Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Was There Only One Cumorah?

It is interesting that Great Lakes Theorists want to “hang their hat” on the subject of there being only one Hill Cumorah. That is like saying there is only one Bountiful, only one Land or City of Jerusalem, Angola, Boaz, Ephraim, Gad, Benjamin, Joshua, Judea, Noah. Many Book of Mormon locations are words or names brought from the Old World.

In the Book of Mormon itself, Lehi named the area along the seashore they reached after 8 years in the wilderness (1 Nephi 17:4) Bountiful (1 Nephi 17:5). About 500 years later, once in the Land of Promise, and once expanding northward from Zarahemla, they called the land far to the north Bountiful (Alma 22:29) and called a city there Bountiful (Alma 52:27).

It is typical that names are repeated by emigrant groups leaving an Old Land and settling in a New Land. Consider Birmingham, Athens, Oxford, and York, in Alabama; Bristol, Danbury, Derby, Dover, Milford, New London, and Norwich, in Connecticut; or Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dover, Moscow, Oxford, Paris, and Troy in Idaho. In Minnesota are Belgrade, Cambridge, New Prague, and Stockholm, with Vienna, Warsaw, New Madrid, Glasgow and Amsterdam in Missouri. And there are New York, Amsterdam New Rochelle, Rome and Venice in the state of New York. In all, there are listed 128 major cities in the United States named after cities in England, Europe, the Mediterranean area, Turkey, etc. What is so strange that a special hill in the Land of Promise—the Hill Cumorah, which the Jaredites called the Hill Ramah before them, where the history of the Nephite people were buried, would also be the same name the Lord would give the hill where the plates were transported by Moroni for Joseph Smith to receive?

In addition, as these Theorists like to claim: “the true lands of the Book of Mormon cannot be very distant from the place that scripture designates as Cumorah (Doctrine and Covenants 128:20).” Yet, in reading the scripture indicated to back up this statement, we find that in the time of Joseph Smith, “Glad tidings from Cumorah” are being declared, that “Moroni as an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets—the book to be revealed” a “voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca County, declaring then three witnesses to bear record of the book” and also “the voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, directing the devil when he appeared as an angel of light” as well as “the voice of Peter, James and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Coleville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys to the kingdom and of the dispensation of the fullness of times.”

How can it be said that the true lands of the Book of Mormon cannot be far from the events that took place in the early 1800s when the Church was restored? These are two entirely separate events, separated by both two thousand years and purpose of statement. This statement in the Doctrine and Covenants has to do with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and also of the restoration of the Gospel, the Priesthood, and the Church of God. The Book of Mormon, as a Second Witness of Jesus Christ, outlines the events surround three groups the Lord led out of the Old World and to a Land of Promise in the Western Hemisphere, covering from about 2100 B.C. to 421 A.D. The scripture stated above took place in the New England area about 1.400 years later to a Gentile nation, unconnected to the Jews or Hebrews who closed out the Book of Mormon.

Because the Church was restored in New England does not mean the Book of Mormon took place there any more than saying that Christ was born, lived and died along the banks of the Susquehanna River where He restored the Priesthood. There is no connection in these events and none should be drawn from them. In reality, these events took place in three different areas—Christ’s life was in the Jerusalem/Israel area, the Book of Mormon lands were in the Andean area of South America (though some Nephites moved northward to cover nearly all of the Western Hemisphere), and the Church was restored in New England in North America. Why Great Lakes Theorists have so much trouble with this simple fact is difficult to understand—especially when the simple meaning in the Book of Mormon shows little correlation with upstate New York.

1 comment:

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

    Second, is inferring what is not inferred.

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

    Fourth, Joseph never referred to another hill as Cumorah.

    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!