Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XII

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing below with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in the last part in the previous post.
• Regarding Morianton, who some claim his name was Jaredite, the argument that turned Morianton into a rebel was over a land dispute between his city and the city of Lehi (Alma 50:25). When the people of Lehi sought Moroni’s help, the people of Morianton, thinking Moroni would destroy them, considered fleeing into the Land Northward. Moroni, hearing of this, feared that the people of Bountiful would join with Morianton (Alma 50:32) and thus cut off the Nephites of Zarahemla from the northland, so he sent Teancum to intervene (Alma 50:35).
Teancum was one of Moroni’s captains and trusted friend, and he is best known for his killing the Lamanite king Amalickiah’s brother, Ammoron, to end the war between the Lamanites and Nephites

Teancum killed Morianton and defeated his army, and the people of Morianton were restored to their lands (Alma 50:36). This can hardly be a case of anti-Nephite feelings on the part of a Mulekite descendant as Nibley claims.
    It might be of interest to know that during this Old Babylonian period, the Code of Hammurabi was developed, which was a compilation of laws that shed light on Babylonian society, and their way of life. Prior to the discovery of the tablets containing the Code or Law, very little was known about the Babylonians—a period of time some 1400 years after the Jaredites left Mesopotamia.
    It is also interesting to place Jaredite behavior on Morianton, for such behavior is shown to have existed among the Nephites and Lamanites since their very beginnings in the land of promise, as it existed with the Mulekites in their own internal wars (Omni 1:17) and those of the Jaredites. Rather than claim all this stemmed from just the Jaredite people, why not consider the tendency of the House of Israel to fight among themselves from their inception? This is certainly what we find about the Hebrews/Jews that came to be known as the Mulekites.
    Thus when Book of Mormon scholars say “30% to 40% of all Nephite/Mulekite names may have been Jaredite or contained one or more Jaredite elements (which) can hardly have resulted from reading the record of a fallen people” (Robert Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon, Macmillan, London, 1914). In fat the excavations done by Koldewey at Babylon revealed large portions of the city of Hammurabi’s time—18th century B.C., and also of the era of Nebuchadrezzar 6th century B.C. (He was the first German to excavate in Babylonia, and in 1887 he briefly dug at two sites.
A decade later the German Orient Society appointed Robert Johann Koldewey (left) to head the team that it was sending to excavate Babylon. Beginning early in 1899, Koldewey worked continuously at Babylon until the British army occupied Mesopotamia during World War I forcing the Germans to leave the site in 1917 (Eckhard Unger, Babylon, die heilige Stadt, W. de Gruyter, Berlin, 1931; Svend Aage Pallis, Early Exploration in Mesopotamia, I kommission hos Ejnar Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1954, pp11–15).
    Obviously, it is hardly a justification to say that these names were chosen because there was a cultural connection in the land of promise between the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites. B. H. Roberts agreed with this point when he said that “so slight was the contact of the Nephite people with the Jaredites and their language, that the Jaredite influence may be ignored, since their language perished with their race" (Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings, Baker Books, Ada, Michigan, 2010, pp247-249)
    It would be more correct to suggest that all these names stemmed from a common beginning of old West Semitic/Mesopotamia and with some regional and time deviations, are both similar and based upon the same root beginnings. As Hugh Nibley claims, names in the Book of Mormon that are not Egyptian or Hebrew are Arabic, Hittite (Hurrian) or Greek.
    Chaldea is the southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used for the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim, which is usually rendered “Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 50:10; 51:24,35). The country so named is a vast plain formed by the deposits of the Euphrates and the Tigris, extending to about 400 miles along the course of these rivers, and about 100 miles in average breadth. In former days the vast plains of Babylon were nourished by a complicated system of canals and water-courses, which spread over the surface of the country like a network. The wants of a teeming population were supplied by a rich soil, not less bountiful than that on the banks of the Egyptian Nile. Like islands rising from a golden sea of waving corn stood frequent groves of palm trees and pleasant gardens, affording to the idler or traveler their grateful and highly valued shade. Crowds of passengers hurried along the dusty roads to and from the busy city. The land was rich in corn and wine.
Mesopotamia with Chaldees indicated with a green circle

Actually, Chaldees is a mistranslation of the Hebrew Kasdim, which is an Old Testament name of the Babylonians, while the Chaldees were a tribe who lived on the shores of the Persian Gulf, and did not become a part of the Babylonian population till the time of Hezekiah. They were so called till the time of the Captivity (2 Kings 25; Isaiah 13:19; 23:13; Daniel (5:30; 9:1), when the name began to be used with special reference to a class of learned men ranked with the magicians and astronomers. These men cultivated the ancient Cushite language of the original inhabitants of the land, for they had a “learning” and a “tongue” (Daniel 1:4) of their own. The common language of the country at that time had become assimilated to the Semitic dialect, especially through the influence of the Assyrians, and was the language that was used for all civil purposes.
    The Chaldeans were the learned class, interesting themselves in science and religion, which consisted, like that of the ancient Arabians and Syrians, in the worship of the heavenly bodies. There are representations of this priestly class, of magi and diviners, on the walls of the Assyrian palaces. The language used by the sacred writers in certain portions of the Old Testament, such as Daniel 2:4-7, 28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Genesis 31:46; Jeremiah 10:11. It is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect. It was the language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia, and after the Exile gradually came to be the popular language of Palestine.
    It is called “Syrian” in 2 Kings 18:26. Some isolated words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Matthew 5:22; 6:24; 16:17; 27:46; Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36; Acts 1:19; 1 Corinthians 16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular language of Palestine at that period. The term “Hebrew” was also sometimes applied to the Chaldees because it had become the language of the Hebrews (John 5:2; 19:20).
    While Nephi tells us that “the vast majority of people who spoke the “Jaredite language” originally were confounded and their language contaminated, so that while the words remained their meanings did not,” we have no knowledge of this, nor do we know what process the Lord went through in confounding the languages. What we do know is that the people of Mesopotamia did not speak the Jaredited language, but that the Jaredites spoke the language of the Mesopotamians—a language some claim was the Adamic language.
Therefore the area of the tower was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth

