Chapter Synopsis: : This chapter will show that the information obtained from the records of the Book of Mormon including the Jaredites, the people of Zarahemla, the Nephites, and the Lamanites all contribute to the conclusion that the "Land Northward" was to the north and east of the land known as the Land of Zarahemla.
DIRECTIONS AND LAND MASSES
I have found that no other aspect of the geography of the Book of Mormon is as vital to our understanding as the term "Land Northward". For this reason I will address this term most completely.
There are 45 references to the directional term "northward" in the Book of Mormon. Most of these occur in Alma and in Helaman, the two books which contain most of the geographical directions when referring to the wars and settlements of the people.We do not find a directional term in the book to indicate "Northwest," nor do we find one for "Northeast." Since we do find the term "south, south-east,"(1 Nephi 5:16) we may assume that the intermediate directions were known, and used, by the early settlers in the "Promised Land". The four cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west were used, as were the terms "eastward" (1 Nephi 5:55; Ether 4:4; Ether 6:62); "southward" (Many references- see Alma 12:1; Mormon 4:2; Ether 4:69); "northern," (Alma 13:73); and occurrences of combinations such as "west sea, south" (Alma 24:61); and "northernmost" (3 Nephi 3:48).
The first use of the term "Land Northward" comes in the book of Omni (Omni 1: 39) as Amaleki describes where the bones of the people of Coriantumr (the Jaredites) were found by the people of Zarahemla. The time of Amaleki's writing is not definitely known but is approximately 250-200 BCC. (Before the Coming of Christ), or 350 to 400 years after Lehi left Jerusalem. It was after two major movements of people: first to the land of Nephi by Nephi, Sam, Jacob, Joseph, Nephi's sisters, Zoram, and all of their families; and secondly to the Land of Zarahemla under the leadership of Mosiah. Apparently the use of the directional terms had changed with time for a variety of reasons.
CITIES, LANDS, AND DIRECTIONS OF THE JAREDITES
In the book of Ether, Moroni wrote in his own words and says:
"And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of those ancient inhabitants which were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this North Country." (Ether 1:1)
The use of the term "this" indicates that Moroni was in the "North Country," and this is borne out by other statements he made. He linked the term "North Country" to the term "Land Northward" which was used elsewhere.
THE FIRST MIGRATION
The Lord directed the initial migration, telling the brother of Jared:
"...thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward" (Ether 1:17).
They obeyed the directions and:
"...went down into the valley which was northward--and the name of the valley was Nimrod being called after the mighty hunter--" (Ether 1:22)
IN THE LAND OF PROMISE
The location of the cities, lands and other landmarks were given by Moroni and were referenced in terms of locations previously mentioned in the book. Let's look at them.
"Now the Land of Moron where the king dwelt, was near the land which is called Desolation by the Nephites." (Ether 3:43)
"And he [Noah] gave battle unto Shule the king, in the which he did obtain the land of their first inheritance, And he became a king over that part of the land. And it came to pass that he gave battle again unto Shule the king; And he took Shule the king and carried him away captive into Moron." (Ether 3:54,55)
The above statements indicate that the Land of Moron was where Noah took Shule, the king, after the second battle and that this land was near the land which was known as Desolation by the Nephites. This land was also, and most importantly, "the land of their first inheritance" ie: the first place claimed after arriving at the "Promised Land." As with the Nephites, it may be inferred that it was the location of their landing.
Knowing their landing location first, we may be able to determine their actual route to America, via the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans. Secondly, Moroni told us their land of first inheritance was near Desolation. We know from a variety of other references which will be sited, that this established the land as "the Land Northward".
OTHER IMPORTANT PLACES
In the fourth chapter of Ether we read:
"And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land. Wherefore, Omer departed out of the land with his family and traveled many days, and came over and passed by the Hill of Shim, and came over by the place where the Nephites were destroyed, and from thence eastward, and came to a place which was called Ablom, by the seashore, and there he pitched his tent..." (Ether 4:3,4)
This is an important passage! The "Hill of Shim" was where Mormon obtained all of the sacred things which Ammoron had hidden up (Mormon 1:4). The "place where the Nephites were destroyed" was known as "Hill Cumorah" by the Nephites and the Lamanites. This same hill was also designated as "Hill Ramah" in the Jaredite record, and was the location of their final battle, as well as the location for the hiding place of the sacred records later placed there by Mormon(Mormon 3:7,8; Ether 6:83).
