Friday, June 29, 2018

Letter VII published in New York on June 29, 1844

Joseph Smith wanted everyone in the world to know about Letter VII.

It was published to the world in New York City on June 29, 1844, just two days after the martyrdom.

But today's M2C intellectuals and their followers at BYU/CES/COB don't want members of the Church to even know about Letter VII.

Think about that for a minute or two.

M2C can only survive as long as members of the Church are kept in ignorance, with the complicity of employees at the Church History Department, the Correlation Department, BYU, CES, etc.

Your typical BYU and CES instructors are not going to tell you about Letter VII because it contradicts their M2C ideology. 

Just ask them. You'll see. 

Maybe you'll get lucky and find a BYU/CES teacher who is teaching the truth. There are more and more of them, but the employees who run these organizations still include fantasy maps that repudiate the teachings of the prophets.

William Smith, Joseph's brother, was the editor of The Prophet, a Mormon newspaper based in New York City. William republished Letter VII in the June 29, 1844, edition. 

This was two days after Joseph and Hyrum were martyred at the Carthage jail in Illinois.  You can see it for yourself here:

The timing is purely coincidental, but it is an interesting historical fact that people in New York were reading Letter VII *which explains that the Hill Cumorah is in New York) right about the time that Joseph was sealing his testimony with his blood in Carthage.

News traveled slowly in those days. On June 29, 1844, L.O. Littlefield wrote a letter from Nauvoo describing what had happened in Carthage. He sent it to the Editor of The Prophet, but it wasn't published until the July 27, 1844, issue. 

The June 29th issue also announced that William Smith was the editor of The Prophet.

It's interesting that the first issue of The Prophet, published in May 18, 1844, included Oliver's Letter I. The paper showed how significant these letters were to members of the Church in Joseph's day by introducing the letters with this statement:

"As the important particulars, and incidents, connected with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, have ever been, and are now, subjects of enquiry, we shall insert, for the benefit of those who are not acquainted with the coming forth of the above named work, one of the following letters, each week until we are published." 

Each subsequent issue published another of his letters.

My point here is that although Oliver's letters had been published four times already (1835 - Kirtland, 1841 - Nauvoo, 1841 - Philadelphia, and 1844 - England), the editor of The Prophetthought they were so important that he republished them yet again, this time in New York.

The June 29th issue happened to be issue no. 7, which is why it contained Letter VII.

A fascinating coincidence, isn't it?

Some readers may not be familiar with The Prophet. Here is an explanation from the DVD that accompanies Susan Easton Black's excellent book titled The Best of the Prophet.

The Latter-day Saint Experience in the East, 1844–1845
Susan Easton Black
The Prophet is the key to understanding the Latter-day Saint experience in the East from 1844 to 1845. Although only one volume of newsprint, the newspaper contains fifty-two issues, spanning four pages in length, with each page divided into five columns. This translates into approximately twenty-five hundred single-spaced pages on 8½" x 11" paper. And the masthead of the first weekly issue1 on Saturday, May 18, 1844, proudly proclaimed, "We Contend for the Truth." From the eighth issue on Saturday, July 6, 1844, to the final issue on Saturday, May 24, 1845, the proclamation was revised to include "Devoted to the Dissemination of Truth, Moral, Religious, Political, and Scientific."2
Editors of The Prophet printed an unrelenting defense of Mormonism to counteract exaggerated reports and slanderous claims stemming from Hancock County, Illinois, and printed in eastern newspapers. Editors George T. Leach, William Smith, Samuel Brannan, and Parley P. Pratt confronted politicians, newspaper columnists, and even the governor of Illinois on statements that misrepresented Mormon faith and vilified discipleship. In contrast, they wrote in glowing terms of Joseph Smith and the thousands of Mormons gathered on the banks of the Mississippi in the Zion-like society of Nauvoo. They wrote words of encouragement to fellow believers in the East who were planning to migrate to the Illinois capital of Mormonism.

Here is an excerpt from the book, pages 7-8
[William] Smith wrote to Leach (the founder of The Prophet) on June 3, 1844, "I mentioned to them [Church leaders in Nauvoo] concerning your publishing a paper in New York, and the Prophet bid it God speed: the council also sanctioned it by a loud and general vote, so 'go ahead' and do the best you can--which I have no doubt you will do--and the rest I will tell you when I get there."
With John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff engaged in publishing the Times and Seasons [in Nauvoo], Church leaders believed that a man equal to their apostolic status was needed to fill the editorship of The Prophet. Since William Smith was already serving a mission in the East, having been called on April 19, 1843, the choice seemed obvious. Church leaders met with Smith in May 1844 to ascertain his interest in being named editor of The Prophet. With the approbation of his brother Joseph and fellow members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Smith agreed to take the helm of The Prophet.
1Two weekly printings of The Prophet were missed—October 26, 1844, and May 17, 1845.
2"Masthead," The Prophet 1, no. 1 (May 18, 1844): p. 1, col. 1. Editors William Smith and Samuel Brannan added a scriptural caveat to the masthead: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the Prophets” (Amos 3:7). See "Surely the Lord God . . ." The Prophet 1, no. 8 (July 6, 1844): p. 1, col. 1.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Authority of a thousand...

Observations are worth more than
academic sophistry
"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual."
-  Galileo Galilei

With Letter VII, we're not dealing with science or humble reasoning, but the concept is the same.

The authority of a thousand intellectuals is not worth the humble statements of fact of a single individual who has actually observed what the intellectuals merely speculate about.

President Oliver Cowdery actually visited Mormon's depository of records in the hill Cumorah in New York. That's why he declared in Letter VII that is was a fact that the final battles took place there.

Someone told me that an acquaintance of his said he believed the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory because John Sorenson's book, Mormon's Codex, was over 800 pages long.

Apparently he was serious.

I've heard similar comments about all the "peer-reviewed" work done by the citation cartel (BYU Studies, Interpreter, FARMS, Maxwell Institute, etc.), but of course none of it is "peer-reviewed" in any meaningful sense.

They don't seek or even allow reviews by peers who don't subscribe to M2C.

It's peer approval, not peer review, driven by confirmation bias. 

By comparison, Letter VII is only about 5 pages long (in the Messenger and Advocate), or about 10 handwritten pages in Joseph Smith's history.

When you know the truth, you can simply declare it. Especially when you're an ordained prophet, seer and revelator.

President Cowdery's statements of fact about the New York Cumorah are more valuable than thousands of pages of rhetoric from latter-day intellectuals who insist that, because of their own reasoning, President Cowdery and all the other prophets and apostles were wrong about the New York Cumorah.

Here are some more random observations that relate to Letter VII.

"With regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them."
– Galileo Galilei

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
– Galileo Galilei

"You should, in science, believe logic and arguments, carefully drawn, and not authorities."
– Richard Feynman

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
- Upton Sinclair

"The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

President Eisenhower   January 17, 1961