The Location of the Ancient City of Ammonihah

Alma 8:3-6 Alma first went to Melek which is on the west of the River Sidon. Afterwards, he travelled three days journey north to Ammonihah.

Some people claim to know were Melek is. I don’t believe there is enough context in the Book of Mormon to really pinpoint it. We know it is on the West of the River Sidon and probably not far from Zarahemla.

Toolesboro Mounds Historic Site is nearly 60 miles north of Zarahamla assuming correctness that Zarahemla is in what is now Montrose, Iowa – right across the river from Nauvoo, Illinois.

Toolesboro Mounds is very likely fitting the context of 3 days journey north for a Nephite.

The Significance of Ammonihah

When I think on the city of Ammonihah and what took place there, this is what comes to my mind.

Visit of Alma to Ammonihah

  1. Alma went there to preach the gospel. He was rejected and intended to never return. However, an angel visited him and commanded him to return and to command them to repent.
  2. He meets Amulek in Ammonihah. After spending time in Amulek’s home, Alma and Amulek together preach in the city.
  3. Zeezrom challenges the two while preaching. Zeezrom was a skilled lawyer, but his heart was pricked and he quickly began the process of repentance. Nevertheless, Alma and Amulek were sent to prison over the exchange that began with Zeezrom. Zeezrom later fully repents and becomes an instrument for much good.
  4. Those in Ammonihah who believed in the preaching of Alma and Amulek were burnt to death.
  5. Alma and Amulek burst their bands in prison, an earthquake knocks down the prison killing all except Alma and Amulek. Alma and Amulek walk out free.

Ammonihah is Destroyed

Due to the preachings of Ammon and his brethren in the Nephite lands, many Lamanites were converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The unbelieving Lamanites – particularly the Amalekites – were angry about their Lamanite brothers refusing to take up arms to defend themselves. In anger, they attacked Ammonihah and destroyed everyone in the city.

Ammonihah is Rebuilt

We learn in the war chapters that Captain Moroni had Ammonihah not only rebuilt, but rebuilt to a great strength.

Alma 49:1-4

And now it came to pass in the eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month, the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land of Ammonihah.

And behold, the city had been rebuilt, and Moroni had stationed an army by the borders of the city, and they had cast up dirt round about to shield them from the arrows and the stones of the Lamanites; for behold, they fought with stones and with arrows.

Behold, I said that the city of Ammonihah had been rebuilt. I say unto you, yea, that it was in part rebuilt; and because the Lamanites had destroyed it once because of the iniquity of the people, they supposed that it would again become an easy prey for them.

But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance.

Toolesboro Mounds has a fantastic defensive berm that separates it from the waters. Below are pictures of the huge defensive berm which separates the land from the rivers.

The link above is a movie I took of the defensive berm.

I recognize that this is not scientific proof that this is Ammonihah. But it most certainly show that it is a very good candidate for further study. I believe this is Ammonihah.