Book of Mormon Geography

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Shulem
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River Laman in Arabia

Post by Shulem »

Church apologists love to pose a rhetorical question, “How could Joseph have known,” in trying to get their audience to embrace the idea that Joseph Smith revealed something that nobody could have known without revelation. It’s a tactic to try and turn something into a bullseye when in fact it may not be as remarkable as they claim.

Now, we know that there were no rivers at anytime in Arabia from 600 BC until today. Rivers at that locality were and are nonexistent. So, I would like to pose this question to Daniel C. Peterson, former professor at BYU:

How could Joseph have known there was a river in northwest Arabia that leads into the Red Sea like a fountain continually flowing in righteousness?

You see, two can play that game! Checkmate, Dan.
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River Laman in Arabia

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Daniel C. Peterson wrote:How did Joseph Smith know about the Wadi Tayyib al-Ism? Even in our information-rich contemporary environment, what could most of us say about it?

The answer is that Smith did not refer to a dry river bed that gets water when it rains. A wadi is not a river. A wadi is a stream that flows when it rains and flows only during the rainy season -- then it dries up. That is hardly descriptive of Joseph Smith’s River Laman that flows continuously like the righteousness of a man 365 days out of the year.

I’m afraid Joseph Smith envisioned a mighty river flowing with force and was an enduring fountain that fed into the Red Sea. The apologetic snake-oil from Daniel C. Peterson is about as worthless as a dry wadi in which its righteousness evaporates under the blazing heat of the sun during a large portion of the year. A wadi hardly matches the attributes in which it is compared thereby in the Book of Mormon.

You loose, Dan. Your unrighteousness is like a dry wadi.
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River Laman in Arabia

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Here is an example that serves to show how Smith envisioned a “river” that flows continuously being large and deep, more than a stream and like Lehi’s river, is blessed with an ancient altar no doubt built to commemorate the bounty of the river.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 19 May 1838, HC 3:34, wrote:This morning we struck our tents and formed a line of march, crossing Grand River at the mouth of Honey Creek and Nelson’s Ferry. Grand River is a large, beautiful, deep and rapid stream, during the high waters of Spring, and will undoubtedly admit of navigation by steamboat and other water craft. At the mouth of Honey Creek is a good landing. We pursued our course up the river, mostly through timber, for about eighteen miles, when we arrived at Colonel Lyman Wight's home. He lives at the foot of Tower Hill (a name I gave the place in consequence of the remains of an old Nephite altar or tower that stood thee), where we camped for the Sabbath.
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River Laman in Arabia

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D&C 121:33 wrote:As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.
vs.
New & Improved wrote:As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Laman River in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the family of Lehi.

So, what do you think of them apples, Dan?
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River Laman in Arabia

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EDIT: Know-it-all Shulem, is about to make a critical mistake about the River Laman and improperly represents an informed apologetic viewpoint from a theoretical point of view. Thanks to huckelberry, my error is pointed out, much to my astonishment!

See if you can see where I went wrong:


Apologist wrote:Shulem,
The text says nothing about Lehi and his family having to cross a river as you suggest in your parallels. You seem to paint a picture that is not provided by the text. How did they cross a “mighty river” that you impose on the text? Nothing is said to that effect. In fact, the record states that Nephi and his brethren turned about and went back to Jerusalem to confront Laban and obtain the plates. They departed again into the wilderness and returned to Lehi’s tent. Nothing is said about having to cross a river. A wadi is certainly plausible but you refuse to accept this.

Friend,

The answer is simple. Smith envisioned Lehi leaving Jerusalem and heading south while they were already EAST of the river continuing in a southward direction until they reached the Red Sea. When Nephi and his brethren returned to Jerusalem to secure the plates they simply followed the same course and returned the same way, skirting and following the valley by the side of a river of water, until they reached Lehi’s tent at the mouth of the sea.

Can you understand that?

Shulem
Last edited by Shulem on Mon Sep 18, 2023 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book of Mormon Geography

Post by huckelberry »

1 Nephi, 16:11,12 And it came to pass the we did gather together whatsoever things we should carry into the wilderness and all the remainder of our provisions which the Lord had given unto us and we did take seed of every kind that we might carry into the wilderness,
12 And it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness
across the river Laman.
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River Laman in Arabia

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huckelberry wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 2:27 am
1 Nephi, 16:11,12 And it came to pass the we did gather together whatsoever things we should carry into the wilderness and all the remainder of our provisions which the Lord had given unto us and we did take seed of every kind that we might carry into the wilderness,
12 And it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness
across the river Laman.

