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3 Nephi 8


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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Can you give me a reference that explains how a single eruptive event could create a mountain great enough to encompass an entire city?  Any geological evidence of such a historical event?

I'll have to scratch around, its been a while.. but here is something in the meantime to give you an indication of what just one mesoamerican volcano can accomplish. It's about 500 years after the time we are interested in.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/volcanic-eruption-may-have-plunged-the-maya-into-a-ldquo-dark-age-rdquo/

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

The nature of the cataclysmic event described in 3 Nephi 8 couldn't accurately be described as small-scale.  It affected the entire scope of geography mentioned in the Book of Mormon and affected every single city with great destruction.    Any geographical model of the Book of Mormon should be able to account for this massive event which occurred around 33-34 A.D.  Sunken cities should match this timeline, new mountains, and major damage to all cities around that same time-period, with major geological contortion which reshaped the entire landscape in the land Northward - completely wasting the cities in that area.  There should be no evidence of well-preserved surviving cities older than 33-34 A.D in the land Northward.  Can any model match that?  If not, we need to start from scratch. 

It depends on how big "the entire scope of geography mentioned in the Book of Mormon" is from the authors' perspectives vs. ours. How big a city is, what the censuses mean, what constitutes a mountain, how far a Nephite can walk in a day, etc. and of course the location of these events compared to where we suppose. Somewhere in Mesoamerica (or anywhere) needn't be that large or easily accessible/observed today.

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1 minute ago, pogi said:

The nature of the cataclysmic event described in 3 Nephi 8 couldn't accurately be described as small-scale.  It affected the entire scope of geography mentioned in the Book of Mormon and affected every single city with great destruction.    Any geographical model of the Book of Mormon should be able to account for this massive event which occurred around 33-34 A.D.  Sunken cities should match this timeline, new mountains, and major damage to all cities around that same time-period, with major geological contortion which reshaped the entire landscape in the land Northward - completely wasting the cities in that area.  There should be no evidence of well-preserved surviving cities older than 33-34 A.D in the land Northward.  Can any model match that?  If not, we need to start from scratch. 

Ash deposits from a single local eruption can blankets hundreds of square miles, coating it in ash, killing vegetation, casing mud slides, so a small-scale highly destructive local event can have very widespread effects tied to it. It would only take a few eruptions at more or less the same time to create the devastation depicted and described. Nephi was not a geologist and likely did not personally visit all the areas described. He would have relied on eye witness accounts which may be prone to exaggeration in cataclysmic time and some misattribution also. A significant shift in the plates in that area would trigger a massive earthquake as described and set off any active volcanos in the surrounds. The challenge here is that volcanic deposits of ash etc. are highly fertile and in these tropical conditions the landscape is quickly remoulded and reclaimed by the jungle. In many areas geologists etc. have barely scratched the surface. There are some volcanic eruptions already dated to roughly the time of 3 Nephi 8 but I will have to dig up the references. There may be many other unstudied eruptions that still need to be detected. There are plenty of gaps in this area.

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53 minutes ago, CV75 said:

It depends on how big "the entire scope of geography mentioned in the Book of Mormon" is from the authors' perspectives vs. ours. How big a city is, what the censuses mean, what constitutes a mountain, how far a Nephite can walk in a day, etc. and of course the location of these events compared to where we suppose. Somewhere in Mesoamerica (or anywhere) needn't be that large or easily accessible/observed today.

So you are suggesting that all the current models are wrong?  Too large likely?

Edited by pogi
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34 minutes ago, gav said:

 Nephi was not a geologist and likely did not personally visit all the areas described. He would have relied on eye witness accounts which may be prone to exaggeration in cataclysmic time and some misattribution also. 

This could be a possible explanation. However the book was abridged by Mormon some 300 + years later.  That is enough time for the description of these events in surrounding areas to be verified.  Mormon would have known if the City of Morinihah was not really covered by a great mountain, or if the land Northward truly was not completely devastated in A.D 33-34.

 

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16 minutes ago, pogi said:

Mormon would have known if the City of Morinihah was not really covered by a great mountain, or if the land Northward truly was not completely devastated in A.D 33-34.

How?  He would have been relying on records written by others.  If those records were accurate then Mormon had good information.  If there were errors, estimates, or assumptions based on fragmentary, incomplete or written well after the fact accounts then that is what Mormon would have had to work with.

