|Temple of Dedan of the Lihyanite Kingdom in al-Ula|
|Sandstone statue of Lihyanite King found|
at Temple of Dedan
So the question at hand is did Nephi and his family preach while in the wilderness? I would assume so. This is because Lehi was willing to preach in Jerusalem even when his life was on the line, so it is safe to assume that he would preach in the wilderness when he faced no threat due to his teaching. It is in this context that George Potter and Richard Wellington pose the idea of a group of converts in the wilderness who became known as the Lihyanites. Now there is not much currently known about this group of Lihyanites other than they were located in an ancient North Arabian kingdom in northwestern Arabia in the area known as Dedan or modern al-Ula which means "to exalt". They would have previously been known as Dedanites before the conversion. The Dedanites date from 6th to 4th century BC, which is right when Lehi and family would have been in the area sharing their gospel of repentance.
|font/cistern at Lihyanite Temple in al-Ula Saudi Arabia|
So although there are interesting correlations between the location, name, timing and practices of the Lihyanites and the possibility of being taught by Lehi and Nephi we have to keep in mind that this is a speculative theory that will have to await more research and insights. George and Richard (and the Hilton family) have set the standard for further Book of Mormon studies in this area. Since having watched the DVD's I have also ordered another DVD from them known as, "The People of Lehi". Any future insights obtained through this DVD and other research will merit another blog post.