“In the Land of Antionum”

Brant Gardner

What makes this battle line between Antionum and Jershon inevitable? There were more important lands pertaining to Zarahemla, and since Jershon was fairly deep in Nephite territory, why attack it instead of Zarahemla itself? The plausible geography of the area gives us some indication. Of course the immediate reason for an attack anywhere was the newly acquired operating base of Antionum. If we use Sorenson’s reconstruction of the lay of the land, Antionum and Jershon would both lie along a coastal strip of land on the east side of the Nephite lands. There would be mountainous area between Antionum and Zarahemla, and an area designated as a “wilderness.” The easiest line of march would be up the river valley from Jershon to Zarahemla rather than over the intervening mountains. Thus Jershon was not only logical because it was near, but because it was both convenient in terms of topography, and strategic in that it controlled the entrance to the river valley where Zarahemla was located (see Sorenson, Mormon’s Map, p. 43, map 5. See also An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, o, 239-240).

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon