An Approach to The Book of Mormon Geography

A Land Choice Above All Other Lands
The Book of Mormon story happened somewhere. It had to have a location. But where? It is our assertion that the heartlands of the Book of Mormon peoples—the Nephites, the Lamanites, the Jaredites and the people of Mulek—were located in what is now the peninsula of Baja California.

Satellite Image of Baja California, Mexico, overlaid with Book of Mormon Lands.
We propose that the land of Nephi was located in the southern half of Baja California; that the land of Zarahemla and the land of Bountiful (with a small neck of land on its northern border) were in the center of the peninsula; and that the land of Desolation, occupied by both the Nephites and the Jaredites, covered the northern half of Baja California. The dimensions, scope, variety and land area of these combined regions are more than ample as a setting for events, locations and distances described in the Book of Mormon.

A typical response to Baja California might well be: “What!” or, “Isn’t Baja California just a long sand bar south of San Diego?” Actually, Baja California is an 800 mile-long peninsula, with a delightful climate similar to California and the State of Israel. The area is nearly the size of Utah and five times the size of Israel. It is a land with a blessed physical environment of unusual variety and exciting vistas, and areas where the land narrows to some 40 miles. This striking region, isolated by the barrier of an international border, comprises two states of Mexico with a combined population exceeding that of the State of Utah, and when combined with southern California, the population totals some 23 million. And there is a good chance that the fruit and vegetables you had for lunch today were picked only days ago in Baja California.

Articles by Hugh Nibley

Updated: Tuesday, 24 June 2014

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An Approach to The Book of Mormon Geography