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CHAPTER 21 THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA Civitization Began in America. Contrary to popular belief the western hemisphere is where civilization began. The Lord revealed that Adam-ondi-Ahman, a place in Daviess County, Missouri, is where Adam dwelt after he was driven out of the Garden of Eden. The scriptures say that Adam journeyed to the East of Eden and at that portion of the garden from whence he was driven the Lord placed Cherubim to prevent Adam returning. The Garden of Eden, then, must have been on the western hemisphere. It stands to reason, this being true, that the antediluvians also dwelt on this western hemi- sphere before the division of the earth. Just what was the nature of the land surface of the earth when Noah built his Ark may not be definitely known, but this we know—if we accept the scriprures—that in the beginning all the land surface of the earth was in one place. The dividing of the continents did not take place until after the flood, for it was in the days of Peleg when the earth was divided. Some have maintained that this division had reference to the parcelling out of the land surface among the tribes and peoples as they scattered forth over the earth. This interpretation, however, cannot be maintained in the light of what is written, The Lord has promised us that in these last days in the restoration 250 THE PROGRESS OF MAN of all things the land surface shall once again be brought back to the condition in which it was before it was divided. This will come at the time of the second advent of Jesus Christ, for he has said: And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among. all people. ‘And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shail not be found. He shall command the great deep, and it shal be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall Become And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before ie was divided—D. and C. 133: 21.24, A Choice Land is Zion. When the Ark was carried on the waves of the flood it was evidently no small journey and took many days, for the “waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.” When Noah landed he was at Ararat. ‘The western world was swept clean as we learn from the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Ether (13:2) we are informed that: * * after the waters had receded from off the face of this (American) land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve Him who dwell upon the face thereof. Having been cleansed from all its iniquity this choice land was again designated as a place for a chosen, THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA 251 people, and the Lord led the Jaredites out from the Tower of Babel across the great waters to possess it. After their destruction for their failure to heed the firm decree of God that none but a righteous people should inherit this land, another people was brought to this hemisphere to inherit it. The people of Lehi, and perhaps the people of Mulek, were brought here in fulfilment of the promise made to Joseph, son of Jacob. This western world was given to the Children of Joseph and his fellows, to be their inheritance after the destruc- tion of the Jaredites, with the same warnings and promises which, no doubr, had been given to the antediluvians as well as to the Jaredites. So we find the Nephites and the Lamanites possessing this land of promise unmolested and free from interference by any other nation. ‘The Lord withheld the knowledge of this land and its in- habitants from all other nations, as we learn in the Book of Mormon, so that the descendants of Joseph might possess their inheritance with full liberty and spiritual guidance in all matters of government. Ie was not until after these people dwindled in iniquity, bringing the wrath of God upon them, that the Lord permitted the nations of the Gentiles to learn of this western hemis- phere. The Lord had said that the land of Zion—America —is a choice land above all other lands upon the earth. When the Jaredites were led to this land across the great waters, the Lord said to them: