My father-in-law Warren Aston spent years exploring the coastline of Yemen and Oman looking
for a place that would match the description of the land Bountiful as found in 1Nephi. It was on one of these
trips that he brought along his eldest Claire and they were on a boat
going up and down the coastline looking at other areas, when Claire
noticed the Beach of Karfot and suggested they stop there and thus began
the exploration and multiple expeditions to see if this could indeed be
For those of just joining my blog or unfamiliar with the Book of
Mormon's account here is a brief summary and list of requirements for
the land Bountiful: An ancient Jewish Prophet named Lehi was told in a
vision to take his family and leave Jerusalem (aprox 600 BC). They
traveled South and then East living in the dry and desert wilderness for
eight years. "5 And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful,
because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things
were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the
sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many
6 And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions
and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all,
we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called
the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit." (1 Nephi 17)"
you've been reading my previous posts you've seen some of the dry and
barren wilderness shots and then can compare that with how lush and
green Khor Kharfot can be after the Monsoon season. Being there I could
very much imagine the Bountiful of fruit and honey by the sea. It was a
From Warren and Michaela's book In the Footsteps of Lehi
they summarized these 12 criteria points that Nephi described of the
land bountiful. Their book evaluates each of the candidates along the
Oman and Yemen Coastlines and how Khor Karfot best matches Nephi's
description. Here's wikipedia quoting their list:
It must be very fertile, with "much fruit and also wild honey" and small game (1 Nephi 17:5-6).
Timber must be available with which to build a ship (1 Nephi 17:8).
Freshwater must be available year-round.
A mountain must be located nearby to account for Nephi's reference to going to a mountain to "pray oft" (1 Nephi 18:3).
Cliffs overlooking the ocean must be present to account for Nephi's
brother's attempt to throw him "into the depths of the sea" (1 Nephi 17:48).
Ore and flint must be available with which to make fire and fabricate tools to build a ship" (1 Nephi 17:9)
No resident population at the time of the Lehite's arrival.
Wind and ocean currents capable of carrying a ship out into the ocean (1 Nephi 18:8)
After visiting and evaluating every site on the southern Arabian
coast that might qualify as Bountiful, Aston concluded that all sites
were found to be incapable of meeting every one of these requirements
with the exception of Wadi Sayq/Khor Kharfot (Aston &; Aston 1994, p. 43)
I'll just include the various
shots that Varian and his family took those days in Bountiful. They were
busy exploring the caves, (yes that is a real human scull and teeth and
bones that Chad found by accident on a previous expedition) seeing
the hieroglyphics (camels, boats, tree of life :) perhaps???) metal detecting and searching the ancient ruins and area. They even
found some time for lobster catching, playing games and swimming in the
fresh water spring and lake. They had a wonderful time, and despite a
few falls, overheating and hiking out on sheer cliffs (argh Varian) it
was a success.
I don't think that I've mentioned yet
that Chad was making a documentary on Bountiful and Khor Karfot (it's
nearly finished now  and I've seen one of the drafts and it's
amazing!) and asked Varian to compose the music for it. (Yes I am
married to an amazing composer!) But that is also one of the reasons we
really wanted to come along on this expedition. Varian has grown up
seeing his parents passion on searching for and finding this place and
to finally be there in person was incredible!
All in all they had a wonderful time there in Khor Karfot. It was amazing to have so many members of the family there together- only missing their Mom Michaela and sister Mya. We in-laws have heard so many of the stories and research as well, it was exciting to take part in this adventure! I can't say for certain that this was the place, but am very impressed with all the research that Warren and Michaela and other members of the family have done/are doing (Chad and Warren just finished another research expedition there) and feel that it most likely is the place Lehi and Sariah's family stayed and Nephi prepared to sail to the promised land. Either way it did help me to feel so much more connected to them and their story. I will always be glad that we went there.
ps: Sorry in the previous posts I've listed which photos we've also borrowed, but forgot to when I posted this one. Some Varian took, but lots we borrowed from the group- thank you so much!!!
Most people who read this blog already know me very well, so I'll just include the more recent updates.
I've just turned the big three-oh. We had our baby - Jaren Orion Aston, born on the 9th of January 2010. Varian and I are living in a house we love around fields we love that remind me of the valley except we have gum trees instead of quaking aspens.
Varian's working as a Social Worker at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. I'm working in my dream job as a new stay-at-home-mom, and loving it!
Lately I spend a lot of time reading (can do it while feeding Jaren), learning to cook new recipes, writing in journals, keeping up on all my long distance family and friends, blogging/facebooking/emailing..etc, improving my homemaker skills, spending time with Varian and Jaren, and exploring places in Australia.
I also hope to spend more time developing my photography and violin skills. So much to do...isn't life an adventure.