Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part III

Continuing with Peter Covino, Jr’s map as shown on the Alpha Publishing website entitled Book of Mormon Geography:

Comment: “Other maps use conjecture or suppositions but not actual facts.”

Response: Conjecture means to guess, make assumptions, and speculate. Suppositions means basically the same thing, including work on beliefs and possibilities. It seems a very large assumption or supposition made by Covino is that the entire Caribbean Sea was once a land mass and above water in Book of Mormon times. This means that it would have had to come to the surface sometime in the A.D. period, yet there is no record in geology of such a happening, or even an inference. The Caribbean Plate (a rather diminutive part of the tectonic jigsaw that is the Earth's crust) works like a teeter-totter, with the West Indies islands on one end, and the Panama to lower Central America on the other end—when one comes up, the other goes down—at no time is there any evidence anywhere that both were above sea level at the same time. Thus, that is quite a supposition. Also, it might be said, that it is uncertain what Covino considers “actual facts” in light of those comments made on the last two posts showing how nothing in his map agrees with the scriptural record regarding the geography of the Book of Mormon. It should also be noted that the fault lines along the plate boundary are strike-slip faults, meaning they move horizontally (side past side) and not up and down.

The western portion of the plate is occupied by Central America. The Cocos Plate in the Pacific Ocean is subducted (drives down) beneath the Caribbean Plate, just off the western coast of Central America, which means that the western portion of the Caribbean Plate is being raised (Central America) and forms the volcanoes of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cost Rica, also known as the Central America Volcanic Arc—what we see above sea level as the land from Guatemala to South America.

Comment: “There are those who have tried to say that this Book of Mormon map is incorrect. They miss quote the contents of this book and assuming that their analysis is more correct.”

Response: We are making no attempt to assume our map is more correct, nor are we miss quoting the contents of their map. What we are doing is comparing their map as it is printed with the best record we have of the Book of Mormon Land of Promise geography, and that is the scriptures themselves, and those who wrote about that geography on its pages. As has already been shown, nothing about the map so far covered, suggests any comparison at all to the scriptures.

Comment: “The land of Nephi [is] mentioned 41 times before 34 A.D. and never after that. The Land of Nephi…where did it go?”

Response: According to their map, the Land of Nephi—the entire Caribbean Sea (1,063,000 square miles)—was sunk beneath the surface of the ocean at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. There are two points to be made here: 1) The last mention of the Land of Nephi was made in 30 B.C., 71 years before the catastrophe Covino claims dropped the Land of Nephi into the Caribbean Sea. The only reason it was mentioned at this time was because both Nephi and Lehi, sons of Helaman, were preaching among the Lamanites there. After converting many, the storyline moves to those converted Lamanites who came down into the Land of Zarahemla to preach among the Nephites. About this time Helaman returned from the Land Northward to Zarahemla. Later, Samuel the Lamanite came (presumably from the Land of Nephi) into the Land of Zarahemla to preach. During these 71 years, the Lamanites were more righteous than the Nephites and there were no incursions from the Land of Nephi into the Land of Zarahemla—the story line surrounds the evil nature of the Nephites. In fact, we now learn of the Robbers and their battles with the Nephites. In the latter part of this period, there was great peace in the land, but later they divided into tribes. Then came the destruction of the land. After Christ’s visit, there was about 200 years of peace throughout all the land. In about 327 A.D., a war broke out between the Lamanites and Nephites. All this fighting was in the Land of Zarahemla and later in the Land of Bountiful until a treaty was obtained, dividing the land at the narrow neck. The next period of fighting was in the Land of Desolation, north of the narrow neck. All the rest of the fighting takes place in the Land Northward—the city of Zarahemla is not mentioned after about 36 A.D., and the land of Zarahemla not mentioned after 34 A.D. until 322 A.D. by Mormon. While Covino claims this is grounds to say the entire Land of Nephi was sunk into the ocean and never heard from again, there is no scriptural evidence to suggest such a thing.

In addition, if there was no Land of Nephi, where did the Lamanites come from with such numbers to battle Mormon's army when Mormon was still in the Land of Zarahemla until about 327 A.D.?

Consider, 2) the lack of mention of any land being sunk. Cities are mentioned—Moroni, Gilgal, Onihah, Mocum, Jerusalem, Gadiandi, Gadiomnah, Jacob, Gimgimno, were all sunk, but others were shaken until they were destroyed (3 Nephi 8:14), others were covered with earth, such as Moronihah, and still others burned, like Zarahemla, Jacobugath, Laman, Josh, Gad, Kishkumen, and still others suffered “exceedingly great” damage, though they remained (3 Nephi 8:15). In all, we know of nine cities sunk into the depths of the sea—hardly a sufficient number for an area 1,063,000 square miles as Covino claims. It should also be understood that “there was a more great and terrible destruction in the Land Northward” (3 Nephi 8:12)—what could be greater than 1,063,000 square miles of land sunk into the sea according to covino? In addition, there were “rocks rent in twain, broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams an din cracks upon all the face of the land” which means the land had to remain on the surface for it to be seen.

Yet, in the area of the map that was sunk, are also placed the cities of Mulek, Lehi, Morianton, Gid, Aaron, Nephihah, Ismael, Midoni that would have had to have been sunk, yet are not listed in scripture. That is eight cities supposedly sunk, but not mentioned as being sunk! This is so inconsistent with his own hypothesis that it is beyond understanding.

It seems obvious that any idea that the entire Caribbean Sea (1,063,000 square miles) came up to cover only nine cities, yet encompass the entire Land of Nephi, is utterly untenable. Especially when we realize that many of these cities that were sunk were in the lands of Zarahemla and Bountiful.

(See the next post, “Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part IV,” for more of Covino’s comments regarding the map and location of the Land of Promise, and our responses to those claims)

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