Sunday, February 21, 2016

Clarification for Reader: More on the Destruction in 3 Nephi – Part III

Continuing with a reader’s comments regarding our earlier posts on answering the ones regarding the destruction listed in 3 Nephi.
3i. “It tells us that Moroni was sunk in the East Sea and that it remained under water at least 26 years later. The point being that the East Sea was still there, at least in some form (a large lake?).”
Three cordilleras run vertically up and down the western South America, these are shown through Peru with (white arrow) being the Cordillera Occidental (west), the (green arrow) Cordillera Central, and (yellow arrow) Cordillera Oriental (east). It is the latter, or eastern cordillera and probably the cordillera Central that came up during the crucifixion event with the Cordillera in the west already in place, if only at a lower height
    Response: This is yet another assumption—there is no mention of any water, sea, ocean, river or lake to the east after 3 Nephi. Since the Sea East was never again mentioned after this time, even though the final battles of the Nephite and Lamanites began and would have taken place to some degree in that area, no sea is again mentioned in the east. What happened to the Sea East, if anything, is simply not stated. The point is, we don’t know any of this. We simply find it of interest that the Sea East is mentioned and referred to over twenty times before 3 Nephi, and then never again after the destruction outlined.
    A couple of bonus questions that I am interested in your thoughts on:
4) “There is no mention after the destruction of a change of climate. We know that they lived in a very fertile area with wild animals and forest. A quick satellite view of South America shows that the west coast of South America (west of the Andes, particularly Peru) does not fit that description. It is quite brown and barren in many places. I would think that would have been mentioned as their way of life would have changed.”
    Response: You are making a lot of assumptions. First of all, we know nothing of the climate of the Land of Promise except a few instances like: “heat of the day” (Alma 51:33), but then, almost anywhere has a time when the day is hotter than other times; speaking of fevers and diseases “by the nature of the climate” (Alma 46:40), but malaria, though often thought of as a tropical disease, is rampant anywhere mosquitoes nest in still and stagnant water (Minnesota has an enormous mosquito problem because of its 10,000 lakes, etc.
Secondly, the brown you see on satellite photos is in part from the desert lands that stretch from northern Ecuador clear to Atacama, the driest non-polar desert in the world, covering 41,000 square miles along a 600-mile strip of desert around the Peruvian-Chilean border and into Chile. All of this desert land along the Pacific coast is due to the Andes Cordillera Occidental, the western or coastal Andean range that creates a “rain shadow,” and the Pacific anticyclone flows across here that blows dry air into the Atacama, also with the Walker Circulation, which is a difference between surface pressure and temperature over the tropical western Pacific blows warm air and creates a pressure gradient from east to west and causes surface air to move east to west, from high pressure in the eastern Pacific to low pressure in the western, with higher, atmospheric west-to-east winds completing the circulation with the descending air very dry. In addition, the Humboldt (Peruvian) Current carries cold water northward along the western coast of South America which cools the air above it, which can’t hold as much water vapor as warm air so it dries out any water left in the air. This mix of mountains, winds, and ocean currents combines to make the Atacama incredibly dry, and effects all the coastal desert plains.
    This means that this coastal climate would have existed with or without the eastern cordillera rising.
    Third, again by the time Mormon is writing about this, it is 300 years past the change and he would not have been particularly interested in what the temperature and climate was like three centuries earlier. Do you know what the temperatures in your state was like 300 years ago? In 1716, here in the state of Utah, the Navajos were just moving into the San Juan River drainage area in search of pasture for their herds of Spanish sheep and goats. Obviously, the climate was better then than 100 years or more later when Jim Bridger thought that Utah area not worth a nickel and said the Mormons could have it.
    It is highly unlikely that Mormon in 350 A.D. would have been concerned about the climate of the land 300 years earlier. What you and I might be interested in knowing today evidently held little interest to the prophet when he abridged the record in that early century.
    Again, we do not know how many mountains existed in the Land of Promise prior to 3 Nephi’s destruction and mountain raising. Samuel the Lamanite tells us that “there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley” (Helaman 14:23), and Nephi wrote about his vision of the event: “I saw mountains tumbling into pieces” (1 Nephi 12:4).
300 Years ago in the U.S. What is the interest in unrelated details?
    In addition, our only knowledge of the Land of Promise after the destruction was written by Mormon who was born almost 300 years after this event into the Land Northward, likely far north since he lived near enough to the hill Shim to know about it (Mormon 1:3).
5. “Do you consider the "vapor of darkness" to be ash from a volcano? I haven't seen anything about the part that volcanoes may have played in the destruction, which could also cause mountains to rise up and bury cities and block out the sun. What are your thoughts?”
    Response: We all know about the eruption of Mount St. Helens, whose eruption column rose 80,000 feet, depositing ash in 11 States, and caused a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) fifty miles. Hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland. During a two day period, 174 earthquake aftershocks occurred, with one ash cloud shooting 7,000 feet into the air and another 11,000 feet upward, which fell between 3 and 12 miles away, though some fell as far away as 150 miles.
    But even worse was the eruption of El Chichón in Mexico in 1982 when the eruption began with a pyroclastic flow that ran out over 4 miles from the volcano. The deposits produced by this pyroclastic flow were 328 feet wide and 10 feet thick at its far end. The flow moved at 400 feet per second and destroyed the village of Francisco Leon, killing as many as 1,000 people. The pyroclastic flow was followed by two plinian eruptions that produced plumes that reached at least 18 miles, releasing 1.1 cubic miles of material, and destroying nine villages. The total eruptions released almost a cubic mile of material, and near the volcano, the landscape was covered by 10 to 16 inches of airfall and villages over 4 miles from the volcano had roofs destroyed by 20-24 inch diameter bombs. Over 15,000 square miles of countryside were covered with ash as a majority of the material erupted and came in the form of airfall. Almost 7 to 10 million tons sulfur dioxide (a toxic gas), or roughly seven times that of the equivalently sized St. Helens eruption. The andesite magma from El Chichón was many times more than most magmas. The ash plumes circled the globe in a few weeks and reduced visibility to a few kilometers as far as 450 miles from the volcano.
Ash clouds around Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1815 dimmed the sun for several years. If a giant volcanic eruption occurred where the amount of sulphur particles were concentrated in one area and not blown away, sun would be masked entirely
    The point is, that with every such eruption in modern times, the ash clouds fell all over surrounding areas up to scores of miles distance. Exactly what happened during 3 Nephi to limit visions and create the darkness is not stated. Obviously, the Lord has the power to handle such things in numerous ways—whether or not it was ash, etc., I don’t know, but think that would be the the most common method of which we have first-hand knowledge. 
    “Thanks again for your time. I apologize if the questions seem a little combative. That's why I didn't want to post them directly on the blog. I am not trying to fight. That doesn't do anyone any good. I am trying to take in different view points as I consider my own studies. Thanks.” 
    No problem. Your questions cause me to think along a wider or deeper line sometimes and I use this time and study for my blog articles such as this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment