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Question

 

Gramps,

After Nephi built the boat they sailed to the Promised Land. Where is the Promised Land?

Barbara

 

Answer

 

Barbara,

The idea of a promised land is an interesting one. Several times the LORD gave a promised land to those who followed him in faith. Abraham, and later Moses, were both given the land of Canaan as a promised land for themselves and their descendants. Later, Joseph (one of the children of Israel) was told prophetically that he was a fruitful bough that would grow over a well. This was later fulfilled when Lehi and his family (descendants of Joseph) crossed the vast ocean and arrived in the Americas, or to their promised land.

The purpose of a promised land has been to provide a place for those who are faithful to God’s laws somewhere to not only call home, but somewhere separate from the rest of the world. A place to plant some roots and grow strong as a community or people. This even happened when Lehi passed away, and the Nephites were led away from their initial land of inheritance to another place where they could live and grow as a community, and be generally safe from the Lamanites. Even in this dispensation, Brigham Young led the early church to the Salt Lake Valley, or to their own promised land. It was clear the church would not have peace in the United States as it existed at the time, so they were taken to a place where they would find peace and have a chance to grow stronger.

Now, as far as where the promised land was for Lehi and his posterity, as near as current experts can tell, it would have been on the pacific coast of Central or South America. Since no maps existed then, and also because the Book of Mormon records dramatic changes to the landscape after Christ’s crucifiction, there’s no way to be very specific.

An interesting way to carry this topic further is to examine the eternal principle of a promised land. Even now, those who are faithful to God and his laws have recieved a promised land as found in the Celestial Kingdom. The way events of the past mirror our opportunities in the future can be truly amazing when we study them out.

 

Gramps

 

 

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