Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bountiful Not Part of the land of Zarahemla

Mesoamerican Theorists, for their own purposes, throw in comments relative to scripture that is totally incorrect, often as a side note where a reader will not pay much attention to, then later sometimes use that predetermination to make another point far more important. Another example of this is in E. L. Peay writing on page 279 in his book, “The Lands of Zarahemla.”

“There were two kingdoms within their land, one in the north where they first landed, and another south in Moron (near the Nephite land of Bountiful, a part of the land of Zarahemla).”

This parenthetical note about Bountiful being part of the Land of Zarahemla is totally inaccurate as any reading of the scriptures will show. First of all, Bountiful was a city within a land name Bountiful in the northern part of the Land Southward. Beyond it was the Narrow Neck of Land (Alma 22:31), and it might be said that it bordered on the land of Desolation (Alma 22:30).

Bountiful, however, was a separate land (Alma 22:29) with its own borders (Alma 51:28), to the north of the land of Zarahemla (Alma 50:11). When Coriantumr sacked Zarahemla around 51 B.C., he "did not tarry in the land of Zarahemla, but he did march forth with a large army, even towards the city of Bountiful." (Helaman 1:23) But Moronihah, in discovering this invasion up the center of the land of Zarahemla (Helaman 1:28), sent Lehi with an army to cut off Coriantumr before they reached the land of Bountiful (Helaman 1:29).

When the Lamanites came down to battle around 38 B.C., they "succeeded in obtaining possession of the land of Zarahemla; yea, and also all the lands, even unto the land which was near the land Bountiful." (Helaman 4:5) Under this invasion, "the Nephites and the armies of Moronihah were driven even into the land of Bountiful." (Helaman 4:6)

Thus we can see from the scriptural account that the land of Zarahemla and the land of Bountiful were separate lands and not connected because there was another land in between them (Helaman 4:5-6).

Thus, for Peay's statement, to be accurate, it should read: “There were two kingdoms within their land (Land Northward), one in the north where they first landed, and another south in Moron (near the Nephite land of Bountiful, a part of the Land Southward).”

Now, is such inaccuracy important? It is if you intend to believe other statements about the geography of the Book of Mormon this author has written. When such simple mistakes are made, one can only wonder why they are made, and if they will have any bearing on the overall importance or purpose of the writing itself. Nor is Peay the only Mesoamerican Theorist who has done this. As these recent posts are meant to show, every author writing about Mesoamerica as the Land of Promise misuses or misstates the scriptures to support their point. Again, this is the basis of the book “Inaccuracies of Mesoamerican & Other Theorists.”


  1. It is like you pointed out in your book "Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica," words mean something--such as Lehi living AT Jerusalem all his days, not IN Jerusalem, as so many say. The difference between AT and IN is considerable in meaning.

  2. Wanda: That is found in 1 Nephi 1:4. It was Lynn and Hope Hilton who made a big case out of that simple word in describing Lehi's occupation living outside Jersusalem that resulted in his having tents and animals (probably donkeys since soft-footed camels could not walk around the flinty-rocky-ground of Jerusalem) when the Lord told him to flee for his life. I think Del is right on when he says we should not ignore a single word in the Book of Mormon. So far, everything has proven him correct.