Some time ago I posted the chart below. It shows that Oliver was trustworthy for everything except the New York Cumorah.
In the ensuing years, some of our LDS scholars have decided that Oliver was not truthful about the Urim and Thummim, either.
Of course, many Latter-day Saints still believe what Oliver and Joseph taught on these two topics. Many, probably most, don't reject their testimony about the translation so I don't mark that part as red here.
But as the youth and new members are taught to reject what Joseph and Oliver said in favor of the stone-in-the-hat (SITH) theory, eventually I'll have to mark their teachings about the translation as red also.
Oliver was truthful about everything except...
|Letter VII from Messenger and Advocate, July 1835|
It is interesting to take a look at 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 advocates of the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory (M2C) who reject just a few critical 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 he wrote about Cumorah in one letter, solely because those paragraphs contradict the opinions of the scholars.
But that's not all.
They also expect you to reject what Oliver said about entering the Hill Cumorah multiple times and seeing the repository of Nephite records.
Here is the chronology. Everything that is okay is marked green. The items the scholars object to is marked red.
Transcribes Book of Mormon as Joseph dictates
Receives Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist, baptizes Joseph and is baptized by him
Receives Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James and John
Sees the plates and angel as one of the Three Witnesses
Completes Book of Mormon and makes a printer’s copy, supervises printing and publication
Helps organize the Church as a Second Elder and apostle, ordains Joseph Smith as First Elder
Transcribes Book of Moses 1:1 through 5:43
Leaves on mission to the Lamanites
Baptizes Sidney Rigdon
Arrives in Jackson County, Mo.
Meets Joseph in Jackson County
Takes revelations from Ohio to Missouri for publication
Helps Phelps with printing operation in Missouri
Approves Book of Commandments
Sets up printing press in Kirtland, reprints Evening and Morning Star
Begins editing Evening and Morning Star
Chosen as founding member of Kirtland Council
Leader in Kirtland after Zions Camp left
Edits LDS Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times
Publishes Letter I about Church history, part of which is in the current Pearl of Great Price, in which Oliver claims Joseph translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, "interpreters"
Publishes Letter II about Church history
Publishes Letter III about Church history
Ordained by Joseph Smith as “Assistant President of the Church”
Publishes Letter IV about Church history
With David Whitmer and Martin Harris, selects first members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Ordains the Twelve Apostles and gives an apostolic charge
Publishes Letter V about Church history
Publishes Letter VI about Church history
Resigns from Messenger and Advocate
Publishes Letter VII about Church history, declaring it's a fact that the Hill Cumorah in New York is the Hill Cumorah of Mormon 6:6.
Gets Doctrine and Covenants approved for printing
Publishes Letter VIII about Church history
Resumes editing the Messenger and Advocate
Visited in Kirtland temple by Moses, Elias, Elijah, and Christ, receives the keys of the gathering of Israel and dispensation of gospel of Abraham
Accompanies Joseph to Salem, MA
Turns over printing company to Joseph and Sidney
“Excluded from fellowship” for accusations against Joseph
Rebaptized into the Church and reiterates that Joseph translated with the Urim and Thummim
Dies in Richmond at home of David Whitmer
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