Generally, in the Book of Mormon, Zarahemla is considered a place—the capital city of the Nephite nation. The name Zarahemla is used some 150 times in the Book of Mormon, overwhelmingly in regard to a geographical location. However, there was also a man named Zarahemla—a descendent of Mulek, the lone surviving son of King Zedekiah of Judah. The Mulekites were led out of Jerusalem concurrently with the Babylonian conquest of 587 BC, just over a decade after Lehi’s exodus. When Mosiah I was commanded of the Lord to leave the land of Nephi—the area where Lehi originally settled—he and his group were guided northward to a city populated by the descendants of Mulek and governed by one called Zarahemla, which was also the name of the city.
Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla the leader] did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of [Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
And 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; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
Little is recorded about the personality of the man Zarahemla except that he placed great value in the scriptural records of the Lord and apparently agreed to the leadership of Mosiah, who was appointed king over the united peoples. The people of Zarahemla “denied the being of their Creator” and had to be instructed in the written and spoken language of the Nephites, their language having become “corrupted”. Once the people were able to communicate with Mosiah and his followers, he oriented them concerning the history and lineage of the Nephites. Thereafter, the Mulekites of Zarahemla were absorbed into the Nephite people.