“I have been asked to forward to you for acknowledgement and handling the enclosed copy of a letter to President Gordon B. Hinckley from Ronnie Sparks of your ward. Brother Sparks inquired about the location of the Hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon, where the last battle between the Nephites and Lamanites took place.The Church has long maintained, as attested to by references in the writings of General Authorities, that the Hill Cumorah in western New York state is the same as referenced in the Book of Mormon.”
(Some have complained that the fax was private and should not be cited--but why would Watson send a private note to FARMS if it was not anticipated that it would be used to answer the questions being put to FARMS? The letter has long been available publicly, since its text was published by FARMS soon after its receipt.)
Saints: Vol. 1 (2018): The Church's official history does not name the hill in which Joseph found the plates.
The Church's official history, Saints, tells the story of Joseph's recovery of the plates from the hill near his home. The account does not, however, ever use the label "Cumorah" for the hill. This is an odd omission if the official prophetic stance on the Hill Cumorah is fixed on the New York site.
1. Saints creates a false narrative present; i.e., characters in the book do not have 1827-1844 ideas about the New York Cumorah that is well established in original sources.
2. Instead, the characters in Saints know nothing about Cumorah, a reflection of the late 20th century "two Cumorahs" theory created by M2C intellectuals.
3. In responses to criticism, the editors of Saints published an essay that seeks to explain their censorship of Cumorah with a series of inconsistent and counterfactual justifications.
4. The editors of Saints ultimately admit they censored the term Cumorah to "uphold" so-called "neutrality," a euphemism for accommodating the M2C theory of Book of Mormon geography.
1. The New York Cumorah, which has been well established as a fact by the teachings of Joseph, Oliver, their contemporaries and successors.
2. The uncertainty about other locations, which has also been well established by the teachings of Joseph, Oliver, their contemporaries and successors.
The Church also addressed issues of Book of Mormon geography in the Gospel Topics essays available on the Church's official website
Since the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have expressed numerous opinions about the specific locations of the events discussed in the book. Some believe that the history depicted in the Book of Mormon—with the exception of the events in the Near East—occurred in North America, while others believe that it occurred in Central America or South America. Although Church members continue to discuss such theories today, the Church’s only position is that the events the Book of Mormon describes took place in the ancient Americas. ...
The Church does not take a position on the specific geographic locations of Book of Mormon events in the ancient Americas. Speculation on the geography of the Book of Mormon may mislead instead of enlighten; such a study can be a distraction from its divine purpose.Individuals may have their own opinions regarding Book of Mormon geography and other such matters about which the Lord has not spoken. However, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles urge leaders and members not to advocate those personal theories in any setting or manner that would imply either prophetic or Church support for those theories. All parties should strive to avoid contention on these matters.
In accordance with this request from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve apostles, FAIR's only position is that the Book of Mormon is a genuine ancient record, whose events occurred somewhere in the ancient Americas.