Christian Standard – July 27, 1907
The Ax at the Taproot of Mormonism.
importance of the issue presented and the value of the facts given in this
article ought to and surely will win for it a place in every paper whose editor
is in favor of suppressing error and of spreading truth.
More, it ought to gain a gift from every reader who loves truth, to aid in putting it in tract form for free distribution in every Mormon home.
Hear what he
says of himself:
"I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by means of Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy interpreters.' That book is true.
"The holy priesthood is here. I was present with Joseph when an holy angel of God came down from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain upon earth while the earth stands. I was also present with Joseph when the higher, or Melchisedec priesthood was conferred by the holy angel from on high. This priesthood was then conferred on each other, by the will and commandment of God. This priesthood, as was then declared, is also to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time."
He was the first person baptized into the Mormon Church. Joseph Smith, the prophet, baptized him and he then baptized Joseph. He is one, and the main one, of the "three witnesses" whose names go out with every Book of Mormon to prove its divinity. He was nearer to Joseph Smith in this work of planting Mormonism than John, the beloved, was to the Saviour when the Lord's Supper was instituted. He was the "Second Elder," Joseph was the "First Elder" and both were equal in power in the priesthoods.
These young elders of Mormonism who today are traveling two and two all over the earth, trace their authority "to preach, to teach, to baptize, and lay on hands," back to Oliver Cowdery, equal with Joseph Smith. How important that they should be posted on the facts presented in this article. The right conclusion would force itself upon their minds.
THE ISSUE PRESENTED.
-- Did Oliver Cowdery renounce Mormonism and join the Methodist Protestant
Church at Tiffin, O.?
I affirm that he did. To prove that he joined that church, or any other, is to prove that he renounced the "ism" that he, as the right-hand man of Joseph Smith, helped to found.
Every Mormon editor and elder denies it.They have to deny it, and maintain the denial, or lose their cause.
I sent this affirmation out into all their camps in my Tract No. 9. it caused consternation and created quite a commotion. The "Reorganized Church" sent out its best henchmen to persons and places I had mentioned in hopes of gathering information that would confute my statements.
Their church historian, H. C. Smith, started an article on the rounds of Mormon papers, based upon his report. This article was to have been revised, put in tract form and scattered among the faithful.
The Saints' Herald, Lamoni, Ia., official organ of the Reorganized Church, has an article of over eight pages reviewing my tract. The Evening and Morning Star, Independence, Mo., official organ of the "Hedrickite" Mormon Church, quotes largely from it with hearty approval. The article winds up with the following flourish:
"We submit the foregoing to the careful consideration of those who wish to know the truth; to those who are seeking for the opposite we have nothing to offer."
After I make manifest how their trusted men "hunt for truth" and juggle the facts they find, the public will conclude, and justly so, if Mormon papers refuse to publish this article, that the editors and elders are not honest, and brand them deeply as among those "who are seeking for the opposite of the truth."
All that class has to do is to read the Church Historian's article based upon Bishop Kelley's report. The Saints' Herald says:
"At our request, Bishop E. L. Kelley called at Tiffin, Ohio, on February 7 and 8, 1907, to look up the records on this point, and after examining all the records that he could find in the hands of the custodian of the records, Mr. C. J. Yingling, writes in a letter dated Independence, Missouri, February 11, 1907, as follows:
"Mr. C. J. Yingling, who had in charge the records of the Methodist church, thought before examination that it showed that Cowdery was a member of the church, but upon examination I discovered that it simply contained his work as an attorney, and pointed out the fact to Mr. Yingling, which he readily assented was the fact."
I promptly wrote to Mr. Yingling asking if the above statement was true. Here is the reply I received:
"Tiffin, O., April 12, 1907.
"R. B. Neal, Grayson, Ky.
Dear Sir: Your favor of April 1 came duly to hand and contents noted. Mr. E. L. Kelley called to see me in February. He asked me if I knew anything about Oliver Cowdery. I showed him the minute book of the church. Mr. Kelley told me he was a lawyer. I did not know he was a Mormon. He seemed like a very nice gentleman. I enclose you a copy of all the minutes recorded in the Minute Book of the Methodist Protestant Church, of Tiffin, that contains anything about Mr. Cowdery, and all that Mr. Kelley saw. After Mr. Kelley had left Tiffin, I found something in Lang's 'History of Seneca County' about Cowdery. I copied it and sent it to Mr. Kelley. I also enclose you a copy of the same. The copies of the minutes and the extract of what is in Lang's 'History of Seneca County' is all I know about Oliver Cowdery, and all that I showed Mr. Kelley. The minutes of the church written up by Oliver Cowdery, Jan. 18, 1844, should be conclusive evidence that Oliver Cowdery was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. Every word of the minutes of the copies that I enclose was written by Oliver Cowdery except the names which I have underscored. The affixes Sec. and Pres. are in Oliver Cowdery's handwriting. Yours Respt.,
"C. J. YINGLING."
Note 1. Mr. Kelley went disguised. He did not reveal himself as a Mormon bishop, sent out by his church to gather facts for "the careful consideration of those who wish to know the truth." This has a dishonest look
2. He posed as a lawyer. Careful inquiry fails to show that he is known or regarded as a lawyer. I failed to find a person who ever saw his "shingle hanging out," or knows of any clients he ever had, or who ever heard him address a jury.
3. Even if he ever had, or now has, [hung] out his shingle, and is known at the bar by his eloquent speeches and numerous clients, his concealing the fact that he was a Mormon bishop, on an honest hunt for facts prepares us to suspect a dishonest handling of the facts found. The sequel shows that we are not mistaken.
He wilfully and deliberately misrepresents Mr. Yingling. Read the deadly parallel.
Bishop Kelley Says:
Mr. Yingling Says:
This first round gives Bishop Kelley a very black eye as to a handler of facts. Mr. Yingling, desiring to aid him to the whole truth and all of the facts, referred him to the aged widow of Judge Lang, as one likely to know about Cowdery. Kelley interviewed her and here is his report:
"'Mrs. W. Lang, the widow of Judge Lang, of Tiffin, was referred to as a witness who would know with reference to Cowdery's connection with the church. She was an aged lady, but of good memory, found at her residence and that of her niece, Miss Lang, at Tiffin, and upon inquiry with reference to Oliver Cowdery's connection with the Methodist church or any church society at Tiffin during his residence there. She stated that he was not a member of any church society there. She thought his wife might have attended the Methodist church and that the girl who lived with them, Adeline Fuller, did attend the Methodist church, but she was certain that Oliver Cowdery was never a member of the Methodist church at Tiffin. She said on the contrary he was a "Mormon.'"
I wrote to Mrs. Lang. As death had called her since her interview with Kelley, her son, Mr. Frank H. Lang, a reputable business man, responded. Here are extracts from his letter:
"TIFFIN, O., May 15, 1907.
"R. B. NEAL,
"Dear Sir: -- I called upon Mr. Yingling and we together looked over the Church Records of January 18,1844. * * * I will try and have a photograph taken of the page and send to you.
"Now, Mr. Neal, I wish you would send me a copy of Mr. Kelley's statement, or tract, in which he states his interview with my mother. Mr. Yingling had one but I do not like to ask him for it.
"Mr. Kelley has undeniably misquoted my mother, for I spoke to her about her conversation with Mr. Kelley within an hour after he had been there and she said that she told him that she did not know whether the Cowdery family were members of the Methodist church or not.
"He says that mother stated to him that she was positive they were not. He also misrepresented Mr. Yingling in his statement. And I am quite sure that he has also misrepresented Mrs. Joel W. Wilson in her statement. I may have to go to Toledo in a few days and if I do I will call on her."
THE DEADLY PARALLEL AGAIN.
Bishop Kelley Says:
Frank H. Lang Says:
This second round, blacks the bishop's other eye. Note what is said about "Adeline Fuller, a girl who lived with the Cowdery family." I have her testimony. Will hand it out later on.
I have before me an old letter written in 1881 by Mr. J. H. Gilbert, Palmyra, N. Y. He is the man who set the type and got out the first issue of the Book of Mormon.
