Snippets from the testimony of David Whitmer (Part 4)

Snippets from the testimony of David Whitmer (Part 4) March 26, 2018


Denardo David Whitmer grave marker
David Whitmer had been out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for many decades when he died in Richmond, Missouri. But he wanted his testimony about the Book of Mormon to be heard even beyond his death. Note the two books (presumably the Bible and the Book of Mormon) carved atop his grave marker and the words carved into its side.
(Photograph by Tom Denardo, from Wikimedia Commons)


Here is another passage from David Whitmer’s testimony, as it has been published in Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, Personal Glimpses of the Prophet Joseph Smith (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2009):


We, the Three Witnesses, saw the plates in June, 1829 — the latter part of the month, and the eight witnesses saw them one or two days after.  Joseph showed them the plates himself, but the angel showed us (the Three Witnesses) the plates, to fulfill the words of the book itself.  Martin Harris was not with us at this time; he obtained a view of them afterwards (the same day).

The angel stood before us.  Joseph, Oliver and myself were together.  We not only saw the plates of the Book of Mormon but also the brass plates, the plates of the Book of Ether, the plates containing the records of the wickedness and secret combinations of the people of the world down to the time of their being engraved, and many other plates.  The fact is, it was just as though Joseph, Oliver and I were sitting just here on a log, when we were overshadowed by a light.  It was not like the light of the sun nor like that of a fire, but more glorious and beautiful.  It extended away round us, I cannot tell how far, but in the midst of this light about as far off as he sits (pointing to John C. Whitmer, sitting a few feet from him), there appeared as it were, a table with many records or plates upon it, besides the plates of the Book of Mormon, also the Sword of Laban, the Directors — i.e., the Ball which Lehi had — and the Interpreters.  I saw them just as plain as I see this bed (striking the bed beside him with his hand), and I heard the voice of the Lord, as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life, declaring that the records of the plates of the Book of Mormon were translated by the gift and power of God.  (45-46)


This testimony is particularly impressive because, as I’ve said, David Whitmer eventually broke with Joseph Smith and the Church, fiercely disagreeing with some of the directions in which it developed, and he lived more than fifty years in isolation from the Latter-day Saints.  Yet not only did he never deny his testimony concerning the Book of Mormon, he continually reaffirmed it until his death, as the last surviving Witness, in 1888.



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