Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part II

On the website, Book of Mormon Geography, the following statement is made regarding the value and correctness of their map:

Comment: “All others [maps] run into a problem sooner or later that can not be explained or resolved and are only postulations and are in contradiction to the prophetic statements and flow of events.”

Response: First, the part about prophetic statements was responded to in the last post. Second, regarding other maps running into a problem sooner or later—perhaps we should dwell on their map, which spans two continents and covers an area about 3000 miles north to south and 2200 miles east to west.

• The Narrow Neck of Land. Shown as the Florida Peninsula, it is 500 miles long and 160 miles across. It is about 50,000 square miles, and its mean elevation is one hundred feet, with its highest point 345 feet above sea level. This so-called narrow neck is surrounded on three sides, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, with absolutely no land connection to the south. It is believed that the peninsula was inhabited continuously by the Paleoamericans from about 2000 B.C. to about 500 B.C. when a relatively uniform Archaic culture began to coalesce into distinctive local culture--yet, the Nephites did not even know this area existed until somewhere around 150 B.C. or later. It should also be kept in mind that the southern portion of this peninsula is nothing but an uninhabitable swampland filled with fierce Alligators, though no mention of such is mentioned in the scriptural text.

The point is, there is no way to cross from the Land Southward to the Land Northward, even with Covino’s extension of land throughout the Caribbean. Neither does his narrow neck connect the Land of Bountiful to the south with the Land of Desolation to the north. In a roundabout manner, he does have both these lands extending from the Rocky Mountains in a curve into the peninsula, but these two specific lands are to the east and west of one another. It seems to me his map “runs into a problem sooner” than later—in fact, in the very first explanation.

• The Land Southward. Covers 21 states, and portions of another 5, includes the entire area of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, all the islands of the West Indies, all of Mexico and Central America, and about all the ocean on the east between North and South America. This makes the Land of Nephi some 2,800 miles in width and about 950 miles north to south. The Land of Zarahemla about 600 miles across and 725 miles north to south, but the Land of Bountiful about 1500 miles in width and about 1000 miles north to south. This makes the entire Land Southward about 6,250,000 square miles, which is about one-third the size of the entire United States.

In search of Zarahemla, Limhi’s 43-man expedition would have traveled some 4100 miles in a direct route, and probably 4500 miles in their wandering—a round trip of between 8200 and 9000 miles (which is equivalent to back and forth across the United States three times from ocean to ocean) in trying to find the city of Zarahemla—nor would they have ever crossed through the narrow neck of land in doing so. This also means when the Lamanites came down from the Land of Nephi to do battle with the Nephites, it took them 1000 miles of travel to reach the border of the Land of Zarahemla, and another 700 miles to reach the city of Zarahemla—or 1700 miles to do battle. So when Coriantumr made this trip, he covered the 1700 miles so swiftly, he caught the Nephites along the way and in the City of Zarahemla completely by surprise (that's like marching from Salt Lake City to Pittsburg).

In addition, the Land of Nephi on his map is actually as much as 2000 miles to the east of the Land of Zarahemla. Also, the Land of Desolation is actually to the east of the Land of Bountiful, which on his map also runs 1300 miles to the east of the nearest border to the Land of Zarahemla. This means that when Coriantumr came into the center of the land and marched through the most capital parts of the land on his way to the city of Bountiful, he would have traveled some 2900 miles.

The Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Nephi are NOT almost completely surrounded by water on his map, though the scriptures tell us it was (Alma 22:32).

I’m not sure how many disagreements with scripture Covino believes it is okay to have and still be the most correct map made—but so far we have not found one iota of agreement between his map and Mormon’s description of the land.

(See the next post, “Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part III,” for more comments and responses to the statements made on the website including more evaluations of their map)


  1. So? Who believes the Books of Mormon?

  2. I am glad you posted this article. It makes sense to me.