Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sorenson’s Inaccurate Narrow Neck of Land – Part III

In the last two posts, John L. Sorenson’s comments about his narrow neck of land were covered where he claims that “The only "narrow neck" potentially acceptable in terms of the Book of Mormon requirements is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico.” In the last post, we covered the first five points listed by Mormon and how they do not match the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Here is the rest of Mormon’s list:

6. “Therefore Moroni sent an army, with their camp, to head the people of Morianton, to stop their flight into the land northward. 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 50:33-34). This narrow neck of land had a narrow pass through it that gave the only egress from the Land Southward to the Land Northward—making this area even smaller and narrower.

Sorenson’s Narrow Neck is not only wide and not narrow (140 miles across), but runs in the opposite direction of Mormon’s explanation of having a sea to the west and a sea to the east, and the Land of Desolation to the northward

7. “He should fortify the land Bountiful, and secure the narrow pass which led into the land northward, lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side. And Moroni also sent unto him, desiring him that he would be faithful in maintaining that quarter of the land, and that he would seek every opportunity to scourge the Lamanites in that quarter” (Alma 52:9-10). Once again, this narrow pass through the narrow neck of land was the only way into the Land Northward and it was guarded by the Nephites to keep the Lamanites from getting into the Land Northward. If this was the Gulf of Tehuantepec, how could the Nephites have guarded this 140-mile wide isthmus to keep the Lamanites from getting past them? Obviously, in 140 miles there would have been other ways to get across this imaginary line. And just as obviously, this area was far smaller in size and scope to be able to guard militarily and keep the Lamanites from getting past into the Land Northward. In addition, the word “quarter” is defined in this sense as “one of the cardinal points of the compass (a direction), a region, a divided or separate area.” Thus, this quarter was that area of the narrow neck of land and southward, covering the land where the Lamanites had successfully attacked and occupied some Nephite cities.

8. “And the Lamanites did give unto us 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 2:29). As stated earlier, this small or narrow neck of land had a pass or passage through it that led between the two lands—the Land Southward and the Land Northward.

9. Moroni described it thus: “And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land” (Ether 2:29).

These are the nine references to this piece of land between the Land Southward and the Land Northward, referred to as the Narrow Neck of Land. In all cases it is described as either small or narrow or both. The word “narrow” means “to contract (shrink), of little breadth, very limited, not wide or broad, having little distance from side to side.” One look at the Gulf of Tehuantepec should suggest to the most skeptical that it cannot be thus described.

Yet, Sorenson, and other Mesomerican theorists, cling stubbornly to this area as the narrow neck of land when, in fact, it cannot be so described nor does it match any of the scriptural record that relates to this area.

(See the next post, “Sorenson’s Inaccurate Narrow Neck of Land – Part IV,” to show how far afield Sorenson is willing to go from the scriptural record to try and make his point)

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