Book of Mormon/Witnesses/Denied knowledge of other witnesses recanting

Table of Contents This article is a draft. FairMormon editors are currently editing it. We welcome your suggestions on improving the content.

Question: What did the Witnesses say about the faithfulness of the other witnesses to their testimony?

Some witnesses (especially those who outlived their fellow witnesses) often remarked that they had heard a fellow witness reaffirm their witness. They also repeatedly denied any knowledge of a fellow witness denying their testimony.

David Whitmer

  • "Mr Whitmer felt very indignant while speaking of certain statements published recently to the effect that he and Oliver Cowdery had denied their statement as published in the Book of Mormon. This he denounced as false in every particular. He said: "Oliver never wavered in his testimony, and when he was on his death bed, I was there, with many of his friends, until he passed away. He bore the same testimony on his dying bed that he had always borne through life, and earnestly called upon all to cleave to the truth revealed through the Prophet Joseph, and to serve the Lord. As for myself, I have never denied my testimony that is published in the Book of Mormon, for I know that God has revealed these things for the salvation of the children of men, and to Him belongs all the honor, the power and the glory."[1]
  • The thing which impressed me most of all was, as we stood beside the grave of Oliver Cowdery the other Witness, who had come back into the Church before his death, and [David Whitmer] in describing Oliver[']s action, when bearing his testimony, said to the people in his room, placing his hands like this upon his head, saying 'I know the Gospel to be true and upon this head has Peter[,] James and John laid their hands and confer[r]ed the Holy Melchisedic Priesthood.' [2]

Oliver Cowdery

  • Said Oliver Cowdery of a testimony by John Whitmer: "A thousand things may be conjectured, but when a man declares openly, candidly, and seriously, of what he has seen, hefted and handled with his own hands, and taht in the presence of a God who sees and knows the secrets of the heart, no man possessed of common reason and common sense, can doubt, or will be so vain as to dispute."[3]

John Whitmer

  • "I have never heard that any one of the three, or eight witnesses ever denied the testimony that they have borne to the Book as published in the first edition of the Book of Mormon."[4]


Notes

  1. David Whitmer, interview with James H. Hart on 10 March 1884, Letter to Deseret News (18 March 1884); cited in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:105.
  2. David H. Cannon, Autobiography, 13 March 1917, p. 5; cited in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:218.
  3. Oliver Cowdery, "Conference Report," Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 1 (June 1835), 143. Reproduced in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:250.
  4. John Whimter to Mark H. Forest [Forscutt], 5 March 1876, Whitmer Papers, Community of Christ Library-Archives; in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:243.