EARTHQUAKES AND DARK DAYS IN CANADA, AND THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

 Region of the Book of Mormon

Earthquakes in Cananda and Northeastern US

Seismic Activity in the Northeastern United States and Canada from 1924 to 1999

“And I looked and beheld the land of promise…and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent…and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up…” (1 Nephi 12:4)

Although seismologists have not unanimously settled on an answer for why there are earthquakes between the Great Lakes and the East Coast, the fact is this region of plains, hills, mountains and inland seas is seismically active. U. S. Geological Survey data, plotted above, shows magnitude 3.0 (smallest dot) to 6.6 (largest dot) quakes, spanning the years 1924 to 1999. A magnitude 6.0 is considered a strong quake. See "Why Does the Earth Quake in New England? The Science of Unexpected Earthquakes", by Alan L. Kafka, Ph.D., Weston Observatory, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Boston College, Revised, January 3, 2004.

Contrary to the seismic facts, the following assertion recently appeared in an article published in Interpreter:

"One example of Bayesian “strong” evidence is the remarkable detailed description of a volcanic eruption and associated earthquakes given in 3 Nephi 8. Mesoamerica is earthquake and volcano country, but upstate New York, where the Book of Mormon came forth is not. If the Book of Mormon is fictional, how could the writer of the Book of Mormon correctly describe a volcanic eruption and earthquakes from the viewpoint of the person experiencing the event? ... We assume a piece of evidence is “unusual” if it gives facts that very probably were not known to the writer, someone living in upstate New York in the early 19th century, when virtually nothing of ancient Mesoamerica was known." ("JOSEPH SMITH: THE WORLDS GREATEST GUESSER (A BAYESIAN STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF POSITITVE AND NEGATIVE CORRESPONDENCES BETWEEN THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE MAYA", Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale, Interpreter, A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, 32 (2019), 5/65)

The distinguished doctors Dale give the reader the impression that the Book of Mormon describes in detail a volcanic eruption with associated seismic activity.  Though sincere, the Dales' assertion is presumptuously false, and misleading. Unlike John Lloyd Stephens' 1841 bestseller, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán, the Book of Mormon (1830) nowhere explicitly mentions volcanoes, or volcanic eruptions.  There are ground shakings to be sure, described in the book, and episodes of divinely instigated cloudiness, even apart from 3 Nephi 8 (consider Mosiah 27:11, Alma 14:26-29, Helaman 5:23-49, 3 Nephi 18:38, Ether 2:4-5; 14), but no mention of a volcano, or even an indigenous description of one like "mountain of fire". That's a little strange, don't you think, for a literary work presumably set in ancient Mexico / Mesoamerica?

Its true, of course, that there are no active volcanoes in upstate New York, where the Book of Mormon came forth, where scriptural Cumorah resides (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 128:20), or in the New England area, or in broader mound builder country of Joseph Smith's travels. "If the Book of Mormon is fictional," interject the distinguished doctors, "how could the writer of the Book of Mormon correctly describe a volcanic eruption and earthquakes from the viewpoint of the person experiencing the event?" Answer: Fictional or not, the Book of Mormon probably does not describe a volcanic eruption.

If not a volcanic eruption, what then does the book describe when it mentions earthquakes and days of darkness?

Lets turn to 3 Nephi 8 where we find that the "great and terrible day" began not with rumblings, tremors, and mention of an awakening fire mountain, but with "a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land." (3 Nephi 8:5) There was "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 was exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. And the city of Zarahemla did take fire." (3 Nephi 8:6-8)

Great inundations (reference to a "sea" can mean an inland body of water), and upheavals followed. The "quakings of the earth" continued - some of which were the result of thunder. There came "whirlwinds" that carried people away (tornadoes occur most frequently in temperate North America, including western NY). Change and deformation of the land was attributed to tempest and whirlwind, thunder and lightning, and finally earthquake - in that order. (3 Nephi 8:9-19) To a lesser degree, all of these destructive agents have separately visited western New York in recent history, including town destroying floods. (3 Nephi 9:7)

Then came three days of appalling darkness. There is no explicit description of volcanic ash in the Book of Mormon. According to scripture, the two major contributors to the daytime darkness were "smoke" (from widespread fires, 3 Nephi 10:14), and "mists" (likely water vapor, steam, fog, blanketing cloud cover, 3 Nephi 8:22) as in New England's historic "Dark Day".

