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Part 7: New World Memories of "Bountiful"

TitlePart 7: New World Memories of "Bountiful"
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
KeywordsAnales de los Xahil; Ancient America – Mesoamerica; Arabia; Bountiful (Old World); Language - Mayan; Liahona; Popol Vuh; Transoceanic Voyage
One divine purpose for the years of desert travel by the Lehites was surely to strengthen them for the task of establishing a new civilization on the American continent; to “cleanse” or deacculturate them from their old ways. Although several members of the party, beginning with Jacob and Joseph, were born in the desert after the exodus of their family, most of the adults carried the mind-set of life in the Jerusalem area with them into the desert and then on to the land that God had promised.
However, once arrived in their New World and busy building a new life, clear references in the Nephite text hearkening back to their Old World origins are understandably rare. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to assume that some aspects of the old would have been remembered, especially by those keeping the records, and in particular, the last place they knew there. The years spent by Lehi and Sariah’s group at Bountiful, its vivid contrast to the desert in which they traveled for so long, the demands of the shipbuilding process and the long ocean voyage that followed, may have combined to leave a significant imprint in the memory of their descendants.
For a general sense of origin to have survived through the centuries would be significant enough; but as the ancient records and traditions of Central American peoples become better understood, touchstones to several startlingly specific aspects of the Lehite journey are emerging.