EARLY NEPHITE TRAVEL
EARLY NEPHITE TRAVEL

Chapter Synopsis: This chapter will present the Book of Mormon record of the families who left the land of Jerusalem and traveled to the Promised Land. It will be shown that they sojourned for a period of eight years in a direction which would have taken them to the Pacific Ocean. Other theories of travel are also presented and discussed.

THE RECORD--WHAT WE HAVE AND DON'T HAVE
The Book of Mormon begins with the words of Nephi, the son of Lehi, which are known as the "First Book of Nephi". Sequentially this is not the first book of the Nephite record but the second. The first, the Book of Lehi, was translated onto 116 pages of manuscript which were lost when Joseph, in response to repeated pleadings from Martin Harris, gave up to him what was close to twenty-five percent of the entire Book of Mormon record. These pages were stolen while under Martin's care, and have come to be known as the "lost pages" or the "lost manuscript", and are part of the Book of Mormon yet to be returned. The Book of Lehi was abridged from the large plates of Nephi by Mormon as the first part of his work. The First Book of Nephi is part of a collection of six books which Mormon did not abridge but put into the record as they were originally written. These are known as the small plates of Nephi. Mormon recorded in his "Words of Mormon" that he placed them there by direction of the Holy Spirit.

The geography of the travels from the Land of Jerusalem to the Promised Land are part of the record of Nephi found in the "First Book of Nephi". In the Book of Lehi there are more geography references that we do not have. The Book of Lehi was on the large plates of Nephi, and the content of it is given by Nephi:

"And upon the plates which I made I did engrave the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness and the prophesies of my father; and also many of mine own prophesies have I engraven upon them. And I knew not at the time when I made them that I should be commanded of the Lord to make these plates; [the small plates] Wherefore, the record of my father and the genealogy of his forefathers, and the more part of all our proceedings in the wilderness are engraven upon those first plates [large plates] of which I have spoken; Wherefore, the things which transpired before that I made these plates are, of a truth, more particularly made mention upon the first plates. [large plates] ...Wherefore I, Nephi, did make a record upon the other plates which gives an account, or which gives a greater account, of the wars and contentions and destructions of my people." (1 Nephi 5:219-222, 225)

Nephi also told his brother Jacob what to put on the small plates as part of the six books which we now have that were included by Mormon without alteration. Jacob wrote:

"And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious, that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people, which are called the people of Nephi; For he said that the history of his people should be engraven upon his other plates, and that I should preserve these plates [small plates] and hand them down unto my seed from generation to generation;" (Jacob 1: 2, 3)

The loss of the Book of Lehi then, which includes most of the information of "our journeyings in the wilderness", "a greater account of the wars and contentions and destructions of my people", and at least part of "the history of this people," is a great loss in terms of information directly associated with geography and the travels of the Nephites to the Land of Promise. All this is part of the record abridged by Mormon, and which he believed would be included when the plates were translated. Important geographical information, which he could have written himself, was already present. We are forced to extract information about their travels from the small later record of Nephi. If the reader has ever felt that the book is somewhat lacking in specific details, this loss of twenty five percent of the record may be part of the reason.

The geography provided by "wars and contentions" has also been partially lost. We only have to look at the record left to us by Mormon in the thirteenth chapter of Alma, the record of the wars and the work of defending the people by Moroni, to see how very much the record helps us understand and visualize the physical setting in the book.

Let us look at the record of Nephi, reason about their travels, and trace the geography supplied by those travels.

TRAVEL INTO THE WILDERNESS
In response to the commandment given to him in a dream, Lehi:

"...departed into the wilderness...and took nothing with him save it were his family and provisions and tents. And he departed into the wilderness; and he came down by the borders near the shores of the Red Sea." (1 Nephi 1:28-30)

In 600 BCC (Before the Coming of Christ) only a short distance from Jerusalem would have put them "into the wilderness". The time that it took them to travel "down by the borders near the shores of the Red Sea" is not given in the text. Some readers of the book have believed that the three days mentioned in the following verses were the travel time to the borders:

"And he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which were nearer the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother Sariah and my elder brethren, which were Laman, Lemuel and Sam. And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley beside a river of water." (1 Nephi 1:31-33)

There are two references here to traveling "in the wilderness," and both are associated with the phrase "in the borders." The first reference to traveling into the wilderness is associated with leaving "the land of his inheritance" and the second is to the wilderness "in the borders".

Another reference to the amount of time spent traveling is to be found, not in the text, but in the preface to the First Book of Nephi:

"The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the Land of Jerusalem because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days' journey into the wilderness with his family. ...This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record." (1 Nephi, preface)

The direct distance from Jerusalem down to the borders of the Red Sea is approximately 150-160 miles. Actual travel distance is much more. Both the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba were considered at that time to be the Red Sea. The location for the ship making by Solomon is stated:

"And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom." (1 Kings 9:26)

We know where Eloth(Eilat), Ezion-geber, and the land of Edom are located, and therefore the Gulf of Aqaba was also considered to be "the Red Sea." (References for the Gulf of Suez also being identified as the other arm of the Red Sea are found in Exodus 10:19 and 13:18)

More recent terms have somewhat clouded our understanding, so that when we go to maps and look for the "Red Sea," we assume that Lehi traveled that distance to get to "the borders." Because of their shorter distance from Jerusalem, it seems the upper shores of the Gulf of Aqaba may have been the "Red Sea" borders which were reached. An even more plausible explanation would be that the Gulf extended much further to the north toward the Salt Sea than we see at the present time. We are dealing with geography of 2,600 years ago. A satellite photograph or a topographical map will confirm the presence of the great depression which exists between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. Was there more water flowing to the Gulf at that time than we see today, and would the name "Red Sea" or "fountain of the Red Sea" have been applied to this area and water also? With Nephi's description of the Valley of Lemuel with the River Laman flowing through it, the possibility of such topography cannot be dismissed.

The reference by Nephi to the "three days journey" may have been to the "borders"... But! -- a three day journey with provisions and tents, over very rough terrain (wilderness), for a family of six to a distance of more than 150 miles seems to be an almost impossible feat. They would have had to travel at least 50 or more miles per day for 3 straight days to get there. No mention of camels or other beasts of burden was made, but Lehi who

"...left his house, and the land of his inheritance and his gold and his silver and his precious things," (1 Nephi 1:29)

with four healthy sons, may have had animals to ride and to carry "provisions and tents". However, "may have" is not a good phrase to use for one who wants to rely solely on the words found in the book to establish the geography. In fact, the next words indicate that animals were not used in their travels.

"...And took nothing with him save it were his family and provisions and tents, and he departed into the wilderness." (1 Nephi 1:29)

Animals require a lot of food, and a lot of water, and, on a journey like this may also have been detrimental to the success of their trip to the Promised Land. In the text there were several desperate times when lack of food became a life or death situation. If animals were available, under those difficult circumstances, they may have been used for food instead of carrying provisions or people. Yet no mention of animals is made in any of their writings, except in the context of those which were hunted for food for their families. However, let's look at camel travel since this animal would have been one that would most likely survive in the harsh environment in which they were to journey.

Travel with camels in this vicinity has been a means of transportation from ancient times up to our present day. The camels of that area are of the single hump, Dromedary type. They are able to travel at a rate of 2-3 miles per hour for 6-9 hours. The terrain, heat, and load carried would vary these two parameters. With a travel time for a camel of 2-3 miles per hour, even a 9 hour travel day (which was usually done in the early hours of the morning and early afternoon) only takes them 18-27 miles per day. At this rate 3 days gets them only to a maximum direct distance of 58-81 miles away from Jerusalem. This is not nearly enough to get them to the Gulf of Aqaba, or, as was pointed out earlier, to what we know as the Red Sea. These figures do not include stopping for breaks, and to eat.

Walking and carrying their own burdens would not have gotten them to the Gulf or perhaps even half of the way. So how many miles did they cover in those 3 days? How far did they get from Jerusalem in their 3 days of "travel into the wilderness"?

