Book of Mormon Geography

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Re: Brant Gardner

Post by Shulem »

Dear Brant,

I understand that you’ve immersed yourself in apologetics looking for every “plausible” excuse in which to fit your pet-model into the Book of Mormon text. You tap-dance all over the place in an effort to turn Mayans into Nephites or vice versa. Please, permit me to give another example and maybe it will sink into your head and ring the logic bell. I don’t mean to be condescending, but I simply want to wake you up!

Let’s talk about east coast cities on the eastern seaboard, more especially the city of Nephihah, a city by the east sea.

Alma 48 wrote:13 And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.

14 And they also began a foundation for a city between the city of Moroni and the city of Aaron, joining the borders of Aaron and Moroni; and they called the name of the city, or the land, Nephihah.

15 And they also began in that same year to build many cities on the north, one in a particular manner which they called Lehi, which was in the north by the borders of the seashore.

The city of Nephihah. What else do we know about Nephihah and east coast cities? We know (by the text) that the east coast cities were all on a single coast from northern Teancum and Bountiful with the connecting land of Jershon. Many cities led southward such as Antionum along the coast all the way down to the land of Nephi. A single east coast is mentioned in the text. All of the east coast cities from Teancum to the cities southward run north to south on a line having a single unbroken coast of the East Sea. The shape, form, and northern extension of the Yucatan peninsula in Mesoamerica is nowhere found in Book of Mormon text. Any attempt to fit the Yucatan in the geographic and topographic text of the eastern seaboard of the Book of Mormon is DOA. All land south of the narrow neck was south of the narrow neck. The narrow neck was the northern most part of the peninsula.

Now, let’s take a look at the southern cities on the eastern seaboard:

Alma 51 wrote:22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.

23 And it came to pass that the Nephites were not sufficiently strong in the city of Moroni; therefore Amalickiah did drive them, slaying many. And it came to pass that Amalickiah took possession of the city, yea, possession of all their fortifications.

24 And those who fled out of the city of Moroni came to the city of Nephihah; and also the people of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together, and made preparations and were ready to receive the Lamanites to battle.

25 But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in every city to maintain and defend it.

26 And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore.

The Nephites understood and knew the rising of the sun was from the east and that this cardinal direction is always eastern or eastward. East is east no matter how far or how long. It’s based on position in facing the rising of the sun!

Alma 56:41 wrote:And it came to pass that again, when the light of the morning came
3 Nephi 1:19 wrote:And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order

So, let’s examine the strategy taken by Captain Moroni in liberating the city of Nephihah and pay close attention to the cardinal directions. Remember that the macro (rising and setting of the sun) is like unto the micro (one’s position in reference to sunrise and sunset) and one’s direction is determined thereby.

Alma 62 wrote:20 And when the night came, Moroni went forth in the darkness of the night, and came upon the top of the wall to spy out in what part of the city the Lamanites did camp with their army.

21 And it came to pass that they were on the east, by the entrance; and they were all asleep. And now Moroni returned to his army, and caused that they should prepare in haste strong cords and ladders, to be let down from the top of the wall into the inner part of the wall.

22 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his men should march forth and come upon the top of the wall, and let themselves down into that part of the city, yea, even on the west, where the Lamanites did not camp with their armies.

23 And it came to pass that they were all let down into the city by night, by the means of their strong cords and their ladders; thus when the morning came they were all within the walls of the city.

Captain Moroni waited for the sun to go down and at nightfall he set out and climbed the city wall to spy on the Lamanites in order to figure out how to get his troops in there to spring a trap. He learned that the Lamanite camp was within the eastern part of the city so he strategized that if he could land his troops over the wall of the western part of the city while the Lamanites were asleep he could take the city. Also, note how the entrance to the city is strategically located on the east which leads us to understand that the city was surrounded by a wall with the front entry at the east facing the sea. Therefore the city was surrounded by a strong wall and entry to the city would be closely guarded. But Moroni’s troops scaled the west wall and breached the western portion of the city and from there surprised the Lamanites who fled out by a “pass.”

Therefore, we are to understand that east and west are expressly used in the strategy given in the text and cardinal directions are always associated with the rising and setting of the sun. If Moroni is standing on the west wall and looks straight ahead during morning, what will he see? He will see dawn, daybreak on the horizon of the east sea. Conversely, while standing on the same wall he would have to turn around 180 degrees in order to watch sunset. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west even when you’re standing on the wall of Nephihah!

This is a powerful example to show that cardinal directions are explicitly expressed in the Book of Mormon. In particular, the narrow neck and the flanking of its two seas. The so-called narrow neck of Tehuantepec with its southern and northern seas are not a match for the Book of Mormon.
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