Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 December 1829

is going directly to your country but knowing that if a few  lines from you under my hand is as gladly rec[e]ived by you as one  from you would at all times be by me I cannot in duty to my fee lings let this oppertunity <pass> u[n]improved Your great anxiety  will probably be to know of the progress of the work in  the which we are <So deeply> engaged and possibly our Souls wellfare al[l]  of which Father can make known unto you it may  look rather Strange to you to find that I have So Soon  become a printer and you may cast in your mind what I  Shall become next but be asured my cahngeing [changing] business has  not in any degree I trust taken my mind from meditateing  upon my mission which I have been called to fulfill nor  of changing Slacking my diligence in prayr and fasting but  but Some times I feel almost as though I could quit time and  fly away and be at rest in the Bosom of my Redeemer for  the many deep feelings of Sorrow and the many long Struglings  in prayr of Sorrow for the Sins of my fellow beings and  also for those whose pretend to be of my faith almost as it  were Seperateth my spirit from my mortal body do not thin k by this my Brother that I am would find give you to und erstand that I am freed from Sin and temptations no not  by any means that is what I would that you Should unders stand is my anxiety at some times to be at rest in King  in the Paradice of my God is to be freed from sin tem ptation &c. You have our prayrs and our best wishes
Yours in Christ Amen
Joseph Smith Jr
P S we Send our respects to Emma &c—— [p. 5]
Revealing his own spiritual status to JS, then in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Oliver Cowdery wrote this letter from Manchester, New York, at a time of startling developments related to the printing of the Book of Mormon. Adopting the pseudonym Obadiah Dogberry, Jun., Palmyra, New York, resident Abner Cole declared in the 9 December 1829 issue of his weekly newspaper, The Reflector, that he would begin publishing extracts from the “Gold Bible.” Cole produced his paper at E. B. Grandin’s printing office in Palmyra, which gave him access to the pages of the Book of Mormon then in press.
While Cowdery’s letter focused on his personal feelings and made no specific mention of the Cole development, it indicated that Joseph Smith Sr. was in route to his son’s home in Harmony. JS soon returned to New York with his father and confronted Cole.
Cowdery’s original letter is not available. JS himself later copied it into his Letterbook 1, probably in late 1832 or early 1833.