Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Lehi Landing Site in Baja California Sur—Part II

When Baja California Theorists begin talking about their proposed site for the Land of promise, perhaps we should actually take a look at the area--for as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The East Sea coastal area of the Land of Zarahemla, particularly in the southeast, toward the dividing line between the Land of Nephi and the Land of Zarahemla, had been a troublesome place for many years, described as a Lamanite stronghold (Alma 50:11). Mormon describes that areas as a wilderness, meaning that man did not occupy it, at least to the point of changing its environment. It was not a desert, or mountains region, simply unoccupied by the Nephites. Finally, Moroni drove out the Lamanites (Alma 50:7), who lived in tents along this area (Alma 22:28), and caused that Nephites move into the area and take possession of the land (Alma 50:9).

"And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites (Alma 50:13).

Now, in understanding this, it might be obvious that this portion of the Land of Promise, this east seashore of the Land of Zarahemla, would be suitable to build several cities and have sufficient numbers living there to discourage the Lamanites from trying to move back into the area. However, along this stretch of seashore in Baja California Sur, north of today's La Paz (which would be in the proposed Land of Nephi), and along the coast south of Loreto, the mountain range known as Sierra de la Giganta looms up out of the Sea of Cortes (proposed East Sea) like a giant, impassable wall. It rises abruptly directly from sea level and presents a spectacular sight from the shore like a gigantic wall filled with pillars, towers, and deep, narrow canyons. On the west side of this mountain range, the elevation slopes upward gradually, but on the east side, it drops off straight into the sea.

The Sierra de la Giganta Mountains along the east seashore drops off into the Sea of Cortes like an impenetrable wall

As impenetrable as it looks,  these cliff-like mountains are riddled with very narrow canyons that reach deep into the secret heart of this mountain. Most of them are impossibly steep and short but some are long, fairly accessible, though quite narrow. As hostile and barren as Giganta looks from the distance, deep in the these canyons it has a very different face, and can be penetrated deep through the mountains by narrow canyons. The problem is, there is no place to build a city along the seashore, nor within these mountain canyons. Certainly, they could not build fortifications that they might secure their armies and their people from the hands of their enemies (Alma 50:10) simply because there is no room for armies, people, cities and fortifications along this mountain range on the east seashore.

Baja, Mexico, Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, East coast of Baja Sur, Sea of Cortes, Gulf of California

(See the next post, "The Lehi Landing Site in Baja California Sur--Part III," for more of the topography of the inland area of the Land of Zarahemla)

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