Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who Were the Nephites and the Lamanites? Part V

Continuing with the questionable FARMS website comments about the Land of Promise and the people there, the sixth through eoghth point was covered in the last post and the following starts with their ninth point.

9. “Jaredite survivors also must have been around, and they too could have been blessed under the heading of "Lamanites" according to the prophetic ethnology.”

No, Jaredite survivors could not have been around for they were all wiped out save Coriantumr and Ether who saw the progression of the Jaredites across time and their total demise as a people and nation (Ether 13:20-21,31;15:14,33), who died after nine months among the Mulekites (Omni 1:21). This is the type of disingenuous writing Mesoamerican and other theorists employ. They make a totally inaccurate statement that has no support whatsoever in the scriptural record, and passes it off as “must have been.” The Jaredites were gone, never to be heard from again, and despite Hugh Nibley, Sorenson, and others view to the contrary, there is no record, hint, or suggest about any Jaredites surviving their last battle, but a lot is recorded to verify they were wiped out to the man—with Coriantumr being the last man standing besides Ether who recorded the events.

10. “Lehi saw from the beginning that Nephites and Lamanites were labels that would include a variety of groups that could have differing biological origins, cultures, and ethnic heritages.”

Nowhere in the scriptural record does Lehi see these labels. In his time, there were his six sons (Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph) and the sons of Ishmael. There was also Zoram. But at no time in the record are these people divided into any groupsduring Lehi’s lifetime. While it is true that Laman, Lemuel and Ishmael’s sons were aligned against Nephi, Sam, Jacob, Joseph and Zoram, they were all in the same community, living with one another in tents along by the seashore where they landed. Not until after Lehi died (2 Nephi 4:12) did Laman, Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael rise up against Nephi (2 Nephi 4:13) and seek to kill him (2 Nephi 5:2). When Nephi and those who would go with him left and eventually reached an area they called Nephi and became known as Nephites (2 Nephi 5:9), were there alignment designations (Jacob 1:13).

In addition, nowhere in the scriptural record does it suggest that Lehi or anyone else saw that the term Lamanite “would include a variety of groups that could have differing biological origins, cultures, and ethnic heritages.” It is true that the term Nephite included non-biological people in the family of Zoram, and of the Mulekites. But nowhere do we find any mixture of Lamanites with anyone not of Lehi’s biological descendants.

What Lehi saw in his vision was that Laman and Lemuel might be cast off from the Lord (1 Nephi 8:36), and based upon what Nephi saw in the same vision, was the coming of Columbus (1 Nephi 13:12), and the Spanish conquistadores who scattered the seed of Nephi’s brethren (1 Nephi 13:14), and the Europeans who defeated the other nations (1 Nephi 13:18-20). Now as far as the record is concerned, these are the only people that came to the Land of Promise.

11. “According to the title page of the Book of Mormon, the generic term ‘Lamanite’ was applied by Moroni to all the amalgamated groups whose descendants would survive right down to Restoration times as "the [American] remnant of the house of Israel." There is no indication anywhere in the Book of Mormon that "the Lamanites" were to be a genetically exclusive line descending only from the two oldest sons in Lehi's family.”

This is another inaccurate statement. The title page written by Moroni states: “Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites -- Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile.” Obviously, there is no suggestion or hint that the term “Lamanite” here has reference to any “amalgamated [merged] groups whose descendants would survive right down to Restoration times as "the [American] remnant of the house of Israel." The Jew and Gentile are listed separately in this title page and not included in the category of Lamanite.

The Lamanites, of course, were a remnant of the House of Israel, as were the Nephites and Mulekites. Only the Jaredites were not of those mentioned in the scriptural record. In addition, we do not know if there were others of the House of Israel that were led by the Lord to other areas of the Western Hemisphere of which we have no record that might also be called “American remanant” of the House of Israel. Those in the Book of Mormon ma y be called “a” American remnant, but not “the” American remnant.

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