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What was the earth like

before the flood?

Genesis 10:25 records the
birth of Peleg
(meaning division) saying
for in his days was the
earth divided. According
to Bruce McConkie, in
The Mortal Messiah, the
earth was divided during
the Flood and continued to
divide at a slower pace
down to the days of Peleg
when the land was
considered divided.
The dividing of the earth was not an act of division by the inhabitants of
the earth by tribes and peoples, but a breaking asunder of the continents,
thus dividing the land surface and creating the Eastern Hemisphere and
Western Hemisphere. By looking at a wall map of the world, you will
discover how the land surface along the northern and southern coast of the
American Hemisphere and Europe and Africa has the appearance of
having been together at one time. Of course, there have been many
changes on the earths surface since the beginning. We are informed by
revelation that the time will come when this condition will be changed and
that the land surface of the earth will come back again as it was in the
beginning and all be in one place. This is definitely stated in the Doctrine
and Covenants. [D&C 133:1824 is then cited.] (Smith, Answers to
Gospel Questions, 5:7374.)
D&C 133:
23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the
north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
24 And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into
their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it
was divided.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the continents were divided in the days
of Peleg and that they will be restored to one land mass in the latter days:
. . . the Eternal God hath declared that the great deep shall roll back into the
north countries and that the land of Zion and the land of Jerusalem shall be
joined together, as they were before they were divided in the days of
Peleg.No wonder the mind starts at the sound of the last days! (Evening and
Morning Star, Feb., 1835)
The earth was flat
The earth was fairly flat before the flood (with just some hills and rivers) and it will
be restored to that condition during the Millenium:

This new heaven and earth which will come into existence when our Lord comes to
reign, is this same earth with its heavens renewed or restored to its primitive condition
and beauty. Everything is to be brought back as nearly as it is possible to its position as
it was in the beginning. The mountains, we are informed, are to be thrown down, the
valleys are to be exalted, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was
divided. (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things,29495).
A vapor canopy?

Genesis 1:6-8, 'Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the
waters from the waters." Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the
firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament
Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.'

The "firmament" is not a word which we now use, so we need to look carefully to see what God is talking
about. Fortunately in Genesis 1:20 it becomes perfectly clear: "Let birds fly above the earth across the face
of the firmament of the heavens."

So the "firmament" is the sky, where the birds fly. In other words, the sky appeared between the water
above the sky, and the water below the sky. After the appearance of the firmament there were three separate

If this was the case, then there were several consequences:

A green house effect?
If the earth was covered with a canopy of water, it created a green house effect that
made the earth warmer with no variation of temperature over the entire planet, hence
no seasons. The seasons would have started after the flood: While the earth
remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day
and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

This green house effect would also have enabled a higher level of oxygen in the air as
well as a greater protection from X-rays and ultraviolet radiation (from the sun).

This environment (warmer, more oxygen and protectionetc) would explain why the
living beings at the time were much bigger and lived longer: tropical vegetation, bigger
animals and insects (as found through archeology). The Scriptures mention the
presence of giants in the antediluvian times.
There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also
after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men,
and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men
which were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)

And in those days there were giants on the earth, and they sought
Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and
the power of the Lord was upon him. (Moses 8:18)
This environment would also explain why men lived longer
It did not rain?
The rain falling on the roof of the ark may have been the very first rainstorm on earth. Several lines of biblical evidence of this

1.No mention is made of rain on the earth until the Flood (Gen. 7:4,12). The original earth and the Garden of Eden were
watered by streams, rivers, and mist instead of by rain (Genesis 2:5,6,10). These sources may have been replenished from
groundwater. Humidity and mist are still effective today in watering plants. Part of Adam's responsibility in the garden may
have been to provide irrigation for the vegetation (Gen. 2:15).

2.The vapor canopy that may have existed prior to the Flood would have greatly affected climate. It could have ruled out rain
showers. With a uniform temperature over the entire earth, there would not have been significant high and low pressure
regions that produce storms today. From the moment the canopy collapsed, rain would then become an everyday experience.

3.The rainbow represents a special covenant or promise of protection from another worldwide flood. It seems like the
rainbow's appearance to Noah was its first occurrence in the sky (Gen. 9:8-17), and if there was no rainbow before, that means
there was no rain. Typical raindrops of sufficient size to cause a rainbow require atmosphere instability. Prior to the Flood,
weather conditions were probably very stable.

If the earth did not experience rain before the Flood, then Noah's ark-building must have appeared especially foolish to his
critics. Likewise, the faith of Noah described in Hebrews 11:7 was especially strong. Noah was warned about things not seen,
which is perhaps a further indication that rain was not part of humanity's early experience.
One language: the adamic language.

And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was

recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto
as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of
And by them their children were taught to read and write,
having a language which was pure and undefiled.
(Moses 6:5-6)