Friday, June 11, 2021

Letter VII coming to Cumorah in New York!

Today Elder LeGrand Curtis, Jr., the current Church Historian and Recorder, announced that the Church is going forward with the restoration of the Hill Cumorah in New York. 

Because this is a project managed by the Church History Department, we can be sure the new displays will provide visitors complete information about Church history related to the Hill Cumorah in New York. 

The most detailed historical information we have about Cumorah is from Oliver Cowdery's essays on Church history. His essays, published as letters in every Church-related newspaper during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, discussed the significance of Cumorah, including Moroni's visit, the construction of the stone box, Joseph's experience visiting the hill, and the hill's connection with the events in the Book of Mormon. Letters IV, VII and VIII deal specifically with Cumorah.

The Church History Department, in the ongoing effort to provide full transparency and educational materials to Church members and the public, is about to bring these materials back to Cumorah.

A news release outlines the plans to restore the Hill Cumorah:

Perhaps they will republish the collection of these essays that was printed in the Messenger and Advocate. Or the collection from the Times and Seasons. Or the collection from the Millennial Star. Or the collection from the Gospel Reflector. Or the collection from The Prophet. Or the collection from the Improvement Era

Or, maybe they will republish the original collection that was published in England in 1844 and sold thousands of copies. which you can see here:

At the very least, we can expect these essays to be reproduced in full at Cumorah so visitors to the Hill Cumorah will learn about all the history related to that location.

Important excerpt:

The Church will create a network of accessible trails at the site. 

These will have a central kiosk that explains the sacred events that occurred at the Hill Cumorah. Signs along the way will provide additional information

Each trail will lead to the angel Moroni monument at the top of the hill. The Moroni statue will be regilded, and the landscape around the monument will be refreshed. 

New exhibits will be placed in the visitors’ center in 2023 to mark the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s first visit to the hill.

No doubt the central kiosk will also feature all the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah. They can use the BYU Packet for a list, with references.