Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Problem With Time – Part III • And the Earth Did Cleave Together Again – Part I

Hold onto your hats, for we are in for a unique ride of discovery. Not often do we get to find a new idea in the scriptural record, but this one should stay with you for a very long time. While most of the theorists who work with, write about, and believe they understand the geography of the Book of Mormon Land of Promise, this is going to challenge some Old Paradigms, such as the destruction of 3 Nephi 8 being mostly surface and cosmetic. “After all,” they tell us, “Mormon living 300 years afterward knew and understood the Land of Promise before and after the damage wrought during the crucifixion, so there couldn’t have been much change resulting from the destruction.”  
   But wait until you see this. Wait until you realize what the disciple Nephi did say and didn’t say and what Mormon wrote without writing it in today’s language. Based on the destruction covered in 3 Nephi 8, there were 30 points listed in the previous post covering all that took place. But it was written by Mormon in his language of his day, and certain explanations of our day are left unsaid the way we would say them now.
As an example, because of Star Trek and Star Wars and the myriad of other science-fiction movies that have been made and books written, today we have a language of the future no earlier generation had, and no generation of antiquity, or even thought of having. As an example, we know what to call Buck Rogers’ “Blasters,” “Ray Guns,” and Star Wars “Phasers,” etc., using “Lasers” “kinetic energy” or “directed energy” concepts. The Navy now even has a NAVSEA Energy and Electric Weapons Division, that will put in place this summer on the U.S. Ponce, a “Directed Energy Weapon.”
But what would we have called this weapon a hundred years ago if some futuristic event occurred where we came in contact with laser-based naval warfare, and a group who had one? Or what about EMs (Electromagnet Railguns) that use no gunpowder or fuel? Or what about a “drone” fifty years ago, or today’s “Sentient.”
    The point is, when we read language written in Mormon’s time, which was mostly event-based—“the whole land was changed and deformed,” “the earth was carried up on the city,” or “a great and terrible tempest; and there was a terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder”—which Joseph Smith dutifully translated, but not in today’s language, such as “A Type 5 tornado (or Category 5 Hurricane), accompanied by a 9.8 earthquake, with EF-5 winds.”
    So we have to understand certain phrases and what they meant in the past as to what is their equivalent today.
    As an example, “cleave” means “to stick,” “to adhere,” “to hold to.” It also means exactly the opposite, “to part or divide by force,” “to split or separate,” “to part or open along natural lines.” Usually the word is used with a descriptive word: “to cleave unto,” “to cleave to,” or “to cleave together.” But also “to cleave apart,” or “to cleave asunder.”
    Thus, when the disciple Nephi wrote: “And the earth did cleave together again,” what exactly did he mean? Well, for something to “cleave together again,” it first had to have been separated or split apart earlier. And this split apart had to have been “divided by force or rive,” that is torn apart violently.
    So Nephi tells us that in the beginning of the storm, the earth (at least that part known as the Land of Promise) was torn apart violently and then, after the three days, “And it came to pass that thus did the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away” (3 Nephi 10:9). In that moment or time, then, “The earth did cleave together again, that it stood” (3 Nephi 10:10).
    Thus we can see that the Land of Promise was torn apart, all this damage and rebuilding (mountains falling into valleys and other valleys being raised to mountains, “whose height is great”), took place, and after that three days in which it took place, the earth (or Land of Promise) did “cleave together again” that is, that area once torn apart was placed back together again “to stick, to adhere, to hold to.” At this point, Nephi adds, “that it stood,” that is, the earth once again cleaved to itself, and it stood, i.e., it stood as it had before it was torn apart as the storm arose.
That is, it came back together again, and it remained together by whatever force holds earths together.
    Now here is the interesting part: “cleave” once again means to either to part or stick along pre-determined or natural lines.
    While we do not know how the earth was organized, along what lines the different parts, layers and sections were placed, or in what order they were laid down, we do know that “matter unorganized” was “organized” by the Gods.
    As Abraham put it: “And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth” (Abraham 4:1). As the Gods ordered matter to be placed, we learn that “it was so as they ordered” (Abraham 4:9,11) and “that they were obeyed” (Abraham 4:10,12). And the work of the Gods continued and they ordered and “the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed” (Abraham 4:18), and “the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good” (Abraham 4:21). And in conclusions, “the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens” (Abraham 5:4).
    Therefore, we can understand that the Gods ordered the forming of the Earth in steps and stages until it was all completed. Once again, we are not told in what order, formation, pattern or placement the different parts of the Earth were laid out, though we know the sequence of events during the six time periods, but in the end, it was as we see it today.
    Now, in some way the Gods formed the earth in a manner where layers were placed on layers as we can see from cross-sections of the geologic structure. In other areas the sections were not so pronounced, and in still others the sections are fewer, etc. In some places the crust is thicker or thinner, like sea beds as opposed to continental land forms. How exactly it was put together we are not told, nor is it important in this stage of our existence to know, but that it was put together in stages is obvious, both from the scriptural record and from our observation as well as scientific views.
So when the storm was about to hit the area of the Land of Promise at the time of the
crucifixion, the building blocks of how the earth was put together in that area we call the Land of Promise—an area set aside from the beginning to be this location, and originally constructed (organized) with that purpose in mind, was taken apart. That is, it no longer “cleaved” together, but apart. The seams were “undone” the joints were “opened” the formations were “untied” or “unfastened” and the earth “groaned” from the effort and the people thought the earth was going to “divide asunder,” that is, break into bits and pieces.
    Obviously, in the condition the Earth, or the area of the Land of Promise, was in, being separated along the lines of its organization it is no wonder it felt like to the surviving populace that the entire land was going to “divide asunder,” that is break into bits and pieces, for there would have been no stability for it did not “stand in its place” as it normally had since it was first organized, and the effect the tempest storm and shaking and overall destruction had was so pronounced that the people feared greatly.
(See the next post, “The Problem With Time – Part IV - And the Earth Did Cleave Together Again – Part II,” to see how the Lord brought about the sudden changes in the Land of Promise that are recorded in 3 Nephi 8-9)


  1. Phasers in Star Wars!?! If you have a geek card, I must ask that you surrender it.

  2. ooops. Blasters in Star Wars (Hans Solo's BlasTech DL-44; in fact all Star Wars weapons were visually modified or based upon real-world weapons of our day), and Phasers in Star Trek, whose weapons for the most part were pretty minimal, except for the hand gun which is often referred to as the Romulan XI as compared to the Phaser mkii, or the Type 1 Phaser 2364, Type 2 2364, 2366 or 2371, not to mention the Phaser Rifle 2373 and 2371, or 2387. Also the "hand-held" Phaser Gun, Jem Hadar pistol (and rifle), Xindi Pistol (and rifle), Breen Pistol (and Rifle), Vulcan, Tellarite pistols. Do I get my card back now?