Dec 8, 2017

Significant Insights

During my studies of Book of Mormon geography I have had a number of significant insights which have help me develop my theory of the book's geography. The following are a summary of these insights. Some are still tentative, but most are solid. I have not listed the related references, but if any of you has a specific request, please email me and I will send them to you.

Regarding the Jaredites:

The Jaredites traveled eastward through Asia until arriving at the coast of the Pacific. Their intermitant travel lasted for over 100 years.

The main Jaredite settlement in the New World was Moron which I feel was near the Bay of Fonseca.

Over the years, various groups of dissident Jaredites separated from the original group forming separate ethnic groups.

About 900 BC the Narrow Neck of Land was blocked by an infestation of poisonous snakes. After about 400 years King Lib finally destroyed the snake infestation, and the land southward was opened, but not for settlement.  It was reserved for hunting. As a result, no Jaredite cities were built south of the narrow neck.

King Lib built a great city at the place where the “sea divides the land.” This feature is located between Zapatera Island and the mainland on Lake Nicaragua.

The Jaredite destruction occurred about 200 BC; later than is generally supposed.

Jaredite-Nephite geography is connected at four locations, The Narrow Neck of Land, the Hill and Land of Cumorah, the Land of Desolation, and the city of Moron.

The Jaredites built pyramids, or ziggurats, in the Sumerian style.

Regarding the Nephites:

Learning that the ship that the Lord designed for Nephi was a catamaran. This design was copied by Hagoth and it was passed on to the Polynesians.

Identifying the Istmus of Rivas in Nicaragua as the Narrow Neck of Land.

Identifying the site of Barriles in western Panama as the former city of Nephi.

Identifying Las Lagunas in western Panama as the Waters of Mormon.

Realizing that the Nephites primarily built with wood, while the Jaredites built their ceremonial centers with stone.

Realizing that the unique Costa Rican stone balls were Lamanite imitations of the Liahona, a sort of totem.

Realizing that finding placer gold deposits on the coast, where the Nephites landed, is unique to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Nome, Alaska.

Learning of the Pacific Counter Current as the means that the Nephites used to come eastward to the Americas. This current flows directly to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Discovering that the Judgements seats used by the Nephite judges were stylized metates which were buried with their owners upon death. These artifacts are unique to Costa Rica.

Realizing that the so called Mulekites had been subservient to the remnant Jaredites in the land northward, had adopted their language, had lost their original Hebrew, and had adopted their culture. This culture included weights and measures, religion, a preference for monarchy, and a high regard for gem quality jade.

Learning that the jade traditon was preiminent among the Nephites while the Lamanites preferred gold. In Costa Rica the jade preference is manifest until about 500 AD when it shifts to gold following the elimination of the Nephite culture.

Realizing that the majority of the lower judges among the Nephite/Mulekite group were Mulekites.

Realizing that the Mulekites were of Judah and that the Brass Plates specified that the right to rule pertained to Judah (at least in the Old World). This resulted in considerable conflict.

Becoming aware of the Mulekite Connection and the influence that the majority population of the Jaredite tainted Mulekites had upon the Nephite culture.

Realizing that Christopher Columbus was the fulfillment of Nephi's prophecy and that he only made land fall in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuela. Therefore the fullfilment of the prophecy would have to be among the peoples of one of those countries.

The notion is prevalent that the Spaniards destroyed most of the Indian records containing their histories. While they did burn many of these records, the Indians mainly relied on oral traditions and used the written records as mnenomic devices to remind them of the stories and events. Thus even though the physical records may have been destroyed, they all lived on in the minds of the trained scribes, at least for one generation. Many of these histories were later recorded but in general are discounted by the scholars.

The Nephites did not have an areal concept of geography. They saw everything from ground level. Mountains were separating lines, and valleys and river basins were seen as lands, great and small.

The Book of Mormon uses “up or down” to describe the travel or the relation of one place to another. This is very evident in mountainous places such as Costa Rica.

Captain Moroni fortified the Nephite cities with mounds of earth topped by a palisade of timbers. This was surrounded on the outside by a deep trench or dry moat. The remnants of each of these cities should be easily identified using infrared aereal photography.

The directions given in the Book of Mormon should be precise and related to our modern concept of direction, as do the Old and New Testaments. They were not changed by Indian tradition, or if they had been would have been translated to our understanding during Joseph Smith's translation process.

The Brass Plates were written in the revised or reformed Egyptian language. Nephi and Lehi had learned this shorthand language, could read and write it, and it became the pattern for all their subsequent recording.

The Nephites had other writings which were not on metal plates. Many, if not all, Nephites were literate and had copies of some or all of the scriptures. These were written on some kind of perishable material and were probably in the Reformed Egyptian. This means that the children were probably taught and instructed.

The Nephite climate was mild and temperate. They likely were able to grow two or more crops each year.