“Their Bones Lay Scattered in the Land Northward”

W. Cleon Skousen

On this stone Coriantumr told how his fathers came out from the tower of Babel at the time the Lord confounded the language of all the people. After coming to America, they had apostatized and the wrath of the Lord had fallen upon them so that now their bones lay scattered throughout the land northward.

At this point we may have learned something new and exciting about Book of Mormon chronology. It has always been assumed that the Jaredites were wiped out around 600 B.C.just about the time the Nephites arrived in the promised land. But now the Book of Mormon seems to be telling us a different story. It tells us that in the not too distant past the last survivor of the Jaredites came into the midst of the people of Zarahemla and dwelt among them for nine moons. Then, rather amazingly, Mosiah I appears on the scene sometime later and has in his possession the precious Jaredite Urim and Thummim, which allows him to translate the large flat stone written in the Jaredite language by Coriantumr.

These scriptural facts clearly imply that the Jaredites were not destroyed around 600 B.C. but came to an end about the time the Lord transferred the Urim and Thummim from Ether, the last Jaredite prophet, to Mosiah I, the Nephite prophet, living in the land southward. There is no scriptural account of this transfer of the Urim and Thummim, but it obviously occurred in the days of Mosiah I and some time after Coriantumr, the last Jaredite, had lived briefly with the people of Zarahemla. The exact date of Mosiah's ministry is not given in the Book of Mormon, but it is estimated to have been around 200 B.C. Since he had already received the Jaredite Urim and Thummim, this would suggest that the destruction of the Jaredites had occurred sometime earlier, perhaps around 250 B.C., not 600 B.C.

Having considered this exciting possibility, let us now continue with the Book of Mormon account as related by Amaleki.

Treasures from the Book of Mormon