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William Schryver

Document "ms D 3408 Fd 4"

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I am initiating this thread in order to fulfil a promise made earlier this week. After a suitable period of time for comment, I would request that the moderators lock it.

After consulting again with my contact who has access to protected materials in the Church Archives, I hereby provide this report on the smoldering issue of the document referenced in endnote 22 of chapter 8 of Dan Vogelâ??s Joseph Smith - The Making of a Prophet.

The document in question is: Ms d 3408 fd 4.

According to the Church Historianâ??s Office, this document is not now and, to the best of their knowledge, has never been associated with or catalogued with the Joseph Smith Egyptian papers.

A photo of the document was included on a microfilm dated 09/14/1956 that was pirated from the CHO. The microfilm in question contains a hodge podge of various historical documents. Contrary to some reports, the microfilm does NOT contain the entire collection of the Joseph Smith Egyptian papers. Neither W. W. Phelpsâ?? Ms. #1, nor Willard Richardsâ?? Ms. #4 are included on the film. Williamsâ?? Ms. #2 appears in order, pages 1 â?? 4. Parrishâ??s Ms. #3 appears in the following page order: 5, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. It appears that the film contains partial copies of both the bound and unbound Egyptian grammar papers, as well as some images of papyrus fragments, but obviously not those included in the Metropolitan Museum collection donated to the Church in 1967.

The so-called â??Cowderyâ? document (Ms d 3408 fd 4) appeared on the microfilm between some pages of the Egyptian grammar documents and some fragments of Egyptian papyrus. Following the papyrus fragments are some documents written â??in poorly-formed Arabic,â? which were also never associated with nor catalogued with the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers. Also included in the microfilm are pages of a late-19th century Egyptian grammar written in German, and a mid-19th century Egyptian grammar written in French. Neither of these Egyptian grammars are associated with the Joseph Smith Egyptian papers, but originate from elsewhere in the archives.

It appears that someone produced a roll of microfilm containing objects of personal interest, rather than it being the product of a systematic archive of documents. The items appearing on the film were drawn from various locations in the archives.

A copy of this roll of microfilm was pirated from the Church Archives and it, or a copy of it, somehow ended up in the possession of the Tanners.

Contrary to popular belief, the document is not conclusively known to be in the hand of Oliver Cowdery. The phrase â??made by Oliverâ? does appear on the document, but no orthographic analysis has ever been performed to determine the author of the handwriting appearing thereon.

The document in question does not, as reported in The Making of a Prophet, contain the title â??Characters on the book of Mormonâ?. That phrase is unique to a document in the hand of Frederick G. Williams (MS 4583 box 1 fd 5):

MS4583_extract.jpg

which contains characters similar to those written on Ms d 3408 fd 4.

In summary, despite my acknowledgment that his confusion concerning its location may have been influenced by the contents of the pirated Tanner microfilm described above, I will simply note, without elaboration, that Vogelâ??s description of the document contains inaccuracies and his endnote concerning its location is not accurate. Other than that, I draw no further conclusions regarding the factual accuracy of his book, nor the personal integrity of the author. Nor can it be shown that I ever did, notwithstanding the claims to the contrary made by Mr. Vogel and many of his supporters.

I might also note that, although my source for all of this information desires to remain unattributed, I will state that the individual in question is sufficiently authorized to obtain documents from the vault, including those referenced above. Said individual retrieved this day, Thursday, October 5, 2006, at my request, document Ms d 3408 fd 4. Said individual, at my request, also retrieved the microfilm in question and examined its contents, and immediately thereafter provided directly to me the information I have reported above. Anyone seeking to dispute the accuracy and reliability of my report is hereby invited to go to the Church Historian's Office in Salt Lake City, UT, to inquire for themselves. Anyone choosing to so do will find the information I have provided to be accurate in all its essential details, and according to the information I was given.

