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Prophet and Apostle statements on Cumorah location


Sevenbak

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So, with all the back and forth on this topic, I thought it might be a good idea to bring any and all GA statements on Cumorah's location to light.

No matter which camp you are in, please add to this discussion by stating the following:

1. Where you think it is.

2. GA statements supporting your viewpoint.

Please, this is not a discussion of overall BOM lands, but where the final battle took place and where Mormon hid up all the records.

I'll start. I realize there are many, so here's just a few supporting this view. I may add more as needed, but feel free to add more with additional posts.

Thanks,

Sevenbak

Cumorah = New York

Joseph Fielding Smith

“ . . . This modernist theory of necessity, in order to be consistent, must place the waters of Ripliancum and the Hill Cumorah some place within the restricted territory of Central America , not withstanding the teachings of the Church to the contrary for upwards of 100 years . . .”

“It is difficult for a reasonable person to believe that such men as Oliver Cowdery, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, David Wittmer, and others, could speak frequently of the spot where the Prophet Joseph Smith obtained the plates as the Hill Cumorah and not be corrected by the Prophet, if that were not the fact.”

(Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 3, pp. 233-234.)

Marion G. Romney

"In the western part of the state of New York near Palmyra is a prominent hill known as the "hill Cumorah." (Morm. 6:6.) On July twenty fifth of this year, as I stood on the crest of that hill admiring with awe the breathtaking panorama which stretched out before me on every hand, my mind reverted to the events which occurred in that vicinity which occurred some twenty five centuries ago--events which brought to and end the great Jaredite nation."

October General Conference, 1975.

Oliver Cowdery

"After describing the location of the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York, Oliver Cowdery writes in the Messenger and Advocate, July, 1835, 'At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed."

Messenger and Advocate, July, 1835.

Bruce R. McConkie

“Both the Nephite and the Jaredite civilizations fought their final great wars of extinction at and near the Hill Cumorah (or Ramah as the Jaredites termed it), which hill is locatedâ?¦in the western part of the state of New York ... Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and many early brethren, who were familiar with the circumstances attending the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in this dispensation, have left us pointed testimony as to the identity and location of Cumorah or Ramah.” (Mormon Doctrine; pg. 174.)

Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 232-241

James E. Talmage

On the occasion of his first visit to Joseph Smith, Moroni told of the existence of the record, which, he said, was engraved on plates of gold, at that time lying buried in the side of a hill near Joseph's home. The hill, which was known by one division of the ancient peoples as Cumorah, by another as Ramah, is situated near Palmyra in the State of New York."

Articles of Faith, Ch. 14, Pg. 255-256.

"The final struggles between Nephites and Lamanites were waged in the vicinity of the Hill Cumorah, in what is now the State of New York, resulting in the destruction of the Nephites as a nation, about 400 A.D. The last Nephite representative was Moroni, who, wandering for safety from place to place, daily expecting death from the victorious Lamanites, wrote the concluding parts of the Book of Mormon, and hid the record in Cumorah. It was the same Moroni who as a resurrected being, gave the records into the hands of Joseph Smith in the present dispensation."

Articles of Faith, Ch 14, Pg. 260.

B.H. Roberts (Church historian)

"This time it will have to do with so important a matter as a war of extinction of two peoples, the Nephites and the Jaredites, on the self same battle site, with the same 'hill' marking the axis of military movements. By the Nephites this 'hill' was called the 'Hill Cumorah,' by the Jaredites the 'Hill Ramah'; it was that same 'hill,' in which the Nephite records were deposited by Mormon and Moroni, and from which Joseph Smith obtained the Book of Mormon, therefore the 'Mormon Hill,' of today—since the coming forth of the Book of Mormon—near Palmyra, New York. (B.H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, p.277)

George Albert Smith

"We visited the Hill Cumorah and were accorded the courtesy of going thereon by the wife of Mr. George Sampson, a brother of Admiral Wm. Sampson, who before his death owned the property.....We were delighted to be there. Looking over the surrounding country we remembered that two great races of people had wound up their existence in the vicinity, had fought their last fight, and that hundreds of thousands had been slain within sight of that hill."(Elder George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1906, p.56)