Bishop Kelley interviewed him and made his report in this same Saints' Herald. Gilbert got hold of a copy, and his letter will have a bearing to put Mr. Kelley before the public in his true light. Gilbert says:
"Kelley's report of the conversation with me is full of misrepresentations. The long paragraph in relation to Mr. Cobb and Lorenzo Saunders is a mixed mess of truth and falsehood. What he charges me with saying about Smith's and Tucker's book is all his own coining. Mr. Jackway tells me he did not tell Kelley that Joe and his father got drunk on cider, but on whiskey. * * * I do know that Kelly has misrepresented me in his report of my answers and statements, and I have no doubt he has misrepresented others also. What his object was I can not divine. He may think it will strengthen the faith of Mormons a little. Well, if people are fools enough to believe in it, let them; it is no worse than some other humbugs. * * * If you have any Mormon friends in your vicinity who have read Kelley's report in the Saints' Herald, you can say to them that he is a great falsifier, and I consider him the champion liar of America. Yours truly,
"J. H. GILBERT."
This was in
1881. In 1907, this same Bishop Kelley, twenty-six years older, is still hunting
for truth (?) about Mormonism, and reporting the same old "Saints' Herald" and
misrepresenting interviews in the same old way.
From what we have presented, and are about now to present, the public will conclude that Bishop Kelley still wears the belt as the "C. L. of A."
The "deadly parallels" above confirm his title to the belt, but they are weak documents for that purpose, compared to the way he doctors church records, to hand out to a public he thinks will never see the original copies.
HOW BISHOP KELLEY HANDLES RECORDS.
I have before
me typewritten copies of the records he had on which to base his articles. I
also have his article in print. This makes the task of comparison very easy. He
"The first reference to the work of the First Methcdist Protestant Church of Tiffin, contained in the record book, bears date of Jan. 19, 1843. This was of a meeting called at that date of the male members of said church to form a society and obtain charter of such society. At the conclusion of the record of this meeting there is entered upon the record in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery, which is marked in brackets, the following:
"'(See Vol. 41, Ohio Local Laws, pages 31 and 32, where the above act may be found. O. Cowdery.)'"
Kelley evidently designs to make three impressions upon the minds of his readers by the above comments.
1. That the
"male members" of the church met to form some sort of society "for men
only," separate from the church and to get a charter for it.
2. That this kind of work demanded the presence of a lawyer to advise, and that Cowdery, the great Mormon apostle, was there simply as an attorney.
3. That all. that Cowdery wrote of the minutes of this meeting was the appendix contained in the brackets.
Here is a copy of the document he had before him:
WHEREAS, The General Assembly of the State of Ohio, in accordance with a petition previously presented to that body, on the Nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and forty-three, passed the following act to incorporate the several persons therein named, in the words and figures following, to-wit:
An act to incorporate the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, in the county of Seneca.
"Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, that John Souder, Joseph Walker, William Campbell and William Patterson, their associates and successors, be, and they are hereby created a body politic and corporate by the name and style of the Methodist Protestant Church, of Tiffin, in the County of Seneca and as such shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities granted by, and be subject to all the restrictions of, the act entitled "an act in relation to incorporated religious societies," passed March the fifth, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six.
"Sec. 2. That said Corporators shall give at least ten days' notice of the time and place of their first meeting under this act, by posting up advertisements in three of the most public places in said Town.
"Sec. 3. The private and individual property of the corporators shall be held responsible for the payment of the debts of said Church, after the corporate property shall have been exhausted.
"Speaker of the House of Representatives.
JAMES J. FAREN,
Speaker of the Senate.
"Jan. 19, 1843."
(See Volume 41, Ohio Local Laws, pages 31, 32, where the above Act may be found. O. Cowdery).
Note 1. That the male members of the church met to accept an act of incorporation of their church, as a whole, both males and females, not to "form a society" in the modern use of that term either within or without the church.
This act of incorporation was their "charter" to create "a body politic and corporate by the name and style of the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, O."
2. The meeting was for male members. Members of the church, of course. Oliver Cowdery was present and just as sure as that he was a male he was a member of that church.
3. Oliver Cowdery wrote every word of the minutes of that page. Wrote the whole thing, appendix and all. Mr. Yingling says: "Every word of the minutes of the copies that I enclose was written by Cowdery, except the names I have underscored."
