||This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. (December 2010)|
The Mulekites are one of four groups (including the Nephites, Lamanite, and Jaredites) believed to have settled in the ancient Americas according to the religious traditions of Latter-day Saint movement.
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According to the Book of Mormon, Mulek (//) was the only surviving son of Zedekiah, the last King of Judah, after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon states that after escaping from Judah, Mulek traveled to present-day America and set up a new civilization there.
Mulek and his nation
According to the Book of Mormon, when Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon during the reign of Zedekiah, all of the sons of Zedekiah were killed except Mulek. Along with "as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord," Mulek escaped into the wilderness and traveled "across the great waters" to the Americas, founding a new nation. The people of Mulek established their capital at Zarahemla, north of where Lehi and his people landed.
Even though the word "Mulekite" or "Mulekites" // never occurs in the text of the Book of Mormon, the people of his nation are commonly called Mulekites by Latter Day Saints. This can be seen in certain chapter summaries of the Book of Mormon. In the text of the Book of Mormon, the Mulekites are referred to as the "people of Zarahemla".
Encounter with the Jaredites
Encounter with the Nephites
When the Nephites were commanded to leave their historic homeland of Lehi-Nephi to flee from the Lamanites, the exiled remnants discovered the city of Zarahemla to their north. The Book of Mormon records that the Mulekites spoke a language largely unintelligible to the Nephites. When taught the Nephite language, the Mulekites recounted their descent from Mulek, which was then recorded.
The Mulekites had in their possession a stone which told the story of Coriantumr, a survivor of the Jaredites who had encountered the Mulekites and lived among them until his death. Much of the prior Mulekite history was lost due to their lack of records.
Assimilation among the Nephites
The Nephites settled among the Mulekites. The Mulekites eventually adopted the language and religion of the Nephites, and the two peoples formed one nation, establishing Zarahemla as their new capital, and naming the Nephite Mosiah as their king.