Joseph Smith Sr., the Prophet's father, was eight years old, living in New England, when the Dark Day occurred. The Prophet's New England mother, Lucy Mack Smith, was four years old at the time.

News of the 1780 Dark Day (which occurred during the American War of Independence; 1 Nephi 13:16-19, 30) no doubt reached other countries. We should consider the scriptural expression "foreign lands" to be relative. The Dark Day and numerous earthquakes of Olde New England, for instance, the 1755 Cape Ann earthquake, may therefore be seen to take part in fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy. (Mormon 8:29-30, consider also 1 Nephi 22:18, Acts 2:19, Joel 2:30, Judges 20:40)

What follows are excerpts on the topic of earthquakes and dark days, taken from CHOICE ABOVE ALL OTHER LANDS, by W. V. Coon, copyright 2008, e-book edition 2011:

Comparing the Book of Mormon with Veytia’s History of Ancient Mesoamerica

Ancient America Rediscovered1 (hereafter abbreviated A. A. R), a  translation of Don Mariano Veytia’s Historia Antigua de Mexico, gives an account of America’s ancient settlers who left from the Biblical Tower of Babel at the time of the confusion of tongues. Several items of native legend detailed in Veytia’s record, fortify ones’ testimony of the Book of Mormon and tacitly challenge the idea that Book of Mormon lands reside in Mexico and Central America.

 

No Loss of Life! 

Upon the Savior’s death, numerous earthquake fatalities occurred in Book of Mormon lands. In the first century A.D. an earthquake shook Mexico / Central America, but with no reported loss of human life!

Isaiah prophesied:

             

“Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of Hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” (Isaiah 29:6 (KJV), also 2 Nephi 27:2)

                                   

We read of terrible upheavals in Book of Mormon lands:

 

“And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month …there arose a great storm…

“…there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it were 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 sea…

“And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah…” (3 Nephi 8:5-10)

 

According to Don Veytia a tremendous earthquake shook Central America, presumably at the time of the Savior’s death. The natives recorded that “…an earthquake was felt as horrible as they had ever experienced, because the stones crashing against one another were broken into pieces, and the earth opened up in many parts…” (A. A. R, pg 148)

The Book of Mormon speaks of “rocks” rending (3 Nephi 10:9), and we learn that buildings burned and or fell, crushing their inhabitants. (3 Nephi 8:14; 10:13) Ancient peoples of northern America used rocks and boulders in some of their constructions. (Alma 48:8) Massive wall piles, made by “the mound builders”, can be seen in Ohio. (Henry Clyde Shetrone, The Mound Builders, “ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING”, Chapter III, pp 36-53)

Concerning the destruction of the wicked among his people, Nephi prophesied that, “…buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.” (2 Nephi 26:5, compare with Matthew 21:42-44, Luke 20:17-18) This does not mean that any of the buildings Nephi saw in vision were made of hewn stone.

 

Native NY Long House

 

Native American Long House - Western NY

 

Seneca Council House

 

 

Seneca Council House Marker

 

Restored Seneca Council House - Western NY (Alma 19:18)

 

The Messianic Kingdom, descending in crushing judgment, is likened to a rough, rolling stone. (Daniel 2:34) Samuel the Lamanite prophesied specifically of “rocks” being “broken up” and rending:

 

“…at the time that he shall yield up the ghost…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…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.” (Helaman 14:21-22, compare with Matthew 27:50-53)

  

The Lamanite prophet makes no mention of hewn stone structures tumbling to the ground. The Book of Mormon tells us specifically that the Nephites built “their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings” out of timber. (Helaman 3:9)

  

Mound Builder Type Wattle and Daub Dwelling

 

