River Laman

River emptying into Red Sea

River Laman

The River Laman is a notable geographic feature in the Book of Mormon, primarily mentioned in conjunction with the early journey of the prophet Lehi and his family after their departure from Jerusalem. Located near the valley of Lemuel, the river played a significant role in the sustenance and journey of Lehi’s family as they traveled towards the promised land. According to the text, after traveling for three days in the wilderness from Jerusalem, Lehi pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water. Recognizing the river’s vital importance and its eventual discharge into the Red Sea, Lehi named the river Laman, after his eldest son, with the hope that his son would emulate the river’s continuous flow into the “fountain of all righteousness” (1 Nephi 2:6-9).

This river is specifically described as emptying into the Red Sea, marking a location that could be physically identifiable in the surrounding region near the mouth of the sea. Lehi’s choice to name the river and directly entreat his son Laman to be like unto the river reflects not only the river’s physical attributes but also serves as a metaphor for spiritual steadfastness and constancy. During the family’s sojourn in the valley adjacent to the river, Lehi built an altar of stones and made an offering unto the Lord, establishing the site as a temporary but significant hub of spiritual activity before continuing their journey into the wilderness (1 Nephi 16:12). The River Laman, therefore, features as an intersection of practical necessity and spiritual symbolism in the narrative of the Book of Mormon.


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