A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah

  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:2e2ecbc59bc2ce2ebd3451b75e89848a' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>steve benson Nov. 2013</p>\n<p>Although Joseph Smith\'s co-Mormon Church president and sidekick, Oliver Cowdery, couldn\'t get his personal dowsing stick to function when it came to the Book of Mormon\'s translation junction, he was nonetheless able to locate caves in the Hill Cumorah piled high with ancient plates.</p>\n<p>Grant H. Palmer, in his book \"An Insider\'s View of Mormonism\" (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2002), describes the “discoveries” thusly:</p>\n<p>“The ability to see into hidden crevices within the local hills was not limited to Joseph Jr. and his father. Heber C. Kimball spoke of \'the vision that Joseph and others had [Joseph Sr. and Oliver Cowdery are identified] when they went into a cave in the Hill Cumorah and saw more records than 10 men could carry . . . books piled upon tables, book upon book.\'</p>\n<p>\"[Brigham] Young named more witnesses in connection with these visits to Cumorah\'s cave . . . : \'Oliver [Cowdery] 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 . . . . I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it . . . . Carlos Smith . . . was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw these things, Hyrum saw a good many things but Joseph was the leader.\'</p>\n<p>\". . . In 1873, Brigham Young informed Elizabeth Kane and others that the plates that Cowdery saw \'were in a cave; that Oliver Cowdery . . . would not deny that he had seen [and handled] them. He had been to the cave.\'\"</p>\n<p>Palmer adds that \"Hyrum Smith related more about [Cowdery\'s Cumorah spelunking) to William W. Phelps, identifying still others who made the excursion to the hill\'s interior. Phelps recounted: \'Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer[s?] went to the Hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-feet square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On the trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban\'s sword, Aaron\'s breastplate.\'\" In this regard, Palmer adds that in another statement, Young mentioned that they saw \"a Messenger\' who was the \"keeper of the room\" and that they conversed with him.”</p>\n<p>Palmer raises doubts that Cowdery physically located such gold-crusted caverns, noting that Brigham Young\'s version of “recounted statements by Cowdery [of walking into a treasure-laden cave inside the Hill Cumorah] . . . may have been misremembered [as] . . . real events rather than visionary”--serving to further underscore that Cowdery was “seeing” things with his magic stick. Palmer notes, “It appears that this cave was not a physical reality but rather something that was visited in a dream-vision” by Cowdery and others.</p>\n<p>In an examination titled, \"The Cave at Hill Cumorah,\" researchers for Mormonthink.com provide an enlightening glimpse into the bizarre fables of underground Cumorah caverns supposedly packed with precious treasure, historical collectibles and heaps of sacred records waiting to be translated:</p>\n<p>\" . . . [S]everal nominal and prominent early Church members indicated that not only were the gold plates (from which the Book of Mormon was purportedly translated) buried at the Hill Cumorah, but that there was an entire cave of records and artifacts inside the hill itself. Here are a few select quotes to illustrate this incredible claim [made by Brigham Young and expanded somewhat from Palmer\'s recitation above]:</p>\n<p>\"\'I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family.</p>\n<p>\"\'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.\" (Brigham Young, \"Journal of Discourses,\" vol. 19, p. 38)\"</p>\n<p>W.W. Phelps had his own cave stories that he shared with other members of the Church. THis from William Horne:</p>\n<p>\"[I] [a]ttended meeting a discourse from W. W. Phelps. He related a story told him by Hyrum Smith which was as follows: Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer went to the Hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-foot square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On that trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban\'s sword, Aaron\'s brestplate.\" (William Horne Dame Diary, 14 January 1855)</p>\n<p>Apostle Heber C. Kimball had his own tall tales of treasure to tell:</p>\n<p>\"In response to a Brother Mills\'s statement about the handcart pioneers, Heber C. Kimball said, \'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.\" (Heber C. Kimball, \"Journal of Discourses,\'\" 28 September 1856)</p>\n<p>Brigham Young was, likewise, available, brimming with exotic tales describing secret forays into the treasure troves whispered to be hidden within the heart of the Hill Cumorah, that he could not seem to keep to himself:</p>\n<p>\"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.\" (\"Manuscript History of Brigham Young,\" 5 May 1867)</p>\n<p>Also eagerly reporting on the treasure-chested caves of Cumorah was Apostle Wilford Woodruff, who let be known that he, too, had heard from Brigham Young about what lay within (as well as passed along Joseph Smith\'s description of the cave\'s glorious contents:</p>\n<p>\"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 Cumorah with Oliver Cowdry and deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates containing sacred records and when they first visited that room, the sword of Laban was hanging upon the wall and, 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 until the Kingdom of God was established upon the Earth and until it reigned triumphant over every enemy. Joseph Smith said that cave contained tons of choice treasures and records.\" (Wilford Woodruff journal, 11 December 1869)</p>\n<p>As mentioned above, Elizabeth Kane was regaled by Brigham Young with cave stories:</p>\n<p>\"Although not a member of the Church, Elizabeth Kane lived in St. George, Utah, and entertained the company of Brigham Young. She recorded the following discussion:</p>\n<p>\"\'[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.</p>\n<p>\"\'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 15 feet high and \'round its sides were [ar]ranged boxes of treasure. In the center 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 [a divine messemger] that was with them said it was never to be sheathed until the reign of Righteousness upon the earth.\' (Elizabeth Kane Journal, 15 January 1873)</p>\n<p>\"The Cave at Hill Cumorah\" article further reports the contribution of another Church member who was let in on the secrets of Cumorah:</p>\n<p>\"A southern Utah Saint, Jesse Nathaniel Smith, heard Brigham Young speak in Cedar City, Utah, and recorded:</p>\n<p>\"[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.\" (Jesse Nathaniel Smith journal, February 1874)</p>\n<p>David Whitmer joined in on the cave yarns, as reported by Church member Edward Stevenson:</p>\n<p>\"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. (Edward Stevenson, \'Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet,\' 1877)</p>\n<p>\"The Cave at Hill Cumorah\" report that \"[in] an interview with P. Wilhelm Poulson, David Whitmer gave another account of the cave:<br />\n[<br />\n\"[Poulson]: \'Where are the plates now?\'</p>\n<p>\"[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.\'</p>\n<p>\"[Poulson]: \'Where is that cave?\'</p>\n<p>\"[Whitmer]: \'In the State of New York.\'</p>\n<p>\"[Poulson]: \'In the Hill of Cumorah?\'</p>\n<p>\"[Whitmer]: \'No, but not far away from that place.\' (David Whitmer, \'Deseret Evening News,\' 16 August 1878)</p>\n<p>So, too, Orson Pratt chimed in with what he had heard:</p>\n<p>\"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.\" (Orson Pratt, \"The Contributor,\" September 1882)</p>\n<p>\"The Cave at Hill Cumorah\" article concludes with this observation:</p>\n<p>\"It is apparent from the existing records that many of the early Church leaders viewed the cave experience as a legitimate event, whether an actual physical experience or a visionary one.\"</p>\n<p>(\"The Cave at Hill Cumorah,\" under \"Hill Cumorah,\" at: <a href=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/book-of-mormon-problems.htm#cumorah\" title=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/book-of-mormon-problems.htm#cumorah\">http://www.mormonthink.com/book-of-mormon-problems.htm#cumorah</a><br />\n______</p>\n<p>In concluding this cave caveran claptrap, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, in their book, \"The Changing World of Mormonism\" (Chicago, Illinois: The Moody Bible Institute/Moody Press, 1980-81), quote LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his \"Mormon Doctrine\":</p>\n<p>\"It is reported by President Brigham Young that there was in the Hill Cumorah a room containing many wagon loads of plates (p. 454).\"</p>\n<p>Mormonism certainly carries wagon loads of something, but it ain\'t gold plates.As the Tanners observe:</p>\n<p>\"An ordinary person would probably see nothing of importance about this hill but to Mormons this is one of the most important places on Earth.\"</p>\n<p>Indeed, making a mountain out of a bull hill.</p>\n<p>No gold in Joe\'s Kirtland \"bank\" vault. No gold in Joe\'s Hill-Cumorah under-the-stone-box vault.</p>\n<p>Psssst, Joe: Cut your losses and build a mall.</p>\n<p>And good luck with any metal detectors you might have, folks. May I suggest that anyone considering scouring Cumorah for buried treasure consider ditching them and investing in a lottery ticket, instead. You\'ll have better luck.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>joejoe50<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nHold on a second, Steve. Wasn\'t that Guardian a toad? It had to be one of those hallucinogenic ones that you lick and then sail away on a magical mystery tour. And I\'m sure they saw more than just caves full of stuff, like the mysteries of heaven that seem to be so elusive now.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>BeenThereDunnThatExMo<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nGentleman...start your engines on your earth-movers &amp; backhoes!</p>\n<p>Let\'s settle this thing once and for all!!!</p>\n<p>Or so it seems to me...</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Dead Cat<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nGround penetrating radar ought to do the trick</p>\n<hr />\n<p>elbert<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nThanks, Steve.<br />\nI\'m thinking of compiling your essays in one bundle--not to \'abridge\', mind you,(I have enough paper) but to call it History in a nut shell.<br />\nIf there was such a vault why is JS digging a box (flush with ground), then putting the contents in a hollow tree when it had been perfectly safe in the box??</p>\n<hr />\n<p>zenjamin<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nThanks for the continuing bounty.<br />\nSeriously amazed at this series.<br />\nSunlight is a \'natural disinfectant.\'</p>\n<p>Thanks.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>zimmy<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nif you ask about the cave at the hill cumorah visitors center they will tell you that oliver only saw the cave in a vision. that is what I was told when I asked the question.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>anagrammy<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nSaw it with the ole\' spiritual eyes, doncha know.</p>\n<p>Anagrammy</p>\n<hr />\n<p>enoughenoch19<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nIf there was a room full of plates, literally wagon loads of them, why didn\'t someone bring the wagons and take them out? JS or some other fake profit could have translated the reformed Egyptian. Just sayin................</p>\n<hr />\n<p>newnamenephi<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nSecond Sight...enough said.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Hugh<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\n..and in doing so the Visitor Center salesmen are calling Briggy a liar:</p>\n<p>\"[Brigham] Young named more witnesses in connection with these visits to Cumorah\'s cave . . . : \'Oliver [Cowdery] says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened and they walked into a cave.\"</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Hugh<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nEverytime I see the mishey\'s, HT\'s, morbots in passing, I try to bring up the Hill Cumorah. We may not be able to pin them down about the locale of the BOM, but their own profits have specficially identified the Hill Cumorah in NY as the 1) Cave location 2) BOM retrieval location 3) At least two massive BOM battles, which were world record breaking in lives lost (&gt;WW1,WWII, and Cival War combined).</p>\n<p>I always get responded to with a blank stare as their brains get ready to implode. To much data to digest for a poor morbot, \"need the spirit...must have holy ghost.\"</p>\n<hr />\n<p>presleynfactsrock<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah<br />\nWho needs comedians when we have the mormoney cult ?</p>\n<p>D Hudson<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .<br />\nThe comments in this forum remind me of historic treatment of the LDS position. Unless you can prove that such a cavern vault does not exist, your positions are far more absurd than any contention coming from those 19th century LDS disciples. The reference in Mormon 6:6 clearly negates the ignorant reference to Moroni\'s separate vault. Would you have joined others who blackened their faces and murdered America\'s greatest prophet?</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Dave the Atheist<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah<br />\nMark Twain could not have written a better work of fiction.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>rocketscientist<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah<br />\nHave you seen the Hill Cumorah? There are piles of garbage larger than it is. Oh, wait a minute.....that\'s what you\'re saying!</p>\n<p>On a related topic: we\'ll never be able to find that cave. Just as happened to Joe on his treasure hunts, when we get close, it will just retreat further into the earth. All because we used the wrong incantation before starting the dig.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>jaded<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah<br />\nThe penultimate geocache. I can totally see big Mormon families and youth groups using their road trip vacations to go find this treasure, saying that their collective faith and prayers will make them successful (for the good of the church, of course....not for personal gain.)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>icedtea<br />\nRe: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah<br />\nThe treasure narratives of these early Mormon leaders bear several similarities to both nineteenth-century treasure tales circulating on the frontier and current stories (there are plenty of websites where you can examine those in detail).</p>\n<p>-- No meager hoards exist. The treasure is always fabulous, and there are always mountains of it (think Aladdin\'s cave, the Lost Dutchman mine, etc). The \"heaps of records\" filling the Hill Cumorah cave fit right in.</p>\n<p>-- The cache is notoriously difficult to locate, often because it\'s protected by supernatural spells, force fields, angels, etc. In some stories, visitors must swear to the paranormal guardians that they will never reveal the exact location or bring anyone else to the site.</p>\n<p>-- Often, when others try to find the treasure, it vanishes into the earth, slips away, disappears, etc. Even if directions and maps exist, subsequent hunters have zero luck accessing the find.</p>\n<p>There are also a few specific flaws with the Hill Cumorah story:</p>\n<p>-- Passages in the BofM discuss how difficult it was to make and inscribe the plates. How could there be piles and heaps of them?</p>\n<p>-- Other passages lead the reader to believe that the plates passed down from Nephi to Mormon to Moroni (or whomever) were the only ones. Why would God have let these record-keepers go through all that they did if there were hundreds of other records available?</p>\n<p>-- Native American tribes in what is now the northern US were never known to make or stockpile metallic goodies like the kind Young and others describe, ever. And there are no other finds to substantiate the notion that tribal leaders stashed such caches in caves.</p>\n<p>-- There\'s no evidence of advanced metallurgy among North American native tribes, either. Ooops.</p>\n<p>--</p>\n<hr />\n<p>steve benson<br />\nYes he could have; and he did. The Book of Mormon is awful fiction.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1406167227, expire = 1406253627, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:2e2ecbc59bc2ce2ebd3451b75e89848a' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

steve benson Nov. 2013

Although Joseph Smith's co-Mormon Church president and sidekick, Oliver Cowdery, couldn't get his personal dowsing stick to function when it came to the Book of Mormon's translation junction, he was nonetheless able to locate caves in the Hill Cumorah piled high with ancient plates.

Grant H. Palmer, in his book "An Insider's View of Mormonism" (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2002), describes the “discoveries” thusly:

“The ability to see into hidden crevices within the local hills was not limited to Joseph Jr. and his father. Heber C. Kimball spoke of 'the vision that Joseph and others had [Joseph Sr. and Oliver Cowdery are identified] when they went into a cave in the Hill Cumorah and saw more records than 10 men could carry . . . books piled upon tables, book upon book.'

"[Brigham] Young named more witnesses in connection with these visits to Cumorah's cave . . . : 'Oliver [Cowdery] 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 . . . . I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it . . . . Carlos Smith . . . was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw these things, Hyrum saw a good many things but Joseph was the leader.'

". . . In 1873, Brigham Young informed Elizabeth Kane and others that the plates that Cowdery saw 'were in a cave; that Oliver Cowdery . . . would not deny that he had seen [and handled] them. He had been to the cave.'"

Palmer adds that "Hyrum Smith related more about [Cowdery's Cumorah spelunking) to William W. Phelps, identifying still others who made the excursion to the hill's interior. Phelps recounted: 'Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer[s?] went to the Hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-feet square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On the trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's breastplate.'" In this regard, Palmer adds that in another statement, Young mentioned that they saw "a Messenger' who was the "keeper of the room" and that they conversed with him.”

Palmer raises doubts that Cowdery physically located such gold-crusted caverns, noting that Brigham Young's version of “recounted statements by Cowdery [of walking into a treasure-laden cave inside the Hill Cumorah] . . . may have been misremembered [as] . . . real events rather than visionary”--serving to further underscore that Cowdery was “seeing” things with his magic stick. Palmer notes, “It appears that this cave was not a physical reality but rather something that was visited in a dream-vision” by Cowdery and others.

In an examination titled, "The Cave at Hill Cumorah," researchers for Mormonthink.com provide an enlightening glimpse into the bizarre fables of underground Cumorah caverns supposedly packed with precious treasure, historical collectibles and heaps of sacred records waiting to be translated:

" . . . [S]everal nominal and prominent early Church members indicated that not only were the gold plates (from which the Book of Mormon was purportedly translated) buried at the Hill Cumorah, but that there was an entire cave of records and artifacts inside the hill itself. Here are a few select quotes to illustrate this incredible claim [made by Brigham Young and expanded somewhat from Palmer's recitation above]:

"'I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family.

