These are the facts those using the Mississippi River as Sidon fail to recognize:
- The Mississippi flows the wrong way. It flows from the north to the south
- The head is not a place of “confluence”
- It is far too long – over 2300 miles long. The length of the land (Alma 22:29) from Bountiful on the north (Alma 27:22) to Manti on the south (Alma 16:7; 22:27) was a day (Alma 43:18-24).
- It is far too wide (over a mile) and deep for armies to cross
- It is so long and wide, that it has always been used as a natural boundary line between peoples. In the Book of Mormon, it is never used as a boundary line. Locals would freely live on both sides of the river and cross back and forth.
- It is so long and wide that it is a natural boundary line for animals. Another feature not mentioned in The Book of Mormon. The only boundary line for animals was Bountiful, the Narrow Passage, and poisonous snakes.
- There is no place for armies to go “around” the head thereof
Further down this page we identify where the Lamanite Line of Possession was. This is a geographical feature all Book of Mormon geographers have missed.
Everything north of this line was Nephite land, which included the Lands of Nephi and Zarahemla, and the Jaredite Land Northward, and all were referred to as the land northward – of the Line of Possession (we use lower case to distinguish it from the Jaredite Land Northward).
The Lamanites possessed everything south of this and was called the Land of their Possessions. Beyond that was where Lehi’s family first landed – Land of First Inheritance/Ishmael (details further down).
ALL THAT LAND WAS SOUTH OF THE HEAD OF THE RIVER!
Geographical models using the Mississippi River as the River Sidon fail to recognize this.
11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness yea and also on the west fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi from the west sea running by the head of the river Sidon—the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure. (Alma 50:11)
But which sea did the River Sidon flow into? The Land of Zarahemla was surrounded by the West Sea and the East Sea. Since no river is ever mentioned between the journeys between the City of Bountiful and the City of Mulek (The east-west line for travel) we know the river did not flow straight north or north-east into the Sea East.
22 And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea. (Alma 44: 22)
We know that the Mulekites landed in the Land Northward and came south to establish Zarahemla via the Narrow Passage. The Narrow Passage ran along the West Sea. If we look south of the Narrow Passage for a river, these are the details we should be looking for:
Flows south to north
Originates in a wilderness
Large enough to carry dead bodies
Shallow enough to cross
Banks to fight upon
Has two or more branches
Was not a boundary line for people or animals
Emptied into the Sea West
The only river that meets that criteria is the Buffalo River in western New York.