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Appendix 4: Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829

THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.1

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:4]. This and other phrases that also appear in the Book of Mormon are noted for comparison.  


Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people,2

See, for example, Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:51]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 326 [Alma 37:4]; and Revelation 14:6.  


unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,3

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 577 [Moroni 7:2].  


have seen the plates

A record engraved on gold plates, which JS translated and published as the Book of Mormon. The text explained that the plates were an abridgement of other ancient records and were written by an American prophet named Mormon and his son Moroni. The plates ...

View Glossary
which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

View Glossary
, and also of the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to descendants and followers of Jared who departed for a “land of promise” (which JS later identified as the Americas) at the time language was confounded at the Tower of Babel. The brother of Jared was the first...

View Glossary
, which came from the tower of which hath been spoken;4

See Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 277, 424 [Alma 19:14; Helaman 6:28].  


and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God,5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 150 [Omni 1:20].  


for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety, that the work is true.6

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:3]; and Acts 26:25.  


And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates;7

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 29 [1 Nephi 13:23].  


and they have been shewn unto us by the power of God,8

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 449, 548 [Helaman 15:15; Ether 5:3].  


and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness,9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 139, 340 [Jacob 6:5; Alma 42:31].  


that an Angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,10

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 577 [Moroni 7:2].  


that we beheld and bear record that these things are true;11

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 22, 548 [1 Nephi 10:10; Ether 5:3].  


and it is marvellous in our eyes:12

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 536 [Mormon 9:16]; and Psalm 118:23.  


Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of God,13

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 73 [2 Nephi 5:31].  


we bear testimony of these things.— And we know that if we are faithful in Christ,14

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 585 [Moroni 9:25].  


we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgement seat of Christ,15

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 538, 565 [Mormon 9:35; Ether 12:38].  


and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens.16

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 512 [3 Nephi 28:40].  


And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God.17

See 1 John 5:7–9; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 120, 531 [2 Nephi 31:21; Mormon 7:7].  


Amen.
OLIVER COWDERY

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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,
DAVID WHITMER

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
,
MARTIN HARRIS

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
. [p. [589]]
THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.1

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:4]. This and other phrases that also appear in the Book of Mormon are noted for comparison.  


Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peo ple,2

See, for example, Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:51]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 326 [Alma 37:4]; and Revelation 14:6.  


unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the  grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,3

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 577 [Moroni 7:2].  


have seen  the plates

A record engraved on gold plates, which JS translated and published as the Book of Mormon. The text explained that the plates were an abridgement of other ancient records and were written by an American prophet named Mormon and his son Moroni. The plates ...

View Glossary
which contain this record, which is a record of the  people of Nephi

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

View Glossary
, and also of the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
, his brethren, and  also of the people of Jared

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to descendants and followers of Jared who departed for a “land of promise” (which JS later identified as the Americas) at the time language was confounded at the Tower of Babel. The brother of Jared was the first...

View Glossary
, which came from the tower of  which hath been spoken;4

See Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 277, 424 [Alma 19:14; Helaman 6:28].  


and we also know that they have  been translated by the gift and power of God,5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 150 [Omni 1:20].  


for his voice  hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety, that  the work is true.6

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:3]; and Acts 26:25.  


And we also testify that we have seen the  engravings which are upon the plates;7

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 29 [1 Nephi 13:23].  


and they have been  shewn unto us by the power of God,8

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 449, 548 [Helaman 15:15; Ether 5:3].  


and not of man. And  we declare with words of soberness,9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 139, 340 [Jacob 6:5; Alma 42:31].  


that an Angel of God came  down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes,  that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings there on; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father,  and our Lord Jesus Christ,10

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 577 [Moroni 7:2].  


that we beheld and bear record  that these things are true;11

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 22, 548 [1 Nephi 10:10; Ether 5:3].  


and it is marvellous in our eyes:12

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 536 [Mormon 9:16]; and Psalm 118:23.  


 Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we  should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the  commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of God,13

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 73 [2 Nephi 5:31].  


we bear testimony of these things.—  And we know that if we are faithful in Christ,14

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 585 [Moroni 9:25].  


we shall rid  our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless  before the judgement seat of Christ,15

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 538, 565 [Mormon 9:35; Ether 12:38].  


and shall dwell with him  eternally in the heavens.16

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 512 [3 Nephi 28:40].  


And the honor be to the Father, and  to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God.17

See 1 John 5:7–9; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 120, 531 [2 Nephi 31:21; Mormon 7:7].  


Amen.
OLIVER COWDERY

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
,
DAVID WHITMER

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
,
MARTIN HARRIS

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
. [p. [589]]
In this statement, which was published at the end of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
, David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
, and Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
testified that an angel

Being who acts as a minister and messenger between heaven and earth. JS taught that angels were individuals who “belonged to this earth”; those who had already lived on earth were often resurrected beings. In addition to giving instruction, direction, and...

View Glossary
showed them the gold plates

A record engraved on gold plates, which JS translated and published as the Book of Mormon. The text explained that the plates were an abridgement of other ancient records and were written by an American prophet named Mormon and his son Moroni. The plates ...

View Glossary
and that the voice of God declared that JS had translated them “by the gift and power of God.” JS’s later history described this vision, saying that Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris were told, “I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.” JS also stated, “Having thus through the mercy of God, obtained these glorious manifestations, it now remained for these three individuals to fulfil the commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
which they had received, viz: to bear record of these things; in order to accomplish which, they drew up and subscribed the following document.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 25.  


