long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Letter VII: Oliver Cowdery's Message to the World about the Hill Cumorah

Today is Book of Mormon day (the anniversary of Joseph obtaining the plates from Moroni). To celebrate, here's my new book, Letter VII: Oliver Cowdery's Message to the World about the Hill Cumorah.

This is the "soft release," meaning we're not doing any marketing for two weeks. It is available on Amazon Kindle now, paperback soon. In a few weeks, it will be available in stores.

The book discusses the background, content, and significance of Oliver Cowdery's letters. It includes observations by Richard L. Bushman, John W. Welch, and others. I included edited versions of all eight of Cowdery's letters, along with timelines and numerous references for those interested in additional research.

Some of the key points covered in the book:

1. Oliver wrote these letters with the assistance of Joseph Smith and "authentic documents now in our possession."

2. Oliver declared the letters are founded on facts.

3. Oliver unequivocally identified the Book of Mormon Cumorah as being in New York.

4. Oliver describes the vale between the Hill Cumorah and another ridge about one mile west. [Note: this is the vale shown on the cover. In the hard copies of the book, the photo continues on the back cover so you can see the entire vale.]

5. Oliver writes about "the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed." (emphasis mine)

There's more that I'll discuss tomorrow.


  1. Serious !!! Oliver Cowdery' Letters ... Best go charge my Kindle

  2. "Oliver declared the letters are founded on facts."

    So, not revelation, then? Rather, Oliver's reading of the Book of Mormon?

    1. Mike,

      Oliver's letters were founded on his experiences. His conversations with Joseph Smith, various appearances of the Angel Moroni to Joseph and Oliver, being with Joseph Smith when the plates were returned to the Hill Cumorah and the cave opening up, etc. So the letters he wrote were founded on experiences, both physical and revelatory.

    2. Is there any statement by Joseph Smith or any of the witnesses that indicates that they were told, by revelation or by a messenger from God, that the hill in New York is the same hill where the final Nephite battles took place, or that the action described at the end the Book of Mormon was centered in and around upstate New York?

      Without some reasonable evidence that anyone claimed revelation on the matter, all you have is simple presumption based on your preferred theory.

      (BTW, the story of the cave in the hill Cumorah in New York cannot be sourced to Oliver Cowdery or any other firsthand witnesses. It is both late and secondhand.)

  3. Mike, you need to educate yourself about this. Read the book.

  4. Mike, you need to educate yourself about this. Read the book.