Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Matthew Roper


Book of Mormon, Mesoamerica, transportation, water


In recent years a number of Book of Mormon scholars have associated the "narrow neck of land" mentioned by Mormon with the Mexican Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Mormon states that it was approximately "a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea" (Alma 22:32). This was the speed "for a Nephite," and presumably a group of people or even a non-Nephite might take longer. Moreover, since Mormon was speaking of a fortified line of defense along which communication would be desirable, the phrase "for a Nephite" may refer to the time it would take for a messenger or courier.