America and 1 Nephi 13

I cannot count the number of times I have heard someone report that the prophecies contained in chapter 13 of 1 Nephi refer to the colonisation of the United States.

And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. (v. 12)

The above verse, for example, is said to have referred to Christopher Columbus. Yet, it is a well-established fact that several Scandinavians arrived in the American contents several centuries before Columbus ever did. In addition, Columbus was preceded by at least one explorer (Jo?ɬ£o Vaz Corte-Real) and subsequently followed by one other (John Cabot or Giovanni Caboto). In actuality, it would seem that Columbus should fall under verse 13:

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

The next few verses go on discussing white people colonising the “land of promise” and the “land of their inheritance”. It is widely believed that the furthest north the Lehitic people landed on the American continent is present-day Mexico. At the very last then, the land of promise referred to Mexico, not the United States. This makes sense of course, since many white people from Spain and France colonised the area of Mexico.

Verses 17 and 18 are popularly interpreted to refer to the Revolutionary War between Britain and what would become the United States. Yet, Mexico held several wars with mother Gentiles. Cinco de Mayo, for example, celebrates Mexico’s victorious defeat of French forces that had occupied the country. In addition, Mexico’s Independence War lasted from 1810 until 1821, complete with a constitution drafting. For that matter, Brazil held a war of independence against Portugal from 1821-1825 that included land and naval battles, as did Chile’s fight against Spain during 1817-1818.

So to what does 1 Nephi 13 refer? Who knows? The prophecies are too vague. Certainly they came true, but I am apprehensive to say the unequivocally refer to the United states when much that is contained in the chapter could refer to several countries in North and South America.

45 thoughts on “America and 1 Nephi 13”

  1. trying to find what each scripture means for “lands” is like trying to explain what Nostradamus means when he prophesized for something just as vague. When 9/11 happened everybody kept saying oh yes it was prophesized that this would happen. Their definition in Nephi’s time is hardly the same that we would use today.

  2. It seems to apply to the whole of both the North and South American Continents. Though, the phrase, “and they went forth out of captivity” seems to be more indicative of the impetus behind much of the settling in the north.

    Jack

  3. That would really depend on your definition of captivity. Forgive me if I seem cynical regarding American immigrants as having been held captive in the UK, Germany or wherever else from which they emigrated. Or at least being more captive than the Spanish who settled in Chile, the Portuguese who settled in Brazil or the French who settled in Canada.

  4. Many colonists fled to the Americas seeking religious freedom. At least three North American Colonies were established for the purpose of securing that freedom. Others, though they were not originally established for that purpose, later adopted the cause.

    Jack

  5. Then what I’m saying really doesn’t depend on my definition of captivity, does it?

    Jack

  6. I’m not sure I understand what you are saying.

    First, you said that leaving captivity (v. 13) was indicative of American immigrants. Then you stated that the “colonists fled to the Americas seeking religious freedom”. To me, this implied that captivity referred to (was defined as) the inability to worship freely.

    Your most recent comment now seems to suggest that your previous two comments were unrelated. Could you please clarify what now appears to me to be fragmented thoughts?

  7. Kim,

    It’s my rhetorical way of throwing the ball back in your court.

    In spite of the “vagueness” in Nephi’s prophecy there seems to be enough clarity in history to argue over what “coming out of captivity” might mean as it relates to colonizing the Americas.

    I speculate on an idea that has to do with religious intolerance, but you don’t considered it worthy of argumentation because it is not specified in the “vague” text as THE particular captivity from which the gentiles were fleeing.

    In other words, I’m fully aware that the text is silent on that count. My speculation can only be derived from a particular historical viewpoint–warped as it may be.

    Jack(ass)

  8. That’s just it. There isn’t enough clarity in world history to suggest the captivity refers to American patriots wanting religious freedom. For that matter, one could argue the Spaniards were seeking financial freedom when colonising the rest of the Americas. I don’t believe there is enough clarity in world history to say 1 Ne 13 refers to one specific country.

  9. Well,

    It’s because of what we DO know of history that we’re able to concieve of a broader application of Nephi’s prophecy to the colonization of the America’s.

    Who knows? We may learn one day that the Nephites lived on planet “X” and that the “many waters” represents a quandrant of space that must be crossed in order to get there where only “matter unorganized” exists.

    Something to nit-pick over:

    We’re not talking about U.S. patriots. There was no U.S. at the time. Nor, are we talking about immagration (as I understand it), as the colonies were typically an extention of the empire from which the colonists we’re trying to distance themselves. We’re talking about folks who fled Europe for one reason or another in order to find a better life. You may very well be right that financial freedom was the grand impetus for “fleeing” (and impetus with which I have no problem, by the way). Poverty maintained by a brutal aristocracy can be among the worst forms of captivity (imo).

    However, there were unspeakable atrocities committed in the name of religion which served as a powerful impetus for many to find a haven where they might worship as they choose. Those poor devils (some of them anyway) where literally fleeing for their lives.

    Jack

  10. Kim,

    How timely. I came across a letter this week written by my 8th great-grandmother in or around 1646. In this letter she clearly lays out the reason for coming to America was religious freedom.

    So, if religious freedom was what they sought, then one can assume that the condition they fled from was a form of captivity.

    Also, by deduction, we can reasonably assume that it was talking about America (the U.S. portion) because no other land has had more influence in modern history than the U.S.

    People yearn to be American, yes because of the American dream, which is an offshoot of freedom of religion, and because they are under a form of captivity where they exist, whether it be physical, mental or emotional.

  11. As I said to Jack, however, if we are to determine define captivity as the condition left behind by those seeking religious freedom and not as “the state or period of being imprisoned, confined, or enslaved”, then we could apply the same reasoning to immigrants who settled in other areas of the Americas for reasons other than religious freedom.

    If that is the case, then the USA cannot be singled out as the only country referenced in 1 Ne. 13.

    In addition, I am not sure what the influence of the USA on the modern world has to do with 1 Ne. 13 since the modern world is virtually absent from this passage.

    As well, as I mentioned previously, if the United States is “the promised land” mentioned in 1 Ne. 13:14, why do none of the scholars studying Book of Mormon anthropology/archaeology assert that the Lehitic people settled in what is now the United States?

  12. How do we know that the United States succeeded in its independence war because of God’s hand (v. 19), but none of the other countries that fought independence wars (Mexico, Brazil, Chile, etc) were guided by God’s hand?

    Verses 20 through 29 could refer to any country in the Americas. The United States did not have a monopoly on the Bible. Virtual all other countries in the western hemisphere, most of whom were Catholic, were heavily influenced by Christianity. In fact, if anything, I would say these verses refer more to non-USA countries that it does to the USA, given the difference in religious freedoms between them.

    Regarding verse 30, again, if the land that is choice above all others is the United States, why did Lehi’s descendants not inherit it? Why did they remain in Mexico (according to current theories)? If anything, if there are any countries who did not destroy the mixture of Nephi’s descendants among his brothers’, they would be Mexico and those in Central America.

    The same things could be said of the last few verses you cite.

    There is nothing in that chapter that could indicate unequivocally the angel or Nephi were referring to the United States and not another country or, for that matter, not several countries together.

  13. Agreed, again in the main. The lands of North and South America have been designated as the land of Zion,and therefore could qualify as the land choice above all other lands, but the establishment of the specific City of Zion is in the United States, which gives it a special significance.

  14. As I said before,

    I believe ch.13 may be applied to the whole of America. Simon Bolivar, known as “The Great Liberator” in South America, particularly in Venezuela, Columbia and Equador, is beloved in the same way that Gearge Washington is in the U.S.. Most Central and South American countries experienced a revolutionary war or liberation, of sorts, from a European power and have long standing national traditions that swell in the breast just like those in the U.S..

    That said, there are still a few indicators in ch.13 that (imo) seem to “highlight” the drama in the northern hemisphere. For one, I’m still intrigued by the idea of religious freedom as an answer (or at least a component of the answer without which it would not be complete) to the “captivity” question. I find it interesting that conditions were such that many had NO impetus for leaving Europe because of religious intolerance–indicating that some were adherents (ostensibly at least) to the concurrent state religion while others were persecuted by it. The same may be said for those seeking a way out of poverty–except that South/Central America has never really exceeded Europe in financial equality or stability–not to mention the fact that there was really no alternate religion sought early on.

