Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2016, August 30

“Book of Mormon: The Congregation of Alma the Elder in Zarahemla (Alma 5)” by grego

The Congregation of Alma the Elder in Zarahemla
by grego

Interesting that in the beginning of this talk, Alma the younger only mentions the people of Alma; not the people of Limhi, nor the people of King Benjamin/ the ones who had remained in Zarahemla. This is most clear in verse 13. It seems that after moving to Zarahemla, the people of Alma the elder remained at least enough of one congregation that they were addressed as one congregation. I can imagine that since Alma was part of this group earlier, and he knew their history well, and how righteous they had been, it hurts him to speak to them the way he does; but perhaps he is harsh with them because he knows how they used to, and could, be.

Alma 5:2 And these are the words which he spake to the people in the church which was established in the city of Zarahemla, according to his own record, saying:
3 I, Alma, having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, behold, I say unto you that he began to establish a church in the land which was in the borders of Nephi; yea, the land which was called the land of Mormon; yea, and he did baptize his brethren in the waters of Mormon.
4 And behold, I say unto you, they were delivered out of the hands of the people of king Noah, by the mercy and power of God.
5 And behold, after that, they were brought into bondage by the hands of the Lamanites in the wilderness; yea, I say unto you, they were in captivity, and again the Lord did deliver them out of bondage by the power of his word; and we were brought into this land, and here we began to establish the church of God throughout this land also.
6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.
8 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.
9 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.
10 And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?
11 Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them?
12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.
13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.

2016, August 11

“Book of Mormon: What Were the ‘Mists of Darkness’ / ‘Vapor of Darkness’ at the Great Destruction at Jesus’ Death in 3 Nephi 8?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: What Were the ‘Mists of Darkness’ / ‘Vapor of Darkness’ at the Great Destruction at Jesus’ Death in 3 Nephi 8?” by grego

I opened to 3 Nephi 8 today, and wondered again about the “vapor of darkness”, the “mists of darkness.” I have heard lots of explanations, such as volcanic ash), none of which seemed right to me. It popped into mind–probably because I read about dust storms the other day–that it could have been electrostatical in nature. I think the descriptions of the destructions attest that conditions were possible.

3 Nephi 8: 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.
6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.
8 And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.
9 And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
10 And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.
11 And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.
12 But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
13 And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
14 And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth…
16 And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.
17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.
18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.
19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.
20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness;
21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;
22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.

What if:
–lots of dust, from the “quakings of the earth”, the rending of the rocks, etc.;
–lots of ashes, from the fires;
–possible rain;
–strong winds and whirlwinds blowing dust from all over outside the area in, and all dust and ash to that area, and then being contained there;
–and having the dust, ashes, and possible rain struck by severe lightning for three hours;
–now floating, having become charged particles;
–creating a large cover, or a dome container, so that no light would shine through;
–with most of the rain falling out of the mix;
–all set up a pretty-much non-toxic, moist, enduring condition for three days?

It’s possible the electricity also rent the rocks.

I see some problems, but I see problems for about anything else I can imagine, too.

One of the things that bothered me was rain/ water. After all, “storm” and “tempest” are mentioned, my guess is that lots of rain would make the conditions extremely improbable. A look at Webster’s 1828 Dictionary shows:
“STORM, n. 1. A violent wind; a tempest. Thus a storm of wind, is correct language, as the proper sense of the word is rushing, violence. It has primarily no reference to a fall of rain or snow. But as a violent wind is often attended with rain or snow, the word storm has come to be used, most improperly, for a fall of rain or snow without wind.”
“TEM’PEST, n. 1. An extensive current of wind, rushing with great velocity and violence; a storm of extreme violence. We usually apply the word to a steady wind of long continuance; but we say also of a tornado, it blew a tempest. The currents of wind are named, according to their respective degrees of force or rapidity, a breeze, a gale, a storm, a tempest; but gale is also used as synonymous with storm, and storm with tempest. Gust is usually applied to a sudden blast of short duration. A tempest may or may not be attended with rain, snow or hail.”

So, no need for lots of rain, or any at all.

What about breathing? I think it’s safe to assume that no matter what caused the darkness, people used cloth to filter the air from dust, ash, moisture, etc.

Once it all blew away, or settled, it wouldn’t have caused death by contamination.

Of course, maybe the righteous did have food storage and water.


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