Where is the lush vegetation within Baja California? Should we not expect vast forests, grasslands and agricultural fields? Is it true that much of the natural landscape of Baja California is a rugged terrain consisting of cactus and other succulents and plants with briers and thorns, and the climate in many areas is arid and semi-arid with very little rainfall? Surely this sparsely vegetated and thinly populated peninsula could not be the “land choice above all other lands.” These are the reasonable concerns and questions of some upon first learning that Baja California has been proposed as the location of the Book of Mormon lands, even though the setting for that peninsula consists of magnificent vistas, world-class wildlife habitats, spectacular coastlines, a delightful climate and an endless array of hills, mountains and landscape features coupled with a bio-diversity like nowhere else on earth.
Thus to confirm our research on Book of Mormon geography, there are some who appeal for us to not only find ruins of buildings in our proposed lands that match the mental images of what an ancient Nephite building or city is expected to look like as well as to locate these ruins in a landscape that also matches their mental images of “a land choice above all other lands.” They often discount Baja California as the location of Book of Mormon lands simply because that land does not match their expectations and the commonly held images and descriptions of such a landscape found in print and films and depicted in artist’s renditions (see our topic article, Searching for Book of Mormon Ruins: What should we expect to find?).
In contrast, the Nephite prophets such as Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Mormon, and Moroni, as well as Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, are clear, when prophesying of the ending events of the destruction of the Lamanite and Nephite civilizations, that there would follow a declining and degenerate state of the environment in their “lands of inheritance,” which were once “choice above all other lands.” (For a discussion of the nature of a “choice land,” see our main article, An Approach to the Book of Mormon Geography: A Land Choice Above All Other Lands). These dire prophecies, spanning numerous chapters and hundreds of verses in the Book of Mormon, describe not only the impending lowly conditions of their descendants but also the harsh landscape change coming to their homeland—conditions that will follow as consequences of disobedience and transgression. Our analysis of these Book of Mormon prophecies suggests four stages of demographic and environmental degeneration and a subsequent fifth stage of restoration and blessing:
Updated: Friday, 25 April 2014
Articles Book of Mormon Geography Sea West to the Sea East Narrow Strip of Wilderness Jaredites Searching for Ruins The River Sidon Cursing and Blessing Narrow Neck of Land Environmental Descendants Great Signs and Wonders Longitude of Zarahemla Christ in Bountiful
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