Jonathan Neville – Does Church History Matter?
Jonathan Neville Author, JD, Lawyer, Educator lettervii.com – moronisamerica.com – bookofmormonwars.com
Church history to build, not destroy, faith.
Current trends in the International Church.
Purchase Jonathan’s newest book called, “A Man that Can Translate: Joseph Smith and the Nephite Interpreters”. “Joseph Smith, Jr., and his principle scribe, Oliver Cowdery, claimed that Joseph translated the golden plates with an instrument the Nephites called “interpreters.” Joseph and Oliver called them Urim and Thummim. Some of their contemporaries claimed instead that Joseph merely dictated words that appeared on a seer stone he placed in a hat. The dual narratives were well known in 1834. In response, Joseph and Oliver formally reaffirmed that Joseph used the Urim and Thummim. They reiterated that position for the rest of their lives.In recent years, historians have revived the seer stone narrative. Which version is correct? Urim and Thummim or seer stone? Can they both be correct, or is it an either/or situation? Some historians have reconciled the discrepancies by simply redefining the term “Urim and Thummim” to mean both the Nephite interpreters and the seer stones, but that revisionist approach contradicts the plain historical usage. This book explores the historical evidence and proposes a solution that vindicates the testimonies of Joseph and Oliver while also accepting the statements of the observers as to what they saw. Except what they actually saw was not what they thought they saw.”
Jonathan Neville is a lawyer, businessman, educator and author who has written over forty books, including both nonfiction and fiction. He has studied Church history and the Book of Mormon for decades, but didn’t begin publishing in the field until 2015. As of July 2017, he has published ten books on these topics. He also writes for several blogs, including lettervii.com, and moronisamerica.com.
Brother Neville approaches these issues like the criminal prosecutor he once was. He pursues the evidence wherever it leads and doesn’t simply “assume” anything or take anyone’s word at face value. When it comes to Church history, he follows the adage: “trust, but verify.” That process of verifying has led to some important new discoveries that he finds to be faith-affirming and corroborate what Joseph Smith said and what the Book of Mormon teaches.
For the last twenty-five years, Jonathan has lived in Utah, but he has lived in Europe for 8 years, in the Philippines, in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, and Illinois. He has visited over 60 countries on every continent—including a Chilean base in Antarctica. He travels frequently with his wife Beverly, a PhD and Division Director for the Salt Lake County Health Department who is also a college professor and author, a popular speaker at BYU Education Week, and the author of an article in the Ensign in 2015. They have eight children, seven grandchildren, and no pets.
Tim Ballard, author of the Lincoln Hypothesis among other books, says Brother Neville’s book titled Moroni’s America is “a definite game changer… finally a complete, honest, and faithful look at Book of Mormon geography that deals with all the tough questions.”
Brother Neville’s book, Whatever Happened to the Golden Plates?, explains how Joseph Smith actually translated two separate sets of plates—only one of which came from Moroni’s box in the Hill Cumorah. This new understanding of Church history helps explain details that have puzzled historians for decades
Brother Neville has spoken at firesides and conferences throughout the United States and in Europe.
Virtual Expo April 2020