A Native American wattle and daub, “cement” house (alternative to timber) of a type made by the mound builders of North America. (Photo by H. Roe)

 

The most severe judgments came upon the covenant lands of the Book of Mormon. Numerous wicked and unrepentant souls perished as a consequence of the earth’s upheavals:

 

“And behold, that great city of Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face…

“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 hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face…” (3 Nephi 9:5, 8)

 

But there was a very different outcome to the Central American earthquake:

 

“…Confused and bewildered they believed that the end of the third age of the world had already arrived, which, according to the predictions of their wise men in Huehuetlapallan, should end in strong earthquakes, in whose violence many living people would perish, and mankind would suffer the third calamity; but the earthquake ceasing entirely and the sun once again being uncovered perfectly, everyone was found to be whole, without any living person having perished, and this caused them such great wonder that they noted it in their histories with singular care.” (A. A. R, pg 148)

 

Veytia’s account parallels the venerable Ixtlilxochitl:

             

“…the sun and the moon eclipsed, and the earth trembled, and the rocks broke, and many other things and signs took place, although there was no calamity whatever toward men. This happened in the year of ce Calli, which, adjusting this count with ours, comes to be at the same time when Christ our Lord suffered, and they say it happened during the first days of the year.” (Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, 1957, pg 190)

 

Compare this account with “the great and terrible destruction” that descended on all Book of Mormon lands. There the destruction and loss of life was truly widespread! As terrible as the destruction was in the land southward, “there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward…” (3 Nephi 8:11-12)

  

Stars Were Seen at Day

Three days of smoky, vaporous darkness covered Book of Mormon lands near the time of the Savior’s death. No light of any kind was seen! In Mexico / Central America, there was also an episode of darkness, but it was caused by an eclipse of the sun, during which the day became as night, and stars could be seen in the heavens.

As a sign of the Savior’s death, Samuel the Lamanite prophesied, “…the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light; 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.” (Helaman 14:20)

In Central America, presumably in the first century A.D. “…the sun was eclipsed at midday, the solar body being totally covered, such that the earth became darkened so much that the stars appeared and it seemed like night…” (A. A. R, pg 148)

In the Promised Land of Lehi terrible lightning set forests ablaze. Whole cities (built of timber) were “burned with fire…” The inhabitants were destroyed, “by fire and by smoke…” (3 Nephi 9:9-11; 10:13-14, also 2 Nephi 26:6) Mists of darkness blanketed Book of Mormon lands. For the space of three days, “…there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither sun, nor moon, nor the stars…” (3 Nephi 8:22)

The “vapor of smoke” that covered the face of the land is attributable, at least in part, to the burning of woodlands and cities. (1 Nephi 19:11; 22:18) A steamy fog may have also contributed to the “vapor” and “mists”. The moisture content of the fog could explain the difficulty some had kindling fire. (1 Nephi 12:1, 4-5, 3 Nephi 8:19-23) Dry wood taken out into a steamy atmosphere may not kindle even if the thick mist is laden with enough oxygen to support human respiration.

A verse from the prophet Isaiah, included in the Nephite record, reminds us that “…wickedness burneth as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forests, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened…” (2 Nephi 19:18-19, Isaiah 9:18-19. See also Mormon 8:29)

The Ancient Hebrew term translated “darkened” may mean “burned by heat”. It may also mean “clogged in speech” or “suffocated” due to the effects of fire. The image communicated by this interpretation of the Hebrew word is that of a thick, choking smoke covering the land. (עתם, “atam”, Brown – Driver – Briggs – Gesenius Hebrew - Aramaic Lexicon, 6272, pg 801)

It comes as no surprise that StephensIncidents of Travel in Central America notes volcanoes. But volcanoes are no where mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Firestorms are described, caused at least in part by lightning. Thus we read:

 

“And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.”

