Land and Lands

By Roger R. Keller

Roger R. Keller, “Land and Lands,” in Book of Mormon Authors: Their Words and Messages (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996), 103–150.

Land and Lands

The concept of Land is critical to an understanding of the Old Testament. Since land was among the blessings of Israel’s covenant with the Lord, it is as much a matter of doctrine as a matter of society. Land plays an important role in God’s interaction with his people. Abraham was promised a land by the Lord. Moses led the children of Israel to the promised land. Joshua defeated the inhabitants of the promised land and took possession of it. The people were exiled from the land by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, yet there was hope of return. A remnant of the Jews returned to the land of Israel under Zerubbabel and others. The Maccabees regained the land from Syria, and the Jews had to flee the land after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D.70.

Given these precedents, it is important that we examine the use of the terms Land and Lands within the Book of Mormon to determine how these words were understood among the people of Israel who dwelt in the New World.

Most of the authors within the Book of Mormon use the word Land. Abinadi never uses it, while Enos uses it only once, Amulek twice, and Zenos three times. Figure 1 shows the use per thousand words of author text, from the highest usage to the lowest, as well as the actual number of times the word Land appears in a particular author.

Figure 1: Land

18.64

Zeniff

(34)

7.11

Mormon

(696­)

5.93

Mosiah

(­7)

5.62

Moroni 2

(­108)

5.52

Lehi

(­26)

5.48

Father

(­6)

5.33

Helaman

(­27)

4.89

Lord

(­56)

4.81

Ammon

(­11)

3.58

Moroni 1

(­11)

2.70

Nephi 2

(­6)

2.66

Isaiah

(­19)

2.27

Samuel

(­7)

2.22

Nephi 1

(­63)

1.94

Lord-Isa

(­9)

1.93

Angel

(­4)

1.69

Alma 2

(­34)

1.45

Jesus

(­14)

1.42

Benjamin

(­6)

1.00

Enos

(­1)

0.70

Zenos

(­3)

0.70

Jacob

(­6)

0.63

Amulek

(­2)

 

We will examine Land and Lands under two headings: a geographical grouping and a special grouping. In the first group we will examine those instances where Land or Lands refers to a geographical region, while in the second group we will examine those instances in which Land or Lands is defined in a way which appears to transcend a purely geographical meaning. We will discuss the authors in the same order that we did in chapter 5 on “Israel”—considering the divine figures, the prophetic figures from the plates of brass, Lehi and his sons and grandson, and Mormon and Moroni 2. However, because Land and Lands were more widely used by the Book of Mormon authors than was Israel, it is necessary to add other authors: the earlier figures of the Zarahemla period (Zeniff, Benjamin, Mosiah, Ammon, Alma 2, and Amulek), and later persons of Zarahemla (Captain Moroni, Helaman, Nephi 2, Samuel).

Geographical References

The divine figures (Nephi’s angel, the Father, Jesus, the Lord, and the Lord in Isaiah), make a number of references to Land in a geographical sense, as figure 2 indicates. “Land of means that the author specifies a particular land by name, e.g., land of Zarahemla, land of Nephi, land of Gideon, etc. “Region” indicates that the author uses Land by itself to indicate some region, the context determining what that area might be. Canaan and Judea are regions but were considered separately because they are Old World regions. “Territory” is basically an unspecified region, while “New World” refers to the Western Hemisphere. “Directions” means that the author uses compass directions with the word Land, e.g., land northward, land southward, land south, etc. The other headings, such as “borders of and “round about,” are phrases used by the authors to describe the geographical dimensions of the land of which they speak.

Figure 2: Land

 

Angel

Father

Jesus

Lord

Lord-Isa

Land of

-

1

1

9

2

Region

-

-

1

6

4

Borders of

-

-

-

-

-

Round about

-

-

-

-

-

Part(s) of

-

-

-

-

-

Quarter of

-

-

-

-

-

Territory

-

-

-

-

-

Strange

-

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

-

-

-

Judea

-

-

1

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

New World

1

2

4

25

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

-

-

-

-

-

 

Clearly, the use distribution of the divine figures falls into the categories of “Land of,” “Region,” and “New World.” We will examine how the word Land is used within each of these groups and determine what similarities or differences there may be between the various figures.

Angel

Of the four times that the Angel uses the word Land, only once does he use it as a geographical region. In doing so he specifically refers to the New World upon which the Gentiles have been given power by God. This land is choice above all other lands (1 Nephi 13:30)—the one instance in which the Angel uses the word Lands.

Father

Of the six times the Father uses Land, three refer to geographical areas. Once he speaks of the land of Jerusalem, to which Israel will be gathered (3 Nephi 20:29), and twice he speaks of the New World, upon which the Gentiles have scattered and scourged God’s people (3 Nephi 16:8; 20:28).

The Lord

Of all the divine personages, the Lord deals most extensively with the concept of Land, and slightly over 70 percent of his usages relate to geography. He refers four times to the land of Jerusalem as a land of wickedness from which he delivered Lehi’s family (e.g., 1 Nephi 17:14) just as he delivered Israel from the land of Egypt (2 Nephi 3:10; Mosiah 12:34). In a New World context, he commands Ammon not to go to the land of Nephi, where his life will be endangered, but to go to the land of Middoni where his brothers are imprisoned (Alma 20:2, 5).

The references to land as a region, with one exception, refer to New World localities: the valley of Alma (Mosiah 24:23), Ani-Anti, and Nephi (Alma 27:12), all of which the Lord commands the people to abandon in order that they may not perish. The Lord also pronounces a woe upon the area around Zarahemla because of the wickedness that is present there (Helaman 13:16). The single exception to the New World localities is Abinadi’s quoting of the fifth of the Ten Commandments, in which the Lord commands that persons honor their fathers and mothers. If the people obey, then they will have a long life in the land which God has given them (Mosiah 13:20)—a message as relevant for the delivered Nephites as it was for the Israelites coming out of Egypt.

A dominant concern to the Lord in the Book of Mormon seems to be the New World, since it accounts for 62.5 percent of the Lord’s geographical references. Lehi reminds his sons that the Lord has promised that when they obey God, they will prosper in the land (2 Nephi 1:20; see also 2 Nephi 4:4; Jacob 2:29; Enos 1:10; Jarom 1:9; Omni 1:6; Alma 9:13; 50:20). By this time, Lehi’s family is well established in the New World, and thus the land to which the promise refers has to be the Western Hemisphere. According to Jacob, God promised that the New World would be a land of inheritance, a land of liberty, a land without kings, a land fortified against other nations, a land consecrated to Lehi’s seed, and even a land upon which the Gentiles would be blessed (2 Nephi 10:10–12, 19). Abinadi and Samuel, however, quote the Lord as saying that if there is no obedience or repentance, the people will be cursed and destroyed from off the land; however, a record of those fallen people will be preserved for those who later inhabit the land (Mosiah 12:8; see also Alma 37:25; 45:16; Helaman 13:17–19). It is precisely because the people did not repent, as the Lord reminded the Nephites, that destruction came at the time of Christ’s crucifixion (3 Nephi 9:12). Finally, the Lord tells both Israel and the Gentiles that when the Book of Mormon comes forth, the Father’s work will have begun once again on this hemisphere (Ether 4:17).

Jesus

When Jesus appeared to the Nephites at the temple in Bountiful, he told them that the Father had not given him permission to tell any of the persons in the Old World about the scattered tribes which the Father had led out of the land, i.e., out of the northern kingdom, Jerusalem, Judea, and their environs (3 Nephi 15:15; 16:1). These verses constitute Jesus’ geographical references to the Old World. Not all Jesus’ sheep reside either in the Old World or in Lehi’s land of inheritance (3 Nephi 16:1), but for those who do or will live in the Western Hemisphere, the Father will establish them, both Israelite and Gentile, and will establish the New Jerusalem for them (3 Nephi 20:22; 21:4).

The Lord in Isaiah

Not surprisingly, all geographical references of the Lord in Isaiah refer to the Old World. In 1 Nephi 21:12 the Lord refers to the gathering of Israel, one reference point being the land of Sinim, which refers to Aswan on the Nile. The same chapter states that Israel will return to her land, which had previously been devastated, and prosper in it (1 Nephi 21:12,19). When the Lord refers to Land as regions, he signifies Judah twice (2 Nephi 16:11–12) and the destruction of Babylon once (2 Nephi 23:9).

In summary, there are some observable differences in the way the various divine figures speak with respect to geography. For the Father, Israel will be gathered to Jerusalem, while the Lord speaks of delivering portions of Israel from Jerusalem. Similarly, Jesus speaks of the people who have been taken out of Jerusalem, and the Lord in Isaiah speaks only of the Old World. When the New World is discussed, the Angel says that the Gentiles will be given power over it. Similarly, the Father indicates that the Gentiles will scatter Lehi’s descendants upon the New World. The Lord led various groups out of Jerusalem to preserve them and commands various people to leave New World regions where they are in danger. If the people obey his commandments, they will have a long life in the land. Finally, Jesus indicates that the New World is the place where the New Jerusalem will be established.

Prophets of the Plates of Brass

The two prophets of the plates of brass who use the word Land are Isaiah and Zenos. Their geographical uses are shown in figure 3.

Zenos’s use of Land is almost incidental and is rather generic. Three occurrences are found in the parable of the tame olive tree. Land simply refers to the various portions of the vineyard—the world (Jacob 5:21, 43, 69).

