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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:06 pm 
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When I was TBM I had a voracious appetite and read all kinds of things I can't remember anymore. Like now I'm trying to remember an account about a cave in the hill Cumorah. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Basically it's an eyewitness account (or maybe a friend of JS's recounting something he said) about how in a cave in the hill Cumorah the angel Moroni re-deposited the plates, on a wooden table. IIRC from wall to wall were rolled up scrolls and plates, ancient scriptures, that were promised to be translated at a later date. They left and sealed the cave back up and supposedly they're going to be translated when the 2/3 of the Book of Mormon is translated (from the Journal of Discourses, I remember the sealed 2/3 I think Orson Hyde said was all about the 3 hours the Lord talked to the Brother of Jared. So like probably 1000 more pages from 3 hours. They were just talking really fast.)

But has anyone else read this account before? I'd love to re-visit. Particularly because it would necessitate the BoM geography taking place around New York, or at least a substantial portion of it. Or maybe Moroni just carried it all everywhere he went.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Yes.

The "Bishop Higgins" Mormon Expression podcast will give you all the details.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Thanks I'll have to listen to that tomorrrow.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMBmK5uksg


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Yeah, I remember hearing about that in seminary one day. Can't remember the details.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Grant Palmer's book talks about it too.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Yeah this right here.

http://www.brighamyoungacademy.org/bofm ... umorah.php

Wouldn't this like be the easiest thing in the world to prove? Don't we have technology, or can't geologists find this cave? I mean there are the gold plates Joseph translated right? And the sword of Laban. I know even helicopters can use infrared to find objects buried several feet into the earth, can't we find a hollow cave with 'wagonloads' full of plates, and is as bright as day? We can find oil rigs and aquifers several miles away and half a mile deep, and I mean that's just water or liquid. You'd think we can survey a hill for a large secret room with tons (maybe literally) of metal. Hasn't this been in our technological capacity for decades and wouldn't people join the Church in droves or at least be calling the missionaries and buzzing all over the place about it?

Well, I guess why settle for hard evidence when you have "I'm normal" commercials?

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"Just as a cucumber is transformed into a pickle as it is immersed in and saturated with salt brine, so you and I are born again as we are absorbed by and in the gospel of Jesus Christ." -Elder Bednar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMBmK5uksg


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:23 am 
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I think I first ran into it in the Journal of Discourses (in a talk given by Brigham Young), though I don't have an exact reference.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:39 am 
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Harold Lee wrote:
Wouldn't this like be the easiest thing in the world to prove?


Yes, yes, you are correct. This is one of the very few absolutely known locations for Book of Mormon events. Instead of spending a few million dollars randomly searching for a limited geography in SA, we could just focus here! However, for some strange reason, the church has forbidden all archeological research at the Hill Cumorah. Not even BYU researchers, who have a wonderful way of finding what they need to find and ignoring what they need to ignore.

But what if you do find the cave and hold up the Laban's sword? Then all you're going to get is people joining the church because of physical proof. We don't want that! Why, don't you remember Laman and Lemuel and how evil they were even after they had seen the angel? Evidence and artifacts and proof are no way to convert a person, we need a strong emotional confirmation! (And we in no way want people to start relying on evidence, artifacts, or proof, as that might get messy).

Oh, and the 'cave' is probably just a wormhole to an alternate dimension or another place in space-time, and that isn't going to show up on ground penetrating radar. Kind of like the wormhole that Nephi --- err --- Moroni created to appear in Joseph Smith's room.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it for a brief enough time and get back to working on your callings.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:30 am 
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there is a painting of this that i've seen at church. its mormon in a cave surrounded by records. couldn't find it online anywhere


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:06 am 
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The Dude wrote:
Harold Lee wrote:
Wouldn't this like be the easiest thing in the world to prove?


Yes, yes, you are correct. This is one of the very few absolutely known locations for Book of Mormon events. Instead of spending a few million dollars randomly searching for a limited geography in SA, we could just focus here! However, for some strange reason, the church has forbidden all archeological research at the Hill Cumorah. Not even BYU researchers, who have a wonderful way of finding what they need to find and ignoring what they need to ignore.

But what if you do find the cave and hold up the Laban's sword? Then all you're going to get is people joining the church because of physical proof. We don't want that! Why, don't you remember Laman and Lemuel and how evil they were even after they had seen the angel? Evidence and artifacts and proof are no way to convert a person, we need a strong emotional confirmation! (And we in no way want people to start relying on evidence, artifacts, or proof, as that might get messy).

Oh, and the 'cave' is probably just a wormhole to an alternate dimension or another place in space-time, and that isn't going to show up on ground penetrating radar. Kind of like the wormhole that Nephi --- err --- Moroni created to appear in Joseph Smith's room.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it for a brief enough time and get back to working on your callings.


That's a shame. Although maybe in their minds it's because the cave is there and they don't want to bring it out too early before they're ready to translate it. Or maybe they're scared to find out- kind of like with many mormons and digging into Church history. You'd think they'd want to bring the plates themselves to SLC and then open up the vault when it's empty for archaeologists with a couple sample plates or something. It just doesn't make any sense to close it off. Do they own the hill Cumorah and have the right to do that? Then again they're the only university or group that'd probably care anyways. Maybe Graceland University would care too actually.

Sorry you're right Brother Dude. I'll get back to my calling. Mustn't get distracted.

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"Just as a cucumber is transformed into a pickle as it is immersed in and saturated with salt brine, so you and I are born again as we are absorbed by and in the gospel of Jesus Christ." -Elder Bednar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMBmK5uksg


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:16 am 
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Harold Lee wrote:
Although maybe in their minds it's because the cave is there and they don't want to bring it out too early before they're ready to translate it. . . .Do they own the hill Cumorah and have the right to do that?


It is my understanding that they own the land, and they hold the pageant there every year. They have chosen to not dig or investigate.

However - your point on not being ready to translate is VERY insightful. After all - we have the Papyrus that contain the Book of Abraham AND the Book of Joseph. It's clear that we have the Book of Joseph papyrus, since there are very vivid descriptions of that papyrus and the figures on it from Cowdery and others. However - the FP hasn't gotten around to translating that for us yet. Why would they dig up other plates to translate when the "to be translated" queue is already full? Obviously it's because that information isn't necessary for our salvation.

Got to go for now - it's our turn to clean the chapel.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:33 am 
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obviously the church can't let people dig up the hill - it is sacred ground. [Geeze people think!!! ;) ]

Also, assuming that the church did let archeologists desecrate the land. Even if they didn't find anything, that proves what? All it proves is that G-d removed all of the evidence so that people would have to rely on Faith. Faith is the key. [double, geeze people think!!!!]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:35 am 
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Harold Lee wrote:
When I was TBM I had a voracious appetite and read all kinds of things I can't remember anymore. Like now I'm trying to remember an account about a cave in the hill Cumorah. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Basically it's an eyewitness account (or maybe a friend of JS's recounting something he said) about how in a cave in the hill Cumorah the angel Moroni re-deposited the plates, on a wooden table. IIRC from wall to wall were rolled up scrolls and plates, ancient scriptures, that were promised to be translated at a later date. They left and sealed the cave back up and supposedly they're going to be translated when the 2/3 of the Book of Mormon is translated (from the Journal of Discourses, I remember the sealed 2/3 I think Orson Hyde said was all about the 3 hours the Lord talked to the Brother of Jared. So like probably 1000 more pages from 3 hours. They were just talking really fast.)


Hey Harold,
You are remembering mostly correctly about legends of a cave within Cumorah. However, the story actually begins a few years earlier than the Smith's treasure seeking in hill Cumorah.

The Smith family was first making excavations, probably in company with Lumen Walters, in a hill close to Cumorah on the land of Abner Cole and subsequently Enoch Saunders. According to later owners of the property, the Smith's and their compatriots dug a sizable cave into the side of the hill. According to Wallace Miner, who later inherited the land, the Smith's "dug a 40 ft. cave" into the hill and Orson Saunders claimed at the back of the cave there was "quite a large chamber many feet in extent, with the marks of the pick plainly visible in the light of his candles" and that passageway was "eight feet wide ad seven feet high". The Smith's even had a wooden door attached to the entrance to keep people out of the underground cavern.

