Table Test Episode 01

TitleTag TitleYearPlacePersonScripture ReferenceTag ContentTag NotesTags
Episode 01 – Slide 01The Origins of Mormon ScriptureThe Origins of Mormon Scripture
Episode 01 – Slide 02Many people base their entire lives on religious narratives
Episode 01 – Slide 03The origins of these ancientThe origins of these ancient texts are often lost in obscurity.
Episode 01 – Slide 04Mormonism is a new religious1830ElyMormonism is a new religious tradition, officially organized in 1830. Its origins are comparatively well documented.,
Episode 01 – Slide 05Mormon scriptures include the BibleRiceRiceMormon scriptures include the Bible as well as modern revelation: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Episode 01 – Slide 06New historical and textual evidenceNew historical and textual evidence give insight into the origin of these modern scriptures.
Episode 01 – Slide 07The emerging story is fascinatingThe emerging story is fascinating for what it reveals about human nature and religious belief.
Episode 01 – Slide 08It is also liberating, enablingIt is also liberating, enabling many to enjoy more authentic lives.
Episode 01 – Slide 0918131813, 1844, 1830, 1990King1813 1844 1830 Today But the trail is cold and cloudyTo be able to recognize signs, the tracker must know what to look for and where to look. Someone who is not familiar with spoor may not recognize them, even when looking straight at them. It seems as if no signs are present at all. For example, when tracking through grass, trackers will look for trampled grass, or if the ground is covered with pebbles, they will look for pebbles displaced from their sockets. To recognize a specific animals spoor, the tracker will look for signs characteristic of that animal. Louis Liebenberg. 1990. The Art of Tracking: The Origin of Science. David Philip Publishers. South Africa. p. 102., , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 10…with many stops and detours.with many stops and detours. 1
Episode 01 – Slide 11Alternative AccountsAlternative Accounts 11 Thus Saith The Lord The Restoration of All Thin
Episode 01 – Slide 12We begin withWe begin with Many people have debated authorship of the Book of Mormon. Alternative Accounts
Episode 01 – Slide 13Smith wrote it!SmithSmith wrote it! Ancient prophets wrote it!
Episode 01 – Slide 14According to official Mormon accounts,According to official Mormon accounts, the Book of Mormon is the work of ancient American prophets.
Episode 01 – Slide 1515
Episode 01 – Slide 16On September 21, 1823, Moroni1823Howe,SmithOn September 21, 1823, Moroni appeared as an angel to Joseph Smith, Jr. (age 17). Moroni told Smith about the plates and showed him where they were located., ,
Episode 01 – Slide 17The next day, Smith wentSmithThe next day, Smith went to the place that he had seen in his vision. There he found a big rock. He pried the rock up with a stick.
Episode 01 – Slide 18Beneath the rock was aSmithBeneath the rock was a stone box. When he looked into the box, Smith saw gold plates and instruments for translation of the plates, but he was not allowed to take the plates.
Episode 01 – Slide 19After four years, Smith wasSmithAfter four years, Smith was allowed to take the plates along with the instruments needed for their translation into English.
Episode 01 – Slide 20Scribes helped Smith by writingSmithScribes helped Smith by writing the text as he dictated the translation.
Episode 01 – Slide 21Before finishing the translation, SmithSmith,WoodBefore finishing the translation, Smith took three friends into the woods where they prayed.,
Episode 01 – Slide 22These three men signed aThese three men signed a statement saying that the Angel Moroni had appeared to them, spoken to them, and shown them the gold plates.
Episode 01 – Slide 23Smith showed the plates toHowe,SmithSmith showed the plates to eight more men.,
Episode 01 – Slide 24These eight men signed aThese eight men signed a statement saying that they held the plates in their hands and saw the writing on them.
Episode 01 – Slide 25Smith worked with a distantCowdery,SmithSmith worked with a distant cousin, Oliver Cowdery, to finish the translation.,
Episode 01 – Slide 26The angel Moroni took backThe angel Moroni took back the gold plates, along with the interpreters and breastplate.
Episode 01 – Slide 27Martin Harris, one of theHarrisMartin Harris, one of the three witnesses, mortgaged his farm to pay for the printing.
Episode 01 – Slide 28Arnold Friberg’s paintings tell theArnold Fribergs paintings tell the Book of Mormon story: Destruction of the Nephites (421AD)
Episode 01 – Slide 29Here is a timeline showingJerusalem,SalemHere is a timeline showing key aspects of the narrative: Lamanites become the ancestors of the Native Americans Coming to America from Jerusalem(600 BC) Destruction of Nephites(421 AD),
Episode 01 – Slide 30Here is a more detailedHere is a more detailed version of the timeline: Note the complexity of the narrative, with recursive nested stories within stories.
Episode 01 – Slide 31The timeline corresponds to theBroadhurstThe timeline corresponds to the order of the books within the Book of Mormon. These books were allegedly written by different Nephite prophets, abridged, then stacked together to create the Book of Mormon. The books were broken up into chapters and verses, like the Bible.Image courtesy of Dale Broadhurst.