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{snip} In summary, despite my acknowledgment that his confusion concerning its location may have been influenced by the contents of the pirated Tanner microfilm described above, I will simply note, without elaboration, that Vogelâ??s description of the document contains inaccuracies and his endnote concerning its location is not accurate. Other than that, I draw no further conclusions regarding the factual accuracy of his book, nor the personal integrity of the author. Nor can it be shown that I ever did, notwithstanding the claims to the contrary made by Mr. Vogel and many of his supporters.

I might also note that, although my source for all of this information desires to remain unattributed, I will state that the individual in question is sufficiently authorized to obtain documents from the vault, including those referenced above. Said individual retrieved this day, Thursday, October 5, 2006, at my request, document Ms d 3408 fd 4. Said individual, at my request, also retrieved the microfilm in question and examined its contents, and immediately thereafter provided directly to me the information I have reported above. Anyone seeking to dispute the accuracy and reliability of my report is hereby invited to go to the Church Historian's Office in Salt Lake City, UT, to inquire for themselves. Anyone choosing to so do will find the information I have provided to be accurate in all its essential details.

Not exactly a let serve.

It makes me want to know all the more how the Tanners, from whom DV apparently got the information, acquired the reportedly pirated microfilm.

Anybody have any intelligence on that score?

USU "We leave our ethical fingerprints on everything we touch" 78

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It makes me want to know all the more how the Tanners, from whom DV apparently got the information, acquired the reportedly pirated microfilm.

Anybody have any intelligence on that score?

USU "We leave our ethical fingerprints on everything we touch" 78

I'm informed that we need to first talk to a certain archvist with very little hair.

But, not being one to start unfounded rumours, I'll leave the sleuthing to those

MB members who live within walking distance of Temple Square.

Uncle "Slaughter no librarians on my account, Brother" Dale

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I don't know what brought this post about but I find the abuse of this privilege very upsetting. I can't help but wonder - if a person will violate the trust given them to access the archives for the sake of a friend on a message board - what else might they do with what they have access to? At least now we know how the Tanners may have obtained their pirated information. I just wonder what dollar amount may have been attached.

This is just dirty.

I can't help but think that Church Headquarters needs to be contacted about this.

They should be able to determine which worker accessed document Ms d 3408 fd 4, Thursday, October 5, 2006.

This persons privileges should be immediately revoked.

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Abuse of the priviledge by whom? Will or the person who pirated the microfilm?

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Abuse of the priviledge by whom? Will or the person who pirated the microfilm?

Who ever his "friend" was that accessed this information for him. If he was meant to have access to this information then the church would have given him direct access.

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Who ever his "friend" was that accessed this information for him. If he was meant to have access to this information then the church would have given him direct access.

The document was not confidential. It is not unusual for people to request church historians to look up something for them. The historians know what is and isn't to be made accessible. I assume the friend who is doing research (may be a church historian/archivist) knows about the rules and hasn't violated any of them.

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Who ever his "friend" was that accessed this information for him. If he was meant to have access to this information then the church would have given him direct access.

GLSU - you may be drawing a hasty conclusion on a couple of counts:

1. Maybe it's not any breech of use by the "friend" -- where do you get that it is?

2. Maybe Will could have gotten access but doesn't live nearby?

I don't know the answers but am less likely to rush to judgement than you are.

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I don't know what brought this post about but I find the abuse of this privilege very upsetting. I can't help but wonder - if a person will violate the trust given them to access the archives for the sake of a friend on a message board - what else might they do with what they have access to? At least now we know how the Tanners may have obtained their pirated information. I just wonder what dollar amount may have been attached.

This is just dirty.

I can't help but think that Church Headquarters needs to be contacted about this.

They should be able to determine which worker accessed document Ms d 3408 fd 4, Thursday, October 5, 2006.

This persons privileges should be immediately revoked.

Will made it all sound privileged, but anyone can do it. So, nothing nefarious happened.

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Will made it all sound privileged, but anyone can do it. So, nothing nefarious happened.