Figure 3: Land

 

Isaiah

Zenos

Land of

7

-

Region

6

2

Borders of

-

-

Round about

-

-

Part(s) of

-

1

Quarter of

-

-

Territory

-

-

Strange

-

-

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

Judea

-

-

 

 

 

New World

-

-

 

 

 

Directions

-

-

 

Isaiah, however, speaks of a number of Near Eastern lands: Assyria (2 Nephi 17:18), Zebulun (2 Nephi 19:1), Naphtali (2 Nephi 19:1), and Egypt (2 Nephi 21:16). When he uses the word to mean “regions,” those regions are also Near Eastern: Ephraim, Judah, and Syria (2 Nephi 17:16, 22, 24; 19:19). He also speaks of the “land of the shadow of death,” perhaps meaning those people of Israel and Judah who were under Assyrian domination or threat (2 Nephi 19:2). In like manner, he speaks of the “land of the Lord,” meaning Israel (2 Nephi 24:2). Isaiah also speaks poetically of being cut off from the land of the living, referring to death (Mosiah 14:8). Finally, Isaiah uses Land to mean the world or the earth, which is how some translations render the original Hebrew word in Isaiah 10:23 (2 Nephi 20:23) and 14:21 (2 Nephi 24:21). In the first instance, the Lord will bring his work with Israel to an end in the midst of the earth. In the second instance, slaughter is prepared for those who do evil, for they cannot inherit the earth. Thus, whether his language is poetic, prophetic, or historical, Isaiah’s geographical orientation is on the Near East.

Lehi

In figure 4 we find the geographical distribution of terms among Lehi, his sons, and his grandson.

Figure 4: Land

 

Enos

Jacob

Lehi

Nephi

Land of

-

-

2

18

Region

-

-

-

7

Borders of

-

-

-

-

Round about

-

-

-

-

Part(s) of

-

-

-

-

Quarter of

-

-

-

-

Territory

-

-

-

-

Strange

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

-

3

Judea

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

New World

-

2

13

10

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

-

-

-

-

 

Nephi 1 speaks most frequently about the land in a geographical way, but this is not surprising, for he was the narrator who enabled us to follow the wanderings of his family and gave us the various signposts which they encountered. Of all the family, he writes the longest text. But even so, Lehi makes a significant contribution to the study of the word Land, for he has a use rate of 5.52 per thousand words of text and makes a number of references to Land, by which he means the New World.

Lehi refers twice to the land of Jerusalem. In the first instance, it is the land from which the Lord removed his family (2 Nephi 1:30). In the second use the Lord promised, according to Lehi, that anyone who is brought from Jerusalem to the New World and who keeps God’s commandments will prosper in the land (2 Nephi 1:9). However, the bulk of Lehi’s geographic uses of Land refer to the New World. It is a land which the Lord gave to Lehi and his children (2 Nephi 1:5), the knowledge of its existence being kept from others (2 Nephi 1:8). The people who come to this land will be those whom the Father brings (2 Nephi 1:6–7). If the people become wicked, the land will be cursed (2 Nephi 1:7, 31), but if they are righteous they will be safe and prosper in the Land (2 Nephi 1:9, 32). Sam’s and Zoram’s seed shall be among those who inherit the land and prosper in it (2 Nephi 1:31; 4:11). Thus, it is a special land for Lehi’s descendants, as we shall see when we consider the other uses of Land.

Nephi 1

Nephi 1 refers to the land of Jerusalem as that from which he and his family fled (1 Nephi 2:11; 16:35; 18:24;2Nephi 1:1, 3), as that to which he and his brothers return (1 Nephi 3:9–10; 5:6; 7:2), as that to which some desired to return (1 Nephi 7:7), and as that to which the Jews will one day return (2 Nephi 25:11). When he speaks of Land as a region, in five instances the referent is the land of Jerusalem (1 Nephi 3:18–19; 7:14–15).

Other lands to which Nephi 1 refers are Egypt, from which Israel was delivered (1 Nephi 5:15; 17:40; 2 Nephi 25:20), and Canaan, which is not mentioned by name but is the land the Lord gave to the children of Israel (1 Nephi 17:32–33, 35). The mention of Egypt and the reference to Canaan had relevance for Lehi’s family since they understood themselves as being delivered by the Lord from an unrighteous people and being carried to a new and promised land. Nephi 1 also mentions Bountiful, where the ship which brought Lehi and his family to the New World was built (1 Nephi 17:5, 7)—a place that was perhaps seen in retrospect as a precursor of the promised land that was yet to come. Nephi 1 also notes that where there are wicked persons, the Lord curses their land (1 Nephi 17:38). Nephi l’s only other reference to a region refers to the land of Nephi over which he gave authority to Jacob and Joseph to be teachers (2 Nephi 5:26).

Nephi 1 is also concerned about the New World. He notes that the people prospered in the New World (2 Nephi 5:13), although in building their temple, they did not have access to many of the precious things that Solomon had (2 Nephi 5:16). Nephi 1 sees in a vision the wars that will occur between the Nephites and the Lamanites in the New World (1 Nephi 12:3, 20) and the ultimate destruction which will attend the people’s wickedness (1 Nephi 22:18; 2 Nephi 27:1). He sees the Gentiles prospering in the Western Hemisphere (1 Nephi 13:20; 22:7). The plates are written to instruct Nephi l’s people, who will possess the land (1 Nephi 19:3). Many Jews shall be gathered in the New World (2 Nephi 30:7). Thus, according to Nephi 1, the New World is a place of blessing for those who follow the Lord and a place of destruction for those who do not.

Nephi 1 uses the word Lands geographically three times. He recounts how he read from the plates of brass to his brothers so that they might know how the Lord had worked in other lands (1 Nephi 19:22). He also prophesies that in the last days, the Gentiles and Jews alike will be wicked in the New World as well as in other lands or nations (2 Nephi 27:1).

Jacob

Jacob refers twice to the New World. First, he indicates that the people have sought precious metals which were abundant in the New World and have consequently become proud as they accrued wealth (Jacob 2:12–13). Second, he states that those who do evil will find the land cursed because of them (Jacob 3:3).

In summary, Lehi refers mostly to the New World as a special land for his descendants. Nephi 1 refers to the Old World as a place from which they have fled, and refers to the New World as a place of blessing. Jacob warns against pride in the New World and warns those who do evil that the land will consequently be cursed.

Zeniff

From figure 5, it appears that the concept of New World lands begins to diminish, especially with Zeniff, Ammon, and Amulek. We will attempt to determine why the New World is part of Alma 2’s thinking, and precisely what he means by it.

Figure 5: Land

 

Alma 2

Ammon

Amulek

Benjaminn

Mosiah

Zeniff

Land of

7

5

1

1

-

9

Region

10

2

1

4

1

16

Borders of

-

-

-

-

-

-

Round about

-

-

-

-

-

-

Part(s) of

-

-

-

-

-

-

Quarter of

-

-

-

-

-

-

Territory

-

-

-

-

-

-

Strange

1

2

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

-

-

-

-

Judea

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New World

11

-

-

1

4

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

Zeniff s interest in the land focuses primarily on the land of Nephi, since he was primarily interested in getting back to his roots. When Zeniff speaks in regional terms, Nephi is the land which he wished to possess (Mosiah 9:3,5,7,10; 10:1), the land the Lamanite king gave him (Mosiah 9:7), the land in which the people prospered (Mosiah 9:9,11; 10:5), the land for which the Lamanites after twelve years of Nephite possession began to contend (Mosiah 9:14; 10:2), and the land which came into bondage under the Lamanites (Mosiah 10:18). Localities to which Zeniff refers directly are the lands of Zarahemla, from which he left (Mosiah 9:2), Nephi (or Lehi-Nephi), to which he was going and in which there was warfare (Mosiah 9:1, 6, 14), and Shilom, a land which he also received from the Lamanite king (Mosiah 9:6, 14). In addition, he refers to the lands of Shemlon and Shilom as places of confrontation between his people and the Lamanites (Mosiah 10:7–8). Finally, Zeniff mentions Old World Jerusalem in explaining why the Lamanites harbored hard feelings toward the Nephites: they believed they were driven from Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers (Mosiah 10:12).

Benjamin

All of Benjamin’s uses of Land are geographic. In the one instance when he refers to the land where the Nephites are, he promises that they will prosper in the land if they keep the Lord’s commands (Mosiah 2:22). The land to which Benjamin refers is simply that in which the people are living, most particularly the land of Zarahemla (Mosiah 1:7, 10; 2:31). However, he still retains the memory of the Old World, for his one specific reference to a land other than his own is to the land of Jerusalem, out of which the Lord led the people (Mosiah 1:11).

Mosiah

Benjamin’s son Mosiah seems to be a bit further removed from the Old World in his use of Land. In one instance, the word appears to refer to the region of Zarahemla, throughout which Mosiah had sought to establish peace (Mosiah 29:14). The four references to the New World lands seem to refer essentially to the land in which the people are living, with less sense of an Old World/New World separation. Certainly the consciousness of being separated from a homeland as found in Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob is absent. Mosiah warns that if the people choose iniquity, the judgments of God will come upon the land (Mosiah 29:27). He also desires that inequality should be banished from the land, and that it should be a land of liberty (Mosiah 29:32).

Ammon

When one turns to Ammon, Mosiah’s son, four references to the land of Zarahemla and one to the land of Nephi are found. Zarahemla is the land which Ammon and his brothers left to go on their mission to the land of Nephi (Alma 26:1,9), a mission that was jeered by the inhabitants of Zarahemla (Alma 26:23), When he writes of regions, he expresses his amazement at the miracles the Lord had worked in Ishmael and Nephi (Alma 26:12), as well as at the love he found exhibited by the Lamanite converts, a love that could find no equal either in the land of Zarahemla or anywhere in Lamanite territory (Alma 26:33). He is not, however, unaware of the people’s separation from Israel, for both Nephites and Larnanites are wanderers in a “strange land”—a branch of Israel lost from its root (Alma 26:36).

Alma 2

When Alma 2 speaks geographically, he speaks specifically of various lands, referring sometimes to locations in the New World and at other times to Old World places. In the first group are the lands of Mormon, Manti, Nephi, and Siron. He speaks of his father establishing a church in the land of Mormon and then refers to it as a region (Alma 5:3). When Zoram, the commander of the Nephite armies, asks Alma 2 where he should seek for the Nephites taken captive by the Larnanites, Alma 2 tells him to go above Manti on the east of the river Sidon, and there he will recover those individuals taken captive (Alma 16:6). Alma 2 rejoices at the success of the sons of Ammon in preaching the gospel in the land of Nephi (Alma 29:14) and sorrows at Corianton’s immorality with the harlot Isabel in the land of Siron (Alma 39:3). In addition, he refers to old Jerusalem, mentioning to the people of Ammonihah (Alma 9:9) and to his son, Helaman (Alma 36:29), that their fathers had been delivered from Jerusalem by the Lord. Alma 2 also mentions Salem—the city over which Melchizedek was king—as he challenges the people of Ammonihah to humble themselves as Abraham did before Melchizedek (Alma 13:17–18).

When we turn to the New World idea in Alma 2, it is interesting to observe that only he and his friend Ammon speak of being wanderers in a “strange land,” i.e., a land separated from their land of origin (Alma 13:23). It seems to be more than a coincidence that no one in the Book of Mormon uses this phrase except these two closely associated friends.

In considering the passages that have been designated as “New World” references, it should be said that these designate less of an Old World consciousness as opposed to the New, but more of a sense of land which transcends specific geographical boundaries and includes the lands of the Nephites and Lamanites. In this sense, then, there is a difference between Lehi and his sons, who have a sharp sense of difference between the Old and New Worlds, and Alma 2, who still recognizes this difference but who does not particularly make the differentiation. For example, as he speaks to the people in Ammonihah, Alma 2 states that the Lamanites were cut off from the presence of the Lord since the beginnings of their transgressions in the land (Alma 9:14). This is an object lesson to the people of Ammonihah, showing that if they continue in their present path, they will not prosper in the land—the land in which they are living—any more than the Lamanites have. However, because of their ignorance, the Lamanites are far better off than the people of Ammonihah, for God will have mercy on the Lamanites and prolong their days in the land, but no such promise is given to the people of Ammonihah (Alma 9:16–18). In other references to the land in which the people are living, Alma 2 seems to be very close to Lehi. The people will prosper in the land if they are obedient to the Lord’s commands (Alma 36:1, 30; 37:28; 38:1; 45:8, 16), but if they are disobedient, the land will be cursed (Alma 37:28, 31; 45:16).

Amulek

The two references to Land by Amulek are both geographical. In the first instance, he reminds the people of Ammonihah that Lehi came out of the land of Jerusalem (Alma 10:3). In the second case, he tells them that the only reason destruction had not already fallen on Ammonihah was because of the prayers of the few righteous in the land (Alma 10:22).

In summary, the focus of these earlier Nephite writers was primarily on the geography of the New World, with Zeniff and Ammon particularly concerned with the land of Nephi, while the others focused primarily on Zarahemla. The others have not forgotten their roots in Israel, but this dimension has clearly diminished in importance.

Captain Moroni (Moroni 1)

Figure 6 indicates the geographical references of later individuals in Zarahemla’s history.

Figure 6: Land

 

Helaman

Moroni 1

Nephi 2

Samuel

Land of

17

2

2

-

Region

2

2

2

5

Borders of

-

2

-

-

Round about

1

-

-

-

Part(s) of

3

-

-

-

Quarter of

2

-

-

-

Territory

-

-

-

-

Strange

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

-

-

Judea

-

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

New World

-

-

-

2

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

-

-

-

-

 

Essentially, the same categories are present that were seen with the previous writers; there is an emphasis on the naming of particular places and references to particular regions. However, Helaman seems to have a broader vocabulary than do the previous writers.

All of Captain Moroni’s geographical uses of Land refer to places in the New World. He has deep concern for Nephite lands, for it was those lands that he had to protect. The Title of Liberty calls people to defend the Nephite lands (Alma 46:20). Also, Moroni 1 writes to Pahoran, the governor of those lands (Alma 60:1). Apart from Mormon, Captain Moroni is the only writer who uses the phrase “borders of,” for he indicates that the Lamanites are encroaching upon the land “in the borders by the west sea” [1] (Alma 52:11), and he notes in his letter to Pahoran that thousands are dying defending the borders of the land (Alma 60:22). In naming specific places, Moroni 1 demands that Ammoron return to the land of Nephi (Alma 54:6) and threatens to come down to the land of Zarahemla if Pahoran does not respond to his needs (Alma 60:30).

Helaman

Helaman’s basic orientation is clearly toward Zarahemla, to which he refers specifically twelve times. It seems, however, that the land of Zarahemla, as Helaman understands it, is the localized region around the city of Zarahemla rather than a broader region of Nephite lands. Perhaps this is so, because by Helaman’s day the Nephite lands extended from the East Sea to the West Sea and included everything in between. With this in mind, Helaman receives supplies and troops from Zarahemla and the “land round about” (Alma 56:28; 57:6; 58:3–4), sends prisoners to Zarahemla (Alma 56:57; 57:6,11,15–16, 28), and marches toward Zarahemla (Alma 58:23–24). There is one regional reference to this localized Zarahemla (Alma 57:29), again having a concern with sending prisoners there. However, the other regional reference seems to imply a broader range of Nephite lands from which the Lamanites took prisoners (Alma 58:30).

Other references which imply that the Nephite lands were no longer limited to the area of the city of Zarahemla are references to a “part,” “parts,” or a “quarter” of the land where some event takes place. Thus Helaman writes to Captain Moroni, telling him how things are progressing in his part of the land (Alma 56:2, 9), noting that since he could not take Manti, he devoted his troops to maintaining that portion of the land which they still held (Alma 58:3). Finally, Helaman tells Captain Moroni that the Lamanites have pulled out of his area, that his troops have regained possession of many of their “lands” (Alma 58:33), [2] but that he still needs supplies (Alma 58:30). He does not, however, wish to trouble Moroni 1 unduly in the event that the Lamanites had entered the quarter of the land that Moroni 1 was trying to defend (Alma 58:35).

In addition to Zarahemla, Helaman names other specific places which all seem to be references to localized lands. He names Nephi as the land from which the people of Ammon came (Alma 56:3) and to which captured Nephite chief captains were probably taken (Alma 56:12). He also speaks of the “land of Manti, or the city of Manti, and the city of Zeezrom, and the city of Cumeni, and the city of Antiparah” as captured cities (Alma 56:14). His clarification that Manti should be spoken of as a city rather than as a land reinforces the premise that Helaman sees the Nephite lands composed of many regions or cities.

Nephi 2

Nephi 2 casts an eye back to old Jerusalem when he wishes that he had lived in the days of Nephi 1, when the people were slow to do iniquity (Helaman 7:7). As he speaks to the less-than-righteous people of his day, he reminds them of all the prophetic voices that had testified of Jerusalem’s destruction and of Christ’s coming. For those who doubted Jerusalem’s fall, he cites the presence of Zedekiah’s descendants who came through Mulek and who were still among his listeners, even in a day which was far removed from Jerusalem’s fall to the Babylonians (Helaman 8:21). When he uses Land in a regional manner, Nephi 2 refers twice to Zarahemla, asking God to bring a famine on the land and then to remove the famine as the people begin to change their lives (Helaman 11:4, 13).

Samuel

Samuel never mentions a specific geographical place by name and is thus somewhat different from the writers we have just examined. However, all of his regional references seem to be to Zarahemla, since it is to the people of Zarahemla that he is speaking. The Lord has cursed the land of Zarahemla because of the people’s wickedness (Helaman 13:23, 30, 35–36). Samuel’s New World references are to the lands of both the Nephites and Lamanites; however, he does not seem to be concerned about differentiating between the Old World and the New, but concerns himself with the signs of Jesus’ birth and death that will occur in the land of the Nephites and the Lamanites (Helaman 14:20, 28).

In summary, the basic concern of these authors is with Zarahemla, but perhaps with an understanding of the lands of the Nephites as being a collection of cities or localized lands which make up a broader whole. This certainly seems to be the case with Helaman, and his expanded vocabulary tends to undergird this suggestion. The Old World context seems more diminished in these authors than in any of the previous ones, with the exception of Nephi 2, who refers to Lehi’s escape from Jerusalem and the city’s subsequent destruction.

Figure 7: Land

 

Mormon

Moroni 1

Land of

293

9

Region

256

44

Borders of

13

-

Round about

12

-

Part(s) of

17

1

Quarter of

4

1

Territory

2

-

Strange

-

-

 

 

 

Canaan

-

-

Judea

-

-

 

 

 

New World

7

25

 

 

 

Directions

56

5

 

Mormon and Moroni 2

When we turn to Mormon and Moroni 2, we come to the Book of Mormon geographers par excellence, especially in the case of Mormon. Of all Mormon’s references to Land, 94.7 percent deal with geography. Only Zeniff uses the word with a higher use rate per thousand words of text (18.64) than does Mormon (7.11). Moroni 2 uses it at a rate of 5.62 per thousand. Thus, for these two authors Land is a highly important word. Figures 7 and 8 show the distribution of their use for both Land and Lands. Since our focus in this section is on geography, we will only deal with the geographic references to Lands.

