Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, December 18

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date” by grego

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date”

grego
(c) 2009

I found one more interesting point about the destruction at Christ’s coming in 3 Nephi:8 in the Book of Mormon. It has to do with the date.

2 And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the *thirty and third year had passed away;
3 And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.
4 And there began to be great doubtings and disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been given.
5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

It seems people were looking forward to this sign of darkness in the 33rd year, a time that must have been more or less given in the prophecy Samuel made but which didn’t make it into Mormon’s summary of Samuel’s prophecy (see the signs but not the time in Helaman 14:14, 20-27).

The sign didn’t come.

I imagine the majority (the wicked) were overjoyed at this failure of the sign to manifest.

Obviously the lesson from 33 or so years ago had been forgotten.

It was now the fourth day of the 34th year (3 Nephi 8:5). If the Mesoamerican New Year ceremony/ ritual of gods sitting on their thrones in triumph has any significance, the gods were in place for the year–or so the wicked might have imagined.
From http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2008/09/08/book-of-mormon-lesson-31-alma-43-52-another-take/ : “The general ritual practice is something like this: a dummy king is put on the throne on New Year’s Eve, and then, through some kind of combat drama, he is killed, after which the real king appears on the throne as if resurrected, and everyone celebrates the king’s power over death and chaos, etc. Notice, though, what happens here: the Lamanites wake up, and, sure enough, the king has died. But they can’t rouse him, and he doesn’t bring himself back to life. On the very morning when he should have died and also risen, he simply dies. To any pagan society, this would have had one meaning: your gods have been conquered by the gods of your enemies.”
Also, was there anything in any Nephite religious culture that had to do with three days of death and then the spirit is gone, as in Jewish thought at the time of Jesus?

Suddenly, on the fourth day of the new year, all nature broke loose.

Once more, it was a surprising and strong testimony that Jesus Christ WAS God.

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