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46 minutes ago, gav said:

Ash deposits from a single local eruption can blankets hundreds of square miles, coating it in ash, killing vegetation, casing mud slides, so a small-scale highly destructive local event can have very widespread effects tied to it. It would only take a few eruptions at more or less the same time to create the devastation depicted and described. Nephi was not a geologist and likely did not personally visit all the areas described. He would have relied on eye witness accounts which may be prone to exaggeration in cataclysmic time and some misattribution also. A significant shift in the plates in that area would trigger a massive earthquake as described and set off any active volcanos in the surrounds. The challenge here is that volcanic deposits of ash etc. are highly fertile and in these tropical conditions the landscape is quickly remoulded and reclaimed by the jungle. In many areas geologists etc. have barely scratched the surface. There are some volcanic eruptions already dated to roughly the time of 3 Nephi 8 but I will have to dig up the references. There may be many other unstudied eruptions that still need to be detected. There are plenty of gaps in this area.

It probably wasn't Nephi who was writing this part. 3 Nephi 8:1-2 indicates that this record is being composed long after the fact, probably by Mormon or someone in his time. That opens interpretive possibilities up: mythic inflation of events, exaggerated archival documents from which Mormon was drawing, etc. Ancient historiography as compared to modern. I do think that we need to temper our expectations for the accuracy of the text at this point. After all, there are many cities mentioned in the war chapters and other places which are not mentioned as destroyed. Manti, Noah, Ammonihah, Gideon, Morianton, Lehi, Nephihah, Antionum, Jershon, Melek, Nephi-Lehi, Ishmael, Cumeni, Antiparah, Judea, Lemuel, Shimnilom, Middoni, Shilom, Shemlon, and Ani-Anti are not mentioned as destroyed. Bountiful obviously survived relatively intact. We should also note that Helam in the Book of Mormon is described as a city when it had 400 or so people, so a city can be a relatively small unit in the Book of Mormon. By those lights two buildings in Heritage Halls constitutes a city.  

LiDAR has demonstrated that whole cities can be hidden from our view, buried away. Such may well prove to be the case for these Book of Mormon cities. 

 

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18 hours ago, pogi said:

Any evidence of a potential volcanic event around that time, causing a mist of darkness?

A couple things to consider. The account was retold by Mormon as late as 385 AD. He says he is working from the account "of a just man". But what strikes me as odd is that Mormon seems to be questioning the dating of the record. He says "if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the thirty and third year had passed away". He doesn't sound very confident that the date is correct. We don't know much about this record, and the account of all this destruction, that Mormon has abridged. We are left to assume the dating is accurate. 

So rather than assume, let's look at other records of natural disasters that also (allegedly) date to the Book of Mormon time period.

Book of Mormon: Claiming a Date Between 34 AD and 385 AD

There arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. 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. And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. And the city of Zarahemla did take fire. And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned. And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

Pustaka Raja: Claiming a Date of 416 AD

The whole world was greatly shaken and violent thunder accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only this heavy rain extinguishes the eruption of the fire of the mountain but augmented the fire. The noise was fearful, at last the mountain with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deep of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Basa, was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern the Sunda country to the mountain Raja Basa were drowned and swept away with all property. 

Pretty similar accounts amirite?

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10 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

How?  He would have been relying on records written by others.  If those records were accurate then Mormon had good information.  If there were errors, estimates, or assumptions based on fragmentary, incomplete or written well after the fact accounts then that is what Mormon would have had to work with.

Because he would have known the Book of Mormon geography and general location of these cities.  He would have known if the entire "land nothrward" was completely destroyed, or if cities much older than 300 years still survived in the area without damage.  It would have been corroborated to some degree in legend and writings also.  

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25 minutes ago, pogi said:

This could be a possible explanation. However the book was abridged by Mormon some 300 + years later.  That is enough time for the description of these events in surrounding areas to be verified.  Mormon would have known if the City of Morinihah was not really covered by a great mountain, or if the land Northward truly was not completely devastated in A.D 33-34.

 

El_Chich%C3%B3n.jpg

 

This is El_Chichón 7 months after its 1982 eruption that obliterated 9 villages... 40 years later and it's covered in jungle.

