“The Land of Your Inheritance”

Brant Gardner

The Nephites’ oldest tradition was their origin in Jerusalem. Nephi1 had considered them the part of Israel in exile on the isles of the sea. (See commentary accompanying 1 Nephi 19:10.) Of course, the passage of time had refocused the Nephites on their promised land, rather than their ancestral homeland; but the Messiah’s presence and his recent mission among the Old World Israelites would have inevitably raised questions about a possible reunification with those distant brethren.

Jesus begins by noting the distance and confirming its divinely appointed origin. He reminds the twelve that this is the land of inheritance for Lehi’s descendants (v. 13), clarification that no reunification of Israel was imminent. That event would be part of the Triumphant Messiah’s future role.

Not only is this land their inheritance, but it will remain secret for some time longer. The Father (Most High God) commanded Jesus not to tell those in Jerusalem about it (v. 14). Those who are scattered will remain scattered for the time being, and they include non-Nephites.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5