1 Nephi 17:8-10 — LeGrand Baker — “Thou shalt construct a ship”

1 Nephi 17:8-10 

8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?
10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.

During S Kent Brown’s BYU exploration of the area that Lehi called Bountiful, he discovered not just a possible source of iron from which Nephi could have constructed his tools but a remarkable deposit of iron ore that would have enabled Nephi to pick the ore off the surface of the ground and smelt it with great ease. They report:

The unique part of the iron ore discovery that we made was that the iron is actually mixed in with carbonate, which is used naturally as a flux to lower the melting point of iron. The iron ore is highly concentrated and so not only would it have been easy for Nephi to see and collect, it would have been easy for him to make a tool from these raw materials.

The iron ore in only these two areas is right on the surface of the ground. We have veins of iron ore coming up through the metamorphic rock right to the surface of the ground. And so collecting it would have been no problem at all. Nephi could have collected enough iron ore in a matter of a few minutes to make all the tools he would want. And it is right by the coast. You load it into a boat, carry it wherever you want it, and process it.{1}


{1} S. Kent Brown and Peter Johnson, Journey of Faith, from Jerusalem to the Promised Land (Provo, Utah, The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU, 2006), 64. Statements by Ron Harris and Revell Phillips.

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