    Secondly, toward the end of ch.13 Nephi speaks of the “books” that will be brought forth unto the remnant of his seed by the hand of the gentiles–an idea that has a general application in the Americas. But, then we read of how a record of his people will “come forth unto the gentiles”. Now it becomes more specific because of our understanding of church history. He goes on to speak of “other books which came forth by the power of the Lamb” which may be alluding to such works as the D&C and PoGP–unless, of course, more ancient records are still yet to be found in other parts of the Americas (which is entirely possible)

    There may be something said, too, for the fact the the U.S. went through it’s revolutionary crisis anywhere from 20 to 70 years before any of the South American countries–not to establish some kind of “superiority” because of that fact, but to point out that history tends highlight the initial stages of change over the general trends that follow. Prophecy, I think, has a way of doing both. For example, the Restoration seems to be established in prophecy as those singular events surrounding the prophetic role of Joseph Smith AS WELL as the general pouring out of light and truth upon the world.

    Anyway, that example may be a long shot, but it seems to resonate with me. Of course, that’s easy for me to say…

    Jack

  15. “or at least a component of the answer without which it would not be complete”

    I agree with this. I should clarify that I am not saying that religious freedom is not related to the captivity spoken of by Nephi. I am only suggesting that if we are to take a very loose definition of captivity in order to apply it to the reasons people came to what is now the United States, the same loose definition could be applied elsewhere.

    “South/Central America has never really exceeded Europe in financial equality or stability”

    My point was not that these exceeded Europe in financial equity or stability. After all, people did not know that there would absolutely be no religious persecution in the United States, only that there was the potential for religious freedom. Same goes for South/Central America. Those immigrating to those areas for financial reasons did not know absolutely whether there would be better financial opportunities. They did know that there was a potential for financial freedom, however.

    “Nephi speaks of the “books” that will be brought forth unto the remnant of his seed by the hand of the gentiles—an idea that has a general application in the Americas”

    No argument there. However, saying that the rest of the references to Gentiles refer to the United States because of this is like saying the “mother Gentiles” were Greek because they developed the Bible.

  16. “My point was not that these exceeded Europe in financial equity or stability. After all, people did not know that there would absolutely be no religious persecution in the United States…”

    Yes, but Nephi states emphatically that they “went forth out of captivity”. How is that possible if there’s no substantial difference between continental and colonial lifestyles? (finacially speaking) As for your example of religious persecution in the U.S.–yes, it’s true. But, let’s not forget that there are currently more religions practiced in the U.S. than any where else in the world. I think this fact clearly demonstrates a deliverance, of sorts, from religious captivity.

    “…saying that the rest of the references to Gentiles refer to the United States because of this is like saying the “mother Gentiles” were Greek because they developed the Bible.”

    You’re logic is a little flawed. You need to reverse engineer Nephi’s prophecy as it relates to what’s happening on the promised land and then apply the whole of that conclusion to the origin of the Bible–which, conclusion, would point to a specific time place and people (the Jews to be specific) and it’s permiation of the globe there after.

    Jack

  17. “As for your example of religious persecution in the U.S.”

    My apologies. I was not claiming there was religious persecution in the United States, only that those who came to the United states were leaving so-called religious persecution. I should have been more clear.

    “Nephi states emphatically that they ‘went forth out of captivity’.”

    Then why are we making it seem like ‘captivity’ doesn’t really mean captivity? Why do we try to make his words less emphatic?

    “You’re logic is a little flawed.”

    Perhaps a little, but not by much. Let me state it a little less convoluted. Because Nephi said that the Book of Mormon came from the Gentiles (and the book of Mormon as published in the United States), does not mean that every other occurrence of the word ‘gentiles’ in the chapter refers to non-Jews living in the United States (or its predecessor).

  18. No apology necessary. Mormons know that there was religious persecution in the U.S..

    Nephi’s emphatic statement ought to give us pause, no? What precisely WAS the captivity that he spoke of? Monarchy? A class system? A state imposed religion? All of the above? What ever it is that he’s referring to ought to be manifest in a difference between the ideologies of the liberated colonies and those of the mother countries.