THE WILDERNESS FOR ANIMALS
The "Land Northward" location where most of the Jaredite people settled, also related to the position of "the Land Bountiful", where the greatest abundance of wild animals were located, and to the Land of Zarahemla.
In response to wickedness:
"...there began to be a great dearth upon the land, and the inhabitants began to be destroyed exceeding fast, because of the dearth, for there was no rain upon the face of the earth; and there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land and did poison many people.
"And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the Land Southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla. And it came to pass that there were many of them which did perish by the way; Nevertheless, there were some which fled into the Land Southward." (Ether 4:35-37)
For the space of eight king generations (from Heth to Lib) the Jaredites were cut off from the "Land Southward", ie: they were kept in the "Land Northward". The conditions were so severe that the one person, the king - Heth, who would be expected to survive in a famine did not.The following questions must be asked:
1. Over that amount of time, why was there no mention of these people going further north to hunt for food or to seek relief?
2. Why was there no indication that there was more to the Land Northward than that which was recorded?
3. Why did the record describe the Jaredites as being enclosed in a given area for the eight king generations, and eating only fruits and grains for three king generations if there was more land and perhaps relief to the north?
NOT TOTALLY WITHOUT MEAT
During the reign of the Jaredite Morianton, we read:
"...the people became exceeding rich under his reign--both in buildings, and in gold and in silver, and in raising grain, andin flocks and herds, and such things which had been restored unto them;" (Ether 4:56)
Where did the animals come from "which had been restored unto them"? Some of the animals could have survived and lived to reproduce after the rains came. Some could have come from the Land Southward, getting through the line of serpents in some manner. However, to suggest that they came from the land which was further northward does not agree with the whole story of this people being cut off and suffering because of their sinful activity.
"And in the days of Lib the poisonous serpents were destroyed, Wherefore they did go into theLand Southward to hunt food for the people of the land, for the land was covered with animalsof the forest; And Lib also, himself, became a great hunter; and they built a great city by theNarrow Neck of Land, by the place where the sea divides the land; and they did preserve the Land Southward for a wilderness, to get game. And the whole face of the Land Northward was covered with inhabitants; and they were exceeding industrious..." (Ether 4:66-70).
We are told "that the whole face of the Land Northward was covered with inhabitants". This is what one would expect if the land was limited in size and the inhabitants continued to reproduce for eight king generations. It is also very evident that reference to "land" in this direction of northward was generally accompanied by the article "the". This gives the reader a distinct sense that the area did not continue northward for an indefinite distance. The area of which they spoke is a definite geographical entity. Once this has been noticed, this observation is confirmed in several other places in the text.
Finally, the serpents were destroyed and the people could go into the Land Southward. The area southward of the "narrow neck of land" was designated as a wilderness preserve "to get game." This wilderness was described by Mormon when he wrote:
"Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, And the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the Land Northward for food." (Alma 13:75)
From this discussion we have determined the following:
1. The Jaredites arrived and lived in a land area which was known to the Nephite peoples as the "Land Northward". The Land of Moron was identified as the "land of their first inheritance."
2. This "Land Northward" bordered upon another land which, during Jaredite times, was cut off from the Land Northward by a pass hedged up for eight king generations by serpents. The people were without animals for food and were confined to this "Land Northward".
3. Their land was freed during the righteous reign of king Lib, and the land immediately southward was preserved as a wilderness for wild animal game from that time onward.
4. This land became known to the Nephite-Zarahemla people as the "Land Bountiful".
5. The Land Bountiful bordered on the "Land of Desolation" northward and the "Land of Zarahemla" southward.
6. The Land of Desolation was identified as the area in the Land Northward where the Jaredites were destroyed in a series of battles which centered around a hill area where the Nephites were also destroyed.
7. This battle area was located on or near an important set of hills, where "Hill Shim" and "Hill Cumorah" were hiding places at different times for all of the sacred records and objects of the Jaredites, Nephites, and people of Zarahemla.
8. It does not seem possible to determine from the Jaredite record or Moroni's writings which direction from the Land of Zarahemla the "Land Northward" was located. Was the land straight north, northwest, or northeast?
