Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Covino Comments Answered-Part X-The Hills Ramah and Cumorah

According to Peter Covino in his True Book of Mormon Geography website, in discussing the destruction mentioned in 3 Nephi and prophesied elsewhere, Moroni was wrong. He writes:

1. Covino: “The Hill Ramah is not the Hill Cumorah. The Jaredites were not destroyed where the Nephites were. Nearly every Book of Mormon authority has made this interpretation incorrectly.”

An interesting comment. Let’s see what the scriptural record has to say:

“And it came to pass that when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni (Mormon 6:6).

O.K., so Mormon, while he was in the Land of Cumorah, he took all the records and hid them up in the hill Cumorah. That seems pretty clear.

“And it came to pass that the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah; and it was that same hill where my father Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord, which were sacred” (Ether 15:11).

So the hill Ramah is the same as the hill Cumorah. Both Mormon and Moroni say it. So what is the controversy in Covino’s mind?

Covino: “The furthest point they could have fought on the east was the Genesee Gorge (East Sea); and on the north Lake Ontario (Waters of Ripliancum).

The Genesee Gorge, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the East, has the Genesee River, which flows north out of Pennsylvania and into the Finger Lakes of New York State, and eventually empties into Lake Ontario. This narrow river is what Covino calls the Sea East! In addition, as one can see, there is no “seashore,” though the term is used in the scriptural record (Alma 22:29;31:3;50:9,13-15;25;51:22,25-26; etc.)

Following is Covino’s rationale for not accepting this rather clear and concise comment by both Mormon and Moroni:

1) Covino: “A common misunderstanding among Book of Mormon enthusiasts is that the final Jaredite battle occurred at the Hill Cumorah, or "where my father Mormon did hide up the records."

The common understanding is based on Mormon saying he buried the plates in the Hill Cumorah and Moroni telling us the Jaredite Hill Ramah was the same hill where his father buried the plates.

2) Covino: That's not what it says. Mormon identified the hill (Verse 11) as "Ramah," and if it was the "Hill Cumorah", he would have said so. The same holds true for the account of Omer.”

Moroni was translating and abridging the Jaredite Record. He was, naturally, using Jaredite place names, and relating some of them to the areas of the Nephites for the reader’s clearer understanding. After all, Moroni wrote: “the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah; and it was that same hill where my father Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord” (Ether 15:11). Yes, he could have written: “the army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah; and it was that same hill as the Hill Cumorah, where my father Mormon did hide up the records unto the Lord.” But that would have been superfluous, and completely unnecessary. What he wrote is correct English, correct grammar, and the proper use of language. Unfortunately, for Covino, it does not agree with his model, so, like in other instances, he has to change the meaning of the scripture.

As for Omer, “Omer departed out of the land with his family and traveled many days and came over and passed by the hill of Shim and came over by the place where the Nephites were destroyed and from thence eastward and came to a place which was called Ablom" (Ether 9:3). To cloud the issue, Covino claims: “Note, he did not say "where the Jaredites were destroyed," nor did he refer to it as "Ramah." This was the second opportunity for Moroni to identify it as Ramah; plus every time the word "Cumorah" was used, and yet the word "Ramah" only occurs once!”

What Covino neglects to consider is that the Jaredites were not destroyed at the Hill Ramah. It was the last major fight in an ongoing battle that covered several years and probably thousands of square miles. And the final fight of that battle did not take place at Ramah at all—Coriantumr fled for an entire day, and on the following day (Ether 15:29), evidently far from Ramah, they battled again and Coriantumr killed Shize and became “the last man standing.” Thus, it would not have been accurate to say “where the Jaredites were destroyed” nor did Coriantumr kill Shiz at Cumorah.

Covino: “It is clear we know almost nothing of these people, in the Land Northward, and their records were stored somewhere else - not entrusted to Mormon - in Ramah.”

Actually, the opposite is clear. Covino's trying to cloud the issue does not change the scriptural record at all. The records were hid in the Hill Cumorah by Mormon, the same hill Moroni tells us the Jaredites called Ramah!

Yet, Covino is not finished. See the next post to see how he wants us to believe that Mormon hid all the other records--and hid them in a hill east of the East Sea!

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