Book of Mormon/Witnesses

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Witnesses to the Book of Mormon

Summary: The world was not left with Joseph Smith's testimony alone. The Book of Mormon provided multiple official and unofficial witnesses who corroborated aspects of Joseph's account. Critics have long tried to dismiss or destroy the witnesses' witness. This page links to subpages which discuss various attacks in detail.

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Reliability of the Book of Mormon witnesses

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Skepticism of the Book of Mormon witnesses

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The literal nature of the experiences of the Book of Mormon witnesses

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Did a Book of Mormon witnesses say that they only saw and handled the plates covered by a cloth or "tow frock"?

Summary: A frequent claim is that a Book of Mormon witnesses said that he only handled the plates while they were covered in a "tow frock." However, this report is from William Smith, one of Joseph's brothers who was not a Book of Mormon witness. In fact, William insisted in the same statement that he was convinced Joseph was not lying about the plates. William also dismissed the Spalding hypothesis as nonsense.

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None of the Book of Mormon witnesses ever recanted their testimony

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Did the Three and Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon place their signatures on their testimonies?

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Witnesses reaffirmed published statements in the Book of Mormon

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Oliver Cowdery and the "rod of nature"

Summary: It is claimed that a revelation received by Joseph praised Oliver Cowdery's gift of using divining talents. It is claimed that the revelation was published in the Book of Commandments in its original form, then subsequently modified in the Doctrine and Covenants in order to hide the reference to the "rod of nature." Therefore, it is claimed that Joseph attempted to "cover up" Oliver Cowdery's work with a divining rod by changing a revelation. Critics also claim that Oliver would ask questions of his divining rod in faith and it would move in response.

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Oliver Cowdery joined the Methodists after leaving the Church

Summary: Why did Oliver Cowdery join the Methodists if all other churches had been "condemned of God"?

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David Whitmer said that God told him to "leave the Latter Day Saints"

Summary: David Whitmer, one of the Book of Mormon's Three Witnesses, said "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to "separate myself from among the Latter Day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, should it be done unto them." Some argue that if members accept Whitmer's witness of the Book of Mormon, then they must also accept that God wanted David to repudiate the Church as false. Some distort the historical record to make it appear that David Whitmer left the Church because he was told to, when it fact he was excommunicated prior to claiming any revelation to do so. The command to leave, if it was a true revelation, involved David's physical safety and not his membership in the Church, which he had already renounced.

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Martin Harris and his search for truth

Summary: Some claim that Martin Harris was unstable or flighty because he investigated various religions prior to the Church's restoration, and then five more religions after he was excommunicated in 1838.

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Martin Harris' "Eye of Faith" and "Spiritual Eye" statements

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Eyewitness descriptions of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated

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Book of Mormon Translation method

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The Eight Witnesses and their experience viewing the "gold" plates

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Other Book of Mormon witnesses

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Comparison of the Strangite witnesses to the Book of Mormon witnesses

Summary: James Strang's break-off sect produced eyewitnesses of buried records. Does this indicate that Joseph's ability to do so is neither surprising nor persuasive? The Strangite witnesses were not all faithful, and some recanted and described the nature of the fraud perpetuated by Strang.

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Book of Mormon witnesses: Statements

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The Book of Mormon witnesses knew they would be ridiculed and not believed

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Witnesses persisted even in the face of persecution or death

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A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Three Witnesses"

Summary: Wikipedia's treatment of the Three Witnesses is controlled by a Protestant editor, and is crafted to discredit the Witnesses by emphasizing the negative and diminishing the positive.