Figure 8: Lands

 

Mormon

Moroni 2

Regions

8

2

Other

-

-

Lamanites’

1

-

Zarahemla

1

-

Roundabout

-

-

Foreign

-

1

Precious

-

-

Inheritance

7

-

Choice

-

5

Of possession

4

-

Promised

-

-

Of my people

-

-

Your

-

-

Our

1

-

Your own

-

-

Their

24

-

Own

1

-

Their own

9

-

Whatsoever

1

-

 

Obviously, there are too many instances in which the word Land is used by Mormon and Moroni 2 to cite them all. However, we will look at Mormon’s and Moroni 2’s geographic concerns, their areas of stated interest, and some phraseology that is unique to them. Even without breaking their usage down, there are some unique elements already visible between them from figure 7. For example, Moroni 2 is far less specific in the places he names than is Mormon, and this may be due, in part, to the fact that Moroni 2 edits Ether and does not have the clear knowledge of the Jaredite lands that he and his father had of the Nephite and Lamanite lands. He therefore tends to speak of unnamed regions. Moroni 2 also places a decidedly greater emphasis on the New World than does Mormon, but as we have seen in other authors, this emphasis in Moroni 2 is not so much a distinction between Old and New worlds as a way of talking about both the Jaredite and Nephite/Lamanite lands as a whole. Even so, Moroni 2 does refer explicitly to the Old World. Finally, it is interesting to note that only Mormon and Moroni 2 associate directions with the lands of which they speak. When Lands is considered from a geographical standpoint, both Mormon and Moroni 2 use the word with a couple of individual variations to refer to regions.

Moroni 2

Specific New World lands which Moroni 2 names are Nehor (Ether 7:4), Moron (Ether 7:5–6; 14:6, 11), Desolation (Ether 7:6), Heth (Ether 8:2), and Corihor (14:27). He refers also to the Old World when he notes that Joseph took his father into Egypt, as the Lord brought Lehi out of Jerusalem, in order that Joseph’s seed would not perish (Ether 13:7).

Since most of the names of the Jaredite lands were apparently not known to Moroni 2, when he speaks of people leaving a land, giving a law in the land, etc., he does so with a nonspecific, regional meaning to the word Land. For example, Moroni 2 says that king Shule issued a law throughout the land which permitted the prophets to travel where they pleased (Ether 7:25). Omer is warned to depart out of the land (Ether 9:3). Nimrah fled from the land (Ether 9:9). There is war in the land (Ether 10:8,15). Morianton gains power over the land (Ether 10:8–10). People prosper in the land (Ether 10:16). Forests and animals cover the land (Ether 10:19). [3] Moroni 2 uses

Lands in a similar way. The great sea divided the “lands,” i.e., probably the Pacific Ocean dividing the Asian continent from the American continent (Ether 2:13). Anyone who participates in secret combinations seeks to overthrow the freedom of lands, nations, and countries (Ether 8:25). The restoration will occur when one hears of fires, tempests, and smoke in foreign lands (Mormon 8:29).

Moroni 2 also speaks of the land northward and the land southward, the former being the inhabited land of the Jaredites (Ether 10:21) and the latter being a place to which people fled before serpents (Ether 9:31–32), the place of the Jaredite hunting grounds (Ether 10:19, 21), and the place which the Nephites called Zarahemla (Ether 9:31). The two lands were separated by a narrow neck of land (Ether 10:20).

As noted above, Moroni 2 believes the New World lands are special, as we shall see more fully later. That identification with the lands of the Western Hemisphere is underlined in two ways: (1) by speaking generally about events that cut across regional boundaries but which clearly are related to the broad region inhabited by Jaredites or Nephites and Lamanites; and (2) by speaking regionally with essentially the same meaning. These two are not always easy to separate, but Moroni 2 seems to make this subtle distinction, especially when he refers to “this land” which should be understood as a specific reference to the New World in which events cut across regional boundaries. It would not, then, be inappropriate (see figure 7) to take the twenty-four regional references, which I believe refer to the lands of the New World, and add them to the twenty-five New World references, thereby giving us a total of forty-nine New World references and twenty regional references. To do so only heightens the already strong sense of New World orientation that one finds in Moroni 2.

When we consider Moroni 2’s New World references, we see that he is clearly conscious of others who have possessed the land before him and whose words will pass to later generations (Mormon 8:23; 9:36). He also denotes Jesus as the God of this land (Ether 2:12). This land is a promised land upon which the Jaredites bowed down (Ether 6:12), upon which they planted their crops (Ether 6:13), and upon which they began to spread (Ether 6:18). Orihah exercised his rule wisely over the land (Ether 7:1). The land can be cursed because of wickedness (Ether 7:23) or blessed because of righteousness (Ether 7:26). Prophets work in the land (Ether 9:28), and if the inhabitants are not righteous, other people may possess it (Ether 11:21). This land is the place where the New Jerusalem will be built (Ether 13:4, 6), where the remnant of the house of Joseph will grow (Ether 13:8), and where the three Nephites tarried before they were taken by the Lord (Mormon 8:10). [4]

When we consider Moroni 2’s regional references to the New World lands, we find him lamenting that the land is covered with robbery, murder, and bloodshed (Mormon 8:8–9), noting that the wicked shall be swept off the land (Ether 2:10–11), citing the fact that there was peace in the land under Emer and Coriantum (Ether 9:15, 22), and noting that people began to die quickly because of drought and poisonous snakes in the land (Ether 9:30–31). [5]

Thus, Moroni 2 has a strong identification with the Western Hemisphere, whether he is talking about the Jaredites or the final destruction of the Nephites. He is fully aware, however, that the Nephites and Lamanites are a separated branch of Israel.

Mormon

As indicated above, Mormon is the geographer of the Book of Mormon. Without him we would know virtually nothing about the Book of Mormon lands. It is in Mormon that we find the names of the Book of Mormon cities and regions and the differentiation made between lands north and south. While it is beyond the scope of this study, it is important to note that Mormon is also the one who mentions the mountains, seas, directions, and animals. However, we need to be careful as we study his knowledge of the Book of Mormon lands, because he did not always have personal knowledge of the lands of which he wrote, particularly those in the land of Nephi. Hence, Mormon may have been dependent upon sources himself, thereby necessitating that we distinguish between first- and secondhand knowledge when we try to use his descriptions of the land.

Mormon names forty-one different lands, many of them several times. [6] For example, he mentions the land of Nephi forty-three times, Zarahemla seventy-three times, Bountiful twenty-one times, Ammonihah eleven times, and Jershon eighteen times. As far as I can determine, these references are simply the product of a writer who wants to let people know where things took place. For Mormon, God worked in real history and among real people, all of whom lived in real places; Mormon had visited many of these places and had personal knowledge of them. This is an emphasis that runs through Mormon’s entire work, beginning with Words of Mormon 1:13 and ending with Mormon 6:6.

To avoid constantly repeating a place name, Mormon often refers to the land as a region, permitting the context to determine to which specific land he is speaking. Once again, however, the list is long, for he mentions twenty-eight such regions. [7] The most dominant region is Zarahemla (155 times) which often appears to encompass all Nephite lands rather than merely being a local designation. For Mormon, Zarahemla had become a designation for the whole Nephite land.

Also important to Mormon among the regional designations are the land of Nephi (27) and a broad designation, appearing primarily in 4 Nephi, which seems to include the lands of both the Nephites and Lamanites (26). After these two, other specific regional areas are mentioned much less frequently. In addition, Mormon uses a variety of expressions to denote various portions of the land: “borders of,” [8] “round about,” [9] “part(s) of,” [10]‘“ and “quarters of.” [11]

When Mormon speaks regionally and uses Lands, he speaks in much the same way as he did with Land. The Lamanites had taken possession of Shemlon, Shilom, and Amulon and had appointed kings over these lands (Mosiah 24:2). Helaman recaptured many of the Nephite lands (Alma 59:1) and, in the fifty-eighth year of the judges, the Nephites succeeded in regaining the lands around Zarahemla. In addition, Mormon speaks of the lands which were called Mulek in the north and Lehi in the south, noting that they were rich in gold and silver (Helaman 6:10–11). Finally, he narrates the events in which Lachoneus gathered the people to one place, leaving the lands in the north and in the south to the Lamanites, but leaving them deserted and without game (3 Nephi 4:1–2). Later, the Nephites give lands of their own from the midst of the Nephite lands to ex-Gadianton robbers who were Lamanites (3 Nephi 6:3).

Mormon is also the only writer, apart from his son, Moroni 2, who uses directional designations with respect to various land regions. He refers to the land northward (33), the land southward (12), the land south (5), the land north (5), and the land on the south by the sea (1). The difference between Mormon and Moroni 2 is that all of Mormon’s references are to Nephite and Lamanite lands, while those of Moroni 2 are to Jaredite lands.

Of major interest for this study is the unique language that Mormon and Moroni 2 share in referring to the lands of which they speak. No other author uses the phrases listed in figure 9 with any consistency. [12] Where they do appear they are very isolated instances. Figure 9 shows these phrases and the frequency with which they appear in Mormon and Moroni 2.

Figure 9

 

Mormon

Moroni 2

Throughout all the land

24

1

Over all the land

7

2

Through all the land

11

1

In all the land

1

1

Through the land

23

2

All the land

2

-

Throughout all his land

3

-

Against all the land

1

-

Against all the land

1

-

[Throughout] all the face of the land

12

9

The whole face of the land

4

2

[Throughout] the face of all the land

3

-

The face of the [this] land

10

15

The face of the whole land

1

-

 

There seems to be a tendency, particularly throughout Mormon, to use language that is expansive and inclusive. [13] Only Moroni 2 regularly uses similar language, but there are clearly differences between father and son. Moroni 2 seems to like the phrase “the face of the [this] land,” while Mormon likes to include the word “all” in the various phrases he uses. In these phrases, we have the clear fingerprints of Mormon and Moroni.

