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Ether 14


A Confirming Covenant Witness

      Mormon 8 -- Moroni




Ether 14:2 Wives:


     [See the commentary on Ether 10:5]


Ether 14:3 Wilderness of Akish:


     According to Bruce Warren, the name "Akish" (Ether 14:3) might have some parallels in Mesoamerican lore. The name "Akish" is very similar to the Quiche Maya name of Kaqix

 or Caquix (pronounced "kaw-kish"). This Mesoamerican name refers to the macaw parrot. The Tuxtla Mountains of southern Veracruz were referred to by the Aztecs as Toztlan, which means the place of the Macaw parrots. The Aztec place name glyph also depicts a macaw parrot for these mountains (Covarrubias 1947, 26, n. 4). With this in mind, it is interesting that one of the major proposed geographical sites for the last battles of the Jaredites is the Tuxtla mountains of southern Veracruz. [Bruce W. Warren, Blaine M. Yorgason, Harold Brown, New Evidences of Christ in Mesoamerica, Unpublished Manuscript] [See the commentary on Ether 8:2]


Ether 14:4 The Wilderness of Akish:


     Apparently "the wilderness of Akish" (Ether 14:4) was big enough that two armies could battle inside it such that "thousands fell by the sword," yet small enough that "Coriantumr did lay siege to the wilderness" (Ether 14:5).


Ether 14:6 [The Brother of Shared] Came Forth to the Land of Moron and Placed Himself upon the Throne of Coriantumr:


     If Coriantumr's throne was in "the [local?] land of Moron" (Ether 14:6), then can we infer that after almost 1500 years the Jaredites are still living in or near the land of Moron. If the land of Moron "was near the land which is called Desolation by the Nephites" (Ether 7:6), and if the land Desolation was "by the narrow pass which led into the land southward" (Mormon 3:5), and if the land Desolation was immediately "northward" of the land "Bountiful" in the land southward (Alma 22:31); then one might have trouble in finding textual justification for the proposition that the hill Ramah (Cumorah) might be located in New York. One might ask, if Mesoamerica is where we find remnants of ancient civilizations comparable to that of the Jaredites (and the Nephites), why would the Jaredite nation move in mass so far to the north to fight the final battles of annihilation? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Ether 14:11 Coriantumr Came up unto the Land of Moron:


     Coriantumr "came up unto the land of Moron" (Ether 14:11) to fight Lib from the wilderness of Akish where he had been for two years (Ether 14:7). Thus, if we correlate their term "up" with elevation, we can propose that the wilderness of Akish might have been located in terrain that was lower in elevation than that of the (local?) land of Moron. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Geographical Theory Map: Ether 14:13 - 14:20 Total Civil War (Chronology)


Ether 14:13 Lib Gave Battle unto [Coriantumr] upon the Seashore:


     In Ether 14:13 it says that "Lib gave battle unto [Coriantumr] upon the seashore." There is another reference to the "borders of the seashore" when Omer "came" to Ablom (Ether 9:3). Here no mention is made of Ablom. In addition the word "fled" is used instead of "came". This is not exactly a disparity; a different spot on the seashore distant from Moroni's location could be implied. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Ether 14:17 [Shiz] Did Overthrow Many Cities:


     In his flight from the plains of Agosh Shiz "did overthrow many cities" (Ether 14:17), implying that there was quite a population within a reasonable distance.


Ether 14:17 He [Shiz] Did Overthrow Many Cities:


     According to David Palmer, of particular consequence to the question of locating Ramah/Cumorah is this question: "Were the last battles of the Nephites and Jaredites located within their normal sphere of influence, or were they carried out far removed from their cultural centers?" . . . A very key factor in understanding these Jaredite battles is the presence of an established populace in the areas where these battles occurred. In describing Coriantumr's flight from Shiz, who had battled with him at the plains of Agosh, Moroni (or Ether) said:

           And it came to pass that Shiz pursued after Coriantumr, and he did overthrow many cities, and he did slay both women and children, and he did burn the cities . . . And it came to pass that the people began to flock together in armies, throughout all the face of the land. (Ether 14:17-19, italics added)


     From this data we can establish as a requirement that Ramah/Cumorah must be near ruined cities dating from approximately 600-[300] B.C. [David A. Palmer, In Search of Cumorah, pp. 60-61]

     The Book of Mormon student might note that the plains of Agosh would have been close to "many cities."


     According to Warren and Palmer, in addition to the many ruins of ancient date located in southern Veracruz and already reported on maps, many more were identified during a personal trip to the area. These include Cerro Cintepec, Hatzuntlan, Hueapan, Laguna Ostion, Los Mangos, Michapan, Minzapan, Oluta, Ojapa, Sayula, Soconusco, Stoteapan, and Textictepec. Very large ruins are also found on the Gulf Coast side of the Cerro Vigia where there are about seventy unexcavated mounds called Tatocapan. [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, p. 7-6, unpublished]


Ether 14:17 Many cities (Illustration): Fig. 1. Map of the Olmec heartland] [Charles R. Wicke, Olmec, p. XIV]


Ether 14:24-25 [Shiz] Had Sworn to Avenge . . . the Word of the Lord . . . and Thus We See That:


     We are told that, Shiz did not cease to pursue Coriantumr; for he had sworn to avenge himself upon Coriantumr of the blood of his brother, who had been slain, and [to avenge himself] of the word of the Lord which came to Ether that Coriantumr should not fall by the sword.

           And thus we see that the Lord did visit them in the fulness of his wrath, and their wickedness and abominations had prepared a way for their everlasting destruction. (Ether 14:24-25)


     The Book of Mormon is a composite work, compiled from several archaic records that were abridged ultimately by Mormon or his son Moroni. . . According to the analytical work of Roger Keller, Mormon and Moroni each display their own unique and distinctive editorial styles. One significant difference is found in the use of the well-known but characteristic expression "and thus we see that . . ." Mormon used it over twenty times to insert moral conclusions in the sections he wrote or abridged (i.e., Alma 12:21; 24:19; 28:13; 30:60; 46:8; 50:19; Helaman 3:28; 6:34-36; 12:3). Moroni used the phrase only once (in Ether 14:25). [Roger P. Keller, "Mormon and Moroni As Authors And Abridgers," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, pp. 269-271]


Geographical Theory Map: Ether 14:26 - 14:31 Coriantumr Battles Shiz (Chronology)


Ether 14:26 Shiz Did Pursue Coriantumr Eastward, Even to the Borders of the Seashore:


     Shiz pursued Coriantumr "eastward, even to the borders of the seashore" (Ether 14:26). Thus we might reason that the "plains of Agosh" and "many cities" were not far from an eastern "seashore." We are told that at this location (the borders of the seashore) Coriantumr "gave battle unto Shiz for the space of three days" and so terrible was the destruction on the armies of Shiz that they,

           fled to the land of Corihor, and swept off the inhabitants before them, and they pitched their tents in the valley of Corihor, and Coriantumr pitched his tents in the valley of Shurr. Now the valley of Shurr was near the hill Comnor; wherefore Coriantumr did gather his armies together upon the hill Comnor.


     From this description we might conclude that from the borders of an eastern seashore, the land of Corihor was just one step in the battle progression. Even if the land of Corihor was directly inland, it was still just a reasonably short distance from the seashore. On the other hand, the battles could have progressed along the borders of the seashore.


     According to Warren and Palmer, during the last battles, the mention of a seashore is tied to the eastern seacoast. The lowland area of the Jaredites thus appears to be near the eastern sea, rather than the western sea. Other locations mentioned at that time are the valley of Gilgal, the plains of Heshlon, the wilderness of Akish, the waters of Ripliancum, the hill Comnor, the valley Shurr, the valley of Corihor, the plains of Agosh, and the place called Ogath. The final battle occurred next to a hill they called "Ramah." [Bruce W. Warren and David A. Palmer, The Jaredite Saga, 7-7, unpublished] [See the Geographical Theory Map]


Ether 14:28 Comnor (Comron)?:


     In 1999, the Zarahemla Research Foundation (RLDS) finished an exhaustive review of all known manuscripts and editions of the Book of Mormon in order to restore the text "to its purity." The result was the Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon. One of their "restorations" involves the geographical place name "Comnor" (Ether 14:28), which has been changed to read "Comron." [Zarahemla Research Foundation, "Geography Concordance" in The Book of Mormon: Restored Covenant Edition, p. 1000]

     This must be considered tentative subject to the verification of Royal Skousen, director of the Book of Mormon manuscript project, who will not comment at this time relative to such changes. [Personal communication, 11/22/1999]


Ether 14:28 [Coriantumr] Did Sound a Trumpet unto the Armies of Shiz to Invite Them Forth to Battle:


     In Ether 14:28 we find that "Coriantumr did gather his armies together upon the hill Comnor, and did sound a trumpet unto the armies of Shiz to invite them forth to battle." According to Glenn Scott, it is very interesting to note that the blowing of a trumpet to initiate battle was a custom observed in Mesoamerica until the Spanish Conquest. [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust: New Light on an Ancient American Record, p. 58]


Geographical Theory Map: Ether 14:31 - 15:14 Final Battles ---> Hill Cumorah (Chronology)