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Narrow Neck Of Land


Cold Steel

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Are there any thoughts on the Isthmus of Rivas on the Pacific side of Nicaragua being the â??narrow neck of landâ? mentioned in the Book of Mormon? James Warr has a website laying out his reasons for believing this to be the case and his site lists problem areas for all of the other theories now being proffered.

Addressing the popular Isthmus of Tehuantepec theory, he points out that this isnâ??t really a very narrow neck of land â?? in fact, itâ??s wider than the state of Florida and takes a week or more to cross, not the day-and-a-half that it would take a Nephite.

â??How does the Isthmus of Rivas match the criteria outlined above for the Narrow Neck of land?â? Warr asks. â??It is oriented in a northwest-southeast direction, bordered on the west by the Pacific (west sea), and on the east by Lake Nicaragua (east sea). Lake Nicaragua divides Pacific Nicaragua from the eastern highlands, hence â??the place where the sea divides the landâ?? (Ether 10:20.) The narrow plains near Penas Blancas at the Nicaraguan/Costa Rican border, where the coastal mountains wedge in almost to the lake, could be the feature called the â??narrow pass.â?? The isthmus is narrow enough to be easily cross by foot in a day. ... I will be so bold as to say that [Rivas is the] only isthmus in the entire western hemisphere which meets all the criteria.â?

narrow.jpg

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Are there any thoughts on the Isthmus of Rivas on the Pacific side of Nicaragua being the â??narrow neck of landâ? mentioned in the Book of Mormon? James Warr has a website laying out his reasons for believing this to be the case and his site lists problem areas for all of the other theories now being proffered.

Addressing the popular Isthmus of Tehuantepec theory, he points out that this isnâ??t really a very narrow neck of land â?? in fact, itâ??s wider than the state of Florida and takes a week or more to cross, not the day-and-a-half that it would take a Nephite.

â??How does the Isthmus of Rivas match the criteria outlined above for the Narrow Neck of land?â? Warr asks. â??It is oriented in a northwest-southeast direction, bordered on the west by the Pacific (west sea), and on the east by Lake Nicaragua (east sea). Lake Nicaragua divides Pacific Nicaragua from the eastern highlands, hence â??the place where the sea divides the landâ?? (Ether 10:20.) The narrow plains near Penas Blancas at the Nicaraguan/Costa Rican border, where the coastal mountains wedge in almost to the lake, could be the feature called the â??narrow pass.â?? The isthmus is narrow enough to be easily cross by foot in a day. ... I will be so bold as to say that [Rivas is the] only isthmus in the entire western hemisphere which meets all the criteria.â?

It is certainly interesting, but I wonder why we always assume the "narrow neck" must be an isthmus. Why not a peninsula of some sort?

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A peninsula just wouldn't make it according to the descriptions. Also, please watch quoting large graphics and text when it really isn't necessary. Just respond.

Another good point is that the Isthmus of Tehuantepec would be an awfully big stretch of land to be so infested with snakes as to block off passage from the north to the south. The Ithmus of Rivas, on the other hand, could be. Plus it's got a giant freshwater lake (sea east) one one side.

On the negative side, I don't see any candidates for Cumorah just north of Rivas, but then, most of it is covered with clouds on my imagery.

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A peninsula just wouldn't make it according to the descriptions. Also, please watch quoting large graphics and text when it really isn't necessary. Just respond.

Another good point is that the Isthmus of Tehuantepec would be an awfully big stretch of land to be so infested with snakes as to block off passage from the north to the south. The Ithmus of Rivas, on the other hand, could be. Plus it's got a giant freshwater lake (sea east) one one side.

On the negative side, I don't see any candidates for Cumorah just north of Rivas, but then, most of it is covered with clouds on my imagery.

Okey Dokey. Fixed the giant graphic, and tonight I'll read up on the narrow neck of land in my BoM.

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Have you ever read Sorenson's seminal work An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon?

The Isthmus of Rivas has numerous problems that cause it to be rejected as a candidate for the land of the Book of Mormon, not the least being its failure to provide the right kind of civilizations at the right time, and several other geographic prerequisites.

