Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Very Important Questions – Part II – What Did the Earth Look Like?

Continuing with the three questions begun in the last post that we need to answer, question #2 is:
2. What did the Earth look like in that day, and specifically what did the Land of Promise area look like?
It is poor scholarship to think that the location of the Land of Promise looks the same way today as it did 2600 years ago at the time Lehi landed. In addition, we need to understand that in the beginning, all the seas or oceans were gathered together in one place. In fact, we are told in Genesis that God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good”
Thus we see that in the beginning all the oceans were gathered together in one place (Genesis 1:9-10; see also Moses 2:9-10). And during the time of Peleg, one of the two sons of Eber, the 2nd great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:24), the earth was divided. What that division encompassed, we are not told, but obviously, the oceans were also divided, that is, they flowed into areas where land had once been, after it was divided.

The Earth’s major tectonic plates, which even today are still moving apart or into one another. Is it possible that at one time these plates were the surface land, and during Peleg’s time, after the Flood when they sank beneath the surface, this is what was divided?

Luke, who wrote Acts, tells us that before the second coming of Christ, “There will be a restitution of all things (Acts 3:21), and the Lord said that this restitution includes the returning of the Earth into its original condition—that is, “He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; and the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided” (D&C 133:23-24).

In the Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith said: “There was no Atlantic Ocean prior to the earth being divided,” and Orson Pratt said in The Seer, that “The waters were in the Polar Regions” before this division of the land.
Consequently, at the time of Peleg’s birth, all the land was connected, and all the oceans were in the north country. Since Peleg was born 101 years after the Flood and died 339 years after the Flood, he lived a period of 238 years—and it was during those 238 years that the Earth was divided. How long that division took is not known, but it would have been between 2243 B.C. and 2005 B.C.
By the way, as a side note, Peleg’s brother was Joktan, and they were the last Shemite generation before the tower of Babel was built. Through Eber came Abraham, but while Joktan’s posterity of 13 sons is mentioned, their posterity is not—specifically that of the fourth son, Jerah, and the 11th son, Ophir. For an interesting insight into who these two sons of Joktan were, and what else happened when the Earth was divided, see the book: Who Really Settled Mesoamerica.
It is likely, as the low points of land spread, creating large depressions, the oceans from the north country moved into these areas combined with that from the Flood waters a hundred years earlier
When the Earth was divided the land was stretched, moved, and placed where we now find it—how that was accomplished, we are not told; however, scientists believe that continents have moved and do move based upon their tectonic plate structure. While these scientists claim this took millions upon millions of years and have even given names to various ancient land masses, we know that this event took no more than 238 years, and based upon the Lord’s statement about it being returned to its original position during a restitution of all things, it sounds like it doesn’t take long at all for the Lord to accomplish such earth movement.
In past posts, we have illustrated the various circumstances in support of a continent’s submergence, its rising, and connection to other continental land forms. Specifically in South America, where scientists agree that this took place. While they claim it took place millions of years ago (recently when compared to their geologic time scale), when we show an Earth that is 13,000 years old—and that all events took place during man’s time on Earth, we can see that these ancient events took place in very recent times.
At the time Lehi landed, Jacob tells us that the Land of Promise was an island (2 Nephi 10:20), therefore, without changing, altering, or shifting Jacob’s meaning, we need to accept that 1) The Land of Promise was an island at the time of Lehi, Nephi and Sam, and 2) Undoubtedly remained an island until the destruction stated in 3 Nephi.
We should also recognize, from the 20-some posts that preceded this one, that at one time South America, east of the present-day Andes, was submerged beneath the sea (except for the Guiana and Brazilian highlands). The last two things in this equation we need to keep in mind is that 1) the time frame involved in the Earth’s creation was a mere 13,000 years or so, not the 4.55 billion years claimed by scientists. Should one still be in doubt about this idea of a young earth covered in the last few posts, the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths is recommended, that show beyond a shadow of doubt that the C-14 radiocarbon time clock, the Long-Term time clock, and the other methods science has developed to measure time are all out of sync with the truth, and 2) the earth was formed (not created) out of existing materials (matter unorganized) and would have included matter that was ageless in the form of rocks, etc., that were formed billions of years ago, perhaps as the makeup of other planets.
When we put that all together, we see a South American continent whose land surface was west of the Andean fault line, an island as previously described in these posts and in the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, an island as Jacob described, and one that lasted for some 600 years until the crucifixion of the Savior when the entire face of the Land of Promise was altered, where mountains crumbled into valleys, where mountains rose to a great height (the Andes), and where numerous changes in the land occurred.
(See the next post, “Three Very Important Questions – Part III – Changes in the Land of Promise,” to see what occurred at the time of 3 Nephi and how the land was altered from that point forward, and why certain land forms and seas were not mentioned after that time)

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