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Volcanism in the Book of Mormon


Olavarria

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The following video is Pliny the Younger's account of the destruction of Pompeii. http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/pompe...liny/video.html

The following is an audio link to 3 Nephi, Chapter 8. It concerns the destructions that occured in the Americas, at the time of The Savior's death.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/scriptures/li...Nephi_8_eng.mp3

Enjoy : )

The description of the cataclysmic destruction in 3 Nephi corresponds to the kind of destruction caused by volcanic activity. This destruction was given to the Nephites as a sign that Christ had died(1). However, we also have record of several volcanic eruptions and social displacements, around the time of Christ. This converges with the destruction in the Book of Mormon at around 34AD.

"On the frounds of the associated ceramics and figurines quantities of which are found beneath the Pedregal, Cuicuilco is clearly Late preclassic, as confirmed by radiocarbon dates. The doom of Cuicuilco was set some time around AD100, an end which must have been spectacular. The young Xictli first sent out dust and ashes that fell in quantity on the site, then great eruptions themselves began, molten lava pouring out over the southwestern margin of the Valley."

"In lieu of extensive excavations underneath the lava, it is difficult to be precise about the size and function of a regional center like Cuicuilco. on the basis of his unrivaled knowledge of the Valley of Mexico, however, William Sanders ascribes to it a population of 20,000, the chief center of a total Valley population of perhaps 140,000 souls"(2).

"Thanks to another volcanic event, we have a spectacularly preserved late Preclassic village at Tetimpa, Puebla, on the northeastern bank of the Popocatepetl volcano. Unlike Cuicuilco, which was buried under a lava flow, Tetimpa was encased in ash falls, preserving much of what the villagers left in haste as Popocatepetl erupted in AD 100"(1).

So while we may never be able to pinpoint "X volcano destroying Y Nephite city", we can say that during the 1st century AD, Mexico experienced a series of volcanic eruptions and social displacements.

(1)Michael Coe and Rex Koontz, Mexico:From the Olmec to the Aztecs. pg 54-55.

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I'm aware of an article in the BYU Studies series in which a geologist discusses 3 Nephi. Being a geologist myself, I'd like to read it. But, the article seems to be unavailable at the BYU Studies online archives.

Does anyone have access to an electronic copy of this article?

Kowallis, Bart J. â??In the Thirty and Fourth Year: A Geologistâ??s View of the Great Destruction in 3 Nephi.â? BYU Studies 37, no. 3 (1997-98): 137-190.

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I'm aware of an article in the BYU Studies series in which a geologist discusses 3 Nephi. Being a geologist myself, I'd like to read it. But, the article seems to be unavailable at the BYU Studies online archives.

Does anyone have access to an electronic copy of this article?

Kowallis, Bart J. â??In the Thirty and Fourth Year: A Geologistâ??s View of the Great Destruction in 3 Nephi.â? BYU Studies 37, no. 3 (1997-98): 137-190.

Here you go

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Which is interesting when thinking of the BoM's setting. Canada and the Great Lakes dont have volcanos and the accompanying social displacements. But mexico does and did during roughly the same time the BoM said it did.

Canada has a considerable number of active volcanoes, most of them in British Columbia. In the US, the New Madrid fault system runs south of the Great Lakes and has been the site of some of the largest earthquakes in North America, but the Great Lakes region experienced little of the shaking from it. Obviously, there must have been some earthquake activity in the Great Lakes region associated with the buildup of the Adirondacks, but that would not have been during Book of Mormon times. There are Pre-Cambrian volcanic rocks in Illinois that were dragged down from Canada by glaciers.

The series of New Madrid earthquakes occurring in 1811 and 1812 were probably 8.0 on the Richter scale, judging by the damage they caused.

Oddly enough, I remember being taught in school in the late '50s and early '60s that future volcanic eruptions in the United States were very unlikely. It was widely believed in those days that the earth's core had cooled to a point that volcanoes were limited to a few "hot spots." How quickly we forget. When Mt. Saint Helens started erupting again in 2008, the media went nuts. People dragged school children out to the eruption zone to witness this 'rare' event. I remember the news pictures of fathers standing with their school age children in the middle of the barren wasteland left by the 1980 eruption. All around them were logs, 200 feet tall and larger, many of them well over 10 feet in diameter -- all pointing away from the mountain. The fathers were bragging that they were bringing their children to witness a "once in a lifetime" event. Indeed. It could even have been an end of a lifetime event, but they could not see what was obvious all around them. Instead, they complained about the overly cautious Park Service officials who would not let them go even closer to the mountain than they were. You could almost hear them singing "Who's afraid of the big volcano? La la la la la!" What do you want to bet the Nephites weren't any smarter?

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Canada has a considerable number of active volcanoes, most of them in British Columbia. In the US, the New Madrid fault system runs south of the Great Lakes and has been the site of some of the largest earthquakes in North America, but the Great Lakes region experienced little of the shaking from it. Obviously, there must have been some earthquake activity in the Great Lakes region associated with the buildup of the Adirondacks, but that would not have been during Book of Mormon times. There are Pre-Cambrian volcanic rocks in Illinois that were dragged down from Canada by glaciers.

The series of New Madrid earthquakes occurring in 1811 and 1812 were probably 8.0 on the Richter scale, judging by the damage they caused.

