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From Jerusalem to Bountiful: A Step-By-Step Guide to Nephi's Journey

How do we know the general location of Nephi's Bountiful? It is actually quite simple. We follow the text. Nephi's record of his family's exodus from Jerusalem is richly detailed if read with the right lens. In particular, Nephi very consistently uses cardinal directions that enable us to plot his journey on a modern map.

FROM JERUSALEM TO THE VALLEY OF LEMUEL
The first leg of Nephi's journey was from the Jerusalem area (1) to the "shore of the Red Sea." From here the Valley of Lemuel (2) was located just "three days" away in a "valley by the side of a river of water" (1 Nephi 2: 4-6). The start of this journey is very easy to map: Jerusalem and the Red Sea are some of the only verified locations mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The general location for the Valley of Lemuel, we know, can be no more than three days' journey from the Red Sea, placing it in what is probably present-day Saudi Arabia.

FROM THE VALLEY OF LEMUEL TO SHAZER
From the Valley of Lemuel Nephi notes that they traveled for "the space of nearly four days" in "nearly a south-southeast direction" to a place which they called Shazer (3) (1 Nephi 16:13).

FROM SHAZER TO THE PLACE WHERE NEPHI'S BOW BROKE
From Shazer, Nephi writes, they 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 16:14). Thus, although no place name is given, we know that Nephi continued in the same south-southeast direction to the place where his bow broke (4). It is also interesting to point out that this cardinal direction matches with the rest of Nephi's description that they kept to the most fertile land near the Red Sea.

FROM THE PLACE WHERE NEPHI'S BOW BROKE TO NAHOM
From the place where Nephi's bow broke Nephi's party again continued their journey "traveling nearly the same course as in the beginning" (south-southeast) (1 Nephi 16:33). It was along this stretch of the journey that Ishmael died and was buried in the place "which was called Nahom" (5).

FROM NAHOM TO BOUNTIFUL
From Nahom, Nephi's travels take a different course. Instead of continuing again in a south-southeasterly direction, Nephi writes that "we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth" (1 Nephi 17:1). They kept moving in this direction until they reached Bountiful (6).




There is much evidence to suggest that we have now found the location of the place in the Book of Mormon where Ishmael was buried, the place "which was called Nahom." For more on this read here, here, and here. One of the many points of evidence in favor of this discovery is the fact that the ancient alters discovered which contain the place name Nahom (5) are in a geographical region that directly matches Nephi's account. From Nahom Nephi traveled "eastward" to reach Bountiful (6). This places Bountiful somewhere along the coastline of present-day Southern Oman.

Armed with Nephi's detailed description of Bountiful (review our post on this here), it is possible to identify a general area that must include the exact location of Nephi's Bountiful. At Discover Nephi's Bountiful we take you to the Dhofar region in Southern Oman where you can explore and evaluate firsthand the three sites that have been proposed as the exact location for Nephi's Bountiful.