Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Was There Only One Cumorah? Addendum

In the last post about Cumorah, there was a response that seems worthwhile to repeat here as a separate post. The individual who wrote under the moniker BOMG stated five disagreements, though all but one were far from self-explanatory. Here are those five comments and my response:

Comment: First off, the issue is adding to the text what it does not say.

Response: I am not sure what text you are referring to. Certainly, the Book of Mormon describes and names numerous cities and locations in the Western Hemisphere after cities and locations in the Middle East from which they came. It would be impossible for anyone to deny this.

Comment: Second, is inferring what is not inferred.

Response: Without further information, this comment is meaningless. There is no inferring in the article other than the fact that almost all emigrant peoples through history have renamed areas in their new land after areas in the land from which they came, and such would describe why there are two Cumorahs.

Comment: Third, D&C 128:20 proves Joseph did refer to the hill in Palmyra as "Cumorah."

Response: The D&C 128:20 does not prove any such thing. This scripture does not link in any way the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York where the plates were found by Joseph Smith in 1823 with the Hill Cumorah in the Land of Promise as described in the Book of Mormon. The referenced scripture is a letter or epistle to the Church from Joseph Smith in 1842, in which Joseph is declaring the reality of the Book of Mormon and the gospel therein outlined. In the proceeding verse (19), Joseph sets the tone for the verse referenced above: “Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received?” he asked. “A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.” He goes on to state a scripture regarding “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that they say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth!” and concludes this verse saying that “the knowledge of God descend upon them!” meaning the members of the church and all those who accept the gospel. Now in the next verse (20), the one referenced, he continues with this same theme: “And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets—the book to be revealed.” Obviously, Joseph is talking about the restoration of the gospel. In doing say, he is expressing how this restoration began: “A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book.” Joseph is using the location in which this restoration took place (Fayette, Seneca County), and continues along this theme of saying what happened and where: “The voice of Michael on the banks of the Seusquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! This voice of Peter, James and John in the wilderness between Harmon, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and the dispensation of the fullness of times!” In the following verse (21), he continues with his description of the restoration and where events took place. There simply is no indication in any way, intimated or stated, that any of these places relate to Book of Mormon Land of Promise locations—only to the restoration of the gospel in the early 1800s in the eastern U.S., which we all know today. Joseph, in stating “Glad tidings from Cumorah” is referencing the fact that Cumorah was the location of the gold plates which, when translated by him, declared glad tidings of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to both members of the church and to the world as a whole. The glad tidings is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not even by anyone’s wildest imagination can this comment be construed to mean the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York where the plates were found is the same Hill Cumorah described in the Land of Promise.

Comment: Fourth, Joseph never referred to another hill as Cumorah.

Response: Of course he did not refer to any other hill as Cumorah. He never desribed any Land of Promise locations. The Hill Cumorah in upstate New York is where he found the gold plates, which he translated into the Book of Mormon, and was that place from which the “Glad tidings” came forth. He never, at any time, tried to say exactly where the Hill Cumorah described on the plates in the Land of Promise was located originally. All we know from scripture, is that there was a land some distance south of the Hill Cumorah, called the Land Southward, south of the narrow neck of land separating the two lands (Land Northward and Land Southward) that was almost completely surrounded by water except for the narrow neck (Alma 22:32), which can not be identified in connection with the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York. The problem is, someone finds a name and wants to claim that was a Book of Mormon location. The folly of this is shown in the fact that there is a city called Moroni located in the Comoros Islands near Madagascar, where we have no record of any contact with Book of Mormon peoples. So what does this suggest? Nothing at all! Unless someone wants to claim east Africa and Madagascar were the location of the Land of Promise.

Comment: Fifth, prophecy dictates the Nephite record would come forth on the same land where it took place and Jesus himself would appear - in the same place!

Response: Really? Show me the prophecy, who stated it, when, and the context in which this was mentioned. Not having seen such a prophecy, one thought that comes to mind if there is such a prophecy, that in Joseph’s time, and much later, in fact, as has been pointed out in these posts, there was no concept of continents. A single land mass, as long as it was connected, was not separated by continental distinction. That idea came much later than Joseph’s time. Therefore, the “same land” could mean all of the Western Hemisphere, which is how land masses were separated at the time. Europe, China, Palestine, etc., belonged to the Eastern Hemisphere, the “Old World,” and North, Central and South America belonged to the Western Hemisphere, or the “New World.” If, by chance, you are referring to Ether 13:2, I would suggest you read it again, for the Land of Promise described there is all of the Western Hemisphere—there was no North or South America, nor was there a United State or Canada, just one large land mass connected to another large land mass—the Western Hemisphere—the Land of Promise.

Concluding Response: To whoever wrote these comments, perhaps he/she might want to be more self-explanatory next time. Also, try to use scripture as it was originally intended, not bend it to suit a model or an opinion--and rely more on Book of Mormon scripture regarding the Land of Promise than modern day comments. And read the verses before and after and understand in what context they appear. It might be helpful to keep from appearing ignorant of the overall scriptures. Also, it might additionally be helpful if you read the foregoing post(s) to understand in what context a single post is delivered on this site. As an example, “What Did Jacob Know?” states a scripture that though is rarely, if ever, quoted and understood by theorists such as yourself, describes a Land of Promise as an island surrounded by water in the sea. Hard to place the Hill Cumorah and surrounding area in such a location as an island in the sea—the same sea, by the way, that the Lord made their path from Bountiful in Arabia to the Land of Promise (2 Nephi 10:20).

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how these people come on line and make a stupid statement like this BOMG, then when you point out the error of their comments, they disappear. Who are these people? And why do they ignore all the BOM descriptive information and settle on one thought and present-day comments which they take out of context. It is amazing how easily you can answer these dumb statements people make. Keep up the good work. I am learning more each day.