Book of Mormon/Geography/Old World

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    Book of Mormon geography in the Old World

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Book of Mormon Old World Geography

A discussion of the Arabian, or Old World, geography of the Book of Mormon enjoys many advantages over discussion of New World matters. Chief among these is the fact that we know we certainty where the story begins—in Old World Jerusalem. There is simply no way that Joseph could have obtained enough information about Arabia to fabricate more than a minute fraction of the travels described in First Nephi. (Click here for full article)

  • Matching Old World geography with locations described in the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: The locations and route of Lehi's travel corresponds exactly with locations and known routes used in the Old World. (Click here for full article)
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  • Valley of Lemuel
    Brief Summary: The valley of Lemuel requires several characteristics. In 1995, Potter and colleagues found a hitherto unrecognized wadi[1] which has parallels to the requirements of the Book of Mormon text, including a river of water which is "continually running," which they interpret as requiring a year-round water flow. Although Saudi and US geological surveys have concluded that Saudi Arabia "may...be without any perennial rivers or streams," visits to the area in April, May, July, August, November, December, and January have all found flowing water in the candidate valley which Potter's team identified. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Frankincense Trail
    Brief Summary: Lehi's journey paralleled the ancient "Frankincense trail," a trade route used in ancient Arabia (Click here for full article)
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  • Shazer
    Brief Summary: Regarding the place name Shazer, Nigel Groom's Dictionary of Arabic Topography and Placenames contains an entry for a similar word, "shajir," giving the meaning: "A valley or area abounding with trees and shrubs." (Click here for full article)
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  • Nahom
    Brief Summary: Nephi's party reaches an area "which was called Nahom" (1 Nephi 16:34) near the time that they make an eastward turn in their journey. NHM [the root for naham] appears twenty-five times in the narrative books of the Bible, and in every case it is associated with death. Strikingly, altars dating from the time of Lehi have been found with the inscription "NHM." As one travels south-southeast of Jerusalem along the major trunk of the ancient Arabian trade route, the route branches east toward the southeastern coast at only one point: in the Jawf valley (Wadi Jawf) just a few miles from Nehem. From thence the eastern branch of the trade route goes toward the ancient port of Qana--modern Bir Ali—on the Hadhramaut coast, where most of the incense was shipped. This eastern branch was the major route—the pathways to the south were less used. (Click here for full article)
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  • Bountiful
    Brief Summary: If Nehem is the Book of Mormon site Nahom, then is there a Bountiful to the east of it on the coast? Amazingly, we have the luxury of two excellent candidate sites that are roughly due east of Nehem on the Oman coast. The Astons propose Wadi Sayq as the best candidate for Bountiful, and it impressively fits the criteria that one can derive from the Book of Mormon. Potter and Sedor propose the area of Salalah and the nearby ancient port of Khor Rori as the general site for Bountiful. (Click here for full article)
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Video

Part(s) of this issue are addressed in a FairMormon video segment. Click here to see video clips on other topics.

Old World Geography Jerusalem, Lehi, and the Book of Mormon

For further information related to this topic


  • Lehi's cave
    Brief Summary: I've heard about a place in the Arabian desert called "Lehi's cave." Does this provide evidence for the Book of Mormon? (Click here for full article)
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Notes

  1. George Potter, "A New Candidate in Arabia for the "Valley of Lemuel"," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 8/1 (1999): 54–63. wiki


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