Consequently, it is claimed that when the brother of Jared asked that their language not be confounded, we do not know exactly what transpired. There is even no guarantee that the Jaredites retained their earlier language at this time, only that they all spoke the same language—that is, Jared, his brother, and the 22 other families spoke the same language after this point.
    It might be of interest to know that Nibley’s writings regarding the World of the Jaredites, are numerous letters he had written over a period of time to someone who he carried on a running correspondence with regarding the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon. It seems that Nibley sometimes changed his answers from earlier stands in order to make a point at the moment. 
    This claim, about Jaredite names among the Mulekites/Nephites, is definitely one of those reversal stands, for while he definitely claims that the name Korihor is from an Egyptian origination (Kherihor), he also (p261) claims it is not Egyptian, saying: "Heriher [Kherihor] does not seem to be an Egyptian name at all, though Hurrian {Hittite] through Canaanite. We have to keep in mind that before the language was confounded, all names and words and meanings were had in common, and from that time forth, names and words were not in common. What impact this had on names is unknown and cannot be determined. What we know from the scriptural records that we have is that Hebrew and Egyptian names together make up the overwhelming majority and occur in about equal strength.
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XIII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Hugh Nibley who leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.”)

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XI

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing below with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in the last part in the previous post.
     As stated in the earlier post, Hugh Nibley leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.” But why not? If one is going to use an argument that those who dissented from the Nephites were Mulekites with Jaredite names, then the fact must hold true throughout, which it does not, thus it can only be considered a coincidence, or some other rationale must exist such as:
All languages and all names would have come from a common language, the language of Noah

• All names came from a common language—the Adamic language spoken before the confounding of languages, which B. H. Roberts (p118) claims the Jaredites spoke. Thus, there would be some similarities in Jaredite, West Semitic, and later, Hebrew since they all originated in the same area at the same time. As an example, the Nephite Amalickiah (-iah is definitely a Palestinian name) was the brother to Ammoron, which Mesoamerican theorists claim was a Jaredite name, but later development has shown was an old West Semitic name ending in the numation of -on.
• The Jaredites had the history of the earth from the creation down to the time of the tower of Babel. Thus, they would have been familiar with many of the same names that later Hebrews, Jews, and Nephites knew from these same records.
• The ending -iah and -ihah were peculiar to Palestinian names in Lehi’s time, but not in other times (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, (collected works vol.6), Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 1988, p244). Thus, the adding of -hah, such as Moronihah, is Palestinian and consistent with the understanding of the Nephites when they left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. This suggests little, if any, separation in old West Semitic language and Jaredite names in such cases as Orihah and Mahah, name endings the Hebrews also used.
• The most common Egyptian combination is mor- and mr- which show up in Jaredite names such as Moron and Coriantumr, again suggesting a connection from a beginning old West Semitic from which most of these names descend and were known to the Jaredites before 2000 B.C., as well as to the Palestinians, Arabs, and Egyptians, during Lehi’s time (An Approach to the Book of Mormon, p243).
“Kheri Hor [of the] God Servant chief of Ammon King of the Gods, is the full title of the Egyptian Kherihor before he became king in Thebes—he had been the chief servant of (Hem) Amon

• As mentioned earlier, the name Kherihor is Egyptian (Roger Matthews, The Archaeology of Mesopotamia, Routledge, New York, 2003, pp 11-13). He was the father of Paanchi and set himself up as a rival of Pharoah while his son actually claimed the throne 400 years before Lehi left Jerusalem (T. E. Peet, Egypt and the Old Testament, University Press of Liverpool UK, 1922, p86). It was Kherihor who first introduced priestcraft into Egypt around 1000 BC, which subjugated Pharoah’s power (An Approach to the Book of Mormon, p245). Compare this to Paanchi and Korihor in the Book of Mormon who are involved in similar plots of intrigue and priestcraft. The Egyptian name Kherihor can also be compared to the Book of Mormon name Korihor to show that this name is not suggestive of being strictly Jaredite in origin, or that it was given to a Mulekite because of its Jaredite connection as Mesoamerican Theorists claim. Lehi gave his middle two sons, Sam and Nephi, Egyptian names, and this practice was not unknown among the Nephites.
• It was popular in 600 B.C. to name children after Egyptian hero kings of the past (D. W. Thomas, Palestine Explorer Quarterly, 1950, p8). Thus, the name Aha, which a Nephite general as found in 81 BC when Zoram, the Nephite chief captain (General) named his two sons Lehi and Aha (Alma 16:5), two names of great men of history, and all three spiritual men who knew to inquire of Alma where to find their brethren who had been taken by the Lamanites. In addition, the name Aha, which means “warrior,” was borne by the first hero king of Egypt. 
    In fact, the King-list on the Palermo stone (inscribed on both sides of a black basalt slab and dates from the Fifth Dynasty and records names of the kings of the 1st to 5th  Dynasties—the first three dynasties consist almost exclusively of events that give the years their names) mentions several pre-dynastic kings as well as the name of Narmer, Menes, and Aha. The King-list at Abydos in the temple of Seti I also includes the name of Menes. But is Menes also Narmer, or is Menes, Aha, that is, a second, or nisw bity name, for either of these kings? Was Menes a name at all, or was Menes a title? (An Approach to the Book of Mormon, p246).
    In addition, Nibley (pp27-30) claims that both Korihor and Zeezrom are Egyptian hero names. As are compounds for names, such as Bin, Zik, Ra, and Andi, which are Egyptian.

• The most common name in Egypt in Lehi’s time was Amon, Ammon, Amun. This name was used to compound other names, such as Aminidab, Aminadi, Amminihu, and Amnor. The name Gidianhi was Egyptian (Thoth is my life), and the name Helaman, spelled with an “L” is Semitic, but Heraman, spelled with an “R” is Egyptian, since there was no “L” in the language of Egypt. While Ammon is so obviously an Egyptian-Hittite name, it shows up in the Book of Mormon as a name for a direct descendant (a righteous man) of the Mulekite Zarahemla (Mosiah 7:3,13).
• The Mulekites and Nephites both knew of the Jaredite record in which early names were included. While some of these names were of men mighty in valor (Coriantumr), men of leadership and accomplishment (Morianton), men of high valor and integrity (Nehor), spiritual men (Shiblon), or men who led rebellions (Corihor), others are unknown as to their stature or accomplishments. In all cases, they may well have been names after which any Mulekite or Nephite would have named their son—a name to emulate and achieve similar greatness for after all, each of these names (except Shiblon) were either kings or sons of kings in the Jaredite record. 
    Compare this manner of naming to Helaman giving his two sons the names of Lehi and Nephi: Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good (Helaman 5:6). It should also be kept in mind that Israelites, then as now, had not the slightest aversion to giving their children non-Jewish names, even when those names had a pagan background (J. A. Montgomery, Arabia and the Bible, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1934, pp 49-55).
• There were names in the Jaredite record that could not strictly be called Jaredite, for they were also found in the Genesis record and were old West Semitic, Hebrew or Jewish names such as: Seth (Ether 1:10), Aaron (Ether 1:15), Levi (Ether 1:20), and Heth (Ether 1:16). In addition, Emer and Omer (Ether 1:29-30) are similar to the Genesis name Eber (from which it is claimed the word Hebrew originated). And Jared, of course, was an old Genesis name—the father of Enoch (Genesis 5:19). There were several other Jaredite names found in the Old Testament.
    Consequently, it cannot be assumed that certain names were Jaredite, simply because they are found in the Jaredite record, for many of these names are either the same or similar to names found in the Old Testament from which almost all names would have originated.
In addition, the name Teancum, a Nephite, is so similar to the Jaredite name Coriantum and Morianton, that one either has to say that Teancum was a good Mulekite with a Jaredite name (which offsets the entire argument of Jaredite names being Mulekite dissenters) or that it is a Nephite name, which again defeats the entire argument of Jaredite-influenced names. Nor should it be ignored that many names were old West Semitic names, such as Jether or Ether.
• Hebrew genealogies in which “the nomenclature is largely un- Hebraic, with peculiar antique formations in -an and -on, and in some cases of particular Arabian origin” (James A. Montgomery, Arabia and the Bible, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017, p47).In fact, the loss of the ending -on is quite common in Palestinian place-names (William F. Albright, The Vocalization of Egyptian Syllabic Orthography, Kraus Reprint, 1966, p12).
    Thus the Book of Mormon place names of Emron, Heshlon, Jashon, Ammaron, Moron, etc.—Emron was a Nephite name who fought in Mormon’s army (Moroni 9:2); Heshlon was a Jaredite place name (Ether 13:28); Jashon was a place name in the Land Northward near the land where Ammaron deposited the records (Mormon 2:16-17); Ammaron, the brother of Amos, was a Nephite name of the prophet before Mormon (4 Nephi 1:47); and Moron was an individual in Ether’s genealogy (Ether 1:17) and also a place name (Ether 7:5)—have preserved this archaic -on, which is indicative of a quaint conservatism among Lehi’s people, and especially of ties with the desert people.
    Consequently, such names as Moron, Shiblon, Aaron, Morianton are basically Hebrew words that do not show up in contemporary names, but were definitely Hebrew, or desert names, in their origin. Obviously, this means they cannot be attributed to just Jaredite origin in the Book of Mormon times, but instead could have been as easily Nephite or Mulekite names preserving the formation -on as Montgomery and Allbright testify.
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Hugh Nibley who leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.”)

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part X

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing below with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in the last part in the previous post.
• Many Nephite names showed up in Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylonian, and Arabic in the Old World, and in the cosmopolitan age, foreign names became as popular as native ones, both with the Jews and with other people (S. Zeitlin, Jewish Quarterly Review, vol.43, 1953, p367; Improvement Era, May 1954, p 309)
    Thus, it may well have been a Nephite practice to use the “foreign names” in the Jaredite record to name their own children in the land of promise;
• Many names attributed to the Jaredites were old West Semitic names, originating in, or or around, Mesopotamia from whence the Jaredites came, but also known to the Jews of 600 B.C., often through Egyptian/Hittite form. As an example:
Book of Mormon name:
Kumen, Jumen-onhi, Kishkumen Akish, Kish, Seantum,Gadiandi
Egyptian-Hittite name:
Kumani, Cyprus Sandon, Sandas Cadyanda
Kish: The name Kish was not only a name in the Jaredite record (Ether 1:18) who became king (Ether 10:17), but Kish was the name of Saul’s father in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 12:1) who was a mighty man of power and a Benjamanite (1 Samuel 9:1); also a Kish is mentioned as a Levite (2 Chronicles 29:12). (Hugh Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and The World of the Jaredites, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1952, p 33, Note 2).Obviously not just a Jaredite name).
Kumen: The name Kumen is definitely of the desert of Palestine, and also shows up in Egyptian-Hittite (from old West Semitic)4 as Kumani. West Semitic includes the area of the Hittites, Hurrian, Sumeria, Akkadia and overall Mesopotamia. Semitic is derived from Shem, of whom several peoples evolved, including the Jaredites, Eber and the Hebrews, Israel, and many desert tribes of Arabia (Eugen J. Pentiuc. West Semitic Terms in Akkadian Texts from Emar, University of Chicago Press, 1999). In fact,
The assassin Kishkumen who killed Pahoran, the Chief Judge, which led to the formation of the Gaddiantobn Robbers

Thus Kishkumen is a compound name derived from old West Semitic and Egyptian and Palestinian desert background, not Jaredite. Kishkumen, of course, was the Nephite that not only killed Pahoran (Helaman 1:9), but was the founder of the band which later became known as the Gaddianton Robbers (Helaman 2:11; 6:18), which “secret combination” was the cause of the overthrow and nearly the entire destruction of the Nephite people (Helaman 2:13). In addition, the name Kumen was the name of one of the American disciples chosen by the Lord (3 Nephi 19:4). Thus, it can hardly be said that Kishkumen was a Mulekite, or Jaredite-influenced individual, but simply a Nephite whose name is equally Jaredite, Palestine and Egyptian.
Corihor: The name Corihor and Korihor, so glibly attributed to a Jaredite-Mulekite connection, is neither Jaredite nor Mulekite in origin. It, too, is an old West Semitic name of Mesopotamia, attributed to the Egyptian name Kherihor (Hermann Ranke, Die Agyptischen Personennamen ["The Egyptian Personal Names"], J. J. Augustin, Glückstadt, Germany, 1935).
    The name has a unique connection to the Book of Mormon through Lehi who spoke and wrote Egyptian (1 Nephi 1:2), a language which continued among the Nephites for 1000 years (Mormon 9:32).
Korihor trying to convince the chief judge that their religion was a fake and that there was no life after death

In addition, Book of Mormon scholars often make the mistake of misunderstanding the origin of names in the Mesopotamia- Palestinian area of antiquity. As an example, Hobby claims that “names which end in one letter in the Book of Ether and another in later times should be considered equivalents—an example of this is the change from mimmation (ending in ‘m’) to nunnation (ending in ‘n’)” (The Mulekite Connection, p22).
    This is such an over-simplification of the facts that it could lead the reader into erroneous conclusions, since the change from mimmation to nunnation occurred in Mesopotamia and the Palestinian area around 2000 B.C., but was dropped altogether around 600 B.C., in Lehi’s time—in fact, in 600 B.C. the practice of using -an and -on endings was considered quaint and archaic in Palestine and among the Jews, but a practice, in some cases, the Nephites continued in the land of promise. Thus, many names that might be thought to show an -om ending in Jaredite would be expected to be found as -on in Nephite/Mulekite, but in reality may have dropped the -on entirely in the latter case as is found in Palestinian place-names before 600 BC (W. F. Albright, The Vocalization of Egyptian Syllabic Orthography, Ameri- can Orthographic Society, New Haven, 1934, p12)
    Even Hugh Nibley (p246-247) counters his own name-origin findings to defend the Jaredite origin of certain Mulekite names—Of course in most cases, we do not know if they are Mulekite men or not other than Coriantumr. Ammon, who saved king Limhi was also a Mulekite. But we have few references to people who specifically were Mulekites, and not the ones to which Nibley makes reference—which he apparently does strictly because they are dissenters.
    He also states: “The tradition of a very Jaredite pattern of behavior and dissent against Nephite rule by men of Mulekite background bearing Jaredite names makes the case pretty clear,” and that “five out of the six whose names are definitely Jaredite betray strong anti-Nephite leanings, and the sixth one, Shiblon, was only saved from the ranks of such rebels because an angel converted his anti-Nephite father.”
It is interesting that Nibley claims Shiblon was a Jaredite name, and that his father was an anti-Nephite man, since Shiblon’s father was Alma, son of Alma, who spent much of his life sustaining the Word of God and uplifting the Nephite people, and Shiblon’s brother was Helaman who was the father of Helaman the father of Nephi and Leh.
    Now in discussing dissenters, Nibley leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.” But why not? If you are going to use an argument that those who dissented from the Nephites were Mulekites with Jaredite names, then the fact must hold true throughout, which it does not, thus it can only be considered a coincidence, or some other rationale must exist such as:
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part XI,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Hugh Nibley who leaves out perhaps the worst of the lot in Gadianton, which even he claims is not a Jaredite name, saying that this omission “is not to be wondered at.”)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part IX

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites.
    In addition, Sorenson goes on to claim the Mulekites mixed with other peoples, saying, “By the time Mosiah got to them, they must have represented a mixture of characteristics in which American features overshadowed the Israelite culture they retained, as Omni 1:17 implies.” Now Omni 1:17 says nothing of the kind: “And at the time that Mosiah discovered them (Mosiah discovered Zarahemla and the Mulekites around 250 B.C., about 330 years after the Mulekites reached the land of promise) they had become exceeding numerous.
    Nevertheless, the Mulekites had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them” (Omni 1:17). There is no implication in this verse that the Mulekites showed any “mixture of characteristics in which American features overshadowed the Israelite culture.”
Mosiah and the Nephites who went with him after many days, came across the settlement of Zarahemla—the Mulekites

What American features? What mixture of characteristics? From this verse, we gain only: 1) Though many Mulekites had died during the many wars they fought among themselves in the 330 years they were in the land of promise, they were still very numerous when Mosiah found them, 2) They had brought no records with them when leaving Jerusalem, and therefore they had lost their knowledge of God and Jewish religious heritage, and 3) Because of no records, their language had changed over three centuries until they no longer spoke the pure Hebrew tongue of their origin and could not be understood by Mosiah and the Nephites. Nothing else is implied in this verse, certainly not of another “American” people, a mixing of cultures, a developing of non-Jewish looks and characteristics!
    And what of the Nephites? Sorenson claims there were Jaredites among the Lamanite armies which the Nephites fought who they merely called “Lamanites.” In fact, he claims that the Lamanites conquered these remaining Jaredites and absorbed them into their own Lamanite culture. But once again, these Jaredites were a highly skilled people, with a knowledge of breastplates and armor (Ether 15:15) not seen among the Lamanites even as late as 74 B.C. when they came to battle against Moroni’s better-equipped army (Alma 43:19-20).
    If these Jaredites had intermingled with either the Mulekites, Nephites, or Lamanites, why do we not see evidence of this in culture, military, or learning among the later groups?
    While it is true the Nephites were industrious builders and skilled artisans from the beginning (2 Nephi 5:15), they still did not invent breastplates and armor until the last century BC, and Mosiah required the gift of God to interpret Coriantumr’s engraven stone (Omni 1:20), and no one knew very much about the Jaredite history on the 24-gold plates until Mosiah interpreted them (Mosiah 28:12) with the Urim and Thummim (Mosiah 28:13)—a term that comes from the Hebrew words meaning “lights” and “perfections.” This title was given to an instrument the Lord prepared to assist man in obtaining revelation and in translating languages. The brother of Jared was the first in scripture to be given the Urim and Thummim (Ether 3:21-28). The prophet Joseph Smith was given these interpreters that had previously been in the possession of the brother of Jared, and described them as being “two stones in silver bows fastened to a breastplate (Joseph Smith, History 1:35).
Mosiah interpreted the writings of Ether on the gold plates brought back by Limhi’ 43-man expedition to find Zarahemla