Episode 01 – Slide 32From Amazon: “...historian Hardy takesFrom Amazon:...historian Hardy takes the Book of Mormon seriously as a complex, multivocal document by analyzing the contributions and perspectives of the three men who purport to be its primary narrators: Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. Mormon scholars claim that the Book of Mormon contains several narrative voices.Complete quote:In this long-overdue corrective, historian Hardy takes the Book of Mormon seriously as a complex, multivocal document by analyzing the contributions and perspectives of the three men who purport to be its primary narrators: Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. Hardy teases out the unique voice of each narrator.
Episode 01 – Slide 33Below is a handout usedBelow is a handout used for Mormon seminary instruction. Note again the complex structure of the book and characters who are also
Episode 01 – Slide 34Faithful Mormons argue that theFaithful Mormons argue that the complexity of the narrative is evidence that the book is historically accurate
Episode 01 – Slide 3535Cumorah,Jerusalem,Rice,SalemCott,Hill,Rice,Weed,WoodNo evidence of following items in Ancient America mentioned in BoM:Noahs ArcTower of BabelCalendar from Middle East, 7 day weeks w/day of restSteel, metal work, smeltingWheeled vehiclesMetal swords, breastplates, scimitars(cimiters)No Evidence ofMillions dying at battle at Hill Cumorah Plows, specialized farming techniquesWritingCoins (metal)Oceanic voyages, ship building, sailsBow and arrow, not in use south of the arctic at that timePeriods of peace and prosperity after Christ's timeGeography as described in BoMMiddle Eastern heritage (DNA)Middle Eastern honey beesWheat, Barley (except an inedible weed variety)Linen, silk, silk worms, flaxDonkey, cattle, oxen, horse, pig, elephantsCumoms and curelomsGoatsBellowsWhite skinned people in any significant numbersGlassCompassAbrahamic type religionMonotheismGod of Hebrews, bible, ChurchesGold plates as writing materialNo evidence in BoM of following items in Ancient America:corn or maize, in many forms including tortillastomatoes, squash, manioc, chile pepper, arrowroot, chileschocolate, lima beans, potatoes, algarrobo, avocado, quinoa, achita, wild rice and canahua for grain substitutesdomesticated turkeys and ducksmamey, white and black zapotes, chirimoyas, guavas, and custard appleshoney, mango, maniocopal cactus paddles, the fruit of the prickly pear, the Pitaya cactus, and the maguey agave seeds of chia, amaranth crickets, frogs, other native wildlife and birds, Pecccary armadillo, llama, vicunas, sea mammalsPemmican spices were very common, not limited to chenopodium coriander and sage, vanillaonion, milkweed, jerusalem artichoke, american lotus pumpkin, cottonwood spouts, breadroot, arrowleaf, bulrushteas from many many sources, sassafras many varieties of beans, berries, nuts not found anywhere else cranberries peanuts, also in their art sugars from several varieties of maplevarious fermented alcoholic drinkscoca leaves chewed with calcium rich rocks to release the alkaloids since 6000 bc, , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 36They ignore or gloss over1993Erie,ProvoOaks,Post,Ely,Bushman,SmithThey ignore or gloss over the incredible complexity of the Book of Mormon record. 36 Dallin Oaks, a modern Mormon apostle, has stated: Those who rely exclusively on scholarship typically focus on a limited number of issues, like geography or 'horses' or angelic delivery or nineteenth century language patternsMormon leaders argue that the complexity of the Book of Mormon is evidence of its authenticity. Apostle Dallin Oaks (1993): Those who rely exclusively on scholarship reject revelation and fulfill Nephis prophecy that in the last days men shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance (2 Ne. 28:4). The practitioners of that approach typically focus on a limited number of issues, like geography or horses or angelic delivery or nineteenth century language patterns. They ignore or gloss over the incredible complexity of the Book of Mormon record. Our side will settle for a draw, but those who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon cannot settle for a draw. They must try to disprove its historicity--or they seem to feel a necessity to do this--and in this they are unsuccessful because even the secular evidence, viewed in its entirety, is too complex for that. Provo, Utah, 29 October 1993, entitled, "The Historicity of the Book of Mormon." Talk for FARMS.Mormon historian Richard Bushman: I dont think you can make a case based on historical evidence that Joseph Smith could have written the book. It is entirely too complicated and produced with so little experience. In my opinion that does not allow you to jump immediately to the conclusion that the book was divine. I tell people it was either a work of genius or it was inspired. By genius we mean something that exceeds normal human capacities., , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 37Reading it and asking God1969Reading,ErieKing,Smith,Bushman,GrantReading it and asking God for divine confirmation (good feelings). Accepting the testimony of Smith and his 11 witnesses. Asking yourself: Could any man have written such a book? Pudo haber escrito este libro hombre alguno? Mormons are taught that you can know the Book of Mormon is truthful by:Richard Bushman (Spring 1969): Granted that negative historical evidence would not destroy the faith of the faithful. For those blessed with it, spiritual experience is the most compelling data. Honesty requires that one remain true to it even in the face of other evidence to the contrary., , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 38Prominent non-Mormon scholars often assertSmithProminent non-Mormon scholars often assert that Joseph Smith was capable of writing the book by himself.And not only was he capable of doing so. He did.