The fact that the brothers returned to Jerusalem twice more gives one reason to suppose that the distance was much shorter than the 150-160 direct miles required to reach the upper locations of the Gulf. Three days were traveled in the wilderness until they found the river Laman and the valley Lemuel named by Lehi after the names of his two eldest sons. Geographically we find that this river

"...emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea," (1 Nephi 1:36)

The Gulf of Aqaba could be considered as the "fountain of the Red Sea" to which Lehi's family traveled. However, it must also be considered that this location, which this family considered to be "the fountain of the Red Sea", was in an area much closer to Jerusalem than the distant Gulf of Aqaba.

This location afforded the family a place of rest, of safety, and of spiritual experiences for Lehi and also for his sons Sam and Nephi. It was here that Nephi was given encouragement and was told

"And inasmuch as ye shall keep My commandments, ye shall prosper and shall be led to a Land of Promise, Yea, even a land which I have prepared for you, a land which is choice above all other lands;" (1 Nephi 1:54)

After returning to Jerusalem and obtaining the Plates of Brass, a second trip directed by the Lord through Lehi to his sons, brought Ishmael, and his family of sons, their families, and his daughters down into the location described above.

THE TRIP TO SHAZER
After many great experiences with the Lord at this location, the families were directed to leave and to take their journey again

"into the wilderness" (1 Nephi 5:10)

The "round ball" (1 Nephi 5:11) also referred to as a "director," "liahona," or a "compass" (A 17:71), was provided for them by the Lord at that time. They left and traveled

"four days nearly a south, southeast direction; And we did pitch our tents again; And we did call the name of the place Shazer." (1 Nephi 5:16)

Perhaps because of the liahona, they were able to know the actual direction that they traveled, but it is evident that the directional term "south, southeast" is a fairly precise term and tells us that they knew directions exactly and took this knowledge with them to the Land of Promise. There, as subsequent writers would describe travels, battles, and locations, the use of the directional terms which they used must not be substituted by such terms as "Nephite north", as some writers have proposed. These investigators have tried to change the directional terms to fit maps of places like Mesoamerica and thus fit the text to preconceived ideas of Book of Mormon locations. This precious liahona was kept and preserved, and probably used by the Nephites when they fled from the "land of their first inheritance" in the Americas (2 Nephi 4:7-12); and, perhaps under the direction of Mosiah as well, when they were directed to flee again and traveled to the land of Zarahemla. (Omni 1:20-23) It was entrusted by Alma to his son Helaman with all of the other "sacred things" (Alma 17:83).

To suppose that the directions given in the text were changed from the time that Lehi and Ishmael's people departed into the wilderness for Shazer to the time that the directions given in the text become awkward to individuals with preconceived notions of Book of Mormon land maps, is inconsistent with the record and should not be tolerated by Book of Mormon scholars. One must accept that North was North, East was East, West was West, South was South, and "south, southeast" was south, southeast! The directional terms "Northward" and "Southward" may then be extrapolated from these basic cardinal directions, if this assumption is adhered to by the reader. One might argue a position of "is this magnetic north, polar north, or north from the Near East compared to north from the American continents, etc.?" What does this do to the "plain and precious" nature of this record written by Nephi and translated "by the gift and power of God" by Joseph Smith Jr. if something as simple as directional terms must be wrested by the reader to understand what the writers really meant?

"MANY DAYS" TRAVEL
The people followed the directions of the liahona, left Shazer and traveled as Nephi wrote

"following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness which were in the borders near the Red Sea. And we did travel for the space of many days...And we did follow the directions of the ball which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness. And after we had traveled for the space of many days, we did pitch our tents for the space of a time..." (1 Nephi 5:18-20)

This new location was not named, but it was here that Nephi broke his steel bow, the people murmured "against the Lord their God," (1 Nephi 5:25) were humbled, and obtained food, and by repentance they followed

"...the directions which were given upon the ball." (1 Nephi 5:34)

TRAVEL TO NAHOM
They left this place and again

"...traveling nearly the same course as in the beginning" (1 Nephi 5:42)

and

"...traveled for the space of many days" (1 Nephi 5:43)

to the

"...place which was called "Nahom." (1 Nephi 5:44)

