Because it has become a habit with some Anti-Mormons to make clumsy efforts to identify the Hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon as the repository of the cumulative records of the ancient peoples that inhabited the American Continent with the hill in western New York State, New York’s Hill Cumorah, it is appropriate that what is hopefully "A Final Explanation" concerning these two hills is published so that the facts can be set before the public.
Mormon the ancient Prophet wrote:
"Having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites (for the Lamanites would destroy them), therefore I made this record [the Book of Mormon] out of the plates of Nephi, and, save it were these few plates [the Book of Mormon] which I gave unto my son Moroni." --Mormon 6:6
In this verse , Mormon identifies to his readers, two parcels or lots of plates.
1. "all the records which had been entrusted to me," and,
2. "these few plates."
His disposal of set 1, and set 2, is entirely different, and that means that the two sets were entirely different and discrete.
What does he say he does with set 1, the set of records from which he had made an abridgement to give to his son Moroni?
Read his words:
I [...] hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord [...]
What does he say he did with the other set of plates? Read his words:
I made this record [Book of Mormon] out of the plates of Nephi, and, save it were these few plates [Book of Mormon] which I gave unto my son Moroni"
A: When he writes of "all the records" he means us to understand the many piles of records from which he made his abridgement, and that he hid in the Hill Cumorah of which he writes in the Book of Mormon.
B: When he writes of "these few plates" he means his abridgement that he did not hide in Cumorah, but delivered to his son Moroni.
Not to overwork the points, but the internal evidence of the Book of Mormon demonstrates that Mormons speaks of A: plates that he hid in Cumorah, and B: plates that he did not hide in Cumorah, but which he gave to his son Moroni, that Moroni later hid in an unnamed hill in what is now western New York State.
Therefore, we safely conclude that abridgement made by Mormon from the Library of Plates that were NOT put in the Hill Cumorah by Mormon, but given into the hands of his son Moroni for safe keeping, preserved to come forth in the due time of the Lord, which Moroni hid in a hill or eminence that he did not name, but to which he led the boy Prophet Joseph Smith and from which hill he delivered the ancient record preserved on gold plates. In speaking of that hill we readily determine that Joseph Smith NEVER EVER EVER called it or made any reference to it using the name 'Cumorah.'
The abridgement, from which the Book of Mormon was translated, was NOT put in the Hill Cumorah, as Mormon informs us expressly.
Instead of hiding them in the Hill Cumorah, with the extensive set or records made over a period exceeding a thousand years, he gave them to Moroni, who, at a later date and in another place hid them in a hill in what is now western New York state. We may safely presume that they were placed in this unnamed hill at the direction of a wise and far-seeing God that knew that at a time in the future he would lead a young man to obtain the plates under the direction of an angel: a young man that would be living in the vicinity of the depository when God determined the time was ready to reveal the ancient record and testament of Jesus Christ to a struggling world.
It is essential that we recognise that he unnamed hill in which Moroni deposited the plates from which the Book of Mormon was produced, was not designated Cumorah either by Moroni or by Joseph Smith, neither of whom gave the hill any name.
Therefore, those who say that Smith or Moroni said that the hill in which the abridgement was hidden was the Hill Cumorah are making a mistake of the simplest kind such as comes from not reading and understanding what Mormon said, and by putting in to the mouth of Joseph Smith words written by other men, but which never fell from his lips, nor dripped from his pen.
If any cannot now make the distinction between the extensive sets of records that Mormon hid in Cumorah, and the “few plates” that he gave to Moroni instead of burying them in the Hill Cumorah, and which Moroni later hid in another hill in another place, a hill that he did not name, that the Book of Mormon does not name, and that Smith did not name, but which later earned the popular name of the Hill Cumorah, but which is not the Hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon and into which Mormon placed the extensive records, then I am unable to put light into dark places that seems doomed to remain in darkness.
I certify that I have done my best to have it otherwise.
“Whoso reads, let him understand”
In closing let us ask the question,
"Do Latter-day Saints believe that the hill known as the Hill Cumorah in New York State is the same Hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon?"
And the answer, made plain enough for all honest seekers after the truth in the essay above, is
Let that settle the matter for all time.