Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Martin H. Raish


Modern Church, Hill Cumorah


This bibliographic article identifies descriptions of the Hill Cumorah that go beyond Joseph Smith’s account. The author includes firsthand reports of the hill’s appearance at the time the sacred events took place and accounts by visitors who focus on emotional, spiritual, poetic, or nostalgic aspects of their experience. Some of the featured descriptions are written by James Gordon Bennett, Oliver Cowdery, Orson Pratt, George Q. Cannon, Susa Young Gates, photographer George E. Anderson, and Anthony W. Ivins. Taken together, the accounts enrich our understanding and appreciation of the Hill Cumorah and the role it played in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. This article includes recommendations for post–World War II studies on the hill and a sidebar that discusses a clue to the history of the name Cumorah being associated with the hill near Palmyra.