"'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." (Brigham Young, "Journal of Discourses," vol. 19, p. 38)"

W.W. Phelps had his own cave stories that he shared with other members of the Church. THis from William Horne:

"[I] [a]ttended meeting a discourse from W. W. Phelps. He related a story told him by Hyrum Smith which was as follows: Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer went to the Hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-foot square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On that trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's brestplate." (William Horne Dame Diary, 14 January 1855)

Apostle Heber C. Kimball had his own tall tales of treasure to tell:

"In response to a Brother Mills's statement about the handcart pioneers, Heber C. Kimball said, '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." (Heber C. Kimball, "Journal of Discourses,'" 28 September 1856)

Brigham Young was, likewise, available, brimming with exotic tales describing secret forays into the treasure troves whispered to be hidden within the heart of the Hill Cumorah, that he could not seem to keep to himself:

"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." ("Manuscript History of Brigham Young," 5 May 1867)

Also eagerly reporting on the treasure-chested caves of Cumorah was Apostle Wilford Woodruff, who let be known that he, too, had heard from Brigham Young about what lay within (as well as passed along Joseph Smith's description of the cave's glorious contents:

"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 Cumorah with Oliver Cowdry and deposited those plates upon a table or shelf. In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates containing sacred records and when they first visited that room, the sword of Laban was hanging upon the wall and, 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 until the Kingdom of God was established upon the Earth and until it reigned triumphant over every enemy. Joseph Smith said that cave contained tons of choice treasures and records." (Wilford Woodruff journal, 11 December 1869)

As mentioned above, Elizabeth Kane was regaled by Brigham Young with cave stories:

"Although not a member of the Church, Elizabeth Kane lived in St. George, Utah, and entertained the company of Brigham Young. She recorded the following discussion:

"'[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 15 feet high and 'round its sides were [ar]ranged boxes of treasure. In the center 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 [a divine messemger] that was with them said it was never to be sheathed until the reign of Righteousness upon the earth.' (Elizabeth Kane Journal, 15 January 1873)

"The Cave at Hill Cumorah" article further reports the contribution of another Church member who was let in on the secrets of Cumorah:

"A southern Utah Saint, Jesse Nathaniel Smith, heard Brigham Young speak in Cedar City, Utah, and recorded:

"[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." (Jesse Nathaniel Smith journal, February 1874)

David Whitmer joined in on the cave yarns, as reported by Church member Edward Stevenson:

"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. (Edward Stevenson, 'Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet,' 1877)

"The Cave at Hill Cumorah" report that "[in] an interview with P. Wilhelm Poulson, David Whitmer gave another account of the cave:
[
"[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 Cumorah?'

"[Whitmer]: 'No, but not far away from that place.' (David Whitmer, 'Deseret Evening News,' 16 August 1878)

So, too, Orson Pratt chimed in with what he had heard:

"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." (Orson Pratt, "The Contributor," September 1882)

"The Cave at Hill Cumorah" article concludes with this observation:

"It is apparent from the existing records that many of the early Church leaders viewed the cave experience as a legitimate event, whether an actual physical experience or a visionary one."

("The Cave at Hill Cumorah," under "Hill Cumorah," at: http://www.mormonthink.com/book-of-mormon-problems.htm#cumorah
______

In concluding this cave caveran claptrap, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, in their book, "The Changing World of Mormonism" (Chicago, Illinois: The Moody Bible Institute/Moody Press, 1980-81), quote LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his "Mormon Doctrine":

"It is reported by President Brigham Young that there was in the Hill Cumorah a room containing many wagon loads of plates (p. 454)."

Mormonism certainly carries wagon loads of something, but it ain't gold plates.As the Tanners observe:

"An ordinary person would probably see nothing of importance about this hill but to Mormons this is one of the most important places on Earth."

Indeed, making a mountain out of a bull hill.

No gold in Joe's Kirtland "bank" vault. No gold in Joe's Hill-Cumorah under-the-stone-box vault.

Psssst, Joe: Cut your losses and build a mall.

And good luck with any metal detectors you might have, folks. May I suggest that anyone considering scouring Cumorah for buried treasure consider ditching them and investing in a lottery ticket, instead. You'll have better luck.


joejoe50
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Hold on a second, Steve. Wasn't that Guardian a toad? It had to be one of those hallucinogenic ones that you lick and then sail away on a magical mystery tour. And I'm sure they saw more than just caves full of stuff, like the mysteries of heaven that seem to be so elusive now.


BeenThereDunnThatExMo
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Gentleman...start your engines on your earth-movers & backhoes!

Let's settle this thing once and for all!!!

Or so it seems to me...


