Saturday, August 20, 2011

Additional Clues to the Land of Promise Location-Part II Mountains-Topography of the Great Lakes Region-The East Sea and the Lamanite Attack

Continuing from the last post on the land some theorists refer to as the Great Lakes Land of Promise, in my recent trip through this area, I was astounded that these theorists claim the Finger Lakes in upstate New York are the East Sea or Sea East referred to in the scriptural record.

When Alma wrote about Morianton heading north to escape from Moroni’s army, he said: “when the people of Morianton, who were led by a man whose name was Morianton, found that the people of Lehi had fled to the camp of Moroni, they were exceedingly fearful lest the army of Moroni should come upon them and destroy them.
Therefore, Morianton put it into their hearts that they should flee to the land, which was northward, which was covered with large bodies of water, and take possession of the land which was northward” (Alma 50:28-29), the obvious inference is that once to the north of the Nephites, they could defend themselves against Nephite attack, especially by guarding the narrow pass leading into that land. Mormon gave credit to the Nephites about 400 years later when he described their bottling up the Lamanites in the south and protecting that land northward from them (Alma 22:34).

This is also borne out in Alma’s description of the following battle with the Lamanites after dispatching Morianton and his army and later the King-Men. The Lamanite king, a Zoramite by the name of Amalickiah, came into the land of Moroni, a recently built city in the south along the East Sea near the Land of Nephi. After capturing that city, Amalickiah led his Lamanite army northward along the eastern seaboard “taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore. And thus had the Lamanites obtained, by the cunning of Amalickiah, so many cities, by their numberless hosts, all of which were strongly fortified after the manner of the fortifications of Moroni; all of which afforded strongholds for the Lamanites” (Alma 51:26-27).

However, Amalickiah was not satisfied with possessing these cities along the East Sea. He wanted to reach the Land Northward, at which time Teancum brought his Nephite army to stop him. At this point the Lamanites “were met by Teancum, who had slain Morianton and had headed his people in his flight. And it came to pass that he headed Amalickiah also, as he was marching forth with his numerous army that he might take possession of the land Bountiful, and also the land northward” (Alma 51:29-30).

The point here is that Amalickiah was moving his Lamanite army northward, along the East Sea toward Bountiful and the most important prize—the Land Northward beyond the narrow neck and the pass that led into the “borders of the land Desolation…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 50:34).

This makes it quite clear that Mormon’s earlier description of this narrow pass “was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward” a land which the “Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward” (Alma 22:32-33).

This is a most important feature of the Land of Promise. A land where the Lamanites were bottled up in on the south with the Nephites to their north and controlling the narrow neck of land further north which led into the land northward, which the Lamanites prized in order to get behind the Nephite lines and be able to destroy them. Mormon clearly understood this 400 years later, and we need to understand this since a land that is nearly surrounded by water except for this narrow neck, would present a protected East and West Sea that kept the Lamanites bottled up in the south.

The problem with the Great Lakes Theorists, they ignore this most important feature, claiming the Nephite Sea East was merely a series of “finger lakes” that did not then, do not now, and never did present a solid sea to the east of the Nephite lands. Thus, any attack could be diverted around any of the finger lakes and the Nephites could not have stopped them. On the other hand, with a solid Sea East as the scriptural record tells us, then the Lamanites would have had only one route as shown below and that could have been interepted by the Nephites as Alma tells us with Teancum’s army.

Once again, the Great Lakes region simply does not meet the requirements of the scriptural record and cannot be defended as the Land of Promise as these several last posts have shown.

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