Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Western Hemisphere—The Land of Promise – Part II

Since Nephi tells us Columbus came to his brethren in the promised land” (1 Nephi 13:12—see last post) and Columbus never set foot in North America, Mexico, or Mesoamerica, we can assume Lehi landed elsewhere than these areas. In fact, the furthest north Columbus landed on the mainland of the Americas was Honduras, also exploring Nicaragua and Costa Rica and eventually landing again in Panama, all in Central America, during his fourth voyage--the furthest south was northern South America.

We also learn from Nephi that the “others” who followed Columbus (1 Nephi 13:12) and the later conquerors (1 Nephi 13:14) settled from Central Mexico in the north to Peru in the south. These later Gentiles who ”scattered” and “smitten” (defeated or conquered) the Lamanites in the promnised land” would have been between Mexico city and central Chile in South America.

The Prophet Moroni, while translating the 24 gold plates of Ether, inserted an understanding of the promised land in Chapter 13, explaining that Ether told the ancient Jaredites that “after the waters had receded from off the face of the land, it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord” (Ether 13:2).

Now, since the Jaredites were in the same general area of the Nephites (the Nephites having expanded into all of the old Jaredite lands in the last half of their occupying the land of promise), we can understand that Moroni was referring to the “promised land” that Nephi mentioned. Further, Ether told the Jaredites that this promised land upon which they dwelt “was the place of the New Jerusalem which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the lord” (Ether 13:3).

[Western Hemisphere divided between Ephraim and Manasseh]

Obviously, then, the promised land included the Western Hemisphere—that is, South America, Central America, and North America. For it was this entire hemisphere that was hidden from discovery, and remained without inhabitants from the Flood until the time of the Jaredites, and that even by 600 B.C., should still be kept hidden as Lehi was promised: “This land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations” (2 Nephi 1:8).

This Land of Promise, to which Lehi was directed (1 Nephi 5:22), and of which he was promised for himself and his seed (2 Nephi 1:5), and also Nephi was promised (1 Nephi 2:20), and to which they were brought by the hand of the Lord (2 Nephi 1:10) and eventually obtained (2 Nephi 1:3) was a land choice above all other lands (2 Nephi 1:5). This Land of Promise was the same land that the Jaredites were given (Ether 2:15; 7:6; 9:3, 31).

Thus, we can see from the scriptural record, that both the Jaredites and the Nephites occupied the Land of Promise, a land to which the Lord showed Nephi in a vision would be visited by “a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land” (1 Nephi 13:12)—a man Joseph Smith and others identified as Columbus.

So we see that Columbus visited the Jaredite and Nephite Land of Promise, though he never set foot in North America (nor Mesoamerica).

[The three groups mentioned in 1 Nephi 13]

Further, we find that Nephi saw “the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten” (1 Nephi 13:13-14). The “wrath of God” displayed toward the Lamanites in Mexico and Peru is unmatched anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere, where the Spanish conquistadors wiped out three advanced civilizations of “Nephi’s brethren” the Lamanites (Aztec, Maya, and Inca) in a most ruthless and barbaric manner. Even today, the Indians of Latin America are at the bottom of the order, with Penninsulares (born in Spain), Creoles (Spaniards born in Latin America), Mulattos (mixed European and African ancestry), and the Indians.

Nephi further saw “the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them. And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle” (1 Nephi 13:15-18). Here Nephi’s vision was expanded to see more of the happenings in the Land of Promise, including the Pilgrims and the settlement of the colonies in North America and their coming war for independence.

And lastly, Nephi saw “that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations” (1 Nephi 13:19). This simple statement covers several years and wars for independence beginning in the colonies of North America (from England), and later expanding into Mexico, Central America and South America (from Spain, Portugal, France, etc.), where the peoples of the entire Western Hemisphere threw off the yoke of European dominance of Kings and churches to gain their individual national freedoms. The dates of independence were: United States 1776 (Florida 1819, Texas 1836); Paraguay 1811; Argentina 1816; Chile 1818; Colombia 1819; Mexico, Peru, Guatemala. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica 1821; Brazil, Ecuador 1822; Bolivia 1825; Uruguay 1828; Venezuela 1830; Haiti 1849; Yucatan 1868; Cuba 1902; Panama 1903; Jamaica 1962; Guyana 1966; and Trinidad 1976. Puerto Rico is a possession of U.S. since 1898. Truly “the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.”

1 comment:

  1. Could you consider a Part III
    Since we know that the Ten Tribes will come forth in the future -- It would be great to show the most probable areas in the Western Hemisphere where they could find lands for their inheritance among the nations of today. That would be the areas of Alaska and Canada.
    It might also prove interesting to point out the God changed the weather of the area in Utah after the Saints arrived -- so that area so inhospitable and harsh with unpredictable winters-- was drastically changed so the saints eventually created the bounty that is now in the Salt Lake Valley.

    Certainly Father will create providential means necessary for those that love him and have the vital Records of the 10 Tribes that are to mesh with the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph for the complete Witness to the Earth.