The Narrow Neck of Land is a geographic feature notably mentioned in the Book of Mormon as playing a crucial role in the defensive strategies and migrations of the peoples described within the text. Situated between the land of Bountiful to the south and the land of Desolation to the north, this isthmus forms a natural bottleneck that could be traversed by a Nephite in approximately a day and a half’s journey from the east to the west sea (Alma 22:32). This narrow strip of land was not merely a distinctive landmark but also served as a strategic military chokepoint, allowing relatively small forces to defend against larger contingents that might attempt to pass from the land northward to the land southward or vice versa.
The narrow neck of land is also situated near the location where Hagoth, an exceedingly curious and industrious Nephite, launched a sizable ship into the west sea, suggesting that this area not only served as a land crossing but may have also been significant for maritime activities (Alma 63:5). The Nephites, aware of its strategic importance, fortified this area to prevent the Lamanites from having easy access to harass them from every side (Alma 52:9). This fortification was placed in line with efforts to defend the northern territories, as at one point, there was a fortification that spanned from the west sea to the east, creating a fortified line which could be traveled by a Nephite in a day (Helaman 4:7).
The precise dimensions and location of the Narrow Neck of Land are not explicitly detailed in the Book of Mormon, leading to various interpretations and theories among scholars and readers. However, it is consistently portrayed as a pivotal geographic feature with significant implications for the movements, economy, and conflicts of the ancient inhabitants described in the Book of Mormon narrative.