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



Book of Mormon geography, Isthmus of Panama, Isthmus of Tehuantepec, "narrow neck"


The narrow neck of land is an important geographical feature in the Book of Mormon. For many years people have debated whether the narrow neck was the Isthmus of Panama, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Southern Mexico, or somewhere else. Some have argued that the neck must have been very narrow, because Alma 22:32 says that the distance across the "narrow neck" of the promised land from the east to the west sea was "a day and a half's journey for a Nephite." But how wide could this distance have been? Recently analyzed information suggests that it could have been quite wide indeed.