My blog post on CFM: 3 Nephi 8-11
Most Mormons believe that the great Nephite destruction occurred, three days of darkness passed, and then Jesus showed up for lunch the next day.
However, the Book of Mormon’s text actually clues us in on the actual time frame involved here.
“And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land” (3 Nephi 8:5).
“And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them—” (3 Nephi 10:18).
The destructions occurred almost a year before Jesus appeared to the people. Such a time delay would allow Jesus to perform his works in Jerusalem among his apostles after his resurrection, begin the work for the dead in the Spirit World, and organize the work among those who resurrected with him..