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.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

December 5, 1834

I wasn't able to post this on December 5th, so I'm posting it today instead.

December 5, 1834, was an important day in Church history. It was the day when Oliver Cowdery was ordained Assistant President of the Church.

Many members of the Church today are unaware of this event. For example, did you know it was John the Baptist who directed that Oliver Cowdery be ordained to this office?

You can read the minutes of the meeting in Joseph Smith's History, 1834-1836, here:


5 December 1834 • Friday
Friday Evening, December 5, 1834. According to the direction of the Holy Spirit, President Smith, assistant Presidents,  and , assembled for the purpose of ordaining <​first​> High Counsellor  to the office of assistant President of the High and Holy Priesthood in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.
It is necessary, for the special benefit of the reader, that he be instructed <​into, or​> concerning the power and authority of the above named Priesthood.
First. The office of the President is to preside over the whole Chu[r]ch; to be considered as at the head; to receive revelations for the Church; to be a Seer, and Revelator <​and Prophet—​> having all the gifts of God:— having taking <​Moses​> for an ensample. Which is Second. the office and station of the above President Smith, according to the calling of God, and the ordination which he has received.
Second. The office of Assistant President is to assist in presiding over the whole chu[r]ch, and to officiate in the abscence of the President, according to their <​his​> rank and appointment, viz: , first;  Second, and  Third, as they <​were​> are severally called. The office of this Priesthood is also to act as Spokesman—taking Aaron for an ensample.
The virtue of this the <​above​> Priesthood is to hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven, or the Church militant.
The reader may further understand, that Presidents <​the​> reason why President <​High Counsellor​> was not previously ordained <​to the Presidency,​> was, in consequence of his necessary attendance in Zion, to assist  in conducting the printing business; but that this promise was made by the angel while in company with President Smith, at the time they recievd the office of the lesser priesthood. And further: The circumstances and situation of the Church requiring, Presidents  and  were previously ordained, to assist President Smith.

Why are we discussing this in this blog about M2C?

Because the M2C advocates claim that Oliver Cowdery was wrong when, as Assistant President of the Church, he wrote in Letter VII that it is a fact that the Hill Cumorah of Mormon 6:6 is in New York.

It takes a lot of audacity to repudiate the teachings of an Assistant President of the Church who was called to that position by John the Baptist directly.

Oliver was truthful about everything except...

Letter VII from Messenger and Advocate, July 1835
Those who reject Letter VII cite no justifications for disbelieving President Cowdery other than their preference for a different location for the Hill Cumorah (M2C).

Consider Oliver Cowdery's participation in the Church to put Letter VII in context. When he wrote it, he was the Assistant President of the Church. He had been commanded by revelation to select materials to publish. All eight of Oliver's letters about history are accepted by Church historians as important insights into the early events of the Church.

The only ones who object to any of Oliver's writings are the M2C advocates who reject a few paragraphs out of one of the eight letters.

Oliver published Letter VII in July 1835. In February 1835, he, as one of the Three Witnesses, had selected the first members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He gave them their aspostolic charge. In April 1836, he, along with Joseph Smith, was visited in the Kirtland temple by Moses, Elias, Elijah, and the Savior Himself. Oliver and Joseph were given the keys of the gathering of Israel and the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham.

M2C advocates expect you to believe that Oliver Cowdery could faithfully record the entire Book of Mormon, most of the Book of Moses, and much of Church history. Oliver could faithfully edit and publish two Church newspapers, the Book of Commandments, and the original Doctrine and Covenants. He could accurately write the statement for the Three Witnesses. Of all the writing he did, you're supposed to believe he was faithful and accurate except for a few paragraphs in one letter, solely because those paragraphs establish the New York Cumorah as a fact, which contradicts the opinions of the M2C scholars.

Here is the chronology. Everything that is okay is marked green. The items the scholars object to is marked red.