In summary, both Mormon and Moroni 2 provide geographical details, but it is Mormon who is the most interested by far in geographical notes. Clear differences are detectable, however, and lie particularly in the way the two use expansive phrases when talking about the land, a practice that is virtually unique to the two of them.

Figure 10: Land

 

Angel

Father

Jesus

Lord

Lord-Isa

Promised

1

1

-

4

-

Covenant

1

-

-

-

-

Choice

-

-

-

5

-

Holy

-

-

-

1

-

Prepared

-

-

-

1

-

Chosen

-

-

-

-

-

Liberty

-

-

-

1

-

Inheritance

1

-

7

3

-

Our possession

-

-

-

-

-

Our

-

-

-

-

-

Own

-

-

-

-

1

Our fathers’

-

1

-

-

-

Whatsoever

-

-

-

-

-

Better

-

-

-

-

-

A

-

-

-

-

-

Their

-

-

-

1

-

Thy

-

1

-

-

1

My

-

-

-

-

1

His

-

-

-

-

-

Ground

-

-

-

-

-

Earth

-

-

-

-

-

As verb

-

-

-

-

 

Special Meanings to the Word Land

This portion of the chapter will deal with generally nongeographical uses of the word Land. As can be seen in figure 10, these have to do with the ways in which Land is defined or described. Some of these uses identify the land as a special gift from God. Others designate the land as the possession of the people who speak of it. Some miscellaneous designations of the land are also included.

Figure 10 shows how the divine or heavenly beings use Land.

Clearly, the emphasis is on Land being a place of inheritance, a choice land, and a promised land, especially in the words of the Lord and of Jesus. When we couple this emphasis with the already observed emphasis on the land of the New World, it is clear that the divine figures proclaim the Western Hemisphere to be a special place.

Angel

The Angel speaks of the “land” of the New World, indicating to Nephi 1 that it is a choice land which has been promised to Lehi for his descendants’ inheritance (1 Nephi 13:30). Even the Gentiles, if they do not harden their hearts, will be blessed upon this promised land (1 Nephi 14:2).

Father

The Father’s words are quoted by Jesus when he appeared at the temple in Bountiful. These quoted words deal with the Father’s promises to the patriarchs of Israel, i.e., that the Father would remember and gather Israel, that he would give them their land of inheritance and their land of promise which is Jerusalem (3 Nephi 20:29), and that the Gentiles may be participants in this process. However, if the Gentiles do not repent, their cities in the New World will be destroyed (3 Nephi 21:15). Thus, the Father ties together the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with the new work in the latter days which will fulfill those original covenants.

The Lord

The Lord captures, in one verse, his view of the land to which he is bringing Lehi and his family. It is a land of promise (twice designated as “promised land” and twice as “land of promise”), a land prepared by the Lord, and a choice land (1 Nephi 2:20). These themes echo throughout all his words. It is a promised land to those who keep his commandments (1 Nephi 4:14; 17:13), and when Lehi’s family

arrives in the promised land, they will know that the Lord is God (1 Nephi 17:14). It is the land of inheritance for Lehi’s seed and those who will become part of that seed (2 Nephi 10:10, 19). It is a choice land, not only for Lehi’s seed, but also for the Jaredites (2 Nephi 10:19; Ether 1:42; 2:15). It is a holy land (Enos 1:10). It is a land of liberty for the Gentiles (2 Nephi 10:11). The one use that falls outside the above sense of a “promised land” is the prophecy of Abinadi, when he, using the Lord’s words, reveals that plagues will come upon the people in King Noah’s land and that insects will pester “their”

land(Mosiah 12:6).

The Lord in Isaiah (Lord-Isa)

The words of the Lord as recorded in Isaiah reflect an Old World context. In the first instance, because the people of Judah fear the alliance of Syria and Ephraim (Israel or the Northern kingdom) and do not trust the Lord, God’s people in the land of Judah will be overrun and almost demolished by Assyria (2 Nephi 18:8). Second, those who oppress God’s people, particularly the Babylonians and Assyrians, will eventually flee to their own lands or be trampled by the Lord (2 Nephi 23:14; 24:25).

Jesus

Apart from the geographical references already examined, all Jesus’ references are to a “land of inheritance.” He tells the people at Bountiful (the descendants of Lehi and Mulek) that this land (the New World) is the land of their inheritance (3 Nephi 15:13; 16:16; 20:14). But it is also a land of inheritance for the Gentiles, if they will but come to Christ (3 Nephi 21:22). Old Jerusalem and its environs, however, are to be the inheritance of scattered Israel (3 Nephi 20:33, 46). There is one final reference in which the location of the land of inheritance is not clearly specified, but it refers to the gathering of scattered Israel to a land (3 Nephi 21:28).

In addition to the singular form of Land, the divine figures also speak of Lands as figure 11 shows.

Figure 11: Lands

 

Angel

Lord

Regions

-

-

Other

1

-

Lamanites’

-

-

Zarahemla

-

-

Roundabout

-

-

Foreign

-

-

Precious

-

-

Inheritance

-

2

Choice

-

3

Of possession

-

1

Promised

-

-

Of my people

-

1

Your

-

-

Our

-

-

Your own

-

-

Their

-

-

Own

-

-

Their own

-

-

Whatsoever

-

-

 

As noted in the geographic section, the Angel’s one use of Lands is geographic. However, the Lord’s use of Lands is solely theological. First, the New World is a land that is choice above all other lands (1 Nephi 2:20; 2 Nephi 10:19; Ether 2:15). Second, the Jews shall one day be restored to the lands of their inheritance (2 Nephi 10:7–8), as will all scattered Israel (2 Nephi 29:14). Finally, God has heard the mourning of his daughters, “in all the lands of my people,” because of the wickedness of their husbands (Jacob 2:31). This is probably a reference to scattered Israel.

In summary, all the divine figures are primarily concerned about Land as a land of promise and inheritance, either for Lehi’s descendants or for the scattered tribes.

Prophets of the Plates of Brass

Not too surprisingly, Isaiah’s focus is not on lands of promise. Instead, he has some miscellaneous references to Land, as figure 12 shows. All of Zenos’s references to land are geographic.

Figure 12: Land

 

Isaiah

Zenos

Promised

-

-

Covenant

-

-

Choice

-

-

Holy

-

-

Prepared

-

-

Chosen

-

-

Liberty

-

-

Inheritance

-

-

Our possession

-

-

Our

1

-

Own

1

-

Our fathers’

-

-

Whatsoever

-

-

Better

-

-

A

-

-

Their

3

-

Thy

-

-

My

-

-

His

-

-

Ground

1

-

Earth

-

-

As verb

-

-

 

In two verses, Isaiah mentions scattered Israel returning to her lands, [14] along with strangers, and possessing those lands (2 Nephi 24:1–2). Isaiah, in a prayer, refers three times to “their” land, meaning the land of Judah which has been polluted by intermarriage, soothsayers, the search for wealth, and idol worship (2 Nephi 12:7–8). Thus, the Lord has forsaken his people temporarily. Finally, Isaiah uses Land to refer to solid ground (2 Nephi 15:30).

Lehi

Figure 13 gives the distribution of the special uses of Land among Lehi and his immediate descendants.

Figure 13: Land

 

Enos

Jacob

Lehi

Nephi 1

Promised

-

1

4

18

Covenant

-

-

1

-

Choice

-

-

1

-

Holy

-

-

-

-

Prepared

-

-

-

-

Chosen

-

-

-

-

Liberty

-

-

1

-

Inheritance

-

2

4

6

Our possession

-

-

-

-

Our

-

-

-

-

Own

-

-

-

-

Our fathers’

-

-

-

-

Whatsoever

-

-

-

-

Better

-

1

-

-

A

-

-

-

-

Their

-

-

-

-

Thy

-

-

-

-

My

-

-

-

-

His

-

-

-

-

Ground

1

-

-

1

Earth

-

-

-

-

As verb

-

-

-

-

 

Obviously, Lehi, Nephi 1, and Jacob emphasize the New World land as a promised land or a land of inheritance.

Lehi rejoices in the fact that he has obtained a land of promise which is choice and precious (1 Nephi 5:5; 2 Nephi 1:10) and meant for those who will be obedient to the Lord (2 Nephi 1:10). God’s agent in bringing Lehi’s family to the promised land was Nephi (2 Nephi 1:24). That land will be an inheritance for Lehi’s sons’ descendants (2 Nephi 3:2). It is also a land which the Lord covenanted to give Lehi (2 Nephi 1:5) and will remain a land of liberty unless the people become unrighteous (2 Nephi 1:7).

Nephi 1

Like the Lord, Nephi 1 uses two phrases that have been designated “promised land” in figure 13. They are “promised land” (six times) and “land of promise” (nine times). All four of Lehi’s references are to the “land of promise.” However, there seems to be no significant difference between the meanings of the two phrases.

