Friday, January 15, 2016

The Importance of the Destruction in 3 Nephi – Part IV

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:, and continuing from the reader’s comment #3 in the last post: 
    Comment (cont): “3)…During the destruction of the Crucifixion, one of the cities that was sunk was Moroni (3 Nephi 8:9, 3 Nephi 9:4,7). Many cities were rebuilt, but the cities that were sunk could not be rebuilt because the water was still there. (4 Nephi 1:9)
Secondly, what 4 Nephi 1:9 says, is that “Many cities which had been sunk, and waters came up in the stead, thereof; therefore these cities could not be renewed,” however, it does not say that a sea, lake or river was then formed in its place—only that the cities could not be renewed. Nor does it say all the cities resulted in the same end situation. The point is, that when land (cities) are inundated with water, it is typically from a tidal wave/tsunami, which is a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake, submarine landslide, or other disturbance—not to be confused with a rogue wave (freak waves, monster waves, episodic waves, killer waves, extreme waves, and abnormal waves), which are random, relatively large and spontaneous surface waves that occur far out in open water, and are a threat even to large ships and ocean liners, but do not reach land (largest rogue wave is believed to have been 72 feet; whereas the largest tsunami wave ever recorded was 1720 feet).
    Thus, these cities (Moroni) were covered with water at one point, which means they could have been swept away, covered with mud from the sea or from collapsing land as the waters came up and receded, or could have been covered by trapped water (“in the stead thereof”) that formed a lake, etc. All we know from the scripture is that “the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites” (Alma 50:13), and that the land where the city of Moroni once stood near the East Sea it was first covered with water, and second disappeared (covered with water or swept away) and was likely one of the cities that could not be renewed (4 Nephi 1:9), and that there might have been water remaining where the city once stood.
As the earth folded beneath the surface and mountains shot upward, the ocean along the coast was forced upward and the sea rushed inland like a tsunami flood, destroying the coastal cities
    On the other hand, what we know from flood waters in such situations is that when the Andes Mountains came up suddenly along the coast, the sudden rising of the land upward would have displaced the ocean all along the East Sea coast. This water, forced inland, would have acted like a tsunami flood, inundating coastal cities, such as Moroni and others in the area, and likely buried one or more as the land rose to great heights to form mountains, destroying the city beneath it, and likely burying the remains beneath or within the rising mountain.
    Another way to state this would be that as the mountains began to rise, the sea flooded in and drowned everyone and buried the city in the sea, then the sea was replaced by the rising mountain, burying everything beneath it.
LtoR: (Large Yellow Arrow) As the coastal bed rises to form mountains, the (small long arrow) the ocean is forced inland, creating a huge tsunami-like wave that inundates the coastal city of Moroni, leaving little remaining, which is then obliterated by the rising mountains that imbed and cover the remains of the coastal cities
    In the case of the trapped or standing water (“in the stead thereof,” meaning “in the place thereof”), refers to water “coming up” in the place of the city (“and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face” 3 Nephi 9:7, emphasis added). In the case of the cities Onihah, Mocum and Jerusalem, “waters came up” in the place of the cities, on the other hand, when mentioning the city of Moroni, “have I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea.” Why are these two situations different if they have the same meaning as theorists claim? Is it that Moroni was impacted by the ocean and covered by it, while the other three cities by some type of rising of water out of the depths of the earth (aquifer)—this becomes increasingly apparent when we realize that these two incidents are being described in one basic sentence or at least a series of the same thoughts, i.e., Zarahemla burned; Moroni sunk in the sea; Moronihah covered with earth; Gilgal sunk in the earth; Onihah, Mocum, and Jerusalem waters came up over; Gadiandi, Gadiomnah, Jacob, and Gimgimno sunk and covered by bills and valleys; Jacobugath burned; Laman, Gad, and Kishkumen burned with fire. Except for the fire, each of the other cities are separated by how they were destroyed, making Moroni’s sinking and the other three covering with water somehow different. 
    It also shows that while Onihah, Mocum and Jerusalem were covered with water and the water remained “in their stead thereof,” Moroni was sunk into the depths of the sea, two entirely different processes. It also might be of import to know that it was not Mormon or Nephi the disciple that made this statements, but rather the Lord stating what he had done. He obviously separated the burning of the three groups of cities by referencing why they were burned, each for a somewhat different reason.
    As for the waters that came up in their stead, obviously in the thousand to 1500 years between then and the arrival of the Spanish, this water would have dissipated, by evaporation, runoff, or seepage down into the aquifer.
Left: A map of the area before the last Chilean war with Bolivia in which the latter ceded their western coastal land and access to the sea over to Chile; Right: these 35-40 rivers named
    In addition, with the rising of the Andes along the coastal shelf, numerous rivers now run from the ice topped mountain range into the Pacific Ocean to the west. In fact, if you look at a present map of the Andean rivers that flow from this eastern area, down to the sea (Pacific Ocean) it is remarkable how many of these there are.
    Comment: “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: The interesting thing about Andean South America between the mountains in the east and the coast, is that there are actually three mountain ranges moving north and south through Peru—Cordillera Occidental (west), Cordillera Central, and Cordillera Oriental (east). In addition there are cross mountains (east to west) that create separate valleys or basins. The western lands are mostly high plateau or plains: altiplano and paramos, in the south (where the head or headwaters of the Sidon river would have been). The City of Nephi was in one of these high valleys or plains, as described when Ammon “went down into the land of Nephi” (7:5,6), yet Nephi was higher than Zarahemla (Alma 27:5,7,11, 13, etc.)
    We also need to keep in mind that there is no indication anywhere in the scriptural record that the Land of Promise prior to this destruction in 3 Nephi was a flat, level ground, so when these changes occurred, they impacted valleys and mountain ranges and mountains rose up to a great height, but there were already other mountains in place, some of which tumbled into pieces (1 Nephi 12:4) and became valleys (Helaman 14:23), consequently, any changes in a river or stream’s course would have been affected for the most part simply by this drastically changing topography.
    Comment: “An elevation change would have changed the course of the river, yet there is no mention of this.”
    Response: As mentioned earlier, there is no indication that the Sidon River existed after the Crucifixion—we only know there were the Waters of Sidon, which could refer to a lake, pond, lagoon, etc., and not necessarily to a river. But we do know, as mentioned above, some mountains disappeared into valleys and other pre-existing valleys rose to become mountainsall of which would have changed the courses of any waterways in those areas.
    If this doesn’t answer all your questions, please let me know.

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