Monday, November 28, 2022

"while going to Cumorah"

Oliver Cowdery described Joseph's first visit to the Hill Cumorah after Moroni showed him the location.

You see the great wisdom in God in leading him thus far, that his mind might begin to be more matured, and thereby be able to judge correctly, the spirits. 

I do not say that he would not have obtained the record had he went according to the direction of the angel—I say that he would; but God knowing all things from the beginning, began thus to instruct his servant. 

And in this it is plainly to be seen that the adversary of truth is not sufficient to overthrow the work of God. 

You will remember that I said, two invisible powers were operating upon the mind of our brother while going to Cumorah

In this, then, I discover wisdom in the dealings of the Lord: it was impossible for any man to translate the book of Mormon by the gift of God, and endure the afflictions, and [p. 98] temptations, and devices of satan, without being overthrown unless he had been previously benefited with a certain round of experience: 

and had our brother obtained the record the first time, not knowing how to detect the works of darkness, he might have been deprived of the blessings of sending forth the word of truth to this generation. 

Therefore, God knowing that satan would thus lead his mind astray, began at that early hour, that when the full time should arive, he might have a servant prepared to fulfill his purpose. 

So, however afflicting to his feelings this repuls[e] might have been, he had reason to rejoice before the Lord and be thankful for the favors and mercies shown; that whatever other instruction was necessary to the accomplishing this great work, he had learned, by experience, how to discern betwen the spirit of Christ and the spirit of the devil.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Reforesting Cumorah while de-correlating Cumorah

Last Friday, November 11, 2022, a group of missionaries helped sow seeds for various tree species on the Hill Cumorah in New York.

Some readers here know that I used to have a house about a mile north of Cumorah. I've spent a lot of time in that area. I was happy to see the removal of the ridiculous Mayan-themed stage, along with the Mayan-themed costumes and pageant. 

The Church News article started by mentioning and quoting Willard Bean. Maybe the "new interpretive and wayfinding signs" they are installing will include Brother Bean's explanation of the Hill Cumorah as the scene of the final battles of the Jaredites and Nephites.

More likely, they will censor (i.e., "de-correlate") his work.

For a wonderful article about Bean and his work acquiring and restoring Cumorah, see

The article doesn't mention Bean's work explaining the scriptural relevance of Cumorah. He published a book in 1948 titled Book of Mormon Geography: In Search of Ramah-Cumorah which is available here.


Speaking of the "new interpretive and wayfinding signs," it remains to be seen whether the Church History Department will be open and honest about actual Church history. So far, their track record is poor at best with respect to Cumorah. 

There are numerous historical documents relating to Cumorah, some of which I've collected here:

Any visitor to the Hill Cumorah in New York who leaves without being informed about actual Church history on the topic is being misinformed--intentionally, sad to say.

At the very least, the Visitors Center should include Letter VII in full.

It is astonishing that so few Church members know that it was Moroni himself who identified the hill as Cumorah when he visited Joseph Smith the first time.

Well, not astonishing, I suppose. The Church History Department, obsessed with accommodating their M2C friends and colleagues, continues to censor all historical information about Cumorah from their publications and other Church curriculum, including displays historical sites. 

Notice the caption to this photo in the Church News article. They describe Cumorah as "a small hill." Maybe for someone coming from Utah it appears small, but that's just bad reporting.

And effective, but deplorable, "de-correlating" of authentic Church history.

"a small hill"
(click to enlarge photo)

Contrast the Church News' anachronistic "presentism" with President Oliver Cowdery's description:

I think I am justified in saying that this is the highest hill for some distance round, and I am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the notice of the traveller as he passes by.

Anyone who lives in the Palmyra area knows that Oliver Cowdery's description is more accurate than the Church News description.

As we saw in the Saints book, volume 1, the effort to de-correlate Church history about Cumorah continues. So far, the Church History Department hasn't gone to the final step of actually removing the historical Cumorah documents from the Joseph Smith Papers. Hopefully that will never happen. 

But the way they censor and "reframe" Church history, few English-speaking Latter-day Saints, and virtually zero non-English-speaking Latter-day Saints, will ever learn accurate Church history about Cumorah.


The twitter feed mentioned in the article included this photo:

Compare that to a photo I took when I lived a mile from the Hill Cumorah.


The article listed other changes, including 

Other changes are as follows:

  • A new Hill Cumorah monument sign has been installed in front of the visitors’ center.
  • There is a new network of trails allowing all visitors, including those in wheelchairs, to access the Angel Moroni monument at the top of the hill.
  • New interpretive and wayfinding signs have been placed in various locations along a new path system so people can easily find their way up and down the hill.
  • The Angel Moroni statue has been regilded for the first time since the monument was constructed in 1935.
  • Workers have remodeled the basement of Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center to accommodate larger groups.