Mar 13, 2011

All Manner of Gold

My brother recently visited me in Costa Rica where I am currently living. After visiting many of the sites I have suggested as Book of Mormon cities, lands and landmarks, he agreed with my theory. In addition he suggested one more argument for the theory's validiy that I had not considered.
When Lehi and his group reached the Promised Land, Nephi gives an abreviated statement about their arrival and what they found. After setting up their tent encampment, they tilled the ground and planted the seed they had brought with them. When their crops were established they went out and explored their immediate surroundings as any group of immigrants would do. What did they find? We read the account in 1 Nephi 18:25.

And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.

An interesting thing to consider is why normally domestic animals would be roaming wild in the wilderness. I belive the answer is to be found in the account of the Jaredites. During the reign of wicked king Heth a severe drought occurred as a result of the wickedness of the people. A migrating plague of poisonous snakes caused the Jaredite's domestic animals to flee southward toward the land of Zarahemla. When the snakes reached the narrow neck of land they settled there and effectively blocked the way to the land southward. The starving Jaredites could not follow (Ehter 9:30-34). When this infestation of serpents was finally destroyed four generations later, the Jaredite royalty reserved the land southward as a hunting preserve because there was so much wild game. So it was that when the Lehites arrived there were still “wild” domestic animals roaming the wilderness.

But I digress. Back to my beginning point. Nephi mentions that they found “all manner” of gold, silver and copper in the immediate area of their original landing. To my mind that suggests an abundance. Where in the American continent are there mineral deposits near the coast which would fulfill this criteria? My brother, who is an adept gold miner, pointed out that the Osa Penisula, on the border of Costa Rica and Panama, fits this description perfectly, at least as far as the gold is concerned.

The Osa Peninsula is a rich gold source and has been mined for centuries (and possibly millenia). The gold occurred in rich placer deposits which could have been easily mined with primitive equipment It could still be mined profitably today but the Costa Rican government, and the environmental movement, have effectively stopped significant mining there. An informative report on the mineral deposts of the Osa was written by Jevan Berrenge entiltled Gold from the Golfo Dulce Place Province, Southern Costa Rica, and appeared in the Revista Geologica America Central in 1992.

The only other gold deposit located on, or near, the seashore in north America would be Nome, Alaska (and possibly the Azuero Peninsula in Panama). This was another rich deposit, but is entirely out of the question for Book of Mormon geography. So thanks to my brother, I can ad another positive correlation to my theory of Book of Mormon geography.   

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