Mr. Cowdery was a ready writer and a good scribe. That is the reason Joseph Smith had him write the Book of Mormon. This the reason, now that he was a "male member" of the Methodist Church, that he was called upon to write so much. He wrote everything on that page and Bishop Kelley knew it. He saw the original page. His attorney idea demanded that he suppress the whole truth about Cowdery's hand-writing upon that page. In fact there is nothing here, or in any of these records, to indicate that Oliver Cowdery was even a lawyer, much less acting as an attorney for the church.
His handling of the next paper is even more dishonorable than this one. He says: "On Jan. 6, 1844, the society was called together again with John Souders, chairman; William Campbell, secretary; but from the proceedings it seems they did not have sufficient to form a quorum, and their proceedings were not legal. At the conclusion of this record for Jan. 6, 1844, there is inserted by O. Cowdery the following:
"(The account of March 5, 1836, referred to in the charter of this society, ~corded on page 1, may be found in the collated acts of 1841, chapter 97, pages 32, 783, 784. O. Cowdery.)"
Note that he says: 1. it was the "Society" called together "again."
2. That Cowdery wrote the conclusion of the record. The implication is that that is all he wrote of the minutes. It would hurt the "attorney idea" to say that he wrote the whole thing except the "names of the chairman and secretary." That he even wrote the "affixes," "chairman" and "secretary," to which they prefixed their names. Here is the document. Each reader can judge for himself as to Kelley's perversion of plain facts:
"And whereas, the said corporators, in pursuance with, and according to, the foregoing act of incorporation, on the twenty-first day of December in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and forty-three, at Tiffin, in said county of Seneca, posted up in three of the most public places therein, a notice in the records and figures following, to-wit:
"NOTICE: -- A meeting of the Male members of the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, Seneca county, Ohio, will be held on the 6th day of January next at their brick church in Tiffin, in said county, for the purpose of organizing under the act of incorporation of said Society, passed January 19, 1843. The meeting will be organized at 2 o'clock P. M. of said day.
"W. M. Patterson,
"Dec. 21, 1843
Whereupon, in pursuance of said notice, last aforesaid, to-wit: On the sixth day of January, A. D. 1844, a meeting was held accordingly, as will fully appear from the following minutes and records thereof:
"Minutes of a meeting of the male members of the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, Seneca county, Ohio, held on the 6th day of January, A. D. 1844, at their brick church in said Tiffin, according to notice previously given.
"2 o'clock P. M. -- The meeting came to order, John Souder was chosen chairman and William Campbell secretary. And it appearing that two-thirds of the Male Members of this society are not in attendance, on motion it is
"Resolved, That this meeting do adjourn to meet again at this place on the 18th inst., at half past 6 o'clock P. M., for the purpose of fully carrying out the objects specified in the notice of Dec. 21st A. D. 1843, and such other business as the meeting may see proper to transact.
"Resolved, That the minutes of this meeting be signed by the Chairman and Secretary.
"John Souder, Chairman,
"Wm. Campbell, Secretary."
"Jan. 6, 1844.
"(P.S. -- The act of March 5th, 1836, referred to in the charter of this Society recorded on page first may be found in the Collated Statute of 1811, Chapter 97, Pages 782, 783, 784. O. Cowdery.)"
1. He, Kelley, knew that it was a body corporate by the name and style of the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, O." that was called together again. Yet he says it was the "society."
2. He knew that the notice was extended and limited to the "Male Members" of that church. Oliver Cowdery was present. ERGO he was a member of the church.
3. He knew that though Oliver Cowdery was not the secretary elect of that meeting that he wrote every word of the minutes except the name of the chairman and secretary. He even wrote the affixes "chairman" and "secretary."
How did he know it? He read the page; knew Cowdery's handwriting. He saw that Cowdery "inserted the conclusion" of the page, and he knew that he wrote the whole page. Why did he not say so?
He handles the third document still more recklessly. He writes:
"Jan. 18, 1844, the members of the society convened again, Rev. Thomas B. Cushman elected chairman and Oliver Cowdery secretary of the meeting. In this meeting the following named parties were elected trustees: John Souder, Joseph Walker, William Campbell and John Nye. The following resolutions were passed:
"Resolved, That the first meeting of the trustees of this society, elected by this meeting, be held in the office of O. Cowdery on Tuesday, the 23rd inst., at half past six o'clock, p.m.
"Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the chairman and secretary."
"On motion adjourned the meeting without delay. Thomas B. Cushman, chairman; Oliver Cowdery, secretary. January 18, 1844.
"This furnishes all the reference in the record to Oliver Cowdery. It will be seen from an examination of the facts that Oliver Cowdery acted as the attorney for these parties, hence the association of his name. It has been claimed that he was a trustee of the church, but the record does not so disclose, and had he been a trustee, that would not necessarily make him a member of the society, for neither the law of the church at the time nor the law of the land made it necessary for a party, in order to be a trustee of property, to be a member of the society.
This is the page we want photographed for a cut. It will convince every man who sees it, as it did Messrs. Yingling and Lang, that Oliver Cowdery was a member of the M. P. church at Tiffin, O.
A man who can even fancy that he sees a shadow of a fact in any of these words that indicates in the remotest degree, that Oliver Cowdery, the Mormon apostle, Second Elder in that church, holding the two priesthoods, the keys of Aaron and Melchisedek both, who believed, if he was still a Mormon, that the Methodists worshipped a false God, had no right to baptize and were bound, as the crow flies, for hades; that he was there simply as an attorney after Methodist money, and was elected and acted as secretary, is the man to send out to find the records that Cook and Peary left at the North Pole, or the grave of Moses, or an [instance] where Bishop Kelley ever fairly reported an interview or fairly represented a document.
I risk the statement, without the least fear of contradiction, that he never heard a man, woman or child at Tiffin, O., or anywhere else on this earth, say or claim that Oliver Cowdery was a "trustee" of the church at Tiffin, O. It is not likely that the great Mogul of Mormonism, an Elder, Bishop, Apostle and High Priest of the Mormon church would have accepted the position of "a trustee" of a small M. P. church property. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Orson Pratt and others would have put the "Danites" on his track for such a prostitution of his position as that. Nor is it likely that a Methodist Protestant church, a church that battles "the bishop idea," would elect the next great Mormon to Joseph Smith a trustee of their property. It would be like putting a fox to guard a chicken coop and putting him on the inside.
"Minutes of a meeting of the
Male Members of the Methodist Protestant Church of Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio,
held pursuant to adjournment.
"The meeting came to order by appointing Rev. Thomas Cushman Chairman, and Oliver Cowdery Secretary. On ascertaining and it appearing that more than two-thirds of the male members of said Society were present, it was on motion,
"Resolved, that we accept the Charter for the legal organization of said Society passed by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio January l9th, 1843, and that we become and now are organized under and in accordance with the provisions of the same.
"On motion, it was further resolved that John Souder, Joseph Walker, William Campbell, John Shinefelt and Benjamin Nye be, and they are hereby appointed and chosen Trustees for said Society for and during the term of one year and until their successors are chosen and accept said office.
"Resolved, That the annual meeting of the male members of this Society be held at this place one year from this date at half past 6 p.m. for the purpose of electing five Trustees for said society, unless previously called by a vote of twothirds of the male members of this Society to be held at another time.
"Resolved, That the Trustees appointed by this meeting be authorized to call a special meeting of this Society for the purpose of adopting such By-laws as may be necessary for the well being of the same.
"Resolved, That the first meeting of the Trustees of this Society, elected by this meeting, be held at the office of O. Cowdery on Tuesday, the 23rd inst., at half ast 6 o'clock p.m.
"Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman and Secretary.
"On motion the meeting adjourned without delay. Thos. B. Cushman, Chairman.
Oliver Cowdery, Secretary.
Jan. 18, 1844."
says: "The members of the xociety convened again."
The record says: "The male members of the Methodist Protestant Church, Tiffin, O., met pursuant to adjournment."
2. Oliver Cowdery was there and was elected secretary and accepted and wrote and signed the minutes.
3. As sure as the sun shines, grass grows and water flows, he was a member of that church.
4. The idea is absurd that a Mormon apostle, one who had the hands of John the Baptist placed upon his head and who was baptized by the Seer and Prophet of Mormonism, could be elected secretary by a M. P. Church board, or that he would accept if elected.
5. The only explanation is: Cowdery has renounced Mormonism and embraced Methodism. On no other ground can it be explained.
A photographic reproduction of this page ought to be scattered all over the earth. It is enough to convince even a "Digger Indian" that Oliver Cowdery joined the M. P. Church at Tiffin, O., and was an active and respected member of it.
Bishop Kelley, and those whom he serves, knows full well what that fact means. It sounds the doom of Mormonism. Hence his compromise with his conscience and his petty juggling of plainest facts.
I now present the positive and direct proof of my proposition. The first witness I introduce is Judge W. Lang, of Tiffin, O.
The Saints' Herald says: "Mr. Yingling also sent to Bishop Kelley a copy of what is contained in the History of Seneca Co., Ohio, on Oliver Cowdery, which is as follows, a transcript of which has been sent to us."
Then follows over a column of quoted matter. At the conclusion the Saints' Herald says:
"We produce this extract because it was written by one who was intimately acquainted with Oliver Cowdery."
Neither Kelley nor the church historian were honest enough to tell the public that the writer was Judge W. Lang. He read law with Cowdery and was intimate with him from the time he moved to, and until he left, Tiffin. Judge Lang says in his article:
"Cowdery entirely abandoned and broke away from all his connections with Mormonism."
I have two letters of Judge Lang's. I published one in full in Tract No. 9, entitled "Oliver Cowdery's Defence." He says in it:
"In the second year of his (Cowdery's) residence here (Tiffin, O.,) he and the family attached themselves to the Methodist Protestant church, where they held fellowship to the time they left for Elkhorn, Wis."
This certainly ought to end the controversy. But I have more evidence and equally as good.
My next witness is Judge W. H. Gibson, of Tiffin, O. He was a personal friend of Cowdery's. They traveled together, practiced law in the same courts, as well as lived in the same city.
I have two of his letters written in August, 1882. He says:
"Oliver Cowdery was an able lawyer, a fine orator, a ready debater and led a blameless life while living in this city. He united with the Methodist Protestant Church and was a consistent member. * * *
"Members of his church inform me that in all his intercourse with the members, he never alluded to Mormonism.
"Judge Lang was a student with Oliver Cowdery and is a most reliable gentleman."
In his letter of August 8, Judge Gibson says: "I have just conversed with a very old and esteemed citizen, G. J. Keen, who besides being a personal and political friend of Oliver Cowdery belonged to the same church."
There is nothing ambiguous about these statements. If we can find out what church Mr. Keen belonged to we can locate Cowdery's membership.
I have two letters of Mrs. Adeline M. Bernard, nee Fuller, "the girl who lived with the Cowderys."
In her letter of March 4, 1881, she was loth to give information along certain lines because, she says: "Mr. Cowdery adopted me as his own child."
In spite of this feeling she states some things that the public has a right to know. They will come out in good time, but just now it is not in order to divert attention from the main issue before us. In her letter of October 3, 1881, she says: "I know that Mr. Cowdery joined the Methodist Protestant Church. He joined the church in 1841, and you can write to Judge W. Lang, of Tiffin, O., and he will search the church records and send you transcript of his (Oliver Cowdery's) membership."
Our readers have the records in full. Kelley's have them so mutilated that the writer, Oliver Cowdery, himself, could not recognize them.
In conclusion, I "clinch every nail" of this proof with extracts from an affidavit made by G. J. Keen, to whom Judge Gibson refers in complimentary terms and [stated] that he and Cowdery belonged to the same church. This affldavit is given in full in tract No. 9 of the anti-Mormon series. I quote only the points that bear directly upon our issue. He states: "Mr. Cowdery opened a law office in Tiffin, and soon effected a partnership with Joel W. Wilson."
In a few years Mr. Cowdery expressed a desire to associate himself with a Methodist Protestant church of this city.
"Rev. John Souder and myself were appointed a committee to wait on Mr. Cowdery and confer with him respecting his connection with Mormonism and the Book of Mormon.