Orson Pratt

"The great and last battle, in which several hundred thousand Nephites perished was on the hill Cumorah, the same hill from which the plates were taken by Joseph Smith, the boy about whom I spoke to you the other evening." (Talk given by Apostle Orson Pratt, Feb. 11, 1872 Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, pg. 331)

"Thirty-six years prior to this time his nation was destroyed in what we term the State of New York, around about a hill, called by that people the Hill of Cumorah, when many hundreds of thousands of the Nephites-men, women and children, fell, during the greatest battle that they had had with the Lamanites." (Apostle Orson Pratt, Aug. 25, 1878 Journal of Discourses Vol. 20, pg. 62)

"These records were carried by Ether from the hill Ramah, afterwards called Cumorah, where the Jaredites were destroyed, as well as the Nephites." (Talk given by Apostle Orson Pratt, May 18, 1873 Journal of Discourses Vol. 16, pg. 50

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Let me simply say, immediately, that, off hand, I can think of not a single public General Authority statement endorsing a location for Cumorah besides the one near Palmyra.

I'm aware of a few private ones, including one made directly to me in a face-to-face conversation, and I suspect that I could easily procure a few more, but that's where things stand. I concede this without hesitation.

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Let me simply say, immediately, that, off hand, I can think of not a single public General Authority statement endorsing a location for Cumorah besides the one near Palmyra.

I'm aware of a few private ones, including one made directly to me in a face-to-face conversation, and I suspect that I could easily procure a few more, but that's where things stand. I concede this without hesitation.

Thanks. I think there have been a few dissenting views. It would be helpful to the discussion to know by whom and where they said the hill was.

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I suspect if you got all these brethren in a room, ordered pizza and locked the door until everyone reached a consensus, that they would change their views about the New York location. It wasn't all that long ago that I thought it was in New York. Since these men are dead now, I have no doubt but what they now know that they were wrong. And who can blame them? Not one of them referenced the Spirit of God as telling them where Cumorah was. It hasn't been that long since we thought the Milky Way Galaxy was it. We were still impressed, but as we learned more about the universe, we realized that there was nothing new that didn't square with what Moses, Abraham and Joseph Smith taught. Some prophets are taught extensively in visions and dreams and others aren't. Apostles have opinions like anyone else, and their opinions are neither better or worse than anyone else's opinion. In some cases, if they're not well read or don't know the facts, they can be notably worse.

Again, if you could sit down with any of these fine brethren and point out a few scriptures to them, they might completely concede their opinions (because that's all they are). There're dozens of reasons why Cumorah can't be in New York and we've discussed it quite a bit, and even if an apostle sides with the Mesoamerican theory, unless he's received revelation on the matter, it's still an opinion. So it's not a matter of picking and choosing one's authorities. In short, the only opinions that count are the ones of those who have studied the issue. I recall years ago seeing an RLDS publication showing the American continent as an eagle, with one wing North America and the other, South America, and the center part, Panama, as being the body. It looked fine to me because I didn't know better and had never had anyone tell me different.

John E. Clark reviews one writer who believes staunchly in the one-Cumorah theory. He notes: "I think he should have avoided all statements by General Authorities and spent more time analyzing statements from the Book of Mormon. As Sorenson demonstrates in his recent source book of Book of Mormon geographies, none of the statements of General Authorities should be considered as evidence, especially when they contradict the text of the Book of Mormon." He went on to say, "I was surprised that anyone could seriously argue for a limited Great Lakes geography, but I was intrigued with his argument concerning the promised land."

I've gotten to the same point that I'm surprised to hear anyone arguing for such a geography, but I'm always anxious to hear them out. If they can point out a reason why none of the Nephite prophets would talk about snow or ice storms, or people suffering from exposure, then I'd like to hear it. When one reads of what Washington suffered in Valley Forge and what our soldiers had to endure during the Battle of the Bulge and other conflicts, and what the Romans suffered in Germany or the Germans suffered on the Russian front, I can't imagine a volume spanning such a long period of time without a single reference to cold or ice. Certainly there would have been victories and setbacks because of such weather; certainly they would have crossed frozen rivers or spoken of furs and cloaks. But there is none of this.