    I agree generally with your position on the use of the word “gentiles”. However, when Nephi says that the writings of his seed which are hid up “shall come forth unto the gentiles by the gift and power of the Lamb”, it is an obvious precursor to the gentiles taking those words to the remnant of his seed.

    Again, I believe that this has general application in that various “gentiles” colonized the whole of America. However, it is an obvious historical fact that the writings initially came forth to the gentiles living in North America and that the majority of the work involved in taking those words to the remnant of Nephi’s seed and the seed of his brethren has been done by said northern gentiles. And furthermore, we might stretch this argument by considering the idea that those of Hispanic origin are descendents of Lehi by virtue of the mixture of blood and that the North Americans are, by and large, those gentiles who have carried the seed of Lehi on their shoulders and will assist them in establishing Zion.

    To be forthright, this is the only argument that, at present, makes sense to me with regard to who the “remnant” is. I don’t invision pure blood Native Americans rising up and becoming a mighty people–a Lion amidst the sheep as it were. But, I can invision our Hispanic brothers and sisters fullfilling that conditional prophecy.

    We in the north need to be sure and behave ourselves lest our conditional use permit be terminated and exclusive ownership and rights to this land be returned to the original owner of the deed–namely the seed of Lehi.

    Jack

  19. “the writings initially came forth to the gentiles living in North America and that the majority of the work involved in taking those words to the remnant of Nephi’s seed and the seed of his brethren has been done by said northern gentiles.”

    Right. I am not saying otherwise.

    “we might stretch this argument by considering the idea that those of Hispanic origin are descendents of Lehi by virtue of the mixture of blood”

    We might, but it would be a big stretch. All biological, anthropological and archaeological evidence to date points to a limited geographic model of the land inhabited by the Lehitic people. In other words, they inhabited a very small area when taking into consideration the size of the American continents. If this model is correct, then only a very small handful of Hispanic persons are descended from the children of Lehi.

    “I don’t invision pure blood Native Americans rising up and becoming a mighty people–a Lion amidst the sheep as it were. But, I can invision our Hispanic brothers and sisters fullfilling that conditional prophecy.”

    For all intents and purposes, there is no difference. Given what I said above, the Inuit people of Nunavut are no less able to fulfil Nephi’s prophecy than the Guarani people of Argentina.

    “We in the north need to be sure and behave ourselves lest our conditional use permit be terminated and exclusive ownership and rights to this land be returned to the original owner of the deed–namely the seed of Lehi.”

    If indeed Lehi was granted ownership of North America (outside of Mexico, I mean) and enough of his descendants live today to inherit it.

  20. “All biological, anthropological and archaeological evidence to date points to a limited geographic model of the land inhabited by the Lehitic people.”

    Not all are agreed on that point. I know an anthropologist (a Native American) who rejects the limited geography model–especially it’s placement in Mexico/Guatamala. He believes the BoM peoples to have had far more mobility and understanding of the continent[s]than we generally believe. He also believes that there is archeological/anthropological evidence of their influence in North America. (not that he’s suggesting that N.A. was their original stomping grounds. He’s looking more toward the south)

    I personally am swayed some what by Sorenson’s model. We’ll just have to keep digging for a while before we get a reasonable fix on where these people really were.

    “Given what I said above, the Inuit people of Nunavut are no less able to fulfil Nephi’s prophecy than the Guarani people of Argentina.”

    The problem is that there are other prophecies to be considered, plus the current goings on that must be calculated into the prophetic equation. In 3Ne 21:22-23 we read: “But if they will repent [speaking of the Gentiles] and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come into the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance; And they shall assist my people, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”

    How is this best being fulfilled today? (outside of the possibility that it is not being fulfilled in anyway whatsoever)

    And to further identify what the term “this land” might refer, D&C 10:48-51 speaks of the promises that the Lord made unto the Nephites which have to do with bringing their words forth to the Lamanites and any other nation that might possess “this land”. The revelation makes no distintion between the land that was given to the Nephites for their inheritance and the land that Joseph Smith was living in when he recieved said revelation. This is not to suggest, however, that New England is the land of the Nephites, but rather, that the whole of America is the Promised Land.

