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3 Nephi 8


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7 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Although I'm not convinced 3 Nephi 8 is accurate history, an alternative explanation could be the devastation caused by a comet strike in the ocean. Such an event wouldn't be so easy to identify and could completely transform a wide swath of geography in a matter of hours. There's an example of this in the Indian Ocean:

...even on a much smaller scale! :)

 

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On 8/23/2020 at 3:55 AM, pogi said:

Do you mean any workable model should not include mountains like we find in mesoAmerica, because those are too big and couldn’t realistically be raised up in 3 hours.   

 

 

Thrust faulting could easily do it in that short time frame and is common at colliding plate boundaries. The destruction described is not limited to that from volcanoes. A great earthquake is also described in 3 Nephi 8. True it is that volcanoes do cause earthquakes but by far the largest earthquakes are from fault ruptures along tectonic plate boundaries.

 

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440px-Eje_Neovolc%C3%A1nico_Mexico.jpg

The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is the result of such a tectonic plate collision and plate subduction. This subduction and subsequent melting fuels the many volcanoes in this area as well as generating well recorded powerful earthquakes.

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Plain Language Summary

The subduction of an oceanic plate results in the creation of a volcanic arc that is normally parallel to the coastline, where the subduction process takes place. In the case of the Trans‐Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB), its orientation is unique: It is oblique to the subduction zone to the south. Also, many active geological faults are distributed throughout the volcanic belt. The presence of these faults suggests that the TMVB is geologically active and under continuous deformation, albeit at a slow rate. Earthquakes are rarely recorded in the TMVB. However, in the last 500 years of written history, there is clear evidence of very large earthquakes that occurred on these faults. Some of these earthquakes are apparently as large as magnitude 7.3. During the past five centuries, at least seven earthquakes larger than magnitude 6.5 have taken place in these shallow geological faults in the crust of the TMVB. The presence of these earthquakes is evidence that the TMVB is under extension, in a manner which is not observed in other volcanic arcs. These earthquakes also occur near the more important population centers, posing an important seismic hazard that frequently is not taken into account.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019TC005601

The Land northward is described as being found thereafter in crack and seams... exactly what would be expected from what geologists described thus... "these faults suggests that the TMVB is geologically active and under continuous deformation, albeit at a slow rate." The slow rate indicates that there are long intervals where nothing happens but when it does happen its big and landscape altering... The longer the interval of dormancy the more massive the equilibrium breaching event is and the more massive and widespread the landscape alteration. The account in 3 Nephi 8 is a huge bullseye, since it describes the radical and lasting change that occurred rapidly in exactly the region that such an event can occur and its effects would be most visible.

A massive fault rupture and resultant earthquake could easily cause volcanoes building pressure in the surrounding regions to erupt simultaneously, providing the other features of the event very accurately described.

 

"Cracks and seams" following earthquakes.

Earthquake_fissures_on_the_road_after_Gr

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The time spans between quakes in this area can be very large and consequently surprise inhabitants. It's not like California, where quakes are an expected hazard and part of everyday life.

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/history-and-civilisation/2019/10/ancient-aztec-records-reveal-unknown-modern-earthquake-risk

Edited by gav
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On 8/23/2020 at 1:18 AM, Hamba Tuhan said:

How so?

Mostly because it doesn't fit the description of a mountain being "carried up".  Also because the description of a great mountain sounds hyperbolic to me.  I would never call the pile from a large landslide a "great mountain", unless I was being hyperbolic.  Relative to the mountain it came from, I don't see how it could be considered a great mountain.  

3 Nephi 8:

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10 And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

This also matches the description in 1 Nephi:

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...and by mountains which shall be carried up.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, gav said:

Thrust faulting could easily do it in that short time frame and is common at colliding plate boundaries.

I agree that thrust faulting fits the description well, but it couldn't cover a city in 3 hours.   That would be a movement of plates by at least several miles in a matter of 3 hours. 

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The majority of the research shows that the plates move at the average rate of between approximately 0.60 cm/yr to 10 cm/yr. Some sources state that in the North Atlantic, the rate of movement is only about 1 cm (about 0.4 in) per year, while in the Pacific it amounts to more than 4 cm (almost 2 in) annually, while others say that plates, in general, travel from 5 to 10 cm/yr.

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/grocha/plates/platetec21.htm

 

Edited by pogi
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4 hours ago, pogi said:

I agree that thrust faulting fits the description well, but it couldn't cover a city in 3 hours.   That would be a movement of plates by at least several miles in a matter of 3 hours. 

