Question: How did Latter-day Saint scholars respond to the attempt to sell the Book of Mormon copyright prior to Page's letter coming to light?

Table of Contents

Question: How did Latter-day Saint scholars respond to the attempt to sell the Book of Mormon copyright prior to Page's letter coming to light?

B.H. Roberts expressed doubt as to the accuracy of the story, and suggested that David Whitmer may not have recalled all of the details correctly

The letter from 1848 by Hiram Page was not publically available until the 20th Century. As a result, various LDS responses to the accounts by Whitmer and McLellin of necessity must explain why the apparent anomalous revelation does not make Joseph Smith a fallen prophet. Such was the case when B.H. Roberts expressed doubt as to the accuracy of the story, and suggested that David Whitmer may not have recalled all of the details correctly, yet went on to address the claim anyway. Roberts concluded:

Does that circumstance vitiate his claim as a prophet? No; the fact remains that despite this circumstance there exists a long list of events to be dealt with which will establish the fact of divine inspiration operating upon the mind of this man Joseph Smith. The wisdom frequently displayed, the knowledge revealed, the predicted events and the fulfilment thereof, are explicable upon no other theory than of divine inspiration giving guidance to him. [1]

As it happens, the passage of time and the uncovering of additional information has vindicated that confidence.

Notes

  1. Brigham H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1965), 1:165. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)