I believe Sorenson covers all the bases in his classic work on the subject. The standard objection is the apparent directional contradictions. But Sorenson provides what, in my estimation, is an extremely persuasive set of arguments to explain what, on the surface, would present a problem for his theory. See pp. 38-42 for his reasoning.

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Are there any thoughts on the Isthmus of Rivas on the Pacific side of Nicaragua

being the â??narrow neck of landâ? mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

Could well be -- can a Nephite walk across it, from sea to sea, in a day and a half?

UD

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Except one. Joseph Smith knew perfectly well the difference between a lake and a sea. He lived right next to a lake and the 1828 Webster used that lake as an example to show the difference between a lake and an ocean.

SEA, n. see. [This word, like lake, signifies primarily a seat, set or lay, a repository, a bason.]

2. A large body of water, nearly inclosed by land, as the Baltic or the Mediterranean; as the sea of Azof. Seas are properly branches of the ocean, and upon the same level. Large bodies of water inland, and situated above the level of the ocean, are lakes. The appellation of sea, given to the Caspian lake, is an exception, and not very correct. So the lake of Galilee is called a sea, from the Greek.

LAKE, n. [L. lacus. A lake is a stand of water, from the root of lay. Hence L. lagena, Eng. flagon.]

1. A large and extensive collection of water contained in a cavity or hollow of the earth. It differs from a pond in size, the latter being a collection of small extent; but sometimes a collection of water is called a pond or a lake indifferently. North America contains some of the largest lakes on the globe, particularly the lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior.

I am sure Mormon did too. Whether Mormon did or not , however, is not material. Joseph Smith translated the plates into the English language for our edification and by the gift of God. If you do not trust God to insure a correct translation to an English vocabulary that we, who are commanded to read it, understand , then why bother about where it might have taken place.

There is also the problem of the day and a half journey as a criticism of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. In Helaman 4:7 we read:

7 And there they did fortify against the Lamanites, from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a dayâ??s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country

Here we have a second description of a Nephite journey. In both cases the terminology is the same. The journey is on a border between two lands and is described as from the west sea even unto the east. Here there is a more clear indication that the journey ends in the east and not at an east sea. In addition, the journey is shorter, indicating a shorter border than the one in Alma. in both of these descriptions the border is what is being described and not the narrow neck.

Without an indication of the width of the narrow neck, there is no need to propose that the translation was somehow in error.

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Its definitely a candidate.

I personally believe that the geography of Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Yucatan Peninsual make a very strong candidate for BOM lands. They believed they were nearly surrounded by water to the Norht, East, South, and West. Without the benifit of an aerial view I can easily see why someone in the Meso-America would think that.

Here is a thread that may be of interest to you:

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showto...p;p=entry

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â??â?¦ we donâ??t know how long the â??dayâ??s travelâ?? might have been. References given earlier illustrate how wide a range of distances might be meant by this term. Interpretations of the expression could also vary. Possibly â??the distance of a day and a halfâ??s journeyâ?? was a standard length. The Nephites may have understood that a â??day and a halfâ??s journeyâ?? meant so many miles. In parallel fashion the Spanish legua (league) meant the distance a loaded mule could travel on the average in an estimated hour; the term said nothing about any particular mule or route or number of hours of consecutive travel. Or the phrase â??a Nephiteâ?? might imply that a special messenger was the one doing the traveling, for the statement occurs in the context of military defense. And what means of transportation might have been employed? If we assume foot travel â?? probably the normal mode â?? we can work toward an estimate of the width of the isthmus. As we have already calculated, the rate for â??a Nephite,â?? a single individual, could potentially be up to six miles an hour for as long as 24 hours within the â??day and a half.â?? That would amount to 144 miles. If some mode of travel other than on foot were used, the 144 figure might be increased.â?

John L Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 17

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Yes, but would the Isthmus be able to be seen as a "narrow neck of land"? From the space shuttle, perhaps. Otherwise it doesn't appear to be so narrow.

I'll buy Sorenson's book and hope he also covers the snake question.

Looking at a map, one could certainly see where the Nephites might have thought they were surrounded by seas. Also, the Yucat

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Yes, but would the Isthmus be able to be seen as a "narrow neck of land"? From the space shuttle, perhaps. Otherwise it doesn't appear to be so narrow.

I'll buy Sorenson's book and hope he also covers the snake question.

