This article on Cumorah by President Ivins was in celebration of the purchase of the Hill Cumorah by the LDS church.
THE HILL CUMORAH BY PRESIDENT ANTHONY W. IVINS
-There have been some differences of opinion in regard to it, and in order that I might be correct in the statements which I make I have this morning finished a short manuscript which I would like to read—the first time. I believe, in my experience, that I have ever addressed a congregation in this manner, and I do it for the purpose stated.
–The purchase of this hill, which President Grant has announced, is an event of more than ordinary importance to the membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The memories of the remote past which cluster round this sacred spot, its close association with the opening of the present gospel dispensation, which has resulted in bringing together this congregation of people, for without it this tabernacle would not have been erected, nor would we have been gathered here in worship today, and the thought which we entertain of the possibilities which its bosom may unfold, make the acquisition of this hill almost an epochal accomplishment in the history of the Church.
-The passages which I have quoted from the Book of Mormon and the more extended discussion of this subject by Elder B. H. Roberts which was published in The Deseret News of March 3 definitely established the following facts: That the hill Cumorah, and the hill Ramah are identical. That it was around this hill that the armies of both the Jaredites and Nephites fought their great last battles. That it was in this hill that Mormon deposited all of the sacred records which had been entrusted to his care by Ammaron, except the abridgment which he had made from the plates of Nephi, which were delivered into the hands of his son, Moroni. We know positively that it was in this hill that Moroni deposited the abridgment made by his father, and his own abridgment of the record of the Jaredites, and that it was from this hill that Joseph Smith obtained possession of them.
-According to the Book of Mormon, many hundreds of thousands of people fell in battle around this hill and in the immediate vicinity. It was here that two once-powerful nations were exterminated so far as their national existence was concerned. It was here that these nations gathered together for their last great struggles.
-All of these incidents to which I have referred, my brethren and sisters, are very closely associated with this particular spot in the state of New York. Therefore I feel, as I said in the beginning of my remarks, that the acquisition of that spot of ground is more than an incident in the history of the Church; it is an epoch—an epoch which in my opinion is fraught with that which may become of greater interest to the Latter-day Saints than that which has already occurred. We know that all of these records, all the sacred records of the Nephite people, were deposited by Mormon in that hill. That incident alone is sufficient to make it the sacred and hallowed spot that it is to us. I thank God that, in a way which seems to have been providential, it has come into the possession of the Church (“The Hill Cumorah” by President Anthony W. Ivins, Improvement Era, 1928, Vol. Xxxi. June, 1928 No. 8).
Though Ivins acknowledged that Nephite and Jaredite battles occurred in Palmyra, having served 15 years in Mexico, he also believed Book of Mormon lands were in Mexico:
-Among the many important subjects that have been brought to our attention I think there is no item of more importance than the subject that was discussed by President Ivins in tracing the records of the Nephites from the centers of their civilization northward, and the long pilgrimage of the people as they moved northward until they came to the land of Ripliancum, the land of many waters, and the Hill Cumorah. I was deeply interested in what he said, and I believe that his remarks make a very important contribution, not only to this conference, but to the literature of the Church. It will at least be preserved in the minutes of this conference, and will be of permanent record (Brigham H. Roberts, Conference Report, April 1928, Third Day—Morning Meeting, p. 107).
Biography: President Anthony W. Ivins was born on Sept. 16, 1852, at Toms River, NJ. Served in Mexico from 1882 – 1907. He was ordained an apostle on Oct. 6, 1907 by Pres. Joseph F. Smith. Pres. Ivins was sustained as second counselor in the First Presidency Mar. 10, 1921, at the age of 68 and sustained as first counselor in the First Presidency May 28, 1925, at the age of 72. He died Sep. 23, 1934 at Salt Lake City, UT ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, 1963, p. 688).