Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, March 3

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?”

grego
(c)2010

So, what are the references to multiple cardinal points/ directions in the Book of Mormon, and is there any pattern in their mention?
(I have numbered the following to match up the summaries at the end.)

1. 2 Nephi 29:11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

2. Mosiah 27:6 And there began to be much peace again in the land; and the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land.

3. Alma 22:27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.

4. Alma 22:29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.

5. Alma 22:32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.

6. Alma 22:33 And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.

7. Alma 43:53 Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror.

8. Alma 46:17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty.

9. Alma 50:8 And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.

10. Alma 50:11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by the head of the river Sidon—the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.

11. Alma 50:34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east.

12. Helaman 1:31 And now, behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way, neither on the north, nor on the south, nor on the east, nor on the west, for they were surrounded on every hand by the Nephites.

13. Helaman 3:8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.

14. Helaman 4:7 And there they did fortify against the Lamanites, from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day’s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country.

15. Helaman 6:9 And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north.

16. Helaman 6:10 Now the land south was called Lehi, and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south.

17. Helaman 6:12 They did raise grain in abundance, both in the north and in the south; and they did flourish exceedingly, both in the north and in the south. And they did multiply and wax exceedingly strong in the land. And they did raise many flocks and herds, yea, many fatlings.

18. 3 Nephi 1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.

19. 3 Nephi 4:1 And it came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year those armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of all the lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and the cities which had been left desolate.

20. 3 Nephi 6:2 And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward.

21. 3 Nephi 20:13 And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

Here’s a summary of the directions:
1. the east… west… north… south
2. on the north… south… east… west.
3. on the east… west… from the sea east… sea west (… north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west.)
4. (on the east by the seashore… all the northern parts…) from the east… west (…; … on the north…)
5. from the east to the west sea; … between the land northward… southward.
6. from the east unto… west sea; (… on the south… no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.)
(7. on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west…)
8. all the land which was south… both on the north and on the south…
9. from the east sea to the west.
10. the east wilderness… west… from the west sea
11. on the west… east.
12. neither on the north… south… east… west
13. (from the land southward to the land northward)… (from the sea south to the sea north), from the sea west to the sea east.
14. from the west sea… east
15. both in the land south… land north.
16. the land south… the land north; …land north… land south
17. both in the north… south; both in the north… south
18. from the west… east, both in the land north… south
19. both which were in the land south… land north
20. both on the north… south, both on the land northward… southward
21. from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north

Well, it looks like the opposite directions are usually grouped (east/ west; north/ south). East/ west both come first in examples, and north/ south both come first in examples. This is not clearly “north/ south/ east/ west”.

-=
In contrast, take a look at the cardinal points in the Doctrine and Covenants:

1. Doctrine and Covenants 42:63 And behold, it shall come to pass that my servants shall be sent forth to the east and to the west, to the north and to the south.

2. Doctrine and Covenants 44:1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way.

3. Doctrine and Covenants 75:26 And let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world, whether to the east or to the west, or to the north, or to the south.

4. Doctrine and Covenants 80:3 Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.

5. Doctrine and Covenants 125:4 And let all those who come from the east, and the west, and the north, and the south, that have desires to dwell therein, take up their inheritance in the same, as well as in the city of Nashville, or in the city of Nauvoo, and in all the stakes which I have appointed, saith the Lord.

(6. Doctrine and Covenants 43:22 Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come?)

1. to the east… west… north… south
2. from the east… west… north… south
3. to the east… west… north… south
4. north or to the south… east… west
5. from the east…west… north… south
(6. east unto the west)

Most are “east/ west/ north/ south”.

-=
Let’s take a look at the New Testament:

1. Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

(2. Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.)

3. Luke 13:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

4. Revelation 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

1. from the east and west
(2. east… unto the west)
3. from the east… west… north… south
4. On the east… north… south… west.

Ok, east/ west, north/ south, and for variety (?!), east/ north/ south/ west.

-=
Was there an established way of saying the directions it in the 1820’s? Whatever it might have been (if so), the Book of Mormon doesn’t follow it all the time, nor does it match the Doctrine and Covenants, nor the New Testament.

%d bloggers like this: