The Land of Promise

“The Land of Promise,” New Era, Jan. 1975, 20

The Land of Promise

If we could see the people and the scenes of the Book of Mormon in living color, Nephites, Lamanites, prophets, and troublemakers alike could take on a reality that often escapes us. These photographs and accompanying scriptures are not meant to suggest any real locations in Book of Mormon geography, but are presented to suggest images that should be helpful in visualizing Book of Mormon scenery more vividly.

So, let these photographs paint the scenery in your mind for the stage on which the drama of the Book of Mormon could have been acted out. Then as you read the scriptural vignettes accompanying the scenes, you’ll begin to see real people move about in the theater of your inner eye.

Photos by James Christensen

“While they were in the land of Helam, yea, in the city of Helam, while tilling the land round about, behold an army of the Lamanites was in the borders of the land.

“… the brethren of Alma fled from their fields, and gathered themselves together in the city of Helam.” (Mosiah 23:25–26.)

“And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.

“And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.

“And … they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth.” (Ether 6:11–13.)

“When the Lamanites had found that the people of Limhi had departed out of the land by night, that they sent an army into the wilderness to pursue them;

“And after they had pursued them two days, they could no longer follow their tracks; therefore they were lost in the wilderness.” (Mosiah 22:15–16.)

“I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness. …

“And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, … having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind.” (Mosiah 8:7–8.)

“In the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings. …

“… they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.

“It also spake a few words concerning his fathers. And his first parents came out from the tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people; … and their bones lay scattered in the land northward.” (Omni 1:20–22.)

“They [the Nephites] did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.

“… no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate.” (Hel. 3:5–6.)

“The Gadianton robbers … dwelt upon the mountains; … strong were their holds and their secret places that the people could not overpower them.

“… armies of robbers … began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds … and began to take possession of the lands.” (3 Ne. 1:27; 3 Ne. 4:1.)

“The Lamanites and the Amlicites began to flee before them. …

“… towards the wilderness which was west and north, away beyond the borders of the land. …

“… many died in the wilderness of their wounds, and were devoured by … beasts and also the vultures of the air.” (Alma 2:35–36, 38.)

“As they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them.

“… he [Alma] cleared the ground, or rather the bank, which was on the west of the river Sidon, throwing the bodies of the Lamanites who had been slain into the waters of Sidon, that thereby his people might have room to cross and contend with the Lamanites and the Amlicites on the west side of the river Sidon.” (Alma 2:27, 34.)

“Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.” (2 Ne. 3:5.)

“And when Coriantumr saw that he was about to fall he fled again before the people of Shiz.

“And it came to pass that he came to the waters of Ripliancum, which, by interpretation, is large, or to exceed all; wherefore, when they came to these waters they pitched their tents. …

“… they fought an exceedingly sore battle. …

“… the armies of Shiz … did flee southward, and …

“… the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah; and it was that same hill where … Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord.” (Ether 15:7–11.)