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There are a couple of opinions about the matter but they mostly come under either two Cumorahs or one.

If you think there may be two of them, one in central America, and one in the west part of the State of New York, then you are in company with some BYU Scholars(1) and author Chris Heimerdinger.

Several Church Authorities (2) have described the Hill Cumorah as being near Palmyra, New York.  The only one.  Perhaps the best enunciation of this doctrine is from Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3:232 forward.  Here are some highlights:

Within recent years there has arisen among certain students of the Book of Mormon a theory to the effect that within the period covered by the Book of Mormon, the Nephites and Lamanites were confined almost entirely within the borders of the territory comprising Central America and the southern portion of Mexico-the isthmus of Tehauntepec probably being the “narrow neck” of land spoken of in the Book of Mormon rather than the isthmus of Panama. . . .

It must be conceded that this description fits perfectly the land of Cumorah in New York, as it has been known since the visitation of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith, for the hill is in the proximity of the Great Lakes and also in the land of many rivers and fountains. Moreover, the Prophet Joseph Smith himself is on record, definitely declaring the present hill called Cumorah to be the exact hill spoken of in the Book of Mormon. 

Further, the fact that all of his associates from the beginning down have spoken of it as the identical hill where Mormon and Moroni hid the records, must carry some weight. It is difficult for a reasonable person to believe that such men as Oliver Cowdery. Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, David Whitmer, and many others, could speak frequently of the Spot where the Prophet Joseph Smith obtained the plates as the Hill Cumorah, and not be corrected by the Prophet, if that were not the fact. That they did speak of this hill in the days of the Prophet in this definite manner is an established record of history. . . .

Perhaps this matter could rest at this point, but the question of the territory now embraced within the United States having been in possession of Nephites and Lamanites before the death of Mormon, carries some weight in the determining of this matter. In the light of revelation it is absurd for anyone to maintain that the Nephites and Lamanites did not possess this northern land. While Zion’s camp was marching on the way to Jackson County, near the bank of the Illinois River they came to a mound containing the skeleton of a man. The history of this incident is as follows:

“The brethren procured a shovel and a hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot, discovered the skeleton of a man, almost entire, and between his ribs the stone point of a Lamanitish arrow, which evidently produced his death. Elder Burr Riggs retained the arrow. The contemplation of the scenery around us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms; and subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large, thickset man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea to the Rocky Mountains. The curse was taken from Zelph, or at least, in part-one of his thigh bones was broken by a stone flung from a sling, while in battle, years before his death. He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites.”

And on it goes.  It is well written with lots of documentation to show that the Hill Cumorah is only one hill, near Palmyra.  The book uses some scientific and scriptural citations and information to show that this is so.  Of course, to the doubter it will never be enough (just like it never is).

There are also several accounts of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery returning the gold plates to the Hill Cumorah, this one is from the Journal of Discourses(3).

When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: “This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.”

Presumably, these are the records that Mormon hid up in the Hill Cumorah as referenced in the Book of Mormon although some people continue to say that there are only second hand accounts of the event, or that it may have been in vision and not in reality, or other such things.

On the one hand, scholars seek to find things based on the evidence that is present now while Prophets seek revealed truth from God.  I’ll stick with what the Prophets have to say about where the Hill Cumorah is, and whether there is only one of it.

Comments Welcome

(1) John L. Sorensen, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1985], p. 44.  Sidney B. Sperry,  Book of Mormon Compendium,  [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968] pp. 6-7.

(2) James E. Talmadge, Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], p. 231.  B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930], 1: 75-76.   George Reynolds, A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: J. H. Parry].

(3) Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 19:38-39.

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”

–From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Satan….. Beelzebub….. Lucifer….. the Devil….. Old Scratch…… Whatever.

As a Latter-Day-Saint, I have many friends and acquaintances that are able to see evil influences all over society, but then fail to see evil influences in the actions of our own government.

We see evil influences in entertainment.

Some popular music has become much more vulgar, sensual, and degrading than in years past. Some people say that people complained about Elvis saying that he was too provocative for his time and was even filmed from the waist up during his performance on Ed Sullivan because of his hip movement. Just because something has been bemoaned for a long time does not mean that it is not a problem. There has been a long pattern of downward moving values in American Culture. This is easy to see.

Movies have become more vulgar, violent, sexual, profane, and shocking over the years. There once was a Production Code based on what was morally acceptable that film makers followed until 1967 when a rating system was put into place. It had G, PG, and R ratings. The PG-13 rating was added in 1984 because of some movies that were very violent but did not get an R rating. To finish sewing up the movie industry, NC-17 was added in 1990 to encompass the former X rating.

What is acceptable today in a PG-13 movie is far worse than what was acceptable in a PG-13 movie in 1984. For example, movies like Footloose, Gremlins, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom put pressure on having some kind of in-between rating besides just PG and R. (Footloose actually first had an R rating until that was appealed. The editorial changes to the movie are contained in the link and contains an “F-word”, the movie also removed some nudity to get the PG rating.) The movie Doc Hollywood was rated PG-13 and had full frontal female nudity (no link, the ones I tried to find are even more inappropriate than the prior link). Since that time, the movie Titanic with Kate Winslet’s performance as a nude model has now more or less set in stone that showing bare breasts is OK for PG-13 movies. I rarely see PG-13 movies any more for many reasons, and this is just one of them.

