Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VIII

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously.
6. The reason the Mulekites in Zarahemla were so anxious to have the Jaredite record interpreted was because they knew of the Jaredites and considered them their relatives.
A great anxiety came over the Nephites who were  extremely desirous  to know concerning those people who had been destroyed

First of all, the scripture does not make mention of the Jaredites as relatives or brethren in conjunction with the anxiety of the people to know about those who had been killed in the Land Northward. Mosiah translated the 24-plates of gold found among the bones of the Jaredite dead where Ether placed them so they could be found “because of the great anxiety of his people; for they were desirous beyond measure to know concerning those people who had been destroyed” (Mosiah 28:12). The term brethren is not used until long after the Mulekites and the Nephites were joined as one people (Omni 1:19; Mosiah 25:13) and were baptized into the Church (Mosiah 25:18) and called Nephites (Alma 3:17).
    At this time, when Captain Moroni is asking for volunteers for his army (Alma 46:20), declaring liberty (Alma 46:13), and hoisting the banner of liberty from every tower (Alma 46:36), recruits came running forth to join forces with him (Alma 46:21).
    Now in their zeal, “rending their garments in token,” they made a covenant with the Lord to rend them as they rent their garments if they fell “into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ” (Alma 46:21). This covenant was specific: “... and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: ‘We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression” (Alma 46:22). 
    Thus, it cannot be said that the Mulekites thought of the Jaredites as their brethren, meaning they had co-mingled and intermarried. This is not the context in which this statement is made. The Nephites (Nephites and Mulekites) were covenanting with God that they should be destroyed even as the Jaredites had been destroyed if they, the Nephites, did not keep their oath to defend liberty.
    Secondly, the record of the Jaredites had been interpreted by Mosiah some twenty years earlier, and the Nephites were well aware of what had happened to the Jaredites and why. They knew their brethren in the gospel to the north had been wiped out to the man because of their transgression and falling away from God. Understanding this, they used this reference to their brethren (in the gospel) as what should happen to them if they fell away like the Jaredites of old.
7. Zarahemla knew of the history of the Jaredites before Mosiah arrived
Critics claim that the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites intermingled

Joseph Allen (p7) says that “Zarahemla recounted orally his people’s history and also a portion of the history of the people we know as the Jaredites,” but the scriptures make no mention of Zarahemla knowing anything about the Jaredites except for having the stone upon which Coriantumr engraved a brief record of his history (Omni 1:21-22), and which Zarahemla could not read. 
    This engraving was interpreted by Mosiah for the benefit of the Mulekites and Nephites by the gift and power of God (Omni 1:20). Much later, the Nephites, including Zarahemla and his people, were anxious to find out about those who had perished in the land to the north (Mosiah 28:12), once again suggesting no one knew of these Jaredites and what happened to them other than what little had been engraved by Coriantumr on the stone, but not interpreted until the arrival of Mosiah.
8. The Nephites and Mulekites knew of the Jaredites and were heavily influenced by them during a long cultural overlap between the two peoples
Critics claim that the Jaredites lived with and intermarried with the Mulekites/Nephites for many generations, which would make them no different from one another

Hugh Nibley (p248) claims that the Nephites and the Jaredites co- mingled and may even have intermarried during a long cultural overlap of their societies. Sorenson (p119) says that there is no doubt about such an overlap and that Jaredite contributions to the later peoples (Mulekites and Nephites) were substantial. Nibley (p247) also makes the comparison between so-called Jaredite names of Mulekites dissenting from Nephite control in Zarahemla, yet agrees that we have very few Jaredite names and that there is nothing in the Book of Mormon that shows direct contact between the Nephites and the Jaredites (246-247).
    So why do we have such a belief if there is nothing in scripture to show a linkage? Because, as Sorenson so pointedly explains (246-247), there is an Olmec connection in Mesoamerica that these Mesoamerican Theorists want to claim were the Jaredites. Thus, he suggests that when the Mulekites landed they “were able to find a niche for themselves in the land, incorporating and ruling over some remnant of the people left in the land southward after the abandonment of Olmec La Venta,” even though the Jaredites were never in the land southward according to the scriptural account— but it is the reason why the Theorists must place the Jaredites there—otherwise, who were these earlier people in their model for Book of Mormon lands?
    Other concerns occur when we start talking about cultural overlap of some 300 to 450 years. First of all, for the Mulekites, when Mosiah found them around 250 B.C., it is claimed they were illiterate, had no written language or written records, could not interpret Coriantumr’s Jaredite glyph engravings, and knew nothing of the Jaredite history or civilization until Mosiah interpreted the stone.
    Now, if the Mulekites had lived among the Jaredites for 300 to 450 years before Mosiah found them, why were they so ignorant of the Jaredites? Why could not some among them have been taught how to read Jaredite writing? Why did they not have any written language of their own?
The Jaredites came to the Land of Promise with written records and continued their literacy the entire time they were in the land, with Ether closing out the record with his writing

It should be kept in mind that the Jaredites were a literate culture, and had maintained their written language for the 1600 years they were in the land of promise, since the Brother of Jared wrote down what he had seen (Ether 4:1) while still in the Old World, and both Coriantumr and Ether were writing 1600 years later in the final days of the Jaredite nation (Ether 15:4).
    Nibley claims the Jaredites taught the Mulekites aggressive behavior and this showed up in certain Jaredite-named Mulekites disrupting and attempting to destroy the Nephite government throughout the last two centuries B.C. However, the Mulekites seem to have been aggressive themselves, without any need for help from another people, for they had wars among themselves from the very beginning (Omni 1:17).
    Hobby claims the Mulekites landed in the midst of the Jaredite civilization and that they were absorbed into the Jaredite culture, but to avoid the wars, they escaped and came south, migrating into the Land Southward where they founded Zarahemla. Amaleki said they had numerous wars, but if those wars had been against the Jaredites, who numbered in the millions, the Mulekites would have been wiped out early on for there could not have been very many people who originally escaped Jerusalem with Mulek and landed in the land of promise. Sorenson adds that these Mulekites “did what the Lamanites did, that is, use superior skills and knowledge they had brought with them to gain dominance over local remnants of the previous civilization.”
(See the next post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part IX,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling)

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