Episode 01 – Slide 39Their reasoning is as follows:SmithTheir reasoning is as follows: The book contains elements drawn from Smiths life. The poor grammar of the original suggests an author like Smith, a man with limited education. Theories that Smith had help are unnecessarily complicated.
Episode 01 – Slide 40It ignores historical evidence thatSmithIt ignores historical evidence that Smith had limited writing skills and made heavy use of scribes and ghostwriters. It ignores key textual evidence, such as word usage patterns within the text. It relies upon witnesses who are not deserving of trust. But this generally accepted non-Mormon explanation is problematic:
Episode 01 – Slide 41Smith described himself as a1832ReadingEly,Emma,SmithSmith described himself as a person deprived of the benefit of an education who was merely instructed in reading, writing, and the ground rules of arithmetic.In writing to his wife Emma in 1832, Smith asked her to excuse my inability in conveying my ideas in writing., , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 42“The grammatical vocabulary and orthographic1829, 1844, 1981Smith,Howard,SearleThe grammatical vocabulary and orthographic deficiencies of Joseph Smith were the cause of much editing revising and rewriting in nearly all of his [Smiths] published works. Over twenty four scribes and ghostwriters are known to have assisted him during the fifteen years from 1829 to 1844 the period of his writing (see Table 1). 42 Table 1 below shows the 19 major scribes and ghostwriters for Smith from 1829-1844. In 1981, Howard C. Searle, an Educational System Instructor for the LDS Church, described how Smiths published works came to beSearle, Howard C. "Authorship of the History of Joseph Smith: A Review Essay." BYU Studies 21.1 (1981): 101-122., , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 43431981Ely,Searle,Smith,Howard43 Searle (1981): ...he [Smith] often dictated to his assistants but... the scribes did much more than passively take dictation; they took an active role in the actual composition of the history. It could be argued that the history is reliable regardless of its authorship, but this in no way justifies representing quotations from its contents as the personal compositions of the prophet when they are actually the work of other menSearle, Howard C. "Authorship of the History of Joseph Smith: A Review Essay." BYU Studies 21.1 (1981): 101-122.It is clear from the prophets diaries as well as the journals of the scribes that he often dictated to his assistants but it is equally clear that the scribes and clerks often composed and recorded information on their own it is apparent that the scribes did much more than passively take dictation; they took an active role in the actual composition of the history. there is often a discernible difference in style between a joseph smith holograph his dictated compositions and the writing of the scribes but as in the case of most ghostwriting it is very difficult to determine in a definitive or comprehensive way just what was contributed by joseph smith and what was the input of his scribes handwriting analysis historical circumstantial evidence comparisons of style identification of original sources and such new techniques as computer wordprints are all promising tools for the further identification of documents that reflect the prophet s personal thought vocabulary style and personality it could be argued that the history is reliable regardless of its authorship but this in no way justifies representing quotations from its contents as the personal compositions of the prophet when they are actually the work of other men., , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 44One of the “other men”Cowdery,SmithOne of the other men who wrote for Joseph Smith was Oliver Cowdery.,
Episode 01 – Slide 45All agree that Cowdery wasCowdery,SmithAll agree that Cowdery was Smiths primary scribe for the Book of Mormon.,
Episode 01 – Slide 46The Book of Mormon was1830PainesvilleCowdery,PaineThe Book of Mormon was published in March, 1830. Soon afterwards, Cowdery claimed to have seen and talked to angels."The Golden Bible," Painesville Telegraph, 16 Nov 1830, p. 3., , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 47In the 40-day period before1829CowderyIn the 40-day period before the Book of Mormon was completed(May 15-June 25, 1829), Cowdery claimed to have received three different angelic visits.,
Episode 01 – Slide 48Cowdery claimed that, on May1829, 1834, 1835, 1904Erie,Harmony,Pennsylvania,SusquehannaCowdery,Smith,Harmon,King,Penn,Phelps,Pierce,WoodCowdery claimed that, on May 15,1829, John the Baptist (a biblical prophet) visited him & Smith and gave them the Aaronic Priesthood. 1834 version Later versionSource: Oliver Cowdery letter to W. W. Phelps in M&A l (Oct 1834):After writing the account given of the Savior's ministry to the remnant of the seed of Jacob, upon this continent, . . . it was as easily to be seen, that amid the great strife and noise concerning religion, none had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the gospel. . . .and we only waited for the commandment to be given, "Arise and be baptized. This was not long desired before it was realized. . . . After we had called upon him in a fervent manner, . . .the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the veil was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance!--What joy! what wonder! what amazement! . . . Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, "I am thy fellow servant," dispelled every fear. We listened--we gazed--we admired! 'Twas the voice of the angel from glory--'twas a message from the Most High! and as we heard we rejoiced, while his love enkindled upon our souls, and we were rapt in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? No where: uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever! What joy filled our hearts . . .when we received under his hand the holy priesthood, as he said, "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!Source: Patriarch Blessing Book, 2 Oct 1835, cit. Joseph F. Smith, "Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood," Improvement Era 7 (October 1904):942 .