Land of Bountiful² (Mesoamerica geography model)

Nephite territory north of Zarahemla

Land of Bountiful² (Mesoamerica geography model)

The land of Bountiful was a Nephite territory located south of the land of Desolation and north of the land of Zarahemla, covering a breadth that stretched from the east unto the west sea. The region was distinguished by its abundant natural resources, including a diverse range of wildlife, suggesting it was a fertile and well-provisioned area. This is inferred not only from its very name implying richness but also from its historical use by the ancient Jaredites, who utilized the land for game (Alma 22:31; Ether 10:21). Strategically significant due to its proximity to the narrow neck of land leading to the land northward, Bountiful served as a key point of defense and possession for the Nephites (Alma 22:32–33; Alma 63:5).

Many pivotal events in Nephite history occurred in the land of Bountiful, including defensive preparations and military actions. The great military strategist Moroni1 recognized the importance of the region, fortifying it to prevent the encroachment of the Lamanites (Alma 52:9). The craft of shipbuilding also flourished here, as evidenced by Hagoth constructing his large ship at the land’s western margin, where it was launched into the west sea (Alma 63:5). Moreover, the land of Bountiful was selected by the Nephite chief judge Lachoneus1 as a point of gathering for the defense against the assaults of the Gadianton robbers led by Giddianhi (3 Nephi 3:23).

The land’s spiritual significance was monumental, serving as the location where the resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ, chose to appear to the people of Nephi. This sublime event took place at the temple in Bountiful, marking an epochal moment for the inhabitants of the region (3 Nephi 11:1–10).

In proximity to the city of Mulek and within the same general area, the city of Bountiful rose to prominence around 65 B.C. It became a fortified urban center, especially during the conflicts between the Nephites and the Lamanites, wherein even captives were put to work constructing the city’s defenses (Alma 52:17; Alma 53:4). Later, around 30 B.C., the missionaries Nephi2 and Lehi4 embarked on their preaching missions from this city, spreading the gospel northward to other Nephite cities (Helaman 5:14–15). Given this rich history, the city, likely hosting the noted temple, became a nexus of cultural, spiritual, and defensive strength for the Nephite civilization.

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