“The Earth Did Cease the Dreadful Groanings the Tumultuous Noises”

Alan C. Miner

In the 3 Nephi 10:9 eyewitness account of the great upheaval, three terms are used concerning the quake: "rocks did rend," "dreadful groanings," and "tumultuous noises."

In another eyewitness account, Mr. E. J. Houston says:

After the actual quaking of the earth, the most wonderful and impressive thing is the great variety of sounds and noises. These occur not only while the earth waves are passing through the crust at any place, but also long before the principal shocks reach the place as well as long after they have passed." ("The Atmosphere," chapter 24)

Henri Fabre, French naturalist, says:

Earthquakes are often preceded by subterranean noises, announcing the catastrophe to come. First there is the dull rumble that reminds one of distant thunder, swelling in volume, then diminishing, then swelling again, as if some storm were beginning to break far beneath the earth's surface. At this sound, so full of mysterious menace, everyone falls silent, mute with fear, and every face turns pale.

Warned by their instincts the very animals are seized with alarm; dogs howl with terror, and the plowhorse appears to brace himself by planting his hoofs farther apart. Meanwhile the noise increases and one seems to hear a long line of wagons, heavily laden with old iron, rumbling over a hollow roadway of brass, while a whole battery of cannon is discharged. And then the ground trembles, rises and falls, whirls round, opens and a frightful abyss yawn before the terrified observer. In the presence of such scenes, the stoutest heart is panic-stricken. (Henri Fabre--"The Earth is Ours")

[Roy E. Weldon and F. Edward Butterworth, Book of Mormon Claims and Evidences, Vol. 2, p. 65]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary