Source:Joint Eight Witnesses statements

Table of Contents


Testimony of Eight Witnesses (1829)

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

Christian Whitmer
Jacob Whitmer
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
John Whitmer
Hiram Page
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Hyrum Smith

Samuel H. Smith

Statements regarding all Eight Witnesses

  • Lucy Mack Smith: In a few days we were follow by Joseph and Oliver and the Whitmers who came to make us a visit and also to make some arrangements about getting the book printed soon after they came They all that is the male part of the company repaired to a little grove where it was customary for the family to offer up their secret prayers. as Joseph had been instructed that the plates would be carried there by one of the ancient Nephites. Here it was that those 8 witnesses recorded in the Book of Mormon looked upon the plates and handled them of which they bear witness in the [title page of the Book of Mormon]. . . . After the witnesses returned to the house the Angel again made his appearance to Joseph and received the plates from his hands.[1]
  • Hostile newspaper: The plates from which Smith, the author translates his book are said to be in his possession. Ten persons say they have seen them and hefted them, three declare that an angel of God appeared to them and showed them to them, and told them that God had given Smith power to be able to read them, understand them, and translate them. The names of those persons are signed to the certificates in the book.[2]
  • William Smith: that they [the Eight Witnesses] not only Saw with their eyes but handled with their hands the said record . . . nor has either or any one of these witnesses ever to my knowledge Counteracted the testimony as given above Concerning the real existence of these Mormon tablets.[3]
  • Richard Anderson described multiple accounts of all the Witnesses bearing testimony and reaffirming their published testimony:[4]
The three Smiths who formally gave their names as seeing and handling the plates were the Prophet's father, Joseph Smith, Sr.; the Prophet's older brother, Hyrum; and his immediately younger brother, Samuel Harrison. They sometimes joined the other Book of Mormon witnesses to reaffirm their testimony printed in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon regarding lifting and turning the leaves of the plates. After quoting the published statements of the Three and Eight Witnesses, and describing the experience of the latter group, Lucy Smith relates, "The ensuing evening, we held a meeting, in which all the witnesses bore testimony to the facts as stated above."[5] Two years later, in the period of dynamic preaching of the early elders, a conference was held near Cleveland, Ohio, remembered by Luke Johnson as follows: "At this conference the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon, with uplifted hands, bore their solemn testimony to the truth of that book, as did also the Prophet Joseph."[6]

Notes

  1. Lucy Mack Smith's history, preliminary manuscript, Family and Church History Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  2. W.O. [William Owen], “Mormon Bible,” Free Enquirer (New York) (3 September 1831): 364.
  3. William Smith, "Notes Written on 'Chambers' Life of Joseph Smith,'" 15; transcribed by Richard L. Anderson.
  4. Richard Lloyd Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1981), 137-138. ISBN 0877478465.
  5. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations (Liverpool, S.W. Richards, 1853), 141.
  6. Deseret News (26 May 1858).