Oliver Cowdery Describes
A Visit With An "Angel of God"
Oliver Cowdery was an important figure in the early history of our church. He was in many ways a primary assistant to Joseph Smith, Jr. and was a primary scribe in writing the
manuscript of the Book or Mormon as Joseph Smith dictated the translation.
In the letter below he describes a remarkable event that occured in May of 1829 in which Joseph and Oliver were visited by an "angel of
"LETTERS OF OLIVER COWDERY"
Letter No. 1
Norton, Medina Co., Ohio,
Sabbath Evening, September 7th, 1834.
To W. W. Phelps; Dear Brother:
. . . The Lord, who is rich in mercy, and ever willing to answer the consistent prayer of the humble . .
.condescended to manifest to us his will. On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the vail was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and
delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance. What joy! what wonder! what amazement . . .
our eyes beheld - , our ears heard, as in the blaze of day; yes, more, above the
glitter of the May sunbeam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature. Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, "I am thy fellow servant," dispelled every fear. We
listened – we gazed – we admired. 'Twas the voice of the angel from glory; 'twas a message from the Most High. And as we heard we rejoiced, while his love was enkindled upon our souls, and we were wrapped in the vision
of the Almighty. Where was room of doubt? No where; uncertainty had fled; doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever.
But, dear brother, think, further think for a moment, what joy
filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the holy priesthood, as he said: "Upon you my fellow
servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon the earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness."
I shall not
attempt topaint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me whn I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, can begin to
clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage. No; nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they
were delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Man may deceive his fellow man, deception may follow deception . . . till nought but fiction feeds the many, . . . but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one
ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind. The assurance that we were in the
presence of an angel; the certainty that we heard the voice of Jesus, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me past description, and I shall ever look upon this
expression of the Savior's goodness with wonder and thanksgiving while I am permitted to tarry, and in those mansions where perfection dwells and sin never comes, I hope to adore in that day which shall never cease . . .