The two easiest lands in ZARAHEMLA to locate are Bountiful and Manti. Bountiful’s northern border has already been established as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. As seen in Alma 22:33, the Nephites inhabited this land “from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.”
Mormon’s failure to say “from the east sea to the west sea” does not suggest the Nephites formed this strategic barrier from some point in the east to the west sea. How effective would that have been had they left Bountiful’s east coastline unprotected, considering that the more idle part of the Lamanites inhabited the wilderness along ZARAHEMLA’s east coastline?
Manti is just as easy to locate. Alma 22:27 tells us Manti is north of the river Sidon’s upper course and that no other land lies between Manti and the Sidon. Alma 43:32 describes Manti as on the west side of the Sidon.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20