[This statement by Oliver Cowdery was recorded under the date 2 October 1835 in the patriarchal blessing book of Joseph Smith, Sen., following one of the blessings. Oliver Cowdery was at that time the recorder.]: He [Joseph Smith] was ministered unto by the angel, and by his direction he obtained the records of the Nephites, and translated by the gift and power of God. He was ordained by the angel John, unto the lesser or Aaronic priesthood, in company with myself, in the town of Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, on Friday, the 15th day of May, 1829; after which we repaired to the water, even to the Susquehanna River, and were baptized; he first administering unto me, and after, I to him. But before baptism our souls were drawn out in mighty prayer, to know how we might obtain the blessings of baptism and of the Holy Spirit according to the order of God; and we diligently sought for the right of the fathers, and the authority of the holy priesthood, and the power to administer the same; for we desired to be followers of righteousness, and in the possession of greater knowledge, even the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Therefore we repaired to the woods, even as our father Joseph said we should, that is, to the bush, and called upon the name of the Lord, and he answered us out of the heavens. And while we were in the heavenly vision, the angel came down and bestowed upon us this priesthood; and then, as I have said, we repaired to the water and were baptized. After this, we received the high and holy priesthood; but an account of this will be given elsewhere, or in another place.Quote in the figure is from Joseph SmithHistory 1:71-72. "I laid my hands upon [Oliver's] head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthoodfor so we were commandedThe messenger who visited us . . . said that his name was JohnHere is the complete verse 72: "The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this priesthood upon us said his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who hold the Priesthood of Melchisedek, which Priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first elder and he the second. It was on the 15th day of 1829 that we were baptized, and ordained under the hand of the messenger." JS-H 1:72, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 49He also claimed that, soon1829, 1834, 1831, 1994, 1832, 1877, 1835, 1847, 1902, 1830, 1846, 1987, 1992OhioPost,Smith,Cowdery,Hill,Hine,Hyde,King,Page,Phelps,Pratt,Rigdon,Spalding,Wagoner,Whitmer,Wood,YoungBC 30 , D&C 84, D&C 128, D&C 27He also claimed that, soon after May 15, 1829, Peter, James, and John (Resurrected Apostles of Jesus Christ) visited him and Smith and gave them the Melchizedek Priesthood.This event was first mentioned in 17 September letter for Cowdery to Wiliam W. Phelps. Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate, October 1834, 153..Nine close associates of Smith said the Melchizedek priesthood was not introduced into the Church until 1831, contradicting Cowderys 1834 claim that he and Smith received it in 1829. As noted by Van Wagoner (1994), p. 97: An array of Smiths close associates testified that the higher Melchizedek Priesthood was not conferred until 3 June 1831. These include brothers Parley P. and Orson Pratt, Book of Mormon witnesses David and John Whitmer, plus Lyman Wight, William E. McLellin, John Corrill, J. C. Brewster, and Wiliam Smith, the prophets younger brother.Van Wagoner (1994) continues:Lyman Wight, later to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostels, recorded in his personal diary of this June conference: here for the first time I saw the Melchizdek priesthood introduced into the Church of Jesus Christ, as anciently, whereunto I was ordained under the hands of Joseph Smith, and they ordained sixteen others, as they chose, unto the same priesthood.Parley Pratts account is equally precise. He wrote that during the meeting, Several were selected by revelation, through President Smith, and ordained to the High Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God, which is after the order of Melchizedek. This is the first occasion in which this priesthood had been revealed and conferred upon the Elders of this dispensation, although the office of an Elder is the same in a certain degree, but not in its fulness.In September 1832, Smith received a revelation (D&C 84) which added significant detail to the understanding of priesthood authority. The high priesthood introduced in June 1831 had been associated with Melchizedek. In the new revelation, the office of the elder was linked for the firs time with the high priesthood. A lesser priesthood resembling that confirmed on Aaron, was mentioned (vv. 6-18). That office of elder was not originally included in the Melchizedek priesthood was pointed out by church president Brigham Young shortly before his death in 1877. In discussing the ordination of the original 1835 Quorum of Twelve Apostles he said that he and Heber C. Kimball were elders. The fact that we were not high priests and had never been ordained to the high priesthood was taken to Brother Joseph[who said that] the apostleship holds all the keys of the priesthood upon the face of the earth. Elder Orson Pratt on 27 December 1847 had clarified that there was a time when this Church was governed by the Lesser Priesthood.To his death, David Whitmer insisted the idea of a higher priesthood was an afterthought, an error introduced at the instigation of S[i]dney [Rigdon]. Authority is the word we used for the first two years of the church, he added, until S[i]dney Rigdons days in Ohio. This matter of the two orders of the priesthood in the Church of Christ, and lineal priesthood of the old law being in the church all