Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Importance of the Destruction in 3 Nephi 3 Nephi – Part II

Continuing with one of our readers questions sent in about our articles regarding the Land of Promise being in South America and the configuration after the destruction mentioned in 3 Nephi:
    Comment: “No other changes to the land were significant enough to report, so I'm assuming that's what you are saying.”
    Response: I’m saying what the scriptures say. That within three hours, and three days, certain events took place. As an example, when a tectonic plate subducts under another tectonic plate, the earth’s surface changes dramatically.
A cross section of an Oceanic-Continental Convergence, showing (red arrow) the subducting of the oceanic plate, i.e., Nazca Plate, beneath the South American Plate; this then (yellow arrow) pushes upward the South American Plate and tilts it toward the east (eastern portion becomes lower than the western portion); which creates (blue arrow) broad upwarping or a fold in the Continental Crust, resulting in orogenesis, or mountains rising “whose height is great”; and (green arrow) a lesser rise to the east, or a tilt of the plate sloping downward to the east so that the Amazon Basin flows downward to the east, from about 900 feet in the foot of the Andes mountains east slope to 100-300 feet below sea level at the mouth of the Amazon River; which causes the nearly one million square miles of the Amazon Basin's 2.67 million square miles to flood every winter for approximately six months, much of which is barely submerged throughout the year
    In most cases, this is merely a long-term event and those changes occur so slowly, other than an initial earthquake, tsunami, etc., which hits suddenly, sometimes catastrophically, but always in a few hours or a day or two and its gone and the aftermath forgotten (except by those hit by it all and the record keepers); however, when the Lord’s hand is involved (“darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days” Helaman 14:27) then the time frame is very quick by comparison (earth was divided in the days of Peleg) and the events can be quite noticeable (mountains rising from valleys “whose height is great” Helaman 14:23). Those mountains went up quickly, suddenly, and very noticeable, otherwise, the Lord’s prophecy through Samuel the Lamanite would be meaningless (“these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men--And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them” Helaman 14:28-29).
    As to how this was done, it would be a simple matter of the Lord speeding up the process shown below:
The Plasticity of Mountain Building shows how a mountain is formed as Plates subduct and force upwarping or folding of the continental crust which creates mountains
    By way of clarification, during the destruction, not only the surface of the land was changed in its appearance (3 Nephi 8:13, 17), but also beneath the earth (Helaman 14:21). And those changes on top of the earth included “mountains tumbling into pieces” (1 Nephi 12:4), and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23). Nephi, seeing a vision of the destruction wrought upon his people at the time of the crucifixion (2 Nephi 26:3), that mountains will rise up (2 Nephi 26:5), including a great mountain (3 Nephi 8:9). Because of these passages, it always amazes me that people can claim anywhere in the Heartland, along the Mississippi Valley, or in the Great Lakes area and western New York to be the Land of Promise, since there simply are not large mountains, let alone any “whose height is great”! To some members, who get an idea in their head, it seems like they just ignore what is written in the scriptural record.
    Comment: “2) Even after the destruction that came to the land after the Crucifixion, the River Sidon was still flowing in the same place, running by Zarahemla.”
    Response: We do not know that. All we know is that after the crucifixion, there were the “Waters of Sidon,” but no mention of a river and the term "Sidon" used only once (Mormon 1:10).
    Comment: “Considering the river ran South to North, if there was a large mountain range that rose up out of the East (and North towards the narrow neck), then how was the river running in the same place?”
Response: First of all, “the regions round about” Zarahemla are described by Alma when he states: “which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided” (Alma 22:27). That is, between Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Nephi was a narrow strip of wilderness which ran from the East Sea to the West Sea, with Zarahemla to the north of this wilderness strip and Nephi to the south of the wilderness strip.
    Secondly, the river Sidon ran north and south since it had a “west” side (Alma 2:34; 8:3; 43:27, 32, 53) and an “east” side (Alma 2:15, 17; 6:7; 16:7; 43:53).
    Thirdly, keep in mind that the Sidon River had its “head” (beginning) in the mountains or elevation of the narrow strip of wilderness to the south. At one point, we find: “the people of Nephi took their tents, and departed out of the valley of Gideon towards their city, which was the city of Zarahemla. And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and the Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them” (Alma 2:26-27).
    Fourth: the River Sidon ran by the eastern borders of the Land of Zarahemla, and evidently was the border between the Land of Zarahemla (on the west) and the Land of Gideon (to the east).
    Fifth, the Sidon River was in the mountains or at least at a higher elevation for the Lamanties dare not “march down against the city of Zarahemla, neither durst they cross the head of Sidon” (Alma 56:25), and that the “Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti. And behold there shall ye meet them, on the east of the river Sidon, and there the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren who have been taken captive by the Lamanites” (Alma 16:6).
    Thus, the head of the River Sidon was to the south in the narrow strip of wilderness from tje Land of Zarahemla, and ran northward of the Land of Nephi, and ran down into the Land of Zarahemla, along its eastern borders of the land, which separated that land from the Land of Gideon.
    Comment: “An elevation change would have changed the course of the river, yet there is no mention of this. The only mention of the river after the Crucifixion has it running in the same place. Mormon 1:10 And it came to pass that the war began to be among them in the borders of Zarahemla, by the waters of Sidon. We know that Sidon ran just to the east of Zarahemla, with Gideon on the other side (Alma 6:7)  
    Response: First, as we have reported before, there is no mention of the “Sidon River” after the crucifixion. Mormon 1:10 does not refer to the “River” Sidon, only to the Waters of Sidon. Waters seems to be a word used in the scriptural record for a body of water, such as a pool, lake, pond, etc., such as the “Waters of Mormon” (Alma 5:3).
Alma baptizes in the Waters of Mormon
    However, the “Waters of Sidon,” is also used in Alma where people were baptized (Alma 4:4) and both Lamanite and Amlicite dead were thrown into the Waters of Sidon (Alma 3:3) that had access to the sea (Alma 2:34)—whether or not this is a pooled or collected area of the River Sidon is not known, but they were connected at this point in time (Alma 2:35). The point is, the Waters of Sidon mentioned in Mormon 1:10 is not mentioned in connection with a river, and therefore might suggest a different arrangement of the river or waters then called Sidon. Again, the point is, we do not know and cannot arrive at a conclusion in either direction from the limited information in the scriptural record.
(See the next post, ”The Changes Found in 3 Nephi – Part III,” for the rest of the questions and answers, and a continuation of the last answer in the previous post)

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