The Land of Jershon, described as being “on the east by the sea, and south of the land Bountiful” (Alma 27:22), is documented as an area generously given over by the Nephites to the people of Ammon, also known as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. These were converted Lamanites who had sought refuge with the Nephites after renouncing the violent traditions of their past and pledging not to take up arms, even for self-defense, leading them to migrate from the land of Nephi (Alma 27:26). The Nephites, in a gesture of fellowship and protection, stationed their military forces between Jershon and the land of Nephi to safeguard the people of Ammon from potential Lamanite aggression (Alma 27:23-24).
Jershon became a crucible of faith and fortitude during a period marked by significant conflict. It was the site of a fierce battle wherein “tens of thousands of the Lamanites were slain,” despite which the Nephite forces experienced considerable losses themselves (Alma 28:1-3; 30:2). The land had a church established within its bounds and was overseen by Ammon, who served as the high priest (Alma 30:20). Jershon was also resistant to the corrosive teachings of Korihor, the anti-Christ, who was expelled from their land when they brought him before Ammon (Alma 30:21).
Jershon was likewise a refuge for the destitute Zoramites who had been cast out following their conversion through the ministry of Alma and his companions (Alma 35:6, 9). This act of compassion enraged the Zoramite leaders, escalating tensions and contributing to the incitement of conflict between the Zoramites, now aligned with the Lamanites, and the Nephites (Alma 35:14). The threat of war prompted the people of Ammon to relocate from Jershon to the land of Melek to allow Nephite forces to prepare for the ensuing hostilities (Alma 35:13).
Strategically, Jershon played a critical role, as illustrated during the military engagements of Captain Moroni. Despite a looming battle, when the Lamanite forces circumvented Jershon to attempt an incursion into the land of Manti, Moroni left part of his army in Jershon while he pursued the aggressors (Alma 43:25). This indicates the Nephites’ keen awareness of Jershon’s importance as a buffer zone and their commitment to its defense and the protection of its inhabitants.