originated in the mind of S[i]dney Rigdon. He explained these things to Brother Joseph in his way, out of the old Scriptures, and got Brother Joseph to inquitre, etc. Wikipedia: The official church history, supervised or written by Smith, states that "the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders" during a General Conference in early June 1831. When Smith's official history was published in 1902, the compiler B.H. Roberts thought that this was a mistake, because it would not be consistent with the common Mormon belief that the priesthood had been conferred prior to the church's founding in 1830. Some recent Mormon historians accept Smith's history as correct and consistent with other historical records showing that other Mormons present at the conference dated the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood to 1831. [Peter, James and John] held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, [John] said, would in due time be conferred on us" (History of the Church, 1:40). "What do we hear . . . the voice of Peter, James, and John . . . declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times" (D&C 128:19-20)"With Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles" (D&C 27:12). COMPARE TO BC 30 (NO MENTION OF PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN).The Savior, Moses and [Elijah] gave the keys to Peter, James and John on the mount, when they were transfigured before him (see Matt.17:15). The Priesthood is everlastingwithout beginning of days or end of years. . . . The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. . . . How have we come at the Priesthood in the latter days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them and they gave it to others. History of the Church, 3:38587.Missionaries in the early church before 1835 did not claim they held priesthood authority that was restored by the ancient apostles Peter, James and John. Oliver Cowdery to Phineas Young, Tiffin, Ohio, 23 Mar 1846, Church Archives. I have been sensitive on this subject [his character], I admit; but I ought to be so--you would be, under the circumstances, had you stood in the presence of John, with our departed Joseph, to receive the Lesser Priesthood--and in the presence of Peter, to receive the Greater, and look down through time, and witness the effects these two must produce.--you would feel what you have never felt, were wicked men conspiring to lessen the effects of your testimony on man, after you should have gone to your long length rest.Oliver Cowdery's Testimony Given at Kanesville, Iowa:"Friends and Brethren-My name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery. In the early history of this Church I stood identified with her, and one in her councils. True it is that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance; not because I was better then the rest of mankind was I called; but to fulfil the purposes of God, He called me to a high and holy calling."I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the 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 transcribed. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the "holy interpreters." That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it; Mr. Spalding did not write it; I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet. It contains the Everlasting Gospel, and came forth to the children of men in fulfilment of the revelations of John, where he says he saw an angel come with the Everlasting Gospel to preach to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It contains principles of salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God on high. Brother Hyde has just said that it is very important that we keep and walk in the true channel, in order to avoid the sandbars. This is true. The channel is here. The holy Priesthood is here."I was present with Joseph when an holy angel from God came down from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain upon the earth while the earth stands."I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchisedek Priesthood was conferred by holy angels from on high. This Priesthood we then conferred on each other, by the will and commandment of God. This Priesthood, as was then declared, is also to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This holy Priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and is just as good and valid as though God had done it in person."I laid my hands upon that man-yes, I laid my right hand upon his head (pointing to Brother Hyde), and I conferred upon him this Priesthood, and he holds that Priesthood now. He was also called through me, by the prayer of faith, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ."1 Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992].Book of Commandments Ch 24 states that Joseph Smith was called and ordained, and he then ordained Oliver Cowdery: The rise of the church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in the flesh; It being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April: Which commandments were given to Joseph, who was called of God and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of this church; And also to Oliver, who was called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of this church, and ordained under his hand: And this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever. Amen., , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 50Finally, as one of the1829Cowdery,Harris,Smith,Whitmer,WoodFinally, as one of the three witnesses, Cowdery claimed that he was visited by the angel Moroni on June 25, 1829.Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris were selected as special witnesses. Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer reported having a vision of an angel and the gold plates. Three days later, Martin Harris reported a vision of the gold plates. Smith then wrote the witness statement, and the three signed it. Martin Harris said: "I never saw the gold plates, only in a visionary or entranced state. In about three days I went into the woods to pray that I might see the plates. While praying I passed into a state of entrancement, and in that state I saw the angel and the plates. " When Harris was asked, "Did you see the plates with your natural eyes, just as you see this pencil case in my hand? Now say yes or no.", he answered: "Why I did not see them as I do that pencil case, I saw them with the eye of faith. I saw them just as distinctly as I see anything around me - though at the time they were covered over with a cloth." David Whitmer said: "Of course we were in the spirit when we had the view, for no man can behold the face of an angel, except in a spiritual view. ", , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 51According to Cowdery, he and1836, 1830Cowdery,SmithAccording to Cowdery, he and Smith were visited by the resurrected biblical prophets Moses, Elias, and Elijah and by Jesus Christ himself on April 3, 1836. After the Mormon Church was organized in 1830, Cowdery continued to report visits by angels and even by The Deity., , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 52In the Doctrine and Covenants,1830Cowdery,SmithD&C 6In the Doctrine and Covenants, another important Mormon scripture, Joseph Smith is pronounced the first Elder of the Church. Oliver Cowdery is named the second Elder.Joseph Smith first baptized Oliver Cowdery and then Cowdery baptized Joseph Smith. These were the first two baptisms in the Restoration movement. Both Smith and Cowdery performed a few baptisms previous to the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. On this later date Joseph Smith was ordained the first elder and Oliver Cowdery the second elder in the new church.In D&C 6 Cowdery is told that God had given him a "gift" by which he (Oliver) would "assist in bringing to light" "those parts of the scriptures which have been hidden..." He isfurther told that his "gift" would allow him "to translate, even as my servant Joseph" and that he would receive no greater witness of the supposedly ancient record., , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 53According to a modern Mormon1829, 1830Young,Cowdery,Morris,Page,SmithAccording to a modern Mormon scholar at Brigham Young University:Clearly, it is no exaggeration to call Oliver the cofounder of Mormonism.Larry E. Morris in The Conversion of Oliver Cowdery, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume - 16, Issue - 1, Pages: 4-17: During the monumental and exact year that began on April 7, 1829, when Joseph Smith began dictating the inspired text of the Book of Mormon, and ended on April 6, 1830, when the Church of Christ was organized, no one was more involved in the key events of the restoration than Oliver Cowdery. He was present for the translation of the Book of Mormon accomplished in an amazing ten weeks through the gift and power of God; he was with Joseph when John the Baptist and later Peter, James, and John appeared as resurrected personages and restored the priesthood through the literal laying on of hands (with Oliver becoming the first person baptized in this dispensation); and he was one of three witnesses called to see the angel and the plates and to testify of the truth of the book. Not only that, but he also prepared the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon and assisted with the printing at a time when Joseph was generally not present. Clearly, it is no exaggeration to call Oliver the cofounder of Mormonism., , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 5454Cowdery54 If Cowderys claims of divine visitations are false, one of three possibilities must be true:He was deluded.He was a collaborator. He was initially deluded then became a collaborato
Episode 01 – Slide 55Was Cowdery trustworthy?1830CowderyWas Cowdery trustworthy? 55 His pre-1830 reputation was poo,
Episode 01 – Slide 56John St. John, Editor of1830Cleveland,Reading,Canada,New YorkCowderyJohn St. John, Editor of The Cleveland Herald, knew Oliver Cowdery before publication of the Book of Mormon and had a negative impression of him. "On reading the name of Oliver Cowdry, in support of the divine authenticity of the work, whatever faith we might have been inspired with on reading the certificate, was banished, for we had known Cowdry some seven or eight years ago" The Cleveland Herald (Nov. 25, 1830)Complete quote: "On reading the name of Oliver Cowdry, in support of the divine authenticity of the work, whatever faith we might have been inspired with on reading the certificate, was banished, for we had known Cowdry some seven or eight years ago, when he was a dabbler in the art of Printing, and principally occupied in writing and printing pamphlets, with which, as a pedestrian Pedlar, he visited the towns and villages of western New York and Canada." Cleveland Herald, , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 57David Stafford, a neighbor who1833Cowdery,StaffordDavid Stafford, a neighbor who also knew Cowdery before publication of the Book of Mormon believed that Cowdery was not trustworthy. "I can also state, that Oliver Cowdrey proved himself to be a worthless person and not to be trusted or believed when he taught school in this neighborhood Mormonism Unvailed (Dec, 1833), ,
Episode 01 – Slide 58The first published allegations of1830ClevelandCowdery,SmithThe first published allegations of Book of Mormon authorship named Cowdery and Smith as collaborators. Mr. Cowdry and Mr. Smith the reputed author, have taken the old Bible to keep up a train of circumstances, and by altering names and language have produced the string of Jargon called the "Book of Mormon.John St. John, Editor of The Cleveland Herald (Nov. 25, 1830)John St. John, Editor of The Cleveland Herald Vol XII, No. 5 Nov 25, 1830., , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 59Is there historical evidence thatCowderyIs there historical evidence that Cowdery contributed to the Book of Mormon? 59 Ye
