CitationAbuse:CES Letter:John Whitmer:Supernatural power

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PERSPECTIVES MEDIA QUESTIONS RESOURCES 2014 CONFERENCE

    John Whitmer in History of the Church Vol. 3, Ch. 21, p. 307-308.


Why did the author of the Letter to a CES Director avoid including John Whitmer's clear statement about handling the plates and only include the small portion of Whitmer's quote that supported his position?

The original Letter to a CES Director presents a quote from John Whitmer, one of the Eight Witnesses, in order to demonstrate the Whitmer did not actually see the gold plates

The original Letter to a CES Director presents the following quote from John Whitmer, one of the Eight Witnesses, in order to demonstrate the Whitmer did not actually see the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated:

“They were shown to me by a supernatural power” – History of the Church Vol. 3, Ch. 21, p. 307-308

The complete quote from John Whitmer actually confirms that he saw and handled the plates

This quote from John Whitmer actually confirms that he saw and handled the plates. All we have to do is look at the very same source. Whitmer states:

‘I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;’ and he described how they were hung [on rings]

The portion extracted by the author of the Letter is highlighted in blue. The portion that he ignored is highlighted in red:

“[Theodore] Turley said, ‘Gentlemen, I presume there are men here who have heard [John] Corrill say, that Mormonism was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and inspired of God. I now call upon you, John Whitmer: you say Corrill is a moral and a good man; do you believe him when he says the Book of Mormon is true, or when he says it is not true? There are many things published that they say are true, and again turn around and say they are false.’ Whitmer asked, ‘Do you hint at me?’ Turley replied, ‘If the cap fits you, wear it; all I know is that you have published to the world that an angel did present those plates to Joseph Smith.’ Whitmer replied: ‘I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;’ and he described how they were hung [on rings], and [said] ‘they were shown to me by a supernatural power;’ he acknowledged all.” [1]

Notes

  1. History of the Church Vol. 3, Ch. 21, p. 307-308