Little is known about the people who accompanied the son of Zedekiah to the Americas. Most of what we do know comes from the following references: the records of Amaleki in the book of Omni (Omni 1:19-39), in Mosiah (Mosiah 11:78-80), Alma (Alma 13:74), Helaman (Helaman 2:129; 3:56,57) and Ether. Ether prophesied unto Coriantumr that if he and all his household did not repent that:
"...he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr." (Ether 6:21-23)
There is no mention of whom the other people would be that would receive the land. To understand this passage we have to go to the book of Omni, where Amaleki describes the coming of Mosiah to the land of Zarahemla.
This land was populated by the people of Zarahemla as they:
"...were brought by the hand of the Lord across the Great Waters into the land where Mosiah discovered them; And they had dwelt there from that time forth;" (Omni 1:27)
The word "there" is describing the land of Zarahemla. In the days of Mosiah a large stone was brought to him with engravings on it which he interpreted by the gift and the power of God. The engravings
"...gave an account of one Coriantumr and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons. ...and the severity of the Lord fell upon them according to His judgments which are just, and their bones lay scattered in the Land Northward." (Omni 1:37-39)
We know from the record of Ether that this is the same Coriantumr who was the sole survivor, other than Ether, after the Jaredite destruction in the Land Northward. The question then is, "When did the people of Zarahemla find Coriantumr, and where?" The book of Mosiah gives us some clues:
"Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those which were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, which was a descendant of Mulek and those which came with him into the wilderness;" (Mosiah 11:78)
Mention was made of the wilderness that these people traveled through in the land of Jerusalem (see Omni 1:27). However, it seems that the wilderness that was spoken of here is the land of Zarahemla, before it was settled by them.
This assumption is strengthened by the statement made by Mormon:
"And it" [referring to land Bountiful] "bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and had been destroyed-- of whose bones we have spoken-- which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing; and they came from there up into the South Wilderness." (Alma 13:74)
So the "place of their first landing" was the land which was northward. The people who were Zarahemla's ancestors came from the Land Northward "up" into the South Wilderness. This reference also seems to give us another important geographical feature of the Land of Zarahemla. It was at least some elevation higher than the Land Northward.
It was also written:
"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," (Helaman 2:129)
This account takes place during the time when the Lamanites and the Nephites had peace in all the land. This was after Nephi and Lehi had converted so many of both Lamanite and Nephite people, and they freely went into each others' countries. The renaming of the Land of Zarahemla to "Mulek" and the Land of Nephi to "Lehi" was a very important step in this new alliance between the two major groups of people. It is perhaps a type and a shadow of the new names given by the Lord to so many of His servants after a covenant encounter with Him.
The Jaredite peoples also came into the Land Northward, as we have previously shown from the record. They lived and populated that land, coming into the land known by the Nephites as Bountiful to hunt wild animals. They died in the Land Northward and their remains were found by the ancestors of Zarahemla. During the reign of Mosiah, the people of Limhi also discovered this land, the ruins, the weapons of war, the bones of the former inhabitants, and the record of Ether on the twenty four gold plates (Mosiah 5:60-66).
The people of Zarahemla kept no records. Our limited knowledge of them comes from the engraved stone which described Coriantumr and his people, and from what Zarahemla was able to remember about his genealogy. The record of his account was written down but unfortunately it was not included in the Book of Mormon. We don't know how many generations there were between the death of the Jaredites, including Coriantumr, and the life of Zarahemla at the time he was discovered by Mosiah and the people of Nephi.
What we do know is that the people of Zarahemla first landed in the Land Northward, discovered the Jaredite destruction, found Coriantumr, and moved south into the land area which became known to the Nephites as the Land of Zarahemla. The time sequence for these different events is not clear and may not be found in the original book Joseph Smith received. The information provided only gives us general directions, and the exact direction of "Land Northward" cannot be determined from what we have of the record of these people.
*NOTE: When looking at the maps, the reader should look at the numbers in the boxes in sequence. This will provide the best chronological order for the events depicted on the maps. These are in the "gif" format so may be downloaded to your computer for better viewing or for printing by clicking anywhere on them and following directions for saving them.
