Land of Nephi (Internal geography model)

Land established by Nephi, later occupied by Lamanites, Zeniffites

Land of Nephi (Internal geography model)

Land located south of the land of Zarahemla and bordered on the east and west by two large bodies of water, the “sea east” and the “sea west”. The land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were separated by a narrow strip of wilder­ness that ran from east to west and connected with both the east and the west seas. The Book of Mormon does not identify the southern boundaries of the land of Nephi. The land of Zarahemla must have been at a lower elevation than the land of Nephi because all movements from Zarahemla to Nephi are “up,” although the direction is south, while all movements from Nephi to Zarahemla are “down,” although the direction is north.

“The place of their fathers’ first inheritance” was located on the west of the land of Nephi by the seashore, indicating that Lehi and his family must have landed on the west sea coast of the land. The climate of the land of Nephi was conducive to raising animals and cultivating such agricultural products as corn, wheat, and barley. Control over the land and its cities alternated between the Nephites and the Lamanites. From the time that Nephi and his people settled the land until Mosiah and his people left , the Nephites ruled the land of Nephi. During the era of Zeniff, Noah, and Limhi and throughout the remainder of the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites maintained control over the ­land. Many important events took place in the land of Nephi.

In the early period, under Nephite rule of the land, there is record of Nephi building a temple that was constructed “after the manner of the temple of Solomon”, the preaching and prophesying of Jacob and his encounter with the anti-Christ Sherem, and the conversion and prophecies of Enos. The Nephite period of rule concluded with Mosiah’s leading his people out of the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla.

The Book of Mormon history that follows also contains numerous ­references to occurrences in the land of Nephi, including the return of Zeniff, the preaching of the prophet Abinadi to king Noah and his wicked priests, the conversion of Alma and the subsequent mass con­version of others at the waters of Mormon(Mosiah 17:2; 18:4–5, 16), the bondage of Limhi’s people to the Lamanites and their escape, the mission of the sons of Mosiah to the Lamanites, and the imprisonment and miraculous deliverance of Nephi and Lehi.

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