The Orientation of the Book of Mormon Lands to the Sea
Bodies of water called “seas” are mentioned numerous times throughout the Book of Mormon. These seas formed the boundaries of the Nephite and Lamanite lands and limited the extent of their migration and settlement. Identifying and correlating the relationship between these land areas and the surrounding seas helps in determining the shapes and locations of the Book of Mormon lands. After Lehi’s group arrived in their new home, a sea is recorded as bordering on the west and east of every major land as the people migrated northward throughout their thousand-year history. The following analysis examines the context, shape, and location of the seas mentioned in the record and their correlation to the peninsula of Baja California. We demonstrate that the narrow, elongated and ladder-like configuration of the north-south trending Book of Mormon lands aligns perfectly with the shape and features of the peninsula of Baja California.
But what is meant by the term “sea” when describing a body of water? The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a sea as “the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth's surface and surrounds its land masses.” The term “sea” is sometimes incorrectly used to describe a fresh water lake, for example, the Sea of Galillee, which today is more accurately called Lake Kinneret. For our analysis, the term “sea” refers to bodies of salt water that are at least large enough so that one can not readily see a land mass on the opposite side. This definition would apply to not only oceans but also large inland bodies of salt water like the Salton Sea in southern California and the Great Salt Lake (or Sea) in northern Utah.
Updated: Sunday, 27 December 2015
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