Monday, November 28, 2016

The Problem With Time – Part IV • And the Earth Did Cleave Together Again – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding how the changes in 3 Nephi 8-9 came about.
     Thus, evidently, during this three-day period, the earth was not only broken up, but actually separated apart along some type of lines of original organization, for the scriptural record tells us that following all of this tumult and destruction, it “did cleave together again, that it stood” (3 Nephi 10:10, emphasis mine). For something to “cleave together” or be put back together, it must first “cleave apart” or split apart—thus this destruction of 3 Nephi 8 must have been something so severe that it not only shook the entire earth for three hours (at least the Land of Promise area), followed by three days of darkness, but brought the severed parts back together again at the end of this period.
While all this was going on, the Gods were evidently realigning the land masses within the Land of Promise.
    With the land masses of the Land of Promise no longer cleaving together, the work of realignment could take place quickly and in a simple manner, with the elements forming mountains, “whose height was great,” plus lift the rest of the continent up out of the sea, and all the other activities that the disciple Nephi saw and observed. For those who have a hard time seeing a mountain range of great height form in three hours, or three days, one need only realize that the Gods who organized the world initially were no doubt busy realigning this one area, the Land of Promise, as the Earth groaned and moaned under the pressures exerted on it.
    Thus, the continent came up, the Sea East receded into the Atlantic, mountains of moderate height tumbled apart and fell, becoming part of the valleys and former valleys grew suddenly into mountains “whose height was great.” Cities disappeared in this realignment, hills covered some cities while others were sunk into the earth or beneath the sea.
    At the same time, the huge rock masses beneath the surface were broken into pieces, seams and cracks formed along the lines where once the earth “cleaved” together, cities were sunk, buried, and covered over, while rivers and lakes formed and reformed as the mountains rose quickly to towering heights, evidently displacing former water ways and forming new runoffs.
    While this work of the Gods was continuing, the destruction and punishment of the evil populace was taking place, with populations drowned, buried in the ground, and mountains forming upward over occupied cities. Obviously, former seasides were washed away, as cities fell and sank, tsunamis swarmed in to fill the sink holes, oceans reformed around the Land of Promise and the work being done shook the land so forcefully, the surviving people thought the entire Earth would come apart. And indeed it was, though under Priesthood control, while all of these events took place.
    Then in the morning of the fourth day, after the period of darkness where nothing could be seen, no fires lit, no light shown, the Gods reunited the land and elements “and the earth did cleave together again, [so] that it stood” as it had stood before these events.
With this in mind, it is no mystery how mountain ranges could form so quickly, how rivers, lakes, and oceans could realign, how the bulk of a continent could rise out of the sea—the Earth (or the Land of Promise area) was returned to its original construction (organization) formation and the work of organization (reorganization) took place as it had many millennia before, and then the various parts, sections, levels, etc., were put back together again (“cleave together again”) and the Earth “stood” once again in its place.
    How simple the Lord works to bring about his Plan and how far off the mark is man in trying to figure out how things are done. And all the time the answer is right there in the scriptural record—we just have to read and understand it. No wonder we have been told for generations to ponder the scriptures—that is, to meditate and think deeply on the word of God, not just read it like a novel, or speed read so many verses or chapters at a time to meet a goal—but to ponderreally study out the word and understand it.
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity” Albert Einstein

    Consider these scriptures trying to teach us the value of pondering:
• “Mary pondered these things in her heart” (Luke 2:19);
• “As I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away” (1 Nephi 11:1);
• “My heart pondereth the scriptures” (2 Nephi 4:15);
• “Nephi went his way, pondering upon the things which the Lord had shown” (Helaman 10:2-3);
• “Go to your homes and ponder upon the things which I have said” (3 Nephi 17:3);
• “Remember how merciful the Lord hath been, and ponder it in your hearts” (Moroni 10:3);
• “Ponder upon the things which you have received” (D&C 30:3);
• “While we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings” (D&C 76:19);
• “I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures” (D&C 138: 1-11);
• “I reflected on it again and again” (Joseph Smith History 1:12).
    After all, in studying the scriptural record, and trying to determine what words and phrases mean, there are definitely times when solitude is better than company, and silence is wiser than speech. It seems obvious that we would be better members if we were alone more often, waiting on God and gathering through meditation on His Word and spiritual strength to gain understanding, knowledge, and comprehension before involving ourselves in the writing and teaching of others regarding God’s word.
Pondering a scripture... gives great direction to life. The scriptures can form a foundation of support. They can provide an incredibly large resource of willing friends who can help us. A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time” Elder Richard G. Scott

    As we have been taught by the brethren for generations, we ought to ponder the things of God, because that is how we gain real understanding from them. For as we have been told, all answers are in the scriptures.
    Far too often we read quickly, don’t consider what the words always mean, nor try to understand what at first we pass right over without giving it much thought. When the disciple Nephi wrote, and Mormon repeated, “And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood” (3 Nephi 10:10), we read it and go on without thinking what “cleave” means, and if it “cleaves together again,” when did it not “cleave together, after it had been put together initially?” “when did it not stand in its place”?
    When Eloheim said to Jehovah, “Look, yonder is matter unorganized. Go ye down and organize it into a world like unto the other worlds we have heretofore organized,” we should consider what exactly that means, for the Lord, Jehovah, did exactly as he was told, and organized this matter, forming the world we now live upon. How did he do it? The details are unknown, but through the power of the Priesthood, he and the gods Abraham mentions, organized this planet, bringing together matter from other areas, perhaps from other worlds, to form the one upon which we stand. That involved bringing together ancient matter, matter that was thousands, millions, even billions of years old to form this planet about thirteen thousand years ago—thus we have a planet that is young, made of matter that is very old.
    Truth, after all, is something like the cluster of the vine: In order to have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser's feet must come down joyfully on the bunches or else the juice will not flow; and the grapes must be properly tread or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by pondering and meditation, tread the clusters of truth if we desire the knowledge and comprehension from them.
Thus, we see that this planet was put together by bringing various elements together and in some way cleaving them together so that they “stood” as one overall object—the world—and when it came time to realign its parts, at least the area of the Land of Promise, those sealed or “adhering” parts were separated by the same power that brought them together and those exposed parts were realigned into a new configuration with mountains whose height is great and rivers, lakes, and oceans changed.
    It was all “ordered by the gods,” and they “waited until they had been obeyed,” then “saw that it was good,” and reformed the Earth or that part we call the Land of Promise. Then “The earth did cleave together again, that it stood,” and the weeping, and the waiting of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer” (3 Nephi 10:10).

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