Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Nice Photo of a Prime Candidate for the Real Hill Cumorah

AncientCumorah.com has a good photo of the Hill Vigia in Veracruz State, Mexico, believed by many LDS scholars to be a plausible candidate for the ancient Hill Cumorah, site of the final great battles of two civilizations, the Nephites and the Jaredites (the latter called it Ramah). That hill meets the criteria required by the Book of Mormon: a place that would offer a significant advantage to a large army (unlike the puny mound called Hill Cumorah in New York State, which hardly stands out from the many other tiny hills around it), a place with fountains of water (essential for a large body of people), near the east sea, north of the narrow neck of land, prominent enough to be well known to many people, etc.

I know we've all assumed that the hill where Joseph found the plates is the hill where the Nephites fought their great battle and kept a repository of sacred records - but the Book of Mormon does not say that Moroni stored the Book of Mormon plates in the Hill Cumorah. It says that many Nephite's sacred records OTHER THAN the Book of Mormon were kept there. The text ends with the plates in Moroni's possession as he wanders. I assume he wandered away from Mesoamerica, going far north to present-day New York State and buried the plates there, or he could have done it after his resurrection, or the Lord could have moved them there. But the idea that the Hill Cumorah/Ramah described in the Book of Mormon is in New York simply doesn't fit the text, though many early Mormons made that assumption.

Joseph never said that the hill where he found the plates was the Hill Cumorah of the Nephites - though it's an easy thing for people to assume, at least initially.

The really interesting thing is how well the Hill Vigia in Mexico corresponds with the requirements of the Book of Mormon. See David Palmer's book, In Search of Cumorah.


Anonymous said...

The comment made that Joseph Smith did not say that the Hill Cumorah is the one in New York is incorrect. The History of the Church 2:79-80 gives the story of the discovery of a skeleton near the Illinois river by the members of Zion's camp which Joseph identified as a Lamanite named Zelph killed in the last struggle between the Nephites and Lamanites. Joseph said that he had been known from the Hill Cumorah on the east sea to the Rocky Mountains. By making such a statement, clearly Joseph is not referring to a hill in Meso America. In addition Oliver Cowdery, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, David Whitmer and others all spoke of the Hill Cumorah as being the one in New York. None of them were ever corrected by the Prophet (see Doctrines of Salvation 3:234). Those who wish to stick to the position of the Church and its leaders should abandon any thought of there existing another Hill Cumorah other than the one in upstate New York where Joseph found the plates.

Anonymous said...

A carefull reading of the text shows that the Battle did not take place on the Hill Cumorah but in the Land cumorah Mor. 6:2. In vs 4 we read that the Nephites pitched their tents "round about" the hill Cumorah. Vs 5 tells us that the people had finnished gathering at the begining of 385 ad. Clearly it took some time to gather as it took the Jaradites 4 years to gather see Ether 15:14. In mormon 6:6 we read that Mormon hid the records in the Hill Cumorah so they would not be distroyed. Clearly he would not have hidden them were the people could have seen him as he knew the were for the most part wicked. Anyone who might desert to the Lamanites could have told them were he hid them so he would have had the people some distance from the Hill. Finnaly the Nephites would not have just sat aroound camp and fought in camp but would have gone out to the lamanites so the land covered would have been considerably large. In the greater area you have many lakes and rivers that fit nicely with the text. Again the truth is in the detail and that detail is Land not Hill.

Anonymous said...

There's yet a third hill that some scholars think may be the place where the final Jaredite and Nephite battles took place. There's a lot of information and a photo about it at http://www.mormonsites.org

Mormon Sites

BOMC said...

Details detail two things:

1. Moroni said the record was about what had occurred on "this land" where the record was.

2. "That land" of Western New York was truly surrounded by water on all sides, just as the record says.

3. Any geographical model must show four bodies of water. Mesoamerican models have a hard time placing the Sea North and the Sea South. In fact, you won't find them on any map.

4. The Hill Ramah is NOT the Hill Cumorah, meaning, the Jaredite battle occurred somewhere else.

There are many other "details" that have been overlooked by geographers for a long time. Please view further "details" here:


John Roberts said...

Not so. The Zelph story has a number of varying accounts, none by Joseph Smith. If one has seen the NY drumlin, it's dirt. No caves, okay? Two the NY hill is not north of a "narrow neck" of land, but is southeast of the only narrow neck nearby. Third, anyone who's lived on the East Coast knows it gets bitter cold (like now). Book of Mormon writers never mentioned cold, ice, crossing frozen rivers. George Washington mentioned the cold of Valley Forge a few times and it was mentioned by the soldiers of the Battle of the Bulge. Why not once in the BofM?? Either Cumorah is in Mesoamerica or it doesn't exist. Get an open mind...do an Internet search and read. I used to believe as you and I had to change. That NY drumlin has no strategic military value; populations never met BoM criteria, no roads and remember, poisonous serpents cut off the narrow pass for five years, summer and winter! Tough snakes in NY!