“And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.” (3 Nephi 8:7-8)

 

Of wicked cities burned in the great destruction, the LORD said, “…I did send down fire and destroy them…” (3 Nephi 9:11)

 

Air Burst

 

“... I would cause that fire should come down out of heaven ...” (Helaman 13:13)

 

Fire from heaven could mean lightning – it could also mean something else. Author Phyllis Carol Olive has found a reference to a Native American legend telling of a "blazing star" that "fell ...on the banks of the St. Lawrence, and destroyed the people." (Olive cites Henry R. Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, New York, 1846, pp 39-40)

A meteor or comet airburst, similar to the Tunguska Event of 1908, could in a single stroke, account for all of the diverse modes of destruction involved in the “great and terrible day”: fire from the sky, bright flashes and lightning, claps of thunder and rumbling, seismic shocks and aftershocks, strong gusts, “tempests”, "whirlwinds" (tornados), destructive waves, brush and forest fires, clouds of smoke and water vapor. Smaller (600 ton TNT equivalent) airbursts have been recorded over the Great Lakes region in recent history e.g. 1965, 66 and 67 and earlier.

A luminous “large meteor” was seen hurling over western New York in Joseph Smith’s day. “Its direction was northerly, and the explosion took place, probably, over the lake.” It “burst” with a “report” that shook houses. (“SPLENDID METEOR”, Times and Seasons, May 16, 1842, Vol. 3, No. 14, pg 784)

Gary L. Black, author of Unsolved History, Enigmatic Events, writes on the Tunguska event:

 

“The effects of the explosion were felt well beyond Siberia. The Seismic waves it generated were recorded all over Europe. The dust and smoke it sent up caused strange atmospheric effects for days afterward. As far away as Spain, people observed “remarkable lights” in the night sky. In London they were so bright that, even at midnight, “it was possible to read large print indoors.” (pg 46)

 

Could the night of “great lights” experience by Book of Mormon peoples at the Messiah’s birth have something to do with dispersed atmospheric particles from an earlier event? (Helaman 14:3-4, 3 Nephi 1:8, 12-19; see also History of the Quichés in Stephens’ Incidents of Travel in Central America. Vol. II, pg 173)

The LORD said,”…O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten by me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” (Isaiah 44:21-22, KJV. See also 3 Nephi 10:5)

We are informed that the "three days of darkness" was given as a sign "more especially" to the house of Israel inhabiting the "isles of the sea" (1 Nephi 19:10) The Hebrew word “iim”, translated “isles”, literally means “coasts”, “regions”, “borders”, “habitable lands”. (Isaiah 42:10 KJV)

It is worth considering scriptural accounts of extraordinary obscuring clouds that seem unrelated to volcanism. (Helaman 5:23-49, also Exodus 13:21-22; 14:19-20, 24; 19:9, 16, Numbers 9:15-22, Psalm 105:39, Matthew 17:5, Acts 1:9, 3 Nephi 18:38, Mosiah 27:11, Ether 2:4-5; 14, Alma 14:26-29)

Tempests, tornadoes and earthquakes threaten the northeastern United States where Cumorah resides. The God of nature is certainly able to subject the Great Lakes region of America to three hours of cataclysm, followed by three days of profound darkness. It is wise to recognize other cataclysmic and sky darkening potentials in nature besides volcanoes and volcanic ash. There are, for instance, immense deposits of methane on the floor of the North Atlantic. If released in sufficient quantity by earthquake or cosmic impact, an explosive cloud of horrific potential could rise from the ocean depths. A single lightning strike might detonate the cloud and trigger dreadful repercussions in air, sea and land. Large swaths of shrubbery and wooded coastline could be conflagrated suddenly.

Whatever the cause or causes of the “great and terrible day” and darkness, there are cases of profound atmospheric darkness in places where there seem to be no active volcanoes. Phyllis Olive is perhaps the first LDS author to call attention to the article titled “THE DARK DAYS AND EARTHQUAKES IN CANADA” published in The Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries Concerning the Antiquities, History and Biography of America (editor John G. Shea, New York, Vol. VIII, 1864, pp 60-65).

