“There Arose a Great Storm”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

On the fourth day of the thirty-fourth Nephite year the promised signs of the Savior's crucifixion began. A horrible and devastating tempest burst upon the land. All that was ever told of the loudest thunder, and all that was ever seen of the most vivid lightning, would fail to picture the terrific visitation. The earth quivered and groaned and opened in wide, unfathomable chasms. Forests of gigantic trees were uprooted and carried high above the earth to meet in fearful shocks in the air and then driven down and shattered upon unyielding rocks. Mountains were riven and swallowed up in yawning gulfs, or were scattered into fragments and dispersed like hail before the tearing wind. Cattle were lifted from their feet and dashed over precipices, or were hurled before the blast to perish in the sea. Towers, temples, and homes, were torn up, shattered into fragments or crushed by falling rocks, and together with their inmates were ground to dust in the convulsion. Human beings were hurled high into the air and driven from point to point, until, at last, they found graves fathoms deep below the earth's surface. Blue and yellow flames burst from the edges of sinking rocks, blazed for a moment and then was the deepest darkness. Boiling springs gushed upwards from sulphurous caverns. Shrieks and howls from suffering animals, awful in themselves, were drowned out in the overwhelming uproar. Rain poured down in torrents: cloudbursts, like floods, washed away all with which they came in contact, and pillars of steaming vapor seemed to unite the earth and sky.

This unparalleled storm raged throughout the land for three hours only-but to those who suffered through it, it seemed an age.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7