From the Juvenile Instructor blog, we have an important new finding regarding a Book of Momron witness. See “1829 Mormon Discovery Brought to you by…Guest Erin Jennings” which shares news about the discovery of an important early letter from Oliver Cowdery regarding the Book of Mormon. The letter had been printed before, but the original was only recently discovered through painstaking work.
Daniel Peterson notes a key learning from this letter in his brief summary at Sic et Non:
Dated 9 November 1829 — which is to say, nearly five months before
the actual publication of the Book of Mormon — the account is contained
in a letter that was evidently written by Oliver Cowdery to a Mr.
Mr. Blatchly had evidently suggested that the Book of Mormon, and the
testimonies of the Witnesses to it, might rest upon “juggling.” Noah
Webster’s 1828 American dictionary defines the verb to juggle
as “1. To play tricks by slight of hand; to amuse and make sport by
tricks, which make a false show of extraordinary powers. 2. To practice
artifice or imposture.”
Oliver Cowdery responded to Mr. Blatchly as follows (with editorial
notes from Mr. Blatchly enclosed within brackets), referring to his
encounter with the plates and the angel as one of the Three Witnesses:
“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, [who] ascend [descended I suppose] out of the midst of heaven.
“Now if this is human juggling — judge ye.”