Thanks, Dan. As a "frequent flyer" there, you would know. :P

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I don't know what brought this post about but I find the abuse of this privilege very upsetting. I can't help but wonder - if a person will violate the trust given them to access the archives for the sake of a friend on a message board - what else might they do with what they have access to? At least now we know how the Tanners may have obtained their pirated information. I just wonder what dollar amount may have been attached.

This is just dirty.

I can't help but think that Church Headquarters needs to be contacted about this.

They should be able to determine which worker accessed document Ms d 3408 fd 4, Thursday, October 5, 2006.

This persons privileges should be immediately revoked.

Your insinuation is baseless -- and somewhat paranoid and ridiculous.

In the first place, it was no mere "worker", as you falsely imply. No mere "worker" in the archives has access to the vault.

Secondly, it was nothing underhanded or "secretive". The individual in question simply does not want to be dragged into a silly message board feud. I assure you it was all on the "up and up", and that (as I suggested) anyone could go to SLC and receive the same information that I got.

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Will,

Thanks for the research and corrections. Most of all, thanks for acknowledging that my mistake about the location of the document had a reasonable explanation. I don't know how the mistake about the identification happened. Hey, I make mistakes.

If you donâ??t mind, I have a few questions about your research.

You neglected to state where the document is. Is it in another collection?

It appears that someone produced a roll of microfilm containing objects of personal interest, rather than it being the product of a systematic archive of documents. The items appearing on the film were drawn from various locations in the archives.

Besides the date, wasn't there an identification at the beginning of the microfilm itself detailing its production? Also, how did the catalogue identify the microfilm?

On a lighter note. You said:

By the way, I have yet to see a correction/retraction from Mr. Vogel regarding the apparently inaccurate reference I cited. I'm actually a bit disappointed. I was hoping that there really is another source of Book of Mormon characters. That would be a significant historical discovery, indeed.

Now that you have seen it, what do you think?

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Will made it all sound privileged, but anyone can do it. So, nothing nefarious happened.

I'm mystified by the accusation that I "made it all sound privileged." Where do you get that?

I clearly implied with my last comment:

Anyone seeking to dispute the accuracy and reliability of my report is hereby invited to go to the Church Historian's Office in Salt Lake City, UT, to inquire for themselves. Anyone choosing to so do will find the information I have provided to be accurate in all its essential details, and according to the information I was given.

Anyone could obtain the same information that I obtained.

Furthermore, I have attempted to defuse this entire imbroglio by stating emphatically that:

... I draw no further conclusions regarding the factual accuracy of his book, nor the personal integrity of the author.

So, I don't understand why you insist on "stirring the pot" with your false assertion.

Let's move on now, shall we? This entire discussion evolved into something I had never intended, and for that I regret ever having raised the issue in the first place. I would much rather discuss the substance of what I believe to be your unfounded interpretations of the history of Joseph Smith.

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Will is this what you brought up to be one of Dan's "unfounded" interpretations of Joseph Smith? How baout it addressing Dan's question about what you thought of the material on the document, the cataloguing of the ducment, and it's location. :P

Zeitgeist

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Vogel:

You neglected to state where the document is. Is it in another collection?

I donâ??t know that it is in any specific â??collectionâ?. I simply provided the reference â??Ms d 3408 fd 4â?. Whether or not it is in a â??collectionâ? is not something into which I inquired.

Besides the date, wasn't there an identification at the beginning of the microfilm itself detailing its production? Also, how did the catalogue identify the microfilm?

I made several references to the identification of the microfilm in my OP on this thread. But they came from notes I made from a phone conversation. I have requested the full text of the description.

Now that you have seen it, what do you think?

Iâ??m not sure what youâ??re driving at with this question. However, my impression is that it may have been, originally, part of a larger document.

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Whether or not it is in a â??collectionâ? is not something into which I inquired.

If you go to the manuscripts collection hard-copy index files in the archives,

you can see there a summary description of each numbered collection.