Nephi 1 sets the stage for his emphasis on a promised land when he includes a note in the preface to 1 Nephi stating that God was leading Lehi’s family to a “promised land.” He tells of the land’s importance and of the events that will occur on it. Nephi 1 tells us that because of the Lord’s wisdom, Lehi’s family was commanded to take both their wives and the plates of brass to the promised land (1 Nephi 5:22; 7:1) and that if they were faithful, they would reach that land (1 Nephi 7:3 3). He also tells of Lehi’s understanding that Israel would be scattered and ultimately gathered, and that their trek to the promised land was a part of that scattering (1 Nephi 10:13). Nephi 1 himself had a vision of the promised land in which he saw many cities in the land, a mist of darkness settling on the land (1 Nephi 12:4), and Columbus coming to the land (1 Nephi 13:12).

When Lehi’s family finally leaves the Old World for the promised land, the winds drive them toward it (1 Nephi 18:8), they sail toward it after Laman and Lemuel’s rebellion (1 Nephi 18:22–23), and they arrive at it and name it “the promised land” (1 Nephi 18:23). Nephi 1 relates that Lehi told Laman and Lemuel how blessed they were to have been brought by the Lord from Jerusalem to the promised land (2 Nephi 1:3). Nephi 1 speaks of a promised land one more time, when, in the face of Laman and Lemuel’s rebellions, he reminds them that the Israelites, despite their wickedness, were led out of Egypt to the promised land by Moses (1 Nephi 17:42).

Nephi 1 gives an interesting twist to the idea of a “land of inheritance.” In five out of six instances, this phrase does not refer to the New World. Three times the “land of inheritance” refers to Lehi’s properties near Jerusalem, Lehi and his family leave the land of his inheritance (1 Nephi 2:4, 11), yet the sons return to it to gather the wealth left there in order to attempt to buy the plates of brass from Laban (1 Nephi 3:16,18). Nephi I’s other uses of “inheritance” refer to the exiled Jews in Babylon returning to the land of their inheritance (1 Nephi 10:3) and to the Gentiles prospering in their land of inheritance, i.e., the New World (1 Nephi 13:15). Nephi 1, like Isaiah, refers once to Land as that which is opposite to the sea. The “mother Gentiles” battle on land and sea against those Gentiles who have come to the New World (1 Nephi 13:17).

Jacob and Enos

As already seen, Jacob’s use of Land is sparse when compared to that of Lehi and Nephi 1. He speaks, as did Nephi 1, of the family having been driven out of their land of inheritance to a better land (2 Nephi 10:20). That better land was the land of promise which had great deposits of precious ores (Jacob 2:12). However, if the people of Nephi in Jacob’s day did not cease their wickedness, their land of inheritance would be given to the Lamanites (Jacob 3:4).

Enos uses the word Land only once, in a wholly unique way. He tells us that the Nephites tilled the land, i.e., the ground, in order to raise grain and fruit (Enos 1:21).

When we turn to Lands as used by Lehi and his sons, we find many of the same emphases that we have already observed, as shown in figure 14.

When Lehi uses Lands, he refers to the New World. It is a land which is choice above all other “lands.” Thus, Lehi uses the word in a comparative sense (2 Nephi 1:5). However, when Lehi’s descendants become wicked, the lands of their “inheritance”‘ [15] will be given to other nations (2 Nephi 1:11).

Nephi 1 uses “lands of inheritance” as he used “land of inheritance,” i.e., to refer to Old World lands. Israel will be gathered together to her lands of inheritance (1 Nephi 22:12), as will those who were “carried away captive” to Babylon (2 Nephi 25:11). In like manner, Jacob indicates that when the Jews come to Christ, they will be gathered to the lands of inheritance and promise, which would be Old World lands (2 Nephi 6:11; 9:2).

Figure 14: Lands

 

Jacob

Lehi

Nehpi 1

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In summary, the emphasis among Lehi and his sons is on the promised land and the land of inheritance. However, there is a distinct difference between Lehi and Nephi 1 on what constitutes the land of inheritance. For Lehi it is the New World lands, while for Nephi 1 it predominantly refers to the land near Jerusalem from which they came. When Jacob uses the word Lands, it is with this same Old World sense.

Zenif

The use of Land takes on a different complexion for the writers in Zarahemla. Figure 15 displays those differences.

Most of Zeniff s references are to the land of Nephi; this is what he means when he refers to land of “our fathers.” He and his people seek to return to Nephi and repossess it (Mosiah 9:3–4; 10:3). It is also what he calls “our” land, a land which his people had to defend against the Lamanites so that they could live in peace (Mosiah 9:18; 10:20–21).

 

Alma 2

Ammon

Amulek

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Figure 15: Land

Zeniff, at one point, explains why the Lamanites were so angry with the Nephites. In doing so, he mentions the “land of their first inheritance” (Mosiah 10:13) which refers to the region where Lehi and his family first landed in the promised land (Mosiah 10:15) and where the Lamanites believed their fathers had been wronged by Nephi 1 and those who followed him (Mosiah 10:13).

Mosiah

Mosiah expresses his wishes for his people near the end of his life. These include the desire that the people might continue in the land and inherit it (note the verb form) and that it might be a land of liberty without inequality (Mosiah 29:32).

Ammon

Ammon joyfully tells us that God is conscious of people in “whatsoever” land he may find them (Alma 26:37). He obviously evokes this exclamation because of the Lamanites’s response to the gospel. He then tells the Anti-Nephi-Lehies that he will go into the land of Zarahemla to see if the people will be willing to have the converted Lamanites dwell in “their” land (Alma 27:15).

Alma 2

Alma 2 has a mixed use of Land meaning a promised land. In one instance he refers to God leading the people of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land (Alma 36:28). In two other instances he refers to the New World as the promised land to which the Liahona directed Lehi’s family. The Liahona, however, is used as a type for those who adhere to Christ’s words and consequently find “a far better land of promise” (Alma 37:44–45). Finally, God, through his angels, is declaring glad tidings to all those scattered on the face of the earth, and thus, says Alma 2, angels are declaring this good news in “our” land (Zarahemla) (Alma 13:24).

Only Zeniff and Alma 2 use the word Lands. Zeniff refers once to his people tilling their “lands” on the south of the land of Shilom(Mosiah 9:14). Alma 2 closes his sermon to the people of Gideon by blessing their houses and their lands (Alma 7:27).

In summary, the idea of the New World as a promised land, while not having fully disappeared, has certainly diminished among these earlier writers of the Zarahemla period. There is a much greater consciousness, particularly for Zeniff, of “our” land.

Captain Moroni (Moroni I)

The above emphasis on “our land” becomes even more apparent in the later Zarahemla writers, although their use of Land for other than geographic reasons is limited. Figure 16 shows the use distribution.

 

Helaman

Moroni 1

Nephi 2

Samuel

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Figure 16: Land

Captain Moroni (Moroni 1) has a clear sense that the land upon which he lives is Nephite land or “our land.” He will defend that land against those who would invade it (Alma 60:2). Moroni 1 tells Pahoran that unless aid is forthcoming, he will leave forces to defend that part of “our” land where he is and come down to stir up an insurrection against those who so negligently administer the government (Alma 60:25–27). But his concept of land goes beyond Zarahemla, for he has not forgotten that the land of Nephi was the land of “our first inheritance.” Thus, he tells the Lamanite leader, Ammoron, that if he does not withdraw from the Nephite lands, he, Moroni 1, will push Ammoron back into his own land, the land of their first inheritance (Alma 54:12).

Helaman and Nephi 2

Helaman makes two references to “our” land. He writes to Moroni 1, telling him that his troops are holding all that portion of the land around Manti that they can and that he has sent messengers to the governor of “our” land, i.e., Zarahemla, to inform him of the situation and to request supplies and men. However, when that aid was not sent, he begins to despair that the judgments of God might be upon his (“our”) land (Alma 58:4, 9).

 

Helaman

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Figure 17: Lands

Nephi 2 speaks once of the “land of our possession” which he tells the people of Zarahemla will be taken from them if they do not repent (Helaman 7:22). He also speaks of the promised land, meaning the New World, when he wishes that he could have lived in the land in the days of Nephi 1 (Helaman 7:7).

When we consider the use of Lands, we see a continuing emphasis on “our” land, especially with Captain Moroni and Helaman.

Captain Moroni was determined to keep his (“our”) lands from being overrun by the Lamanites (Alma 44:5; 54:10; 60:17). To that end, he tells Zerahemnah to return to his own lands and possessions. If he does not do so, then the Nephites would be compelled to take over their own lands of inheritance, once again meaning the Lamanite lands in Nephi (Alma 54:6–7, 13). Helaman, for his part, is also determined to keep the Nephite lands (Alma 58:10, 12, 38). Finally, Nephi 2 tells the people of Zarahemla that if they do not repent, their lands will be taken from them (Helaman 7:28).

In summary, as was suggested at the beginning of this section, there is a distinct sense of “our” land that runs through these later writers.

Mormon and Moroni 2

As figures 18 and 19 show, Mormon and Moroni 2 have a much richer use of language in this “special” area than do the other writers we have so far examined. Given Mormon’s and Moroni 2’s high rates per thousand words of text and the length of their texts, this is not surprising. Their use of Lands will be integrated into the discussions on Land, hence the inclusion of figure 19 in this section.

Note both the similarities and the differences between Mormon and Moroni 2 in their choice of descriptive words with reference to Land. Moroni 2 speaks of a promised or choice land, while Mormon shows almost no interest in that theological area. Both, however, speak of a land of inheritance. In addition, they are the only persons in the entire Book of Mormon who use Land as a verb. Further, Mormon has uses of Land that are unique to him. When Mormon’s and Moroni 2’s uses of Lands are considered, there continue to be differences, the most obvious being that Moroni 2 continues to prefer to speak of “choice” lands, an expression that Mormon never uses.