A TIME OF HAPPINESS AND A TIME OF CONTENTION
During the 21st year of the reign of judges the comment was made:
"But behold, there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi since the days of Nephi than in the days of Moroni, Yea, even at this time in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges." (Alma 22:24)
A city which they called "Lehi" had been built in the north in the 20th year of the reign of judges. It was:
"...in the north by the borders of the seashore." (Alma 22:16)
The direction of north in this quote should not be mistaken as being north of Zarahemla! The City of Lehi was north of the City of Moroni which:
"...was by the East Sea, and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites." (Alma 22:14)
The possessions of the Lamanites on the east side of the Land of Nephi were probably close to the Land of Antionum which they had previously held, and which had bordered upon the Land of Jershon on the borders of the East Sea.
We find in Alma 23:32, that the City of Lehi was also on the borders of the East Sea, and north of the City of Moroni. Several cities, one being Lehi, were listed and were captured by the Lamanites,
"...all of which were on the east borders, by the seashore" (Alma 23:32)
In the 24th year of the reign of judges the writer told us that:
"...There would also have been peace...had it not been for a contention which took place among them concerning the Land of Lehi, and the Land of Morionton which joined upon the borders of Lehi, Both of which were on the borders by the seashore." (Alma 22:26)
The people of the Land of Morionton were led by a man by the same name. The people of Lehi fled to the camp of Moroni for assistance, since
"they were not in the wrong." (Alma 22:28)
The people of Morionton were very fearful of Moroni, and by the urgings of Morionton, began to flee:
"...to the land which was northward, which was covered with large bodies of water, And take possession of the land which was northward." (Alma 22:30)
Presumably, the land "with large bodies of water" was enticing to the people. They were confined on the south by the people of Lehi, on the west by the wilderness, and on the east by the salt water sea.
Moroni was very fearful that the people:
"...which were in the land Bountiful...would hearken to the words of Morionton and unite with his people; And thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, Yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty;" (Alma 22:33)
What were the serious consequences of this move by Morionton? If we look first at this text, we see that Morionton was headed north into the "Land Bountiful" and from here the way to the "Land Northward" was:
"...by the Narrow Pass which led by the sea into the Land Northward, Yea, by the sea on the west and on the east." (Alma 22:35)
Moroni sent an army of men, led by a man named Teancum to stop their flight into the Land Northward. They were stopped and Morionton was killed in the battle. Under a covenant of peace the people were returned to their own Land of Morionton. The Narrow Pass where they were stopped was located by the
"...borders of the Land Desolation;" (Alma 22:35)
This is the very same Land of Desolation where the Jaredites had been destroyed at "Hill Ramah," and the same Land of Desolation where the Nephites were also going to be destroyed, at the hill which they called "Cumorah."
For Moroni, the thought that Morionton would gain access to the Land Northward was entirely unacceptable. In a later chapter, Teancum guarded the Narrow Pass at the City Bountiful, again under Moroni's command:
"...Lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side." (Alma 24:10)
To have the people of Morionton, and possibly the people from the Land Bountiful, and in the Land Northward, all under the leadership of the wicked Morionton, would have been as bad as to have had the Lamanites there. The people of Nephi would have been surrounded by their enemies! This would have laid the "foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi"! This conclusion is confirmed by the statement made by Mormon in his description of the geography:
From the account of the conflict between the peoples of Lehi and Morionton, we are able to identify the location of the Land Northward. We have seen that it was northward of the cities of Lehi and Morionton, both of which were along the East Sea coast. The East Sea was described in the 13th chapter of Alma as being east of both the Land of Nephi, and the Land of Zarahemla. In relationship to Zarahemla then, the "Land Northward" is EAST and to the NORTH!
"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; Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions, only in the Land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites; as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee according to their desires." (Alma 13:79-81)
CHIEF COMMANDER MORONI'S CITIES OF DEFENSE
Within the book of Alma we find all of the activities of Moroni, the great leader of the Nephites in the cause of liberty. Moroni's stance is caught up in his epistle to the Lamanite military leader Ammaron:
"...I have written unto you somewhat concerning this war which ye have waged against my people, Or rather which thy brother hath waged against them, and which ye are still determined to carry on after his death."..."ye have sought to murder us, And we have only sought to defend ourselves." (Alma 25:5,13)
This defense of which Moroni speaks, first was strengthened in the kind of clothing and armament which he invented to protect and to provide an advantage for his troops. Second it was strengthened by the fortifications which he had built for the safety of his troops and for the lands in which the people lived. These fortifications generally took the form of strategically located cities which guarded the area and prevented the Lamanite incursion into the lands of his people.
