Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Problem With Models-Part II

Continuing with the last post, regarding Lawrence Poulsen in his Book of Mormon Geography, based upon a Mesoamerican location, he makes statements that do not verify his attempted point. In this case, he uses two scriptures to allow him to make two outlandish proposals about the River Sidon and the Nephites.

The first is: “And now as many of the Lamanites and the Amlicites who had been slain upon the bank of the river Sidon were cast into the waters of Sidon; and behold their bones are in the depths of the sea, and they are many” [Alma 3:3], which took place in 87BC. Fourteen years later, the second event takes place: “And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea” [Alma 44:22], which took place in 73BC.

It seems likely that since the River Sidon passed along to the east of the Wilderness of Hermonts, but both were to the northwest of Zarahemla, it stands to reason that the River Sidon emptied into the West Sea, and that the mouth was near to the Wilderness of Hermonts

The first even took place in the Wilderness of Hermounts northwest of the city of Zarahemla, and to the west of the River Sidon. The second took place in the area of the hill Riplay and Manti, up in the mountains to the south of the city of Zarahemla, by the borders of the Land of Nephi, near the headwaters of the River Sidon.

After stating these two verses, Paulsen goes on to say, “These verses indicate that the Nephites were aware that the Sidon emptied into the sea. No mention is made to indicate which sea. This was probably because this sea was outside the area controlled by either the Nephites or the Lamanites at this time.”

Now at this time, in the last century B.C., the Nephites knew all about the Land Southward and most of the Land Northward, including the Land of Bountiful, the Narrow Neck, and at least the Land of Desolation to the north (Alma 22:27). Why, one might wonder, would Poulsen make such an outlandish claim that the mouth of the River Sidon was unknown to the Nephites and Lamanites regarding which sea the river emptied into? One might also wonder how the Nephites knew the river emptied into the sea if someone had not already been there to see it—and if so, they would certainly know which sea it emptied into.

Paulson goes on to write: “If true, this would indicate that this sea is different from either the west or east seas since both of these seas are later mentioned as part of the Nephite-Lamanite controlled area.”

The second outlandish statement is that there is yet another sea than the West Sea or East Sea or Sea Nort or Sea South, that was unknown at the time and, evidently, since because no mention is ever made of another sea. And since Jacob describes them as being on an isle of the sea, one might wonder exactly how many seas could surround an island.

Finally, Paulson states: “It is probably the same sea referenced in the book of Ether since we are told that the people of Zarahemla came up to the land of Zarahemla from the area occupied at one time by the Jaredites. It may also be the basis of the poetic statement that the Nephites filled the land from the sea west to the sea east and from the sea south to the sea north."

Another outlandish statement is that the people of Zarahemla (Mulekites) came up to the Land of Zarahemla from the area occupied at one time by the Jaredites which is completely contrary to the statement in Omni made by Amaleki regarding these Mulekites, when he said, “Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” [Omni 1:15].

Not deterred by scriptural accuracy, Paulson concludes in a summary of the above: “From its source in the Sierra Los Cuchumatanes mountains to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico, the Grijalva river matches the descriptions of the river Sidon found in the text of the Book of Mormon.”

It is always interesting that these people who have a model in mind then try to squeeze in scriptural references to support it always make the same claim—their ideas match the descriptions in the text of the Book of Mormon.

Of course, when Poulsen says, “Although the Grijalva River runs south to north over most of its course” to show how unsupportable his idea area since the River Sidon runs south to north for its basic and major route according to the scriptural record.

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