Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Letter VII in The Prophet

Few Latter-day Saints are familiar with the LDS newspaper published in New York City during 1844-5 titled The Prophet. William Smith was the editor from June 29 through November 16, 1844.

I mentioned The Prophet in The Lost City of Zarahemla, and I have more discussion of it in my upcoming book titled The Editors: Joseph, William and Don Carlos Smith.

For now, I find it interesting that Letter VII was reprinted in The Prophet in the first issue William Smith edited, which was published on June 29, 1844.

Of course, this was just two days after Joseph Smith was killed in Carthage. The people in New York did not learn about his martyrdom for a while. In the July 13, 1844 edition, William relates some of the accounts that were circulating, but he dismisses them when he writes, "We do not believe the report of the death of our Brethren, and shall leave the matter until we get intelligence from the Saints in the West."

I'm sure it's merely a coincidence, but it is interesting that Letter VII was published to the world in New York within 2 days of Joseph's death. This means it was likely being printed at the time of the martyrdom.

Now we have Letter VII in these publications:

Messenger and Advocate (Kirtland)
Gospel Reflector (Philadelphia)
Times and Seasons (Nauvoo)
The Prophet (New York City)
Improvement Era (Salt Lake City)

So far, it has not shown up in the Ensign. Maybe some day?

Of course, if you have Mesomania, these reprints of Letter VII are misleading the Saints by perpetuating the false rumor started by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith that Cumorah really was in New York.

Many of those who have recovered from Mesomania have done so because of Letter VII. If you haven't read Letter VII yet, you owe it to yourself to do so ASAP.

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