These cities are identified several places in the book of Alma. During the many years of war and peace, these cities were captured by the Lamanites, and then retaken by Moroni and his troops, including Helaman and his two thousand sons.
The references for these cities and locations relative to the land of Zarahemla are:
Along with the above list of fortified cities could also be added a number of unnamed cities which are mentioned in the account which were located on the west, and south borders, of the Land of Zarahemla.
The strategic location of the City Bountiful also gives us a directional location in relation to the other major lands of the Book of Mormon. We see that the city was at the borders of the Land Bountiful, that it guarded or was very close to the entrance to the Narrow Pass which led into the Land Northward, and that beyond this pass in the Land Northward was the Land of Desolation. It was the one location which the Lamanites needed to gain entrance to the Land Northward without going through the Land of Zarahemla
"and have power to harass them on every side." (Alma 24:10)
The borders on the west were secured. The borders on the south were secured. The east borders of the land seemed to have some sort of natural barrier which prevented the Lamanites from advancing to the west after taking each of the fortified cities "on the east borders by the seashore."
The Narrow Passage which led into the Land Northward was described only in close relationship to the City Bountiful. From this city Land of Desolation was also northward--to the EAST and NORTH of Zarahemla!
ANOTHER CAMPAIGN AND DIRECTIONS
In the first chapter of Helaman, an account is given of an invasion by the Lamanites under the leadership of Coriantumr, a Nephite dissenter and a descendant of Zarahemla. The army marched down from the land to the south, to the Land of Zarahemla, and took possession of the city. They were able to do this
"because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government, that they had not kept sufficient guards in the Land of Zarahemla; for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great City Zarahemla." (Helaman 1:19)
The chief captain of the Nephite armies was Moronihah, Moroni's son and the leader after Moroni's death. We are told, speaking of Coriantumr:
"...he did not tarry in the Land of Zarahemla, but he did march forth with a large army, even towards the City of Bountiful; For it was his determination to go forth and cut his way through with the sword, that he might obtain the north parts of the land." (Helaman 1:25)
The strength of the Nephite army forces was in the areas which surrounded the Land of Zarahemla, and as Coriantumr was about to go through Land Bountiful:
"...Moronihah had discovered this, he immediately sent forth Lehi with an army round about to head them before they should come to the Land Bountiful...and he did head them...and they began to retreat back toward the land of Zarahemla. And it came to pass that Moronihah did head them in their retreat" (Helaman 1:30-32)
Lehi, having previously been given by Moroni, the City of Mulek located on the East Sea coast as a place to guard -- and presumably as a place to live, came from there "round about" and was on one side of Coriantumr's march toward the Land and City Bountiful. Moronihah was on the other side of their retreat march back to the City of Zarahemla-
"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." (Helaman 1:33)
This verse gives us two directions in addition to the four cardinal directions. How? By the use of the term "either way". This phrase refers to the two Nephite army companies of Lehi and Moronihah, coming from opposite directions. The "neither" refers to the cardinal directions as stated.
Well, what two directions do we have from this account? From our knowledge of the cities, conquests, and battles between the Lamanites and Nephites under chief commander Moroni along the East Sea coast we have seen that City Bountiful was at the point most northerly to all the rest (Moroni, Nephihah, Lehi, Morionton, Omner, and Gid). Mulek was just a short distance southward from the City Bountiful:
"All of which were on the east borders by the seashore." (Alma 23:32)
From the Land of Zarahemla the "East Wilderness" and the "East Sea" were to the east (see Alma 22:7-9). Triangulating the city of Zarahemla (which was north of the "narrow strip of wilderness" (Alma 13:68), the East Sea, and the City Bountiful (which was the northernmost city of the fortified cities of the East Sea), we have the directions which must be other than the four cardinal directions.