Unlike the "Place of Shazer," which was named by them, Nahom was designated as a place that was presumably already named. (ie: "was called"). Recently in the nation of Yemen near the city of Ma'rib, a monument has been located which, after translation, apparently has written on it the tribal name of "Nahom". Other locations, such as Al Qunfudhah, have been proposed for Nahom in the Arabian peninsula, but this is the only archaeological site found so far that bears the name on something as permanent and ancient as this stone monument. It is reportedly dated to as early as the sixth or seventh century B.C. But is this the location of the place "which was called Nahom" as Nephi wrote, or merely an altar marker for those who made it and whose name appears on it? Let us examine the location and distances from Jerusalem and the time travel intervals to help us discover the answer.

DISTANCES TO TRAVEL
Because the text does not mention the use of animals such as horses, oxen, or camels for transportation, and for the other reasons previously discussed, we need to see their travels in the context of walking. Initially they spent "three days in the wilderness", then "four", then "many days", and a second journey of "many days." In the first journey they were essentially escaping from the environs of Jerusalem. They returned twice, so the distance could not have been very great. Was it ten, twenty, thirty miles, or more? We don't actually know, but what we do know is that they would not have been as far south of Jerusalem as the Aqaba Gulf, which at the time was known to them as the Red Sea.

After leaving the first stopping place mentioned where Lehi had

"...pitched his tent in a valley beside a river of water" (1 Nephi 1:33)

which

"...emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea" (1 Nephi 1:36),

he took his family and the family of Ishmael, under the direction of the liahona, on a journey of four days. Again, we don't know the distance, only the traveling time. However, we do know that the group was much larger now and of a different makeup. They had a number of sons and daughters, older individuals, and perhaps young children in Ishmael's son's families. The distance would not have been very great before they

"...did pitch their tents again;" (1 Nephi 5:16)

This location was Shazer. On the next journey

"we did go forth again in the wilderness following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness which were in the borders near the Red Sea."(1 Nephi 5:18)

They then stopped and

"...pitched our tents for the space of a time, that we might again rest ourselves and obtain food for our families." (1 Nephi 5:21)

This location is not named, but it was here that Nephi broke his steel bow. They then traveled to Nahom where

"...Ishmael died and was buried" (1 Nephi 5:44)

The distance from their previous location is not given, and the time travel is only designated once again as "many days." However, the direction of travel is given and is designated as:

"...traveling nearly the same course as in the beginning." (1 Nephi 5:42)

This direction was the "south southeast" direction. On examining a map of the area, we see that to leave Jerusalem one must travel south to avoid the "Salt Sea," commonly known as the "Dead Sea." The very exact direction of "south southeast" is only given when the liahona is used for their travel and after leaving the first valley location. Again when examining a map of the area, it can be seen that to travel in a south southeast direction does not take one to the Gulf of Aqaba but to an area to the east of it. If one assumes fairly large distances of day travel for the Lehi-Ishmael party, continuous travel in this direction would have put them in the Red Sea long before they would have reached Nahom. Assuming a shorter distance for day travel would have located them somewhere close to the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), but not anywhere near the 1350 miles from Jerusalem to the proposed site of Nahom identified by the stone tribal marker near the site of Ma'rib in present day Yemen.

ON TO BOUNTIFUL
After leaving Nahom we then read that they

"...did travel nearly eastward from that time forth;" (1 Nephi 5:55)

A description of their "travail" and their "much affliction in the wilderness" is described (1 Nephi 5:56,57). The distance from the proposed Ma'rib Nahom to the Arabian Sea where the furthest location of Bountiful at Salalah in Oman has been proposed is only 600 miles. To travel the 1350 miles from Jerusalem measured in days, would have required almost a marathon to accomplish! The 600 miles measured in eight years would have almost required "baby steps"! This travel and "sojourning," in the area proposed by some, in part of the most inhospitable land in the world would not have produced the kind of people described in verses 56 and 57 of 1 Nephi, chapter 5. They would have died or returned home as Laman and Lemuel had often pleaded to do. These people had to have turned East much sooner and traveled not to the Arabian sea as some have proposed, but to the waters of the Pacific Rim on the coasts of Asia.