Looking at a map, one could certainly see where the Nephites might have thought they were surrounded by seas. Also, the Yucat

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Okey Dokey. Fixed the giant graphic, and tonight I'll read up on the narrow neck of land in my BoM.

Thanks!

The Isthmus of Rivas has numerous problems that cause it to be rejected as a candidate for the land of the Book of Mormon, not the least being its failure to provide the right kind of civilizations at the right time, and several other geographic prerequisites.

Yes, but has any attempt been made to identify Ripliancum (large or to exceed all)? There's a large lake near Cerro Bernal and there's the huge Nicaragua Lake, which would qualify if the Isthmus of Rivas was the narrow neck. It's the largest body of water in the region, in fact.

coast.jpg

LNic-1.jpg

Lake Nicaragua = Ripliancum??

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Thanks!

Yes, but has any attempt been made to identify Ripliancum (large or to exceed all)? There's a large lake near Cerro Bernal and there's the huge Nicaragua Lake, which would qualify if the Isthmus of Rivas was the narrow neck. It's the largest body of water in the region, in fact.

Ripliancum is a Jaredite sea or ocean mentioned in the Book of Ether. It is described as being located "east" of the Jaredite lands with its seashore "east" of the Hill Ramah. Moroni tells us that Ramah is the same hill where the Nephites fought their last battle. In other words the Hill Cumorah. The Hill Cumorah is described as north of the Land of Desolation and north of the narrow neck. These criteria suggest that Ripliancum is either the Atlantic ocean or a large body of water connected to the Atlantic ocean with a north-south oriented seashore. One possibility is the Gulf of Mexico near Tampico. Unfortunately, this information fits many north-south seashore locations along the Atlantic seaboard. Identifying it depends on identifying the center of the Nephite lands. I agree with Sorenson that this is located somewhere on the Grijalva River in the Grijalva depression in Chiapas, Mexico. This leaves the Gulf of Mexico as the obvious fit to the description. Unless you want to go further north to the Atlantic seaboard of the US.

Larry P

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Unfortunately, I find that Sorenson is great at stretching and reinterpreting things to make them fit his proposal, then dumping on all the others for a few things here and there.

Like:

"a day and a half": the distance a Nephite can ride on a chariot being pulled by a team of twenty-four tapirs along flat prairie land while being chased by a band of Lamanites"

or

the distance a Nephite can float along a rapid river (12 mph) in (6,000 years + 3,000 years=) 9,000 years (God's time, eh). (Hey, that could be Brazil many times over!)

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I'm reading Sorenson's book now and am finding it great reading. The one thing that jumps out from the maps in the book is that the entire Yucatan is a blank slate. As far as the BoM is concerned (if he's right), it's as if the Yucatan simply doesn't exist. Perhaps he will cover this later.

Thanks for Clark's link! And to others, for their comments.

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I'm reading Sorenson's book now and am finding it great reading. The one thing that jumps out from the maps in the book is that the entire Yucatan is a blank slate. As far as the BoM is concerned (if he's right), it's as if the Yucatan simply doesn't exist. Perhaps he will cover this later.

Thanks for Sorneson's link!

Sorenson is an Emeritas Professor at BYU. He must be at least 80 years old, so I doubt if he will be covering anything that he has not already covered.

However, I agree with him that the Yucatan played little if any importance in the geography of the BoM. Several times I have tried to fit it into a logical interpretation of the textual references and never succeeded.

Larry P

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Hello Larry,

Perhaps you could indulge my feeble geographical knowledge of the BOM and poor sleuthing abilities for a minute, I would appreciate it.

It's theorized now that Nephi's boat set sail somewhere off the coast of Oman. I have an old globe that I checked as I read about Nephi's journey down the Arabian coast, this old globe show the oceans' currents. There is a warm water current that starts in the Arabian Sea near the Northern tip of Somalia that juts into the Gulf of Arden. This warm water current flows Southeast around southern Australia and is somewhat abrupted at New Zealand before picking back up again. This always made me think of the references to the isles of the seas in the bom. This current picks back up directly off New Zealand and continues until it hits land inbetween La Palma and the City of Panama right about where the Archipelago de las Perlas islands are.

9 degrees North

79.16 degrees W

according to the little pointer on google earth.

