One of the controversial points Mesoamerican Theorists like to claim is that the emigrants sailing northward in Hagoth’s ships (Alma 63:6) in 56 B.C., landed in the Land Northward, somewhere in the general vicinity of those who went north overland in 46 B.C. through the narrow pass or neck of land (Helaman 3:3-4).
But is that fact substantiated by scripture?
First of all, those emigrants who traveled through the narrow pass into the land northward of the land of promise mentioned in Helaman went far to the north. The scriptural account says:
“There were an exceeding great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land. And they did travel to an exceeding great distance, insomuch that they came to large bodies of water and many rivers” (Helaman 3:3-4).
These were the old Jaredite lands, and as far north in the Land of Promise as anywhere in scripture indicated. Once there, these emigrants “did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land. And no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber, but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate” (Helaman 3:5-6).
Mormon, in his insertion into this account, writing some 430 years later, claims that those who went by ship “were never heard from more” (Alma 63:8), and assumed they were drowned in the sea. That is, none of the large cache of Nephite records (Helaman 3:13,15) available to Mormon (Mormon 1:3;6:6) during his abridgement (Words of Mormon 1:3), had any mention of the emigrants who went north in Hagoth’s ships, which may well have totaled 5,400 men, plus women and children—or as many as 20 to 25 thousand (Alma 63:4), were ever heard from again. And since at least one of the ships that went northward returned and went northward a second time (63:7), not all would have been lost at sea. Thus, we can only conclude, since none were heard from again as late as 385 A.D., they must have gone somewhere not within the Land Northward, since the Nephites spread across that land from the north to the south seas and from the east to the west seas (Helaman 3:5,8).
So where did these emigrants go?
Since Mormon was in possession of all the many records and books kept by the Nephites, and knew nothing of the Hagoth emigrants, it must be concluded that those emigrants did not settle in the same area that those mentioned in Helaman occupied, since this latter group spread throughout the entire face of the earth, "from the south sea to the north sea, from the west sea to the east sea," it can only be concluded that the Hagoth immigrants settled in an area not physically connected at all to the land northward.