Most people know Oliver Cowdery as the principal scribe of the Book of Mormon. You might also know that he is one of the three witnesses and saw the ancient Book of Mormon plates. He also helped supervise the publication of the Book of Mormon, and was a founding member of the Church on April 6, 1830.

But here are three facts about Oliver you probably did not know . . .

1. Oliver Cowdery was just 22 years old when he acted as scribe for Joseph
Most young men who serve missions are not much younger than Oliver was when he served as scribe for Joseph. Oliver was born in October 1806 (almost one year after Joseph Smith was born) and started working as Joseph’s scribe in April 1829.

2. Oliver Cowdery was Joseph Smith’s distant cousin
Although he was a cousin to Joseph, the two had never met before the Book of Mormon was translated.

3. Oliver Cowdery was married to the sister of David Whitmer (another of the Three Witnesses)
Cowdery married Elizabeth Ann Whitmer in 1832. They had six children, but unfortunately only a daughter, Maria Louise, lived past early childhood. Elizabeth and Maria Louise died two days apart in 1892 and were buried together. Oliver had no other descendants.

You can learn more about Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris in Witnesses, an epic true story of how Harris, Cowdery and Whitmer became witnesses to the gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.

Their statement of what occurred, and its veracity, has been published with every copy of the Book of Mormon since 1830. Many people know the story contained in their statement, but not many know the full story on how they became witnesses or why they chose to leave the church they were intimately involved in creating.

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