Book of Mormon
Week 24: The Nephite ministry of Jesus Christ, part 1
3 Nephi 8–18
21 April 2016
Additional reading and links
The great destructions and thick darkness in the Book of Mormon lands described in 3 Nephi 8 have all the indications of intense volcanic activity. Several LDS scientists have written about this, including:
- “KnoWhy #197: What Caused The Darkness And Destruction In The 34th Year?,” Book of Mormon Central, last modified 28 September 2016.
- James L. Baer, “The Third Nephi Disaster: A Geological View,” Dialogue 19, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 129–32.
- Russell H. Ball, “An Hypothesis concerning the Three Days of Darkness among the Nephites,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 2, no. 1 (1993): 107–23.
- Bart J. Kowallis, “In the Thirty and Fourth Year: A Geologist’s View of the Great Destruction in 3 Nephi,” BYU Studies 37, no. 3 (1997–98): 136–90.
- Benjamin R. Jordan, “‘Many Great and Notable Cities Were Sunk’: Liquefaction in the Book of Mormon,” BYU Studies 38, no. 3 (1999): 119–22.
- John L. Sorenson, “The Submergence of the City of Jerusalem in the Land of Nephi,” Insights 22, no. 4 (2002): 2–3.
On 21 May 2011, the Grímsvötn volcano on Iceland erupted, filling the air with ash so dense it completely blocked out all light in the nearby town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. This video, taken at noon the next day, shows how thick the cloud was. This event closely matches the Book of Mormon’s description of “the vapor of smoke and of darkness” (3 Nephi 8:20–22; 10:13) which enveloped the Nephite lands.