Joseph Smith Jr. was acting as a guide in the dig and according to some accounts the Smith's claimed the hill held the remains of an ancient Nephite king. For example Lorenzo Saunders reported that "Jo. [Jr.] could see in his peep stone what there was in that cave" and that "young Joe could ... see a man sitting in a god chair. Old Joe said he was king i.e. the man in the chair; a king of one of the ... [Indian] <tribes> who was shut in there in the time of one of their big battles." Corroboration of this story comes from Sylvia Walker's account which says that "Jo [Smith] claimed to receive revelation to dig forty feet into a hill about two miles north of where he pretended to find the gold plates of the 'Book of Mormon,' where he would find a cave that contained gold furniture, chars and a table." Thus the construction of an underground cavern was a motif within the Smith family's psyche.

The origin of this idea may actually be Masonic legends. According to Masonic legend, Solomon's temple was built on top of an underground temple complex built by none other than Enoch himself. Masonic legend states Enoch's underground temple complex was the storage site for the Ark of the Covenant along with its various treasures including the Rod of Moses, the breastplate, the Urim and Thummim and most importantly a Gold Plate on which was written the שם המפורש or the sacred name of God in Enochian script, a script which Joseph Smith believed was related to the Royal Arch Cipher and the Kabbalistic AIQ BKR cipher.

After being told that the nearby hill was unholy ground, the Smith's moved their excavations to the hill Cumorah. While the excavations there were likely never as extensive as those in the previous hill, the Smith's may have planned a similar cave in Cumorah. Even if this is not the case, the early Mormons believed the hill contained pre-existing underground passageways and cavernous rooms. This is evidenced by the stories propagating amongst Mormons in later years. According to numerous accounts Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery returned the gold plates to these internal caverns within Cumorah, and while there, they observed other Nephite records and artifacts.

William Horne Dame Diary, 14 January 1855 wrote:
Attended meeting a discourse from W. W. Phelps. He related a story told him by Hyrum Smith which was as follows: Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery & Whitmere went to the hill Cormorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16 ft square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On that trunk lay a book of Mormon & gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's brestplate.

Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 28 September 1856 wrote:
How does it compare with the vision that Joseph and others had, when they went into a cave in the hill Cumorah, and saw more records than ten men could carry? There were books piled up on tables, book upon book. Those records this people will yet have, if they accept of the Book of Mormon and observe its precepts, and keep the commandments.

Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 5 May 1867 wrote:
President [Heber C.]Kimball talked familiarly to the brethren about Father Smith, [Oliver] Cowdery, and others walking into the hill Cumorah and seeing records upon records piled upon table[s,] they walked from cell to cell and saw the records that were piled up. . . .

Wilford Woodruff Journal, 11 December 1869 wrote:
President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that He did not return them to the box from wh[ence?] He had Received [them]. But He went [into] a Cave in the Hill Comoro with Oliver Cowdry & deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates Containing sacred records & when they first visited that Room the sword of Laban was Hanging upon the wall & when they last visited it the sword was drawn from the scabbard and [laid?] upon a table and a Messenger who was the keeper of the room informed them that that sword would never be returned to its scabbard untill the Kingdom of God was Esstablished upon the Earth & untill it reigned triumphant over Evry Enemy. Joseph Smith said that Cave Contained tons of Choice Treasures & records.

Elizabeth Kane Journal, 15 January 1873 wrote:
I asked where the plates were now, and saw in a moment from the expression of the countenances around that I had blundered. But I was answered that they were in a cave; that Oliver Cowdery though now an apostate would not deny that he had seen them. He had been to the cave. . . . Brigham Young's tone was so solemn that I listened bewildered like a child to the evening witch stories of its nurse. . . .
Brigham Young said that when Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith were in the cave this third time, they could see its contents more distinctly than before. . . . It was about fifteen feet high and round its sides were ranged boxes of treasure. In the centre was a large stone table empty before, but now piled with similar gold plates, some of which lay scattered on the floor beneath. Formerly the sword of Laban hung on the walls sheathed, but it was now unsheathed and lying across the plates on the table; and One that was with them said it was never to be sheathed until the reign of Righteousness upon the earth.

Jesse Nathaniel Smith Journal, February 1874 wrote:
I heard him [Brigham Young] at an evening meeting in Cedar City describe an apartment in the Hill Cumorah that some of the brethren had been permitted to enter. He said there was great wealth in the room in sacred implements, vestments, arms, precious metals and precious stones, more than a six-mule team could draw.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17 June 1877 wrote:
Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. 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." I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting. . . . [Don] Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things, Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader.