It is a fact that regions of Canada just to the north of New York have seen enigmatic episodes of daytime darkness so profound and extensive that observers, right or wrong, have attributed the phenomena to volcanism. The Historical Magazine of 1864 cites several well documented examples and presents the opinions of notable witnesses of the phenomena. Chief Justice Sewell, President of the Library and Historical Society of Quebec was one eye witness to the phenomena and investigated previous occurrences. He surmised:

 

“As to the conflagration of a forest, the facts of which we are in possession do not appear to warrant a belief that such can be the cause. It seems impossible to suppose that the conflagration of a forest could have produced a mass of smoke so dense and so extensive as to overspread, as it did in October, 1785, the surface of a territory exceeding certainly 300 miles in length, and probably 200 miles in breadth, and producing at its utmost longitudinal extremity, and at mid-day, the obscurity of the darkest night…” (“THE DARK DAYS AND EARTHQUAKES IN CANADA”, The Historical Magazine, pg 61)

 

The editor counters:

             

“Assuming that there existed in the great peninsula of Labrador no other combustible material besides the stunted trees, there would be good ground for attributing the “Dark Days of Canada” to some other agency than that of burning vegetable matter; but when we reflect that the country is almost everywhere covered with a thick coat of lichens and mosses where these have not been burnt, and that they are even better adapted, when dry, to burn with extraordinary rapidity, and afford during their combustion a greater cloud of smoke than forest trees, it will be apparent that the precise element for producing the phenomena of smoke and ashes existed in the Labrador Peninsula to a remarkable degree. Dry caribou moss burns with wonderful rapidity, as we found to our cost; it also emits dense volumes of smoke, and leaves behind a great quantity of ash and charcoal…After having witnessed the combustion of caribou moss on a large scale, and the appearance of the burnt country on the borders of the great table-land of Labrador, I am inclined to the opinion that the “Dark Days of Canada” were the result of a vast conflagration in the interior of the Labrador Peninsula, and that the materials which assisted most in feeding the fires were the lichens and mosses which grow in such rich abundance and extraordinary luxuriance and beauty in that desolate country. The astonishing speed with which fire runs through the moss has been describes by several writers, and there is no valid reason why a fire should not stretch from Hudson’s Bay to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in a few days…” (“THE DARK DAYS AND EARTHQUAKES IN CANADA”, The Historical Magazine, pg 63 - 65)

   

It is well established that western New York (including the region of Cumorah) is prone to strong earthquakes. (See “Why Does the Earth Quake in New England? The Science of Unexpected Earthquakes”, by Alan L. Kafka, Ph.D., Weston Observatory, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Boston College, Revised, January 3, 2004)

Western NY Clarendon-Linden Fault Onondaga Escarpment near Clarendon-Linden Fault

Clarendon-Linden Fault, western NY. A portion of the Onondaga Limestone Scarp “…found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments…” along the Clarendon-Linden Fault. (Helaman 14:21-22) The NY State Fault System extends throughout the “plains”, and hill country south of Lake Ontario. (1 Nephi 12:4)

 

According to Veytia, a horrible earthquake occurred in Central America “at the same time” as a total solar eclipse. The historian determines these events to be at the death of Jesus Christ, which he places at 33 A.D.

The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tell us that during the Savior’s crucifixion, darkness was “over the whole land” from the sixth hour to the ninth. (Mark 15:33) Veytia presumes that “because of the circumstances surrounding this eclipse and earthquake, it is impossible for it to be any other than that which was observed at the death of Jesus Christ Our Lord…” (A. A. R, pg 148, Matthew 27:51, Luke 23:44-45) Veytia seems unaware that eclipses are local events, and that their duration is measured in minutes.

