Jerusalem² (Internal ⓓ geography model)

Lamanite city and land in land of Nephi

Jerusalem² (Internal ⓓ geography model)

Jerusalem was a city and land established in the land of Nephi, Lamanite territory, during the late pre-Christian era. It was named by its settlers, composed of the Lamanites and the former Nephite groups of Amalekites and Amulonites, in honor of their ancestral homeland (Alma 21:1). This city was a significant site in the Book of Mormon due to its role in Lamanite interactions and missionary efforts among the Nephites. Aaron, one of the sons of Mosiah and a notable missionary, traveled to this region with the aim of preaching to the Lamanite populations. Aaron’s missionary work in Jerusalem primarily targeted the Amalekite community within their synagogues, though his efforts met with limited success (Alma 21:4-11; 23:14).

Jerusalem played a role in the larger political and spiritual conflicts of the time. After the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, a Lamanite group who had converted to the Nephite religion, made covenants of peace and buried their weapons of war, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, along with other non-convert Lamanites, were incited to anger and warfare by the recalcitrant Amalekites and Amulonites (Alma 24:1-2). The city’s eventual fate was cataclysmic; as it, along with other wicked cities, was destroyed by natural disasters at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The city of Jerusalem sank into the earth, and its place was taken by a body of water as a divine retribution for the iniquity of its people (3 Nephi 9:7).

Geographically, the city was positioned close to the borders of the land called Mormon, a place initially described as a mere location but later as a territory in itself (Mosiah 18:4, 16; Alma 5:3). Due to the proximity to the waters of Mormon, it is suggested that Jerusalem was adjacent to this body of water which later inundated the site following the city’s destruction. Therefore, it can be surmised that Jerusalem and the waters of Mormon were separated by a stretch of land, indicating the waters possibly represented a sizeable lake that covered the city post-destruction.

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