Wednesday, November 18, 2020

More Comments from Readers – Part IX

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog:

Comment #1: “Do you think the re-gathering of the Jews has now been accomplished?” Quinn T.

Response: According to the Pew Research Center of March 8, 2012, Jews have the highest rate of migration of any religion. And according to Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, "the vast majority of world Jewry lives in one of two countries.  Of the 13.3 million Jews worldwide, 43 percent live in Israel and 39 percent live in the United States."  Fully 82% of all Jews worldwide have already gathered (as of 2012) to these two covenant lands of promise. That leaves only 18% and there is no way of knowing if the gathering of Israel is to be a 100% statistic or not. However, it seems that the gathering of Israel is in its windup scene, if not completed.

Exactly who is the Western Hemisphere a land of promise for?” Robt W.


Response: At least that portion of the Hemisphere that is covered in the Book of Mormon is for Lehi’s descendants, whoever and however many that may be. Many years ago, there was an attitude among members that the North American continent was for the House of Ephraim, and the South American continent was for the House of Manasseh. Since Lehi was of the house of Manasseh and Ishmael of the house of Ephraim, this might give us some clue.

(Image A – The several divisions of Lehi’s Isle of Promise

Comment #3: There is one problem which keeps popping up in regards to the division of the land south and north and that is the Jaredite records in the book of Ether. It seems to indicate that there were no poisonous snakes in the land north but many in the land south and that for a time they were so abundant in the border region that travel to the land south were lethal” Thomas.

Response: First, there are two directional lands mentioned in the record: 1) “Land Northward and Land Southward; 2) Land North and Land South. These are not synonymous terms, but describe two entirely different sets of land. In the Land Northward and the Land Southward, the division is the narrow neck of land (Alma 22:27-34). The second set is a division of the Land Southward into two parts, the Land North and the Land South, with the dividing line the narrow strip of wilderness between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla.

Thus, when Lehi landed, he did so in the Land South—south of this narrow strip, and when Mulek landed, he did so in the Land North—north of the strip but south of the narrow neck (Helaman 6:10). We know this because when Mosiah discovered Zarahemla, he found that he did so in the land where the Mulekigtes landed and had always lived there until Mosiah discovered them (Omni 1:16).

Second, poisonous serpents are mentioned only three times in the scriptural record. The first is when they “came forth” after a great dearth (famine) and chased many Jaredite animals into the Land Southward before the Lord “hedging” up the way to keep the people from going into the Land Southward (Ether 9:31-33).

The second is during the time of Lib in which the serpents were destroyed (Ether 10:19). In both these cases they were in the Land Northward, not the Land Southward.

Prison Walls tumbling down; Bottom: Shutting the mouths of wild beasts


The third instance is mentioned also by Moroni as he finished the record of his father (Mormon 8:1), he spoke about “those saints who have gone before me” (Mormon 8:24), that in the name of Christ they “could cause the earth to shake, cause prisons to tumble to the earth, and could not be harmed by the fiery furnace, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word” (Mormon 8:24).

Thus we can conclude that the Land Northward was full of poisonous serpents, at least around the time of the great famine, but that they were either unknown in the Land Southward, or at least not mentioned directly in connection with the Land Southward.

Comment #4: “Whether guards were posted or whether a wall was built along the defensive line, the results would be the same. The motive was to keep the Lamanites from traveling into the land of Zarahemla or into the land northward” Benji K.

Response: While it may seem that way, actually there is quite a difference. Guards can be killed and eliminated from being a deterrent, however, a wall, if sturdy and tall enough, would remain a deterrent for a very long time. Since Mormon tells us that Moroni “had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8; emphasis added), it sounds like a stone wall was built, which would have been far superior to a contingent of guards.

Comment #5: “In your book of Mormon, in Alma 5:27, we are told that people capable of having themselves cleansed by the blood of Christ 100 years before that blood was shed for the remission of sins (compare Heb. 9:22). Just how is such possible, or is this another gaff in the early publishing?” Jerome L.

Response: The Atonement of Jesus Christ to those who lived before the meridian of time was a future event, and the children of God lived in anticipation of that, who knew and understood the high law of the Hebrew religion. For those who lived after Christ, it was a past understanding. Either way, all man will be granted their cleansing according to the time and decision of the Lord, He who grants this grace to us. Speaking in future tense is found through the Old Testament when ancient prophets spoke of the visions and understanding they were given. Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman was told by the Lord to speak of things he had never seen, but know only because the Lord gave him the understanding.

Isaiah wrote down several prophecies of the future, including the birth of Christ and the arrival of the Nephite in the Land of Promise


Perhaps those who continually look for errors of what the Book of Mormon says in their minds might want to read and give good thought to Isaiah 29:16: “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay? That what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding?"

Comment #6: “It seems unlikely to me that the Lord, knowing what he is going to do, would not leave us some insight of your book of Mormon in his messages in the Bible” Jed S.

Response: Isaiah, one of the most influential and best known prophets of the Old Testament, prophesied of the Book of Mormon in rather specific terms, “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust” (Isaiah 29:4, emphasis added). And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned” (Isaiah 29:11-12, emphasis added).Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” (Isaiahs 29:14, emphasis added). They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24).

Comment #7: “Since all the geography presented for the Nephites was given by Mormon more than 300 years afterward, I don’t think we have to worry too much about supposed great changes in the map. While much destruction may have taken place on the ground, I speculate that satellite pictures taken before and after that destruction (had it been possible) would have shown only minor changes in the courses of rivers and in the shape of the coastline” Bart T.

Such a river as this with it separating as shown, would channel its new course hundreds of miles on its way to its new delta; other rivers would disappear completely and new rivers would appear where new mountains appeared, even flowing in new directions


Response: Samuel the Lamanite tells us that mountains collapsed and became level valleys, and Nephi says those mountains crumbled into pieces. That alone would have changed the course of numerous rivers since the mountains that spawned them were no longer there. In addition, Samuel also tells us that mountains would form where valleys have once been, and those mountains would be so high that he described their peaks as “whose height is great.” That would have created rivers where rivers had not been before and from very high mountains, those rivers would likely have been moving in several different directions. We are also told that seams and cracks would appear throughout the land, solid rocks beneath the surface would be split up in numerous segments, that holes opened up and several cities dropped into the earth, covered over by the earth and even high mountains. We know of one city along the east seacoast that fell into the sea and was covered by the water, suggesting a change in that coastline.

Sounds serious to us.


  1. And was not Port Royal in Jamaica sunk 350 years ago, relatively recent times? I think 1692. Whole cities sometimes do get swallowed up or destroyed.

  2. While Mormon lived more than 300 years after events and stories that he compiled from earlier times, he felt it very necessary to describe the layout of the land. For one, he was compiling from earlier writings and had ample access to the information about places and landscapes as described in those earlier writings. I imagine he may have even had access to a map of sorts in those early records. Secondly, do you think that he might have found it necessary to describe the landscape because it differed in some ways from the one he knew through his own travels? That makes perfect sense to me that he felt it necessary to describe the earlier layout of the land because, even in his time, it was no longer as obvious.

    I sometimes imagine while looking at Google Earth that he's talking to me, a Latter Day Saint, and saying, "I know it looks different now, so let me explain in simple terms so you can understand how it once was." Then suddenly the old borders become clearer and the stories make more sense.

    But of course, if you don't accept catastrophism as described by Samuel the Lamanite, 3 Nephi 8, or Noah's flood for that matter, you probably can't accept the proto-Andean setting due to dogmatic uniformitarian principles, so nothing on this blog or in Mormon's description will convince you.