Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Absolute Necessity of Matching Scripture – Part V

Continuation of the list of items regarding the matching of the scriptural record: 1 thru 16 are in the previous posts. Here we continue with 17 below:

(17) Sidon River Flows North. Heartland and Great Lakes Theorists claim the Sidon flowed south in order to use the Mississippi river for their River Sidon. However, Mormon describes the Sidon as running northward. Consider:

• The “head” or beginning of the river was near the borders of Manti (Alma 22:27; 43:22);

• Manti was just north of the Narrow Strip of Wilderness which separated the Land of Zarahemla from the Land of Nephi. Thus the head of the Sidon was south of Zarahemla (Alma 22:27; 50:11);

• The “head” of the river was above Zarahemla (Alma 56:25);

• The River Sidon ran to the east along the border of the Land of Zarahemla (Alma 2:15);

• The “head” of the River was above the Land of Manti (Alma 43:52; 16:6)

Thus, the “head” or beginning of the River Sidon was south of the Land of Zarahemla, way up in the mountains near and higher than the Land of Manti, and flowed past the Land of Zarahemla, meaning the river had to flow from its height in the mountains of the Narrow Strip of Wilderness south of Zarahemla past the borders of the Land of Zarahemla, meaning it was flowing northward.

Peru. The location of Zarahemla (city of Pachacamac) is to the north of the Narrow Strip of Wilderness with the head of the Apurímac River (Sidon) beginning in the mountains to the south and flowing northward, joining the Mantaro River and becoming the Ene River, then the Perené River, the Tambo River and the Urubamba and on to the Amazon River. Of course, in the time of the Nephites, rivers had one name, from “head” to “mouth.” Even today, the head of the river through to and including the Urubamba is all called the Apurímac.

(18) Narrow Neck of Land. Mormon’s description of the narrow neck is quite specific as he states in his insert: “it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32, emphasis added). Later he refers to this neck as narrow: “Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward” (Alma 63:5, emphasis added).

Mormon tells us that there was only one land connection between the Land Southward and the Land Northward when he said, “the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” (Alma 22:32, emphasis added). This small or narrow neck of land connected the Land Southward with the Land Northward, keeping the entire Land Southard from being completely surrounded by water.

Thus, being the only connection of the two lands, tells us that the Narrow Pass or Passage that runs from one land to the other mentioned later has to run through the Narrow Neck of Land: “the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward” (Mormon 23:29), and “they should gather themselves together at the Land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward” (Mormon 3:5).

Thus when Mormon writes: “And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east” (Alma 50:34), he is confirming his earlier statement of the Narrow Neck of Land being the only land connection between the Land Southward and the Land Northward. And since the Land Northward is north of the Land Southward (Land of Desolation is north of the Land Bountiful)—as Mormon puts it: “Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful” (Alma 22:31).

This means that any Land of Promise must be situated with the Land of Desolation (and the Land Northward) to the north of the Land of Bountiful (and the Land Southward), to the south of there. In addition, there must be seas on the west and on the east of this Narrow Neck of Land.

This, then, disqualifies the Great Lakes location, which has the Niagara Peninsula (technically an isthmus), running east and west with the seas to the north and south, which is the same problem Mesoamerica has with the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It also disqualifies the Heartland theory whose model shows the narrow neck running north and south, but shallow swamp land on the east and west instead of seas.

Peru. Only in Peru do we find a Narrow Neck of Land (at the east end of the Gulf of Guayaquil) running north and south with water to the west (the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean beyond) and at one time a sea to the east—the Atlantic Ocean (before the crucifixion).

(19) Plants that Cure Fever. Mormon writes: “There were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate” (Alma 46:40).

To understand the significance of Mormon’s words and intent, it helps to understand the meaning of the word “fever.” First of all, in history there are two types of fever—malaria and yellow fever. Second, while Yellow Fever is a virus and a bacteria, malaria is neither, caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium, and normally spread through infected mosquitoes. Third, yellow fever kills about 30,000 per year, infecting bout 200,000, while malaria kills about two million each year, infecting about 300 to 500 million. In fact, cerebral malaria, a complication of P. falciparum malaria, has a 20% mortality rate even if treated.

The mosquito-borne parasites that cause human malaria and make it particularly lethal have a unique ability to evade destruction by the body's immune system, diminishing its ability to develop immunity and fight the infection

Temperature is particularly critical. For example, at temperatures below 68°F, Plasmodium falciparum (which causes severe malaria) cannot complete its growth cycle in the Anopheles mosquito, and thus cannot be transmitted. Regions where the climate is ideal for the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites are more prone to the disease. They thrive in regions with warm temperatures, humid conditions, and high rainfall. Thus, tropical and subtropical areas are ideal, allowing Malaria parasites, which grow and develop inside the mosquito, the warmth needed warmth to complete their growth before they are mature enough to be transmitted to humans.

It should be noted that the only natural plant that could cure malaria anciently was that of quinine, which sole use lasted all the way up until after World War II, when quinine substitutes were developed in a lab.

Thus, the Land of Promise needs to be located in a land with a tropical or sub-tropical climate—which eliminates both the Heartland and Great Lakes locations.

Peru. The interesting part of this is that while tropical or sub-tropical climates can be found around the low latitudes north and south of the equator, only one location can meet the quinine requirement and that is Peru, where the cinchona tree grew for thousands of years and from which the ground bark produced quinine—it was the only place in the world where the cinchona grew, the soul natural producer of quinine until the Dutch transplanted some of the trees into Indonesia in the 17th century.



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

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