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.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Oliver Cowdery and M2C

I'm repurposing the content of this blog to make it more accessible and more widely available. People have asked for this for a long time and we're finally getting around to it.

I'll announce the new format in April, the week after General Conference.

The next few posts will summarize my conclusions about the topics we've discussed on this blog.

Separately, I've started my series on The Next Mormons on another other blog, here:


People continue to make comments on this blog, but as I explained a long time ago, as the blog got more popular I started getting a lot of spam, and I don't have time to sort through comments to approve/disapprove them. Readers can email me and I'll respond individually or in posts here. (Actually, a lot of these posts are prompted by questions/comments from readers.)

Before discussing President Cowdery, we re-emphasize that we love all our brothers and sisters, regardless of what they think about Book of Mormon geography or any other issue. The discussion is friendly with no animosity.

Everyone involved in this discussion has the same purpose of helping others understand and appreciate the Book of Mormon so it can be more effective in bringing people to Christ.

There is no cause for contention. The Church's policy of neutrality allows everyone to think whatever they want, consistent with the Articles of Faith.

All we seek is full disclosure for every member of the Church and everyone else interested in the Book of Mormon.

Today I'll summarize the Oliver Cowdery situation.

Yesterday's Come Follow Me lesson included a portion of Oliver Cowdery's blessing to the original Quorum of the Twelve.

A lot of people haven't read it, so I posted it on my Letter VII blog here:


It's interesting to note that Oliver wrote Letter VII (the essay that declares it is a fact that the Hill Cumorah in New York is the scene of the final battles of the Jaredites and Nephites and the site of Mormon's depository of Nephite records) in his capacity as Assistant President of the Church.

He wrote Letter VII with the assistance of Joseph Smith.

He wrote Letter VII just a few months after ordaining the original Quorum of the Twelve and a few months before receiving the priesthood keys from Moses, Elias and Elijah in the Kirtland temple (together with Joseph Smith).

Joseph had his scribes copy Letter VII into his personal history, where you can read it in the Joseph Smith Papers, here. Joseph had Letter VII reprinted in all the Church newspapers during his lifetime. Both of his brothers who served as editors of newspapers, Don Carlos and William, republished Letter VII in their respective newspapers.
M2C: the Mesoamerican/
two-Cumorahs theory of
Book of Mormon

Yet the M2C intellectuals in the Church, all of whom trace their Priesthood to Oliver Cowdery, continue to insist that Oliver misled the Church when he wrote Letter VII.

Everyone needs to realize how powerful the M2C hoax is.

It is not contentious or argumentative to share and discuss relevant facts about the origins and rationale for M2C.

The M2C rationale for disbelieving President Cowdery is that there are no extant records that he ever claimed a revelation about the location of Cumorah.

This was one of the rationales used by the scholars from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they developed the "two-Cumorahs" theory in the first place. (I'll show their work later this week.)

Those of us who still believe President Cowdery recognize that he and Joseph had lots of revelations they didn't record, such as the ones they mentioned here:

73 Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
74 Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. 
We don't presume to say what Joseph and Oliver did or did not have revelations about. It's simple: we accept what they taught. And they taught that the hill in New York is the Hill Cumorah of Mormon 6:6, in Letter VII and elsewhere.

Plus, we accept the statements of David Whitmer, Brigham Young, and others that Oliver told them about the times he and Joseph actually visited Mormon's depository of records in the Hill Cumorah. If true, Oliver would need no revelation on the matter. His personal experience there would more than justify his statement of fact about Cumorah.

Plus, we accept the statement of Joseph's mother Lucy that Joseph referred to the hill as Cumorah even before he got the plates.

Plus, we accept the statement of Parley P. Pratt, quoting Oliver Cowdery, that Moroni called the hill Cumorah anciently.

Plus, we accept the statements of every prophet and apostle who has ever formally addressed the issue, including members of the First Presidency speaking in General Conference.

Plus, we think the relevant sciences - archaeology, anthropology, geology, geography - support the teachings of the prophets as well as the text of the Book of Mormon (although not the M2C interpretation of the text).

We don't claim prophetic or Church support for any theory of Book of Mormon geography. Instead, we support what the prophets have taught.

No one has to accept President Cowdery's statement or anyone else's. We're all free to believe whatever we want. We have no problem with people believing M2C or any other theory of Book of Mormon geography, including the BYU/CES fantasy/mythology approach.

We just want everyone in the Church to be fully informed of the facts so they can make informed decisions for themselves.

While we have no problem with people believing whatever they want, we think that M2C survives mainly because the M2C citation cartel continues to censor and reject the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah, while also claiming both prophetic and Church support for M2C.

Next: the M2C hoax.

No comments:

Post a Comment