: “There are many records kept of the proceedings of this people, by many of this people, which are particular and very large, concerning them…the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries” (Helaman 3:13-14, emphasis added).
    Two very important points out of this can be obviously understood:

• Hagoth was a shipwright and builder of many ships, which were involved in both transportation and business projects (Helaman;
• Large numbers of Nephites and some converted Lamanites immigrated into a land “which was northward,” in the ships Hagoth built.
    In addition, we find that many Nephites and some Lamanite converts traveled overland into the Land Northward: “And it came to pass that in this year there were many people who went forth into the land northward. And thus ended the thirty and eighth year” (Alma 63:9), and also in the forty and sixth year or eight years later than the writing in Alma of Nephites going to “a land which was northward, we find that “an exceedingly great many departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land” (Helaman 3:3).
    Thus we see that there were two major waves of immigration—the first by ships to a land other than the Land Northward (Alma 63:5) and a second wave traveling overland into the Land Northward (Helaman 3:4).
    Now the clear fact that many Nephites and converted Lamanites went to “a land which was northward,” or a land other than the “Land Northward,” there would have been a large and growing settlement, with subsequent settlements, towns, and cities built there by the Nephites north of the Land of Promise. Thus, we need to find a place north of where the Land of Promise was located that would show the same type of development as Nephi built, like a temple like Solomon’s (2 Nephi 5:16), and then taught his “people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance” (2 Nephi 5:15);
Movement development from the Land of Promise northward. Red Arrow shows the only matching point between the two development areas of the Nephites; Green Arrow does not lead to matching development areas

For those who seek Lehi’s Land of Promise, they need to make certain that north of their choice, an obvious location of a second area very similar to the Land of Promise. Consequently, we can look at Mesoamerica, where no similar second settlement can be found to the north of Mesoamerica, and reject this location out of hand. We can look at the U.S. Heartland where we find no initial settlement and nor similar second development are dating to the time period of the Nephites; and we can look at the Great Lakes where we find no similar second development area north of their Land of Promise, thus, we can reject North America out of hand.
    It is as simple as that, and requires no long, deep study. Just a simple reading of the Book of Mormon, and the information Mormon left us in which Hagoth sailed north to a land which was not the Land of Promise. And for those who doubt this, need only look at the chapter involving Hagoth and see that a sequence of events unfold:
1. First, Hagoth built an exceedingly large ship and many of the Nephites who did enter therein did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward (Alma 63:5-7),
    Now following this event by ships which Mormon stated, he tells us of another event that could not be the same group for if it were, then there would be no need or purpose in stating it again:
2. Second, we find that “there were many people who went forth into the land northward” (Alma 63:9).
    In addition, we find another major movement of people into the Land Northward, and no shipping is mentioned or involved (Helaman 3:3-4).
    It might also be pointed out, that Mormon states: “In the thirty and ninth year of the reign of the judges, Shiblon died also, and Corianton had gone forth to the land northward in a ship, to carry forth provisions unto the people who had gone forth into that land” (Alma 63:10).
    Now if this was the Land Northward, the people who went there would have been scattered over a large area since they were on foot and could have moved wherever the topography warranted. On the other hand, those who went by ship would have been limited to the area around which they landed. Thus a supply ship would have had one area to land in order to provide the entire settlement with supplies. Consequently, there appears a definite support for a second land, beyond the borders of the Land of Promise.
    Obviously, such a site to the north of the land of Promise is found in Andean South America being the Land of Promise, and Mesoamerica, to the north, being the “land which was northward, both having similar construction and development.


  1. George-will you reply with the link to your summary please. Thought I had it bookmarked several places but not finding it.
    Was trying to see if you already have this (a settlement in a land to the north) on the list.

  2. This is my summary, starting with the comparison chart that Del made.


    1. I do not have the argument that is in this Post for two land northward migrations. I will work on that.

  3. Hey guys. If you want to share study topics or research on the Andean land of promise, I set up a private Facebook group here.

    I still love the public group, but thought there could be a more private research group for discussing topics and ideas. Public group I love is this one: