The Book of Mormon records cities being sunken deep in waters at the time of Christ’s death.
This is an image of the submerged ruins of Samabaj, in lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Researchers date this to around the time of Christ’s death. Some LDS researchers have suggested this site as the Waters of Mormon and the city of “Jerusalem”.
But we can’t say with certainty that this is a Book of Mormon city. Perhaps it sunk later. However, we can say it provides evidence for the idea of cities being sunken in the waters around that time period.
Around this time in Central America there were volcanic eruptions. This is one reason the great city of Teotihuacan became so big. They experienced a growth in population due to that destruction. The sinking of Samabaj are thought to have happened due to a volcano that affected the water levels, quickly submerging it under water.
This is all fun and interesting to geek out on. But none of this will get us into heaven. Except for seeing the spiritual signifance of it all.
This great destruction happened because of natural disasters. God tried to warn his people. But their lack of devotion to Him caused them to succumb to the destruction. We are surrounded by destruction today. I don’t even need to mention any of it. Just turn on the news. Have we been turning to God through all of this? Have we been turning against our neighbor because of their politics? Are we sinking into the depths of forgetting God and our neighbors? The two greatest commandments are to love God and love thy neighbor. If we do these things, especially by praying daily and repenting, I think we’ll more easily get through these dark days. And, as the Nephites, eventually see the light of Christ after days of darkness.
Christ said to the Nephites just after their disasters, “return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you…yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life….I am the light and the life of the world…offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit…whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.” 3 Nephi 9