Monday, August 15, 2016

An Interesting Thought on Cumorah - Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding the lack of artifacts found around the hill Cumorah in New York.
    The defending Theorists goes on to support the lack of artifacts found at Cumorah by saying: “I'm curious why this would be so. They had four years to prepare, on both sides. If I'm in a battle for my life, the last thing I'm doing is "making and sharpening" tools. I'd get what I need from my fallen comrades. Nothing in the text suggests people were "making and sharpening more tools" near Cumorah.”
Response: This four years is an interesting idea. We only know eight things that occured:
• In 380 A.D. the Nephites were running for their lives after being soundly defeated in a battle (Mormon 5:6)
• Those that were swifter than the Lamanites did escape and those whose flight did not exeed the Lamanites were swpet down and destroyed (Mormon 5:7)
• In the course of this battle or series of battles, Mormon decides not to “harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage (Mormon 5:9), thus we know nothing of thnese battles and how long they took;
• All we know is that after preaching for a time, Mormon adds, “And I Mormon wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites (Mormon 6:2), suggesting they meet in battle at Cumorah in which the Lamanite king agreed (Mormon 6:3);
• They marched to Cumorah for this final battle;
The drumlin hill Cumorah in New York is a gradual circular slope from one side to the other. The yellow arrow slows the slope that rises about 100-feet. The two workers in the red circle are working on the slope and their height shows the limited height of the hill. It would be extremely difficult for Mormon and 23 of his men to hide from the Lamanites who sought their lives on this hill. Yet that is exactly what Mormon says they did
• In 384 A.D., they “gathered in all their remaining people unto the land of Cumorah” (Mormon 6:5).
• When all had been gathered in to Cumorah, Mormon hid the sacred records in the hill and gave a few to Moroni (Mormon 6:6);
• The Lamanite armies arrived at Cumorah (Mormon 6:8).
During that time, it would have been essential for the Nephites to prepare themselves for this pending battle by making extra weapons, chipping arrowheads and fitting them to arrows, chipping knives, lances or spear points, gathering stones for their slings, and anything else that they might have felt helpful for their war effort. When one faces the possibility of death, knowing that his own right arm and the weapons he carries and uses is all that stands between life and death, I think this Theorist would be surprised how much time he would devote to preparing himself and his weapons, sharpening and re-sharpening, chipping away rough edges to provide sharp points, and making a second or third knife, another bundle of arrows, another club or axe head, or whatever it was he could make. Awaiting a battle causes the world to slow down around you while you mentally and physically prepare for the coming engagement.
    The idea of gathering weapons off a battle field is a modern-day thought, where armies had plenty of weapons provided them and when a comrade fell, his weapons would be available. No one in their right mind would enter into a combat like that the Nephites faced with minimal weapons, arrows, spears, etc. First of all, when an arrow is show, it is gone and picking up a bow from the ground is not going to be helpful unless the person has extra arrows himself. This theorists might think he would scavenge about for fallen weapons, but arrows are used at a distance and would have been the first thing exhausted and then discarded, since bows in close combat are simply not feasible. Next would have come the spears and lances, typically thrown at short distances (compared to an arrow) and even at near-close combat with Swords then becoming the weapons in close combat.
No matter where this battle took place, there would have been literally hundreds of thousands of arrowheads and tens of thousands of knives, spears, lances, and swords, and an untold number of pebbles used in slings. Anyone knowing what they were looking for would have found thousands of artifacts, especially in an area that was mostly virgin land for a thousand years and lightly occupied by settlers for the next three or four hundred years. Even today, the area around the New York Cumorah is large acreage farms where limited farm houses have been constructed, leaving huge fields to be plowed and planted.
    According to Oliver Cowdery in Letter VII, “At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed. According to Michael J. Dorais (The Geologic History of Hill Cumorah, Neal A. Maxwell Institute) the hill Cumorah is a drumlin hill, named after the Gaelic word druim for hill, which is an elongated hill formed by glacial processes. Cumorah is one of 10,000 similar hills of west-central New York that compose one of the largest drumlin fields in the world. The hill, which is about 1.6 miles long, north to south, and separated on the west, according to Oliver Cowdery (Letter VII to W.W. Phelps), from another drumlin hill by about a mile, provides a valley to the west about 1.6 square miles in which this Theorist’s claims more than a half million men fought and at least 250,000 died? There is no possible way this battle took place all within that western confine.
    It might be noted that in Letter VII, in which Cowdery draws attention to Mormon’s account and then incorrectly quotes him by saying “as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah” when in fact the scriptural record states: “we did pitch our tents around about the hill Cumorah.
As stated in the earlier post, “around about” means to encircle, or all around the hill; while “round this hill” does not convey the same meaning.
The hill Cumorah is in the center of the circle, and allthe land around about is flat and would not have kept an attacking army of overwhelming numbers from encircling the entire  hill and closing in for the kill--which is what the Lamanites would have done and if this was the battlefield for there would have been no reason not to, despite Oliver Cowdery's comments that it took place only in the west valley--which is notl really a valley at all, but an open plain that circles the small drumlin hill
Thus, the battle would have taken place all around the hill like the Nephites had been encamped, and in so doing, artifacts would have been scattered to the west, north, east and south of the hill, despite the Theorist’s sardonic comments to the contrary.
    Thus, artifacts, if any were to be found, would have been scattered all around the hill in these plowed fields where such plowing generally turns up sub-surface buryings of artifacts, even bones, the latter, by the way, have been known to survive for thousands of years, depending upon the soil conditions, ph in the ground, water tables, and numerous other things—but bones remain near the surface when allowed to be buried by the course of time and 1600 years for tens of thousands of skeletons to disappear from the sub-surface is unrealistic and if the right burial ground or killing fields around the correct Hill Cumorah is ever found, such artifacts of hundreds of thousands of arrowheads and other weapons would surely be located, and the bones of half a million dead or more would also most certainly be found.
As any soldier or warrior can tell you, you can never have enough ammunition in a major battle--running out of arrows, as an example, one would not have time to hunt around for used arrows laying on the ground, or imbedded in a dead body. If one has ever seen a battle of bows, it is insert the shaft, nock the crown, stretch and loose; insert the shaft, nock the crown, stretch and loose, about as fast as one can in a "grip it and rip it" method of shooting
And as for “Nothing in the text suggests people were "making and sharpening more tools" near Cumorah” it most certainly does, for on more than this occasion, Mormon writes about preparing for battle in gathering all their people into Cumorah over a period of time before that final battle. What on earth does this Theorist think these people were doing? With the prospect of meeting a far surperior force at the sight they had chosen, Cumorah, one can only envision that they were preparing “when three hundred and eighty and four years had passed away, we had gathered in all the remainder of our people unto the land of Cumorah” (Mormon 6:5), for what was to be their final battle.


