Everything had changed.
Most of the roads were gone. Rolling hills were now nothing but flattened rubble. Beautiful valleys were replaced with jutting rock formations. Cities along the hillsides had disappeared. Seaside villages were washed away leaving behind large mounds of sand.
Zarahemla was a burned out shell of its former self. Rumors spread that Bountiful was the only major city that was habitable. So everyone was on the road to Bountiful.
Ordinarily, this would be a sad pilgrimage of refugees seeking food, shelter, and medical attention. But not this time.
Everyone heard God’s voice in the dark.
Everyone knew the extent of the damage.
Everyone understood they had been spared because God said they were the “more righteous.”
In spite of the massive scale of the destruction and loss of life, this was a pilgrimage of hope. Samuel, that crazy Lamanite on the wall, was right.
Everything transpired just as he predicted.
At the Savior’s birth, there was the night with no darkness. At His death, there was great destruction and three horrible days with no light. The people still shuddered at the thought of that thick mist.
They all knew the Savior was coming. They were all anxious to witnesses the greatest event in human history. But Samuel failed to say when or where this glorious appearance would happen.
Bountiful made sense. The temple was still standing and people were congregating.
Of course, the altered landscape slowed down the march of the hopeful. It was it hard to get your bearings.
Everyone had some sort injury.
No one would be left behind. They gladly cooperated making sure all made it to Bountiful.
When they arrived, they saw that even Bountiful had not been spared. Almost all buildings were damaged. Yet, just as they hoped, there was plenty of food and drink. And with everyone chipping in, there would soon be enough shelter.
Everyone was so kind.
There was a lot of work to do. Some cleared out rubble. Some repaired buildings. Some collected and distributed food. Some attended to the sick and injured.
Everyone was busy.
While the work was rewarding, it seemed to have no end. Until that glorious day.
As the people were blissfully working, they heard a sound that was almost like a voice.
Everyone heard it.
They all stopped what they are doing and looked at each other. But then, silence, nothing. So the went back to work.
A few minutes later, they heard it again. It had to be a voice.
Everyone heard it, no one understood.
After that second experience, someone suggested they not go back to work. Rather they should all look towards the temple and simply listen.
Everyone was ready.
Then came a sound that pierced their very souls. Not too loud, not too soft, oddly familiar. But this time, they were ready. This time they listened.
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him
Everything had changed.