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The Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York
Cumorah, more commonly known among Mormons as the Hill Cumorah, is the name given to a hill four miles south of Palmyra, New York. It was in this hill, in roughly the year A.D. 421, that the prophet/historian Moroni deposited a record, engraved upon golden plates, he and his father Mormon had made. Fourteen hundred years later in 1827, that same Moroni directed young Joseph Smith to retrieve the record from the Hill Cumorah. Joseph did as directed and translated the plates into the Book of Mormon.

In addition to being a storehouse to the sacred record, the Hill Cumorah was somewhat of a school for young Joseph. During the years between Moroni's first visit to the prophet in 1823 and the time Joseph was allowed to take the plates in 1827, Joseph annually visited Cumorah. Each year, Moroni would meet Joseph and give him further knowledge and instruction.

Cumorah in the Book of Mormon

The Hill Cumorah Today

In 1928 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, purchased the Hill Cumorah and in 1935 there erected a monument commemorating the visit of the Angel Moroni. The Church later built a visitor's center at Cumorah's base. The visitor's center offers information not only about the Hill Cumorah, but about numerous other Mormon Church history sites in the area.

Nearly every summer since 1935 the Mormon Church has sponsered a free pageant at Cumorah entitled America's Witness for Christ. The pageant, which runs in July and has a cast of 650, is commonly referred to as the Hill Cumorah Pageant and draws around 100,000 visitors a year. The current pageant was written by renowned Mormon author Orson Scott Card based upon the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The pageant consists of 10 short stories:

  • The Prophet Lehi
  • The Visions of Christ
  • The Building of a Ship
  • The Voyage to Ancient America
  • The Burning of Abinadi
  • The Ministry of Alma
  • The Prophecy: A Day, A Night and a Day
  • The Resurrected Christ Appears to Ancient Americans
  • The Written Word: A Golden Message
  • The Restoration of Christ's Kingdom