Narrow Pass (Internal ⓒ geography model)

Mountain pass in the narrow neck

Narrow Pass (Internal ⓒ geography model)

Narrow Pass was a strategically significant geographical feature in the Book of Mormon, located in the narrow neck of land which connected the land northward and the land southward. This pivotal pass served as a controlling point of military interest due to its location by the sea on the west and east, facilitating access between the two principal lands of the Nephites and Lamanites (Alma 50:34). The Narrow Pass bordered the land Desolation and was considered of such strategic importance that it was fortified to prevent Lamanite incursions from the land Bountiful into the land northward (Alma 52:9).

This area was key for military movements and played a role in several confrontations. For example, Teancum headed off Morianton near the Narrow Pass to prevent his dissenters from passing into the land northward (Alma 50:34). Years later, the Nephite commander Mormon gathered his people in the land Desolation to a city which was near the Narrow Pass, again highlighting its significance as a strategic point and route of travel for both northward and southward migrations (Mormon 3:5). In this context, the Narrow Pass is depicted not only as a chokepoint on the battlefield but also as a means of movement and settlement for the people in the region.

The description of this terrain suggests that the Narrow Pass was a narrow corridor between two bodies of water, likely a so-called ‘land bridge,’ which naturally served as a bottleneck for passage between the broader expanses north and south of it. Due to its naturally defensive position, this location was keenly contested throughout Nephite and Lamanite history, making it an area dense with fortifications and military presence. The mere existence of such a geographical bottleneck could have had wide-reaching implications for trade, travel, and the strategic military planning of the societies described in the Book of Mormon.

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