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Lehi’s Trail: From the Valley of Lemuel to Nephi’s Harbor

TitleLehi’s Trail: From the Valley of Lemuel to Nephi’s Harbor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsWellington, Richard, and George Potter
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination26-43, 113-116
KeywordsArabia; Bountiful (Old World); Lehi's Trail; Nahom; Shazer; Valley of Lemuel

Wellington and Potter offer their own reconstruction of Lehi’s journey through the Arabian Peninsula as recorded in the Book of Mormon. After stressing the necessity of following the frankincense trail in order to obtain enough reliable water and food, the authors show that a branch of this trail does indeed skirt close to a good candidate for the Valley of Lemuel. Using an Arabic derivation for the meaning of Shazer meaning “a valley of area abounding with trees and shrubs,” they locate a lush oasis valley along the trail that would provide a natural resting place for Lehi’s party. An analysis of modern tactical pilotage charts reveals that fertility decreases as one follows the frankincense trail southward, an observation that appears to correlate with Nephi’s description of conditions along the journey. The authors discuss possible locations for Nahom and the route eastward. Based on Nephi’s need to obtain resources and expertise necessary for building, launching, and sailing an oceangoing ship, this study identifies the ancient port of Khor Rori as the most likely candidate for Bountiful.