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Lehi and His People Arrive in the Promised Land -by Arnold Friberg
In this painting (used often by me in many of my previous blog posts) by famous artist, Arnold Friberg who created many artistic depictions of scenes used for the famous Cecil B. DeMill movie, The Ten Commandments, we view Father Lehi, his wife Sariah along with son, Nephi to their right and his just younger brother, Jacob, along with others.
They had been guided by the Lord on a long oceanic voyage from the East coast of Arabia and then most likely along the same tidal currents used by ocean voyagers for centuries afterward such as the Portuguese and Spaniards, closer to our time on earth, by sailing, most likely, in a Northeasterly direction and then eventually being propelled forward by those same prevailing currents in a Southerly direction, thus reaching their Promised Land to which the Lord their God had guided them.
In the above scene depicted by Arnold Friberg, Father Lehi and other members of his family along with some members of another family whose father was a relative of Lehi's, are viewing their promised land to which the Lord God had just guided them: Just exactly where in the Americas was that land to which they had been guided?
Later on this is what Father Lehi told his family about their promised land to which they had been guided by the power of the Holy Ghost:
2 Nephi 1: 3 And he (father Lehi) also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained—how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem.
4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.
5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land (which I personally believe along with many other Latter-day Saints (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has been extended by Latter-day prophets to refer to all of the Americas) save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.
8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever. (between 588 and 570 B.C. emphasis and clarification added by Neil Birch)Now, just exactly where was this specific promised land located in the Americas to which Lehi was guided by the Lord God? Many of you who already are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which publishes the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, will say that Lehi and those with him arrived somewhere in the Americas in about 589 B.C.
But where exactly in the Americas did that ship built by Nephi with the guidance of the Lord God and through the labors of Nephi and his brothers, end up after their long oceanic voyage?
This has been at times perhaps a somewhat contentious question and many Latter-day Saints have offered their differing scholarly opinions as to exactly where Lehi and his family landed. Those opinions actually differ widely!
Through the much appreciated guidance of my oldest of nine children, Jane, I attended at her suggestion, along with her, a meeting several months ago on a Friday night where a father who is a professional, University trained geographer, who was assisted by one of his sons, led out in presenting on the subject of "Where in the Americas did the Nephites Settle." This occurred at a meeting held at a "Mexican-Mormon Museum" located not far from the Provo (Utah) Temple of their and my and my daughter, Jane's church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The professional geographer father provided the main, very interesting and in my view, a very beneficial presentation.
I have read a number of articles written by various other scholarly members of our church, in which their individual opinions of the actual landing sites of Lehi's ship have been expressed. I was impressed with some of their lines of reasoning, but was not compelled to fully accept any one of their opinions on the subject.
As you may have guessed by now I have become convinced that although this is still a disputed subject among some members of the Lord's restored church, the evidence is quite overwhelming, in my personal opinion now, as to where Lehi, his family, and some relatives and at least one unrelated friend landed in the Americas. I'm now convinced it was actually located in the Southern end of what is now Baja-California, which is part of the present-day nation of Mexico, thanks to the much convincing information gathered by the above mentioned geographer.
Although having viewed their videos a number of times, after attending that meeting I became even more impressed with the great work done by the father, (the professional geographer) and his son along with others who worked with them.
I soon will invite each of you to involve yourselves in viewing an electronic presentation produced by them by which you will have the opportunity of trying to decide for yourselves, whether or not I, J. Neil Birch am wise in supporting that which is presented in this presentation which makes up the bulk of this post.
Now before inviting you to view that electronic presentation, I ask a very pertinent (but out of necessity, a very long) question:
Inasmuch as some individuals in this world of ours feel that the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, was merely made up by Joseph Smith (and they most likely would list others who worked closely with him, supposedly, in their opinions, writing it all on their own or borrowing some of it from some unknown author or authors), would it not be a helpful additional proof of that book's solid truthfulness, (along side the spiritual witness that is promised each of us within the pages of that sacred book) if the Prophets Mormon and Moroni's alleged facts stated within the Book of Mormon have been substantiated as actual geographical truths, such as the electronic presentation you will soon experience at the end of this post, in my humble opinion, clearly does?After viewing the videos presented below you will have to ask yourselves the question, how did Joseph Smith get all of that geography so accurately placed unless, as he told us, it was revealed to him by the God of Heaven as he translated that which was inscribed on plates of Gold by the Prophet Mormon along with other prophets who lived in the Ancient Americas.
I believe that with all of that precise geography being right on target (as I very firmly believe), we have solid evidence that the Book of Mormon was not made up by Joseph Smith or anyone else.
You are hereby invited to make comments regarding your stand on what you have learned in this blog post, in the Comments section which you will find at the very end of this blog post. There is quite a bit of information for you to consider but I feel you will find that it has been provided in a very interesting and informative manner.
Please remember that there are given limits set by Google as to how long your Comments can be. I will look forward to reading what some of you may write. Be sure to not overlook each of the sections of this following electronic link to which I will guide you. The videos will take some time to view and listen to, but they are very much worth the time it will take.
After attending the meeting this earlier this year on that Friday night in Provo, Utah I was very impressed with how the geographer father I mentioned above who presented appears to be very qualified in dealing with this very interesting and challenging subject because of his geographical skills.
There was no contention present during that meeting. I was very impressed with all those with whom I spoke as to both of their honest characters and perhaps more especially with the father who is such an accomplished professional. After having read his conclusions regarding the actual whereabouts of the Book of Mormon lands, as I read the Book of Mormon now I have a mental map of those lands which makes a lot of sense and even helps me to more fully enjoy reading that Book of Books!
Please don't overlook any of the sections of that which is provided below (Under the title of: "A Choice Land" (the videos will take quite a bit of time to view fully but they are very worth the time it will take you.). You will be guided by the authors of this presentation you will be viewing as to the order in which you may view each of the sections of their presentation. You most likely will first choose to view their geography photos of portions of Baja California. Please do not overlook the videos. I found them very informative. However, it will take quite a bit of time to watch all of those videos, but you can come back later to view those you didn't have time for at first.
A Choice Land!
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