At Nahom "Ishmael died and was buried." A period of mourning and subsequent murmuring against the Lord, and desires to return to Jerusalem took place. After again repenting, they

"...did again take our journey in the wilderness; And we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth...And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness, and we did come to the land which we called Bountiful because of its much fruit, and also wild honey...And we beheld the sea which we called Irreantum, which being interpreted is "many waters." (1 Nephi 5:55,61,62,64)

Most investigators have supposed that the journey from Nahom to Bountiful which took "eight years," was limited to the distance from Ma'rib to several proposed locations on the coast of the Arabian peninsula. The description of their conditions of travel, the food that was provided, the strength gained by the men--and particularly the women, lead to the conclusion that the wilderness they were traveling through was much more than the six hundred miles. The above journey to Nahom was measured in distances of "three days journey", "four days" journey, and two trips of "many days". According to the supposed location of Nahom in the lower part of the peninsula, it would not have taken them "eight years in the wilderness" to reach the sea. The area for this proposed location of Nahom is in one of the most desolate locations of desert on earth. It is seen on maps just south east of the "Empty Quarter". To sojourn in this area for the space of eight years does not match the descriptions given of their food sources, etc. as previously mentioned.

The families of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael would have certainly turned back to Jerusalem under such harsh conditions. These were the sons which threatened to kill Nephi because they felt forced to leave Jerusalem. Since they had traveled "in the most fertile parts of the wilderness which were in the borders near the Red Sea," all they would have had to do to go back was to keep the Sea on their left and move through the wilderness back to locations they recognized and then "home" to Jerusalem--a journey of no more than two to three months at the most.

The writings of Josephus give us the knowledge that the Red Sea was not only what we presently identify as the Red Sea, but also what is presently known as the Persian Gulf, the sea that the Tigris and Euphrates flowed into. (The writings of Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book 1-Ch. 1, v.3) In Lehi's time the sea known to us as the Arabian Sea was also known as the Red Sea. It was that part of the body of water continuous with the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea as we know it today and the Persian Gulf. The land known as the Arabian Peninsula was completely surrounded by what was known to the people of this time as the Red Sea. If this is true, then why would another name be given to it by them? They

"...beheld the sea which we called Irreantum, which being interpreted is many waters." (1 Nephi 5:64)

"Eight years in the wilderness" travel and the conditions described lead to the conclusion that their eastward travel took them not to the coast of Arabia, but to the Far East; to the coasts of the Pacific waters.

TRAVEL TO THE EAST
While the necessity of the liahona in their travels was apparent even in the beginning, it may not have been as necessary as it was while traveling for eight years. In the beginning, they were essentially traveling in the south southeast direction in an area that was somewhat familiar to them, at least by reputation. Traveling "nearly eastward from that time forth", through terrain which would have been encountered in a journey to the Far East, would have certainly demanded the faith and diligence necessary for the liahona to direct them at all times.

In his description of their journey, Nephi used the phrase for their direction as "nearly eastward." He was writing in the Promised Land and many details of their travels were left out. Remember that the small plates on which he was writing were those which were to contain the more sacred record. The large plates contained the full account written chiefly by Lehi but also by Nephi, and abridged by Mormon, and this part of the record was lost when the one hundred and sixteen pages were stolen. So Nephi's description is very sparse here. To travel "nearly eastward" when writing after the fact, in a totally different land after a long ocean voyage, doesn't have the same precision as "south southeast" does. We must also assume that the term "eastward" is not directly east, much like the use of the terms "northward" and "southward" do not indicate directly north and south.

"NEARLY EASTWARD"
If these people from Jerusalem didn't reach the eastern edge of the Arabian peninsula, but travelled overland to the shores of the Pacific, at what point did they turn east and what lands did they travel through? From the above descriptions, the distance to the place called Nahom would have to be close to the present northern borders of the Gulf of Aqaba. Turning east these people would have encountered the Arabian desert. Recent satellite maps have shown, to the surprise of many, that there were ancient roads and what looks to be village ruins in some places of this area. A direct eastward journey from the area of Aqaba would have put Lehi near the 30th parallel and would have taken them across the desert wilderness to the beginning of mountainous areas on the eastern shores of the present day Persian Gulf. We have previously shown by the writings of Josephus that this body of water also bore the name of the Red Sea at that time.

