“Land North”

Alan C. Miner

Where did the Mulekites land in the promised land of the Americas? If we follow the theories of John Sorenson and Joseph Allen, the Mulekites' discovery of the last Jaredite leader to survive was probably near the location of the final Jaredite battleground, the hill Ramah (also called the hill Cumorah), which was near the sea (Ether 9:3). Sorenson says that there is a city named "Mulek" in the Book of Mormon story that might be a clue to where the Mulekites landed: "the 'city of Mulek' was located only a few miles from the east sea (Alma 51:26), and we may suppose that this was where the newcomers [the Mulekites] settled first (compare Alma 8:7)" (Mulekites, p. 10).

Clate Mask gives a small note of caution, however, in regards to this clue: "some have reasoned that this landing of the Mulekites was near the city of Mulek, which was a city of the Nephites near the city of Bountiful, and was near a seashore. Although we can't rule out this name association, we should be very careful and open to other possibilities because the city of Lehi was also in this general area of the east wilderness (51:26); yet that was not the location of Lehi's landing. The Lamanite land of first inheritance was "on the west in the land of Nephi" (Alma 22:28). (Clate Mask, personal correspondence).

According to Sorenson, another clue in establishing the landing site of the Mulekites is found in the Sidon river, which "ran by" the local land of Zarahemla (Alma 2:15) where Mosiah found the people of Mosiah. The Sidon river suggests a plausible route along which the ancestors of Zarahemla and his people 'came . . . up into the south wilderness' (Alma 22:31) to their city on the upper river where the Nephites later found them" (Mulekites, p. 10). It is interesting that Sidon, along with Tyre, were two of the major ports of the Phoenicians.

Geographical [Theory Map]: Omni 1:16 The Mulekites Had Crossed the Great Waters (Year ???)

“For the Lord Did Bring Mulek into the Land North”

According to Verneil Simmons, the celebrated voyages of the Ra 1 and Ra 2 from the tip of Morocco in Northern Africa across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, as carried out by Thor Heyerdahl in 1970 and 1971, demonstrate that the currents will carry a primitive boat from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean basin in less than sixty days. The westward drifting warm equatorial currents, aided by the prevailing northeast and southeast tradewinds, make the crossing of the Atlantic an easy matter at this latitude. (See illustration)

When the Spaniards arrived in the New World and began their explorations in the areas of the Gulf Coast of Mesoamerica, they discovered a city where great markets similar to the trade fairs of the ancient Near East were held annually, located at the mouth of the Usumacinta River. This was the city of Xicalanco. Here the Aztecs of Central Mexico met the traders of the Maya country and exchanged their goods for salt and slaves. Thompson has called the Chontal Maya Indians of this area the Phoenicians of Mesoamerica, because they built ships and traded to the distant islands as well as all along their coastline. In the Mayan tongue, "Chontal" means "foreigner." [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places and Prophecies, p. 99]

Omni 1:16 Across the great waters ([Illustration]): Voyage of the Ra. [Verneil W. Simmons, Peoples, Places and Prophecies, p. 98]

Omni 1:16 The Mulekites had crossed the great waters. ([Illustration]): Plausible locations in Mesoamerica for Book of Mormon Placaes [John L. Sorenson]

Omni 1:16 The Mulekites had come into the land where Mosiah discovered them. ([Illustration]): Plausible locations in Mesoamerica for Book of Mormon places. [John L Sorenson]

Omni 1 16 The mulekites had come into the Land where Mosiah discovered them. [Proposed Mulekige Landing] site and migrations

“The Lord Did Bring Mulek into the Land North”

In 1967, John W. Welch first encountered the study of chiasmus (inverted parallelism) in the New Testament. This led within a few weeks to his landmark discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. Most recently, another fine example of chiasmus was discerned in Helaman 6:7-13, the annual report for the sixty-fourth year of the Reign of the Judges, whose main features can be displayed as follows:

A. "And behold, there was peace in all the land"

B. [Freedom of travel and trade in both lands is discussed]

C. "And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich,

D. and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, etc. [riches] both in the land

south and the land north

E. Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek

F. which was after the son of Zedek(iah)

F' for the (Lord)

E' did bring Mulek into the land north and Lehi into the land south

D' "And behold, there was all manner of gold in both these lands

C' and thus they did become rich

B' [Economic prosperity in both lands is discussed]

A' "And thus the sixty and fourth year did pass away in peace"

This composition is remarkable in several ways. First, the report itself is beautifully executed. Words, phrases, and ideas that appear in the first half are repeated with precision and balance in the second half. This entry exhibits both fine quality and admirable length.

Second, since the chiasm encompasses the entire report for the year, this unifying structure strongly suggests that the account was written as a single literary unit that Mormon copied verbatim from the Large Plates of Nephi into his abridgment.

Third, and most remarkable, the center of this chiasm involves two individual words. At the very apex, the words "Zedekiah" and "Lord" stand parallel to each other, which is intriguing since the Hebrew word for "Lord" constitutes the theophoric suffix -yah at the end of the name "Zedekiah" (yah = iah).

[John W. Welch, "Chiasmus in Helaman 6:7-13," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, pp. 230-232]

Helaman 6:10 The land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land (Illustration): Chiasmus in Helaman 6:7-13. [John W. Welch and J. Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon: Visual Aids for Personal Study and Teaching, F.A.R.M.S., Chart 133]

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