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, January 28, 2024

Another must-see podcast: Did Joseph Smith cancel Orson Pratt's hemispheric theory

Last week I did an interview with Troy Ables (the Last Dispensation podcast) from New Zealand. This one deals with a long-forgotten (or overlooked) aspect of the Wentworth letter that Joseph wrote and had published in the Times and Seasons in 1842.

As we discuss in the podcast, Joseph adapted the Wentworth letter from an 1840 pamphlet written by Orson Pratt. Unfortunately, most Latter-day Saints today have never seen the entire Wentworth letter because the lesson manual, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, censored a critical part of the Wentworth letter.

For most Latter-day Saints, especially non-English speakers, this is the only version of the Wentworth letter they will ever see.

It's an astonishing story, particularly because Joseph started the letter by writing, As Mr. Bastow has taken the proper steps to obtain correct information all that I shall ask at his hands, is, that he publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.


As it turns out, Joseph didn’t need to worry about Mr. Bastow. The group that declined to publish the Wentworth letter “entire, ungarnished and without misrepresentation” was the Curriculum Department that published the lesson manual. 

For those interested in a detailed comparison to supplement the podcast, see 


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