Writings of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer

Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer — these three men hold a unique place in Latter-day saint history. After Joseph and Oliver, David Whitmer was the third person to be baptized. These three men were the first to behold the gold plates and the artifacts of the Book of Mormon, as shown in vision by the angel. These three men were the only three men whom the Lord called Apostles. The Lord only referred to the other twelve traveling high councilmen as “disciples”.

Oliver and David also left us some valuable writings, which shed additional light on the foundation of the Restoration, and which deserve to be read and considered.

Besides the handful of scriptures which the angel quoted to Joseph Smith when he was being prepared to receive the gold plates, he received a total of some 40 scriptures from the angel. Oliver Cowdery recounts these scriptures and provides additional details of how Joseph received and translated the plates.

David Whitmer gives his final witness of his role in witnessing the plates, the translation of the Book of Mormon, and first-hand accounts of the establishment of the church. Portions of David Whitmer’s testimony may be controversial to some because he outlines how Joseph followed the arm of flesh and succumbed to personal pride. He provides historical and scriptural support.

Many of us today realize that it is a mistake to gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, and then to blindly extrapolate that testimony into believing that the LDS church is true and that everything its leaders do is inspired of God.

David Whitmer points out that the early saints made the same mistake. They gained a testimony that the Book of Mormon was of God, then blindly extrapolated that testimony into believing that everything the Joseph Smith did, for that point on, was inspired of God. David Whitmer admits that he made that mistake, along with Oliver and all the early members.

He points out that even though King David and Solomon did wrong in having many wives and concubines, the books of Psalms and Proverbs are beautiful books of poetry and wisdom, which we revere today from the man who was after the Lord’s own heart and the man who was the wisest man who ever lived. If we can receive wisdom and revelation from these books, we can also receive wisdom and revelation from the most correct book, and respect Joseph Smith for having translated it.

Both these men had fallings-out with Joseph Smith, but they never denied their testimonies of the Book of Mormon.

Scriptures Given by the Angel to Joseph.pdf

An Address to All Believers in Christ.pdf

A “Special Witness” of the “Name of Christ”

There has been some discussion on social media about some church officer, having the title of “apostle”, declaring himself a “special witness of the name of Christ”. People were outraged, whether it was feigned or real, at the thought of somebody not only declaring himself to be an apostle, but calling himself a “special witness of the name of Christ”, rather than a “special witness of Christ”, as if this were something new, and a demotion in calling.

The man is correct. He was called to a church office, originally held by twelve men, who were called as “traveling councilors” and called to become “apostles”. They were to become “special witnesses of the Name of Christ” – special because this calling differs from all others in the church, and of the name of Christ, because this, too, is a special designation and the topic of this post.

My goal in posting this was to educate people about this calling by calling upon the scriptures to do so. To illustrate the low level of knowledge in the church, by presenting this information, I was accused of “gaslighting” by somebody who didn’t have the grounding to tell the difference. This, in itself, is sad.

My purpose is this is not to judge the man, whether he is in fact a true apostle, or not. My purpose is to explain and defend the designation “the Name of Christ”. It does not belong in the gutter of unbelief. It deserves the highest honor, recognition, and worship of which we are capable.

This designation has not changed since this revelation was given in 1835:

D&C 107:23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world–thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

The Lord never designates the “twelve traveling councilors” AS “Apostles”, but they are called TO BE “Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ”. They never rose up to fulfill this calling because they never followed Oliver Cowdery’s (who was an Apostle) charge to seek their ordination at the hand of the Lord.

If you understand the full meaning of the word “Name” in Hebrew. It is more than just a label. It DESCRIBES the nature, mission, office, calling, and role of a person, among other things.

The Name of Christ is not the same as the name “Christ”.

It is a Name above all other names. It is the only name under which we may be saved. It is the Name by which we may ask and receive. It is the Name by which we gather so that the Lord may be in our midst.

It is the Name which we witness that we are willing to take upon ourselves. But the Name is actually placed upon us by the Lord, himself. A true Apostle is a witness that he has actually stood in the Presence of Christ and received that Name from the Lord.

How do I know this? To receive this Witness and to take upon me this Name was the desire of my heart, and in response, the Lord sought me out and found me

D&C 18:27 Yea, even twelve; and the Twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name; and the Twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart.

D&C 18:28 And if they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature.

D&C 18:37 And now, behold, I give unto you, Oliver Cowdery, and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the Twelve, who shall have the desires of which I have spoken;

D&C 18:38 And by their desires and their works you shall know them.

Here are a few scriptures illustrating the purpose and nature of that Name:

2 Nephi 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism–yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

2 Nephi 32:9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

2 Nephi 33:12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

Enos 1:15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.

Mosiah 3:17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

Mosiah 5:8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.

Mosiah 5:9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.

Mosiah 5:10 And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.

Alma 5:38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.

3 Nephi 27:5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;

Mormon 8:38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies–because of the praise of the world?

Mormon 9:21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

D&C 46:31 And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit;

Book of Commandments 15:23 Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent, and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

Book of Commandments 24:30 Behold whosoever humbleth himself before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto the church, that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him unto the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, then shall they be received unto baptism into the church of Christ.

To be a witness of the Name of Christ is not only to testify of the reality of Christ, having seen Him and having receive authority from Him, but is to be a living example of Christ in every way.

Speaking to the 12 disciples to the Nephites, the Lord said:

3 Nephi 27:27 And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.

Keys of Knowledge to be Learned from the Endowment

The first thing that you should know about the endowment is that everything is not a literal, but a symbolic representation. The endowment is not a saving ordinance, but it is a symbolic depiction of a saving ordinance which should take place throughout your life as you come to Christ. I pray that as I present some of those symbols and what the Lord has taught me about them that you will see these representations, not as beliefs, but as ways of understanding the symbols. You can understand them on many levels, and there are many ways to interpret them. Use these ideas as suggestions that the Lord can show you the true principles behind them, that you may use them in your life.

We are forced to labor under very difficult circumstances. We are taught by fallible men. We have poorly translated and incomplete scriptures. We have to contend with the vagaries of our language. And, last of all, we are bound by false traditions promoted by false, apostate religions. And yet, the Lord tells us that we have sufficient to enable us to lay hold of the iron rod and walk the path back to Him. Given all this, why should we expect our temple ordinances to be pure and uncorrupted? It’s a measure of our faith that even when given insufficient information, we can still step forward and act boldly and valiantly. None of this is a barrier to the Lord. By His grace, He will compensate for our lack of pure knowledge by giving us pure revelation. The Endowment

A “Spiritual translation of Isaiah, Chapter 28”

“These are all major blessings and gifts that the Lord bestows upon His servants for the purpose of building the Kingdom; but this gift has a personal application in a lesser form. The gift of Translation is helpful when studying scripture. For instance, many have struggled with Isaiah. Using this gift, asking the Lord in faith for permission to understand the intent of the words, can lead to your personal spiritual translation of these books. Put away your study manuals and lean upon the Lord for revelation. This gift, used for personal use is appropriate when the Lord has given express permission and not for the purpose of simply sharing your opinions. In this case, it would be taking the Lord’s name in vain. As with all gifts of the Spirit we must seek permission from the Lord.” –

PR, A Witness to the Gifts of the Spirit

This is one of the chapters of Isaiah that PR did not translate. I have often made “spiritual translations” scripture before. It really helps you to understand it, and it is really useful, even if you are the only one who reads it. I love the words of Isaiah. Just putting his words into modern English puts a vivid picture in your mind. My favorite lines in this are:

  • “to perform his act, his unusual act, and do his work, his awesome work.”  – Awesome is a popular, but over-used word, but it really fits here
  • “This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” – This also describes the Lord at work. He plans, he counsels, and his work is excellent. So is the work of Isaiah. I hope I can measure up to it in some tiny way.
  • The first verse was fun. It talks about the shiny gold decorations that the “drunkards of Ephraim” like to decorate the tops of their buildings with. The ones that get struck by lightning or toppled by earthquakes

1 Woe to the crowns of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim! Their crowning splendor is now the foolish [nabel meaning ‘foolish’ or ‘drooping’] gold decorations [tsiyts From a Hebrew word meaning to ‘blossom’ or ‘sparkle’. A metaphor for shining thing (of gold plate on high priest’s mitre). Isaiah was simply describing what he saw in vision. Wonder what he saw?] so cherished by the fat proud ones [drunkards drunk on their own wine]. [2 Nephi 28:14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms …]

2 My Lord has held back in reserve to come forth one mighty and strong [a servant, sent from God to deliver a message by the power of God]: like a tempest of hail of a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters, he will bring their false traditions of men down to the ground by his hand [the power of his words, which are the words of Christ]. [D&C 85:7. And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God …] [teach and administer the ordinances of adoption into the family of God]

3 The traditions of men that the drunkards of Ephraim are so proud of shall be trampled underfoot.

4 And the foolish gold decorations [see above], like crowns of pride, their idols, shall be like the first-ripe fruit before summer harvest: he who sees it devours it the moment he has hold of it.

5 In that day the Lord of Hosts, alone, shall be as a crown of honor and the object of praise to the remnant of his people:

6 and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle [persuade others to a knowledge of the truth] in their gathering places.

7 Nevertheless, even they [the remnant] have indulged in wine [false traditions] and are giddy with strong drink: priests and prophets have gone astray through liquor. They are intoxicated with wine and stagger because of strong drink; they err as seers; they blunder in their decisions. [2 Nephi 28:14 … they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.]

8 For all tables are filled with vomit [traditions and teachings passed on from the learning of men, not taught through the Spirit]; no spot is without excrement.

9 To whom shall he give instruction? To whom shall he enlighten with revelation? Weanlings weaned from milk, those just taken from the breast? [Young men and young women who have been taught the basics of the true Gospel and who hunger and thirst for more.]

10 For it is but line upon line, line upon line [teach the Doctrine of Christ], precept upon precept, [build precept upon precept] precept upon precept [then, teach the Everlasting Covenant]; a trifle here, a trifle there [He will teach from the revelations of God, taught so that people can receive them but not run faster than they have strength].

11 Therefore, by incomprehensible speech [His servants will teach the truth in all plainness, teaching principles, not clichés.] and a strange tongue [They will teach in a language which the people have not heard before, but will sound familiar to them.] must he speak to these people,

12 to whom he said, this is rest; let the weary rest! This is a respite! But they would not listen. [But they hardened their hearts, taking too lightly that which they had received, i.e. the fullness of the Gospel and the Everlasting Covenant, therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest, which rest is the fulness of his glory.]

13 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

14 Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, you scoffers who preside over these people in Jerusalem. [The leaders of the church]

15 You have supposed, by taking refuge in deception and hiding behind falsehoods, to have covenanted with Death [Any covenant not made through the Holy Spirit of Promise is a covenant with death.], or reached an agreement with Sheol [the world], that, should a flooding scourge sweep through the earth, it shall not reach you. [You think you will be safe.]

16 Therefore, thus says my Lord Jehovah: I establish in Zion a stone, a tried and tested stone, a glorious cornerstone, a sure foundation. Whoever is faithful to it will not act hastily.

17 I will make justice the standard of measure, righteousness the standard of weight; a hail shall sweep away your shelter of lies and the judgments of God shall overflow your hiding place.

18 Your covenant with Death shall prove null and void, your agreements with Sheol [the world] have no effect: when the flooding scourge sweeps through, you shall be overrun by it.

19 As often as it sweeps through, you shall be seized by it: morning after morning it shall sweep through, by day and by night it shall seize you; it shall cause terror merely to hear news of it.

20 Then shall come to pass the proverb: The couch is too short to stretch out on, the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in. [The doctrine that is offered is not enough to cover the spiritual needs of the seeker. The fullness of the Gospel is not taught. People are leaving the church and going elsewhere because they “want more”.]

21 For Jehovah will rise up as he did on Mount Perazim [A battle where the Lord led King David into battle where he defeated the Philistines and burned their idols.], and be stirred to anger, as in the Valley of Gibeon [Another battle where the Lord and his hidden army of heaven assisted King David to defeat the Philistines.] — to perform his act, his unusual act, and do his work, his awesome work.

22 Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made stronger, for I have heard utter destruction decreed by my Lord, the Lord of Hosts, upon the whole earth.

23 Give heed, and hear my voice! Be attentive, and listen to what I say!

24 Will the plowman be forever plowing to sow seed, disking and harrowing the same ground? [Does the farmer do nothing except plow all day and yet expect a harvest?]

25 When he has smoothed its surface, does he not sprinkle fennel and scatter cumin? Does he not demarcate wheat from barley and plant buckwheat in its own plot? [Rightly dividing the word of God with discernment.]

26 His God instructs him, directing him in the proper procedure. [God is giving a simple lesson of a farmer.]

27 Fennel is not threshed with a sharp-toothed sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin: fennel is beaten out with a stick and cumin with a rod.

28 Domestic grain is ground; one does not go on endlessly threshing it. It cannot be ground by driving horse and threshing cart over it. [Teach all of the Gospel, so that people learn the complete path to salvation. Do not damn them by just repeating the same basic lessons over and over again. Precept must be added upon precept.]

29 This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

Update to “The Scripture Chaser”

This is version 1.0.3.0. Here is a list of changes

  • Included Book of Commandments
  • Access Strong’s words without having to generate a web page
  • Ability to back up and restore comments and history
  • “Word Tools” – including Soundex (Words that sound alike.)

Here is a link to my original blog with all the links to download the program, help PDF, and a link to how-to-use videos on You Tube.

Two Kinds of Peace

There are at least two different kinds of peace. There is the peace that the world offers, and there is the peace Christ offers (“not as the world giveth”). The Hebrew word Shalom implies not only peace for wholeness.

What is the true meaning of shalom?

According to Strong’s Concordance (7965), shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.


You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. Isa 26:3


If you look up the Hebrew for “perfect peace”, this is the translation for “shalom shalom”.

“The Scripture Chaser”

  • Have you ever competed in a “Scripture Chase”? And won? Or Lost?
  • Have you ever been assigned to teach a lesson or give a talk on a given subject and wanted to quote some relevant scriptures?
  • Have you ever been curious, or even desperate, to find an answer in the scriptures? To study a principle in-depth?
  • Have you ever wondered what a particular word in the scriptures meant, or how the verse read in other translations?
  • Have you ever used the church’s Scripture Library, tried to find a link to other scriptural passages, but gave up in frustration because all you could find were links to Conference talks?

If you said “yes” to any of the above questions, “The Scripture Chaser ” may be your answer. If you said “no” to all of the above questions, “The Scripture Chaser” may still have the answer to a question you haven’t yet asked.

Do you believe in personal revelation, but aren’t very good at it, but you do believe that the Lord could prompt you with a one-word answer? Then, pray for that word, and search for that word here. Let us do the “chasing”, while you read, think, and pray. Spend some time with the Lord and His words. Have an interactive experience linking one word to another. The Gospel writer, John wrote that “In the beginning was the Word.” Maybe that one word is all you need.

The purpose of this program is to search a set of documents and serve as a concordance, search tool, and document reader. While this program has the ability to search and display any documents which can be prepared and added to a database, “The Scripture Chaser” includes the LDS Standard Works and the Lectures on Faith.

The best way to experience this software is to start using it. It’s like searching the Internet, only you’re not online. Everything is local. No spying. No collecting your personal data. Nothing to get in the way between you and the words of the Lord. Nobody needed to show you how to use Google, and you can’t break the Internet just by searching. The worst that can happen is you don’t find what you are looking for, so you try searching again. This software is designed to draw you into an interactive experience, so just read a couple of introductory paragraphs and then start searching.

I found a better website to host the helpfile and the setup. Let me know if you have any problems.

If you want to get a preview, here is a link to the Helpfile.

Here is a link to the software.

Links to You Tube Instructional Videos

The Scripture Chaser Playlist on You Tube

I have been testing this software for a month. If you run into any problems, please respond with a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Sorry, but this program only runs on Windows, not on Apple, the Internet, or your phone. The software is free. I tried to make it as simple as possible. The setup is not fancy, but it will install and uninstall OK.

Here are the various pieces of the software:

  • Software – 20 MB – Family members can each have their own copy or share the same copy. 
  • Database (Concordance.db) – 65 MB – The database is the same for everybody, but it does keep a record of your individual searches, so you may want a separate copy of the database for each person. To do this, make a separate copy of the database and create a different profile that points to the new database. I do not recommend editing the database manually, unless you know what you are doing, because you could cause the program to stop working. If this happens, you will need to uninstall and reinstall the program. If you do this, the only thing you lose will be your history and any comments you have made.
  • Results – A folder that contains a collection of web pages, where you save all the results from your searches.
  • Profile – Each person has their own profile, stored on an .ini file. This file controls where each person’s database and results may be found.

Help.pdf