Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part I

There are a lot of theories and models regarding the location of Lehi’s landing and the land promised to him known as the Land of Promise. Numerous Theorists tout their models with sincere belief, however, belief is not the same as accuracy. The only way to know what location is accurate is to verify or match the belief against the scriptural record, point by point. Comparing the most prominent locations and matching the numerous descriptions of Nephi, Jacob, Moroni and Mormon about the Land of Promise is the only way of making such a comparison. Unfortunately, when Theorists make such comparisons they choose a handful of descriptions to compare, and often the verify their models, but not necessarily accurately. However, in using a large number of descriptions, thirty-one to be exact, and comparing those, we can get a better look at the accuracy of the comparison.

This comparison below matches the descriptions of the four prophet/writers against the locations and models being presented in this article. The question is, how do the locations of the 1) Andes, 2) Mesoamerica, 3) Heartland and 4) Great Lakes of North America, 5) Baja California, 6) Central America, and 7) Malaysia, match the scriptural record.

Comparison of the scriptural record with the various Land of Promise locations

    X Complete (matches the scriptural record)

    • Partial (as an example, Mesoamerica has high mountains, but their height is not great as Samuel prophesied, so a partial is shown)


To better understand these comparisons, they will be covered below one by one from the chart above:

(1) Driven Forth before the Wind. Nephi tells us twice that his ship was “driven forth before the wind” (1 Nephi 18:8,9) meaning the wind was behind him, pushing his ship forward. This means that while he could steer the ship, he had to keep it before the wind to make any progress across the waters. Thus, Nephi’s ship could only go where the winds and currents took him—he could not set a course in any other manner. Many Theorists ignore this all important point, such as those of Mesomarica. Nor can Theorists claim Nephi gook an inland river, such as the Heartland or Great Lakes Theorists, when those rivers (Mississippi and St. Lawrence) flow to the ocean and winds along with the currents would be against such progress upriver for Nephi’s ship.

(2) Mediterranean Climate. There are only five Mediterranean Climates in the entire world—Mediterranean Sea, South Africa, two in southern Australia, Central and Southern California, with only two of those in the Western Hemisphere—California and Central Chile. None of these climates are found in the many Theorists’ models other than Central Chile.

(3) Jerusalem Seeds. Seeds in 600 BC would only have grown in the same climate as in which they were originally grown. Since those seeds originated in Jerusalem, it would have been necessary to have planted them in the same type of climate. Thus, Lehi’s seeds would only have grown in the New World (Land of Promise) that had the same climate as that of Jerusalem where they were originally grown, which is a Mediterranean Climate. This means that Lehi landed at a place called La Serena in central Chile at the 30º south latitude.

Left: Scraggly, scrawny stalks of corn with their ears hanging down; Right: A healthy crop


(4) Abundant Crops. While crops from seeds might grow in numerous areas today, crops grown from seeds that originated in the same climate as where they were grown thrive. New crops grown from seeds that very from the point of origin often produce limited results and it takes several plantings for crop growth to adjust to the new climate. Nephi tells us that his first crop from the Jerusalem seeds grew exceedingly and brought forth an abundant crop. It should be kept in mind that while plants today grow in numerous areas, though most states have a few hardiness zones that can vary drastically in planting schedules, certain areas are still recommended. In addition, seeds in 600 BC did not have the benefit of modern technologies, foods and techniques, as well as modern methods of ground preparation, use of pesticides, direct sun and sunlight management, and many other practices.

(5) All types of ore. While trace amounts of many metals can be found in most areas, numerous or even all, types of ore are found in only a few—while most areas specialize in just a few types of ore in the ground. As an example, copper is abundantly found in the upper areas of the Great Lakes between lakes Michigan and Superior. In Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula native people before the colonial period dug surface pits to recover native copper that they formed into spear points, knives, scrapers, and other tools. The first major mining rush of North America was to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in the mid 1840s in search of mineable native copper. By 1846 iron ore was being exploited from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, later to be exploited from Minnesota and Ontario—all part of the Lake.

Top: The area of high precious metal ores located in the Great Lakes region; Bottom: The labels of locations in the Great Lakes


Keweenaw Peninsula and the land between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan has copper, silver and iron deposits. Known as Copper Country it is found almost exclusively in the western portion of the Upper peninsula as far east as Powell, Michigan, and west as Northeast Wisconsin and all along the south of Lake Superior as far north as Houghton (a large copper area) and Copper Harbor. “Native” copper is naturally occurring, pure, metallic copper. The greatest occurrence of native copper in the world is in the basaltic volcanic rocks and interlayered sediments on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Lesser amounts have been found in similar rocks on Isle Royale and Ontario’s Algoma District.

The region is world famous for vast deposits of iron ore and native copper. During the last 150 years, the rocks have yielded immense tonnages from those deposits and attracted early settlers to the iron and copper mines. But iron and copper are far from the only commercial minerals around this vast lake. Gold, platinum, silver, nickel, hematite, goethite, magnetite, as well as lead and zinc. Gemstones such as amethyst, agates and even diamonds have been found here. All of this is mostly found in Michigan, Minnesota and Canadian Ontario around Lake Superior.

All of this is not within the Theorist’s Land of Promise, neither in the Land Southward nor in the Land Northward.

Since the value of ore is defined by economics: a geologic formation is considered an ore body if it contains minerals in sufficient quantity to profitably mine. The definition of ore changes depending on the target mineral. High-grade iron ore has an iron concentration of 60%, while lower-grade taconite ore mined in the upper Great Lakes region has a concentration of 25% to 30%. For copper, a metal more valuable than iron, the definition of ore is different. At the closed Flambeau mine near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, for example, the ore averaged about 9.5% copper, a concentration that was more than sufficient to profitably extract. Sometimes an ore body contains more than one target mineral, and the combination alters the economic equation. While the massive portion of the ore body of the Back Forty site near Stephenson, Michigan, contains only 0.44% copper, the ore body also contains an 8% concentration of zinc, increasing the overall economic viability of the deposit. When prices and demand are high, lower-grade deposits become more economically feasible to extract. The proposed NorthMet mine in Minnesota, for example, has a disseminated ore body containing 0.28% copper, 0.08% nickel, and trace amounts of other precious metals. 

Thus the value of ores varies from time to time, and even very small amounts, when more than one target metal can be mined. Anciently, of course, mining was not determined by economics, but driven by interest.

On the other hand, Peru occupies a leading position in the global production of mineral commodities such as copper, zinc and silver (second in the world), gold and lead (first in Latin America fourth in the world), molybdenum (fourth) and tin (third in Latin America). In addition, there is tin, iron, phosphates, and manganese exist in great quantities of high-yield ores; and there is tin, coal, tellurium and rhenium, as well as other rare metals, and petroleum fields.


(See the next post, “The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part II,” for the continuant of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record)

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