Crucifixion Produced Carnage, Destruction

23 June

Colossians 1:20: “And, having made peace through the blood of the cross…”

reflections on Christ - crucifixionToday we’re looking at events that took place at Jesus’ crucifixion. Comparisons of what the Book of Mormon, and the Bible says are fascinating indeed!

Note: Other than providing LDS links within the text of our reference today, no other modifications were made.

Answers to Gospel Questions 3:45; “The Three Days of Darkness …

Question: “In Luke 23:44, it states that at the crucifixion of Jesus there was a period of darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, but in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 8:22-23, it states that a three-day period of darkness came upon the land at the death of Jesus. Which of the two accounts is considered accurate, or are they both accurate? If so, how could this be?”

Answer: It is a well-established fact that the earth is a sphere, or a globular body, and that it revolves from west to east making one revolution in twenty-four hours according to man’s reckoning. This being true, we have day and night as the earth revolves. If you will look at a globe representing the earth, you will discover that the Western Hemisphere is on the opposite side of the earth from Palestine where the Savior was crucified. The Lord revealed to Nephi nearly six hundred years before the birth of our Redeemer, that at the time of his death there would be three days of darkness on the Western Hemisphere, (I Nephi 19:10.) and a few years before the crucifixion, the Prophet Samuel also predicted the three days of darkness and that there should be thunderings and lightnings and great earthquakes so that the whole face of the earth should be changed and broken up for it was in a solid condition at that time. (Helaman 14:20-21.)


Surely no one who believes in the scriptures and is acquainted with the great and varied miracles performed by Jesus when on the earth, can consistently feel that he could give eyesight to the blind, cleanse lepers, command the storms to cease, and raise the dead, and would be unable to control the light and the darkness on any part of the earth. It would be just as easy for him to cause darkness on one hemisphere for three days as it would on the other for three hours. This greater period of darkness and terrible punishment came upon the people in the Western Hemisphere because of their extreme wickedness and because they had, in the course of a very few years, turned away from the truth to follow Satan, and it is written of them that they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, since it had been taught them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God. (III Nephi 6:18.)

Not only was there a period of darkness at the death of Christ, but the prediction that there should be a day and a night and a day of no darkness on the American continent, also occurred, at the time of the birth of our Savior.” – Joseph Fielding Smith

So we have to ask…

Was Jesus violent at His death?

We found a great article about this on that put it all in perspective:

The Biblical Jesus vs. the Book of Mormon Jesus

Special thanks to whoever posted this originally (sorry I forgot your name) and acknowledgement to Gordon Hinckley who said “we worship a different Christ”.

LDS members believe that they are singularly blessed with a record of the earthly ministry of Jesus from his life in Palestine, his visit to the Spirit World, and his visit to the Americas.

Yet, a chronological reading of the story of Jesus’ last week in Palestine to his ministry in the America, using LDS scripture, leaves one puzzled as to the very nature and character of Jesus.

I. Palestine

During the last days of Jesus’ life in Palestine, he entered triumphantly into Jerusalem, healed the sick, instituted the Holy Supper with the apostles, suffered greatly in Gethsemane, was judged and mocked, and then was crucified among common thieves.

In Palestine, Jesus is recorded as being meek and forgiving.

In Luke 22:32, Jesus tells Simon Peter that he is praying for Peter to be strengthened knowing that Peter will betray him three times before sunrise.

Also in Luke chapter 22, Jesus is told of going to Gethsemane and gently rebuking the disciples for following asleep during his personal agony and ordeal.

When Jesus leaves Gethsemane, one of the disciples uses a sword and cuts off the ear of the servant of the high priest. “And Jesus answered and said, ‘Suffer ye thus far.’ And he touched his ear, and healed him.” (Luke 22:51)

Jesus is ridiculed and spat upon. During the night, Peter, as forecasted, betrays Jesus three times. In response Jesus turns his head and looks at Peter, causing Peter to weep bitterly.

Herod, having heard of Jesus’ miracles, mocks him by allowing his men to dress Jesus in a robe before returning the prisoner to Pilate.

Pilate finding no wrong in Jesus, appealed to the crowd gathered who called for his crucifixion. During these acts of vulgarity and ridicule, Jesus is recorded as being passive and submissive.

On the cross at Golgotha, Jesus was placed between two thieves. During the dying process, Jesus is recorded as saying: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Upon hearing Jesus plead for forgiveness, the rulers around him scorned him: “He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”

The rulers’ outburst caused the soldiers to add a final insult by placing a wooden placard on the cross above Jesus reading “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Even the two thieves asked Jesus why he didn’t use his supernatural powers to free himself. As a response, Jesus rebuked one’s disbelief, but then informed that they would be with him in paradise.

The New Testament stories demonstrate a person of quiet dignity, meekness and forgiveness.

II. The Spirit World

According to LDS scripture, immediately upon Jesus’ death, his spirit left his body and ascended to the Spirit World. Jesus begins to metamorphose.

While in Palestine, Jesus preached among the sinners and outcasts.

Yet Mormon prophet Joseph F. Smith saw Jesus’ recently departed spirit go “not in person among the wicked and the disobedient” but to the righteous, such as Adam, Eve, many of Eve’s faithful daughters (apparently names weren’t provided), Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elias, Malachi, and many more, even the prophets who dwelt among the Nephites. (D&C 138:29, 38-49).

After a visit back to Jerusalem, Jesus became resurrected meaning that his spirit reentered his body. He spent some time teaching his disciples.

III. The Americas

Meanwhile, in the Americas, a different stage has been set. Immediately upon the crucifixion of Jesus, tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds, and physical upheavals rage for three hours. The Book of Mormon tells:

The city of Zarahemla was set on fire; the city of Moroni sunk into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants were drowned; the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah; 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 there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.

The destruction was followed by darkness upon the face of the land and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people.

(3 Nephi 8).

Who caused this massive destruction and death? The survivors would immediately know the culprit in the form a Voice.

The Voice chides America’ inhabitants proclaiming:

“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. And behold, 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:

And building momentum, the Voice continues:

“Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem [the America city, not the one in Palestine, he left that one alone] and the inhabitants 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”

(3 Nephi 9: 2-10)

After itemizing his destructions, the Voice tells the people the name of their Destroyer:

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

Yes, that Jesus who only a short time earlier restored a severed ear, forgave the ignorant, the crucifers, and the non-believers – all of whom had witnessed or knew of his miracles while Jesus preached among them for some three years.

Jesus, the man who had spared those in Palestine who had personally rejected him, mocked him and crucified him, tells those in America:

“‘So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.’”

(3 Nephi 19:35)

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