As part of the “Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum” Wooley does not disappoint. In one coherent slough do their outdated theories mold. In his treatise on Cumorah, Wooley regurgitates the fodder of his kin. His inaccuracies equal the number of supports they proffer. Their premise? Cumorah was in Mesoamerica with the other Book of Mormon lands.
Here are the more egregious errors that a student of the Book of Mormon can appreciate are unworthy of contemplation.
1. Their Defense: “Cumorah was in an area subject to volcanoes and earthquakes. (Mesoamerica is a land of volcanic activity and earthquake eruptions.)”
Answer: The only earthquakes that occurred in the Book of Mormon were by the power of God, not random acts of nature:
at my word the earth shall shake (Ether 4:9)
beheld an angel of the Lord and his voice was as thunder which shook the earth and they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth (Mosiah 27:18)
when they had said these words the earth shook exceedingly and the walls of the prison did shake (Helaman 5:27)
yea at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours and the earth shall shake (Helaman 14:21)
Note: The earthquake that occurred at the coming of Jesus was never before known:
never had been known in all the land. (3 Nephi 8:5)
What’s the Fruit? The spirit of anti-Christ denies the resurrection of Jesus and the miracles associated with it. It seeks alternative explanations. It’s clear what spirit they are heeding, unfortunately, but they are under condemnation for not following the Holy Book of Mormon (D&C 84:54-57).
2. They Deny Joseph Referred to the Hill as Cumorah, i.e. They Deny Official Church Canon
Joseph referred to the hill in Palmyra as “Cumorah”:
And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed. (D&C 128:20)
Note the tense, Joseph was speaking in future tense. In other words, during one of his visits with Moroni at the hill, he (Moroni) referred to the hill as “Cumorah,” which Joseph himself repeated.
3. Think They’re Smarter than President Joseph Fielding Smith
This third volume in the Doctrines of Salvation series gives pointed consideration to many of the most fascinating and little understood principles of the gospel.
In it President Joseph Fielding Smith points out the signs of the times, analyzes the prophecies relative to the Second Coming of our Lord, sets forth the events which will precede and attend that glorious day, and describes the conditions destined to prevail during the millennial era.
In addition he tells how priesthood and keys operate, explains the apostolic position, and reveals how the President of the Church is chosen and set apart. Light is thrown also on Book of Mormon geography, patriarchal blessings, world governments, the great apostasy, and many more vital subjects.
Paying tribute to him on the 80th anniversary of his birth (July 19, 1956), his associates in the Council of the Twelve published a message of love, greeting, and affection which included the following:
“The standard works excepted, probably more copies of his books on gospel subjects have been sold than of any other man in our dispensation. Total copies sold now run to several hundred thousand.
Certainly none in our day has spoken or written with greater plainness, or more spiritual insight, or with greater ability to give living meaning to the mysteries of the kingdom than has he.
This third volume of Doctrines of Salvation, containing as it does many doctrinal explanations not found elsewhere in Latter-day Saint literature, warrants the attentive consideration of gospel students everywhere.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol.3, p.2)
President Smith goes on to cite historical facts in support of ONE CUMORAH, like Official Church History which said the final battles took place in Palmyra:
By turning to the 529th and 530th pages of the book of Mormon you will read Mormon’s account of the last great struggle of his people, as they were encamped round THIS HILL CUMORAH. [Source: LATTER DAY SAINTS’ MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE, Volume I. No. 1. KIRTLAND, OHIO, OCTOBER, 1834, p. 157-158]
We cite an addition twenty church leaders in support of one Cumorah in Palmyra. The BMAF cannot find a single church leader against it.
It is foolish to seek wisdom from academics who measure truth on sliding scales and what current evidence dictates. It is better to acknowledge how land prophecies were fulfilled and wait until the evidence comes forth to support them. As it stands, God condemned Mormons back in 1832, so until the Holy Book of Mormon is no longer associated with Mormonism, undeniable evidence will be withheld.