Another frequent question people ask is, why do faculty at BYU (all campuses) and affiliated groups* refuse to accept what Joseph and Oliver taught about the Hill Cumorah in New York in Letter VII?
Here's what you need to understand.
Those who promote the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory (M2C) don't just refuse to accept what Joseph and Oliver taught.
They won't even consider it.
And they certainly won't tell their students about it. They don't want their students to know what the prophets have taught about Cumorah because they don't want their students to realize that they, the BYU faculty, disbelieve the prophets.
The reason is that they have convinced themselves that the New York Cumorah doesn't fit their "criteria" for the Hill Cumorah.
The process goes like this:
1. Assume the Book of Mormon took place in a limited geography in Central America (an idea that originated among scholars in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now known as Community of Christ, which by now has rejected the Book of Mormon as an actual history of actual people).
2. Develop a set of criteria such as volcanoes to place Cumorah in southern Mexico to make the geography "work" in Mesoamerica,
3. Announce that the New York site identified by Joseph, Oliver, and all of their contemporaries and successors "doesn't fit" your criteria.
4. Teach your students that all of the prophets and apostles who have taught that the Hill Cumorah was in New York were wrong. They were merely expressing their opinions, but they spoke in ignorance because PhD scholars have figured out that Cumorah is actually in Mexico.
5. Refuse to teach your students what the modern prophets and apostles have said.
6. Censor, criticize, and ridicule anyone who accepts what the modern prophets and apostles have taught.
|BYU "abstract map" used to teach students|
that the prophets and apostles were wrong
about the New York Cumorah
7. Teach students an "abstract map" that directly and explicitly repudiates the teachings of the prophets and replaces them with the philosophies of men (meaning the M2C scholars at BYU, CES and the employees in the Church Office Building (COB)).
I know this sounds absurd (and I agree it is absurd), but this is the reality.**
That's why I say, do your own research, but start with what Joseph and Oliver said in Letter VII. And then consider what all the other prophets and apostles have said. You can start here:
At this point, I can't think of a single reason to believe these M2C intellectuals.
*Groups affiliated with BYU include Book of Mormon Central (BOMC), which has BYU faculty serving in several capacities, as you can see here: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/directory, and affiliates of BOMC, which you can see here: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/content/affiliates.
With the exception of RSC, these groups all promote the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory.
**As we've seen, the legal organization behind Book of Mormon Central is the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, Inc. (BMAF), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit public charity chartered in the state of Utah in 2004. BMAF's mission statement is "to increase understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex." http://bmaf.org/about/mission_statement
Everyone associated with BOMC shares the goal of "increasing understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex." This is why they developed the "abstract map" of the Book of Mormon as a pretext for teaching the Mesoamerican interpretation of the text.
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