“Lamanites Had Gathered Together in the Land of Antionum”

Brant Gardner

What makes this battle line between Antionum and Jershon inevitable? Zarahemla held more important lands. Since Jershon was thought to be safely Nephite territory, why attack it instead of Zarahemla itself? Of course, the immediate reason is that neighboring Antionum provided an important staging area for the incoming Lamanite armies. Using Sorenson’s geographical reconstruction, Antionum and Jershon would both lie along the coast on the Nephites’ east side with a mountainous area between Antionum and Zarahemla, as well as an area designated as a “wilderness.” The easiest line to march would be up the Sidon River Valley from Jershon to Zarahemla rather than over the intervening mountains. Thus, Jershon was logical, not only because it was near but because it was topographically convenient and strategically important in controlling the entrance to the river valley in which Zarahemla was located. (See Map, “Plausible Scenes of the Wars in the Extended Land of Zarahemla,” p. 573.)

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4