I posted this elsewhere, but since I know people are looking in here for more info on Mormonism, I thought I'd put it here as well:
As most know, Oliver Cowdery was Joe Smith's second cousin. He was made "Second Elder," (second in charge) by Smith in his new church. He was supposedly baptized at the same time as Joe, both baptizing each other at the behest of a supposedly resurrected John the Baptist. He later was supposedly ordained by John, James and Peter, also apparently resurrected beings (or spirits, who knows)!
Cowdery had a lot invested in Mormonism. Basically a very poor individual, Cowdery saw Mormonism's Book of Mormon as a financial boon! Oliver was a gifted worker with rod (right up Smith's alley) and also came from the Congregational Church pastored by Ethan Smith who wrote "View of the Hebrews." It is not stretching credulity to believe that Oliver most likely had the book in his possession when he came to help Smith.
Cowdery was rather educated (at least for the time), and had some literary ability. Reworking the Spaulding manuscript, "Manuscript Found" would not have been that difficult a job, especially when Smith was promising him a big financial gain! Rigdon had obtained the manuscript, probably illicitly, and handed it over to the duo, who soon produced "The Book of Mormon," a fantasy story about Hebrews in the New World.
As we all know, Rigdon and Smith high tailed it out of town after bilking so many Mormons in the Kirtland bank fiasco. Cowdery was left holding the bag. Even moreso, Cowdery and Smith had a serious disagreement about Smith's messing around with a little girl who worked in his house, Fanny Alger. Eventually Cowdery was excommunicated (Smith loved to excommunicate his enemies), and left to become a lawyer. We pick up the story there. His law partner had this to say about Cowdery's association with Mormonism:
"**Tell It to the Judge: Cowdery's Confession that the Book of Mormon Was, In Fact, a Fabrication
As reported by author Charles Shook, after being excommunicated from the Mormon Church, Cowdery moved to Ohio, where he set up a law practice. According to his close friend and law firm colleague, Judge W. Lang, Cowdery admitted that the Book of Mormon was a hoax, manufactured from Solomon Spaulding's unpublished novel, "Manuscript Found.” In a letter from Lang to Thomas Gregg, 5 November 1881, Lang wrote: "Dear Sir: . . . Once for all I desire to be strictly understood when I say to you that I cannot violate any confidence of a friend though he be dead. This I will say that Mr. Cowdery never spoke of his connection with the Mormons to anybody except to me. We were intimate friends. The plates were never translated and could not be, were never intended to be. What is claimed to be a translation is the 'Manuscript Found' worked over by C[owdery] . He was the best scholar amongst them. Rigdon got the original at the job printing office in Pittsburgh, as I have stated. I often expressed my objection to the frequent repe***ion of 'And it came to pass' to Mr. Cowdery and said that a true scholar ought to have avoided that, which only provoked a gentle smile from C[owdery]. Without going into detail or disclosing a confided word, I say to you that I do know, as well as can now be known, that C[owdery]. revised the 'Manuscript' and Smith and Rigdon approved of it before it became the 'Book of Mormon.' I have no knowledge of what became of the original. Never heard C[owdery] say as to that. . . . (see: http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Unholy...dery-Myth-.-.-.)
Of course, we all know that the Mormons will howl and stamp their feet and say, "Nuhu!" Yet, here we have the statement of a contemporary of Oliver Cowdery who had absolutely no reason to lie, and who seemed to remain quite faithful to his dead friend. The Mormons weren't there, but they'll make up all kinds of stuff to say that Judge Lang was a liar, etc. etc..
It gets tiresome looking at Mormons posting denials of actual history. On another site we have a Mormon denying the Kirtland bank fraud. Everybody is wrong when it comes to Joe Smith but the Mormons! Today's Mormons deny the testimony of those who lived in Smith's era and saw first hand what a real low life he was. For instance, Cowdery got in trouble for exposing Smith's "skirt chasing.":
"**Calling Out Skirt-Chasing Smith for Chasing Fannie's Fanny
What got Cowdery in particularly hot water with Smith was his adamant refusal to cease condemning Smith for Smith's extra-marital affair with a teenage girl named Fannie Alger. Cowdery's unbending insistence that Smith had cheated on his wife Emma infuriated the Mormon Church's “First Elder” and, as historian Fawn Brodie notes, was instrumental in Cowdery's excommunicated: “. . . Some time in 1835 it began to be whispered about that [Smith] had seduced a 17-year-old orphan girl whom Emma had taken into the family. . . .Whether or not Fannie Alger bore Joseph a child, it was clear that the breath of the scandal was hot upon his neck. . . . Oliver Cowdery knew the report of an illicit affair between the girl and the prophet to be true, for they 'were spied upon and found together.' Cowdery made no secret of his indignation and Joseph finally called him in and accused him of perpetuating the scandal. . . . [I]n a letter from Oliver Cowdery to his brother Warren A. Cowdery, dated Far West, Missouri, 21 January 1839] Oliver wrote: 'We had some conversation in which in every instance I did not fail to affirm that what I had said was strictly true. A dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's was talked over in which I strictly declared that I had never deserted from the truth in that matter and as I supposed was admitted by himself.' . . . Cowdery himself stoutly refused to exonerate the prophet and eventually was excommunicated from the Church for several misdemeanors, among them 'insinuating that the prophet had been guilty of adultery.'” (Ibid.)
Did Oliver have a lifelong commitment to Mormonism as the cult today claims? No way:
-Oliver Cowdery's Alleged Lifelong Commitment to Mormonism: He Quits and Becomes a Methodist
Shook notes that Cowdery's law partner Lang, in a letter to Gregg, described Cowdery's departure from Mormonism in favor of Methodism: “Now as to whether C[owdery] ever openly denounced Mormonism, let me say this to you; No man ever knew better than he how to keep one's own counsel. He would never allow any man to drag him into a conversation on the subject. Cowdery was a Democrat and a most powerful advocate of the principles of the party on the stump. For this he became the target of the Whig stumpers and press, who denounced him as a Mormon and made free use of C[owdery's] certificate at the end of the Mormon Bible to crush his influence. He suffered great abuse for this while he lived here on that account. In the second year of his residence here he and his family attached themselves to the Methodist Protestant Church, where they held fellowship to the time they left for Elkhorn. . . . .” (Ibid.)
By the way, the Methodist Protestant Church was a very strict church, and brooked no association with anything that cast doubt upon the Gospel. I know this because I used to send my kids to a Methodist Protestant camp.
Cowdery died prematurely at the home of his brother-in-law, David Whitmer. While the Mormons like to claim him as their own (he flirted with Mormonism after Joey's death - after all, his cousin is the one who excommunicated him - the truth is that Cowdery never was reconciled with Young or the Mormon cult):
“If Cowdery was restored to the LDS Church, why did a Methodist preacher preach at his funeral?” Moreover, as noted in a text of the “Gatewood-Farnsworth Debate” of 1942, even though Cowdery returned in full devotion to Mormonism, “[a]ny statements that Cowdery was said to have made [about his allegedly abiding faith in Mormonism]. . . were published after his death, and were made [not by Cowdery] but by other men. . . . [W]e never have anything in Oliver Cowdery's own words. (Ibid.)
Mormons, as we all know, are not above twisting facts and lying (for the Lord, of course) to cover up the truth. Oliver Cowdery was a tool in Satan's hand and a pawn of Smith. I'm glad he died before returning to Utah - and perhaps he died in integrity, repenting of his association with the godless cult of Joseph Smith! God intervened in the end, and took him away from whatever persuasive tactics the Mormons could apply.