Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VI

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and Hugh Nibley’s unbelievable rationale as to why there is no mention in the scriptural record of any of the others who were in the Land of Promise when Lehi arrived.
    It should be noted that Nibley provides his reasoning for this silence about the Mulekites when he (p251) wrote: “That shows us how closely the editors of the Book of Mormon stick to the business at hand, shunning any kind of digression and stubbornly refusing to tell about any people but the announced subjects of their history.” It is hard to imagine Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, and the other inspired writers as well as Mormon and Moroni “stubbornly refusing” to write about anything pertinent to the events that occurred in the land of promise unless “constrained by the spirit.”
    However, Nibley’s argument is a fallacious since there is no mention about Sam’s posterity at all, yet he was the third son of Lehi and older brother of Nephi. Why was this history omitted? Because, as Lehi said to his son Sam, “blessed art thou, and thy seed, for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother, Nephi, and thy seed shall be numbered with his seed, and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed, and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days” (2 Nephi 4:11).
    Is this much different than the promise made to the Mulekites in Zarahemla? “All the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13), who, along with the children of Amulon, “took upon themselves the name of Nephi, that they might be called the children of Nephi and be numbered among those who were called Nephites” (Mosiah 25:12). Thus “the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together and Mosiah was appointed to be their king” (Omni 1:19).
    From this point on, the people of Zarahemla were Nephites, and like Sam, are never again mentioned as a separate people, as a separate lineage, or in any way different from the Nephites as a whole (Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon Lands, pp158,97),
It should be noted that some writers of the Nephite record indicated that the various sons of Lehi, such as Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, Jacob and Joseph, plus those of Ishmael and Zoram, were known by their separate tribal groups in the land of promise, but that they would combine them into Nephites and Lamanites for the sake of duplicating names (Jacob 1:13; 4 Nephi 1:36-38); however, none ever listed the lineage of Sam or the lineage of Mulek (people of Zarahemla) separately.
    Thus we can be assured that these two lineages were not considered separate at any time. And as for Nibley’s comment, we should also keep in mind that what we know of Lehi before he left Jerusalem, is contained in only a handful of verses, and absolutely nothing of any of his family. We don’t even learn of Nephi’s sisters except through a side comment early in 2 Nephi, and then never again. Nor do we ever hear anything to speak of about Joseph, Lehi’s youngest son. We also know nothing about Ishmael’s history, nor why he led his family out into the wilderness at Nephi’s offer, nor why his daughters were willing to marry Lehi’s sons.
    Nor do we know anything about Zoram, even though his lineage was mentioned separately. It is a fallacious argument on Nibley’s part to single out one of these people, the Mulekites, and make an issue over their background as though the record was meant to minimize anyone’s importance. Mormon told us only one percent of the record could he included in his abridgement. Yet, interestingly enough, an entire Book was devoted to the Jaredites, and their history—so where is the stubborn refusal to mention anyone other than the subjects (Nephites and Lamanites) of their history?
    In addition, Sorenson (p90) wrote despairingly of the Nephite recorders in saying, “The scripture is clear that the Nephites were prejudiced against the Lamanites” and regarding the significant differences in the scriptures between the Nephites and Lamanites, Sorenson added (p91) that it “was not as dramatic as the Nephite record keepers made out,” though some 50 pages later, Sorenson is reversing his opinion when he describes the Lamanites, using both Nephi’s and Enos’ description, (210) writing: “As Nephi tells the story, the Lamanites down in the hot lowlands were nomadic hunters, bloodthirsty, near naked, and lazy (2 Nephi 5:24, Enos 1:20).”
The Lamanites wore breechcloths and hunted in the wilderness for their food

First of all, Nephi does not describe any “down in the hot lowland,” saying only in the citing given, “And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.” Nor did Enos depict any hot lowlands, describing the Lamanites as “their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven...” Nothing at all about what their habitat was like—but, of course, that does not stop Sorenson and other theorists from claiming the Mesoamerican setting for the Lamanites and inserting a location and temperature as though quoting Nephi’s and Enos’ writing.
    It is obvious these Mesoamerican Theorists like to use circumstances to fit their argument—like placing the Mulektes in the Land Northward, having them landing on the east coast, and claiming they intermingled with the Jaredites. At one time these theorist write that the Nephites are over dramatic, another time their “over dramatic” descriptions are used to show that the temperature of the Lamanite lands “could account for some of those characteristics.”
    Thus we see how Mesoamerican Theorists like to write in their own Nephite history because they do not agree with what the ancient Nephite prophets wrote, or that the scriptural record does not agree with their Mesoamerican location and beliefs.
    Most importantly, though Nephi describes seeing all the people who lived in the Western Hemisphere through his vision, he never mentions any other people in the Land of Promise other than those – and the nations that would eventually subdue “his brethren” (Lamanites). There is no mention or even suggestion of people already in the Land of Promise before and during Lehi’s landing.
Many scholars claim that the land was filled with people when Lehi reached the Land of Promise

Despite this, Nibley and Sorenson, and others, for some strange reason, believe these prophets, even when guided in vision by the spirit, make no mention of so-called “other people” these Mesoamerican Theorists claimed to have intermingled, intermarried, and affected the cultures of the Book of Mormon people in the land of promise. It is hard to not be sarcastic about these Theorists, and describe this as an apparent conspiracy between two mighty prophets to keep these other people a secret from us.
    Nibley goes on to write: “No one would deny that anciently ‘this land’ was kept ‘from the knowledge of other nations’ (2 Nep1:8), but that does not mean that it was kept empty of inhabitants, but only that migration was in one direction—from the Old World to the New” (Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and The World of the Jaredites, p253). While it is true that any movement would have been one way, i.e., from the Old World to the New, we cannot at the same time say that these other people intermingled, intermarried and affected the cultures of the Mulekites, Nephites and Lamanites without a word of it recorded in the record—such is taking a possibility beyond the point of reason.
    Yet, Nibley goes on (pp253-254) to write, “even as Lehi uttered those words, the Jaredites were swarming in the east, and the old man refers to others yet to come...all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.”
    Two interesting points in this are ignored by Nibley, and that is 1) those the Lord would lead out of other nations are those described by Nephi in the vision he was shown, and 2) those Jaredites “in the east” were actually north, in the Land Northward, and according to the Lord’s overall Plan for this land, he was preparing Lehi as “another people to inherit the land” from these Jaredites, who were soon to be utterly and completely destroy themselves from off the face of the earth, and who were told of this “other people” to inherit the land through Ether to Coriantumr. 
(See the next post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were)

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