Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Facts and Truth about the Neck of Land and the Narrow Passage – Part II

Continued from the –previous post regarding the errors and misunderstanding of the Narrow Neck of Land and the narrow pass or passage.

Mesoamericanists, on the other hand, refer to the scriptural record “narrow neck” as an isthmus, which is not a word found in the scriptural record, but does match the model description of the Mesoamerican theory. 

Isthmus and land bridge are related terms with isthmus having a broader meaning. A land bridge is an isthmus connecting the Earth's major landmasses. The term land bridge is usually used in biogeology to describe land connections that used to exist between continents at various times and were important for migration of people, and various species of animals and plants, such as the so-called Bering Land Bridge, or the English Channel Land Bridge—an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Britain to continental Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels in early BC times. These bridges were connections between two landmasses, especially a prehistoric one that allowed humans and animals to colonize new territory before being cut off by the sea.

An isthmus is a land connection between two bigger landmasses, while a peninsula is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends out into the sea. Technically, an isthmus can have canals running from coast to coast like the Panama Canal, and thus resemble two peninsulas; however, canals are artificial features distinguished from straits.

The Isthmus of Corinth between Greece and the Pelloponnese and is about four miles long and 70-feet wide


An example of an isthmus would be the Isthmus of Rivas, Nicaragua, which is 12 miles wide, and 99 miles long; or the Isthmus of Panama (Isthmus of Darien), which is 30-120 miles wide and 420 miles long. In addition today’s definition of isthmus is defined as: A narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated.

Consequently, the term that matches best to the scriptural record would be the definition used by Mormon—“small” and “narrow” (Alma 22:32; 63:5) and Moroni “narrow” ( Ether 10:20). We also know that Mormon tells us the narrow neck connected to the two land masses was a separation of the sea (Alma 22:32 ), causing there to be water on both sides. This ties in a statement made by Mormon later when he said: “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” (Alma 50:34, emphasis added). He also stated “by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east narrow passage which led into the land southward

Now, in understanding that the “neck of land” as Mormon stated is the only connection between the Land Northward and the Land Southward, we also have two additional descriptive terms of terrain mentioned between these two large land masses, and that is a “narrow passage” (Mormon 2:29) and a “narrow pass” (Mormon 3:5).

Now if the narrow neck of land is the only connection between the Land Northward and the Land Southward, it stands to reason that any pass or passage between the Land Northward and the Land Southward must move through this narrow neck of land and cannot be placed elsewhere. The term “narrow neck of land” suggests water on both sides of the neck, which itself separated the two land masses across the waters.”

However, in addition, many theorists claim that there are two or more narrow pass and passes; however, the scriptural record does not claim that. Thus, it should be kept in mind that the small or narrow neck of land is mentioned in connection with the sea.

A narrow pass, or chokepoint where movement of people or soldiers is dramatically hindered


Mormon, in his writing, states that there was a narrow passage (Mormon 2:29), then just 6 verses later (Mormon 3:5), say both “led into the Land Southward,” suggesting that both terms related to the same terrain.

• Pass, n. A narrow passage, entrance or avenue; a narrow or difficult place of entrance and exit; as a pass between mountains.

• Passage, n. Road; way; avenue; a place where men or things may pass or be conveyed.

This pass and passage separated the land southward and land northward as divided by Mormon in AD 350. Obviously, the pass and the passage were one of the same. The two terms are simply used to describe the same terrain.

In addition, along the northern end of the narrow neck and the pass or passage was a land called Desolation. Along the southern end was the Land Bountiful. Somewhere in between, possibly within the narrow neck, or perhaps at one end or the other, was a boundary, called a “line” by Mormon (Alma 22:32) and the Disciple Nephi (3 Nephi 3:23).

Again, the Pass or Passage is described very clearly. Despite this fact, theorists claim that the Land of Desolation was unfit for and devoid of habitation—a wasteland. However, Mormon states differently: “And now 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 3:6). He also stated: “they did spread forth unto all parts of the land northward, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land (Helaman 3:5).

Green, treeless fields; desolute of trees

Obviously, the land was called Desolation, because no trees grew there, which rendered the land difficult to settle becausethere was no timber. In fact, that is what Mormon tells us: “now 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 3:6).

These settlers who covered the Land of Promise “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” (Helaman 3:8). While they learned to work with and build their houses out of cement, they sent back for a shipment of timber (Helaman 3:9).

The narrow neck was so important of a terrain marker, that when Mormon made a treaty with the Lamanites, this narrow neck was the dividing line between the two forces. As Mormon put it: “And in the three hundred and fiftieth year we made a treaty with the Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, in which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided. And the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward” (Mormon 2”Mormon 2:28-29). Mormon goes on to write: “I did cause my people that they should gather themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward” (Mormon 3:5).

It should be noted that the treaty lands were chosen by Mormon because that would give the Nephites a single entrance into their land which they had to cover.

If there had been other entrances into their land, not only would Mormon had to divide up his army, he obviously would have mentioned it when he wrote about this land and its purpose. As an example, at one point the Nephites attacked the Lamanites with their entire armies (Mormon 4:1).

Obviously, there was only one small or narrow neck and only one pass or passage between the Land Southward and the Land Northward.

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