Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part IX

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; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites.
    In addition, Sorenson goes on to claim the Mulekites mixed with other peoples, saying, “By the time Mosiah got to them, they must have represented a mixture of characteristics in which American features overshadowed the Israelite culture they retained, as Omni 1:17 implies.” Now Omni 1:17 says nothing of the kind: “And at the time that Mosiah discovered them (Mosiah discovered Zarahemla and the Mulekites around 250 B.C., about 330 years after the Mulekites reached the land of promise) they had become exceeding numerous.
    Nevertheless, the Mulekites had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them” (Omni 1:17). There is no implication in this verse that the Mulekites showed any “mixture of characteristics in which American features overshadowed the Israelite culture.”
Mosiah and the Nephites who went with him after many days, came across the settlement of Zarahemla—the Mulekites

What American features? What mixture of characteristics? From this verse, we gain only: 1) Though many Mulekites had died during the many wars they fought among themselves in the 330 years they were in the land of promise, they were still very numerous when Mosiah found them, 2) They had brought no records with them when leaving Jerusalem, and therefore they had lost their knowledge of God and Jewish religious heritage, and 3) Because of no records, their language had changed over three centuries until they no longer spoke the pure Hebrew tongue of their origin and could not be understood by Mosiah and the Nephites. Nothing else is implied in this verse, certainly not of another “American” people, a mixing of cultures, a developing of non-Jewish looks and characteristics!
    And what of the Nephites? Sorenson claims there were Jaredites among the Lamanite armies which the Nephites fought who they merely called “Lamanites.” In fact, he claims that the Lamanites conquered these remaining Jaredites and absorbed them into their own Lamanite culture. But once again, these Jaredites were a highly skilled people, with a knowledge of breastplates and armor (Ether 15:15) not seen among the Lamanites even as late as 74 B.C. when they came to battle against Moroni’s better-equipped army (Alma 43:19-20).
    If these Jaredites had intermingled with either the Mulekites, Nephites, or Lamanites, why do we not see evidence of this in culture, military, or learning among the later groups?
    While it is true the Nephites were industrious builders and skilled artisans from the beginning (2 Nephi 5:15), they still did not invent breastplates and armor until the last century BC, and Mosiah required the gift of God to interpret Coriantumr’s engraven stone (Omni 1:20), and no one knew very much about the Jaredite history on the 24-gold plates until Mosiah interpreted them (Mosiah 28:12) with the Urim and Thummim (Mosiah 28:13)—a term that comes from the Hebrew words meaning “lights” and “perfections.” This title was given to an instrument the Lord prepared to assist man in obtaining revelation and in translating languages. The brother of Jared was the first in scripture to be given the Urim and Thummim (Ether 3:21-28). The prophet Joseph Smith was given these interpreters that had previously been in the possession of the brother of Jared, and described them as being “two stones in silver bows fastened to a breastplate (Joseph Smith, History 1:35).
Mosiah interpreted the writings of Ether on the gold plates brought back by Limhi’ 43-man expedition to find Zarahemla

In fact, Limhi and his people had Ether’s gold plates for some time when Ammon arrived and was asking if he knew anyone who could interpret them (Mosiah 8:5-6, 12). If the Jaredites had lived among the Nephites for some 300 to 450 years, why did no one understand the Jaredite glyphic writing in 200 B.C.?
    Obviously, we see no evidence of Jaredite culture among the Lamanites. They could neither read nor write until Amulon taught them around 120 B.C. (Mosiah 24:4-7). Nor do we find any evidence of Jaredite culture and advanced skills among the Mulekites by the time Mosiah encountered them. Evidently, they had just a single city built, had no written history, nor a desire to rule over or conquer the Nephites, though they outnumbered them (Mosiah 25:2). In fact, the Mulekites, or people of Zarahemla, were overjoyed when they learned Mosiah had the brass plates and the history of the Jews (Omni 1:14) which again would have held no interest to the Jaredites.
    In addition, Amaleki, an eye-witness to the events of first contact between the Nephites and Mulekites, and a recorder of this and subsequent events up into king Benjamin’s lifetime (Omni 1:17), tells us exactly who the Mulekites were and he makes no mention of Jaredites or any other people (Omni 1:15). It would seem strange that Amaleki would, in his extremely brief record of 30 verses devote 5 of those verses to introduce the Mulekites, and 4 verses to introduce one man (Coriantumr)—a little over 1/3 of the book—but nothing at all of this Jaredite civilization that Book of Mormon scholars claim so strongly influenced the Nephite nation.
Zarahemla, a descendant of Mulek, was the ruler of the Mulekites when  Mosiah discovered them

Mosiah, also a first-hand witness to these events, for he is the one who discovered the Mulekites, or people of Zarahemla (Omni 1:13-14), and who was told their genealogy by Zarahemla himself (Omni 1:18), claims that he was a descendant of Mulek and the people of Zarahemla were those who came with Mulek (Mosiah 25:2). Thus, the people of Zarahemla were Jews who followed or brought Mulek, Zedekiah’s last surviving son, from Jersusalem to the land of promise. In addition, Mormon, who inserts his Words of Mormon between Amaleki’s writings and those of Mosiah to help the reader make the transition from the small plates to the record on the Large Plates, makes no mention of these Jaredites, though he had all the records at his disposal. If there were Jaredites among the Mulekites, why would both Amaleki and Mosiah both ignore this fact, yet Limhi could hardly wait to find out who this other group of people were (Mosiah 8:12, 19).
    B. H. Roberts is one of the few Book of Mormon scholars who have repeatedly claimed that the Jaredites never came in contact with anyone else in the land of promise. He says: “There is no mention or assumption of their coming in contact with any other people, or of their being any other people in all the land—they are the sole possessors of it.” He also claims that “the Jaredites developed their peculiar culture uninfluenced by contact with other people—either by reason of finding primitive inhabitants in the land, or by reason of infusion of other people among them (B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1992, p 117).
    Nibley lays his entire claim on name-connection, which has been discussed earlier, and also covered in the author’s Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, and the behavior of a few Nephite dissenters to make his case that the Jaredites were alive and well among the Mulekites and influenced Nephite culture. It is a flimsy thread, to be sure, when no actual evidence of any Jaredite culture can be found among either the Mulekites, Nephites, or Lamanites. One can only say, as Ether so eloquently put it, that the Jaredites were annihilated off the face of the land and only Coriantumr survived.
Left: Nephite; Center: Mulekite; Right: Jaredite

9. The existence of Jaredite names among Mulekites shows that the Mulekites and Jaredites were culturally connected
The Mesoamerican Theorists all tend to use the Jaredite name connection, first suggested by Hugh Nibley, to show that the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites were somehow connected culturally to one another and, therefore, an overlap in existence must have taken place. As an example, the case is made that Corihor (Jaredite) and Korihor (Mulekite), and Nehor (Jaredite) and Nehor (Mulekite) were obviously connected names, and that the Mulekites were named after their culturally-related Jaredite brethren. However, two very important things should be kept in mind before arbitrarily connecting Book of Mormon names to one another:
    In fact many Book of Mormon names showed up in Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylonian, and Arabic in the Old World.  
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part X,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in part in the previous post).

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