Back to Cumorah, I'm still interested in why Ainsworth and a few others believe it to be Cerro Bernal. That crowd has been less than clear except for saying it "looks" like it might be a better one.

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I suspect if you got all these brethren in a room, ordered pizza and locked the door until everyone reached a consensus, that they would change their views about the New York location.

Do you have any GA statements supporting the LGT view? That is what I'm after, all supported views.

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Does Sorensen's Ensign article supercede countless GA statements? How does an academic's opinion, even if published in the Ensign, supercede the statements of so many apostles and prophets?

I think it's a real dilemma for "ordinary" members of the Church, and I mean those who would fall in to the category of "Meldrumites". They flock to Meldrum because they too know about what Sevenbak posted. On the surface this casts doubt on almost everything GAs, say. For example, several, IIRC, have said they know the location of Christ's tomb "by the Spirit"; that it was revealed to them (I think Harold B. Lee was one). Now while this isn't "pertinent to salvation", to use an old cliche, statements like this must come under question too. Then we can go back to Joseph Smith and others, such as Orson Pratt, who wrote voluminously. Where does an "ordinary" member even begin to try to sift out what is fact and what is fiction in all of their personal statements?

Long gone are the days, since Heber J. Grant tried to write out J. Golden Kimball's conference talks, when GAs could speculate to their heart's content, and maybe that's why in more recent times the Church has qualified GA statements.

According to Harold B. Lee:

If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth.

And again:

It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they speak and write. Now you keep that in mind. I don't care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelatorâ??please note that one exceptionâ??you may immediately say, "Well, that is his own idea!" And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard works (I think that is why we call them "standard"â??it is the standard measure of all that men teach), you may know by that same token that it is false; regardless of the position of the man who says it.

B.H. Roberts:

It is not sufficient to quote sayings purported to come from Joseph Smith or Brigham Young upon matters of doctrine. Our own people also need instruction and correction in respect of this. It is common to hear some of our older brethren say, â??But I heard Brother Joseph myself say so,â?? or â??Brother Brigham preached it; I heard him.â?? But that is not the question. The question is has God said it? Was the prophet speaking officially? . . . As to the printed discourses of even leading brethren, the same principle holds. They do not constitute the court of ultimate appeal on doctrine. They may be very useful in the way of elucidation and are very generally good and sound in doctrine, but they are not the ultimate sources of the doctrines of the Church, and are not binding upon the Church. The rule in that respect isâ??What God has spoken, and what has been accepted by the Church as the word of God, by that, and that only, are we bound in doctrine.

And of course the First Presidency Statement issued in May 2007:

Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency...and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles...counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four â??standard worksâ? of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.

Official Church doctrine and statements by Church leaders.

Well if the above statements are any indication, perhaps members should really be looking to what the Book of Mormon says, not what the General Authorities have said.

To answer dbl007's question: If Sorenson (as an example) is right (and I'm not saying he is, though he may be closer to what the BoM says), then others should do their own "digging" and try to determine that.

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The scriptures do say that the Land Cumorah was in New York-

20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophetsâ??the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 128:20)

There you have it folks- The scriptures say exactly whewre the land of Cumorah is!!!

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I think it's a real dilemma for "ordinary" members of the Church, and I mean those who would fall in to the category of "Meldrumites"...

Rather than go off chasing Bigfoot, can we keep the discussion on track. It's a simple request. Rather than implying that such men like Talmage, McConkie, etc, or others that don't hold your view, aren't capable of reading the text of the BOM critically, please give General Authority statements on the location of Cumorah, that match your view, if you please.

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The scriptures do say that the Land Cumorah was in New York-

20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophetsâ??the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 128:20)

There you have it folks- The scriptures say exactly whewre the land of Cumorah is!!!

The LGT folks would say that Joseph just called it Cumorah, it wasn't the real one.

