Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More Comments Answered

Here are still more comments and our responses:
Comment #6: Some Mormons consider the Mayan Empire to be Nephite because they were literate and culturally sophisticated. But anthropologists specializing in the region, have found the Maya to be related to Asians. Stephen L. Whittington claims no scientists 'in mainstream anthropology are trying to prove a Hebrew origin of Native Americans. Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not found any evidence of Hebrew origins for the people of North, South and Central America” Joe Bob E.
Response: Those in the Book of Mormon (Nephites) that would have shown Hebrew evidence were all killed, the nation annihilated, in 385 A.D. Why would anyone think they would find any semblance? The Lamanites’ DNA was changed with the changing of their skin and physical features. Some Mormons think the Land of Promise was in Africa, others in Baja California, others in Malaysia—there is no scriptural indication that the Book of Mormon Land of Promise was in any of these lands, including Mesoamerica.
Comment #7: “The Land of Zarahemla was surrounded by the West Sea and the East Sea. Since no river is ever mentioned in the journeys between the City of Bountiful and the City of Mulek (the east-west line for travel) we know the river did not flow straight north or north-east into the Sea EastFleming.
Response: Actually, we know nothing of the kind. In fact, nothing in the information available about the city of Mulek has any bearing on what sea the River Sidon emptied into.
As an example, in 64 B.C., Moroni arrived with his army in the land of Bountiful (Alma 52:18) and joined Teancum who awaited him in the city of Bountiful (Alma 52:17) where a council of war was held with their chief captains (Alma 52:19) to devise a stratagem to lure the Lamanites out of the captured cities, specifically the city of Mulek. Moroni invited Jacob, the Lamanite leader in the city of Mulek “to meet them” in battle on “the plains between the two cities,” that is, between city of Bountiful and the city of Mulek (Alma 52:20). When this failed, a stratagem was devised wherein Teancum would pass along the seashore by the gates of Mulek with a small army in hopes the Lamanites would come out and give chase (Alma 52:22), which they did, and Moroni entered the near defenseless city of Mulek and reclaimed it (Alma 52:24-25). Mulek, of course, was by the seashore (Alma 52:23) where Teancum passed by (Alma 52:22), while Moroni waited in the wilderness to the west (inland) from the city of Mulek (Alma 52:22).
From this we can ascertain that the city of Mulek was along the shore of the East Sea, that it was in the north close to the city of Bountiful, which was near the narrow pass that led into the Land Northward (Alma 52:9), and possibly the furthest north of the cities along the East Sea (Alma 51:26). In fact, the reason the Lamanites were so far north along the East Sea, was their intent to take possession of the land of Bountiful, and march into the Land Northward and occupy it (Alma 51:30), but their efforts to occupy Bountiful was thwarted by Teancum (Alma 51:31), and the Lamanites retreated into the city of Mulek (Alma 52:2). From all of this we see that no mention of the River Sidon between Bountiful and Mulek does not mean the river did not empty into the East Sea. It only shows that Sidon did not flow that far north before reaching the sea. The trouble with people making claims about the geography of the Land of Promise is in their creating a map in their mind, or a model of a location, and arbitrarily placing the location of cities when not enough information is available in the scriptural record to do so, which ultimately leads to both their map and its conclusions being wrong, as in the case of this comment.
Comment #8: “I ran across this comment on a webpage and did not understand it. Perhaps you can explain it to me: ‘The Lamanite Line of Possession is a geographical feature all Book of Mormon geographers have missed. Everything north of this line was Nephite land, which included the Lands of Nephi and Zarahemla, and the Jaredite Land Northward, and all were referred to as the land northward - of the Line of Possession. (We use lower case to distinguish it from the Jaredite Land Northward.) The Lamanites possessed everything south of this, and was called the Land of their Possessions. Beyond that was where Lehi's family first landed - Land of First Inheritance/Ishmael.’ Thank you” Christine.
Response: It is always difficult to try and figure out what someone else means when their information seems convoluted and either limited or misleading. First of all, the term “Line of Possession,” does not appear anywhere in the Book of Mormon. Second, the statement you quoted says that the Land of Nephi north of this “line of possession” was Nephite territory, which is totally inaccurate. Once Mosiah fled from the Land of Nephi (Omni 1:12) and traveled into the Land of Zarahemla (Omni 1:13) around 275 B.C., the Nephites never again were in the Land of Nephi except for three generations from Zeniff to Limhi (about 200 B.C. to 120 B.C.). At no other time did the Nephites occupy or control any portion of the Land of Nephi. In addition, only one division, line or separation is ever mentioned as existing between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla, and that was a “narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west” (Alma 22:27).
Third, the area between the Lamanite controlled Land of Nephi and the land of the Jaredites was never referred to as “the land northward,” in upper or lower case lettering. However, that land from the narrow neck to the Land of Nephi was referred to as the “land north,” as in “And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south -- A chosen land, and the land of liberty” (Alma 46:17); and also when Lachoneus gathered the Nephites together to defend themselves against their enemies, “the land which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation” (3 Nephi 3:23), the Robbers came down “and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north (3 Nephi 4:1).
Fourth, there is no term in the scriptural record “called the land of their possession,” however, there is a statement that “when Moroni had driven all the Lamanites out of the east wilderness, which was north of the lands of their own possessions, he caused that the inhabitants who were in the land of Zarahemla and in the land round about should go forth into the east wilderness, even to the borders by the seashore, and possess the land” (Alma 50:9).
As is shown here and everywhere else, the Lamanites’ “own possessions” were the Land of Nephi, everything south of “the narrow strip of wilderness.” Fifth, what that author calls - Land of First Inheritance/Ishmael—is referred to by Mormon as: “on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 22:28). There was a “Land of Ishmael” (Alma 23:9) to which Ammon and all his brethren traveled in their missionary work (Alma 24:5), which land was called after the sons of Ishmael, who also became Lamanites (Alma 17:19). But the Land of First Inheritance was never called Ishmael. Evidently, the reason it “is a geographical feature all Book of Mormon geographers have missed,” is because it did not exist in the Book of Mormon. It is not wise, nor helpful, let alone accurate, to invent terminology about the Book of Mormon, and especially to try and change the meaning of the scriptural record. It is understandable why you did not comprehend the statement.

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