long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

End of Hill Cumorah pageant

The media reported that the Hill Cumorah pageant will be discontinued after 2020.*

This is awesome news for those members of the Church who still believe what the prophets and apostles have taught about the New York Cumorah, for two reasons.

Hill Cumorah Pageant audience from lds.org
1. There will be record attendance at the pageant in 2019 and 2020.

This will bring tremendous attention throughout the Church to the Hill Cumorah, just when the issue has already been elevated in the minds of members of the Church due to the censorship of the word Cumorah in the book Saints.

This attention will lead members to search for the teachings of the prophets and apostles, information they never get at BYU, CES, or from the M2C citation cartel.

Photo of Cumorah pageant on lds.org
Only M2C believers who reject the teachings of
the prophets and apostles would think of constructing
a Mayan pyramid in western New York.
2. The current iteration of the pageant teaches the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs geography (M2C) and can't be fixed without a complete revamping.

The stage itself is modeled after a Mayan pyramid. It would be an enormous expense to develop and build a new one.

To the left is a photo from lds.org showing the Mesoamerican setting.

The cancellation of this M2C pageant is long overdue.

I've been told that President Boyd K. Packer used to say the Church moves at two speeds: slowly and not at all. In that context, the elimination of these M2C pageants has been extremely rapid.

Photo of Manti pageant from DesNews link in footnotes
The Manti pageant also teaches M2C.

The thousands of attendees at these pageants have had M2C imprinted on their minds, many of them starting from childhood.

The pageant creators, directors, and participants have no idea they are teaching their audiences that the prophets and apostles are wrong.

Thanks to the efforts of M2C intellectuals and educators at BYU and CES, few members of the Church today know what the prophets and apostles have taught about Cumorah.

Fortunately, that is changing.

And eliminating these pageants will help turn the tide away from M2C.

Hill Cumorah Visitors Center that never explains
why this "hill in New York" is named Cumorah

I've noted before that the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in New York teaches visitors that the "real" Cumorah is in Mesoamerica.

This has proven very confusing to visitors--and that's without even knowing what the prophets and apostles have taught.

Letter VII explains that Cumorah is in New York
The Visitors Center doesn't even have a display about the Church's acquisition of the Hill Cumorah and the General Conference session that followed, featuring President Ivins' important talk about the importance of Cumorah both in Church history and in the future.

Imagine how much more faith-affirming the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center would be if it informed visitors about what the prophets and apostles have actually taught about the Hill Cumorah.

President Romney speaking about the New York Cumorah
with four Presidents of the Church in attendance
A display on Letter VII would be a great start.

It could feature the original publication of Letter VII in the Messenger and Advocate. It could include the republications of Letter VII in the Times and Seasons, Millennial Star, Gospel Reflector, The Prophet, the special British pamphlet, and the Improvement Era.

Then it could reproduce all the other teachings of the prophets and apostles about the New York Cumorah. They could have a video replaying President Romney's talk, "America's Destiny."

Oliver Cowdery memorial,
1 mile north of the Hill Cumorah
Last year, we experimented with an Oliver Cowdery Memorial located one mile north of the Hill Cumorah, on the main road.

Thousands of people have visited the memorial, where they learn what the prophets and apostles have taught about the New York Cumorah. They have learned about Letter VII and how Cumorah fits within a possible North American setting.

We also offered nightly lectures on Church history for attendees at the pageant. Among the attendees were local pastors who had been among the anti-Mormon protesters at the pageant. It was great to get to know them and educate them about what we really believe, as opposed to what they've been taught to believe.

Stay tuned for upcoming events in Palmyra.
* E.g. https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/10/30/mormon-land-hill-cumorah/


film history: https://films.radiowest.org/film/a-mormon-pageant

Official statement: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/statement-local-celebrations-pageants-october-2018

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