Mormonism LIVE: 057: The Two Hills Cumorah Theory

RFM and Bill Reel tackle the two Hills Cumorah theory. The explain how Cumorah fits within our scriptures, show us how it was understood and taught all through early Church history and when in the modern times it changed and how that course adjustment has the Church approaching it today. To the believers who always wished for these things to be simple and faithful, eat your heartlander out !

IMAGES FOR SHOW

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/collection/bmvl-moroni-10-images?lang=eng OPENING: Heartlanders digging for Evidence (Don’t want to spend valuable time here. Just show and explain it led me to create this episode)

A.) What the Scriptures Tell us about Cumorah

  1. Mormon 6:4 – we did pitch our tents round about the hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains – SHOW MAP OF PALMYRA SURROUNDING AREA (It must be conceded that this description fits perfectly the land of Cumorah in New York, as it has been known since the visitation of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith, for the hill is in the proximity of the Great Lakes and also in the land of many rivers and fountains.)
  1. Mormon 6:6 –  Mormon hid the records in the Hill Cumorah with the exception of the plates that would make up the Book of Mormon PHOTO
  1. Ether 15:11 – The Jaredites hill Ramah and the Nephites Hill Cumorah are the same hill (He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly atwo millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.) PHOTO LOGISTICS OF A BATTLE THIS BIG
  1. D&C 128:20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed PHOTO

B.) What early Church Leaders and Official sources said about The Hill Cumorah in New York

  1. History of the Church 1:184 “This Book, which contained these things, was hid in the earth by Moroni, in a hill called by him Cumorah, which hill is now in the state of New York, near the village of Palmyra, in Ontario county.   PHOTO
  2. 1835 Messenger and Advocate – Page 4 Oliver Cowdery under Joseph Smith declares Cumorah is the hill in New York (Joseph Smith had the letter reprinted )   PHOTO
  3. The Prophet Joseph Smith himself is on record declaring the present hill called Cumorah to be the exact hill spoken of in the Book of Mormon. History of the Church  History of the Church, 1948 ed., vol. 2, pp. 79–80  PHOTO
  1. David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Joseph Smith are visited by Moroni – Moroni says Cumorah as the word is new to David  (Tangential point.  David Whitmer says his plowed was field and he didn’t know who did it.  Lucy Mack Smith though claims David knew it was the three nephites page 4 bottom left) page 4 right hand side  PHOTO
  1. Mark E. Petersen, “A Work of Conversion,” General Conference address, in Messages of Inspiration (SLC: Deseret Book Co., 1957), pp. 98-106. I do not believe that we should give credence to the highly speculative theories about Book of Mormon geography. I do not believe that there were two Hill Cumorahs, one in Central America and the other one up in New York, for the convenience of the Prophet Joseph Smith, so that the poor boy would not have to walk clear to Central America to get the gold plates. (Last part of Page 3) PHOTO
  1. Doctrines of Salvation by: Joseph Fielding Smith http://www.mormonthink.com/backup/Cumorah-JFeS-DofS3.pdf  PHOTO
  1. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1360&context=jbms All of the quotes regarding Cumorah’s Cave.  I want to synopsize because there is too much here and deeply overlapping PHOTO
  1. Anthony W Ivins (Counselor First Presidency) General Conference talk in April 1928 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zan98tml1mr4kq/conferencereport1928a%20%20page%2015.pdf?dl=0  (Page 12 of the PDF)    PHOTO
  1. The Messenger, July 1960, No. 51   (COVER) (Page w/ pertinent section) Bishops “Attention Called To ‘Book of Mormon’ Maps” Our attention has been brought in the past few weeks to certain “Book of Mormon Lands” maps which are being offered to Church leaders and auxiliary workers by a California organization. They are apparently being distributed free of charge. We wish to refer bishops to the printed matter at the bottom of the map, which contains an inference that there are two, rather than one, Hills Cumorah — one in Mexico as well as the one in New York. The Church has never accepted this contention. Bishops are requested to make cognizant of this discrepancy those in their wards who might be sending for these maps or using them for instructional purposes. This concept of two Cumorahs should not be taught as official Church doctrine.(WOULD LOVE A IMAGE OR DOCUMENT)
  1. Official Letterhead 1990 Letter
  1. F. Michael Watson – Context of that letter (Frank Michael Watson was a secretary to the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1986 to 2008. He was assistant secretary from 1972 until April 1986. Prior to that call, he served as assistant secretary and then secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1970–1972). He was called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 2008 and served until October 2013 when he was designated an emeritus general authority.)
  2. Fair Claims “The First Presidency’s secretary apparently answered a question according to his own understanding”

C. Something Changed

  1. What changed in Mormonism Environment – The events including number of deaths and the supplies present in the Book of Mormon simply doesn’t match what has been located on that hill – Views seem to change in the 1940’s and 1950’s
  2. 1992 Encyclopedia of Mormonism Last paragraph and subsequent finish on next page
  3. F. Michael Watson’s Second Letter 1993
    1. “He (F. Michael Watson)  responded that the First Presidency would like to clear up that Issue and he would FAX me with that clarification.” LINK to this message
    2. Similar message from official channels 
  1. John Clark 2004 – “the Hill Cumorah. Archaeologically speaking, it is a clean hill. No artifacts, no walls, no trenches, no arrowheads. The area immediately surrounding the hill is similarly clean. Pre-Columbian people did not settle or build here. This is not the place of Mormon’s last stand. We must look elsewhere for that hill.”

D.) The Church in the present modern moment

  1. New Approach
    1. Hill Cumorah as defined by the Church ““In the 1820s, the hill did not have a name. It later became known as the Hill Cumorah because Moroni, the Book of Mormon’s final author and the angel who met with Joseph Smith, wrote that he had hidden the golden plates in a hill called Cumorah (see Mormon 6:6)”
  1. Still old remnants of the old approach
    1. Hill Cumorah Photo
  1. Cumorah, Hill
  2. Poem to be read at the end  PHOTO to show while I read



Play

2 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 057: The Two Hills Cumorah Theory”

  1. A reoccurring theme in all the Mormonism LIVE podcasts is frustration that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has not been honest and continues in being dishonest (even while demanding that individual members be honest with their dealings with their fellowmen). So I found it very interesting that the temple recommend question regarding honesty has been changed from “Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?” to “Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?” That is convenient that members and church leaders no longer are required to be honest, but only have to “strive.” It’s kind of like what Miracle Max said in the Princess Bride, “Mostly dead means he’s slightly alive.” Striving to be honest means you’re slightly dishonest and apparently, according to the revised temple recommend questions, that’s okay for members and church leaders to be now.

  2. BYU professor John Tvetnes told me, in the late 1980s, that in 1971 BYU professor Paul Chessman asked the Church to finance them taking ground-penatrating radar and going over the Hill Cumorah, to find any remnants of the stone box, the cave of gold plates (that Oliver Cowdery claimed to see in vision), or any remains of Nephite swords, helmets, breastplates, and chariots. This was okayed, so they went. They went over the Hill Cumorah with the ground penetrating radar, twice. Nothing. No stone boxes. No caverns. No swords/breatsplates/chariots. No bones. Nothing. The Church then “counseled” Chessman to NOT talk about it again. Well, of course, he did, to Tvetnes and some others. And Tvetnes told me, and, presumably, many others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.