In this case, I suppose you would want to look for ms D 3408.

The fact that no box number is given tells me it is probably a small lot,

all in one box, with perhaps only four folders.

You should be able to chase down its summary description easily enough.

Uncle "thanks for doing the ground-work, though" Dale

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Will,

I'm mystified by the accusation that I "made it all sound privileged." Where do you get that?

To the uninitiated, it sounded like you were exploiting a friendship and getting priviledges that others couldn't. I was responding to LSU's impressions. Hey, what matters is that I defended you.

Uncle,

If you go to the manuscripts collection hard-copy index files in the archives,

you can see there a summary description of each numbered collection.

In this case, I suppose you would want to look for ms D 3408.

The fact that no box number is given tells me it is probably a small lot,

all in one box, with perhaps only four folders.

You should be able to chase down its summary description easily enough.

Those folders only have larger collections. What I was asking for was the description in the electronic catalogue for both the Cowdery document and the microfilm.

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Will,

To the uninitiated, it sounded like you were exploiting a friendship and getting priviledges that others couldn't. I was responding to LSU's impressions. Hey, what matters is that I defended you.

...

Yes, thank you for understanding.

I apologize for my earlier statement but it did appear to me just as you stated here.

To William I offer my deepest apologies.

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What I was asking for was the description in the electronic catalogue for both the Cowdery document and the microfilm.

Larry Skidmore in the Library-Archives can furnish that -- his e-mail address

is on the web. Also, Russ Taylor at the Lee Special Collections has computer

access to that catalog -- His e-mail address is at the BYU site.

One way or another, the description can be obtained easily.

UD

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Will,

I don't believe you aswered my question about what you thought of the historical significance of unexpectedly finding new BOM characters?

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Will,

I don't believe you aswered my question about what you thought of the historical significance of unexpectedly finding new BOM characters?

Youâ??re simply convinced that your previous conclusion was correct, and no matter what I say, you just wonâ??t be persuaded. And no matter how many times I indicate that it would be preferable to move on to another topic, you still want to cling to this one. Wouldn't you rather bludgeon me into a pitiful state of abject humiliation on the subject of variants/evolution in the account of the First Vision?

Oh, well. I'll try one more time to help you understand.

My previous statement with elaborative editing:

[sarcasm] I was hoping that there really is another source of Book of Mormon characters. That would be a significant historical discovery, indeed.[/sarcasm]

These characters arenâ??t new:

MS4583_extract2.jpg

Now, if all this time there had been some previously unknown document lurking in the recesses of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, then it would almost have certainly represented a new and significant find.

But, alas, it was not what it seemed to be.

Maybe something will turn up in the McClellin Collection.

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My previous statement with elaborative editing:
[sarcasm] I was hoping that there really is another source of Book of Mormon characters. That would be a significant historical discovery, indeed.[/sarcasm]

These characters aren't new:

MS4583_extract2.jpg

Now, if all this time there had been some previously unknown document lurking in the recesses of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, then it would almost have certainly represented a new and significant find.

But, alas, it was not what it seemed to be.

Don't get up, Dan, I've got this one.

What you were implying with your sarcasm was that Dan's mistaken cataloguing was equivalent to claiming that there was an entirely new, unknown document. This was simple misdirection on your part, and when with a flourish you unveiled the substance of your criticism (the document is not among Joseph Smith's Egyptian papers!), everybody but Charity was puzzled that you would consider this an "extraordinary claim." Frankly I'm still puzzled.

Don't ever lose your testimony, Will. I wouldn't want you arguing for my side.

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Alf:

Don't ever lose your testimony, Will.

From what I've seen, one's sense of humor, irony, and sarcasm goes with it.

I'll hold on tightly.

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From what I've seen, one's sense of humor, irony, and sarcasm goes with it.

I'll hold on tightly.

Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?

Baldrick: Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.

And on these last few notes, it looks like the thread is done. ~mods

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