Samuel the Lamanite’s Book of Mormon prophecy indicates that the darkness “upon the face of this land” was a local or regional occurrence. (Helaman 14:20, 28) The Hebrew word “erets” or “arets” is often translated “earth” in the King James Bible. The word can simply mean “land”. Similar use of the word “earth” is found in the Book of Mormon. (Ether 13:17; see also The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 5, The World of the Jaredites, Ch. 2, pg 173)

Unfortunately, the translated expression “whole earth”, is often interpreted to mean the entire planet, when the scriptural perspective is less global. For instance, Genesis 41:56 (KJV) reads, “And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses…” The expression “all the face of the earth” should not be taken to mean planet wide. (Acts 7:11) The same is true for the Book of Mormon description: “darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.” (Helaman 14:27) The scripture goes on to explain “that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land…” (Helaman 14:28) The description of regional darkness in Exodus 10:15, 21-23 is comparable. Of course volcanic activity near the time of Christ may have had far reaching effects. Alaska’s Mt Churchill eruption of 60 A.D. ± 200 years was colossal.  Volcanic ash has been known to travel thousands of miles, but the intensity and duration of the darkness that visited the coasts of Book of Mormon lands seems to suggest more local influences.

The moon, passing in front of the sun, cannot account for the longevity of the profound darkness described in 3 Nephi. Besides, total solar eclipses occur when the moon is on the daytime side of the earth. Passover (when the Savior gave up his life) always occurs near a full moon (when the moon is on the nighttime side of the earth). A solar eclipse is then impossible.

The NASA Catalog of Solar Eclipses lists times and locations of eclipses that occurred in the first century A.D. Tidal friction affecting the earth’s rotation, is the biggest contributor to uncertainty in the estimated time of an eclipse. Estimating back to the first century A.D. there is a margin of uncertainty on the order of a few hours.

There was an eclipse, observable from the Middle East, on November 24, 29 A.D., another on May 20, 49 A.D. and another on April 30, 59 A.D. None of these seem to fit very well with the expected date of the Savior’s crucifixion, when a daytime darkness shrouded the environs of Jerusalem.

We know from scripture that the Savior laid down his life and took it up again in the spring, in the first month of the ancient Hebrew calendar (also the first month of the Nephite calendar) – the time of the Feast of Passover. This was also the time when the great destruction befell the lands of promise in America. (Helaman 14:21) Was there a total eclipse in Central America in the first century A.D. near this time? No. Because the moon is full near Passover, the solar eclipse that Mesoamerica experienced could not have occurred at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion.

There was a total eclipse on November 2, 12 A.D. that passed over Central America, after reaching the point of maximum eclipse over South America. There was another eclipse that passed over Nicaragua and Honduras on May 9 of the same year. In about the same region (Hondurus / Nicaragua) there was an eclipse on Feb 26, 16 A.D. There was an eclipse around April 8, 23 A.D., that passed over northern Mexico. There was an eclipse on December 14, 38 A.D. that passed over the middle of Mexico and several other eclipses in Mesoamerica between the years of 42 and 52 A.D. These of course, occurred at times other than Jerusalem’s Passover. None of the above eclipses correlate with events described in the Book of Mormon.

The historian Ixtlilxochitl assumes that “the first days of the year” when “the sun and the moon eclipsed” coincided with the first month of the ancient Hebrew calendar when the Pascal Lamb was slain. Like Veytia, Ixtlilxochitl sees in the native account, coincidence with the Savior’s crucifixion. The ancient Mexican month Atemoztli, however, marked a beginning of the year which “corresponded to our month of February”. (A. A. R, pg 82)

The legendary Mesoamerican eclipse does not match well with the three days of darkness described in the Book of Mormon.

 

Footnote

1 Don Mariano Fernandez de Echevarria y Veytia (1720 - 1778), Knight of the order of Santiago, Alderman of his country and Advocate of the Audience of Mexico is a revered Mexican historian – native of la Puebla de los Angeles. Mariano Veytia is recognized as a scholar of great integrity. A portion of his valuable History of Ancient Mexico, has been translated by Ronda Cunningham, compiled by Donald W. and W. David Hemingway, and published by Bonneville Books under the title Ancient America Rediscovered.

Much of the history Don Veytia recorded is corroborated by the seventeenth century Mexican historian Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl (pronounced “Easht leal sho cheet ill”).

 

 

Vincent Coon וינסנט כון © Copyright 2019

 

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