1829 April
Transcribes Book of Mormon as Joseph dictates

1829 May
Receives Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist, baptizes Joseph and is baptized by him

1829 May
Receives Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James and John

1829 June
Sees the plates and angel as one of the Three Witnesses

1829 June
Completes Book of Mormon and makes a printer’s copy, supervises printing and publication

1830 April
Helps organize the Church as a Second Elder and apostle, ordains Joseph Smith as First Elder

1830 June
Transcribes Book of Moses 1:1 through 5:43

1830 Oct.
Leaves on mission to the Lamanites

1830 Nov.
Baptizes Sidney Rigdon

1831 Jan.
Arrives in Jackson County, Mo.

1831 Summer
Meets Joseph in Jackson County

1831 Nov.
Takes revelations from Ohio to Missouri for publication

Helps Phelps with printing operation in Missouri

1832 Apr.
Approves Book of Commandments

1833 Nov.
Sets up printing press in Kirtland, reprints Evening and Morning Star

1833 Dec.
Begins editing Evening and Morning Star

1834 Feb.
Chosen as founding member of Kirtland Council

1834 May-Aug.
Leader in Kirtland after Zions Camp left

1834 Oct
Edits LDS Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times

1834 Oct
Publishes Letter I about Church history, part of which is in the current Pearl of Great Price

1834 Nov
Publishes Letter II about Church history

1834 Dec
Publishes Letter III about Church history

1834 Dec
Ordained by Joseph Smith as “Assistant President of the Church”

Publishes Letter IV about Church history

1835 Feb
With David Whitmer and Martin Harris, selects first members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

1835 Feb
Gives apostolic charge to the Twelve Apostles

1835 Mar
Publishes Letter V about Church history

1835 Apr
Publishes Letter VI about Church history

1835 May
Resigns from Messenger and Advocate

1835 July
Publishes Letter VII about Church history

1835 Aug.
Gets Doctrine and Covenants approved for printing

1835 Oct.
Publishes Letter VIII about Church history

1836 Mar.
Resumes editing the Messenger and Advocate

1836 Apr.
Visited in Kirtland temple by Moses, Elias, Elijah, and Christ, receives the keys of the gathering of Israel and dispensation of gospel of Abraham

1836 July
Accompanies Joseph to Salem, MA

1837 Feb.
Turns over printing company to Joseph and Sidney

1838 July
“Excluded from fellowship” for accusations against Joseph

1848 Nov.
Rebaptized into the Church

1850 March
Dies in Richmond at home of David Whitmer

Now, read the ordination of President Cowdery and decide what you think about his credibility.

After addressing the throne of mercy, President Smith laid hands upon , and ordained him to the Presidency of the High priesthood in the Church, saying:
Brother, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified for the sins of the world, that we through the virtue of his blood might come to the Father, I lay my hands upon thy head, and ordain thee a President of the high and holy priesthood, to assist in presiding over the Chu[r]ch, and bearing the keys of this kingdom— which priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek— which is after the order of the Son of God— And now, O Father, wilt thou bless this thy servant with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding— give him, by the Holy Spirit, a correct understanding of thy doctrine, laws, and will— Commune with him from on high— let him hear thy voice, and receive the ministries ministring of the holy angels— deliver him from temptation, and the power of darkness— deliver him from evil, and from those who may seek his destruction,— be his shield, his buckler, and his great reward— endow him with power from on high, that he may write, preach, and proclaim the gospel to his fellowmen in demonstration of the Spirit and of power— may his feet never slide— may his heart never feint— may his faith never fail. Bestow upon him the blessings of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of Joseph— Prolong his life to a good old age, and bring him in peace to his end, and to rejoice with thy saints, even the sanctified, in the celestial kingdom; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Presidents Rigdon, and Williams, confirmed the ordinance and blessings by the laying on of hands and prayer, after which each were blessed with the same blessings and prayer.

Every member of the Church ought to be grateful to and respectful of Oliver Cowdery for the important role he played in the Restoration of the Gospel.

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