In fact, Limhi and his people had Ether’s gold plates for some time when Ammon arrived and was asking if he knew anyone who could interpret them (Mosiah 8:5-6, 12). If the Jaredites had lived among the Nephites for some 300 to 450 years, why did no one understand the Jaredite glyphic writing in 200 B.C.?
    Obviously, we see no evidence of Jaredite culture among the Lamanites. They could neither read nor write until Amulon taught them around 120 B.C. (Mosiah 24:4-7). Nor do we find any evidence of Jaredite culture and advanced skills among the Mulekites by the time Mosiah encountered them. Evidently, they had just a single city built, had no written history, nor a desire to rule over or conquer the Nephites, though they outnumbered them (Mosiah 25:2). In fact, the Mulekites, or people of Zarahemla, were overjoyed when they learned Mosiah had the brass plates and the history of the Jews (Omni 1:14) which again would have held no interest to the Jaredites.
    In addition, Amaleki, an eye-witness to the events of first contact between the Nephites and Mulekites, and a recorder of this and subsequent events up into king Benjamin’s lifetime (Omni 1:17), tells us exactly who the Mulekites were and he makes no mention of Jaredites or any other people (Omni 1:15). It would seem strange that Amaleki would, in his extremely brief record of 30 verses devote 5 of those verses to introduce the Mulekites, and 4 verses to introduce one man (Coriantumr)—a little over 1/3 of the book—but nothing at all of this Jaredite civilization that Book of Mormon scholars claim so strongly influenced the Nephite nation.
Zarahemla, a descendant of Mulek, was the ruler of the Mulekites when  Mosiah discovered them

Mosiah, also a first-hand witness to these events, for he is the one who discovered the Mulekites, or people of Zarahemla (Omni 1:13-14), and who was told their genealogy by Zarahemla himself (Omni 1:18), claims that he was a descendant of Mulek and the people of Zarahemla were those who came with Mulek (Mosiah 25:2). Thus, the people of Zarahemla were Jews who followed or brought Mulek, Zedekiah’s last surviving son, from Jersusalem to the land of promise. In addition, Mormon, who inserts his Words of Mormon between Amaleki’s writings and those of Mosiah to help the reader make the transition from the small plates to the record on the Large Plates, makes no mention of these Jaredites, though he had all the records at his disposal. If there were Jaredites among the Mulekites, why would both Amaleki and Mosiah both ignore this fact, yet Limhi could hardly wait to find out who this other group of people were (Mosiah 8:12, 19).
    B. H. Roberts is one of the few Book of Mormon scholars who have repeatedly claimed that the Jaredites never came in contact with anyone else in the land of promise. He says: “There is no mention or assumption of their coming in contact with any other people, or of their being any other people in all the land—they are the sole possessors of it.” He also claims that “the Jaredites developed their peculiar culture uninfluenced by contact with other people—either by reason of finding primitive inhabitants in the land, or by reason of infusion of other people among them (B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1992, p 117).
    Nibley lays his entire claim on name-connection, which has been discussed earlier, and also covered in the author’s Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, and the behavior of a few Nephite dissenters to make his case that the Jaredites were alive and well among the Mulekites and influenced Nephite culture. It is a flimsy thread, to be sure, when no actual evidence of any Jaredite culture can be found among either the Mulekites, Nephites, or Lamanites. One can only say, as Ether so eloquently put it, that the Jaredites were annihilated off the face of the land and only Coriantumr survived.
Left: Nephite; Center: Mulekite; Right: Jaredite

9. The existence of Jaredite names among Mulekites shows that the Mulekites and Jaredites were culturally connected
The Mesoamerican Theorists all tend to use the Jaredite name connection, first suggested by Hugh Nibley, to show that the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites were somehow connected culturally to one another and, therefore, an overlap in existence must have taken place. As an example, the case is made that Corihor (Jaredite) and Korihor (Mulekite), and Nehor (Jaredite) and Nehor (Mulekite) were obviously connected names, and that the Mulekites were named after their culturally-related Jaredite brethren. However, two very important things should be kept in mind before arbitrarily connecting Book of Mormon names to one another:
    In fact many Book of Mormon names showed up in Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylonian, and Arabic in the Old World.  
(See the following post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part X,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where the Mulekites landed, where they settled, and who they were, as well as how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling of the Jaredites and Mulekites/Nephites, some of which rationale is found in names as discussed in part in the previous post).

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VIII

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously.
6. The reason the Mulekites in Zarahemla were so anxious to have the Jaredite record interpreted was because they knew of the Jaredites and considered them their relatives.
A great anxiety came over the Nephites who were  extremely desirous  to know concerning those people who had been destroyed

First of all, the scripture does not make mention of the Jaredites as relatives or brethren in conjunction with the anxiety of the people to know about those who had been killed in the Land Northward. Mosiah translated the 24-plates of gold found among the bones of the Jaredite dead where Ether placed them so they could be found “because of the great anxiety of his people; for they were desirous beyond measure to know concerning those people who had been destroyed” (Mosiah 28:12). The term brethren is not used until long after the Mulekites and the Nephites were joined as one people (Omni 1:19; Mosiah 25:13) and were baptized into the Church (Mosiah 25:18) and called Nephites (Alma 3:17).
    At this time, when Captain Moroni is asking for volunteers for his army (Alma 46:20), declaring liberty (Alma 46:13), and hoisting the banner of liberty from every tower (Alma 46:36), recruits came running forth to join forces with him (Alma 46:21).
    Now in their zeal, “rending their garments in token,” they made a covenant with the Lord to rend them as they rent their garments if they fell “into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ” (Alma 46:21). This covenant was specific: “... and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: ‘We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression” (Alma 46:22). 
    Thus, it cannot be said that the Mulekites thought of the Jaredites as their brethren, meaning they had co-mingled and intermarried. This is not the context in which this statement is made. The Nephites (Nephites and Mulekites) were covenanting with God that they should be destroyed even as the Jaredites had been destroyed if they, the Nephites, did not keep their oath to defend liberty.
    Secondly, the record of the Jaredites had been interpreted by Mosiah some twenty years earlier, and the Nephites were well aware of what had happened to the Jaredites and why. They knew their brethren in the gospel to the north had been wiped out to the man because of their transgression and falling away from God. Understanding this, they used this reference to their brethren (in the gospel) as what should happen to them if they fell away like the Jaredites of old.
7. Zarahemla knew of the history of the Jaredites before Mosiah arrived
Critics claim that the Jaredites and the Mulekites/Nephites intermingled

