Thursday, June 18, 2015

Where is the Hill Cumorah? – Part II

Continuing with the previous post on how to location the area of the Land of Promise and to stop asking the wrong questions and start asking the right ones. In looking at what Nephi told us he found in then immediately vicinithy of where he landed and settled in the land of Promise: 
3. He found in this location gold, silver and copper, which were so plentiful that Nephi remarked about finding it where he landed (within walking distance, such as a distance you would walk in a hunting or exploring journey around your base of operations—the tents you pitched and where you have your base camp). Also, this ore would not have been deep in the ground requiring a mine, etc., since Nephi remarked that he found it journeying around his landing area. Obviously, that means it would have been sufficiently visible that it would be seen as he walked around. In addition, these ores are mentioned in a single occurrence, so the gold, silver and copper needs to be in single ore (one rock formation—not found just anywhere, but not all that rare, either)
4. He found in this location both domesticated type animals (though running wild at the time) as well as wild beasts (carnivores). So the forest would have been sufficiently large enough for both type animals to have made it their home. What is found today is more or less immaterial, since animal habitats can change with seasons and centuries.
    So now you have these three types of things to look for in the area where Nephi’s ship would have sailed, where they landed, and where they immediately pitched their tents and settled.
At the end of Chapter 18 in 1 Nephi, he tells us what he found where he landed, directly adjacent to the landing site and where they pitched their tents and planted their seeds
1) You are looking, therefore, at a location where winds and currents would have taken a sailing ship "driven forth before the wind" which means fixed sails—not tacking and maneuvering all over the place—much like everyone sailed before the later Age of Sail when mariners learned to use more than winds and currents to reach destinations;
2) A Mediterranean Climate where seeds from Jerusalem would grow exceedingly and provide an abundant crop;
3) A permanent location of ore, forest, and settlement, which would have also meant fresh water
    Frankly, after more than 30 years of doing this, reading thousands of books (long before the internet), journals of travelers, ancient histories, etc., as well as naval journals, wind and current studies, reading about the men who discovered these winds and currents etc., and studying plants, seeds, climate, etc., a single location became obvious. It was not a location I had originally chosen, since I was not at all familiar with the central to lower half of the Chilean coast.
    It would seem logical that you would find this same location, since it meets all the requirements of the scriptural record, and because there is only one place in all the Western Hemisphere that would match these three points that Nephi describes.
    Once you have arrived at this point, the next step is to find a place where Nephi would have moved to after his father’s death, in order to escape the death threats of his brothers, and the sons of Ishmael—a location that was far enough away so no immediate discovery would be likely, where a defensive city and civilization could be built, and where all the things described in the scriptural record could be found—including gold, silver, copper, other precious metals, including iron, and wood for serious construction efforts (like Solomon's Temple comparison), where buildings of every kind were built north of there (Jaredites), where several cities had been built by Nephi and his descendants over the next 400 years before Mosiah left that area, etc.
Top: Jerusalem walls and buildings before 600 B.C., of which Nephi would have been familiar; Bottom: Andean Peru walls and buildings dating to first 500 B.C. Note the similar cut and dressed stonework that marked both Jewish masonry and that of early Peru
    Then you look within that area for:
1. Signs of an ancient civilization that more or less begins where Jerusalem would have been around 600 B.C.,
2. For stone construction where masons cut and dressed stones somewhat like Israel’s building of Jerusalem;
3. For ancient signs of advanced metallurgy, with masons capable of making both decorative and construction type metal products as Nephi described;
4. For ancient signs of advanced textiles, of fine-twined linen, silk, etc.
5. For roads and highways that went from land to land and place to place, and connected the ancient kingdom where the Nephites are thought to have occupied;
6. For similarities in Egyptian and Mesopotamia cultures;
Left: Offset stonework earlier than 600 B.C. Jerusalem; Similar offset stonework in 500 B.C. Andean Peru
    After this, you can start looking for perishable but solid evidence of items that at least existed in the Nephite era (including Jaredites), such as:
1. Two interesting animals that would have been unknown in the U.S. in 1830s, but more valuable to man than horses and asses, and on a par with elephants, that are indigenous to the area;
2. Two valuable grains that would not have been known to Joseph Smith, a farmer, in 1830 U.S., but nutritious on a par with wheat and barley;
3. You look for an herb or plant that is a cure for killing fevers, like malaria, and keep people from dying from it (Alma 46:40);
    Then there is the changeable things you can look for that match the scriptural record, such as areas where significant mountains in both the Land Southward and the Land Northward rose to levels “whose height is great.”
And for such things as signs of an ancient people that accomplished great things, built great cities, and worked with their hands, which Nephi tells us he caused his people to do.
    By this time, if you have really done your homework, been open-minded, followed exactly the wordage of the scriptural record without reading into it other than what it says, you likely will be in the right area. What is important is that you do not start with a pre-determined location in mind—if you do that, you will probably fail since you would have the tendency to read the scriptural record with that end view in mind, thus skewing the wordage and intent of the descriptions Nephi, Mormon and Moroni left us.
    Consequently, it matters little where the hill Cumorah is located in this process, other than knowing it was far north in the Land Northward; or where the Waters of Mormon were located, other than knowing they were near the City of Nephi in the Land of Nephi, in the Land Southward. What matters is where did Nephi land? And how did he get there? Since he tells us quite plainly, once you locate this area, they you can begin looking around for other clues you find in the writing that may lead you to different locations. In this way, we found where the City of Nephi was located—not because we set out to find it, but because the movement of Nephi from his landing site northward and the scriptural record telling us what we should find there, led us to that knowledge.
    Thus it is with the scriptural record. Start with it and it will take you exactly where Lehi and Nephi went.


  1. A very good overview of your research. Some day I am sure you will be vindicated. But today the Saints are being tried in all things (D&C 136:31) and it seems few are really founded in a solid understanding of the scriptures. A google search of "book of Mormon geography" brings dozens of fancy but conflicting websites. I agree with you that the scriptural problems with these sites need to be brought to light as they undermine faith in the BoM and they undermine research in the right direction to find further evidences.

  2. Well stated. Nice to know there are others who feel the same way about the scriptural record. Thank you.