“The Scent Thereof Went Forth Upon the Face of the Land”

Bryan Richards

The smell of decaying human flesh is one of the most disgusting smells imaginable. Such an aroma of death plagued the land of Ammonihah after the desolation of Nehors. The record states that the smell was so bad that the land remained uninhabitable for many years (Alma 16:11). In both the case of the Jaredites and the people of Ammonihah, the situation was a quick, wholesale slaughter of a great number of people. One Civil War historian recorded, “On June 27, [1864] thirteen thousand Union men stormed the Confederates on Kennesaw Mountain—and failed….Three days after the battle, an armistice was granted for burying the fallen—’not for any respect either army had for the dead,’ a Confederate remembered, ’but to get rid of the sickening stench.’” (Geoffrey C. Ward, Ric Burns, & Ken Burns, The Civil War, p. 324 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 506)

But such a terrible slaughter with decaying flesh is prophesied to happen again. At the Second Coming when the Lord comes to destroy the armies of Gog, the prince of Magog, the multitude will be destroyed so quickly and in such great numbers that their bodies will be left strewn upon the land. The resulting stench of decaying flesh will stop the noses of the passengers, and it will take 7 months to bury all the dead (Ezek 39:11-20).