There are 4 thoughts on “Joseph Smith at the Veil: Significant Ritual, Symbolism, and Temple Influence at Latter-day Saint Beginnings”.

  1. Whew! That was quite the read. More like a book than an article. Initially I was skeptical and thought the concept a stretch but as I continued reading you made a good case. Thank you.

  2. A considered and significant study of several mostly unrecognized patterns and symbolisms of the Restoration. I am particularly fascinated that this paper also points to further dimensions of the physical coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the still future completion of that process, that merit further exploration.

  3. This is a great testimony to the sacredness of the events and places associated with the “coming forth” of the Book of Mormon. “The Book of Mormon coming forth from a sacred ark hidden on a cosmic mountain” is an apt description, and Cumorah may be more sacred than we realize.

    Among others, two of the Three Witnesses testified that the hill near Palmyra, New York, was called Cumorah by Moroni.

    Oliver Cowdery: “This Book, which contained these things, was hid in the earth by Moroni, in a hill called by him Cumorah, which hill is now in the state of New York, near the village of Palmyra, in Ontario County.” (Autobiography of P.P. Pratt p 56-61)

    David Whitmer:[Joseph Smith] told me…he had a vision, an angel appearing to him three times in one night and telling him that there was a record of an ancient people deposited in a hill near his fathers house called by the ancients “Cumorah” situated in the township of Manchester, Ontario county N.Y…” (Milton V. Backman, Jr., “Eyewitness Accounts of the Restoration,” p. 233)

    President Brigham Young, at a special conference held at Farmington, Utah, June 17, 1877, testified that Oliver Cowdery told him that when he and Joseph Smith returned the Gold Plates, there was a cave in the Hill Cumorah that contained “many wagon loads of plates.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 19, p. 38). It appears that the cave in the hill Cumorah was the repository of many, many sacred records. All the preserved records of the Nephites were placed there as well as the twenty-four gold Plates of Ether. The writings of the brother of Jared would have been there and all the records of his people down to the time of the prophet Ether. Ether “dwelt in the cavity of a rock” while he finished his record, and when the Jaredites had destroyed themselves at Cumorah Ether left his cave and observed what had happened. (Ether 13:13-14; 15:33) Would not this have been the same cave where Mormon and Moroni finished their writings? Would not these prophets have had access to the library of scriptures of those who came before them? Where else would be Adam’s Book of Remembrance, or the writings of the prophets after him down to Noah? Where was the original Book of Enoch deposited when he and his city were translated? Noah would have taken his abridgements of these records for their scriptures but surely the originals would be preserved in the land they were written. Would not all these be among the “many wagon loads” of plates seen by the prophets Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?

    Cumorah may be a more sacred place than we know. Why did Coriantumr gather all his people to the hill Ramah/Cumorah for their final battle? (Ether 15:11) Why did Mormon think he would have an advantage by gathering his people to the hill Cumorah for their final stand? (Mormon 6:2-5) Do not a people always gather to the temple of the God of their fathers to invoke the assistance of their father’s God in the day of their greatest peril? The ancient Jews have always gathered around the temple of their fathers’ God in their darkest hours and will again in the last final battle. Perhaps the land of Cumorah was the ancient land of Cainan, where dwelt Enos, grandson of Adam, and his descendants, and all the other righteous saints of his day (Moses 6:15-17, 41-42).

    The land of Cainan was a journey west of the “sea east “from the place where Adam dwelt (Moses 6:42), which can only be the Atlantic Ocean, It had remained a land of righteousness into the days of Enoch. There would have been a great temple in the land of Cainan, and it probably would have stood on the top of a special hill; perhaps a hill where all the sacred records were to be left when all the righteous in the days of Enoch were translated into heaven.

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