The Heartland Model for the Book of Mormon, places Lehi’s landing near the Florida panhandle. In this new model, North America is the site where all Book of Mormon events took place. Relying heavily on the research of non-Mormon scholars, the Heartland Model recently got a boost from Philip Beale, a retired Royal Navy officer. Beale owns an authentically constructed Phoenician sailing vessel from the 6th century BCE. Appropriately named the Phoenicia, Beale sailed the ship from the Suez Canal around the Horn of Africa in 2009 proving that ancient Phoenicians had the technology to navigate the dangerous waters of the Horn 2600 years ago – contemporary to Lehi’s voyage.
On this same voyage, Beale noted that strong prevailing winds forced the Phoenicia off course for 74 days. The winds blew towards North America. In fact, he was only 400 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico before he was able to turn his vessel eastward and finish his circumnavigation of the African continent. In 2019, the Phoenicia sailed from the Mediterranean to the Dominican Republic crossing the Atlantic Ocean in less than two months.
While Nephi was not a shipwright, he was a man of great faith. He said, “If God had commanded me to do all things, I could do them. (1 Ne. 17:50) He was able to build a ship and sail to the promised land. Science today is discovering just how Nephi did it. It is truly amazing to see how Heavenly Father can take faithful people and work with them to accomplish great things.
Photo courtesy of Sail-World