Preparing my last post about an article by Warren Aston resulted in two things. One, I learned that Warren lives in Brisbane, Australia. Two, I wanted permission to use a photo from his article. So I emailed him asking for permission, and mentioned that I would be in Melbourne in a couple of days to speak at a conference. Warren replied and said that strangely, he would be in Melbourne for a few hours today, his first time in many years. Wonderfully, I had time to meet up with him today and am so grateful for it. In our brief meeting, I learned a lot about his passion for research in the Arabian Peninsula and his frustration for the lack of additional research beyond his work and some initial ventures by a few others. Many more people ought to be supporting and advancing exploration and protection of the amazing site at Khor Kharfot and related Arabian Peninsula sites. There is much more to learn and discover, and a great need to prevent further vandalism and environmental loss, especially at Khor Kharfot, which is drying up due to recent redirection of its water supply by the local government.

I was also delighted to learn that a follow-up book is about to come out, adding many more details to the story first laid out in his groundbreaking book, In the Footsteps of Lehi: New Evidence for Lehi's Journey Across Arabia to Bountiful, the book that I treasure as my favorite LDS book of all (apart from the Bible and the Book of Mormon). The new book will be Lehi and Sariah in Arabia: The Old World Setting of the Book of Mormon. It will be about four times as long as the first book with numerous new photos and results of new research. Can't wait!

Warren's example shows how a lone member can fill the giant gaps left by the pros and make a huge difference. What tenacity and persistence! What an honor it was to meet him and learn from this humble, visionary man who looks forward to a day when many more people will value research and exploration into the things of the Book of Mormon. If you'd like to help fund some further exploratory work, let us know. And perhaps you'd like to go on one of his twice-a-year tours that explores key sites in Israel and Oman. If possible, I would like to go on the next one in October.

Here's an early promotion video for his new book. A new preview video will be released soon. Don't miss it. Early in the video, you will see Warren himself. Warning: there's a brief flash of camel violence in this clip. But I don't think any humans were actually harmed.

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