Friday, August 12, 2011

Additional Clues to the Land of Promise Location-Part II Mountains

Besides the Land of Promise location matching scriptural clues such as winds and currents moving Nephi’s ship that was “driven forth before the wind,” the temperature and climate needed to grow seeds from Jerusalem exceedingly and provide an abundant climate, locating ore deposits in abundance and contain gold, silver and copper in a single unit, finding two unknown animals that were as “useful to man” as the elephant, two unknown grains on a par with corn, wheat and barley, and natural herbs to cure deadly fever, roads, buildings, resorts, area of many waters, volcanoes and earthquakes, fortified walls, slings used as weapons, coins, and ziff, there are other clues in the scriptural record that also needs to be found in the Land of Promise.

One of these would be the “Mountains Whose Height is Great.”

This subject has been covered several times in these posts, however, its importance cannot be overstated. There are few places in the western hemisphere that would match the description made in the scriptural record of the mountains in the Land of Promise, and only one area that truly qualifies.

First of all, about six years before the birth of Christ, when the Land of Nephi was still an island (2 Nephi 10:20), and when the land would have been comparatively flat with hills and some mountains, before the destruction that happened in the Land of Promise at the time of Christ’s crucifixion about 40 years later (3 Nephi 8:3-19), Samuel the Lamanite describes some of the changes that would occur in the land (Helaman 14:21-27). These changes, he said, would be: 1) the earth shall shake and tremble, 2) solid rock mass above and below the earth will be broken up and 3) forever after be found in seams, cracks and broken fragments above and beneath the earth, 4) many existing mountains will become valleys, 5) existing valleys shall become mountains, whose height is great, 5) highways broken up, 6) cities become desolate, and even 7) greater changes than those mentioned will occur.

Secondly, for new mountains to rise “whose height is great,” it must be recognized that these new mountains Samuel mentions would have to be a lot higher than what had existed before, otherwise his comment “whose height is great” would not have made sense. If 10,000 foot mountains had existed before, then new mountains ranging 12,000 to 14,000 feet would not be considered that much greater than the previous mountains, and would negate the need to say, “whose height is great.” The Rocky Mountains (Wasatch Mountains) through Utah top out at 12,000 feet by comparison, and the Maya Mountains in Mesoamerica top out at 3,670 feet, and the highest mountains in southern Mexico top out at just under 10,000. The Appalachians in the Great Lakes area of the eastern United States tops out about 3,000 feet, the Catskills (Kaatskil) Mountains in upstate New York top out at 4,180 feet, and the Blue Ridge Mountains highest peak is 6,684 feet (Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina), though the highest peak of the northern range is 4,225 feet (Apple Orchard Mountain in Virginia). Actually, Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi and is nowhere around the Great Lakes area.

Thus, for mountains to become significantly high to single out their height, they would have to range much higher than 10,000 to 14,000 feet—much, much higher. And nowhere in the Western Hemisphere are mountains higher than that until you get to the Andes through Peru and Chile where mountains top out at 24,000 feet and have some 100 high areas over 20,000 feet through these cordilleras.

This means that the often quoted areas of modern scholars for the Land of Promise, either in Mesoamerica or the Great Lakes-Eastern U.S. areas, are disqualified simply by this one reference from Samuel the Lamanite, who received his information directly from an angle of the Lord who spoke directly to Samuel (Helaman 14:26-28), stating to him that “these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land” (Helaman 11:28). This land, of course, was the Land of Promise, including the Land Southward and the Land Northward (3 Nephi 8:12).

Thus we can see that in both the Land Southward and the Land Northward, there would be mountains that became valleys and valleys that become mountains, “whose height is great.” It certainly appears that the Andean area of South America qualifies for meeting this scriptural requirement, along with all the others that have been written here in the last 17 posts.

(See the next post: Additional Clues to the Land of Promise Location-Part II Mountains-Topography of Great Lakes Region, to see how the shape of this area is a disqualifier and does not match the scriptural record regarding the geography of the Land of Promise)

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