Thursday, May 3, 2012

Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part XVII—Covino’s “Facts”

Continuing with Covino's free download of so-called "facts" that he claims are inarguable, Facts #1 through #13 were covered in previous posts, as was part of Fact #14.

Here we list more of Fact #14 and continue with the same comment from Covino: "The most important feature is that it is where the WATER divides the LAND and not where the LAND divides the WATER. It is important to note that the land (not city) of Bountiful, the land of Desolation, the West and East Sea all meet at this narrow neck and it is as wide as a day and a half's journey by horse, and it is where a passage is to go north and south."

In addition to the early response, where the Lamanite King Ammoron departed out of the Land of Zarahemla, he commanded his armies to "harass the Nephites on the borders by the east sea, and should take possession of their lands as much as it was in their power, according to the power of their armies" (Alma 52:12-13), but the east sea on Covino's map is 1200 miles away from the Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Bountiful never touches the east sea--they would have had to cross 1000 miles of the Land of Bountiful to reach the Land of Desolation and almost another two hundred miles to reach the east sea. Covino's map makes this scriptural passage senseless.

Later, Moroni orders Teancum to take a small army "down by the seashore" to decoy the Lamanites out of the city of Mulek. The Lamanites pursued Teancum until he came near the City of Bountiful (Alma 52:22,27)--now, according to Covino's map, their City of Bountiful is over 600 miles from the nearest seashore--no army would march 600 miles to create a "decoy." And after this battle near the City of Bountiful, the Lamanites (after burying their dead) they "were marched back into the Land Bountiful; and Teancum, by the orders of Moroni caused that they should commence laboring in digging a ditch round about the land, or the city, Bountiful" (Alma 53:3).

Note the distances on Covino's map that would be necessary to march an army and prisoners. The 300 miles to the Land of Desolation is not probable since the scriptural record does not mention they were ever in the Land of Desolation

Three things should be noticed in this past passage.

1) Though they were near the City of Bountiful, the battle did not take place in the Land of Bountiful since they were "marched back INTO the Land of Bountiful and the nearest area near their City of Bountiful which is not in the Land of Bountiful would be the Land of Zarahemla, about 900 miles away (we can discount the Land of Desolation, sine there is no mention in the scriptural record of the army and prisoners passing through the narrow neck or narrow passage to get to and from the Land of Desolation).

2) Since the City of Mulek was along the east sea, near the City of Moroni (Alma 50:13; Alma 51:24-26), thus, "down by the seashore" would have been close to 900 miles away, and a return march to the City of Bountiful with prisoners another 900 miles--by comparison, it is only 690 miles from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, California, or 900 miles from Idaho Falls to Los Angeles. Such a march would be senseless (the famed Bataan Death March of World War II covered a little under 100 miles).

3) The last part of the passage is the statement: "digging a ditch round about the land, or the city, Bountiful" (Alma 53:3). It is interesting that Alma, or Mormon, made the comment "about the land, or city, Bountiful." Does this suggest the Land of Bountiful and the City of Bountiful meant the same thing to them?" That would hardly be possible on Covino's map.

Fact #14 (cont): "Without this version of the geography in this book, this description cannot be found or made to work and still have all other facts listed above also work."

Response:  All Covino's "facts" would be humorous if they were not so belittling to the Book of Mormon scriptural record and its prophet-writers. In this particular statement, we find Covino claiming that without his version of geography the Book of Mormon descriptions cannot be found or made to work. This is disingenuous in the extreme since all fourteen of his so-called "facts" have been shown to be both in error and downright, at times, fallacious. All one has to to is take a look at his map of the Land of Promise and compare it to the numerous scriptures describing that land, and his map falls apart at the first comparison as has been shown in this and the last 16 posts.

Fact #14 (cont): "And ships are launched into the west sea to go north at the narrow neck."

Response: This is really laughable, given Covino's map, since any launched ships from his Narrow Neck area (along the entire length of the west coast of present day Florida), would simply go from the Land of Bountiful to the Land of Bountiful, and would be meaningless since his City of Bountiful is to the far west along his West Sea, and would be only a voyage of about 250 miles. Considering the expense and time of building "an exceedingly large ship" to take emigrants a short distance of 250 miles, which could have been reached from almost any direction in the Land of Bountiful, simply does not make sense. Nor does the passage " on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward" (Alma 63:5) when you look at Covino's map. First of all, it is not possible to build a ship on the "borders of the Land Bountiful, by the Land Desolation" on Covino's map.

Right:  Red Arrows shows the most likely places where a shipyard could have been built on Covino's Narrow Neck of Land; Yellow Arrow shows direction northward for Hagoth's ships

Looking at this overall map of Covino's (left) and the enlargement (right), it would seem unlikely in such a geography that Hagoth would have built ships to sail north to take emigrants northward. The distance is minimal (about 200 to 300 miles), nor would the path of such ships be to the Mississippi River, since it would make a lot more sense to launch ships up the Mississippi River from its mouth around present day New Orleans. Nor can it be said that any shipyard along the West Coast of present day Florida would be on the "borders of the Land Bountiful, by the Land Desolation" on his map. The closest distance from any shipyard to the Land of Desolation would be at least 80 miles. In addition, why would anyone want to launch a ship from the extreme southern end of the Land of Bountiful only into a more northern portion of the Land of Bountiful? After all, the attitude shown in Alma 63 through Helaman 3, is of emigrants going northward, to a land "which was northward." and "into the land northward." None of this makes any sense when using Covino's map of the Land of Promise.

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