Is it in New York or elsewhere?
This topic has been debated for decades, without resolution.** The debate focuses on different interpretations of 1) the text, 2) various statements by Joseph's contemporaries, and 3) real-world evidence. Each of these offers enough variety that scholars are in a neverending loop that is confusing to many people.
This confusion has obscured the fundamental premises of the two positions about Cumorah.
I propose three sets of syllogisms*** to simplify and clarify the discussion. Due to time constraints, I put them in a video, here. It's faster to talk through them than to write everything out in this blog.
Below is the first set of syllogisms (syllogism A) to give you an idea of the approach.
I frame the arguments in terms of true/false and equals/not equals. In the video I explain how the syllogisms are constructed and applied. Each set begins with a premise both sides agree with. Premise 2 reflects the different assumptions made by each side, which logically lead to the conclusions each side reaches.
The syllogisms represent the views of two major groups. One, Mesoamerican, represents all those who agree the Hill Cumorah is not in New York. This includes Mesoamerica, Baja, Panama, Chile, and many other variations of non-New York models. The other, Moroni's America, represents all those who agree the Hill Cumorah is in New York. This includes Heartland, North American, and many other variations of New York based geographic models.
Based on published material, I think both groups will agree with each point I make in the syllogisms once they go through the explanations. I've tried to be fair and accurate, so I welcome additional ideas and corrections.
Important: The syllogisms do not produce a right or wrong conclusion. The designations of True and False are terms of logic, not a comment on the merits of the premises or conclusions.
The objective is to clarify the assumptions and logic both sides use to reach their respective conclusions, not to say one is right and one is wrong.
For example, in syllogism A, Premise 1 shows that both sides agree that Joseph, Oliver, and other Church leaders claimed Cumorah was in New York.****
This is shown by "Joseph, Oliver, etc. = New York Cumorah."
In Premise 2, the Moroni's America approach assumes Joseph and Oliver were correct (Joseph, Oliver, etc. = true), which logically leads to the conclusion that Cumorah is in New York (New York Cumorah = true).
In Premise 2, the Mesoamerican approach assumes Cumorah is not in New York (New York Cumorah = false), which logically leads to the conclusion that Joseph and Oliver were incorrect (Joseph, Oliver, etc. = false).
Here's syllogism A.