 

Helaman

Moroni 1

Promised

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Figure 18: Land [16]

Moroni 2

Moroni 2 explains his understanding of the promised land succinctly in Ether 2:7–12. There he states that the New World, to which the Jaredites were brought, is a choice land that God had preserved for a righteous people. In fact, it is a land choice “above all other lands” (Ether 2:7, 10; 9:20; 10:28; 13:2). All who live in this land must serve God, and if they do not, they will be swept from the land—a threat that Moroni 2 makes three times in these six verses.

Those who possess the land will be free from bondage or captivity if they serve the God of the land, Jesus Christ. Moroni 2 addresses these words particularly to the Gentiles who will live in the land, so that they may be warned of the conditions associated with inhabiting this New World land and not suffer the consequences of disobedience to which the previous inhabitants had been subjected.

 

Mormon

Moroni 2

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Figure 19: Lands

After describing the requirements for possession of the land, Moroni 2 then recounts the travel of the Jaredites across the great sea, during which they were blown toward and finally reached the promised land (Ether 6:5, 7, 12). Upon arriving, the Jaredites bowed down upon the land and thanked the Lord for their safe passage (Ether 6:12). Moroni 2 also notes that the number of people who started the journey with Jared and his brother was twenty-two; they had begotten children before coming to the promised land, thus they rapidly grew in number (Ether 6:16). Therefore, it would seem that more than twenty-two Jaredites landed on the shores of the New World. Moroni 2 mentions the promised land one more time when he says that Shule reigned in righteousness and remembered the great things the Lord had done in bringing his fathers to the promised land (Ether 7:27).

As seen above, Moroni 2 also understood that the Western Hemisphere was choice land. For example, the people who lived under Lib’s reign could not have been happier, for they lived in a choice land (Ether 10:28). Moroni 2 tells us that after the waters of the great flood receded, this land became a choice and chosen land above all others (Ether 13:2).

Moroni 2 uses the phrase “land of their inheritance” in three ways. First, it designates regions of the New World that the Jaredites had possessed, from which they had been driven, and to which they had again returned. Thus, Noah regains the land of his first inheritance (Ether 7:16), as does Omer (Ether 9:13). Second, Coriantumr would live to see another people receive the Jaredite land for their inheritance (Ether 13:21). Third, the New World will be the land of inheritance for the remnant of the house of Joseph and the place where a holy city like old Jerusalem will be built (Ether 13:8). Hence, there is no question that Moroni 2 understands the New World lands to be very special in the eyes of the Lord.

Finally, Moroni 2 once uses Land to mean the earth or the world. He says that the Jaredites gathered bees and “all manner of that which was upon the face of the land,” such as seeds (Ether 2:3). He uses Land once more, but this time as a verb, telling us that the Jaredites landed on the shores of the promised land (Ether 6:12).

Mormon

Interestingly, Mormon shows almost no interest in the theological implications of Land. As indicated earlier, he is the geographer par excellence. Even his few references in the “special use” category are, for the most part, geographic in nature. This trend also holds true when we consider Lands.

We do, however, get a small glimpse of his theological understanding of the land when he refers to a “land of inheritance.” Surprisingly, his references are to Israel returning to their land of inheritance, which seems to imply not a New World land, but an Old World land (Mormon 3:17; 5:14). The New World is not wholly neglected by Mormon, however. It is a very localized area to which Mormon refers when he reports that after Captain Moroni prayed, he set aside all the land south of the land of Desolation as a chosen land of liberty (Alma 46:17). Mormon’s one other reference to “land of inheritance” is similarly localized, when he reports that Lamoni and Ammon returned from Middoni to Ishmael, the land of their inheritance (Alma 21:18). The same is true when “lands of inheritance” or “lands of possessions” are considered. King Benjamin fought the Lamanites until they were driven out of the lands of the Nephite inheritance, i.e., the city and region of Zarahemla (Words of Mormon 1:14). The people of Ammon received the poor Zoramites and gave them lands for their inheritance in Jershon (Alma 35:9, 14), just as the Nephites had received the people of Ammon and had given them land (Alma 43:12). In contrast to “lands of inheritance” is Mormon’s phrase “land of possession.” The former seems to be legitimate property, while the latter is not. Captain Moroni seeks to cut off the supplies of the Lamanites in their lands of possession (Alma 50:12), i.e., those lands they had taken from the Nephites. Similarly, the Lamanites gave their lands of possession to the Nephites (Helaman 5:52), although the antecedent of “their” is unclear and could refer to the Nephites and the lands they originally possessed.

All of Mormon’s other references in the “special use” category seem to be the product of his editorial work. Essentially, he is an observer standing outside the events he records. Thus, he speaks of other people’s land as “their” land or lands. For example, Limhi’s people go to war against the Lamanites to drive them out of “their” (the Nephites’) land (Mosiah 21:7; see also Alma 3:21). Similarly, Mormon reports that the Lamanite king sent out an edict that the sons of Mosiah should be permitted to preach the gospel in any part of “their” (the Lamanites’) land (Alma 23:1). The same pattern holds true when we examine Mormon’s references to “their [own] lands.” [17]

In like manner, the Lamanites return to their “own” land (Mosiah 20:26) and scatter Nephite flocks to drive them into their “own” land (Alma 18:7). Samuel the Lamanite, after being rejected by the people of Zarahemla, was about to return to his “own” land (Helaman 13:2). Further, Limhi’s search party finds “a” land covered with bones (Mosiah 21:26) and Alma 1 finds “a” land, i.e., the land of Helam, which is beautiful and pleasant (Mosiah 23:4). Mormon also states that a Lamanite king had the right to cast foreigners out of “his” land (Alma 17:20) and that Amalickiah was gathering soldiers from all parts of “his” land (Alma 51:9).

Shortly before the final destruction of the Nephites, Mormon reports that the Nephite defenders of the city of Jordan prevented the Lamanites from entering “our” land (Mormon 5:4), and Mormon fortifies the narrow neck of land to prevent the Lamanites from getting any of their (“our”) lands (Mormon 3:6). Finally, Mormon, like Moroni 2, uses Land once as a verb, telling us that those who accept the word of God may “land” their souls at the right hand of God (Helaman 3:30). The contrast is, of course, that Moroni 2 refers to landing on the shore of the promised land whereas Mormon refers to landing on the right hand of God.

In summary, there is a clear distinction between Mormon and Moroni 2. Moroni 2 concentrates on the New World as a land of promise and inheritance, while Mormon has almost no emphasis in the theological arena, continuing primarily to focus on land as a geographic, and often localized, entity.

Conclusions

Author Individuality

There are clear distinctions between the various writers considered above which may be cited, and here we will try to define the major distinctions.

The Father focuses on the Old World, stating that Israel will be gathered to her old lands. However, the covenant that the Father made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will find its culmination in his new work in the latter days. In contrast, the focus of the Lord and Jesus is on the New World. People have been taken from the Old World and brought to the New World, which is a prepared, preserved, and choice land for all who will be obedient to the Lord, including the Gentiles.

for all who will be obedient to the Lord, including the Gentiles.

Lehi’s focus is primarily on the New World as the promised land, a theme which Nephi 1 echoes. For both Lehi and Nephi 1, the New World is a land to which God will bring various peoples, all of whom will prosper if they are but obedient to the Lord. However, Nephi 1 looks back more than does Lehi, seeing Jerusalem and its environs as that from which his family had been delivered and as that to which the Jews will one day return. Nephi 1 also has a panoramic view which looks forward, for he sees the destruction of the Nephites because of their disobedience. There is one very clear distinction between Lehi and Nephi 1, and that relates to their understanding of “land of inheritance.” For Lehi it is the New World, while for Nephi 1 it refers predominantly to Jerusalem, where Lehi’s original lands of inheritance were, to which the Babylonian exiles would return, and to which Israel would ultimately be gathered.

Among the earlier inhabitants of Zarahemla, there are some interesting trends. Zeniff speaks almost exclusively of the land of Nephi. The one exception, and it is unique to Zeniff, is a reference to the place where Lehi first landed—the land of first inheritance. All Benjamin’s uses of land are geographic and refer to Zarahemla, while his son Mosiah wishes for a land of liberty and equality and sees wickedness as something which could lead to destruction in the land. Mosiah’s son Ammon speaks of Zarahemla predominantly as that land which he left in order to go to the land of Nephi as a missionary. Alma 2 focuses on the New World, but not as something which stands separated from the old one. Rather he views himself as a man of the land upon which he lives. He does, however, recognize that his fathers were delivered from Jerusalem and uses Abraham and Melchizedek as examples in his preaching. He also develops a distinctive connection between the Lord’s bringing Israel out of Egypt, bringing Lehi out of Jerusalem, and bringing people who believe in Christ out of this world to a better land (heaven). Finally, Alma 2 and Ammon, two close friends, share the only two references to being inhabitants of a

“strange land,” i.e., one separated from the Nephites’ original home. [18] One has to ask whether this is only coincidence or a product of Joseph Smith’s editing. I do not believe either is a sufficient explanation but rather that the references are small glimpses at the accuracy of the Book of Mormon, which occasionally preserves even small linguistic commonalities between friends.

Among the earlier Nephites, there was a diminishing sense of New World versus Old World. This continues among the later Nephite writers, with a corresponding increase in identity with “our” land. Thus, Zarahemla is the primary focus for these writers, although Captain Moroni has not forgotten that the Nephites once lived in the land of Nephi. For him it is still the land of their inheritance. For all these writers, there is a conception of expanded Nephite lands, and thus one sees, particularly in Helaman, a growing sense of various “lands” which make up the land.

