Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Lehi's Journey, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Geography


A canyon in northwestern Arabia, Wadi Tayyib al-Ism, appears to be a strong candidate for the Valley of Lemuel in the Book of Mormon. Although its rare year-round stream seems to confirm this site as the valley, other locations must be considered. Brown gives arguments both in favor of and against three other propositions, all of which are within a few dozen miles of Wadi Tayyib al-Ism. The aspects of the river and the Red Sea, the drainage areas of wadis, and the character of the valley are all evaluated. Despite his one serious objection to Wadi Tayyib al-Ism—the difficulty Lehi’s family would have experienced in reaching the site from the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba—Brown argues that it is the most viable candidate for the Valley of Lemuel.