Hey guys, so in the past, we’ve talked a lot about the priesthood. If that term is unfamiliar to you, go watch these episodes. Latter-day Saints believe that the lower, or Aaronic, priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by the resurrected John the Baptist on May 15, 1829. The higher, or Melchizedek, priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery soon after that by the ancient apostles Peter, James, and John. Many critics, on the other hand, believe Joseph made these angelic experiences up in order to lend credibility to his claims of authority, largely because descriptions of these experiences don’t show up until a few years after they were supposed to have happened. Let’s talk about it!
The bottom line is that I can’t prove to anyone watching that Joseph and Oliver were visited by angels. That seems to be pretty par for the course when it comes to angelic visitations. Where you land on this issue will depend on how you choose to interpret the history and who you choose to believe. Personally, I consider this controversy a non-issue because if Joseph did just make these experiences up, then Oliver Cowdery, who witnessed these events, had to have been a no-good dirty-rotten liar-liar pants on fire. And that just flies in the face of everything Oliver stood for.
Oliver Cowdery was a stand-up guy. And he wasn’t afraid to stand up even to Joseph Smith. He called Joseph out when he saw things he didn’t like. That’s partially why Oliver ends up excommunicated in 1838. If Oliver had been a co-conspirator, excommunicating would have been an extremely risky move, as it would put Oliver in a prime position to spill the beans and throw Joseph under the bus. But he doesn’t.
To read the entire article: Saints Unscripted/Faith & Beliefs