I LOVE IT!

I finally screwed up bigtime and I love it! I was wrong! That verse had completely slipped my mind.

Thank you, thank you, huckelberry!

I need to assess and review. This is going to be more fun than I thought! Wow, just wow. Woohoo!

:)
Last edited by Shulem on Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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River Laman in Arabia

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huckelberry wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 2:27 am
1 Nephi, 16:11,12 And it came to pass the we did gather together whatsoever things we should carry into the wilderness and all the remainder of our provisions which the Lord had given unto us and we did take seed of every kind that we might carry into the wilderness,
12 And it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness across the river Laman.

Again, thank you huckelberry for pointing out my error! Know-it-all Shulem does make mistakes -- once in a while, it happens! And that was a big one! Imagine if that had been in a published article or even a book. Thank goodness for message boards where we can work together in collaboration in which minds can come together in a powerful fashion!

:oops:

Nonetheless, it’s a fact that the account of 1 Nephi 16:12 is the first reference in the Book of Mormon about having to cross a river. We may rightly now determine that when Lehi and his family made their trek south they were on the west side of the river and the valley they traveled through prior to reaching the sea is on the western flank of the River Laman. Other Book of Mormon references of crossing a river include:

1 Nephi 17:32 ...they had crossed the river Jordan (in Palestine)
Alma 2:27 ...they were crossing the river Sidon
Alma 2:34 ...to cross and contend with the Lamanites and the Amlicites on the west side of the river Sidon
Alma 2:35 ...when they had all crossed the river Sidon
Alma 16:6 ...the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness
Alma 16:7 ...Zoram and his sons crossed over the river Sidon, with their armies
Alma 43:35 ...came into the valley, and began to cross the river Sidon
Alma 43:40 ...driven by Lehi into the waters of Sidon, and they crossed the waters of Sidon
Alma 56:25 ...neither durst they cross the head of Sidon
Ether 2:6 ...did build  barges, in which they did cross many waters


I think we may safely conclude that Joseph Smith envisioned Lehi and his family crossing the River Laman in barges or light watercraft constructed by his sons. Of course, this is something apologists have had to deal with in trying to justify the text of crossing a river that runs continually. The definition is a permanent condition and hardly represents a seasonal condition. River Laman was a permanent river of such size that it required crossing as any other river, including the ones Smith crossed during his own lifetime.
Last edited by Shulem on Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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River Laman in Arabia

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Church apologists have spent a great deal of time and enquiry in trying to make sense of Lehi’s trek and journey into the Arabian wilderness -- I grant that. They have spent far more time than I ever have. But do they not use mental gymnastics in looking for a valid place to rubber stamp Lemuel’s valley and Laman’s river in a desert land that has no rivers? The apologists are trying to marry Smith’s fantasy river into real life geography and that just doesn’t work. Wadis are not rivers but are based on seasonal rain events in a desert void of permanent rivers. To me, the idea of a river in Arabia in which they had to cross is as far fetched as Nephi building a temple when resources and manpower are limited within the scope of survival alone. It’s a waste of time trying to converse with apologists who desperately want to match a wadi with a river that flows continually. They accept that a valley is firm and steadfast, and immovable, but deny a river that runs continually for life. Apologists may never see reason and come to terms, but non-Mormons certainly will! And that’s what counts in my book.
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River Laman in Arabia

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Likewise, it’s interesting to note that we are not informed by what means the river Sidon was crossed during the several crossings mentioned throughout the book of Alma. We may rightly assume that rivers Laman & Sidon are likened as permanent rivers that flow continually and would require mechanical means to cross safely. We are informed that the current of Sidon was strong enough to carry the bodies of the dead downstream where the bones would be deposited or buried in the sea. I see no reason to think that River Laman had not the same kind of strength and consistency seeing Lehi besought his son to measure up to a high standard of personal all righteousness” -- hence a mighty river compared to mighty righteousness.

Lehi did not use a temporary stream or creek that turns into a mud puddle when the rains cease to compare with what he expected in his son’s righteousness. The River Laman was described as a fountain that emptied into the mouth of the Red Sea “continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!”

Amen.
Last edited by Shulem on Mon Sep 18, 2023 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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