the thinker

Methodist Church

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This page relates to Joseph Smith's (and Book of Mormon witness Oliver Cowdery's) 1828 conversion to the Methodist Church.

The problem with this conversion is that it occurred between the time of Joseph Smith's supposed heavenly visitation from God and Jesus ("The First Vision") in which they commanded Smith NOT to join ANY church for they were an "abomination" to the Lord.

Check out my section on the "First Vision" , and you'll see that Smith never did present a consistent story regarding the First Vision. In fact, at least 3 distinct and often contradicting stories were told by Smith. Smtih's only handwritten account of the event does not even mention the appearance of God or Jesus.

The version of the First Vision that the LDS Church uses was not written until 1838, many years after the event supposedly took place.

“I, with Joshua McKune, a local preacher [Methodist] at that time, I think in 1828, heard on Saturday, that Joe Smith had joined the church on Wednesday afternoon. We thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, dealing in enchantments and bleeding ghosts, in it.”

- The Amboy Journal, June 11, 1879, p. 1

“Emma's uncle, Nathaniel Lewis, preached as a lay minister of the local Methodist Episcopal Church. His congregation met in the homes of the members from Sunday services. On Wednesday a regular circuit preacher visited Harmony. In the spring or summer of 1828 Joseph asked the circuit rider if his name could be included on the class roll of the church. Joseph ‘presented himself in a very serious and humble manner,' and the minister obliged him.”

- Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda K. Newell and Valeen T. Avery, p. 25

“Mr. Cowdery expressed a desire to associate himself with a Methodist Protestant Church of this city... he was unanimously admitted a member thereof.
“At that time he arose and addressed the audience present, admitted his error and implored forgiveness, and said he was sorry and ashamed of his connection with Mormonism.”

- C.J. Keen, Affidavit, as quoted in The True Origin of the Book of Mormon, pp. 58-59

“They [Emma's cousin, Joseph Lewis, and a friend] told him plainly that such character as he... could not be a member of the church unless he broke off his sins by repentance, made public confession, renounced his fraudulent and hypocritical practices, and gave some evidence that he intended to reform and conduct himself somewhat nearer like a Christian than he had done. They gave him his choice to go before the class, and publicly ask to have his name stricken from the class book, or stand a disciplinary investigation.'

- The Amboy Journal, June 11 and April 30, 1879