Edward Stevenson, Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet, 1877 wrote:
It was likewise stated to me by David Whitmer in the year 1877 that Oliver Cowdery told him that the Prophet Joseph and himself had seen this room and that it was filled with treasure, and on a table therein were the breastplate and the sword of Laban, as well as the portion of gold plates not yet translated, and that these plates were bound by three small gold rings, and would also be translated, as was the first portion in the days of Joseph. When they are translated much useful information will be brought to light. But till that day arrives, no Rochester adventurers shall ever see them or the treasures, although science and mineral rods testify that they are there.

David Whitmer, Deseret Evening News, 16 August 1878 wrote:
[Poulson]: Where are the plates now?
[Whitmer]: In a cave, where the angel has hidden them up till the time arrives when the plates, which are sealed, shall be translated. God will yet raise up a mighty one, who shall do his work till it is finished and Jesus comes again.
[Poulson]: Where is that cave?
[Whitmer]: In the State of New York.
[Poulson]: In the Hill of Comorah?
[Whitmer]: No, but not far away from that place.

Orson Pratt, The Contributor, September 1882 wrote:
But the grand repository of all the numerous records of the ancient nations of the western continent, was located in another department of the hill, and its contents put under the charge of holy angels, until the day should come for them to be transferred to the sacred temple of Zion.


Note that in the above statements David Whitmer says this was not Cumorah, but instead the nearby hill where the cave was dug. Personally, I believe what we have here is a joint, likely subjective, visionary experience by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery describing the return of the Gold Plates to the hill Cumorah. Of course to this day there is no physical evidence for a cave in Cumorah.

References
Vogel, D. The Locations of Joseph Smith's Early Treasure Quests. Dialogue (2010) vol. 27 (3) pp. 197-231.

Packer, C.C. Cumorahs Cave. Journal of Book of Mromon Studies (2004) vol. 13 (1) pp. 50-57


Last edited by George Miller on Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:57 am 
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George Miller wrote:
Harold Lee wrote:
When I was TBM I had a voracious appetite and read all kinds of things I can't remember anymore. Like now I'm trying to remember an account about a cave in the hill Cumorah. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Basically it's an eyewitness account (or maybe a friend of JS's recounting something he said) about how in a cave in the hill Cumorah the angel Moroni re-deposited the plates, on a wooden table. IIRC from wall to wall were rolled up scrolls and plates, ancient scriptures, that were promised to be translated at a later date. They left and sealed the cave back up and supposedly they're going to be translated when the 2/3 of the Book of Mormon is translated (from the Journal of Discourses, I remember the sealed 2/3 I think Orson Hyde said was all about the 3 hours the Lord talked to the Brother of Jared. So like probably 1000 more pages from 3 hours. They were just talking really fast.)


Hey Harold,
You are remembering mostly correctly about legends of a cave within Cumorah. However, the story actually begins a few years earlier than the Smith's treasure seeking in hill Cumorah.

The Smith family was first making excavations, probably in company with Lumen Walters, in a hill close to Cumorah on the land of Abner Cole and subsequently Enoch Saunders. According to later owners of the property, the Smith's and their compatriots dug a sizable cave into the side of the hill. According to Wallace Miner, who later inherited the land, the Smith's "dug a 40 ft. cave" into the hill and Orson Saunders claimed at the back of the cave there was "quite a large chamber many feet in extent, with the marks of the pick plainly visible in the light of his candles" and that passageway was "eight feet wide ad seven feet high". The Smith's even had a wooden door attached to the entrance to keep people out of the underground cavern.

Joseph Smith Jr. was acting as a guide in the dig and according to some accounts the Smith's claimed the hill held the remains of an ancient Nephite king. For example Lorenzo Saunders reported that "Jo. [Jr.] could see in his peep stone what there was in that cave" and that "young Joe could ... see a man sitting in a god chair. Old Joe said he was king i.e. the man in the chair; a king of one of the ... [Indian] <tribes> who was shut in there in the time of one of their big battles." Corroboration of this story comes from Sylvia Walker's account which says that "Jo [Smith] claimed to receive revelation to dig forty feet into a hill about two miles north of where he pretended to find the gold plates of the 'Book of Mormon,' where he would find a cave that contained gold furniture, chars and a table." Thus the construction of an underground cavern was a motif within the Smith family's psyche.

