Question: Did David Whitmer or Oliver Cowdery test Joseph's prophetic claims?

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Question: Did David Whitmer or Oliver Cowdery test Joseph's prophetic claims?

David Whitmer reported how he and Oliver first tested Joseph's ability to see things with the seer stone:

I have frequently placed it [the seer stone] to my eyes but could see nothing through it. I have seen Joseph, however, place it to his eyes and instantly read signs 160 miles distant and tell exactly what was transpiring there. When I went to Harmony after him he told me the names of every hotel at which I had stopped on the road, read the signs, and described various scenes without having ever received any information from me.[1]

Another account says:

"He [Whitmer] said that 1st of June [1829] he received a letter from [Oliver Cowdery, asking him to come to Harmony, Pennsylvania]. The prophet looks into the seer stone [and is] told [the] names of each stopping place [David visited along the way]. O[liver] Cowdery, who made notes for every one [found them to be] just as the Prophet related. David said this strengthened his faith in the prophet and he was baptized the middle of June 1829....[2]


Clearly, these two witnesses did not simply accept Joseph's word--they believed they had compelling evidence that Joseph knew things that no one else knew, save God.


Notes

  1. David Whitmer, interview with Chicago Times (August 1875); cited in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:21-22.
  2. David Whitmer, Interview with Edward Stevenson, Journal, 28:123-130, entry of 2 January 1887, LDS Church Archives (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation modernized); original cited in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:187.