 

 

4 hours ago, pogi said:
On 8/23/2020 at 8:48 PM, gav said:

Thrust faulting could easily do it in that short time frame and is common at colliding plate boundaries.

I agree that thrust faulting fits the description well, but it couldn't cover a city in 3 hours.   That would be a movement of plates by at least several miles in a matter of 3 hours. 

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The majority of the research shows that the plates move at the average rate of between approximately 0.60 cm/yr to 10 cm/yr. Some sources state that in the North Atlantic, the rate of movement is only about 1 cm (about 0.4 in) per year, while in the Pacific it amounts to more than 4 cm (almost 2 in) annually, while others say that plates, in general, travel from 5 to 10 cm/yr.

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/grocha/plates/platetec21.htm

That is the average that plates move over time, but they don't gradually and constantly creep. They get jammed for decades, even centuries and then finally somethings gotta give. That is when you get "the big one". The longer the interval that they are stuck the larger the resulting earthquake eventually is. The plates, especially in this continental crust setting are deep below the surface. This may translate to significantly greater lateral or vertical movement at the surface.

Below is a quote from the wikipedia page for the 2004 Indonesian quake and tsunami, admittedly a very large quake but it does illustrate the kinds of displacements, forces and speeds involved.

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The slip did not happen instantaneously but took place in two phases over several minutes: Seismographic and acoustic data indicate that the first phase involved a rupture about 400 km (250 mi) long and 100 km (60 mi) wide, 30 km (19 mi) beneath the sea bed—the largest rupture ever known to have been caused by an earthquake. The rupture proceeded at about 2.8 km/s (1.7 mi/s; 10,000 km/h; 6,300 mph), beginning off the coast of Aceh and proceeding north-westerly over about 100 seconds. After a pause of about another 100 seconds, the rupture continued northwards towards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The northern rupture occurred more slowly than in the south, at about 2.1 km/s (1.3 mi/s; 7,600 km/h; 4,700 mph), continuing north for another five minutes to a plate boundary where the fault type changes from subduction to strike-slip (the two plates slide past one another in opposite directions).

The Indian Plate is part of the great Indo-Australian Plate, which underlies the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and is moving north-east at an average of 60 mm/a (2.4 in/year).

Just as that earthquake resulted in the displacement of incredible amounts of water that resulted in tsunami affecting the entire Indian ocean, so massive amplified upheavals can result from even small displacements occurring deep below the surface.

To quote the earlier study again: "In the case of the Trans‐Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB), its orientation is unique: It is oblique to the subduction zone to the south. Also, many active geological faults are distributed throughout the volcanic belt.

It is not as well studied and understood at this stage since it is not very active, obscured by deep soils and jungle and rather unique. There is a history of very large earthquakes in recent times with long periods of quiet. When active faults cross each other or otherwise interact the localised effects are further amplified.

It really isn't possible to rule out seismic upheavals that could bury an ancient city and leave a mountain in its place in this region.

 

 

Edited by gav
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4 hours ago, pogi said:

Mostly because it doesn't fit the description of a mountain being "carried up

Is this an eyewitness account or an after the fact description?  If all or most witnesses were killed as might easily happen in a disaster of that type, it may be a report from those afterwards trying to figure out what happened from what they see afterwards.  
 

And there is the simplified language issue of the Book of Mormon with the always present problem of translation words often being approximately what the original words mean.  Is the “carried up” originally more poetic than literal, for example.

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

but it couldn't cover a city

How big are you thinking these cities would be? (Remembering the word cities is probably used for anything above the size of a simple settlement given how words are used in the BoM)

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

Mostly because it doesn't fit the description of a mountain being "carried up".  Also because the description of a great mountain sounds hyperbolic to me.  I would never call the pile from a large landslide a "great mountain", unless I was being hyperbolic.  Relative to the mountain it came from, I don't see how it could be considered a great mountain.  

3 Nephi 8:

This also matches the description in 1 Nephi:

 

mountains are often the result of tectonic plates that have collided, forcing one of the plates up.  if and when the plate moves up, the mountain moves up.  and if there is a city on that mountain, the city can be covered.

and when there are people living in a city that gets covered by a mountain, some people can die from that. it has happened before.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gav said:

It really isn't possible to rule out seismic upheavals that could bury an ancient city and leave a mountain in its place in this region.