The origin of this idea may actually be Masonic legends. According to Masonic legend, Solomon's temple was built on top of an underground temple complex built by none other than Enoch himself. Masonic legend states Enoch's underground temple complex was the storage site for the Ark of the Covenant along with its various treasures including the Rod of Moses, the breastplate, the Urim and Thummim and most importantly a Gold Plate on which was written the שם המפורש or the sacred name of God in Enochian script, a script which Joseph Smith believed was related to the Royal Arch Cipher and the Kabbalistic AIQ BKR cipher.

After being told that the nearby hill was unholy ground, the Smith's moved their excavations to the hill Cumorah. While the excavations there were likely never as extensive as those in the previous hill, the Smith's may have planned a similar cave in Cumorah. Even if this is not the case, the early Mormons believed the hill contained pre-existing underground passageways and cavernous rooms. This is evidenced by the stories propagating amongst Mormons in later years. According to numerous accounts Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery returned the gold plates these internal caverns within Cumorah, and while there observed many other records and Nephite artifacts.


Very informative and interesting information as usual. :) :shock:

That's the first I've heard of the Ark of the Covenant, Moses' Rod, and all those artifacts possibly being under where Solomon's temple was. Have they done any excavations that you know of to find the alleged underground temple and artifacts there? I would love to hear more about that sometime, I'm sure a lot of us would. Assuming of course it's not crossing any uncrossable lines of confidential information. ;)

I also didn't know the secret cave in a hill thing had a precedent for Joseph. The more I read of Church history the more things seem to have precedents- the Urim and Thummin, the Bloody Spaniard (I think before he was 17 and Moroni visited), the Tree of life dream. It's funny because a lot of these precedents that show how Church teachings and practices might have evolved are kind of tucked away.

I could go with all this being a figurative, visionary, or just expressive way of how the plates were deposited. I'm not really sure how the Church allows beliefs like those. I get the feeling their position is either the accounts were literally recorded wrong, literally lies, or it literally happened. There's just little room for appreciating the other options.

Very interesting stuff tho!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMBmK5uksg


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MonkeyMo wrote:
obviously the church can't let people dig up the hill - it is sacred ground. [Geeze people think!!! ;) ]

Also, assuming that the church did let archeologists desecrate the land. Even if they didn't find anything, that proves what? All it proves is that G-d removed all of the evidence so that people would have to rely on Faith. Faith is the key. [double, geeze people think!!!!]


Oh, oh yeah that's right. Sorry, dumb question. And by dumb question I mean it's dumb to have asked a question.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuMBmK5uksg


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Actually, and you can take this from the Prophet Zadok, after the Church purchased the Hill Cumorah, all of the records were secretly transferred to the Granite Vaults in Cottonwood Canyon. This was done to prevent "fortune seekers" and "gold diggers" from finding the gold plates and selling them to the Pawn Shop in Las Vegas.

The Church could roll out the plates and convince everyone that the claims of Joseph Smith are positively true, but that would destroy the testimony of so many members who walk by faith that they hold back.

Besides, General Conference stories of flying airplanes and visiting widows is much more faith promoting than actually seeing the gold plates and letting people examine them and come to a knowledge for themselves. :lol:

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George Miller wrote:
Personally, I believe what we have here is a joint, likely subjective, visionary experience by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery describing the return of the Gold Plates to the hill Cumorah.


You are a wealth of information as usual, George. Thanks for sharing.

Do you know whether there is any statement by Oliver Cowdery himself regarding this vision/event, or any contemporaneously recorded utterance by Oliver?

I am thinking the answer is no, but wanted to ask you to find out.

All the Best!

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In Solomon Spaulding's 'Manuscript Found' the record of the ancient civilization it describes was found in a cave in a stone box.

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This became a real "dude...what?" experience for me when I considered it in conjunction with the two Cumorahs theory. So Moroni, all by himself, and without the benefit of any kind of wheeled conveyance, lugged all those records from Mexico to New York, excavated or found a cave, moved all the records inside, sealed the cave with a magic door, quarried and built a stone box near the top of the hill big enough to contain the plates, the U&T, and the sword of Laban, all while being relentlessly pursued by Lamanites? Yeah, okay, seems totally reasonable.

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"It is an affront to treat falsehood with complacence"
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