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TitlePart 2: "Into the Wilderness"
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWarren P. Aston
Book TitleLehi and Sariah in Arabia: The Old World Setting of the Book of Mormon
PublisherXlibris Publishing
CityBloomington, IN
KeywordsArabia; Bow; Burnt Offerings; Jerusalem (Old World); Lehi's Trail; Liahona; River Laman; Sacrifice; Shazer; Trade; Valley of Lemuel; Weaponry; Wilderness
Nephi’s account focuses on the spiritual dimensions of the unfolding Lehite drama. However, he seems to have also been aware of the need to include the broad outlines of its geographical setting. By anchoring this momentous story in the real world of deserts, rivers, and mountains, Nephi gives it more color and depth. Clearly, a thousand years later, Mormon saw the historical and geographical context of a spiritual record significant enough to retain in his editing of the book that now bears his name. These references have become a primary means of establishing Nephi’s record as a completely credible account of an ancient journey.
That Nephi kept his own record also proved highly providential when the “Book of Lehi,” comprising the 116 pages of translated manuscript, was lost in 1828 through the actions of Martin Harris. As discussed in Part 1, this material was never recovered or re-translated by Joseph Smith. It remains lost today, taking from us the fuller account of Lehi’s journey.