OK, it's finally over. Sarah Palin has returned to Alaska and Barack Obama is our new president. I feel like a born again American.
So I'm in the mood for something completely different. How about something from the Book of Mormon?
Although you may have missed it, Donald Parry, a BYU professor, said at a recent Book of Mormon Lands Conference that the Book of Mormon is filled with "wonder upon wonder upon wonder." Here is his list of the seven wonders of the Book of Mormon.
But I think he left out the most wonderful wonders of all. Here is my list.
- The night before Jesus was born was as bright as day everywhere on earth.
And it came to pass that ... the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying ... the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world ... It came to pass that ... behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness ... when the night came. ... [A]ll the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth. ... It came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. It came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given. 3 Nephi 1:12-19
- For three days after Jesus died there was absolutely no light anywhere on earth -- not from the sun, moon, stars, candles, or campfires.
This was prophesied in 6 BCE by a North American prophet. How amazing is that?
And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy ... 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. Helaman 14:1, 20
And then in 34 CE it happened just like it was supposed to!
And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land ... ... It came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land.... And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled ... And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars. 3 Nephi 8:3, 20-22
- When Jesus died, the entire earth was deformed. Cities sunk into the sea and the inhabitants were drowned. Other cities were burned or destroyed by earthquakes. Highways were broken up and many people were carried away by whirlwinds.
And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy ... But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death ... 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. Helaman 14:1, 20, 23-25
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 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. ... And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate. ... And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth. 3 Nephi 8:6-17
- A voice from the sky was heard by every person on earth. (It was the voice of Jesus bragging about burning and drowning entire cities.)
It came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of this land, crying: Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; ... Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof. And behold, that great city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof to be drowned. that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof ... 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; Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, ... 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 ... And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire ... 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 ... And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people ... Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.... 3 Nephi 9:1-15
- God darkens people's skin to punish them for being evil and to separate them from the good (white) people.
And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity ... wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people. 2 Nephi 5:21-22
- God sometimes makes especially well-behaved dark-skinned people white and delightsome again!
It came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites. 3 Nephi 2:14-16
- Jesus made the already white skin of the Nephites ever whiter so that they became as white as he was, whiter than anything else on earth.
It came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof ... And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples ... and behold they were white, even as Jesus. 3 Nephi 19:25-30