strtoupper('“T')he People of Zarahemla”

There are very few direct scriptural references in the Book of Mormon concerning the "people of Zarahemla" (Omni 1:14). However, by piecing them together, a picture of these people starts to unfold. According to Omni 1:15, the people of Zarahemla "came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon." No direct mention is made concerning the geographical aspects of how the people of Zarahemla reached the Americas and especially the location where the people of Mosiah1 found them, only that "they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them" (Omni 1:16). In Alma 22:30-31 we find a description of their landing and migration in a set of geographical passages describing Nephite and Lamanite lands: "And it [Bountiful] bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing. And they came from there up into the south wilderness."

Concerning the chronology of the people of Zarahemla after they left Jerusalem, Amaleki only mentions that "they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted" (Omni 1:17). Amaleki also records that their leader Zarahemla "gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates" (Omni 1:18). That Mormon had access to this genealogy is confirmed in Mosiah 25:2, where Mormon asserts that Zarahemla "was a descendant of Mulek, and those who came with him into the wilderness." This is confirmed in Helaman 8:21 where Nephi, the son of Helaman, is quoted as saying: "Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us?"

Thus, the people of Zarahemla not only came to be with the Nephites in the land of Zarahemla, but according to Omni 1:17 they had become "exceedingly numerous." Mormon notes that by the time of Mosiah2, "there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla" (Mosiah 25:2). So why doesn't Mormon say more about them? I believe he does, but because the Book of Mormon is a Nephite record, information on the Mulekites must be gleaned from indirect references and historical references. By doing so, the reader will find that one can piece together some amazing ideas concerning the Mulekites and their part in the story of the Book of Mormon. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

Alan C. Miner -

Alan C. Miner

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary