The Land of Jershon was not heard of prior to it being given to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, otherwise called the people of Ammon. They were converted Lamanites who swore never to lift the sword again, choosing death instead:
21 And it came to pass that the chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desiring the voice of the people concerning the admitting their brethren, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon which is on the east, by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.
23 And behold, we will set our armies between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness.
24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies. (Alma 27)
The location of the Land of Jershon is in reference to the City of Zarahemla:
1. On the east
2. By the sea
3. Joins the Land Bountiful
4. South of the Land Bountiful
Q. From which direction did the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi come?
A. They came, as their name entails, from the land encompassing the City of Lehi, which was the furthest place south and west of Book of Mormon lands, and the current location of their sworn enemies.
The wisdom of the people of Zarahemla was to grant them the land furthest away from their enemies – the northeast corner [this is important to keep in mind when discussing the ‘City of Melek’ in Alma 35:13].
Some difficulties arise when other cities and lands are mentioned along the East Sea but Jershon is not:
Q. If the Land of Jershon was south of the Land Bountiful and along the East Sea, why is it not included here:
And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore. (Alma 51:26)
A. It was not mentioned because it was not conquered. Those were only the “conquered” cities.
Q. Why is it missing from this text?
14 And they did remember his words; and therefore they went forth, keeping the commandments of God, to teach the word of God among all the people of Nephi, beginning at the city Bountiful;
15 And from thenceforth to the city of Gid; and from the city of Gid to the city of Mulek;
16 And even from one city to another, until they had gone forth among all the people of Nephi who were in the land southward; and from thence into the land of Zarahemla, among the Lamanites. (Alma 27)
A. The Land of Jershon had not been settled yet.
Land Antionum – East of Zarahemla
Q. Where was Antionum in connection with Jershon?
Now the Zoramites had gathered themselves together in a land which they called Antionum which was east of the land of Zarahemla which lay nearly bordering upon the seashore, which was south of the land of Jershon, which also bordered upon the wilderness south which wilderness was full of the Lamanites. (Alma 31:3)
A. It was:
-East of the City Zarahemla
-Nearly bordering upon the seashore
-South of Jershon
-Bordered the wilderness south
In other words, the Land Antionum ran the full length of the land of Zarahemla from Jershon/Bountiful on the north to the Wilderness South/head of the River Sidon on the south and paralleled the City of Zarahemla, lying between it and the East Sea. A true model thus must have parallel hills and valleys running north and south east of the City of Zarahemla, but west of the Sea East:
And it came to pass that the Lamanites came with their thousands and they came into the land of Antionum which is the land of the Zoramites and a man by the name of Zerahemnah was their leader. (Alma 43:5)
Behold, now it came to pass that they durst not come against the Nephites in the borders of Jershon; therefore they departed out of the land of Antionum into the wilderness and took their journey round about in the wilderness away by the head of the river Sidon that they might come into the land of Manti and take possession of the land; for they did not suppose that the armies of Moroni would know whither they had gone. (Alma 43:22)
The fact that the Land Antionum was east of Zarahemla, and that it ran parallel to it is supported by the location of Gideon. Gideon was east of Zarahemla, and south of Jershon, as described in the account of Korihor, the Anti-Christ:
But it came to pass in the latter end of the seventeenth year, there came a man into the land of Zarahemla, and he was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ. (Alma 30:6)
19 Now this man went over to the land of Jershon also, to preach these things among the people of Ammon, who were once the people of the Lamanites.
20 But behold they were more wise than many of the Nephites; for they took him, and bound him, and carried him before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people.
21 And it came to pass that he caused that he should be carried out of the land. And he came over into the land of Gideon, and began to preach unto them also; and here he did not have much success, for he was taken and bound and carried before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land.
29 Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words; but they caused that he should be bound; and they delivered him up into the hands of the officers, and sent him to the land of Zarahemla, that he might be brought before Alma, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land. (Alma 30)
Where was Gideon? East of Zarahemla, in a valley, separated from Zarahemla by a range of hills:
And now it came to pass that when Alma had made these regulations he departed from them, yea, from the church which was in the city of Zarahemla, and went over upon the east of the river Sidon, into the valley of Gideon, there having been a city built, which was called the city of Gideon, which was in the valley that was called Gideon, being called after the man who was slain by the hand of Nehor with the sword. (Alma 6:7)
At least two ranges of hills existed east of Zarahemla one on either side of Gideon. One was the Hill Amnihu:
And it came to pass that the Amlicites came upon the hill Amnihu, which was east of the river Sidon which ran by the land of Zarahemla, and there they began to make war with the Nephites. (Alma 2:15)
Thus, there should exist one or more hill ranges east of Zarahemla, that run north and south which provided alternate routes for the enemy.