Episode 01 – Slide 60Orsamus Turner, Editor of the1851, 1801, 1855LockportCowdery,Lock,Turner,Smith,Littell,Post,StaffordOrsamus Turner, Editor of the Lockport Balance, knew Oliver Cowdery personally. In 1851, he concluded: the book itself is without doubt a production of the Smith family, aided by Oliver CowderyOrsamus Turner (1801-1855) "Origin of the Mormon Imposture Littell's Living Age Vol. XXX, No. 380, August 1851 book itself is without doubt a production of the Smith family, aided by Oliver Cowdery, who was school teacher on Stafford street, an intimate of the Smith family, and identified with the whole matter., , , , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 61In 1887, Lorenzo Saunders, a1887, 1827, 1830, 1831Lockport,ReadingCowdery,Saunders,Smith,Lock,Parmelee,Rigdon,TurnerIn 1887, Lorenzo Saunders, a neighbor of the Smith family, recalled Cowderys activities at the Smith home: "I was frequently at the house of Joseph Smith from 1827 to 1830I saw Oliver Cowdery writing, I suppose the "Book of Mormon" with books and manuscript laying on the table before him. SAUNDERS, [Seal.]Sworn and subscribed to before me this 21st day of July, A.D. 1887. LINUS S. PARMELEE, Justice of the Peace of Reading, Mich.Orsamus Turner Quote 1831 The Lockport Balance Oliver Cowdery was the one given sole ability to translate the Smith, also implicates Ms. Smith., , , , , , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 62621981Howard,Searle,Cowdery62 As Howard Searle noted in 1981: Handwriting analysis, historical circumstantial evidence, comparisons of style identification of original sources, and such new techniques as computer wordprints are all promising tools for the further identification of documents that reflect the Prophets personal thought, vocabulary, style, and personality. How might it be determined whether Oliver Cowdery contributed to the Book of Mormo, , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 63In 1979, Gordon B. Hinckley,1979WayneHinckley,Larsen,Post,Alvin,Howe,Rencher,Smith,Eyring,PageIn 1979, Gordon B. Hinckley, then a Mormon apostle (future Prophet), cited BYU text analyses [Larsen et al.,1979] to support Mormon claims for the Book of Mormon: 63 I have been fascinated with the recent studies of Dr. Alvin C. Rencher of this campus and Dr. Wayne A. Larsenon the "wordprints" of different authors in the Book of Mormon Think of it. They [the BYU authors]say: "All of our data point to one almost inescapable conclusion: No one man wrote the Book of Mormon. It seems impossible that Joseph Smith or any other writer, however brilliant, could have fabricated a work with 24 or more discernible wordprintIn 1979, Gordon B. Hinkley, a future Mormon Prophet, used BYU text analyses to support Mormon claims for the Book of Mormon: I have been fascinated with the recent studies of Dr. Alvin C. Rencher of this campus and Dr. Wayne A. Larsen of the Eyring Research Center on the "wordprints" of different authors in the Book of Mormon Think of it. They [Larsen et al.,1979]say: "All of our data point to one almost inescapable conclusion: No one man wrote the Book of Mormon. It seems impossible that Joseph Smith or any other writer, however brilliant, could have fabricated a work with 24 or more discernible wordprints. Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon. Rather, "by the gift and power of God" (Book of Mormon, title page) he translated the writings of many authors who wrote at different times and under various circumstances., , , , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 6464Craig,Criddle,Jockers,Witten,Larsen,Rencher64 In 2008, Matthew Jockers, Daniela Witten, and Craig Criddle published an authorship attribution study of the Book of Mormon based on frequently used words. Their study critiqued the earlier BYU work and used modern methods of text analysis to reassess the role of 19th century candidate authorsJockers et al. (2008) provide a review of the work of Rencher and Larsen.Matt Jockers has a free pdf copy available for download here:, , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 65The team compared the frequentBarlow,Cowdery,Longfellow,Pratt,Rigdon,SpaldingThe team compared the frequent word usage pattern of each chapter of the Book of Mormon to the word usage patterns of seven authors: historically plausible authors (Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Solomon Spalding, Parley Pratt), positive control authors (Isaiah/Malachi), and negative control authors (Barlow and Longfellow). The team also used two methods of authorship attribution: a conventional method (Delta) and a new method (Nearest Shrunken Centroids, NSC)., , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 66Oliver Cowdery’s frequent word usageCowderyOliver Cowderys frequent word usage patterns were obtained from passages written by Cowdery in the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate. You use the words have, did, not, and will a lot more than other people I have not, did not, will not!
Episode 01 – Slide 67Reliable text was not availableEly,Howe,Page,SmithReliable text was not available for Smith because of his frequent use of scribes and ghostwriters. This was an acknowledged limitation of the study: Of course, we have not considered every possible candidate-author who may have influenced the composition of the Book of Mormon. We have, however, selected from among the most likely candidates, excepting perhaps Joseph Smith. JLLC (2008) Vol 23, no. 4, page 481, , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 68The team used frequently usedKingThe team used frequently used words to assign authorship probabilities for each chapter: For a word to be considered frequently used: It had to occur at least once in samples from each author and at least once in the Book of Mormon. It had to have a mean relative frequency of at least 0.1%. These criteria resulted in a set of 114 words. the words god, ye, thy, and behold were removed because they occurred