I don't think you could find 1 geologist that would support that theory of a plate subducting several miles under another withing a period of 3 hours.  Yes, large seismic events can happen.  A large convergent event could lead to several inches of height gain in a mountain from one giant quake.  Entire land plates simply do not move miles underneath another in hours.  

Edited by pogi
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36 minutes ago, Calm said:

How big are you thinking these cities would be? (Remembering the word cities is probably used for anything above the size of a simple settlement given how words are used in the BoM)

Even if it was a small settlement of 100 people, I still don't think that convergent plate tectonics can account for it.  Even a 100 yard subduction of plates in 3 hours couldn't be accounted for in geology.

Moronihah was described as a "great city" in 2 different places.  One was from the voice of the Lord.  I would suppose it to be of fairly considerable notoriety and size to be considered "great" by the Lord and others.   

 

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23 minutes ago, pogi said:

Even if it was a small settlement of 100 people, I still don't think that convergent plate tectonics can account for it.  Even a 100 yard subduction of plates in 3 hours couldn't be accounted for in geology.

Moronihah was described as a "great city" in 2 different places.  One was from the voice of the Lord.  I would suppose it to be of fairly considerable notoriety and size to be considered "great" by the Lord and others.   

 

So I suppose you are not imagining a tectonic plate movement like this: 

 

 

Edited by Ahab
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9 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't think you could find 1 geologist that would support that theory of a plate subducting several miles under another withing a period of 3 hours.  Yes, large seismic events can happen.  A large convergent event could lead to several inches of height gain in a mountain from one giant quake.  Entire land plates simply do not move miles underneath another in hours.  

I'm trying to be respectful so I must ask. Why do you feel the need to advocate for this position when geomorphology is clearly not your field?

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8 hours ago, gav said:

I'm trying to be respectful so I must ask. Why do you feel the need to advocate for this position when geomorphology is clearly not your field?

I am not advocating for any position.  I simply have a question that has long caused me to go “hmmm”.  The best answer to me so far is that he used hyperbole, but then I have to accept that prophecy and revelation can be hyperbolic too - Something I have never considered.
I guess I could ask the same to you though.  Why do you feel the need to advocate for this position when it is clearly not your field either?

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Things can change rapidly. The 1906 earthquake in San Francisco caused a ten foot separation in the land in a matter of minutes. 
None of us are apparently geologists, so we’re all talking through our hats.

Who knows what could happen in three hours?

A lot. With God, all things are possible. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, alter idem said:

I don't know about that.  It seems in my reading that the Lord is acknowledging the destruction, but I don't think he's concerned with clarifying the extent or trying to be exact. 

Isn't that the definition of hyperbole?  It is not concerned about trying to be exact, but is an exaggerated description of events.  For example, if the prophecies which stated "mountains shall cover them", "mountains shall be carried up", "...which shall become mountains, whose height is great"  isn't an accurate description of events - in reality there were land slides and lava flows - isn't that hyperbole?  It is interesting how many different places in the BoM are very specific about mentioning mountains being raised up, however (1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Helaman, and 3 Nephi).  It is kind of hard to dismiss as a general description of destruction, when it is specifically mentioned in so many different places and by different prophets. 

Either it happened as described, or it is hyperbole.  I don't see any other options. 

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One of the examples of of Mormon's writing style is Mormon 1:7  "The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.'  In this instance, I think it's safe to assume that there were lots of buildings and lots of people.

Exactly!  That is a great example of hyperbole.  I don't understand what you are disagreeing with exactly. 

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, pogi said:

Isn't that the definition of hyperbole? 

The description could be also more of a vagueness or using a poetic description rather than precision. Hyperbole is exaggeration and while poetry tends to emphasize certain aspects over others, it may or may not exaggerate.

Edited by Calm
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8 minutes ago, Calm said:

The description could be also more of a vagueness or using a poetic description rather than precision. Hyperbole is exaggeration and while poetry tends to emphasize certain aspects over others, it may or may not exaggerate.

What could "mountains of great height" be vaguely referring to without exaggerating the actual event, if it is not referring to a mountain of great height to describe the destruction?

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

Either it happened as described, or it is hyperbole.  I don't see any other options. 

Rather than hyperbole, I think a more thorough description would be it either a literal (as in more scientific, factual, or objective) descrIption or it is a more symbolic (as in poetic or using ritualistic language) description or it has elements of both that we may not be able to tell the difference between as we are less familiar with their literary conventions. 

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

What could "mountains of great height" be vaguely referring to without exaggerating the actual event, if it is not referring to a mountain of great height to describe the destruction?

