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Smith and Rigdon had an intimacy but it was very secret and still and there was a mediator between them and that was Cowdery. The manuscript was stolen by Rigdon and modelled over by him and then handed over to Cowdery and he copied them and Smith sat behind the curtain and handed them out to Cowdery and as fast as Cowdery copied them, they was handed over to Martin Harris and he took them to Egbert Granden [sic], the one who printed them, and Gilbert set the type."
Emma said she "felt the plates as they lay on a table" wrapped in a linen tablecloth. She said the plates were pliable like thick paper and that they "would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb" (Rough Stone Rolling, p.70). If that is true, then it is certain that the plates were not made of gold since soft metal pages made of gold would not make such a sound.
This time hes giving Angelica a good seeing to
When they returned to the house, it was between three and four o'clock in the afternoon. Mrs. Whitmer, Mr. Smith, and myself, were sitting in a bedroom at the time. On coming in, Joseph threw himself down beside me, and exclaimed, "Father, mother, you do not know how happy I am; the Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself..."
Joseph, Martin, Oliver, and David, repaired to a grove, a short distance from the house, where they commenced calling upon the Lord, and continued in earnest supplication, until He permitted an angel to come down from His presence, and declare to them, that all which Joseph had testified of concerning the plates was true.
Yes, we said...
Nevertheless, his testimonies were recorded differently from one retelling to another. Recounting the vision to Orson Pratt in 1878, Whitmer claimed to have seen not only the Golden Plates but the "Brass Plates, the plates containing the record of the wickedness of the people of the world....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...."
Because Oliver Cowdery died in 1850 at age 43 and Martin Harris died in 1875 at age 91, David Whitmer was the only survivor of the Three Witnesses for 13 years. At Richmond, Missouri, he sometimes received several inquirers daily asking about his connection to the Book of Mormon, including Mormon missionaries who were traveling from Utah to the eastern United States and Europe. Despite his hostility toward the LDS Church, Whitmer always stood by his claim that he had actually seen the Golden Plates.
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According to two Ohio newspapers, shortly after Harris arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, he began claiming to have "seen Jesus Christ and that he is the handsomest man he ever did see. He has also seen the Devil, whom he described as a very sleek haired fellow with four feet, and a head like that of a Jack-ass." (Vogel 1996-2003, 2: 271, note 32)
Here are a few key points from the essays listed above:
a b "The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith", Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011, Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church), xxii–25.
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John A. Clark letter, August 31, 1840: "No matter where he went, he saw visions and supernatural appearances all around him. He told a gentleman in Palmyra, after one of his excursions to Pennsylvania, while the translation of the Book of Mormon was going on, that on the way he met the Lord Jesus Christ, who walked along by the side of him in the shape of a deer for two or three miles, talking with him as familiarly as one man talks with another." (Vogel 1996-2003, 2: 271)
J. M. Finney, M. D. |Witnesses.
Lucy Harris statement: "In one of his fits of rage he struck me with the butt end of a whip, which I think had been used for driving oxen, and was about the size of my thumb, and three or four feet long. He beat me on the head four or five times, and the next day turned me out of doors twice, and beat me in a shameful manner....Whether the Mormon religion be true or false, I leave the world to judge, for its effects upon Martin Harris have been to make hi more cross, turbulent and abusive to me." (Vogel 1996-2003, 2: 34-36)
Churchville, Hartford Co., Md., Jan. 29, 1884.
"Once while reading scripture, he reportedly mistook a candle's sputtering as a sign that the devil desired him to stop. Another time he excitedly awoke from his sleep believing that a creature as large as a dog had been upon his chest, though a nearby associate could find nothing to confirm his fears. Several hostile and perhaps unreliable accounts told of visionary experiences with Satan and Christ, Harris once reporting that Christ had been poised on a roof beam." (Walker 1986, pp. 34–35)
Link to other witnesses that testified: .
In 1838, Joseph Smith called the Three Witnesses Cowdery, Harris, and Whitmer "too mean to mention; and we had liked to have forgotten them." B.H. Roberts, ed. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1905), 3: 232.
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