at much higher frequencies in texts with biblical subject matter. This left 110 words for testing.110 Words Used in NSC Classification for the seven-author case: 1. a, 2. after, 3. again, 4. against, 5. all, 6. among, 7. an, 8. and, 9. are, 10. as, 11. at, 12. away, 13. be, 14. because, 15. been, 16. before, 17. but, 18. by, 19. came, 20. children, 21. come, 22. day, 23. did, 24. do, 25. down, 26. earth, 27. even, 28. every, 29. father, 30. for. 31. forth, 32. from, 33. go, 34. great, 35. had, 36. hand, 37. have, 38. he, 39. her, 40. him, 41. his, 42. I, 43. if, 44. in, 45. into, 46. is, 47. it, 48. king, 49. know, 50. land, 51. made, 52. man, 53. many, 54. may, 55. me, 56. men, 57. might, 58. more, 59. my, 60. name, 61. no, 62. not, 63. now, 64. o, 65. of, 66. on, 67. one, 68. or, 69. our, 70. out, 71. over, 72. pass, 73. people, 74. power, 75. said, 76. say, 77. shall, 78. should, 79. so, 80. Son, 81. that, 82. the, 83. their, 84. them, 85. then, 86. there, 87. therefore, 88. these, 89. they, 90. things, 91. this, 92. those, 93. thus, 94. time, 95. to, 96. up, 97. upon, 98. us, 99. was, 100. we, 101. were, 102. when, 103. which, 104. who, 105. will, 106. with, 107. words, 108. would, 109. you, s110. your108 Words Used in NSC Classification for the five-author case: 1. a, 2. after, 3. again, 4. against, 5. all, 6. among, 7. an, 8. and, 9. are, 10. as, 11. at, 12. away, 13. be, 14. because, 15. been, 16. before, 17. but, 18. by, 19. came, 20. children, 21. come, 22. day, 23. do, 24. down, 25. earth, 26. even, 27. every, 28. for, 29. forth, 30. from, 31. go, 32. great, 33. had, 34. hand, 35. have. 36. he, 37. her, 38. him, 39. his, 40. I, 41. if, 42. in, 43. into, 44. is, 45. it, 46. king, 47. know, 48. land, 49. made, 50. man, 51. many, 52. may, 53. me, 54. men, 55. might, 56. more, 57. my, 58. name, 59. no, 60. not, 61. now, 62. o, 63. of, 64. on, 65. one, 66. or, 67. our, 68. out, 69. over, 70. pass, 71. people, 72. power, 73. said, 74. say, 75. shall, 76. should, 77. so, 78. son, 79. that, 80. the, 81. their, 82. them, 83. then, 84. there, 85. therefore, 86. these, 87. they, 88. things, 89. this, 90. those, 91. thus, 92. time, 93. to, 94. up, 95. upon, 96. us, 97. was, 98. we, 99. were, 100. when, 101. which, 102. who, 103. will, 104. with, 105. words, 106. would, 107. you, 108. your
Episode 01 – Slide 69“Cross-validation” was performed to determineCross-validation was performed to determine the optimal number of words to be used and the error rate. Samples of known authorship were randomly split into a training set and a test set. Classification by Delta and NSC was performed on the training and test sets to determine the optimal numbers of words. The error fraction was computed from the number of misclassified test set samples. Delta error rate = 11% (90 words); NSC error rate = 9% (all 110 words).
Episode 01 – Slide 70Two “cases” of closed authorsTwo cases of closed authors were evaluated. The seven-author case included the 5 historically related authors and 2 control authors. The five-author case included only the historically related authors.
Episode 01 – Slide 71The panel at right showsCowdery,Ely,Jockers,Barlow,King,Longfellow,Pratt,Rigdon,SpaldingThe panel at right shows probabilities that Cowdery was the most likely author for each chapter in the seven-author case. Chapter-by-chapter probability of Oliver Cowdery as author (seven-author case) Chapters for which first place NSC assignment was Cowdery (5-author case) The bar code at right shows the chapters for which Cowdery was the first-place assignment for the five-author case. A green bar indicates a chapter with text most similar to the writing of Cowdery (Jockers et al., 2008).The 7-author case made use of known text samples from Cowdery, Rigdon, Spalding, Pratt, the King James Bible (Isaiah/Malachi positive control), Barlow (negative control author). Longfellow (negative control author). The 5-author case did not include text from Barlow or Longfellow., , , , , , , ,
Episode 01 – Slide 72In 2010, Matt Jockers carriedJockers,SmithIn 2010, Matt Jockers carried out additional tests on a body of text attributed to Joseph Smith, Jr.15 of 96 documents attributed to Smith clustered with text written in his own hand. He later published these results: 72 Jockers, M. 2012. Testing Authorship in the Personal Writings of Joseph Smith Using NSC Classification. J. Lit Linguist Computing 28(3): 371-38Matt Jockers has a free pdf copy available for download here:,
Episode 01 – Slide 73Using texts written in Smith’sJockers,SmithUsing texts written in Smiths own hand plus the 15 texts that clustered with it, Jockers carried out a re-analysis of the Book of Mormon using this filtered body of text as a signal for Smith.The 2010 results are published here for the first time.,
Episode 01 – Slide 74When Smith was added asCowdery,SmithWhen Smith was added as a candidate author, more chapters were attributed to Cowdery, but the overall pattern was similar. 74 2008 results omitting Smith as candidate author 2010 results including Smith as candidate auth,
Episode 01 – Slide 75Below are 2010 chapter attributionsCowdery,SmithBelow are 2010 chapter attributions for both Cowdery (green) and Smith (brown). Clusters of text can be identified that are most similar to their known writings First of 1 & 2 Nephi End of 2 Nephi - Jacob Early Alma Mid-Alma End of Helaman Moroni,
Episode 01 – Slide 76Copied chapters from the BibleCowdery,Smith,KingCopied chapters from the Bible are shown in yellow. Smith and Cowdery 76 Here are 2010 chapter attributions for Cowdery and Smith, including chapters copied from the King James Bible, ,
Episode 01 – Slide 7777No. chapters most similar to Smith's writing |21 | No. chapters most similar to Cowdery's writing |27 | No. chapters copied from King James Bible |24 | SUM |72 |
Episode 01 – Slide 78SmithSmith,King,CowderySmith King James Bible Who wrote the rest? 78 Cowdery 72 chapters 167 chapte, ,
Episode 01 – Slide 79To be continued…To be continued