    Jack

  21. “I know an anthropologist (a Native American) who rejects the limited geography model-“

    Which makes sense. After all, if the Lehitic people settled in and only inhabited a small area in southern Mexico, than indigenous people in the USA and Canada are excluded from the blessings promised to Lehi’s descendants. I am part Cree, and to have the promises given to Lehi’s descendant apply to me would mean a lot.

    “How is this best being fulfilled today?”

    That is really difficult to say since the gospel has been preached to virtually all indigenous people of the Americas, and some of every nation/tribe have accepted it. It is interesting, however, to note that of all countries south of the United States, Mexico was the first to see membership growth (despite earlier efforts in Chile), the first to see a temple, the first to achieve 100 stakes, the first to reach one million members, and the one to have the highest number of temples.

    “This is not to suggest, however, that New England is the land of the Nephites, but rather, that the whole of America is the Promised Land.”

    Which strengthens my point regarding 1 Ne. 13 not being exclusively about the United States.

  22. “…if the Lehitic people settled in and only inhabited a small area in southern Mexico, than indigenous people in the USA and Canada are excluded from the blessings promised to Lehi’s descendants.”

    One might just as well impute Sorensen with such ugly motives as having to continue publishing material supportive of his limited geography theory in order to maintain funding.

    “Which strengthens my point regarding 1 Ne. 13 not being exclusively about the United States.”

    Then that which was promised to Nephi and others regarding “this land” must apply to the whole of America–not just southern Mexico and Guatamala–unless you believe everything Nephi saw in his vision to have happened in that area.

    Also regarding the “captivity” question– Upon futher reading toward the beginning of the chapter, I noticed that the angel says the great and abominable church is the cause of captivity, and that it slays the saints and “…yoketh them with a yoke of iron and bringeth them down into captivity.” “…for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.”

    I find it interesting that the “saints” are singled out as those who are in captivity. This could imply that going forth out of captivity has to do with the saints being free once again to live according to their beliefs.

    Jack

  23. “One might just as well impute Sorensen with such ugly motives as having to continue publishing material supportive of his limited geography theory in order to maintain funding.”

    Perhaps, but he is far from being the only one who supports this model.

    “Then that which was promised to Nephi and others regarding “this land” must apply to the whole of [the Americas]”

    Perhaps it does. My point, however, is not whether the blessings do apply to the whole of the American continents, but rather that 1 Ne. 13 is not specifically about the United States as many assert.

  24. Well, now that we’ve come full-circle, all I can say is that I’ve really enjoyed the conversation.

    Jack

  25. Kim has too :) He enjoys a good intelligent ‘debate’ discussion about Gospel topics, especially when people don’t get offended!

  26. Here is a comment from another ignorant member of the church who hasn’t been blessed with your keen awareness.

    “In the Lord’s due time His Spirit “wrought upon” Columbus, the pilgrims, the Puritans, and others to come to America. They testified of God’s intervention in their behalf (see 1 Ne. 13:12–13). The Book of Mormon records that they humbled “themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them” (1 Ne. 13:16).”Ezra Taft Benson, “Our Divine Constitution,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 4.

  27. Here are the remarks of an uninformed Canadian, N. Eldon Tanner, “If They Will But Serve the God of the Land,” Ensign, May 1976, 48
    Then, six hundred years before the birth of Christ, a prophet by the name of Lehi, who had been crying repentance unto the inhabitants of Jerusalem, was commanded by the Lord to depart with his family into the wilderness. Because of the things which he had testified concerning the wickedness of the people and the pending destruction of Jerusalem, he was mocked and scorned, and the people sought to take his life. In obedience to the Lord’s instructions, he departed with his family and others, and after a period in the wilderness, they too were instructed to build a ship and sail for the promised land. We read, “And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.” (1 Ne. 18:23.)
    While in the wilderness Nephi, the son of Lehi, was permitted to see in vision the things that would transpire concerning the destiny of America—the promised land. He said, “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” (1 Ne. 13:12.)
    This, as we know, refers to Christopher Columbus, who was impelled by the Spirit of God to cross the ocean for the rediscovery of America, thus assisting in the furthering of God’s purposes.
    Columbus himself, in a letter to the Spanish hierarchy, wrote, “Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” (Quoted in Mark E. Petersen, The Great Prologue, Deseret Book Co., 1975, p. 26.)
    During the voyage, after weeks of sailing with no sign of land, mutiny raised its head. Finally, Columbus promised the captains of the Pinta and the Niña, both of whom wanted to turn back, that if no land was sighted in forty-eight hours, they would turn back. Then he went to his cabin and, in his words, “prayed mightily to the Lord.” On October 12, the very next day, they sighted land.
    Nephi saw in vision also the coming of the Pilgrims, who came to escape religious persecution. He foresaw the coming to America of peoples from many nations, their wars and contentions. As Nephi said, they did humble themselves before the Lord and “the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.
    “And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.” (1 Ne. 13:18–19.)
    Thus the American colonies attained their independence and set up the government of the United States, all under the divine intervention of God in preparing this land for its divine destiny.