Dead Cat
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Ground penetrating radar ought to do the trick


elbert
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Thanks, Steve.
I'm thinking of compiling your essays in one bundle--not to 'abridge', mind you,(I have enough paper) but to call it History in a nut shell.
If there was such a vault why is JS digging a box (flush with ground), then putting the contents in a hollow tree when it had been perfectly safe in the box??


zenjamin
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Thanks for the continuing bounty.
Seriously amazed at this series.
Sunlight is a 'natural disinfectant.'

Thanks.


zimmy
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
if you ask about the cave at the hill cumorah visitors center they will tell you that oliver only saw the cave in a vision. that is what I was told when I asked the question.


anagrammy
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Saw it with the ole' spiritual eyes, doncha know.

Anagrammy


enoughenoch19
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
If there was a room full of plates, literally wagon loads of them, why didn't someone bring the wagons and take them out? JS or some other fake profit could have translated the reformed Egyptian. Just sayin................


newnamenephi
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Second Sight...enough said.


Hugh
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
..and in doing so the Visitor Center salesmen are calling Briggy a liar:

"[Brigham] Young named more witnesses in connection with these visits to Cumorah's cave . . . : 'Oliver [Cowdery] says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened and they walked into a cave."


Hugh
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
Everytime I see the mishey's, HT's, morbots in passing, I try to bring up the Hill Cumorah. We may not be able to pin them down about the locale of the BOM, but their own profits have specficially identified the Hill Cumorah in NY as the 1) Cave location 2) BOM retrieval location 3) At least two massive BOM battles, which were world record breaking in lives lost (>WW1,WWII, and Cival War combined).

I always get responded to with a blank stare as their brains get ready to implode. To much data to digest for a poor morbot, "need the spirit...must have holy ghost."


presleynfactsrock
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah
Who needs comedians when we have the mormoney cult ?

D Hudson
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah . . .
The comments in this forum remind me of historic treatment of the LDS position. Unless you can prove that such a cavern vault does not exist, your positions are far more absurd than any contention coming from those 19th century LDS disciples. The reference in Mormon 6:6 clearly negates the ignorant reference to Moroni's separate vault. Would you have joined others who blackened their faces and murdered America's greatest prophet?


Dave the Atheist
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah
Mark Twain could not have written a better work of fiction.


rocketscientist
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah
Have you seen the Hill Cumorah? There are piles of garbage larger than it is. Oh, wait a minute.....that's what you're saying!

On a related topic: we'll never be able to find that cave. Just as happened to Joe on his treasure hunts, when we get close, it will just retreat further into the earth. All because we used the wrong incantation before starting the dig.


jaded
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah
The penultimate geocache. I can totally see big Mormon families and youth groups using their road trip vacations to go find this treasure, saying that their collective faith and prayers will make them successful (for the good of the church, of course....not for personal gain.)


icedtea
Re: A Mountain of Lies: Those Treasure-Laden Caves Under the Hill Cumorah
The treasure narratives of these early Mormon leaders bear several similarities to both nineteenth-century treasure tales circulating on the frontier and current stories (there are plenty of websites where you can examine those in detail).

-- No meager hoards exist. The treasure is always fabulous, and there are always mountains of it (think Aladdin's cave, the Lost Dutchman mine, etc). The "heaps of records" filling the Hill Cumorah cave fit right in.

-- The cache is notoriously difficult to locate, often because it's protected by supernatural spells, force fields, angels, etc. In some stories, visitors must swear to the paranormal guardians that they will never reveal the exact location or bring anyone else to the site.

-- Often, when others try to find the treasure, it vanishes into the earth, slips away, disappears, etc. Even if directions and maps exist, subsequent hunters have zero luck accessing the find.

There are also a few specific flaws with the Hill Cumorah story:

-- Passages in the BofM discuss how difficult it was to make and inscribe the plates. How could there be piles and heaps of them?

-- Other passages lead the reader to believe that the plates passed down from Nephi to Mormon to Moroni (or whomever) were the only ones. Why would God have let these record-keepers go through all that they did if there were hundreds of other records available?

-- Native American tribes in what is now the northern US were never known to make or stockpile metallic goodies like the kind Young and others describe, ever. And there are no other finds to substantiate the notion that tribal leaders stashed such caches in caves.

-- There's no evidence of advanced metallurgy among North American native tribes, either. Ooops.

--


steve benson
Yes he could have; and he did. The Book of Mormon is awful fiction.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"