Thursday, April 26, 2012

Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part X—Covino’s “Facts”

Continuing with Covino's free download of so-called "facts" that he claims are inarguable. The first two were begun in the last post. Here we continue with Fact #3 onward:

Fact #3: "The prophets have declared the Hill Cumorah in New York to be the very one and only one where Moroni buried The Book of Mormon and that is also the same place where the last battles of the Jaredites and Nephites took place, History of the Church, 1948 ed., vol 2, pp 79-80. Also see Doctrines of Salvation under Cumorah."

 The Hill Cumorah in upstate New York is a very low lying hill, and in Joseph Smith's time was denuded of vegetation. Hardly a place where Mormon, Moroni, and some of his generals could have looked down upon the ensuing battle encompassing about a million warriors on both sides.

Response: As stated in the last post, Elder Widtsoe said, "the Prophet Joseph Smith translator of the book, did not say where, on the American continent, Book of Mormon activities occurred." Elder Widtsoe further observed that the hill from which the Book of Mormon plates were obtained by Joseph Smith as Cumorah. This is a fixed point in the Book of Mormon later history. There is a controversy, however, about the Hill Cumorah--not about the location where the Book of Mormon plates were found, but whether it is the hill under that name near which Nephite events took place. A name may be applied to more than one hill; and plates containing the records of a people, sacred things, could be moved from place to place by divine help." One might also want to read the complete information leading to the final 1948 edition of the History of the Church to find that an early church historian working on the record during Joseph Smith's life eliminated such wordage from the record (which was recorded by only one of six men who recorded it), then a later historian added it in.

Fact #4:  "The New Jerusalem, the land Bountiful, the Garden of Eden, and Adam-ondi-Ahman are all in Missouri, Waiting for World's End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff," p 305; President Romney in a 4th of July speech from 1976, 3 Ne 11:1 and as detailed by Joseph along with many more scriptures."

Response:  There is total agreement on the New Jerusalem, Garden of Eden and Adam-ondi-Ahman were (or will be) in the state of Missouri. However, the line to this area of the Land of Bountiful is less in agreement. In fact, the reference to 3 Nephi 11:1 is disingenuous since it says nothing of that area, only that: "And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place." This can hardly be a scriptural reference to this statement of location. Two other points can be made: 1) Woodruff's comment was stricken from the Church record by Joseph Smith's personal scribe and appointed Church Historian, 2) This particular volume cited is a single book condensed by Susan Staker from the 9 volume Woodruff diaries, in which she took his personal narrative and condensed it into one readable volume along with prefatory information, annotation, and appendices. This is hardly proof of anything since it is unknown what she left out or might have altered in her writing.

Fact #5: "Brigham Young said the Gadianton robbers were in the Rocky Mountains, in a speech at the St. George Temple dedication. Search St. George Temple dedication on line from April 7, 1877. This proves where they lived since spirits live where they used to live while alive."

Response:  First of all, the Temple dedication was held on Friday, April 6, 1877, with the dedication prayer offered by Daniel H. Wells as part of the 47th Annual General Conference of the Church, which covered April 6, 7, and 8, and was held in the temple. On that day, four months before his death, Brigham Young, in a talk held in the Temple at St. George, Friday Morning on April 6, 1877, had only one reference to "robbers" and none to Gadianton Robbers. He said, "But in aiding and blessing the poor I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of a set of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves, and give one-tenth to the poor."  According to the record, Brigham Young did not speak on April 7 or 8. However, on January 20, 1861, 16 years earlier, in a talk delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle (not St. George), Brigham Young did say: "There are scores of evil spirits here--spirits of the old Gadianton robbers, some of whom inhabited these mountains, and used to go into the South and afflict the Nephites. There are millions of those spirits in the mountains" which suggests that Satan, and his minions, will be found where the Saints dwell.

Secondly, we have no idea where the spirits live once they leave this earthy life. Whether they stay in the same location, are assigned other areas, or move about is unknown. All we know is that they are either in Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison, and those in Spirit Paradise are busily engaged in preaching the gospel to those in Spirit Prison. Such a flat-out statement as "This proves where they lived since spirits live where they used to live while alive" is completely disingenuous. That some people, belonging to the Gadianton Robber clan lived in the Rocky Mountains does not mean that was the only place they were during Book of Mormon times, nor their going "into the South to afflict the Nephites" preclude the Nephites from living anywhere to the South of "These Mountains"--which, according to geology stretch basically from the Aleutian Islands to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America as part of the "everlasting hills" we so often speak and sing about in the church today.  In addition, the Rocky Mountains alone, stretch over 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of  British Columbia in western Canada to New Mexico in the United States. So the Nephites were south of there, for "they came down out of the mountains."

Thirdly, Covino's reference is far off and was not part of the St. George Temple dedication or the conference held there in April 1877. Nor did Brigham Young claim the Robbers were in the Rocky Mountains, but in "these mountains," and that "some of them were there," obviously meaning that many others "millions" were elsewhere, and that the Nephites were "south of there."

(See the next post, "Did the Land of Promise Span Two Continents? Part XI--Covino's "Facts" to see more of how Covino twists the facts to try and make them agree with is beliefs.)

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in an article titled The Modern Day Gadianton Golden Boy.