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.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

BofM Geography Theory Survey

There's a survey and discussion going on here:


(click to enlarge)

It's another fascinating discussion that highlights the confusion brought on by ignoring the teachings of the prophets.

As usual, the discussion skirts the simple reality that the first time he met Joseph Smith, Moroni identified the hill where the records were buried as "Cumorah." Lucy Mack Smith recorded that and Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt taught it during their mission to the Lamanites in 1830. David Whitmer first heard the name "Cumorah" in 1829 from the divine messenger who took the abridged plates from Harmony to Cumorah before taking the plates of Nephi to Fayette.

Any lingering questions about Cumorah were resolved when Oliver Cowdery, as Assistant President of the Church, explained it was a fact that this Cumorah in New York is the same place where the final battles took place among the Jaredites and Lamanites/Nephites.

Subsequent prophets reiterated this basic fact, including members of the First Presidency speaking in General Conference.

All of this is public knowledge, easily accessible in the Joseph Smith Papers and General Conference reports. It's difficult to imagine how it could be any more clear.


Nevertheless, certain RLDS and LDS scholars decided Joseph and Oliver (and Moroni), as well as their successors, were wrong, based on these scholars' own subjective interpretations of the text. Untethered by the New York Cumorah, they debate about what the text means, where the events described could possibly have taken place, etc. 

The ensuring confusion endures to the present, as the discussion about this survey demonstrates.

The musings of these scholars and their followers remind me of the confusion Paul faced on Mars Hill in Athens.

While the Athenians were speculating about the Unknown God they worshipped, Paul declared the true God unto the people.

Likewise, while scholars speculate about Book of Mormon geography, Moroni declared the true location of Cumorah, which Oliver Cowdery reiterated was a fact.

Why should the Lord reveal any more about Book of Mormon geography when most Church members have rejected and repudiated what He already revealed?

The next step, of course, is to interpret the text in light of the New York Cumorah instead of making up our own interpretations to reject the New York Cumorah.


16 ¶ Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

 18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

 20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.

21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

22 ¶ Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

(Acts 17:16–31)


1 comment:

  1. This comment from that is especially alarming, even sad for me to read: “I've toyed with the idea that God just translated the Lehites to another world (Lehite Valinor) with a pristine geography after they set sail and then warped one of Hagoth's lost boats back to our world's Americas, but that seems too weird even for me. Then again, I worship a Man who was dead for three days and rose again and then sent an angel to tell a teenager to dig some gold plates out of a hill and translate them using a rock so maybe I should stop worrying and embrace the weird.”

    I just don’t see it how these people are so confused. If you miss this, you miss so much of the latter-day prophecies, you won’t know what to look for! the deception is incredible. Is like Nephi said, “ I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.”