"The Jaredites & Rub al Khali (The Empty Quarter)" by George Potter
The Book of Mormon states specifically that "the Lord commanded the Jaredites that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been" (Ether 2:5). This clue is meaningless to most westerners, but for anyone living in the Near East, where the Jaredites started their saga, it is a clear reference to southern Arabia. To an Arab, crossing the quarter where no man has ever been is as descriptive as telling an American that the Utah Pioneers crossed the Rocky Mountains. Arab mythology holds that God created the world-two quarters where people lived, one quarter was the sea, and one quarter was the desert where no man ever lived. To this day, the great sand desert of southern Arabia is called Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter. Being larger than the state of Utah, the Empty Quarter of Arabia is the largest sand desert in the world, and there is still no archaeological evidence that man has ever dwelt therein.[v]
When filming our DVD Into the Desert with George Potter, Richard Wellington and I drove most of what we believe was the Jaredite trail to Khor Rori. Those of you who have seen our DVD Discovering Lehi's Trail also know that Lehi traveled around the western and southern borders of the Empty Quarter and visited ancient cities like Marib. To appreciate the wonders and danger of travelling in the Empty Quarter we have provided the following link to a beautiful film shoot of the Empty Quarter by The National Geographic.
[iii] Hugh Nibley, Collective Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 6, 135.
[iv] George Potter and Richard Wellington, "Discovering the Lehi/Nephi Trail" 2000, unpublished.
[v] With the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia, permanent camps (at great cost) have been established in the Empty Quarter.