On my Book of Mormon Evidences page, I have long argued that the discovery of an entirely plausible candidate for the River Laman, mentioned in 1 Nephi 2:8, is one of several key findings in the Arabian Peninsula that challenge the notion of Joseph Smith as the author of First Nephi. How could someone in 1830 have described the location and attributes of actual overseas locations that remain unknown to many educated people of our day? Follow the specific directions given in the Book of Mormon, and you can stumble right into the impressive granite valley corresponding with the Valley of Lemuel and find a continuously flowing stream that fits the River of Laman. (Not to mention additional places like Shazer, Nahom, and Bountiful.)
Now the other night, while reading, I noticed a little detail I had overlooked before (though I’m sure it’s discussed somewhere by George Potter in his works on the Arabian Peninsula). First Nephi 16:12 says, “we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness, across the river Laman.” The subtle detail is that the river was easy to cross, suggesting it was shallow and not dangerous, just as the actual candidate for the River Laman is. No boats, bridges, or perils of swift currents are described – they just simply crossed it.
A small detail, but interesting.