Question: Did Oliver Cowdery "neglect to mention" that Joseph Smith consulted a Bible during the Book of Mormon translation process?

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Question: Did Oliver Cowdery "neglect to mention" that Joseph Smith consulted a Bible during the Book of Mormon translation process?

Oliver was far from silent regarding the process of translating the Book of Mormon

The critical book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins(page 83) makes the following claim:

Oliver was Joseph's main scribe day after day and perhaps the only one who really knew if a Bible was consulted. Oliver is silent on the matter. In fact, a Bible would have been needed only when quoting long passages; so again, Cowdery may be the only witness who knew about this, and he neglected to mention it. (emphasis added)

Incredibly, in his zeal to provide supporting evidence for his theory that Joseph Smith consulted a King James Bible during the translation of the Book of Mormon, the author attempts to make Oliver Cowdery a "silent witness" for the prosecution by implying that he neglected to mention it!

Oliver was far from silent regarding the Book of Mormon translation, and his enthusiasm at being a witness and participant in the translation process is clearly evident. Furthermore, Oliver clearly indicated that the translation was performed using the Urim and Thummim. Here is what Oliver did say about the translation process:

These were days never to be forgotten; to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, "interpreters," the history or record called "The Book of Mormon." (emphasis added)[1]

Unlike the author's assertion, this one can be cited to an actual source.

Notes

  1. "Letter from Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps" (Letter I), (September 7, 1834). Published in Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, Vol. I. No. 1. Kirtland, Ohio, October, 1834.