Sunday, April 18, 2010

Allen Rewrites Scripture for Mesoamerican Model

On page 25 of his book, “Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon,” Joseph L. Allen writes:

“The landing of the Mulekites would have been along the Gulf of Mexico.”

As has been pointed out in “Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica,” it would have been almost impossible for a sailing ship “driven forth before the wind” to have left the area of Indonesia and sail to Mexico as Allen so blithely suggests. Not even in the 15th century A.D. could Cortez’ ships sent to the Philippines from Mexico make the return trip, tring to two years to do so. Not concerned with reality, Allen goes on to write:

“From there, compelled by the necessity of establishing themselves in a propitious spot and perhaps harried by their enemies”

Speaking of the Mulekites, Allen makes this wild assertion that they had enemies in the land—who might that have been? They did not encounter the Nephites for some 400 years after landing, and there is absolutely no mention in the scriptures that they encountered any Jaredites. Despite this, he goes on to say that:

“This conclusion is consistent with the Book of Mormon, wherein the people of Zarahemla went into the South Wilderness and settled along the Sidon River.”

While Zarahemla is along the Sidon River, nothing else is remotely correct with Allen’s assertions about the Book of Mormon here. There can be no conclusion that the Mulekites moved once they had landed, since Amaleki, an eye-witness to Mosiah’s first encounter with the Mulekites says that the Lord had broght them “across the great waters into the land where Mosiah discovered them and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Omni 1:15). Nor is there any mention of any enemies—their wars were evidently among themselves (Omni 1:17).

Nor did they establish themselves in a propitious spot of their choice, since the Lord brought Mulek into the place where Mosiah and the Nephites would eventually find them for the Lord guided Mosiah's movements until he came into Zarahemla (Omni 1:13). There is no mention in the Book of Mormon that the Mulekites were involved in any migration once they reached the Land of Promise. To make one up is contrary to the record and what an eye-witness has said, which should preclude any comment about a Mulekite migration.

Allen continues to use the terminology, “is consistent with what we see in the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica.” Unfortunately, there is very little he writes about that is consistent with the Book of Mormon, except in his own rewriting of the scripture.

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