  1. I find it interesting that the plates were hidden in the hill. The hill is composed of glacial gravels and clay. It would have been very unlikely the plates could have been concealed in a hill like this and not have anybody find the plates. There certainly are no caves in the NY Cumorah.

    Years ago while digging an exploratory trench on a project in Utah human bones came up to the surface. The bones were found at a depth of about 10-feet deep. Professionals were called in to examine the site and the bones turned out to be 2,000 years old. Clearly if such a large battle would have taken place there in NY there should be bones. I would love to see what could be found in an excavation around the real Cumorah in Ecuador.

  2. Mormon 6:6 says there is a hiding place of many records in the real battleground hill Cumorah. The drumlin in New York is so small, surely this hiding place could easily be found today with the equipment that is had. Or even with a few bulldozers if necessary.

  3. Mormon hid the records in the hill Cumorah, but we have no knowledge of where they remained there or elsewhere--the Lord has a very large area in which to put things he wants kept safe and out of harm's way. Moroni on the other hand hid the records "in the earth" but we do not know where. People keep limiting the Lord to their way of thinking. Also, Moroni could have buried the records in the hill Cumorah in New York just before Nephi was to find them or they could have been there for 1600 years. However,since BYU isn't about to go digging in Ecuador it is unlikely anyone will.

    Also,the Lord can make "slippery" anything he wants to keep safe as he did the swords and weapons of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. I think we make a mistake judging the Lord's capability by that of man.

  4. Del did you mean "just before Joseph was to find them"? (Rather than Nephi)

  5. Yep, my mind typed Joseph but my fingers missed the message. Before Joseph was directed to obtain them. :)