There are some distinct contrasts between Mormon and Moroni 2. First, Mormon lists many specific place names, while Moroni 2 lists very few. Second, Mormon exhibits almost no interest in a theology of Land, while Moroni 2 has a strong sense of the New World as a promised land preserved by God for the righteous. Those who live in the land must serve God or be destroyed. In articulating this, Moroni 2’s prime example is the Jaredites. Further, according to Moroni 2, this land is a land of inheritance for Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites, and Gentiles, if and when they are obedient to the Lord. It will be the site of the New Jerusalem and the place where the remnant of Joseph will prosper.

Mormon stands in sharp contrast to this. As already mentioned, his interests seem almost entirely geographic, but there may be a theological reason for all his geography. It has always been a fundamental tenet of Judeo-Christian theology that God works in real human history. It would seem that Mormon’s geographical emphasis admirably demonstrates God’s intervention in the history of the Nephite and Lamanite peoples.

The “land” that receives the most attention from Mormon is Zarahemla, but rather than being a local designation, it appears to be the name which covers most of the Nephite lands. Thus there seems to have been a progression from the earlier writers who viewed Zarahemla as their rather localized dwelling place to the later writers who viewed Zarahemla as a land among lands, and finally to Mormon who seems to have viewed Zarahemla as a name covering all Nephite lands.

Mormon’s understanding of “land of inheritance” is different from that of Moroni 2, for it seems to reflect a localized area. Israel will return to Jerusalem, its land of inheritance. Captain Moroni dedicated the land south of Desolation as a land of inheritance. Lamoni and Ammon returned to Ishmael, their land of inheritance. Mormon also differentiates between a land of “inheritance” and aland of “possession,” the latter designating an illegal ownership.

Finally, it should be noted that Mormon and Moroni 2 are the only authors who give compass directions related to the lands of which they speak. Mormon does this extensively with regard to Lamanite and Nephite lands, while Moroni 2 does it a few times with reference to Jaredite lands. In addition, there is one other small but marked commonality between Mormon and Moroni 2 in which father and son are the only persons in the Book of Mormon who use Land as a verb. Moroni 2 tells us that the Jaredites “landed” in the New World, and Mormon suggests that one may “land” in heaven. Perhaps once again there has been preserved for us a small but significant congruence between these two individuals.

Of much greater and clearer significance than these last two similarities, however, is the unique descriptive phraseology used with Land which is very apparent in Mormon and somewhat present in Moroni 2. Mormon’s expansive and inclusive language which refers to “all the land,” or other related phrases, simply cannot be explained as a coincidence. It permeates Mormon’s language, no matter which author he is editing. Of the few instances where similar phrases in other authors occur, most appear in the material which Mormon edits and may well be his phrase rather than the original author’s. As seen above, Moroni 2 uses some of this same language, but at a reduced level. Apparently he picked it up from his father, but it was not as ingrained in his basic language structure as it was in Mormon’s.

In summation, it does not seem probable that one author, such as Joseph Smith, could have produced what has been observed with these expansive phrases. Rather, these are clear marks of the editor over against every other author. Lest some suggest that Joseph Smith may have been that editor, it should be pointed out that Larsen and Rencher have clearly distinguished through wordprint between Joseph Smith and all Book of Mormon authors. [19]

Theological Implications

There are a number of implications that may be drawn from this study of Land. First, it is not simply the New World that is important in God’s overall scheme of things, for Jerusalem is the place to which the tribes of Israel, at least some of them, and the Jews will finally be gathered. For many others, however, the New World is immensely important. It is the place to which God led some select peoples that they might be preserved when the cultures around them were falling apart. Sadly, they did not learn well the lessons of history and were themselves either destroyed or polluted to the degree that others took over their lands in the Western Hemisphere. But even that was part of God’s plan, for it opened up the blessings of the gospel, not only to the people of Israel but also to the Gentiles, for whom the New World was and is a land of promise if they will be obedient to God and serve him in it. Those of Israel who have the closest identification with the lands of the New World, who will be strengthened in those lands, are the descendants of Joseph, I suspect, both literal and adoptive. For those of us whose lineage is traced to either Ephraim or Manasseh, this land is a special land of both opportunity and obligation. It is through these descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the covenants God made with the early patriarchs will be fulfilled in the last days

Notes

[1] This could also qualify as a directional reference since it refers to the West Sea.

[2] This represents Helaman’s two geographical uses of the word Lands.

[3] For other examples of this same type of use, see Ether 10:33; 11:4; 12:1; 15:12, 14.

[4] For other usages in this same vein, see Ether 7:11; 9:16, 20, 26; 10:4; 13:2.

[5] For similar references see Ether 10:4; 11:6–7; 13:25–26, 31; 14:1, 17–19, 21–23.

[6] The lands which Mormon mentions are (in alphabetical order): Ammonihah (11), Amulon (3), Antionum (4), Between Zarahemla (1), Bordering on the wilderness (1), Bountiful (21), Cumorah (4), David (1), Desolation (10), Father’s nativity (1), Gideon (7), Helam (9), His nativity (1), Ishmael (11), Jashon (1), Jershon (18), Jerusalem (7), Joshua (1), Lamanites (2), Lehi (4), Lchi-Nephi (2), Manti (7), Many waters (1), Melek (5), Middoni (8), Midian (1), Morianton (2), Mormon (1), Moroni (5), Near Bountiful (1), Neck of (1), Nephi (43), Nephihah (4), Nephites (1), Noah (2), Shem (1), Shemlon (4), Shilom (8), Sidom (4),’ Zarahemla (73), Zoramites (1).

[7] In alphabetical order the regions are: Ammonihah (5), Antionum (4), Antum (1), By the seashore (1), Desolation (1), Fortified land in Zarahemla (2), Gideon (1), Helam (3), Ishmael (4), Jershon (3), Jerusalem (1), Lamanite lands (1), Lamanite and Nephite lands (26), Lehi and Melek (1), Manti (1), Melek (1), Middoni (1), Mormon (1), Moroni (1), Nephi (27), Nephi, Zarahemla, and land northward (1), Nephihah (1), Nephite lands (2), New World (1), Northward (10), Region (2), Sidon (1), Zarahemla (155).

[8] E.g., Mosiah 18:4, 31; 19:6; 21:2, 26; 23:25; Alma 2:36; 3:23; 8:5; 16:2; 27:14; 51:14; 52:15.

[9] E.g., Mosiah 11:12; 21:2, 20; 23:25; 27:2; Alma 21:21; 24:1; 48:8; 49:13; 50:9; 59:2, 6.

[10] Alma 52:5, 13; 53:8; 59:3, 6; 62:42; Helaman 1:23, 27; 3:6, 23; 4:9; 6:7; 11:6, 33; 3 Nephi 7:12; Moroni 8:28.

[11] E.g., Mosiah 27:6; Alma 43:26; 52:10; 56:1.

[12] The exceptions arc Alma 2 (“upon all this land”—Alma 37:28), Ammon (“in all the land”—Alma 26:33), Isaiah (“[in] all the land”—2 Nephi 17:24; 20:23), Lord in Isaiah (“the whole land”—2 Nephi 23:5), Lehi (“the face of this land”—2 Nephi 1:9, 31), Lord (“all the face of the earth”—Ether 1:43), Mosiah (“throughout the land”—Mosiah 29:14; “the face of the land”—Mosiah 29:32), Nephi 1 (“the face of the [this] land”—1 Nephi 12:4, 20; 22:7;2 Nephi 30:7); Samuel (“the face of the land”—Helaman 14:20; “all the face of this land”—Helaman 14:28), Zenos (“all the land of the [my] vineyard”—Jacob 5:21, 69).

[13] See as examples of Mormon’s use of these expansive phrases: Mosiah 2:1; 27:2, 32; 29:1; Alma 1:16; 2:5; 5:1; 8:5; 16:15; 23:3; 43:29; 49:13; 59:2; 62:46; Helaman 3:31; 6:28, 38; 11:1,32; 16:22–23; 3 Nephi 1:7; 2:11; 6:3. 5; 8:3, 22; 28:18, 23; 4 Nephi 1:18,23,46; Mormon 1:13, 19; 2:8, 15; Moroni 9:19. For examples of Moroni’s use see Mormon 8:8–10; Ether 2:3; 6:12–13, 18; 7:25; 9:28, 31; 11:6; 13:2, 31; 14:22; 15:14. The above lists are not exhaustive. It should be noted that the inclusive phrases are not used by Moroni 2 in the book of Moroni.

[14] Isaiah has one reference to Lands, and it is in the context of Israel being gathered to her lands of promise (2 Nephi 24:2).

[15] There is a difference here between the word “inheritance,” as found in the printer’s manuscript, and the word “possessions,” as found in the 1981 Book of Mormon.

[16] If one adds together the numbers for Mormon in figures 7 and 18, the total is 689 as opposed to the actual 696 uses of land by Mormon. It has not been worth the effort to try to find those seven “lost” references, because they make no ultimate difference to the point ofthe study.

[17] For references to “their lands” or “their own lands,” see: Alma 3:1; 8:7; 16:8, 11;35:14; 43:9,26,30,47–48; 44:23; 48:8,10; 50:7,36; 51:1; 52:13; 63:15; Helaman 1:18; 4:13, 16, 19; 11:29, 31; 3 Nephi 2:17; 4:3, 16; 5:26; 6:1–2; Mormon 3:1, 7; 4:15.

[18] Jacob has a similar thought, but not similar language, in Jacob 7:26.

[19] Wayne A. Larsen and Alvin C. Rencher, “Who Wrote the Book of Mormon? An Analysis of Wordprints,” in Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins, ed. Noel B. Reynolds (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1982), 172–80.