The direction Coriantumr was taking to get to city Bountiful was NORTH and EAST! The direction that he had to have taken in his retreat to the City of Zarahemla was SOUTH and WEST!
Why are these two directions important to our discussion of "the Land Northward"? Remember it was Coriantumr's design to "cut his way through with the sword, that he might obtain the north parts of the land."(op. cit.) The City Bountiful was near that part of the Land Bountiful which secured the Narrow Pass which led into the Land Northward.
Moroni at one point sent orders to Teancum:
"...that he should fortify the Land Bountiful and secure the Narrow Pass which led into the Land Northward, lest the Lamanites should obtain that point and should have power to harass them on every side." (Alma 24:10)
This was the intent of the Lamanites from the time of Alma through to the end of the Book of Mormon record. It was to be their way of surrounding the Nephite-Zarahemla peoples with the intent of destroying them.
From this discussion it can be seen that "the Land Northward" described in several places is, in relationship to the Land of Zarahemla and to the City of Zarahemla, to the NORTH and EAST!
A confirmation of the above direction is found in a later experience which also involved Moroni's son Moronihah. Four years after the death of Helaman, in the fifty-seventh year of the reign of judges, the Lamanites came down against the Nephites. They succeeded in obtaining the Land of Zarahemla,
..."and also all the lands, even unto the land which was near the Land Bountiful; And the Nephites, and the armies of Moronihah, were driven even into the Land of Bountiful; 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. And thus those dissenters of the Nephites, with the help of a numerous army of the Lamanites, had obtained all the possession of the Nephites which was in the Land Southward." (Helaman 2:38-40)
This passage clearly establishes that the land the Nephites occupied was the same land as where they had earlier surrounded the armies of Coriantumr (the dissenter from the people of Zarahemla) and a part of which Gidgiddoni would later fortify against the Gaddianton robbers. (3 Nephi 2:32)
Once again the Lamanites came down to battle the Nephites in their own lands. Once again the people of Nephi were forced to go to an area away from their homes, possessions, and lands in which they had been living. Mormon comments:
"Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; Yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God;" (Helaman 2:44)
By the sixtieth year of the reign of judges, Moronihah
"Did succeed with his armies, in obtaining many parts of the land; Yea, they retained [meaning 'they got back'] many cities...even the half of all their possessions." (Helaman 2:42,43) "And it came to pass in the sixty and second year of the reign of the judges that Moronihah could obtain no more possessions over the Lamanites; Therefore, they did abandon their design to obtain the remainder of their lands, For so numerous were the Lamanites that it became impossible for the Nephites to obtain more power over them; Therefore Moronihah did employ all his armies in maintaining those parts which he had taken." (Helaman 2:52,53)
WHAT WAS TAKEN, WHAT WAS LEFT?
In the next several verses we find that the Nephites began to repent of their wickedness, and Helaman's sons, Nephi and Lehi
"...went forth...to teach the word of God among all the people of Nephi, Beginning at the City Bountiful; and from thenceforth to the City of Gid, and from the City of Gid to the City of Mulek; and even from one city to another, until they had gone forth among all the people of Nephi, which were in the Land Southward; and from thence into the Land of Zarahemla, among the Lamanites." (Helaman 2:77,78)
We see that the lands, cities, and possessions which the Nephites retained were all of the cities on the East Sea coast, and that Nephi and Lehi started at the uppermost City of Bountiful and proceeded southward, going to all of the cities earlier named in Alma 23:32, except for Omner, Morionton, Lehi, and Nephihah, which were probably included in the phrase "even from one city to another until they had gone forth among all the people of Nephi". These were the lands and cities which the Nephites had apparently retaken from the Lamanites. The Land of Zarahemla was still under Lamanite control, and it was the last area Nephi and Lehi went to teach. They met with great success! There were eight thousand Lamanites
"which were in the land of Zarahemla and round about baptized unto repentance, and were convinced of the wickedness of the tradition of their fathers." (Helaman 2:81)
What a wonderful missionary experience for Nephi, Lehi, and these people! They then left for the Land of Nephi to the south and also had great success there.Where are the verses in this account which tells us that the direction for the term "land northward" is north and east?
