Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where is the Land of Promise?

The Question after these past ten posts is, “Is it possible to know where the Land of Promise was located?”

The article that started all this concluded with the previously stated: “FAIR recognizes that faithful individuals and scholars can honestly disagree on where Book of Mormon events took place.”

The problem is, we cannot disagree on the meaning of the scriptural record. It was written under the guidance of the Spirit, abridged under the guidance of the spirit, and translated under the guidance of the spirit—one either accepts that, or there is nothing to understand. Therefore, to encourage such disagreement is to violate the entire premise of the Book of Mormon as a divinely guided record. Nor can we say the doctrine included in the record is accurate, but the geography is contestable. There is, as Paul said, and stated here previously, no room for private interpretation of the scriptures.

It all boils down to what the record tells us—not what we want it to tell us. After all, Nephi told us where he built his ship, what sea he set sail upon, and where he landed—and, most importantly, what he found there. Mormon describes the entire Land of Promise for us from the point of first landing to the far north and Land of Many Waters.

So the Answer to the question is, “We do know where the Land of Promise was located because Nephi gave us sufficient information to plot his course to it, and also provided sufficient information about its contents so it can be identified both externally and internally.”

However, to approach this understanding one must clear his mind of previous beliefs, models, and understanding, and approach the scriptural record with an open mind, reading only what is written and not injecting, altering, or removing anything. Most importantly, one cannot try to prove a pre-determined belief or try to match a previously considered point. The record stands on its own—it does not need someone to try and fudge his own meanings, labels, or interpretations.

One must accept that north actually means north, that narrow actually means narrow, that “many” days cannot be assigned a specific distance or time, and that the Lord truly speaks to us in our own language for our own understanding. One must also accept the fact that we do not need scholars to understand Nephi’s and Mormon’s writings, that the record was written in Reformed Egyptian not ancient Hebrew, and accept the fact that Nephi’s plain and simple language is predominantly what lies within the record.

So, where was the Land of Promise? To find out, follow these steps:

1. Follow Nephi’s trail to Bountiful and the Irreantum sea;
2. Follow the actual winds and currents from that point toward the Western Hemisphere;
3. Look for where the winds and currents die down significantly and a landing would be possible;

Yellow Dot: Bountiful; Black Arrows: Course into the Irreantum Sea; Light Green: Where the winds and currents flow to the Western Hemisphere; Green Dot: Location where winds and currents die down to effect a landing; Red Arrows: The winds which drive the currents

4. Compare that place with the following scriptural items that existed in 600 B.C. to 400 A.D:
• A Mediterranean climate where seeds from Jerusalem would grow exceedingly
• Plentiful ore where gold, silver and copper are found as a single unit
• Two unknown animals that are valuable to man as beasts of burden
• Two unknown grains planted with corn, wheat and barley
• An unknown metal used for decoration
• Herbs and plants that cure deadly fevers
• Ruins of buildings of every kind
• Hilltop fortresses and resorts throughout
• A wall across the land to stop invasion from the south
• A land where circumcision was practiced (Law of Moses)
• A land where recent mountains have risen whose height is great
• A land in the geologic record that was an island until 34 A.D.
• A land with a narrow neck that noticeably separated two land masses
• A land with four seas
• A land where winds and currents flow toward continually from the Arabian Sea

The list could go on, but start with these.

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