I think hyperbole is certainly a possibility, especially of a phrase like that, but the purpose might be more symbolic or ritual than to exaggerate.  The choice of phrasing made be tied to sacred language.  A sacred mountain may be described as greater than others in its attributes when that is not scientifically true. 

Edited by Calm
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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think hyperbole is certainly a possibility, especially of a phrase like that, but the purpose might be more symbolic or ritual than to exaggerate.  The choice of phrasing made be tied to sacred language.  A sacred mountain may be described as greater than others in its attributes when that is not scientifically true. 

I think hyperbole is the best explanation, but I'm still not totally satisfied with it.  For example:

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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.

If the underlined part isn't hyperbole, I don't know what is.  

Prophecies can be hyperbolic, as exemplified here.  The difficulty is in deciphering what is hyperbole and what is a description of actual events.  With so many mentions of "mountains" from so many different prophets, it is hard to dismiss it as symbolic for something else, especially considering how hyperbole is used in the above description of events.  It is clear, even with the use of hyperbole, what actually happened.  The description is of buildings falling on people and killing them. The hyperbole doesn't distract from that factual event, it simply exaggerates it a little.  

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and grind them to powder.

I would not be surprised if this was originally meant to be a reference to dust rather than powder in the sense that God created man from dust and now because of their wickedness returns them to it. Or it could be hyperbole with the purpose to emphasizing those who sin against the Lord end up as less than the sands of the sea, powder that disappears as a wind scatters it. 
 

I think the way God talks to us is often very simple and matter of fact, but the way we share that message with others may end up filled with complicated phrasing of symbolic, sacred language because of trying to convey the sense of the experience along with the info.  I don’t think that makes the language untrue or not faithful to what God actually said. It is simply that the truth trying to be conveyed is more than the words. 
 

The intended sacred nature of scripture language feels to me to be degraded by using a term like hyperbole or exaggeration which fits more with boasting for me than sacred language. 
 

Long time ago I remember reading about a sacred mountain when I was studying mythology. I remember the mountain being described by the writer as not that memorable or special. The only thing unusual about it was that it had been identified with divinity. However, the religious description of the mountain was quite the opposite. I can’t remember if it was actually described as standing above its neighbours, but that is the feel of it that is in my memory. Unfortunately we are talking about something I read most likely in my mid teens and while the general info impressed me enough to stick in my head, the name did not...though I think it likely Japan or Greece as the two places I studied the most. 

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I would not be surprised if this was originally meant to be a reference to dust rather than powder in the sense that God created man from dust and now because of their wickedness returns them to it. Or it could be hyperbole with the purpose to emphasizing those who sin against the Lord end up as less than the sands of the sea, powder that disappears as a wind scatters it. 
 

I think the way God talks to us is often very simple and matter of fact, but the way we share that message with others may end up filled with complicated phrasing of symbolic, sacred language because of trying to convey the sense of the experience along with the info.  I don’t think that makes the language untrue or not faithful to what God actually said. It is simply that the truth trying to be conveyed is more than the words. 
 

The intended sacred nature of scripture language feels to me to be degraded by using a term like hyperbole or exaggeration which fits more with boasting for me than sacred language. 
 

Long time ago I remember reading about a sacred mountain when I was studying mythology. I remember the mountain being described by the writer as not that memorable or special. The only thing unusual about it was that it had been identified with divinity. However, the religious description of the mountain was quite the opposite. I can’t remember if it was actually described as standing above its neighbours, but that is the feel of it that is in my memory. Unfortunately we are talking about something I read most likely in my mid teens and while the general info impressed me enough to stick in my head, the name did not...though I think it likely Japan or Greece as the two places I studied the most. 

That's a good point. The experience of transcendence, by nature, transcends the conventional situations for which language is employed. Language fails to describe it, so it makes sense that we would inflate our language with regard to sacred things, not out of a desire to boast but a desire to appropriately capture and represent the sacred and transcendent nature of what we're discussing. 

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18 hours ago, pogi said:
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One of the examples of of Mormon's writing style is Mormon 1:7  "The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.'  In this instance, I think it's safe to assume that there were lots of buildings and lots of people.

Exactly!  That is a great example of hyperbole.  I don't understand what you are disagreeing with exactly. 

Through a 21st century lens it is hyperbole. In antiquity it is a standard writing or recording style, the world was much smaller then. Events were experienced and described differently than today. The global perspective that we grow up with and take for granted is a very new thing.

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