Friday, March 17, 2023

Thursday, March 9, 2023

New Madrid earthquakes

The description of destruction in 3 Nephi (which never mentions volcanoes) matches the description of the massive earthquakes in Madrid, Missouri, in 1812-13.

A recent video describing the events is here:

538,792 views • Feb 7, 2022 • #thehistoryguy #history #Missouri

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Mayans in Arkansas

Sometimes people who question the New York Cumorah ask me about Lehi's posterity in Latin America. We have little knowledge of events outside the narrative of the Book of Mormon (I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people -Words of Mormon 1:5), and even less knowledge of events postdating the Book of Mormon. 

But we do know that there have been migrations and intermarriages throughout the Americas. 

From the twitter thread I've mentioned:

This artifact was found in a cave in Arkansas over 50 years ago. UCLA's archaeology labs determined it is a genuine Maya sculpture. It is on display at the Fort Smith Museum of History.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Porthsmouth, Ohio

 From the twitter account I've mentioned before. Well worth following.

This is a painting on the floodwall along the Ohio River in Portsmouth, OH. It shows a portion of the massive Earthworks complex that was constructed around 500 BC. From the many earthworks in the city there were miles-long walkways leading to massive sites in Kentucky, one can be seen in the distance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Cumorah issue is simple

I often have conversations with other lawyers who greatly respect Oliver Cowdery and what he went through as a witness to the early events of the Church, as the Assistant President of the Church, and later as a humble member who sought no position or recognition.

The topic of Book of Mormon geography arises. Usually they say they believe there were two Cumorahs.

I reply that I'm fine with multiple working hypotheses, but they should at least be based on all the information.

Lawyers (and most other people) always agree with that premise.

Then I explain that for me the issue is simple: we either believe what Oliver taught or we don't.

Although they are usually fairly well-versed in Church history and the various geography theories, they rarely know what Oliver had taught about Cumorah. 

This is such a common experience in my discussions that I have to infer that the M2C citation cartel has successfully suppressed, censored, and eliminated Oliver's teachings. 

Most Latter-day Saints believe what Oliver said.

They know he was the only witness, other than Joseph, to the restoration of the Priesthood, the receipt of temple keys, and to most of the translation of the Book of Mormon. He was an Apostle, the Second Elder, and the Assistant President of the Church. 

Nevertheless, certain scholars and their employees and followers have persuaded Church members to disbelieve Oliver when he talked about (i) Cumorah and (ii) the translation of the Book of Mormon.

I posted a chart about this on a page on this blog: 

I realize Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter Foundation, and others have employed sophistry to justify their repudiation of what Oliver taught about Cumorah. They likewise dismiss the teachings of subsequent prophets and apostles on the topic, rationalizing that Church leaders were merely speaking as men, that they were naïve and ignorant, and that they were wrong.

And all of this because the New York Cumorah contradicts their M2C theory, which was invented by RLDS scholars Stebbins and Hills in the early 1900s.


For those who accept what Oliver taught, there is no question about Cumorah. There is no "two-Cumorahs" theory with a false Cumorah in New York and a true Cumorah in Mexico, or Baja, or Panama, or Chile, or Thailand, or Eritrea, or wherever.

Maybe it's the simplicity of the New York Cumorah that makes it a stumbling block for the credentialed class in the Church.


It's always useful to remember what J. Reuben Clark taught:

You do have an interest in matters purely cultural and in matters of purely secular knowledge, but, I repeat again for emphasis, your chief interest, your essential and all but sole duty, is to teach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as that has been revealed in these latter days. You are to teach this gospel, using as your sources and authorities the standard works of the Church and the words of those whom God has called to lead His people in these last days. You are not, whether high or low, to intrude into your work your own peculiar philosophy, no matter what its source or how pleasing or rational it seems to you to be. To do so would be to have as many different churches as we have seminaries—and that is chaos.


It's easy to see how, if every Latter-day Saint accepted what Oliver and the others have taught about the New York Cumorah, we would have greater unity in the Church--and less chaos.

But somehow, unity doesn't seem to be a priority for the M2C scholars who have repudiated these teachings.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Top 10 for 2022 (top 5 posts and top 5 pages)

The most-viewed resources on this blog have always been the Post about President Ivins and the Page on the BYU Packet on Cumorah. 

That remained true in 2022 as well.

Overall, the blog had over 200,000 views, not counting the reposts at moronisamerica, amazon, and other sites.


The top 5 most-viewed posts on this blog for 2022, in reverse order.

5. Reminiscences of Edward Stevenson

4. The First Presidency taught...

3. More about Cumorah's casualties

2. Abraham Lincoln on extinct giants

1. The Hill Cumorah by President Anthony W. Ivins


The top 5 most-viewed pages on this blog for 2022, in reverse order.

5. Cumorah's cave by Cameron Packer

4. The Two Sets of Plates schematic

3. President Ivins on the New York Cumorah

2. Trip to Fayette references

1. BYU packet on Cumorah

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

2023, Hopewell, and Unesco

September 2023 is the 200th anniversary of Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith.

During that visit, Moroni told Joseph that 

"the record is on a side hill on the Hill of Cumorah 3 miles from this place remove the Grass and moss and you will find a large flat stone pry that up and you will find the record under it laying on 4 pillars of cement— then the angel left him."

During that visit, Moroni also explained what the record was about and where it was written:

He [Moroni] then proceeded and gave a general account of the promises made to the fathers, and also gave a history of the aborigenes of this country, and said they were literal descendants of Abraham. He represented them as once being an enlightned and intelligent people, possessing a correct knowledge of the gospel, and the plan of restoration and redemption. He said this history was written and deposited not far from that place, and that it was our brother’s privilege, if obedient to the commandments of the Lord, to obtain and translate the same by the means of the Urim and Thummim, which were deposited for that purpose with the record.


Earlier this month the BBC published a travel article about "The US' 2,000-year-old mystery mounds."

Heading: "Constructed by a mysterious civilisation that left no written records, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are a testament to indigenous sophistication."


All of these all these prehistoric ceremonial earthworks in Ohio were created by what is now called the Hopewell Culture, a network of Native American societies that gathered from as far away as Montana and the Gulf of Mexico between roughly 100 BCE and 500 CE and were connected by a series of trade routes. Their earthworks in Ohio consist of shapes – like circles, squares and octagons – that were often connected to each other. Archaeologists are only now beginning to understand the sophistication of these engineering marvels. 

Of course, 100 BCE is about the time when Mosiah discovered the people of Zarahemla and taught them a written language, which led to the flourishing of Nephite society. Many Latter-day Saints think Mosiah left from eastern Tennessee and joined the people of Zarahemla in present-day Illinois. From there, the civilization expanded eastward into Indiana and Ohio. Eventually, around 400 AD, fleeing from Lamanite attacks, the Nephite civilization retreated to western New York where the survivors were killed off by the Lamanites. All of this aligns with the archaeological record.

The article notes:

The US Department of the Interior has nominated eight of Hopewell's earthworks for consideration in 2023 as a Unesco World Heritage site. These include The Great Circle and The Octagon in Newark, Ohio, as well Ohio's first state park, Fort Ancient (not an actual fort). The other five are part of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park: Mound City, Hopeton Earthworks, High Bank Works, Hopewell Mound Group and Seip Earthworks. 


While a Unesco designation wouldn't entail the return of land or reparations, it does mean greater local representation and education about Ohio's Native American history.


It would be fitting if, during the year of the 200th anniversary of Moroni's visit, these historic sites finally receive Unesco recognition.