Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:

The Cowdery Conundrum: Oliver’s Aborted Attempt to Describe Joseph Smith’s First Vision in 1834 and 1835

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Published by:
Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Published:
12/6/2013
Specs:
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
24 pages Saddle-stitched
Category:
Religion
Tags:
apologetics, first vision, Joseph Smith, lds, mormon, Mormonism, oliver cowdery

In 1834, Oliver Cowdery began publishing a history of the Church in installments in the pages of the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. The first installment talks of the religious excitement and events that ultimately led to Joseph Smith’s First Vision at age 14. However, in the subsequent installment published two months later, Oliver claims that he made a mistake, correcting Joseph’s age from 14 to 17 and failing to make any direct mention of the First Vision. Oliver instead tells the story of Moroni’s visit, thus making it appear that the religious excitement led to Moroni’s visit.

This curious account has been misunderstood by some to be evidence that the “first” vision that Joseph claimed was actually that of the angel Moroni and that Joseph invented the story of the First Vision of the Father and Son at a later time.

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Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture: The Cowdery Conundrum: Olive...