“This is the Land of Your Inheritance”

Church Educational System

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel was assigned an area of land for their inheritance in the land of Canaan. In addition to what they received in the Holy Land, the descendants of Joseph were also promised the land of the Americas as part of their inheritance. The Savior told the twelve Nephite disciples that they and their people were “a remnant of the house of Joseph” (3 Nephi 15:12) and “this is the land of your inheritance” (verse 13).

Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the land of inheritance as follows: “Another name for America, authorized by the Book of Mormon, is the Land of Joseph, referred to by the Patriarch Jacob in blessing his twelve sons (Gen. 49:22–26), and by the Prophet Moses in his farewell benediction upon the twelve tribes of Israel (Deut. 33:13–15). Jacob’s allusion to Joseph as ‘a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall, was fulfilled in the migration of Lehi and his companions from Asia to America over the Pacific Ocean. It is hardly necessary to add, that one of the main features of these western continents are those mighty mountain ranges, the Andes and the Rockies, well termed by the Hebrew Patriarch ‘the everlasting hills,’ nature’s depositories for ‘the precious things of the earth’—gold, silver, and other minerals—and for ‘the precious things of heaven’—the sacred records already discovered and others that are yet to come forth” (“The Book of Mormon: Historical and Prophetic Phases,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1927, 944–45).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)