Joseph Allen (p7) says that “Zarahemla recounted orally his people’s history and also a portion of the history of the people we know as the Jaredites,” but the scriptures make no mention of Zarahemla knowing anything about the Jaredites except for having the stone upon which Coriantumr engraved a brief record of his history (Omni 1:21-22), and which Zarahemla could not read. 
    This engraving was interpreted by Mosiah for the benefit of the Mulekites and Nephites by the gift and power of God (Omni 1:20). Much later, the Nephites, including Zarahemla and his people, were anxious to find out about those who had perished in the land to the north (Mosiah 28:12), once again suggesting no one knew of these Jaredites and what happened to them other than what little had been engraved by Coriantumr on the stone, but not interpreted until the arrival of Mosiah.
8. The Nephites and Mulekites knew of the Jaredites and were heavily influenced by them during a long cultural overlap between the two peoples
Critics claim that the Jaredites lived with and intermarried with the Mulekites/Nephites for many generations, which would make them no different from one another

Hugh Nibley (p248) claims that the Nephites and the Jaredites co- mingled and may even have intermarried during a long cultural overlap of their societies. Sorenson (p119) says that there is no doubt about such an overlap and that Jaredite contributions to the later peoples (Mulekites and Nephites) were substantial. Nibley (p247) also makes the comparison between so-called Jaredite names of Mulekites dissenting from Nephite control in Zarahemla, yet agrees that we have very few Jaredite names and that there is nothing in the Book of Mormon that shows direct contact between the Nephites and the Jaredites (246-247).
    So why do we have such a belief if there is nothing in scripture to show a linkage? Because, as Sorenson so pointedly explains (246-247), there is an Olmec connection in Mesoamerica that these Mesoamerican Theorists want to claim were the Jaredites. Thus, he suggests that when the Mulekites landed they “were able to find a niche for themselves in the land, incorporating and ruling over some remnant of the people left in the land southward after the abandonment of Olmec La Venta,” even though the Jaredites were never in the land southward according to the scriptural account— but it is the reason why the Theorists must place the Jaredites there—otherwise, who were these earlier people in their model for Book of Mormon lands?
    Other concerns occur when we start talking about cultural overlap of some 300 to 450 years. First of all, for the Mulekites, when Mosiah found them around 250 B.C., it is claimed they were illiterate, had no written language or written records, could not interpret Coriantumr’s Jaredite glyph engravings, and knew nothing of the Jaredite history or civilization until Mosiah interpreted the stone.
    Now, if the Mulekites had lived among the Jaredites for 300 to 450 years before Mosiah found them, why were they so ignorant of the Jaredites? Why could not some among them have been taught how to read Jaredite writing? Why did they not have any written language of their own?
The Jaredites came to the Land of Promise with written records and continued their literacy the entire time they were in the land, with Ether closing out the record with his writing

It should be kept in mind that the Jaredites were a literate culture, and had maintained their written language for the 1600 years they were in the land of promise, since the Brother of Jared wrote down what he had seen (Ether 4:1) while still in the Old World, and both Coriantumr and Ether were writing 1600 years later in the final days of the Jaredite nation (Ether 15:4).
    Nibley claims the Jaredites taught the Mulekites aggressive behavior and this showed up in certain Jaredite-named Mulekites disrupting and attempting to destroy the Nephite government throughout the last two centuries B.C. However, the Mulekites seem to have been aggressive themselves, without any need for help from another people, for they had wars among themselves from the very beginning (Omni 1:17).
    Hobby claims the Mulekites landed in the midst of the Jaredite civilization and that they were absorbed into the Jaredite culture, but to avoid the wars, they escaped and came south, migrating into the Land Southward where they founded Zarahemla. Amaleki said they had numerous wars, but if those wars had been against the Jaredites, who numbered in the millions, the Mulekites would have been wiped out early on for there could not have been very many people who originally escaped Jerusalem with Mulek and landed in the land of promise. Sorenson adds that these Mulekites “did what the Lamanites did, that is, use superior skills and knowledge they had brought with them to gain dominance over local remnants of the previous civilization.”
(See the next post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part IX,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were; and continuing with Sorenson’s remarks about co-mingling)

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VII

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and how numerous theorists have treated this subject erroneously.
    One of the problems historians, scholars and theorists seem to have, is they neglect or ignore the fact that the Lord is in charge and has a Plan to which He adheres judiciously. And to continue on with Lehi’s comments, following this last statements, he adds, “Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord...and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever” (2 Nephi 1:6,9). It would seem obvious there were two thoughts here, 1) those who would “come into this land” were the Jaredites, Nephites/ Lamanites, and Mulekites, followed much later by the Gentiles described in Nephi’s vision, and 2) this land would remain the promised inheritance of the Nephites, Mulekites and Lamanites, and there would be none else “to molest them, nor to take away the land” from them.
    There is no mystery about who Lehi was referring to when he said “all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:5). However, Lehi, in this same discussion, speaking of his posterity later on who would dwindle in unbelief, says,
With the Jaredites, Nephites and Mulekites being annihilated, only the Lamanites were left, when the Lord gave the land of Promise to the European Gentiles

“Yea, he will bring other nations unto them and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten” (2 Nephi 1:11). That is, in this overall prophesy to his children and grandchildren, after arriving in the land of promise, Lehi tells them of the promise they have in the land as long as they remain righteous, but if they fall away, he tells them of the terrible calamities that will befall them—that is, the terrible calamities that befell the Nephites was the total annihilation of their nation and society; the terrible calamities of the Lamanites was the total destruction and subjugation of their societies by the Spanish conquerors, which is illustrated further in the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica.
    This is hardly talking about other people being led to the land while Lehi’s people are righteous— which remains until about 350 A.D., when the Spirit of the Lord ceased to strive with the people (Mormon 5:16).
    The fact is, the scriptures not only give no evidence of any connection between the Jaredites and the Mulekites or Nephites, but we find numerous evidence to show there was no contact, such as this exchange between Ammon and Limhi, one a Nephite and the other a Mulekite. Consequently, since there is no mention of the people who had been destroyed in the land northward living among the Nephites or Lamanites and not among the Mulekites (other than Coriantumr) either before, during, or after the last great battle at Cumorah that annihilated the Nephites, one can only wonder why these scholars continue to claim such contact existed and that it altered and influenced the behavior and culture of both the Mulekites and the Nephites.
4. Coriantumr died in the Land Northward and the Mulekites later migrated into the Land Southward, bringing with them the stone Coriantumr carved upon.
Coriantumr’s stone upon which he carved a brief history of his chronology and genealogy

Since Coriantumr’s engraving was on a “large stone” (Omni 1:20), one might wonder why the Mulekites would have carried it with them had there been a migration from the Land Northward to the land of Zarahemla in the Land Southward. They could not read the engraving, and not knowing who Coriantumr was, would have had little interest in preserving the stone if they were traveling. And if there were Jaredites mingled with the Mulekites, as many Mesoamerican Theorists claim, there would have been no need for the stone, for the Jaredites would have known their own history, and who Coriantumr, their last king, was without a stone engraving. If there were no Jaredites with the Mulekites, then why bother lugging the stone all that way since Coriantumr had died among them and was buried by them (Ether 13:21) and would have offered no further interest to them since they had no idea they would run into anyone who could interpret it later on.
    On the other hand, since the Mulekites spent their entire time in the area of Zarahemla “where Mosiah discovered them” (Omni 1:16), there never was a migration and such a point is a mute one. It is most likely this stone was placed over Coriantumr’s gravesite and forgotten until Ammon showed up and an interest in who these people were rekindled.
5. The Jaredites were in such a weakened condition from the many wars by the time the Mulekites arrived among them, that the Mulekites easily conquered and subjugated the Jaredites.
    Once again, there is absolutely no reference to anything in scripture that would cause someone to arrive at this conclusion. Common sense should indicate otherwise had these two groups ever come together. Consider:
• The Jaredites are described continually as large and mighty men, having greater strength than other men. Even in their last battles, when so weakened from strenuous battle and loss of blood, they continued to revive and chase one another in continued running battles until only one man was left standing.
The Jaredites were a warring people, who fought numerous civil wars among themselves

• The Jaredites were a violent (Ether 13:31), fearsome people (Ether 14:2), willful to do murder (Moroni 9:23), well-schooled in the skill of battle (Ether 13:25) with at least 1600 years of experience in warfare by the time the Mulekites arrived. It would seem unlikely that any invading force would have easily overcome the Jaredites, especially Mulek and his friends;
• When the Mulekites landed, they would not have numbered very many souls. In fact, it is very likely that Mulek, as the youngest son, may well have been just a baby or young child at the time of the Babylonian victory and, therefore, unknown to Nebuchadnezzar—and as such, was whisked away by court attendants and those assigned to look after the royal lad. In such case, we are looking at a group of people whose value to Zedekiah, Mulek’s father and king, would have been in their caring for, protecting, and tutoring the young child—not in any combative capability (Mulek, from mlk, might well have been a title, such as king, and not a name at all—which may well be why the people of Zarahemla were never referred to as Mulekites in the record. In any event, these fleeing court and family retainers gathered a few people with them and somehow built a ship (or ships) and sailed to the land of promise. There is no indication that Mulek and his friends were warriors or soldiers, and their numbers would have been very few against the Jaredites who had numbered in the millions (Ether 14:4, 21, 31; 15:2)
• Using some Theorists dates, if the Mulekites landed among the Jaredites around 600 B.C., but the Jaredites were not completely destroyed until around 200 B.C., how could a handful of Mulekites conquer and subjugate many millions of Jaredites who Ether lists as having been killed in the final half dozen years before their total destruction?
• By the time the Mulekites encountered Coriantumr, all the Jaredites had been destroyed. This is easily seen by the fact that the Jaredites spent four years “gathering together the people, that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive all the strength which it was possible that they could receive” (Ether 15:14). They did this by gathering together “all the people upon all the face of the land, who had not been slain, save it was Ether” (Ether 15:12). In the previous battle, “so great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead” (Ether 14:21) which numbered “nearly two million people” (Ether 15:2).
This last battle, which included men, women, and children (Ether 15:2, 15), began and was fought for one entire day (Ether 15:15) and many were killed (Ether 15:16), and they fought the next day and again many were killed (Ether 15:17). By the fourth day, only 52 were left on Coriantumr’s side and 69 on the side of Shiz (Ether 15:23). The next day saw only 27 left alive on Coriantumr’s side and only 32 on the side of Shiz (Ether 15:25). On the last day, they fought for only three hours before Coriantumr’s side fled, but Shiz and his men caught up to them and they fought again (Ether 15:27-29). This time, only Coriantumr and Shiz remained alive, and finally Coriantumr killed Shiz (Ether 15:30). Earlier, the utter destruction of the Jaredites had been prophesied by the Lord’s prophet (Ether 11:20), and when it was over, the Lord told Ether to go and look, and Ether “went forth and beheld the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled” (Ether 15:33).
(See the next post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VIII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VI