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I think it's a real dilemma for "ordinary" members of the Church, and I mean those who would fall in to the category of "Meldrumites". They flock to Meldrum because they too know about what Sevenbak posted. On the surface this casts doubt on almost everything GAs, say. For example, several, IIRC, have said they know the location of Christ's tomb "by the Spirit"; that it was revealed to them (I think Harold B. Lee was one). Now while this isn't "pertinent to salvation", to use an old cliche, statements like this must come under question too. Then we can go back to Joseph Smith and others, such as Orson Pratt, who wrote voluminously. Where does an "ordinary" member even begin to try to sift out what is fact and what is fiction in all of their personal statements?

Quote

If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth.

And again:

Quote

It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they speak and write. Now you keep that in mind. I don't care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelatorâ??please note that one exceptionâ??you may immediately say, "Well, that is his own idea!" And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard works (I think that is why we call them "standard"â??it is the standard measure of all that men teach), you may know by that same token that it is false; regardless of the position of the man who says it

B.H. Roberts:

Quote

It is not sufficient to quote sayings purported to come from Joseph Smith or Brigham Young upon matters of doctrine. Our own people also need instruction and correction in respect of this. It is common to hear some of our older brethren say, â??But I heard Brother Joseph myself say so,â?? or â??Brother Brigham preached it; I heard him.â?? But that is not the question. The question is has God said it? Was the prophet speaking officially? . . . As to the printed discourses of even leading brethren, the same principle holds. They do not constitute the court of ultimate appeal on doctrine. They may be very useful in the way of elucidation and are very generally good and sound in doctrine, but they are not the ultimate sources of the doctrines of the Church, and are not binding upon the Church. The rule in that respect isâ??What God has spoken, and what has been accepted by the Church as the word of God, by that, and that only, are we bound in doctrine.

And of course the First Presidency Statement issued in May 2007:

Quote

Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency...and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles...counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four â??standard worksâ? of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.

Well if the above statements are any indication, perhaps members should really be looking to what the Book of Mormon says, not what the General Authorities have said.

To answer dbl007's question: If Sorenson (as an example) is right (and I'm not saying he is, though he may be closer to what the BoM says), then others should do their own "digging" and try to determine that.

It seems that the quotes above actually mean we should disregard the apologists' view of LGT since they are not members of the first presidency and don't have authority to speak for the church. In the absence of any 'official' view, shouldn't we take Joseph's opinion as doctrine? After all, he spoke with angels, Moroni, and a host of other figures from our past. If anyone would know where Cumorah actually was, it would be Joseph. With all the visionary experience he had with personages from the other side, how can we say that Joseph only had an opinion on where Cumorah was, rather than actually knowing with certainty?

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It seems that the quotes above actually mean we should disregard the apologists' view of LGT since they are not members of the first presidency and don't have authority to speak for the church. In the absence of any 'official' view, shouldn't we take Joseph's opinion as doctrine? After all, he spoke with angels, Moroni, and a host of other figures from our past. If anyone would know where Cumorah actually was, it would be Joseph. With all the visionary experience he had with personages from the other side, how can we say that Joseph only had an opinion on where Cumorah was, rather than actually knowing with certainty?

On doctrinal matters, we largely trust JS on his ability to communicate the information he received from the "other side". However, on matters of BoM historicity, a la Wentworth Letter, etc., we conclude that he either lacked the ability to understand and communicate the information received - or that he was only speculating. We find ourselves in this position because the facts don't support his stated views - or those of his contemporaries and leaders that followed. Facts are pesky things, remember, and when they don't fit the theory, the easy fix is to change the theory.

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On doctrinal matters, we largely trust JS on his ability to communicate the information he received from the "other side". However, on matters of BoM historicity, a la Wentworth Letter, etc., we conclude that he either lacked the ability to understand and communicate the information received - or that he was only speculating. We find ourselves in this position because the facts don't support his stated views - or those of his contemporaries and leaders that followed. Facts are pesky things, remember, and when they don't fit the theory, the easy fix is to change the theory.

