Oliver Hervy Pliny Cowdery (3 October 1806 – 3 March 1850) was a scribe to Joseph Smith, Jr. during the production of the Book of Mormon. He was one of the Three Witnesses of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon is said to have been translated. Cowdery became the Second Elder and an apostle of the Church of Christ.
- BE IT KNOWN unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen. OLIVER COWDERY DAVID WHITMER MARTIN HARRIS
- Book of Mormon, 1830 Edition, p. 585 (1830)
- 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."
- Letter from Oliver Cowder 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. Published in Letters by Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps on the Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Liverpool, 1844.
- It is only requisite for me to add that the doctrines which I commenced to preach some seven years since are as firmly believed by me as ever; and through persecutions have attended, and the rage and malice of men been heaped upon me, I feel equally as firm in the great and glorious cause as when first I received my mission from the holy messenger.
- Valedictory, dated February 1837, Messenger and advocate 3, p. 548. (August 1837)
- Cowdery’s 1837 editorial farewell in the Kirtland Church newspaper.
- When he [Joseph Smith] was there we had some conversation in which in every instance I did not fail to affirm that which 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 the matter, and as I supposed was admitted by himself.
- Letter from Cowdery to his brother Warren A. Cowdery concerning a discussion that he had with Joseph Smith, Jr. regarding Fanny Alger, who is considered to be Smith’s first plural wife. Quoted in Brodie, No Man Knows My History, p. 459. (January 21, 1838)
- I beheld with my eyes. And handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interpreters.
- Miller, Diary, quoted in Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p. 78 (October 21, 1848)
- I have not come to seek place, nor to interfere with the business and calling of those men who have borne the burden since the death of Joseph. I throw myself at your feet, and wish to be one of your number, and be a mere member of the Church, and my mere asking to be baptized is an end to all pretensions to authority.
- Cowdery's statement upon requesting rebaptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Report to Presidents Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and the Authorities of the Church, (April 5, 1849).
- While darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people, long after the authority to administer in holy things had been taken away, the Lord opened the heavens and sent forth his word for the salvation of Israel. In fulfillment of the sacred scripture, the everlasting gospel was proclaimed by the mighty angel (Moroni), who, clothed with the authority of his mission, gave glory to God in the highest. This gospel is the ‘stone taken from the mountain without hands.’ John the Baptist, holding the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood; Peter, James and John, holding the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood, have also ministered for those who shall be heirs of salvation, and with these ministrations ordained men to the same priesthoods. These priesthoods, with their authority, are now, and must continue to be, in the body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Blessed is the elder who has received the same, and thrice blessed and holy is he who shall endure to the end. Accept assurances, dear brother, of the unfeigned prayer of him who, in connection with Joseph the Seer, was blessed with the above ministrations and who earnestly and devoutly hopes to meet you in the celestial glory.
- Statement from Cowdery to Elder Samuel W. Richards, Oliver Cowdery’s Last Letter, Deseret News, (March 22, 1884)