Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Results of Cumorah - Part I

 It is amazing that Theorists show such an obvious display of ignoring a description of the Land of Promise in the scriptural record. Sometime this is done because they have not read or considered the meaning of the verse being read; other times because the verse does not agree with the Theorist’s beliefs or model of the land. Sometime the writer simply ignores the description because the verse contradicts the Theorist’s oft-stated claims.

As an example, Mesoamerican guru John L. Sorenson, an emeritus professor of anthropology at BYU and author of the 1984 book An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon as well as many other books and articles on the Book of Mormon and relevant archaeology, makes several claims about surviving Nephites, that there “Were there Nephites left after that battle? Some, yes. The scripture makes that clear. Only they were no longer called Nephites. Mormon noted that "a few...had escaped into the south countries, and a few...had dissented over unto the Lamanites" (Mormon 6:15). Naturally, large numbers of people of Nephite descent had never consented to flee their lands in the first place (Mormon 2:7-8), but had switched their allegiance rather than move out (Moroni 1:2). Mormon observed to his son that "many of our brethren have dissented over unto the Lamanites" (Mormon 9:24).”

Let’s take these points one at a time:

1. Mormon noted that "a few had escaped into the south countries.”

Response: This statement is given by Mormon in 384 A.D. after stating that his 23 units of 10,000 each had been destroyed. At this point, just before his death as one of the last 24 Nephites alive. However, around 400 A.D., Moroni tells us that after the last battle had taken place, that he was the last Nephite alive (Mormon 8:3), that those who had escaped into the south countries were hunted down by the Lamanites and killed (Mormon 8:2). This is just another example of Sorenson’s attempt to create survivors in the Land of Promise when there were none as the scriptural record shows.

2. Naturally, large numbers of people of Nephite descent had never consented to flee their lands in the first place (Mormon 2:7-8).

The Lamanite armies marched forward, killing all the Nephites they could find


Response: As the Lamanites, with their numberless armies marched northward, the Nephites were frightened and ran before them. During this swift retreat, Mormon tells us that “we did gather in our people as fast as it were possible, that we might get them together in one body” (Mormon 2:7). These were not people who were uninvolved in the conflict, but people Mormon had not yet reached in his northward retreat.

They were people, who seeing the approaching Lamanite armies, fled their cities and towns. Under such circumstances, frightened people run pell-mell away from the invaders in all sorts of different directions. For the safety of all those fleeing people, Mormon pulled in as many as he could, into his armed force with the intent of protecting them.

This is borne out by Mormon’s further description, when he described these events saying: “whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns and villages and cities were burned with fire (Mormon 5:5). That is, in their flight, many of these Nephites fled beyond Mormon’s reach as his army quickly retreated northward.

This flight continued each time the Lamanites huge force came down to battle and Mormon’s smaller army fled before them, trying to gather in those who were also in flight as they, themselves, fled. As Mormon put it: “and we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites were swept down and destroyed” (Mormon 5:7).

The blood and carnage wrought by the Lamanites against all Nephites they encountered was so extensive, that Mormon refused to write more about it (Mormon 5:8-9). There is certainly nothing in the record to suggest that any Nephites “never consented to flee their lands in the first place.” The opposite picture seems quite clear—the Lamanites were bent on destroying all the Nephites, and those who did not escape with Mormon and his army, were killed.

3. “But had switched their allegiance rather than move out.”

Response: What Sorenson describes as “switching their allegiance,” Moroni describes as “denying the Christ.” That is, throughout the scriptural record, there were Nephites who rejected God and found themselves no longer aligned with the Nephite Nation, and connected the Nephites, and defected over to the Lamanites, whose beliefs were consistent with their own. With such actions, the defecting Nephites took upon themselves the curse the Lord placed upon the Lamanites from the beginning, and became known as Lamanites.

On the other hand, those Nephites who fled to the south were not joining the Lamanites, but fleeing capture and immediate death (Moroni 1:2). However, it did them little good, since Moroni tells us they were tracked down and killed (Mormon 8:2).

4. “According to the second verse in the first chapter of Moroni, he was not the only Nephite to have survived the battle at Cumorah. In that verse, he indicated the Lamanites continued to ‘put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ.’"

Response: Believing that he would not be writing more, Moroni states that, as a result of the battle at Cumorah, the Nephites were destroyed, and that he remained "alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people” (Mormon 8:2-5).

Moroni finishes the record of Ether and then decides to add more


However, in the intervening 36 years, Moroni translates the Book of Ether regarding the Jaredites, then begins his own work, the Book of Moroni, which begins: “Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me” (Moroni 1:1). While we can read Mormon and Moroni at the same time in book form, to Moroni, there was 36 years separating the finishing of his father’s book and the beginning of his own. In those 36 years, all those who escaped from Cumorah were tracked down and killed. He then writes that: “I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me,” then goes on to say why: “because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2). Note: the future tense, meaning himself. This is borne out by the following verse: “And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2).

So in the beginning of his book, Moroni writes in past tense (put to death), present tense (will not deny) and future tense (would destroy). By the start of his own book, Moroni

At this time, he is surprised that he is still alive (Moroni 1:1), and that he is in hiding knowing the Lamanites would kill him if they found him. Why? Because he would not deny the Christ (Moroni 1:3). In this same vein, Moroni is describing how vicious the Lamanites were, for their wars were exceedingly fierce among themselves” (Moroni 1:2), and because of their age-old hatred toward the Nephites, they had killed all that would not deny the Christ (Moroni 1:2) and join them. There were none left earlier when the last were tracked down. How many denied the Christ earlier in those final days is not known nor even implied. Nor is there any indication that Nephites did this in large numbers rather than leave their towns and villages as the Theorist implies.

(See the next post, “The Results of Cumorah - Part II,” for the reasons why there were no Nephites left other than Moroni after the battle at Cumorah)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again Del for these important things that you're putting up again we are appreciating reading your stuff the truth will overcome all the falsehoods eventually