I recommend Screenit.com if you want to know what is in a movie that gives it its’ rating if you want to avoid the problem movies. Again, it is easy to see an Evil Influence in media.

While this entry is not intended to be comprehensive, we can also see Evil Influences in fashion with immodest dress, sexually suggestive thong underwear for 10-yr. old girls, and many other issues. There have been evil inroads with television, advertising, magazines, and other things.

There are Evil Influences in the education establishment. Science teachers are only allowed to teach evolution in Middle and High-School or face termination from their jobs. The topic of evolution can be argued another day if you want to. At the collegiate level, young students are taught that there is no right or wrong, and that diversity/tolerance is the highest virtue. Sex education in public school is still controlled by the States, but the NEA actively promotes acceptance of homosexual and other inappropriate lifestyles under the umbrella of “education”. Public school has become a tool to indoctrinate students in attitudes that are “Politically Correct” with regard to science (“there is no God”), abortion (“it’s a woman’s right to choose”), the environment (“the government/EPA/Kyoto Treaty/UN must save us from ourselves”), sexuality (“do whatever, just do it with a condom, here, take a handful”), follow a bell schedule, do what you are told, and obey authority. Zero tolerance polices are also zero thought policies. (Education rant over, for now.)

Evil influences are in crime, organized and otherwise.

But evil influences in government? Are you sure? Scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants say that this nation was founded by good men and that the Constitution was inspired of God! Section 134 even has a statement about governments in general.

This is all true, but the present U.S. Government involvement in regulating this country hardly bears a resemblance to the Constitution. The Constitution was a document for The People to establish a government for some very specific purposes. It was a grant of power from the people to the government, not a document to “reign in the government”. The government was only to do a few very specific things and that was it.

Some Examples of Government overreaching: 1- The Federal Government is not empowered to fund or regulate education, 2- the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and Transportation should not exist, 3- it is not empowered to legislate on abortion issues, 4- the EPA, Federal Welfare, Foreign Aid, Farm Subsidies, Pell Grants, Head Start, the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, and many other things should not be coming from the Federal Government, 5- CONGRESS is supposed to declare war, not the President, the U.N., or NATO. 6- CONGRESS is supposed to coin money and regulate the value thereof NOT THE FEDERAL RESERVE. There are many other things I could say, but I won’t get into it for now.

Every one of these new government programs or regulations takes away more of our freedom. Our freedom is eroded because as a nation we are in debt up to our eyeballs and some day we will have to pay it off. Our freedom is eroded because the cost of starting up a new business to compete with existing business or industry is too expensive because of all of the compliance costs.

The War in Heaven was about freedom vs. bondage or agency vs. compulsion. God’s plan vs. Satan’s plan.

Satan is still trying to implement his plan on an individual and on a collective basis.

The addictive effects of drug use, pornography, gambling, and other activities have been documented. When you engage in these things, Satan is implementing his plan to have you in bondage. For people who have been endowed in the LDS Temple, it should be clear that Satan is working to oppress people on a very large scale. Gentle, passive oppression is still oppression. While we may not feel oppressed because we voluntarily pay our taxes and follow regulations to avoid getting in trouble, we are still being oppressed. Just try not complying. People go to jail for tax evasion, people are evict
ed
from property they have owned for years and years for failure to pay taxes, and the government can even take your home if they think that a different owner will provide more revenue to the government than your house will.

I see an Evil Influence in our government. Do you?

Comments are welcome.

I have been reading and thinking and reading and thinking.

I am LDS and as such, I believe in the Book of Mormon and in modern Prophets with vital messages for our day.

The Book of Mormon teaches us about preparing for the Second Coming. Here is a talk by President Bensen about it. The Book of Mormon also teaches us that there are secret combinations that are very powerful and are specifically interested in government power. Simple righteousness was not enough to save the people from these secret combinations, but it did help.

Here are just a few examples of the secret combinations found in the Book of Mormon. (For ease of definition, a secret combination is just two or more people conspiring to do a bad thing).

Laman and Lemuel (2 Nephi 5:1-5): They conspired to murder Nephi to have governance of the people. This is in the pattern of Cain murdering for gain.

The King Men (Alma 51): They wanted to get rid of the Reign of the Judges and to establish a king. Verse 8: “Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.” They were put down, and when the Lamanites came to attack again, they refused to take up arms to defend their liberties.

Amalickiah (link to citations here): He could not have accomplished his designs alone. His co-conspirators are not named (other than Ammoron, his brother). He sought power by stirring up the desire for power among the lower judges. When that did not work, he went over to the Lamanites and with a combination of intrigue and murder became the king to prosecute a war against the Nephites to be made a king over them which was his design in the first place.
Notice that Amalakiah was a Nephite by birth who sold out his people to try to become their king, then became king of the Lamanites in a continued bid to enslave the Nephites. Amalakiah was eventually aided by the King Men already mentioned.

