Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Covino Comments Answered-Part XII-What Records Were Hidden in Cumorah?

According to Peter Covino in his True Book of Mormon Geography website, Mormon did not hide the records in the Hill Cumorah, but in the Hill Ramah. He writes:

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." [Ether 15:11.] 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.”

No, he would not have said so. To have so stated would have been an inaccurate translation of Ether’s record by Moroni. Keep in mind Moroni is not writing to the Nephites who knew the Hill Cumorah. He was translating the Jaredite record. The name of the Hill Cumorah to the Jaredites was “Ramah,” and that was the name Moroni gave it in his interpretive record of Ether. Moroni did let the reader know that it was the same hill as Cumorah, where his father hid the records. But for Covino to claim: “and if it was the "Hill Cumorah", he would have said so” is both arrogant on his part and a disdain for Moroni’s interpretive decision.

No doublt if Moroini had said “the Hill Cumorah” in his interpretation, there would be those who would ridicule his lack of interpretive ability by using a Nephite term instead of a correct Jaredite term. However, what he wrote was the correct way to write an interpreted Jaredite expression, yet at the same time, let the reader know it was the same hill the Nephites called Cumorah.

A depiction of the Hill Cumorah. Note it is high enough to discourage the Lamanites from attacking late in the day so the 24 survivors from the day’s battle could recoup. It is also high enough for those survivors to look down and see the bodies of the dead strewn across the valley below

2. Covino: “They [Book of Mormon enthusiasts] fail to understand that Mormon only hid the records "entrusted to him" at Cumorah, all others where hid at the Hill Ramah, the true place of the Jaredite battle.”

First of all, Covino is incorrect in suggesting the Hill Ramah is different than the Hill Cumorah when Moroni tells us they are the same. Secondly, whatever records the Nephites had in addition to the records in Mormon’s possession, “which had been entrusted to him” by Ammaron (see last post), were deposited or hid up in the Hill Cumorah. Note the following comments about this:

• “President [Heber C.] Kimball talked familiarly to the brethren about Father Smith, [Oliver] Cowdery, and others walking into the hill Cumorah and seeing records upon records piled upon table[s,] they walked from cell to cell and saw the records that were piled up (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 5 May 1867)

• “President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that He did not return them to the box from whence?] He had Received [them]. But He went [into] a Cave in the Hill Comoro with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates Containing sacred records” (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 11 December 1869)

• “Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17 June 1877)

We have a good idea from Joseph Smith’s report of the size of the repository Moroni buried the Plates in and where; but we do not know how or in what manner or size Mormon hid up the records entrusted to him

• “But the grand repository of all the numerous records of the ancient nations of the western continent, was located in another department of the hill, and its contents put under the charge of holy angels, until the day should come for them to be transferred to the sacred temple of Zion” (Orson Pratt, The Contributor, September 1882)

• "Will these things be brought to light? Yes. The records, now slumbering in the hill Cumorah, will be brought forth by the power of God, to fulfill the words of our text, that 'the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the great deep.'" 

• Regarding what these records might contain, Elder Pratt taught, "When these plates, now hidden in the hill Cumorah, are brought to light we shall have the history of the Old Testament much more fully, with the addition of a great many prophecies that are not now contained in the record." These additional prophecies are, according to Elder Pratt, "the prophecies of Joseph in Egypt . . . [and of] Neum, a great Prophet who prophesied concerning Christ; also those of Zenos and Zenock, and others of which only bare reference is given." Thus we are to understand that such records will yet serve an important role in the future of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Orson Pratt discourse delivered at the tabernacle in Ogden on 18 May 1873)

It would seem that, without question, all the records of the Nephites were placed in the Hill Cumorah. Who placed them there is not told to us in the scriptural record, other than what has already been written about Mormon.

(See the next post, “More Covino Comments Answered-Part XII, for more of Covino’s so-called “errors” made by others which, in fact, are errors he makes in the defense of his model. Also, to see where he places the Hill Ramah)

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