Saturday, December 31, 2016

All Those Records—Where Are They? Part II

Continuing from the last post where it was stated that for some reason, most members of the Church think that Moroni had with him all the records from his father, which would have included all the records that Ammaron told Mormon about. However, we find from the last paragraph of the previous post that Mormon did not give all "those plates" to his son (Mormon 6:6).
Mormon felt the need to protect and preserve the plates passed to him by Ammaron. He knew this would be the last “hurrah” of the Nephite people and knew if he was killed and the plates were in camp, the Lamanites would find them and destroy them, for the Lord had so warned him (Mormon 6:6). Thus he went up into the hill called Cumorah and hid them—where or how we are not told.
    Now, the records he hid was the record of Lehi (later those 116 pages of translation were lost by Martin Harris), and the record from Mosiah through 4th Nephi. He then gave to his son the abridged record he had finished, which included his abridged record of Lehi, and his abridgement of the record from Mosiah 1:1 onward through 4th Nephi. These records also contained his own writing (the plates of Mormon), which Moroni later finished, adding chapters 8 and 9 (WofM 1:1; Mormon 8:1). On these plates was enough space for Moroni to translate and abridge the book of Ether, and then add his own writing (Book of Moroni). All the other records Mormon deposited in the Hill Cumorah as, no doubt, the Lord instructed him.
    Now here begins the area of problem that confuses most Great Lakes, Heartland and eastern U.S. theorists, in believing this hill Cumorah where Mormon hid the rest of the records had to be the hill Cumorah where Moroni put his abridged records and those of his father for Joseph Smith to obtain.
The problem lies in believing those two locations had to be the same, that Mormon’s hiding of the overall Nephite records and Moroni’s hiding of the plates delivered to Joseph Smith had to be in the same place, and that place had to be near where Joseph Smith would grow up in the 1820s. In 400 A.D., where these separate parts were located would have been of little important to the Lord, for he could have caused Joseph Smith to be born anywhere, for Moroni to hide the plates in any location he chose, and for the records hidden by Mormon to have been transported, by whatever means, to whatever location he chose—and he had 1400 years to bring that about. Why we feel we must limit what the Lord can do is beyond my imagination. He is the Lord, through him the worlds were created—worlds without number (Moses 1:33), all that was important was for these three things to be in the area needed at the time Joseph Smith reached the age of 14 and was moved by the Spirit to call upon the Lord.
    Whether the plates were put into the stone box in 400-500 A.D., or just prior to 1823 when Joseph first saw them, or any time in between would matter little to the Lord. Nor did those plates have to be left in that hill until 1827 when Joseph removed them. Whether they were or not is of really little import—they were there when needed, first for Joseph to see, then for him to obtain, so they could be translated as foretold (Mormon 9:30,34). Whether the records lay deposited in the ground where they were found for 1400 years or 14 years, or 1 day, it mattereth not, for the records came forth as prophesied, translated for our benefit, that we may know of Christ, of his dealings with the Nephites, Jaredites, Mulekites and Lamanites through this restoration and translation is what matters. In time, we will know all things.
For now, let us acknowledge that we do not know even a tenth of these things, even a hundredth, yet this theorist and that theorist think, for some reason, they know more than the Lord has told us, or wants us to know at this time. As an example, we cannot be certain that Mormon withdrew all the records that the Nephites had and were later seen by Joseph Smith in the cave. We only know that whatever amount of records Ammaron hid up in the hill Shim and told Mormon about were later taken out by Mormon and evidently carried with him for he tells us that he “did take up all the records which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord” (Mormon 4:23), which leaves us with one of three choices:
1. Ammaron had in his possession all of the records of the Nephites and had hid them in the hill Shim, and Mormon took all those records out between 375 to 380 B.C., about 5 to 10 years before the final battle;
2. Ammaron had all the records, hid some elsewhere and some in the hill Shim, which Mormon obtained;
3. Ammaron never had all the records of the Nephites, like the ones seen in the cave by Joseph Smith as told by Brigham Young. Where those other records were kept is then unknown.
    Now, if we take the stance that at the time of Mormon becoming the head of all the Nephite armies (Mormon 2:1) there were about one million Nephites in the land, then his comment before this final battle at Cumorah “behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites”
 (WofM 1:1) make sense—that is, the “almost all the destruction of my people,” for he is looking out over his own army at the time that had 230,000 fighting men, plus wives and children, and knowing he had already seen the vast majority of his people destroyed. This means in the sixty years between his appointment at age 15 and his preparing for the final battle at Cumorah at age 75 in 385 A.D., he had seen the death of more than three-fourths of his people, some 750,000 men, women and children, leaving him with the 230,000 men and perhaps 20,000-50,000 wives and children.

    Where he deposited the records in that hill Cumorah we are not told—certainly they were not the total amount of records that later Joseph Smith found in a small stone box along with the urim and thummim, breast plate, and the plates of Ether. Based on later accounts of seeing inside a cave, either within the New York hill or through in a vision to another place, the records of the Nephites that have been preserved are so numerous, Brigham Young claimed they’d fill several wagon loads.
But of the record we have, Mormon said, “I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written, for after I had made an abridgement from the plates of Nephi—[these are the Large Plates of Nephi kept by the kings]—down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands—[he had obtained from the hill Shim that Ammaron had hidden]—and I found these plates which contained this small account of the prophets from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi—{these were the Small Plates of Nephi that concluded with Omni].”
    This is the second record, or the abridgement Nephi made on the small plates he made as described in 2 Nephi 5:30, where the Lord told Nephi “Make other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people.”
(See the next post, “All Those Records—Where Are They? Part III,” for the final information regarding all the records of the Nephites and where they ended up)


  1. Del,

    Happy New Year. I just bought LNSMA for my dad.
    I especially love this particular thread.
    Thank you for being passionate about this subject.


  2. Thank you for your nice comment.