Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Whose Height is Great – Part II

When the mountains came up in 33 A.D., “whose height is great.” as prophesied by Samuel the Lamanite forty years earlier (see last post), they came up along the east coast of the Land of Promise, pushing the east sea further to the east, and bringing a solid wall of mountains to block the eastern edge of the Land of Promise.

It should be kept in mind, that prior to the cataclysm of destruction that struck the Land of Promise in 33 A.D., at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion in Jerusalem, the “whole face of the land was changed” (3 Nephi 8:12) and “the face of the whole earth became deformed” (3 Nephi 8:17), the use of the term “narrow neck of land” was used to describe that narrowness of area between the Land Nothward and the Land Southward (Alma l22:32). But after the cataclysm, the term “narrow neck of land” was no longer used, but instead, the term “narrow pass” or “narrow passage” (Mormon 2:29; 3:5), suggesting a change in the topography of the narrow neck of land. It should also be mentioned that the terms narrow neck, small neck, narrow pass, and narrow passage, were all written by Mormon or Moroni, both living in the 4th century A.D., about 350 to 400 years after the cataclysm.

While some may find it hard to believe the Andes Mountains arose only two thousand years ago, there has to be some mountain range arising out of the ground as Samuel prophesied, and the disciple Nephi witnessed (3 Nephi 8:10). And since geologists claim the Andes are the youngest mountain range in the world, there seems little doubt that these self-same Andes were the mountains Samuel prophesied about, Nephi predicted (2 Nephi 26:5), Zenos saw in a vision (1 Nephi 19:11), and the disciple Nephi witnessed.

Another verificaton besides geologists (of the event) is Charles Darwin (of both the event and the timing) when he saw the east side of the Andes while crossing these mountains from Santiago, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina, in the early 1830s, who saw sea shells, mollusks, and coastal trees high in the Andes and concluded that very recently, the Andes had been at sea level and the Atlantic Ocean had been hundreds of miles westward, covering much of South America.

It is also interesting to note that the area of Lake Titicaca, now 12,500 feet above sea level, and covering 22,400 square miles along the border between eastern Peru and western Bolivia, is considered by geologists, marine biologists, and oceanographers, it was once at sea level. Referred to as a fresh water lake today, Titicaca was a salt water lake in the past and fed Lake Poopo, a salt water lake, and the sale flats surrounding Titicaca’s drainage area. Salt water fish and marine life are still found in the lake, though its size has dwindled over time, having once encompassed the entire salt flats area and drainage lakes.

Ruins on the shore and on the islands attest to the previous existence of one of the oldest civilizations known in the Americas, antedating the Christian era. The chief site is at Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, at the southern end of the lake. Tiahuanaco, also called Tiwanaku, is one of the oldest sites in all of Peru and, except for Sacsahuaman and Pachacamac, has the largest and most intricately designed ancient cities of the Andes. Sometime around 200 A.D., the city was abandoned. When the Spaniards came, they asked the Inca about this city (whose ruins were still nearly completely standing). The Inca merely shrugged, claiming it was built by the ancient ones. Their myths and legends claim this area was the beginning or foundation of the ancient native civilization.

One interesting fact regarding the ruins of Tiwanaku. Archaeologists claim the design of the city, and many artifacts and large stone blocks found there, showed that the city was once a seaport. Two rows of blocks showing a wharf and docking facilities can still be seen. Now, of course, the ruins are at 12,500 feet high, yet this seaport once looked out into the Atlantic Ocean when the port was at sea level.

(See the next post, “The Ancient Nephite City of Tiahuanacu”)


  1. Del,

    I just did a google search on "What is the youngest mountain range in the world".. it comes back as: Himalayan mountain range in Asia.

  2. Sorry. Meant in the Western Hemisphere. The Andes are the newest mountains of any height in the Americas. They are the second highest in the world, and the longest mountain range in the world, stretching the length of South America (of course, when you consider there really is only one cordillera from Tierra del Fuego to the Aleutians, then the “Andes” stretch from Tierra de Fuego to Alaska (or the Rockies stretch from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego ☺—we just know them by different names through different land areas).

    The Himalayas are considered to have been established 80 million years ago during what is called the Jurassic Era. At this time, it is believed the world’s landmasses were split into two specific areas, called “Laurasia” in the Northern Hemisphere, and “Gondwanaland” in the Southern Hemisphere. Theoretically, at this time India broke away from Gondwanaland and slammed into Asia, resulting in the “hard rocks” of India thrusting against the soft sedimentary crust of Asia, creating the Himalayas (excuse me while I check my crystal ball to make sure that is correct). At one time, of course, Mr. Kallash was believed to be the center of the universe. It is also interesting that it is believed the two major rivers there are thought to have maintained their same course prior to the rising of the Himalaya—an interesting thought; that is, the world’s tallest mountains were erected to over 24,000 feet in height by this “colliding” of India and Asia, but it did not effect two major rivers in this same area flowing out of the new mountains. Hmmmm. Where did I put my Urim and Thummim?

    The fact is, that some are beginning to consider that the Andes are newer then any other, having “popped” up suddenly in very recent times and at a remarkable rate (for geologists). Unlike other mountain ranges, the Andes are not considered to be losing height, but gaining it, as plates keep “slamming” together forcing them upward. A very recent “discovery” and a change in ages old thinking about mountains and the Andes themselves. Of course, not all geologists agree, but some recent tests (2010) have been conducted by a team regarding the Andes and their “discoveries” have rocked the geological world—though I doubt it changed much thinking at the Academic level…they are always the last to come around and accept new discoveries. The problem with all this, however, is that plate movement itself is not entirely accepted among all geologists in that field, and topography affected by this plate movement theory is always under question among those who disagree with the plate theory. We just happen to live in a world where once an idea becomes “science” is becomes part of society’s conscience and pretty much anchored in concrete—like Libby’s Carbon 14 dating clock…wrong, but everyone believes it, uses it, writes about it, and determines ages of just about everything based upon it.

    Another thought on this is, no one can tell how young or old a mountain range is beyond about a few thousand years since there is no recording of any kind about anything at all beyond that. Just guess work based upon hypothesis that cannot be proven accurate one way or the other. Take, for example, the idea that the Olympic Mountains in Washington are considered to be very young. Why? Because, though they are not particularly tall, they “are very jagged and steep.” Thus, the concept that mountains are considered young by most because of their not having much time to lose their “sharp angles” etc., through erosion—which is all based on the idea that the earth is billions of years old.

    Personally, I would put my money on the Andes anyway. When all is said and done, when the big picture in the sky shows us all things, I believe we will find that the Andes were, after all, the newest mountains of any height in the world—but that is just my opinion.