Onidah – Place of Arms
Near Antionum was Onidah:
And now he had got the command of those parts of the Lamanites which were in favor of the king and he sought to gain favor of those which were not obedient therefore he went forward to the place which was called Onidah for thither had all the Lamanites fled for they discovered the army coming and supposing that they were coming to destroy them therefore they fled to Onidah to the place of arms (Alma 47:5)
Onidah had a hill:
Now as Alma was teaching and speaking unto the people upon the hill Onidah there came a great multitude unto him which were those of which we have been speaking of which were poor in heart because of their poverty as to the things of the world (Alma 32:4)
The “place of arms” was no doubt a source for their “weapons of war.” A source for arrow heads, knives, and spear heads was flint. Common weapons mentioned in the Book of Mormon were:
Land of Melek
The following reference throws modelers off because the ‘City of Melek’ is misspelled and should read “Mulek“:
And the people of Ammon departed out of the land of Jershon, and came over into the land of Melek [Mulek], and gave place in the land of Jershon for the armies of the Nephites, that they might contend with the armies of the Lamanites and the armies of the Zoramites; (Alma 35:13)
Modelers should be confident enough with the text to know when an error exists. Otherwise their models and explanations will be convoluted.
Where was Melek?
3 And it came to pass in the commencement of the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, that Alma departed from thence and took his journey over into the land of Melek, on the west of the river Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness.
4 And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek.
5 And it came to pass that the people came to him throughout all the borders of the land which was by the wilderness side. And they were baptized throughout all the land;
6 So that when he had finished his work at Melek he departed thence, and traveled three days’ journey on the north of the land of Melek; and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah.
7 Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah. (Alma 8)
Thus, the “Melek” referenced in Alma 35:13 cannot be the Melek referenced above, which was west of Zarahemla and at least three days south of the Land Bountiful.
Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words, and reviled him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron. (Alma 8)
1 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek were commanded to depart out of that city [Ammonihah]; and they departed, and came out even into the land of Sidom; and behold, there they found all the people who had departed out of the land of Ammonihah, who had been cast out and stoned, because they believed in the words of Alma.
16 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred;
17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts, and began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction—
18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord. (Alma 15)
Sidom was not located within the bounds of Ammonihah for the people “came out” of it.
Ammonihah – West of Zarahemla
2 For behold, the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side into the borders of the land even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city.
3 And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, and also some around the borders of Noah and taken others captive into the wilderness. (Alma 16)
6 And it came to pass that Alma inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And Alma returned and said unto them: Behold, the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti. And behold there shall ye meet them, on the east of the river Sidon, and there the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren who have been taken captive by the Lamanites.
7 And it came to pass that Zoram and his sons crossed over the river Sidon, with their armies, and marched away beyond the borders of Manti into the south wilderness, which was on the east side of the river Sidon.
8 And they came upon the armies of the Lamanites, and the Lamanites were scattered and driven into the wilderness; and they took their brethren who had been taken captive by the Lamanites, and there was not one soul of them had been lost that were taken captive. And they were brought by their brethren to possess their own lands. (Alma 16)
And it came to pass that the people came to him throughout all the borders of the land which was by the wilderness side and it came to pass that they were baptized throughout all the land (Alma 8:5)
for behold the armies of the Lamanites had come in on the wilderness side into the borders of the land even into the city of Ammonihah and began to slay the people and to destroy the city. (Alma 16:2)
and also there was many Lamanites on the east by the seashore whither the Nephites had driven them and thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness at the head of the river Sidon from the east to the west round about on the wilderness side on the north even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful (Alma 22:29)
and thus we did go forth with all our might against the Lamanites which were in the city of Manti and we did pitch our tents by the wilderness side which was near to the city (Alma 58:13)