From wikipedia

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1982 eruption[edit]

The 1982 eruption of El Chichón is the largest volcanic disaster in modern Mexican history.[2] The powerful 1982 explosive eruptions of high-sulfur, anhydrite-bearing magma destroyed the summit lava dome and were accompanied by pyroclastic flows and surges that devastated an area extending about 8 km around the volcano.[4] A total of 9 villages were completely destroyed, killing 1,900 people.[2] A new 1-km-wide, 300-m-deep crater was created that now contains an acidic crater lake.[4] The landscape was covered in ash up to 40 cm in depth.[4] Over 24,000 km2 of countryside was affected,[4] devastating coffee, cocoa, banana crops, and cattle ranches. The eruption caused natural dams to form along the Rio Magdalena river, inducing lahars, which destroyed key infrastructure.

One of its earlier eruptions may have been the trigger event that sunk the Maya's into a dark age. This is just one of the Active volcanoes in Chiappas (potentially Zarahemla) 

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35 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

A couple things to consider. The account was retold by Mormon as late as 385 AD. He says he is working from the account "of a just man". But what strikes me as odd is that Mormon seems to be questioning the dating of the record. He says "if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the thirty and third year had passed away". He doesn't sound very confident that the date is correct. We don't know much about this record, and the account of all this destruction, that Mormon has abridged. We are left to assume the dating is accurate. 

So rather than assume, let's look at other records of natural disasters that also (allegedly) date to the Book of Mormon time period.

Book of Mormon: Claiming a Date Between 34 AD and 385 AD

There arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land. 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. And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. And the city of Zarahemla did take fire. And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned. And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

Pustaka Raja: Claiming a Date of 416 AD

The whole world was greatly shaken and violent thunder accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only this heavy rain extinguishes the eruption of the fire of the mountain but augmented the fire. The noise was fearful, at last the mountain with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deep of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Basa, was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern the Sunda country to the mountain Raja Basa were drowned and swept away with all property. 

Pretty similar accounts amirite?

Except this event was prophesied in multiple places in the Book of Mormon to occur at the time of the death of the Savior.  So, we know today that 33-34 A.D. would have to be a fairly accurate account.  416 AD is way too late. 

Edited by pogi
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14 minutes ago, pogi said:

Because he would have known the Book of Mormon geography and general location of these cities.  He would have known if the entire "land nothrward" was completely destroyed, or if cities much older than 300 years still survived in the area without damage.  It would have been corroborated to some degree in legend and writings also.  

I'm not sure how he would have know these things.  How would he have known if a city had been damaged 300 years in the past?  Are you aware of cities in your area that were or were not damaged 300 years ago? 

Mormon's information was only as good as his sources. 

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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Except this event was prophesied in multiple places in the Book of Mormon to occur at the time of the death of the Savior.  So, we know today that 33-34 A.D. would have to be a fairly accurate account.  416 AD is way too late. 

Yes, different events but very similar descriptions. Goes to show that the events described in 3 Nephi 8 are not unlike other events described in roughly the same time period.

I keep hearing critics say, the destruction described in 3 Nephi is ridiculous and there's no way it could be historical. This is obviously not true because the historical eruption of Krakatoa in 416 was described using very similar language.

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2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

Are you aware of cities in your area that were or were not damaged 300 years ago? 

Teepees are fairly resilient in earthquakes, I would imagine :) 

Everything in the land northward was destroyed, not just damaged.  There shouldn't be any well preserved ruins older than 33-34 A.D. in any model in that area. 

There is this account from the people of Moronihah:

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25 And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah. And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible.

We also have to consider the accounts in 3 Nephi 8 to be accurate and not embellished significantly if we are to believe the prophecies about it:

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1 Nephi 12:

4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.

5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.

6 And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them.

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1 Nephi 19:

11 For thus spake the prophet: The Lord God surely shall visit all the house of Israel at that day...with the thunderings and the lightnings of his power, by tempest, by fire, and by smoke, and vapor of darkness, and by the opening of the earth, and by mountains which shall be carried up.

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2 Nephi 26:

3 And after the Messiah shall come there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish; and they perish because they cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them; wherefore the cry of the blood of the saints shall ascend up to God from the ground against them.

4 Wherefore, all those who are proud, and that do wickedly, the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, for they shall be as stubble.

5 And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them, and whirlwinds shall carry them away, and buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.

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But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.

Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate. (Hel 14:20–24)

Furthermore, not only do we have prophecies of what would happen, and we have the accounts of Nephi of what actually happened, but importantly we have the voice of the Lord verifying the account of the destruction in chapter 9.  The voice of the Lord actually verifies the fate of the city of Moronihah:

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3 Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I aburned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof.