There is a narrow neck of the land there, I'm not sure how the orientation would correspond. It looks about a day's journey to cross.

There are three large bodies of water just NorthEast of the cooridinates I gave you.

Could be waters of Mormon or seas?

I don't know, the whole area around the Panama Canal Zone has interesting geographical features.

I have no idea about the civilizations during the bom time table around that area.

The best I could say is the Mochica were somewhere around there around 500 ad, i think. I am not sure on that at all. Just off the top of my head.

I have not really checked into this little pet theory as much as I should but that is bc I didnt think it would be tenable, as you will probably tell me now.

Thanks Larry

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Sorenson is an Emeritas Professor at BYU. He must be at least 80 years old, so I doubt if he will be covering anything that he has not already covered.

Sorenson is actively working on another book. It doesn't change his picture of geography. It adds information from archaeology and ethnohistory. Think of it as an expansion of the stuff in An Ancient American Setting after the discussion of geography is over.

However, I agree with him that the Yucatan played little if any importance in the geography of the BoM. Several times I have tried to fit it into a logical interpretation of the textual references and never succeeded.

The Yucatan didn't play much part in anything during Book of Mormon times. However, the Usumacinta basin did. There were a number of important players who were either south or east in Sorenson's correlation, and northeast in Larry's. They were certainly influential during the later half of the Book of Mormon time period, but they seem to have minimal penetration into the Grijalva valley - which was important early but faded.

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Hello Larry,

Perhaps you could indulge my feeble geographical knowledge of the BOM and poor sleuthing abilities for a minute, I would appreciate it.

according to the little pointer on google earth.

There is a narrow neck of the land there, I'm not sure how the orientation would correspond. It looks about a day's journey to cross.

There are three large bodies of water just NorthEast of the cooridinates I gave you.

Could be waters of Mormon or seas?

I don't know, the whole area around the Panama Canal Zone has interesting geographical features.

I have no idea about the civilizations during the bom time table around that area.

The best I could say is the Mochica were somewhere around there around 500 ad, i think. I am not sure on that at all. Just off the top of my head.

I have not really checked into this little pet theory as much as I should but that is bc I didnt think it would be tenable, as you will probably tell me now.

Thanks Larry

Warship

I would not rule it out completely. Patrick Simiskey has written a book based on placing the BoM culture in this area. We have corresponded briefly about his choice versus the mesoamerican model. He is even funding some archeological investigations in the area. Although this area can be somewhat forced to fit the BoM descriptions, I find the Mesoamerican model more compelling. One of the problems with his choice is where to put the Jaredites. There is no location within a reasonable distance of the narrow neck to the north. The curvature of the land places everything to the south of the narrow neck with the pacific ocean to the east.

John Clark's review of this and other proposals can be found at

http://www.farmsresearch.com/display.php?t...view&id=545

Larry P

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Thank Larry,

That's very interesting. Maybe if its not too much trouble you could post us when his research is published since you seem to be appraised of the situation.

Thanks again

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John Warr's submission for Cumorah is Cerro San Gil. "The mountain is large enough to have concealed the survivors of the last battle on its upper slopes, and from prominent ridges and the summit itself, one can overlook the surrounding area and the valleys and foothills below. The mountain is composed (at least in part) of limestone which would favor the presence of caves and caverns, and in fact a number of these have been discovered."

NasaIzabal1.jpg

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Thank Larry,

That's very interesting. Maybe if its not too much trouble you could post us when his research is published since you seem to be appraised of the situation.

Thanks again

He has self published it and charges $20.00 for it. Unfortunately, I lost all my contact information including his Email when my laptop hard drive went bonkers. He is working on a contract in Hong Kong (I think) but hopefully he will contact me when he gets back to Texas where lives.

Larry P

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I see your also from Texas. I have friends who live in Austin..I love that city. The Greenbelt is soo nice. It is so much better than grungy old Houston. I hope one day to move to the outskirts of Austin in one of the little towns like Giddings or something. Some place quiet but about a half hour drive away from Austin so I can still utilize the city's resources as needed. In Houston you have to drive an hour just to leave the city limits and there are no nice small towns in the surrounding areas. If your ever in Houston feel free drop a line.

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