Friday, December 25, 2020

The Landing of the Nephtes - Part II

 Continued from the previous post, “The Landing of the Mulekites – Part II,” for more information on where the Mulekites landed and subsequently lived. Continuing with an understanding of an accurate discussion about Alma 22:30-31.

(Alma 22:31)  And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.

Landing on Santa Elena Peninsula, the Jaredites moved up into the highlands in the south wilderness


Reading this correctly, one finds:

And they (Jaredites) came from there (place of first landing) up into the south wilderness (the southernmost part of the Land Northward, just north of the narrow neck). Thus the land on the northward (just north of the narrow neck) was called Desolation (after the Jaredite bones), and the land on the southward (south of the narrow neck) was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness (uninhabited land at the time of the Jaredites) which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind (at the time of Mormon), a part of which had come from the land northward (north of the narrow neck) for food.

With this in mind, then, we can restate this scriptural statement so it is not quite so confusing upon first reading:  "And the land of Bountiful (just south of the Narrow Neck) bordered upon the land which they called Desolation (just north of the Narrow Neck), the land of Desolation being so far northward that the land of Desolation came into the land which had been peopled by the Jaredites who had been destroyed and their (Jaredite) bones were left scattered on the land (which we have already mentioned).  This land northward of Desolation, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, was the place where those that had been destroyed first landed (Jaredites first landing."

Consequently, the scripture in Alma cannot be used to show that the Mulekites landed in the land northward. Nor can the second scripture cited in Helaman be used for this purpose. Consider the following:

In 73 B.C., before the Nephites had migrated into the Land Northward, Alma says:

Moroni and his Flag of Liberty that he made


1) That is, Moroni was naming the land of promise south of the land of Desolation, i.e., the Land Southward, as a chosen land, and the land of liberty.  He called the land south (the land of Nephi, then held by the Lamanites, separated from the Nephites by a Narrow Strip of Wilderness) and the land north (Zarahemla to Bountiful, then held by the Nephites) as the chosen land, the land of liberty.  Here we find Moroni (or Alma the recorder or Mormon the abridger) naming the Land Southward having two divisions—a land north and a land south.

2) In 30 B.C., Helaman, referring to the peace that then existed among the Lamanites (in the south—Land of Nephi) and the Nephites (in the north—Zarahemla to Bountiful) referred to this unprecedented peace.  He said: "...they became exceeding rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north.  Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south."  (Helaman 6:9-10, emphasis added).

Again, we find a separation of the Land Southward, which was fully occupied by Lamanites in the south and Nephites in the north, following this natural social division that had existed for nearly 500 years at this time.  To make sure he gets his message across, Helaman mentions the difference between the land north and the land south, yet both having the same in common, i.e., the Lamanites in the south and the Nephites in the north of the Land Southward were rich, were in communication with one another, intermingled, raised crops, had gold, etc.  This was an unprecedented time of peace in the 500-year history of the land of promise (Helaman 6:11-12).

Separation of the Nephites and Lamanites


3) In about 18 B.C., the Apostle Nephi described the Nephites in the Land Southward who abandoned their land and withdrew to Bountiful, which was on a line with the Land of Desolation, and gave the Gaddianton Robbers the land to their south, and "the Robbers gained the Land South and the Land North" as they came down out of the hills and took over the land south of the Nephites (3 Nephi 4:1). Here the term Land North is given but the Robbers were not in the Land Northward—only in the northern part (Land North) of the Land Southward” Desolation (3 Nephi 3:23-25).

To get a proper perspective, the elements of the land are listed as (working from the south to the north):

• Land Southward (Alma 22:32):

Land South: (Lehi)

1.  Land of First Inheritance (First Landing)

2.  Land of Nephi

Land North: (Mulek)

3.  Land of Zarahemla (Alma 22:29)

4.  Land of Bountiful (Alma 22:29)

Area of Separation or Debarkation (Alma 22:32)

5.  Narrow Neck of Land (Alma 22:32)

Land Northward (Alma 22:32)

6.  Land of Desolation (Alma 22:30)

7.  Site of Last Jaredite Battle (Alma 22:30)

8.  Land of Large Bodies of Water (Helaman 3:4-5)

Now, for further evidence, we need only take a look at another scripture, rarely quoted by the Book of Mormon scholars, which makes this understanding quite clear.  It is found in Omni, and was written by Amaleki who was a first-hand witness to the events he described for he lived in the days of Mosiah, saw his death, and the reign of King Benjamin (Omni 1:23). He was part of the group of Nephites that escaped to the city of Zarahemla and knew the Mulekites first hand. He wrote:

(See the next post, “The Landing of the Mulekites – Part III,” for more informqtion on where the Mulekites landed and subsequently lived).

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