Oddly enough, I remember being taught in school in the late '50s and early '60s that future volcanic eruptions in the United States were very unlikely. It was widely believed in those days that the earth's core had cooled to a point that volcanoes were limited to a few "hot spots." How quickly we forget. When Mt. Saint Helens started erupting again in 2008, the media went nuts. People dragged school children out to the eruption zone to witness this 'rare' event. I remember the news pictures of fathers standing with their school age children in the middle of the barren wasteland left by the 1980 eruption. All around them were logs, 200 feet tall and larger, many of them well over 10 feet in diameter -- all pointing away from the mountain. The fathers were bragging that they were bringing their children to witness a "once in a lifetime" event. Indeed. It could even have been an end of a lifetime event, but they could not see what was obvious all around them. Instead, they complained about the overly cautious Park Service officials who would not let them go even closer to the mountain than they were. You could almost hear them singing "Who's afraid of the big volcano? La la la la la!" What do you want to bet the Nephites weren't any smarter?

:P Joseph lived on the foot of Kilawaiha!!!

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The only thing I've got to say about volcanoes is that they blow gass. Actually I do believe that some of the destructions that occured in the BOM before the comming of Jesus to the Americas was volcanic. Cities being sunk into the sea, like with what is predicted that San Francisco will do the same. Cities being covered with rock, or split apart, and covered with mud all sound like other tectonic activity. Fires wouldn't occure without the the aid of lightning, which could have formed if a signicant amount of water was turned into steam(not too sure, but it makes sense to me). Of course gas and other noxious materials could have contributed, as would anything else that would have come out of a volcano. As for the part about torches not burning during the 3 days of darkness, well that's pretty easy to guess. Air full of ash means very little oxygen for fire to burn, as well as block out the sun.

Truth be told, the only thing that makes the story sound incredible would be that it all happenred right as Jesus died.

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The only thing I've got to say about volcanoes is that they blow gass. Actually I do believe that some of the destructions that occured in the BOM before the comming of Jesus to the Americas was volcanic. Cities being sunk into the sea, like with what is predicted that San Francisco will do the same. Cities being covered with rock, or split apart, and covered with mud all sound like other tectonic activity. Fires wouldn't occure without the the aid of lightning, which could have formed if a signicant amount of water was turned into steam(not too sure, but it makes sense to me). Of course gas and other noxious materials could have contributed, as would anything else that would have come out of a volcano. As for the part about torches not burning during the 3 days of darkness, well that's pretty easy to guess. Air full of ash means very little oxygen for fire to burn, as well as block out the sun.

Truth be told, the only thing that makes the story sound incredible would be that it all happenred right as Jesus died.

We saw enormous thunderstorms over Mt. St. Helens when it erupted in 1980. These thunderstorms moved east with the ash and were seen as far east as Spokane. People who were in the eruption zone could not see; even electric automobile lights and flashlights provided no visibility. It was pitch black. People directly under the thunderstorms could not see the lightning, but people outside of the ash fall hundreds of miles away could see it clearly. We lived on Mercer Island at the time and both heard and felt the eruption 110 miles away. It shook the whole house. My wife immediately said, "What have the kids gotten into now?"

The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines was stronger by a couple orders of magnitude. People reported much the same thing -- no light, not even electric light, could be seen. It was pitch dark. The ash collapsed roofs on houses many miles away. As if the eruption was not enough, a category 5 super-typhoon hit the mountain at the peak of the eruption, turning the ash to a concrete like consistency. Hundreds of people praying to the mountain were killed; they would not leave the area and hid in caves to avoid mandatory evacuation.

The eruption of Katmai on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska nearly sank Admiral Perry's flagship, destroyed thousands of square miles of forest, and created a rift that has been known ever since as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Indians reported experiences similar to the St. Helens and Pinatubo eruptions -- light was impossible to see. Over 20 feet of ash fell in places. The ash and gases made it almost impossible to breath.

Eruptions in Alaska have stopped the engines of jet airliners. Earthquakes there caused large portions of cities to slide into the sea. Tsunamis have done tremendous damage there.

I live on a fjord in the Puget Sound area. Historically, heavy rains, possibly combined with earthquakes, have caused enormous landslides to fall into Hood Canal on side, pushing the water up in a great tsunami over 600 feet high up the mountains on the other side. The local Indians have legends of these giant waves, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Days of darkness where no light could be seen accompanied by shaking of the earth and giant waves that swallowed up entire mountains are common themes in these legends.

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:P Joseph lived on the foot of Kilawaiha!!!

I presume you mean Kilauea. Hardly. Although Kilauea is very active, it is not as dangerous as North American volcanoes. The mountain is unlikely to explode the way Shasta, St. Helens, or Katmai have. It is not going blow up like Mt. Mazama did when it formed Crater Lake in Oregon. North American volcanoes are incredibly destructive. I have seen St. Helens during "minor" eruptions throw boulders the size of houses for distances of five miles or more.

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Why would the Vulcans do such a thing?

Because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

USU "It's worse than that -- he's dead, Jim" 78

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Why would the Vulcans do such a thing?

Spock is descended from one of the three Nephites on his mother's side. The Vulcans realized that if Spock had never been born, then he could not have been blamed for the destruction of Romulus. Vulcan would not have been destroyed in retaliation. The plan succeeded in killing Spock's original ancestor, but another Nephite took his place and Spock was born anyway.

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