By comparing the account of Coriantumr, the Zarahemla dissenter, with this account in Helaman, we see the same directions were taken by the Nephites as were taken by the armies of Coriantumr. The Nephite lands which were recovered were those on the East Sea. The City Bountiful, and the Land Bountiful, may be triangulated with the Land of Zarahemla and the East Sea. The only possible direction for the "Land Northward" is toward the NORTH and EAST!
Nephi and Lehi came by the sea coast "among all the people of Nephi, who were in the Land Southward"(Helaman 2:78). Verse 40 tells us that the Lamanites had previously "obtained all the possession of the Nephites which was in the Land Southward" (Helaman 2:40). The term "southward" is the opposite of the term "northward". The Land Southward then, was SOUTH and WEST!ALMA AND THE SOUTHWARD DIRECTION
"And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the Land of Gideon, southward, away to the Land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met the sons of Mosiah, a journeying towards the Land of Zarahemla...therefore, Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; And what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord..." (Alma 12:1-3)
The Land of Gideon was to the east and south of Zarahemla and in a valley on the east side of the River Sidon (Alma 1:76, 4:8). The Land of Manti was south of the land of Zarahemla on the west side of the River Sidon. It was also described as being in "this quarter of the land" (Alma 26:155).
To go to the Land of Manti, where Alma met the sons of Mosiah, Alma would have to have travelled in a SOUTH and WEST direction, a term which must be equated with the term "southward" as it is used here. The opposite direction to that of southward is northward. This information also confirms that "northward" is therefore NORTH and EAST!
LACHONEUS, GIDGIDDONI, AND THE GATHERING
After the sign of the birth of Jesus Christ, there was a short period of peace and righteousness which was followed in the thirteenth year with the rise of the Gaddianton robbers once again. In the sixteenth year Lachoneus, governor of the Land of the Nephites, received an epistle from the leader of the robbers telling him that if the Nephites did not unite with them, the robbers would come down and slay all of the people until they were extinct!
Lachoneus called all the people to repentance, and brought about a great gathering in the center of the lands. Both Nephites and Lamanites were called as collective armies to guard the people in this great gathering area. A chief captain was appointed, "someone that had the spirit of revelation, and also prophecy." This man was Gidgiddoni, the chief judge.
In the latter end of the seventeenth year (ACC) the people
"...had taken their horses and their chariots and their cattle and all their flocks and their herds and their grain and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed, that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies." (3 Nephi 2:30-31)THE GATHERING PLACE
Where was this great number of people and all that they possessed to be gathered to?
"And the land which was appointed was the Land of Zarahemla and the land which was between the Land of Zarahemla and the Land Bountiful; yea to the line which was betwixt theLand Bountiful and the Land Desolation;" (3 Nephi 2:32)
The very same land that Coriantumr, the Zarahemla dissenter, was caught in; and the very same land the people fled to under Moronihah in the days of Nephi and Lehi to escape the Lamanite invasion which seized all of their possessions in the Land Southward!
"Now Lachoneus did cause that they should gather themselves together in the Land Southward because of the great curse which was upon the Land Northward...And they did dwell in one land and in one body;" (3 Nephi 2:34,35)
The "Land Southward" as used here is the opposite direction to the "Land Northward" which included Desolation.
After the "great and terrible" battle, in which there was the greatest slaughter among the people since Lehi left Jerusalem, and the siege which followed; a second robber leader, Zemnarihah, determined to
"withdraw themselves from the siege and to march into the farthermost parts of the Land Northward" (3 Nephi 2:71)
Gidgiddoni cut off their retreat into "the farthermost parts of the Land Northward," and also from those robbers who were on the south. He took all of them prisoner, casting them into prison, and preached the word of God unto them.
Once again the Land Northward can be seen as the land to the NORTH and EAST!THE IMPLICATIONS
1. The location of Hermounts.
When the Amlicites joined the Lamanites in war against the armies of Alma and Lehi "on the west of the river Sidon," (Alma 1:92)
"...the Lamanites and the Amlicites began to flee before them...and they fled before the Nephites toward the wilderness which was west and north, away beyond the borders of the land [of Zarahemla] ...until they reached the wilderness which was called Hermounts; and it was that part of the wilderness which was infested by wild and ravenous beasts." (Alma 1:93-96)
Hermounts was never mentioned again in the Book of Mormon. It was the "wilderness" to the Nephites, a place "which was infested by wild and ravenous beasts," and presumably a location which had a mountainous terrain. No record exists of habitation in this area to the North and West of the Land of Zarahemla. All such activity was described to the opposite directions of North and East; to the Land Northward.
