Friday, June 28, 2024

June 27 and 29, 1844

June 27, 1844, was the day Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered in Carthage.

D&C 135 documents what happened.


Two days later, on June 29, 1844, a New York newspaper titled The Prophet announced that “Elder Wm. Smith, of the ‘Quorum of the Twelve’ having accepted of the Editorship of the Prophet all letters or communications appertaining to the business of said paper must be addressed to him."

That same issue of The Prophet republished Oliver Cowdery's "Letter VII" in which Oliver, then Assistant President of the Church, declared "the fact that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed."

The hills he referred to were the Hill Cumorah where Joseph found the plates and "At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former."


During Joseph's lifetime, it was well known that the Hill Cumorah in New York was the same Hill Cumorah/Ramah described in the Book of Mormon (e.g., Mormon 6:6).

In Letter VII, Oliver explained that Mormon, "by divine appointment, abridged from those records, in his own style and language, a short account of the more important and prominent items, from the days of Lehi to his own time, after which he deposited, as he says, on the 529th page, all the records in this same hill, Cumorah and after gave his small record to his son Moroni, who, as appears from the same, finished, after witnessing the extinction of his people as a nation."

Oliver could affirm the facts because he had personally visited the repository of records in the Hill Cumorah.


Today, 180 years later, we have prominent Latter-day Saint intellectuals who actively teach that Oliver was wrong about Cumorah. They claim that he was an ignorant speculator who misled everyone with a false "theory" about Cumorah.

The further claim that Joseph Smith embraced this false theory. They claim that Joseph's contemporaries and successors in Church leadership perpetuated the false narrative about the New York Cumorah, including members of the First Presidency speaking in General Conference.

We'll continue to discuss these modern theories that repudiate the teachings of the prophets. 

It's especially poignant to reflect on this during June.

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