Continued from the previous post regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were, and Hugh Nibley’s unbelievable rationale as to why there is no mention in the scriptural record of any of the others who were in the Land of Promise when Lehi arrived.
    It should be noted that Nibley provides his reasoning for this silence about the Mulekites when he (p251) wrote: “That shows us how closely the editors of the Book of Mormon stick to the business at hand, shunning any kind of digression and stubbornly refusing to tell about any people but the announced subjects of their history.” It is hard to imagine Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, and the other inspired writers as well as Mormon and Moroni “stubbornly refusing” to write about anything pertinent to the events that occurred in the land of promise unless “constrained by the spirit.”
    However, Nibley’s argument is a fallacious since there is no mention about Sam’s posterity at all, yet he was the third son of Lehi and older brother of Nephi. Why was this history omitted? Because, as Lehi said to his son Sam, “blessed art thou, and thy seed, for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother, Nephi, and thy seed shall be numbered with his seed, and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed, and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days” (2 Nephi 4:11).
    Is this much different than the promise made to the Mulekites in Zarahemla? “All the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13), who, along with the children of Amulon, “took upon themselves the name of Nephi, that they might be called the children of Nephi and be numbered among those who were called Nephites” (Mosiah 25:12). Thus “the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together and Mosiah was appointed to be their king” (Omni 1:19).
    From this point on, the people of Zarahemla were Nephites, and like Sam, are never again mentioned as a separate people, as a separate lineage, or in any way different from the Nephites as a whole (Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon Lands, pp158,97),
It should be noted that some writers of the Nephite record indicated that the various sons of Lehi, such as Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, Jacob and Joseph, plus those of Ishmael and Zoram, were known by their separate tribal groups in the land of promise, but that they would combine them into Nephites and Lamanites for the sake of duplicating names (Jacob 1:13; 4 Nephi 1:36-38); however, none ever listed the lineage of Sam or the lineage of Mulek (people of Zarahemla) separately.
    Thus we can be assured that these two lineages were not considered separate at any time. And as for Nibley’s comment, we should also keep in mind that what we know of Lehi before he left Jerusalem, is contained in only a handful of verses, and absolutely nothing of any of his family. We don’t even learn of Nephi’s sisters except through a side comment early in 2 Nephi, and then never again. Nor do we ever hear anything to speak of about Joseph, Lehi’s youngest son. We also know nothing about Ishmael’s history, nor why he led his family out into the wilderness at Nephi’s offer, nor why his daughters were willing to marry Lehi’s sons.
    Nor do we know anything about Zoram, even though his lineage was mentioned separately. It is a fallacious argument on Nibley’s part to single out one of these people, the Mulekites, and make an issue over their background as though the record was meant to minimize anyone’s importance. Mormon told us only one percent of the record could he included in his abridgement. Yet, interestingly enough, an entire Book was devoted to the Jaredites, and their history—so where is the stubborn refusal to mention anyone other than the subjects (Nephites and Lamanites) of their history?
    In addition, Sorenson (p90) wrote despairingly of the Nephite recorders in saying, “The scripture is clear that the Nephites were prejudiced against the Lamanites” and regarding the significant differences in the scriptures between the Nephites and Lamanites, Sorenson added (p91) that it “was not as dramatic as the Nephite record keepers made out,” though some 50 pages later, Sorenson is reversing his opinion when he describes the Lamanites, using both Nephi’s and Enos’ description, (210) writing: “As Nephi tells the story, the Lamanites down in the hot lowlands were nomadic hunters, bloodthirsty, near naked, and lazy (2 Nephi 5:24, Enos 1:20).”
The Lamanites wore breechcloths and hunted in the wilderness for their food

First of all, Nephi does not describe any “down in the hot lowland,” saying only in the citing given, “And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.” Nor did Enos depict any hot lowlands, describing the Lamanites as “their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven...” Nothing at all about what their habitat was like—but, of course, that does not stop Sorenson and other theorists from claiming the Mesoamerican setting for the Lamanites and inserting a location and temperature as though quoting Nephi’s and Enos’ writing.
    It is obvious these Mesoamerican Theorists like to use circumstances to fit their argument—like placing the Mulektes in the Land Northward, having them landing on the east coast, and claiming they intermingled with the Jaredites. At one time these theorist write that the Nephites are over dramatic, another time their “over dramatic” descriptions are used to show that the temperature of the Lamanite lands “could account for some of those characteristics.”
    Thus we see how Mesoamerican Theorists like to write in their own Nephite history because they do not agree with what the ancient Nephite prophets wrote, or that the scriptural record does not agree with their Mesoamerican location and beliefs.
    Most importantly, though Nephi describes seeing all the people who lived in the Western Hemisphere through his vision, he never mentions any other people in the Land of Promise other than those – and the nations that would eventually subdue “his brethren” (Lamanites). There is no mention or even suggestion of people already in the Land of Promise before and during Lehi’s landing.
Many scholars claim that the land was filled with people when Lehi reached the Land of Promise

Despite this, Nibley and Sorenson, and others, for some strange reason, believe these prophets, even when guided in vision by the spirit, make no mention of so-called “other people” these Mesoamerican Theorists claimed to have intermingled, intermarried, and affected the cultures of the Book of Mormon people in the land of promise. It is hard to not be sarcastic about these Theorists, and describe this as an apparent conspiracy between two mighty prophets to keep these other people a secret from us.
    Nibley goes on to write: “No one would deny that anciently ‘this land’ was kept ‘from the knowledge of other nations’ (2 Nep1:8), but that does not mean that it was kept empty of inhabitants, but only that migration was in one direction—from the Old World to the New” (Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and The World of the Jaredites, p253). While it is true that any movement would have been one way, i.e., from the Old World to the New, we cannot at the same time say that these other people intermingled, intermarried and affected the cultures of the Mulekites, Nephites and Lamanites without a word of it recorded in the record—such is taking a possibility beyond the point of reason.
    Yet, Nibley goes on (pp253-254) to write, “even as Lehi uttered those words, the Jaredites were swarming in the east, and the old man refers to others yet to come...all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.”
    Two interesting points in this are ignored by Nibley, and that is 1) those the Lord would lead out of other nations are those described by Nephi in the vision he was shown, and 2) those Jaredites “in the east” were actually north, in the Land Northward, and according to the Lord’s overall Plan for this land, he was preparing Lehi as “another people to inherit the land” from these Jaredites, who were soon to be utterly and completely destroy themselves from off the face of the earth, and who were told of this “other people” to inherit the land through Ether to Coriantumr. 
(See the next post, “The Mulekite Homeland in the Land of Promise – Part VII,” regarding the Mulekite homeland, where they landed, where they settled, and who they were)