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Refining the Spotlight on Lehi and Sariah

TitleRefining the Spotlight on Lehi and Sariah
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsS. Kent Brown
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination44-57, 116-120
KeywordsArabia; Bountiful; Chronology; Lehi (Prophet); Lehi's Trail; Nahom; Oman; Sariah; Servitude; Valley of Lemuel

Brown uses clues from the Book of Mormon account of Lehi’s journey to piece together aspects of the party’s travels. He gives a possible timetable for various parts of the eight-year journey through the desert. In contrast to other researchers’ proposals, Brown believes that since Nephi first mentions childbirth in conjunction with events at Nahom, the group may have stayed in the Valley of Lemuel for only a few months and the subsequent trip to Nahom could not have taken longer than two years. The family would then have spent at least six years along the shorter eastward leg. This fact, he argues, along with hints from the Book of Mormon, may indicate that the party’s travel was repeatedly delayed by hostile tribes and even indentured servitude or bondage before reaching the southern seacoast of modern Oman. While the author does not advocate a particular candidate for Bountiful, he acknowledges that the geographic features of the general area, including the presence of iron ore, fit with Nephi’s own description.