2. The location of Ammonihah.
"...Alma departed from thence [Zarahemla] and took his journey over into the Land of Melek on the west of the River Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness...he departed thence and traveled three days' journey on the north of the Land of Melek, and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah." (Alma 6:4,7)
Alma and Amulek's preaching caused a great division to take place and many who believed their words were put to death. Many others fled to a location known as the Land of Sidom. Since the wilderness was fairly close on the west of Ammonihah, the direction for Sidom had to be other than westward. Alma established a church there and people
"did flock in from all the region round about Sidom and were baptized" (Alma10:104)
Alma left Sidom with Amulek
"and came over to the Land of Zarahemla," (Alma 10:110)
This ended the tenth year of the reign of the judges. In the second month of the eleventh year Ammonihah was destroyed by the Lamanites who attacked the city from the west wilderness and destroyed it. The people who were in it were either killed or taken captive. Located close to Ammonihah was another land known as Noah. (Alma 11:3) People in the borders of Noah were also killed or taken captive. The captives of both of these areas were soon rescued after the Lord pointed out the location of the Lamanite retreat in the South Wilderness. Ammonihah was later "in part rebuilt" and fortified by Moroni.
3. The location of the City of Noah
After finding the City of Ammonihah, which had been fortified by the directions of Moroni, the Lamanites
"...retreated into the wilderness and took their camp and marched toward the Land of Noah, supposing that to be the next best place for them to come against the Nephites...therefore they marched forward to the Land of Noah with a firm determination...that they would destroy the people of that city." (Alma 21:163-165)
This passage clearly indicates that the City of Noah was north of Ammonihah. NO other inhabited cities or lands are mentioned in this west and north region associated with the people and Land of Zarahemla.
4. Helaman's campaign locations
Helaman's report to Moroni of the war campaign in the south and west quarter of the Land of Zarahemla gives us some valuable geography information about that area. His "two thousand sons" marched past a Nephite city known as Antiparah, which had been taken over by the Lamanite armies. To the Lamanites, these Nephites seemed to be headed to an unnamed city beyond Antiparah described as being "in the borders by the seashore." (Alma 26:36) This is the farthermost western and southern borders of the Land of Zarahemla and matches the description of the land found in Alma chapter thirteen.
The Lamanites pursued Helaman's "little army" which fled "northward" (Alma 26:42). This is the only reference in the entire book to "northward" which is not directly connected to the "Land Northward." This army fled for two days in that direction "into the wilderness" until the morning of the third day when they turned around and returned to fight on the north side of the Lamanite army, while the Nephite army fought with them on the south side.
It isn't possible to determine the actual direction for the meaning of "northward" as it is used here. It could be north and west, or north and east; the limited description doesn't provide enough information to know with any degree of certainty. What is definite is that the Land of Zarahemla extended nearly to the West Sea on the south and that there was a wilderness to the northwest which continued for some unspecified distance.
5. The location of Jacob-Ugath
The leader of a secret combination by the name of Jacob became a king of a "band" of Nephite dissenters and he
"commanded his people that they should take their flight into the northernmost part of the land, [of Zarahemla] and there build up unto themselves a kingdom" (3 N 3:44-49).
This "kingdom", which was established by Jacob, was destroyed at the time of the great destruction (3 N 4:36,37). No other description is given nor no other use of the term "northernmost" is made.
The above five references are the only references in which lands to the north and west are described, or where any habitation was undertaken there by the people of the Land of Zarahemla. The reader must conclude that the land to the north and west, for whatever reasons, was not used to any great extent. Most all of the references then are to the direction "northward" from Zarahemla which included the Land Bountiful, the Land Southward along the East Sea coast, the Land of Desolation, and the land described which was further northward and beyond Desolation.
To place this information on a map is, of course, a major goal. What this information does to our present concepts of locations is yet to be determined. One thing is certain, we cannot attempt to place the "Land Northward" in any other direction from the major lands of Zarahemla and Nephi than NORTH and EAST!
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