Category:Oliver Cowdery/Witness to the Book of Mormon

Oliver Cowdery as a Witness to the Book of Mormon

Parent page: Oliver Cowdery

Oliver Cowdery (1829): "We saw the record...brought and laid before us by an angel"

In November 1829, in response to an inquiry from New York physician Cornelius C. Blatchly, Oliver Cowdery related his experience of seeing the gold plates just a few months earlier:

You also wished Mr. Harris to inform you respecting his seeing this book, whether there could not possibly have been some juggling at the bottom of it. A few words on that point may suffice.— It was a clear, open beautiful day, far from any inhabitants, in a remote field, at the time we saw the record, of which it has been spoken, brought and laid before us, by an angel, arrayed in glorious light, [descended] out of the midst of heaven. Now if this is human juggling—judge ye.[1]

Oliver Cowdery's enduring witness

Oliver Cowdery, the most constant and involved witness to the miraculous translation, always affirmed the divinity of the process. Though later disaffected for a time from the Church, he nevertheless came humbly back. He spoke forthrightly about how he "wrote with my own pen the intire book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the Lips of the prophet." Oliver would not have humbly returned to the Church at all, especially seeking no station, had there been any kind of fraud!

Instead, at the approach of death, Oliver could not have been more dramatic about his testimony concerning the Book of Mormon. Oliver's half-sister, Lucy P. Young, reported: "Just before he breathed his last he asked to be raised up in bed so he could talk to the family and friends and he told them to live according to the teachings in the [B]ook of Mormon and they would meet him in Heaven then he said lay me down and let me fall asleep in the arms of Jesus, and he fell asleep without a struggle."[2]


  1. Oliver Cowdery letter to Cornelius C. Blatchly, 9 November 1829, quoted in "The New Bible," Gospel Luminary 2, no. 49 (10 December 1829): 194.
  2. Neal A. Maxwell, "By The Gift and Power of God," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 1, references silently removed—consult original for citations.