Unnamed People in Alma 61: These people were working to undermine from the inside the Nephite efforts to maintain their freedom. These people were continuing to aid Ammoron, Amalakiah’s brother.

Kishkumen and Gadianton (Helaman 1-2, generally): These men conspired to avenge the death of Paanchi (who was going to resort to rebellion to obtain the judgment seat), and seek to have their own man (Gadianton) placed on the judgment seat. They succeeded in murdering Pahoran and almost succeeded in murdering Helaman as well. They were chased out of the city, and later formed the Gadianton Robbers.

Giddianhi, the Gadianton leader (3 Nephi 3): The Gadianton Robbers sought to take control of the government of the people.

Lawyers, High Priests, and Kindred (3 Nephi 6):

27 Now it came to pass that those judges had many friends and kindreds; and the remainder, yea, even almost all the lawyers and the high priests, did gather themselves together, and unite with the kindreds of those judges who were to be tried according to the law.
28 And they did enter into a covenant one with another, yea, even into that covenant which was given by them of old, which covenant was given and administered by the devil, to combine against all righteousness.
29 Therefore they did combine against the people of the Lord, and enter into a covenant to destroy them, and to deliver those who were guilty of murder from the grasp of justice, which was about to be administered according to the law.
30 And they did set at defiance the law and the rights of their country; and they did covenant one with another to destroy the governor, and to establish a king over the land, that the land should no more be at liberty but should be subject unto kings.

This episode led to the disintegration of the Nephite Reign of the Judges and split the people into tribes by family.

Jared, the Daughter of Jared, and Akish, (Ether 8-9): This is one of the more disturbing stories of a secret combination. Jared was king and was put out of power. The Daughter of Jared put it into the heart of Jared to have her dance before Akish to “please him” that he should want to marry her and that Jared would allow the marriage on the condition that Akish obtain the head of Jared’s father, the king.
The plotting was successful, but here it how it ended for Jared:

4 And it came to pass that Jared was anointed king over the people, by the hand of wickedness; and he gave unto Akish his daughter to wife.
5 And it came to pass that Akish sought the life of his father-in-law; and he applied unto those whom he had sworn by the oath of the ancients, and they obtained the head of his father-in-law, as he sat upon his throne, giving audience to his people.
6 For so great had been the spreading of this wicked and secret society that it had corrupted the hearts of all the people; therefore Jared was murdered upon his throne, and Akish reigned in his stead.

Ummmmmmmmm, the Daughter of Jared was now in part responsible for the brutal murders of her Grandfather and her Father. I suspect that if she whined about it, Akish knew what to do about it.

These descriptions of secret combinations show that they are regularly seeking government power, often as kings, often to destroy liberty. Always at the bidding of Satan. Satan’s plan was to destroy the agency(liberty) of man. The liberty(agency) of man was paid for by the Atonement.

These descriptions also indicate that murder is regularly part of the process for these combinations seeking power. Murder on a grand scale (warfare) or assassination was used by these groups. I am not aware of any scriptures that say when a people is righteous, their government will be free of the influences of these secret combinations seeking government power.

The First Presidency Message for January 2007 speaks about Satan and our power to overcome him. Specifically, Satan is described as being very successful in this day.

The First Presidency described Satan: ‘He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.‘ Satan is the world’s master in the use of flattery, and he knows the great power of speech, a power his servants often employ. He has always been one of the great forces of the world.

Given the goal of Satan and his Secret Combinations, it would seem to make sense that he is infiltrating as many governments as he possibly can. And because Satan seeks to maximize his power, he would very likely seek to infiltrate the U.S. Government as well.

From the same article:

I once heard Ernest LeRoy Hatch, former president of the Guatemala City temple, say, ‘The devil is not smart because he is the devil; he is smart because he is old.’ Indeed, th
e devil is old, and he was not always the devil. Initially, he was not the perpetrator of evil. He was with the hosts of heaven in the beginning. He was “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God.

And this gem too: “Satan has had great success with this gullible generation.”

What struck me about this final quote is that the article is addressed to the Latter Day Saints, for the Hometeachers to take out to their families. The quote did not say, that the Saints have not been deceived or that we are not gullible. It has made me re-think what things I may have been gullible about.

The United States is not Immune from Secret Combinations: Assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy (he had just won the California Presidential Primary in 1968), and an attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan seem to indicate dark forces at work. Given the messages from the Book of Mormon, Pres. Bensen, and Pres. Faust just this month, I have really started looking at things in a new way.

We often think that certain messages are not really intended for us. We look at the world and notice many of the signs of the times like increasing wickedness, wars and rumors of wars, the elements in commotion, the seas heaving beyond their bounds, earthquakes in divers places, and other things, but we(I) have failed to notice the advancement of secret combinations concurrent with time advancing toward the Second Coming. That is every bit a sign of the times just like wars and rumors of wars. The hard part in identifying these groups is that they are in fact, secret and Satan has had a loooong time to perfect his disguise and tactics.

Comments are welcome.

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