Gasp!

Are you saying we should throw out the Articles of Faith because they were included in the Wentworth Letter and that Joseph "either lacked the ability to understand and communicate the information received - or that he was only speculating."?

What about the "Standard of Truth", the mission statement memorized by all missionaries? Also in the Wentworth Letter.

And, if as you say the leaders that followed had different views about this subject, please provide such views, that's what we're after here after all.

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Gasp!

Are you saying we should throw out the Articles of Faith because they were included in the Wentworth Letter and that Joseph "either lacked the ability to understand and communicate the information received - or that he was only speculating."?

What about the "Standard of Truth", the mission statement memorized by all missionaries? Also in the Wentworth Letter.

And, if as you say the leaders that followed had different views about this subject, please provide such views, that's what we're after here after all.

Not at all - only highlighting the oddity in taking JS at his word on some divine communications, and dismissing him on others. I have no competing statements by church leaders to offer - just don't think we should ignore the ones we do have.

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Not at all - only highlighting the oddity in taking JS at his word on some divine communications, and dismissing him on others. I have no competing statements by church leaders to offer - just don't think we should ignore the ones we do have.

What oddity? Which JS statement do you take issue with?

Which statements are we ignoring?

Please clarify your position.

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This could be an interesting exercise, although, it will not establish whether any events described in the BOM actually took place in the Palmyra area. As has been reiterated many, many, oh so many times, individual GA statements do not define church doctrine. No matter how many GA statements the proponents of any geographic setting trot out, the statements will never constitute a doctrinal statement on this matter.

I would be interested to see a complete list of GA statements on where the BOM took place with the year of the statement attached. These data would go a long way in helping to establish the historical development of where people in the Church thought the BOM took place.

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No matter which camp you are in

This seems like an odd exercise. The "camp" that supposes Cumorah/Ramah to have been elsewhere already concedes the views you're in the process of collecting. The other "camp" doesn't need them. Although I suppose it may serve to nourish the reserve of those already in the second "camp," as per the argument Elizabeth makes to Darcy in Pride and Prejudice:

â??And so ended his affection,â? said Elizabeth impatiently. â??There has

been many a one, I fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first

discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!â?

â??I have been used to consider poetry as the _food_ of love,â? said Darcy.

â??Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is

strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I

am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.â?

Regards

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The scriptures do say that the Land Cumorah was in New York-

20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophetsâ??the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 128:20)

There you have it folks- The scriptures say exactly whewre the land of Cumorah is!!!

Huh!! Sure it says Cumorah but it doesn't say anything about it being BoM lands. I live in Idaho and when someone says they are going to Moscow we assume they are going to north Idaho but they just might be going to Russia.

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What oddity? Which JS statement do you take issue with?

Which statements are we ignoring?

Please clarify your position.

Some take issue with a plain English reading of this statement by JS concerning his communications with Moroni:

"I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me ..."

I'm just saying that one should expect JS to have had a pretty informed view about the location of BoM events.

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Some take issue with a plain English reading of this statement by JS concerning his communications with Moroni:

"I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me ..."

I'm just saying that one should expect JS to have had a pretty informed view about the location of BoM events.

Why?

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Why?

Why should he have had an informed view? Seriously? He got his information from someone who knew first hand where the events took place - and educated JS on those things. JS should be the best positioned to tell us about Moroni, his people and where they lived.

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Why should he have had an informed view? Seriously? He got his information from someone who knew first hand where the events took place - and educated JS on those things. JS should be the best positioned to tell us about Moroni, his people and where they lived.

Your assuming they even talked about geography. I assume they were so busy opening the last dispensation and revealing the important gospel principals and organizational information that geography was never discussed. Which doctrines are dependent on geography?

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Your assuming they even talked about geography. I assume they were so busy opening the last dispensation and revealing the important gospel principals and organizational information that geography was never discussed. Which doctrines are dependent on geography?

I'm assuming that JS was "informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, ..."

Why? Because he said so. If Moroni lived in Mesoamerica, why waste time talking about the aboriginal inhabitants of the US?

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