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Averral of Oliver Cowdrey--Eyewitness of an Angel--As An Attorney in Court

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Art Bulla

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Some time after leaving the Church, Oliver Cowdery, who had studied law, became prosecuting attorney in one of the counties of the state of Michigan. During the course of a murder trial the attorney for the defendant challenged Oliver Cowdery in the following words:  "May it please the court, and gentlemen of the jury, I challenge Mr. Cowdery, since he seems to know so much about the poor defendant, to tell us something about his connection with Joe Smith, and the digging out of the hill of the Mormon Bible, and how Mr. Cowdery helped Joe Smith to defraud the American people out of a whole lot of money selling the Mormon Bible and telling them that an angel appeared to them from heaven, dressed in white clothes."  “Finally, Oliver Cowdery arose calm as a summer morning. I was within three feet of him. There was no hesitation, no fear, no anger in his voice, as he said: 'May it please the court, and gentlemen of the jury, my brother attorney on the other side has charged me with connection with Joseph Smith and the golden Bible. The responsibility has been placed upon me, and I cannot escape reply. Before God and man I dare not deny what I have said, and what my testimony contains as written and printed on the front page of the Book of Mormon. May it please your honor and gentlemen of the jury, this I say, I saw the angel and heard his voice-how can I deny it? It happened in the daytime when the sun was shining bright in the firmament; not in the night when I was asleep. That glorious messenger from heaven, dressed in white, standing above the ground, in a glory I have never seen anything to compare with, the sun insignificant in comparison, and this personage told us if we denied that testimony there is no forgiveness in this life nor in the world to come. Now, how can I deny it-I dare not; I will not!” (As related by former Juvenile Court Judge C. M. Nielsen of Murray, Utah)

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