"We accordingly waited on Mr. Cowdery at his residence in Tiffln, and there learned his connection, from him, and his full and final renunciation thereof.
"We then inquired of him if he had any objection to making a public recantation.
"He replied that he had objections; that, in the first place, it could do no good: he that had known several to do so and they always regretted it. And, in the second place, it would have a tendency to draw public attention, invite criticism and bring him into contempt.
"'But,' said he, "nevertheless, if the church require it I will submit to it, but I authorize and desire you and the church to publish and make known my recantation.'
"We did not demand it, but submitted his name to the church, and he was unimously admitted a member thereof.
"At that time he arose and addressed the audience present, admitted his error and implored forgiveness, and said he was sorry and ashamed of his connection with Mormonism.
"He continued his membership while he resided in Tiffin, and became superindent of the Sabbath school, and led an exemplary life while he resided with us. I have lived in this city upwards of fifty-three years, was auditor of this county, was elected to that offlce in 1840.
"I am now in my eighty-third year, and well remember the facts above related."
(Signed.) G. J. Keen.
Sworn before me and subscribed in my presence, this 14th day of April, A. D.
Frank L. Emich,
Notary Public in Seneca, O.
G. J. Keen, Esq., is one of our oldest citizens, is a respectable man, and is highly esteemed. (Signed.) O. T. Lock,
This locks the argument and establishes the fact forever that Oliver Cowdery was a member, and a good member, of the Methodist Protestant Church at Tiffin, O.
Only Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer, could have hit Mormonism a deadlier blow by renouncing it and becoming an active and honored member of a Methodist church.
This act speaks louder against the "high-falutin" claims of Mormonism about angels, gold plates, etc., than all his words do for it. It is a coffln nail for the ism, for Cowdery's testimony has done, and is doing more to build it up than any other man's, excepting possibly Joseph Smith's.
Aid me in putting this tract on "the wings of the wind" and sounding out the fact to all the earth that Oliver Cowdery renounced Mormonism and embraced Methodism.
The proposition is established and it sounds the knell of the ism.
A D D E N D A.
The following correspondence is self-explaining and confirmatory. It proves the proof.
Grayson, Ky., May 18, 1907.
Frank H. Lang, Tiffin, O.
Dear Sir: -- I submit to you the original of a letter purporting to be from your father, Judge Wm. Lang. I published this letter in full in my anti-Mormon tract No. 9, entitled "Oliver Cowdery's Defence." You have a copy of the tract. I ask you three questions with a view of handing out your answer to the public.
"1. Is the letter correctly published in the tract?"
"2. Was the original written by your father?"
"3. Do you know that he was in a position to know that what he states about Oliver Cowdery joining the Methodist church at Tiffin, and living for years a consistent member, was a fact?"
R. B. Neal.
Tiffin, O., May 30,1907.
R. B. Neal, Grayson, Ky.
Esteemed Sir: -- Pardon my delay in answering your letter. Sickness in the family the cause.
In answer to your question No. 1, I would say that father's letter is correctly published in your Tract No. 9.
No. 2. That the letter is unquestionably written by father. He wrote a peculiar hand, easy to read but hard to counterfeit I recognized it at a glance.
No. 3. I know that my father was Oliver Cowdery's confidential friend. Father [studied?] law with him and was in touch with him in every phase of life, both public and private. And if father said that Cowdery joined the Methodist church you can rely upon it as being the truth. Any one knowing father would vouch for his veracity.
The church records here plainly show that he was amember of the Methodist church, and not only a member, but an officer of the church. The records will verify my father's statement.
Very truly yours, Frank H. Lang.
We submit the foregoing to the careful consideration of Bishop Kelley and Church Historian H. C. Smith. If they are among those "who wish to know the truth" and desire their readers also to know the truth, they will read and publish this article in the Saints' Herald. If they refuse, my reading public will brand them as among those "who are seeking for the opposite of truth" and trying to deceive the public.
Grayson. Ky. R. B. NEAL.
Note: Some of the Lang family material in this lengthy article was also used by the Rev. R. B. Neal in his "Tract #9." The article was reprinted, as a tract in 1907 and as a five-part series, in Neal's Sword of Laban, for Oct., 1909 - Mar. 1910.
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