Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Word About The Moving of Records

For those who like to claim the gold plates and Nephite records could not have been moved from the Hill Cumorah in the Land of Promise to another location, such as a hill in upstate New York called the Hill Cumorah within LDS nomenclature, should be aware that the records were moved at least once within the scriptural record, and likely at least twice.

In Helaman’s day, about 46 B.C., we find that the Nephites had many records covering all sorts of activities, such as “their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries…there are many books and many records of every kind” (Helaman 3:14-15). Where these records were kept is not known, nor how many times these records were moved is not known, however, we do know that they were “handed down from one generation to another” (Helaman 3:16) over the centuries, “even until they have fallen into transgression” etc., which should suggest to the day of Mormon.

Now we know that the last prophet mentioned before Mormon was Ammaron, who, in 320 A.D., under the direction of the Holy Ghost, hid up all the sacred records of the Nephites which had been handed down from generation to generation (4 Nephi 1:48) in a hill called Shim in the Land of Antum (Mormon 1:3). These records were many, and some were “books and records of every kind” and were “handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites” (Helaman 3:15-16).

When Mormon was 24 years old, he took the plates of Nephi from Ammaron’s hidden cache, but left the remainder of all these records in the hill Shim (Mormon 1:4).

In about 375 A.D., Mormon went to this hill Shim and took all the other Nephite records which Ammaron had hidden (Mormon 4:23) before they began retreating further and further northward before the invading Lamanites, passing through many lands (Mormon 5:5). Finally, in 384 A.D., Mormon hid up the plates of Nephi which he had taken from the hill Shim, and hid them up in the hill Cumorah, which was in the Land of Cumorah (Mormon 6:2), along with all the records which had been entrusted to him by the hand of the Lord save it were a few plates which he gave to Moroni (Mormon 6:6).

This Cumorah, was so far north (Alma 22:30) that it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains (Mormon 6:4). Therefore, it can only be concluded that the records mentioned were first handed down from generation to generation throughout the Land of Promise, no doubt beginning in Zarahemla, until the Nephites fell into transgress, then hidden in a hill called Shim in the Land of Antum, which was far to the south of the Land Northward, then taken and re-hidden in a hill called Cumorah in the Land of Cumorah, which was far to the north in the Land Northward.

To conclude that these records could not have been later moved from Cumorah by Moroni after he concluded his final record, as the Spirit directed, or by some other means known only to the Lord, is foolhardy. After all, they were moved from one end of the Land of Promise to the other during the 1000 years of Nephite recorded history. Certainly, they could have been moved again under the direction of the Spirit by a living or spirit body Moroni, or by some other means, during the following 1400 years of time from Moroni’s last writing to when Joseph Smith was directed to them in what has become known within LDS circles as the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York.

After all, according to the Historical Record, vol 6, Map 1887 pp 207-209, David Whitmer told Elder Joseph F. Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve about his wagon trip to Fayette with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. As they traveled across a section of prairie, they came upon a man walking along the road, carrying something that was obviously heavy in a knapsack on his back. Invited to ride, the man replied, “No, I am going to Cumorah.” Puzzled, David looked around inquiringly, but when he turned again, the man was gone. David demanded of Joseph: “What does it mean?” Joseph informed him that the man was Moroni, and that the bundle on his back contained plates which Joseph had delivered to him before they departed from Harmony, Susquehanna County, and that he was taking them for safety, and would return them when he (Joseph) reached father Whitmer’s home.”
Limiting God’s ability to bring about his own purposes through means unknown to man is not only foolhardy, but disingenuous by LDS scholars and theorists.

The box made to contain the records while in Joseph's possession.

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