Even though Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and a Nephite messenger irrefutably identified the hill and land of Cumorah in Palmyra, NY, there remain diehards in favor of a distant location like Kirk Magleby (a.k.a. “Captain Kirk”)—Executive Director of Book of Mormon Central—which claims to be “the world’s premier source of reliable Book of Mormon contextual material” in Spanish and English.
What follows is a review of Kirk’s attempts to circumvent the truth, as stated by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, a Nephite messenger, and even President Joseph Fielding Smith (details, Menu: Basics>Lands>Cumorah). Our previous review of Kirk Magleby did not sway him from the untenable position of “two” Cumorahs. Therefore, this review may benefit newcomers more than current adherents of the Mesoamerican model; they are too heavily vested, to ever let it go.
Ramah/Cumorah by Kirk Magleby – October 31, 2016
In the following quote, Captain Kirk demonstrates the limitations of his understanding of Book of Mormon geography:
“It seems odd, then, that Nephite survivors of the final battle fled from Ramah/Cumorah southward1 where they were all promptly killed2 by Lamanites Mormon 6:15, Mormon 8:2. Why did the survivors not flee northward?2 Why did the entire Nephite nation not simply migrate en masse northward as many before them had done Alma 63:4, Helaman 3:3? Some force northward3 from Ramah/Cumorah was so powerful and threatening that Nephite refugees preferred to flee southward1 and take their chances among Lamanites bent on their destruction Mormon 8:7.”
(Ramah/Cumorah, October 31, 2016, https://bookofmormonresources.blogspot.com/2016/10/ramahcumorah.html; retrieved 5/1/20)
1) Fled Southward – Preferred Southward
His difficulty in understanding what happened at the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah is the result of not respecting what the text said. Had Kirk taken his own advice, he could have avoided his dilemma:
“So, if we can’t trust simple little east west – north south syllogisms, how are we ever going to decipher the Book of Mormon map? We need to read the text with precision and consistency, just as Nephi, Alma, Mormon and the other Nephite authors wrote it” (Kirk Magleby, Ammonihah, Noah & Sidom all East of Sidon).
Let us start with the “simple” “east west – north south” reference:
8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east. (Helaman 3)
Because adherents of the Mesoamerican theory lack a single piece of land surrounded by four seas, they are forced to say it’s a metaphor (if they mention them at all) or place the North and South Seas somewhere other than north or south.
“The reference to north and south seas fits nicely into the Mesoamerican scene as part of a metaphor for the whole earth and was probably used in a metaphorical sense in the Book of Mormon” (A Key For Evaluating Nephite Geographies by John E. Clark in FARMS Review: Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 20-70 A review of “Deciphering the Geography of the Book of Mormon” by F. Richard Hauck Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1989, p. 65).
Whether it’s a metaphor or not, John Clark, like Lynn and David Rosenvall, incorrectly place the Sea South, south of the Land Southward, rather than the Land Northward—as the verse “clearly” says. Will Captain Kirk respect the text?
When a person respects the text and the statements by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and a Nephite messenger that Cumorah IS in Palmyra, NY, and the final Nephite battle occurred there, they will understand two things—why Cumorah was chosen for the final battle, and why the only escape route was southward.
2) Promptly Killed
Kirk’s statement that those who fled south were “promptly killed” is conjecture. It says they were “hunted”:
2 And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were HUNTED by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. (Mormon 8:2)
There’s a big difference between being “promptly killed” and “hunted” for years.
3) A Force – Not Flee Northward
Kirk asserts there must have been some northward “force” that prevented Nephite survivors from fleeing that direction. The sea directly north of Palmyra (Lake Ontario) answers that question. None of the Mesoamerican models have a north-bounding sea (let alone a truly east, west, and south); therefore, for them, there must be another explanation than what the text says. For those who sincerely want to know true Book of Mormon lands, the answers are all here; there is no need to look anywhere else (this is not arrogance; it is fact).
See also: Errors of Kirk Magleby