Because Israel had begun to worship their neighbor’s pagan gods rather than Jehovah, the Lord marked Jerusalem for destruction. After learning of the city’s fate Lehi valiantly went out among his countrymen to prophesy and implored them to return to the ways of the Lord lest their city be destroyed. Rather than repent, however, they mocked him, and cast stones at him, and sought to take away his life. Thus, the Lord spoke to Lehi in a dream, and said:
. . . Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness (1 Nephi 2:1-2).
Not surprisingly, Lehi quickly gathered up his family of daughters and four sons, along with the family of Ishmael and the servant of their Uncle Laban and made haste out of the city. With not so friendly nations in control of the Mediterranean ports, the Lord had Lehi’s company detour into the Arabian Desert where they spent eight years in the wilderness being tempered and strengthened and prepared for their long journey across the great deep. During their years in the wilderness Nephi continued to be taught from on high and was ultimately instructed to build a ship to carry them across the sea to the promised land. (See I Nephi 18:1-2).
Once the Ship Nephi built was finished, they set off into the vast and boundless sea where they were carried by various currents around the southern tip of Africa and into the Atlantic Ocean where the winds and current would have carried them north up the west coast of Africa. After some 3000 miles, the current then hooks westward to South America where they would have picked up the North Equatorial Current and then the Gulf Stream which would have carried them north all the way to Chesapeake Bay where they could have sailed inland along the Susquehanna River—the oldest or second oldest river in the world.
Watch the story unfold in the following Video
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