Category:Oliver Cowdery/Character

Oliver Cowdery's Character

Parent page: Oliver Cowdery

Oliver Cowdery (1846): “I have cherished a hope...that I might leave such a character”

In 1846, Oliver Cowdery wrote to his brother-in-law Phineas H. Young:

I have cherished a hope, and that one of my fondest, that I might leave such a character as those who might believe in my testimony, after I shall be called hence, might do so, not only for the sake of truth, but might not blush for the private character of the man who bore that testimony. I have been sensitive on this subject, 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 brother 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.[1]

Oliver Cowdery's character attested to by William Lang, an apprentice in Cowdery's law office

1843 announcement in the Seneca Advertiser, Tiffin, Ohio, with Oliver Cowdery and his partner's law practice.

William Lang, who apprenticed in Cowdery's law office, knew him for many years. Lang was a member of the Ohio bar, and served as "prosecuting attorney, probate judge, mayor of Tiffin, county treasurer, and two terms in the Ohio senate. He was nominated by his party for major state offices twice." [2]

Lang wrote of Cowdery:

Mr. Cowdery was an able lawyer and a great advocate. His manners were easy and gentlemanly; he was polite, dignified, yet courteous...With all his kind and friendly disposition, there was a certain degree of sadness that seemed to pervade his whole being. His association with others was marked by the great amount of information his conversation conveyed and the beauty of his musical voice. His addresses to the court and jury were characterized by a high order of oratory, with brilliant and forensic force. He was modest and reserved, never spoke ill of any one, never complained. [3]


  1. Oliver Cowdery letter to Phineas H. Young, 23 March 1846, Church History Library, MS 2646; see also, Ronald G. Watt, "Had You Stood in the Presence of Peter,"Ensign (February 1977): 78–79.
  2. Richard Lloyd Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1981), 40. ISBN 0877478465.; the following quotes on Oliver are also taken from Anderson.
  3. William Lang, History of Seneca County (Springfield, Ohio, 1880), 365.


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