This desert area, like the desert of the lower peninsula is not a hospitable place, nor an area in which this group would spend much time. However, with possession of the liahona, with provisions for the trip, and possibly with some roads to walk on, it may have been a somewhat better experience than we can imagine from our present day. Eight years of travel "nearly eastward" from that location seems to be more consistent with the physical description of their travels than does the Nahom-Bountiful on the Arabian coast theory. Here is what took place in that eight year period of time:

"...And we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth; And we did travail and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; And our women bore children in the wilderness; And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; And they began to bear their journeyings without murmuring. And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled; And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God, He doth nourish them and strengthen them and provide ways and means whereby they can accomplish the thing which He hath commanded them; Wherefore, He did provide ways and means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness. And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness." (1 Nephi 5:55-61)

Where in the lower Arabian desert does one find enough "raw meat" and enough water for the women to "give plenty of suck for their children"? Where, in the short distance previously proposed for the Nahom-Bountiful journey, do these people get "strong" for eight years as they "travail and wade through much affliction in the wilderness" and "travel nearly eastward from that time forth"?

The direct distance from Jerusalem to the east coast of the Asian continent is approximately 6000 miles. A group which travelled only two hundred days a year and no more than ten miles per day would progress about 2000 miles per year. In eight years the distance that could be covered would be somewhere around 16,000 miles. If travel took place only over the smaller 6000 mile distance to Asia, again using the two hundred days per year, the distance necessary to get there would diminish to around 3-4 miles per day. Certainly travel through mountains, over or around rivers, and other inhospitable locations would shorten daily travel distance, but 3-4 miles per day is also a modest estimate, as is the two hundred days per year devoted to travel. The area close to the Empty Quarter of the Arabian desert is not the place that they

"...did take our journey in the wilderness" (1 Nephi 5:55)

for "eight years."

SEA TRAVEL
After the ship was constructed, a long ocean voyage was undertaken. It is presumed by students of the Book of Mormon that this voyage was to the East and that these people would have landed in the Promised Land somewhere on the western shores of the American continent. The Jaredite people, had also come by water to this continent many years earlier. Some have proposed they travelled to the eastern shores of Asia by land and then crossed the Pacific Ocean, with a travel time across the sea given in the record as 344 days. Close examination of another chapter of this book ("Moron--The Land of Their First Inheritance") will show that this is incorrect, but many have supposed that this was the route of their migration. If the Lehi-Ishmael group did leave from the Arabian Gulf to migrate to the Americas, the distance for ocean travel has to be increased over that of the Jaredites by at least 6000 to 7000 miles. Examine a map of the land masses and the length of such a voyage just to reach the Pacific Ocean. These people were not veteran sailors. One must ask if this scenario is consistent with what we know about the facts of the time, directions, and people that the Lord loved and directed to the Promised Land. It isn't!

Some investigators have built up a very complete scenario for the location of Bountiful on the coast of the Arabian peninsula. It is complete with a large hill or mountain that Nephi was supposed to have gone to when the Lord directed him to build a ship, and with iron ore deposits not far away with which to make tools. It has the fruit trees, the beach, and everything that they feel is necessary to have it as the location of Bountiful. Stones which have been found are even identified as sanctuary markers, house stones, and possibly pens used by Lehi for animals. Tour groups go to these places and are told this is the route and the location from which Lehi traveled to the Promised Land of America. The text tells a different story--the true story.

Perhaps at some future time the information contained in the abridged Book of Lehi will again be available. If it is, we will know more about their travels in the wilderness. For now we must use what we have, and what we have tells us that these people under God's direction, left Jerusalem, travelled south, then south southeast, and finally eastward, until they reached an area by a sea eight years later which

"...we called Bountiful because of its much fruit, and also wild honey; And all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish; ...we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore;" (1 Nephi 5:62,63,66)

At this location, also under the Lord's direction, a unique ship was built, then the ocean was crossed, and the Land of Promise was reached.

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