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.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Oliver forgot to mention...

Oliver Cowdery had this "seer stone" with him when he rejoined the Church and testified that Joseph translated the plates with the Urim and Thummim. 

No one reported him taking the stone out and displaying it to prove the truthfulness of what he was saying. 

And yet, now our historians claim it's "likely" that Joseph used this stone to produce the Book of Mormon.

Joseph Smith likely used his brown seer stone while translating the Book of Mormon. His wife, Emma Smith, is believed to have made the leather pouch for the stone’s safekeeping.

 Church Museum of History and Art.

Apparently Oliver didn't get the memo that he and Joseph were wrong about the Urim and Thummim because we now "know" that Joseph didn't actually use the Urim and Thummim. Instead, he just stared at this stone in the hat (SITH) and didn't use the plates.

Either that, or Oliver just forgot to mention the stone in his pocket because he knew Joseph didn't use it to translated the plates.

When Cowdery returned to Church membership in 1848 he spoke to an Iowa conference. His words there were recorded by Reuben Miller: “I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet as he translated it by the gift and power of God by means of the Urim and Thummim, or as it is called by that book, holy interpreters. I beheld with my eyes and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interpreters. That book is true. … I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet.”


Some of us still believe it's more 'likely" that Joseph and Oliver told the truth when they repeatedly explained that Joseph translated the plates by means of the Urim and Thummim. 

For example, the Pearl of Great Price includes Oliver's testimony:

* Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘Interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon.’
(Joseph Smith—History, Note, 1)

The 1834 book Mormonism Unvailed explained that there were two explanations for the Book of Mormon. One was a "peep stone." The other was the Urim and Thummim. 

It was in response to Mormonism Unvailed that Oliver wrote the statement found in Joseph Smith-History.

But our historians prefer the alternative "peep stone" explanation.

It's even more fun that the sources historians now rely on to justify SITH came decades later than the sources who claimed the real Hill Cumorah is in New York. Yet the historians embrace the later SITH sources while they reject the earlier Cumorah sources.


No comments:

Post a Comment