  28. I think my favourite comments are the ones who try to put words in my mouth and make it seem like I am labelling our leaders such things as ignorant and uninformed.

    I guess if that’s all one has to go with, one feels s/he has to use it.

  29. Kim:

    Not so fast! Respond to the apostles’ own words instead of attacking the messenger.

  30. Kim: I’ve read the thread on 1 NE 13 and can’t find where you addressed the conference remarks of Pres. Benson and Pres. Tanner regarding their teaching that Columbus was referenced in 1 NE 13 and that the nation referred to was the US.

    Are your remarks elsewhere?

  31. There is no indiccation in 1 Ne 13 that it refers specifically to the United States and not to some other country (or group of countries). As I said several times.

  32. I guess I’ll ask more directly. Are Presidents Benson and Tanner wrong when they teach that the person referred to in 1 Ne 13 is Columbus and that the nation referred to in 1 Ne 13 the United States? I posted the references earlier.

  33. Not necessarily. What I am saying is that we cannot unequivocally say the chapter is referring to the history of the United States and not referring to the history of any other country.

  34. Kim:

    If you are right and the chapter is referring to more than just Columbus and more than just the US, why hasn’t that been taught by the authorities in the Church?

  35. I’m not saying it refers to more than Columbus and the United States. Maybe it does refer to Columbus and the United States. What I am saying is that it’s too vague to say absolutely one way or the other.

    That being said, is it any surprise that an American church in a very imperialistic country would not teach that 1 Ne 13 is about other countries? After all, if 1 Ne 13 is about the United states, then it would seem the United States is “God’s country” and then the actions of its leaders become crusadic.

  36. The problem with saying that Columbus wasn’t the first to arrive in the Americas is that it is irrelevant. Sure Leif Ericsson had a small colony in Canada for a few years but abandoned it. Colombus is credited for starting the European colonization as it should be.

    Mexico doesn’t fit the description in verse 30 about being lifted above all other nations. Since Mexico was defeated and occupied by the French from 1861 to 1867 it doesn’t sound like they were “delivered out of the hands of all other nations” either. Since most Latin American countries did not become independent until at least 30 or 40 years after the United States they don’t seem to come across as a land of promise anymore.

    Perhaps the Nephites did once live in Mexico and Central America but these places are no longer a choice land. The only countries that really prospered (like verse 20 says) were the U.S. and Canada though Canada did not become independent by fighting against their mother gentiles. Sure we can say these are too vague but looking at Latin America’s history and stating that it too is the promised land is very difficult to imagine.

  37. We don’t know where Lehi landed. The Mezo-American theory of the Nephites is just that, a THEORY. For all we know the Nephites and Lamanites were the Mound Builders of the Mississipian Culture. More and more evidence of that civilization is coming light all the time. Who knows. But nobody knows where Lehi landed.

    The only place we know of with a surety in the Book of Mormon is the Hill Cumorah, located in New York State. I used to believe the 2 Hill Cumorahs theory but not anymore.

    As for brother Frederick Wiliams who stated that Lehi landed in Chile, that’s never been substantiated by the Church authorities because too many members thought it was doctrine which it is not.

    So neither you nor I know where Lehi landed. Until we do it’s just fun to speculate.

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