Three Separate Civilizations in the Record

Church Educational System

In this short account, we learn of three groups of people whom the Lord brought to the land of promise in the Western Hemisphere. The first group mentioned was Lehi’s colony. The majority of the Book of Mormon relates their story and that of their descendants.

The Book of Mormon also identifies a second group, referred to as the people of Zarahemla, who were descendants of Mulek and who joined the Nephites (see Mosiah 25:2). Mulek, a son of King Zedekiah, left Jerusalem and traveled to the Americas after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem around 587 B.C. (see Omni 1:15). Without a scriptural record, the people of Zarahemla were a living witness of what the Spirit said to Nephi that a whole nation would dwindle in unbelief (see 1 Nephi 4:13). The Mulekites then joined with the Nephites under the rule of King Mosiah (see Omni 1:19).

The third group was the Jaredites, who came to the land of promise following the time of the “great tower” mentioned in Genesis 11. The original Jaredite colony grew into a great race. Eventually, however, they annihilated themselves in a great civil war sometime between 600 and 300 B.C., leaving only Coriantumr, their last king, and Ether, a prophet of the Lord (see Ether 15:29–34). Ether finished the record, and Coriantumr apparently wandered until he found the people of Zarahemla, where he lived “for the space of nine moons” (Omni 1:21) before dying. Little is known of the Jaredites other than what is recorded by Moroni in the book of Ether.

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)