4 And behold, that great city Moroni have I caused to be asunk in the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof to be drowned.

5 And behold, that great city aMoronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them.

6 And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth;

7 Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of aJerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and bwaters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the cblood of the prophets and the saints shall dnot come up any more unto me against them.

8 And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, and made ahills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I bburied up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up any more unto me against them.

9 And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their awickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their bsecret murders and combinations; for it was they that did cdestroy the peace of my people and the government of the land; therefore I did cause them to be burned, to ddestroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.

10 And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.

11 And because they did cast them all out, that there were none righteous among them, I did send down afire and destroy them, that their wickedness and abominations might be hid from before my bface, that the blood of the prophets and the saints whom I sent among them might not cry unto me cfrom the ground against them.

12 And amany great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.

As you can see, unless we discount prophecy prior to 3 Nephi 8, and the voice of the Lord after 3 Nephi 8, we have to accept the account in 3 Nephi 8 to be a fairly accurate description of events. 

Edited by pogi
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22 minutes ago, pogi said:

Except this event was prophesied in multiple places in the Book of Mormon beforehand to occur at the time of the death of the Savior.  So, the 34 A.D. would have to be fairly accurate account.  416 AD is way too late. 

Here is the one in the "land southward" regions. It popped in the right time frame.

 

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Tacaná is the first of hundreds of volcanoes in a 1,500 km (930 mi) km row, arranged NW to SE, parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast of Central America, known as the Central America Volcanic Arc, formed by an active subduction zone along the western boundary of the Caribbean Plate.

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Mild phreatic eruptions of Tacaná took place in historical times. Its most powerful known explosive activity, which included pyroclastic flows, occurred at about 70 AD (± 100 years). That large explosion has resulted in Tacaná being classified with a volcanic explosivity index of 4 by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Global Volcanism Program.[4]

In the "land northward" we have a number of candidates. Popocatépetl popped explosively at around that time:

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and buried the nearby village of Tetimpa, preserving evidence of preclassical culture.[18]

Also of note relating to Popocatépetl in a similar time frame:

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Mid-to late first century: A violent VEI-6 eruption may have caused the large migrations that settled Teotihuacan, according to DNA analysis of teeth and bones.[21]

 

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28 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Yes, different events but very similar descriptions. Goes to show that the events described in 3 Nephi 8 are not unlike other events described in roughly the same time period.

I keep hearing critics say, the destruction described in 3 Nephi is ridiculous and there's no way it could be historical. This is obviously not true because the historical eruption of Krakatoa in 416 was described using very similar language.

Is there evidence of a plurality of mountains being laid low and other mountains being elevated from this one eruption however?  I don't know if there is any event in history that I know of which describes "great mountains" being created in 3 hours. 

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Just as an aside, Pilot records a blood moon at the death of Christ. The new testament records an earthquake and darkness at and around the crucifixion. During eclipses the tidal pull on the earth including the crust is greatest and so there is some correlation between eclipses and earthquakes etc. Plates build up pressure along faults and that little extra tug can be the last straw that causes those faults to rupture. The extra seismic activity can also trigger eruptions. These events which often occur at random based on the "readiness" of their environment can become synchronised if they are under sufficient strain and such a triggering event occurs. It's not impossible for there to have been seismic plate activity and synchronised eruptions in mesoamerica. It is at similar latitude to Jerusalem where the eclipse was observable just on the opposite side of the world.

Based on astronomical calculations (which are exact) the eclipse started at around 3pm Jerusalem time, at the time of the Saviours giving up the ghost. This was still daytime but by the time the sky darkened the moon from Jerusalem's vantage point was already red. The tidal bulge of the earth affects the side facing the sun and moon as well as the opposite side or in this case the Americas etc. Seismic events were triggered in the late afternoon in the middle east and the morning in the America's. 

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5 hours ago, pogi said:

So you are suggesting that all the current models are wrong?  Too large likely?

No, but a "small model" would remove bias for evidence of larger scale events that prevents consideration of a fuller spectrum and complexity of evidence that includes smaller scale events. Both models would be useful.

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21 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

There is Mayan ruins at the bottom of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The city is called Samabaj.

Guatemala.  Hmm.  Interesting.

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21 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

There is a sunken city off the coast in Mexico.  It’s a big tourist attraction.  It’s near Cozumel. 

Cozumel.  Hmm.  Interesting.  North of Guatemala.

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20 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Lawyers are renowned for their geological and archeological skills, Tacenda .

I personally walked through most of Guatemala City. In it there are massive splits in the earth with steep sides and very deep. People live all the way down inside the Barrancos and it is a very dangerous place to venture. I wonder how those steep ravines got there. It's like the earth just opened up. Google earth mapping should help show the scene. 

I also visited the site of an abandoned hotel built on a cliff overlooking a dead black cone of a volcano that arose in a farmer's field. It just started one day and kept going for years so some enterprising guy decided that it would be a great tourist spot so he built a hotel across the valley from it. Shortly after the hotel was built , the volcano stopped erupting. OOPS!! 

I can testify that Central America is , let's just say, unstable.

Guatemala, again.  Hmm.  Interesting. And I don't even know that area very well. I just had a thought recently when thinking about where the center of activity might have been for a while for the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

A thought that was accompanied by just a little whisper.  Saying "Guatemala"

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20 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Lawyers are renowned for their geological and archeological skills, Tacenda .

I personally walked through most of Guatemala City. In it there are massive splits in the earth with steep sides and very deep. People live all the way down inside the Barrancos and it is a very dangerous place to venture. I wonder how those steep ravines got there. It's like the earth just opened up. Google earth mapping should help show the scene. 

I also visited the site of an abandoned hotel built on a cliff overlooking a dead black cone of a volcano that arose in a farmer's field. It just started one day and kept going for years so some enterprising guy decided that it would be a great tourist spot so he built a hotel across the valley from it. Shortly after the hotel was built , the volcano stopped erupting. OOPS!! 

I can testify that Central America is , let's just say, unstable.

Sounds plausible. 

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48 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Guatemala, again.  Hmm.  Interesting. And I don't even know that area very well. I just had a thought recently when thinking about where the center of activity might have been for a while for the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

A thought that was accompanied by just a little whisper.  Saying "Guatemala"

When we sailed by Guatemala at night we could see the flames and smell a volcano cooking. It was spooky. We went by about 15-20 miles offshore. 

Another interesting thing is we are at a marina in Chiapas and I was playing around with that meeting house locator and there are  hundreds of LDS Wards on the Guatemala side of the Border. There was only two or three on our side of the Border in Mexico.

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I think I may actually envy that sailing lifestyle you are living.  I thought about living that way when I was younger and may eventually get around to it sometime before I die.  That is definitely an area of America I would like to explore.

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5 hours ago, pogi said:

Is there evidence of a plurality of mountains being laid low and other mountains being elevated from this one eruption however?  I don't know if there is any event in history that I know of which describes "great mountains" being created in 3 hours. 

I'm not arguing that the events in 3 Nephi 8 happened as described. I'm suggesting that the events were later described as many similar events in history were recorded ... exaggerated.

In other words, looking for a geography where multiple mountains popped up overnight will be about as fruitful as looking for evidence of the cracked tombs from which the reanimated copses of resurrected saints returned to Jerusalem.

If we're looking for the geography where 3rd Nephi was written, I don't think we'll get very far looking for evidence of great mountains that were created in 3 hours. The Bible is still an ancient text of historical value even if we never find the pillar of salt that was once Lot's wife or the frame of a boat so big it could hold two of every land-dwelling animal in the world.  

But this also doesn't mean that massive topographical changes aren't possible. The Book of Mormon geography I propose was, according to one historian, completely transformed by seismic activity:

Ba Phnom was identified to be the capital of Funan and was part of a group of islands that form Funan when it was submerged. I-tsing' s comment confirms the drying of Funan that, according to the Khmer tradition, was done through the divine manifestation of the Naga King. Superstitious as it may be, the topological change of this magnitude could not be the work of a human being. It was in high probability the eruption of Krakatoa, the volcano of the southern Indonesia archipelago that carried on the work of Naga King. Needless to say, other lowland basins were also formed at the same time allowing mass development of new Kamara communities along the deltas of the Menam and the Irrawadi Valleys. That was when Chinese historians recorded the sprung up of [Kamara] culture spreading all around Southeast Asia. 

What's interesting is that the rise of this Kamara culture happens immediately after a period of mass destruction that altered the landscape in significant ways. As we know, the Book of Mormon also records the rise of a new culture immediately following the destruction of 3 Nephi. This is another thing most Book of Mormon geographies ignore. Where in the world did an advanced culture thrive without any wars or conflict between 34 AD and 200 AD? 

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