JS may have been involved in writing this statement, but it is likely that Cowdery or one of the other witnesses was the author. The document appears as an appendix to this volume rather than as a featured text because even though its connection to JS is well established, its authorship is uncertain.
JS had previously dictated two revelations and translated

To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...

View Glossary
two passages in the Book of Mormon explaining that witnesses would see and testify of the plates.2

See Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:11–13, 15]; Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17:1–5]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110, 548 [2 Nephi 27:12–13; Ether 5:2–4].  


Phraseology in this document is similar to that found in those earlier texts. In June 1829 Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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had authored “Articles of the Church of Christ,” which also used very similar language.3

Cowdery’s Articles of the Church of Christ also borrowed phrases from the Book of Mormon. Cowdery had served as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon, and of the three witnesses he was the most likely to have had access to the Book of Mormon manuscript. (“Articles of the Church of Christ,” June 1829; see also Skousen, “Who Authored the Three-Witness Statement?”)  


In late June 1829, Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
, Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
, and Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
approached JS to ask whether they could view the plates. In response, JS dictated a revelation that stated, “It is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old and after that you have obtained faith and have seen them with your eyes you shall testify of them by the power of God.”4

Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17:2–3].  


JS’s history later affirmed that the promised experience occurred “not many days after the above commandment was given.”5

JS History, vol. A-1, 24.  


The vision took place in Fayette Township

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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, New York, likely in the last few days of June 1829, about the time JS completed the Book of Mormon translation.6

Lucy Mack Smith later related that after the translation was finished, JS “dispatched a messenger to Mr. Smith [Joseph Smith Sr.] . . . request[ing] that Mr. Smith and myself should come immediately.” She then went on to explain that she was at the Whitmer house when the witnesses saw the plates, implying that JS had already finished the translation. However, JS’s history and a recollection by David Whitmer stated that the translation was completed after the Three Witnesses viewed the plates. Whitmer said that “it was about. 11. A. M.” on a Sunday when the witnesses viewed the plates, possibly indicating the date was 28 June, the last Sunday of June 1829. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 152; JS History, vol. A-1, 26; Cannon, Journal, 27 Feb. 1884; Stevenson, Journal, 22 Dec. 1877.)  


Lucy Mack Smith

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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, who had journeyed to Fayette with her husband

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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, later recalled that the morning after they arrived, JS approached Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
and told him to humble himself, reiterating a commandment given to Harris three months earlier.7

Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:24].  


She added, “Soon after this these four [JS, Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
, Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
, and Harris] left and went into a grove a short distance from the house here they continued in earnest supplication to God untill he permited an angel from his presence to bear to them a message.”8

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 8, [11].  


According to JS’s history, the group “made choice of a piece of woods” near the Whitmer home, “and having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God to bestow upon us a realization of those promises.” After they each prayed aloud sequentially and then repeated the effort, all with no response, Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
excused himself because he felt that his presence was the reason for the lack of divine communication. Once he departed, the remaining three returned to prayer and “beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness, and behold, an angel stood before us; in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying . . . to have a view of: he turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly.” They also heard a voice declaring, “These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God.”9

JS History, vol. A-1, 25.  


Decades later, David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
added, “We not only saw the plates of the B[ook] of M[ormon] but also the Brass plates, the Plates of the Book of ether, the Plates containing the Record of the wickedness of the people of the world, and many other plates.” He also described a table holding the sword of Laban, the Liahona, and the interpreters, all of which were objects mentioned in the Book of Mormon translation and which a previous revelation had promised the witnesses they would see.10

Joseph F. Smith, New York City, NY, to John Taylor et al., [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 17 Sept. 1878, draft, Joseph F. Smith, Papers, CHL; Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17:1]. In later recollections, Whitmer repeatedly made reference to seeing these objects. (See, for example, Stevenson, Journal, 22 Dec. 1877; “Letter from Elder W. H. Kelley,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Mar. 1882, 66–69; and E. C. Briggs, Chicago, IL, to Joseph Smith III, 4 June 1884, Saints’ Herald, 21 June 1884, 396–397.)  


JS soon left Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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and Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
and found Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
“a considerable distance” away, praying fervently. JS related in his history that the two “ultimately obtained our desires” and saw and heard the same things JS had witnessed with Cowdery and Whitmer. “’Tis enough, ’tis enough,” cried out Harris. “Mine eyes have beheld, mine eyes have beheld.”11

JS History, vol. A-1, 25.  


The earliest copy of this document is found in the Book of Mormon manuscript prepared for the printer. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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penned that copy at the end of the manuscript, on the same page as the last few lines of the Book of Mormon, sometime around February 1830, when the printer’s copy was finished. That copy does not appear to be the original because both Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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’s and Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
’s signatures are in Cowdery’s handwriting.12

Book of Mormon, Printer’s Manuscript, 463.  


David Whitmer later stated that each of the witnesses signed the original statement, demonstrating that they had individually agreed with its contents.13

In the 1870s, when asked if Whitmer “and the other witnesses did or did not sign the testimonies themselves,” David Whitmer replied that “each signed his own name,” confirming that an original document did exist. (Joseph F. Smith, New York City, NY, to John Taylor et al., [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 17 Sept. 1878, draft, Joseph F. Smith, Papers, CHL.)  


Therefore, the original was written sometime between the June 1829 experience and early 1830. Unfortunately, most of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon has been lost, and it is unknown whether this testimony was appended to the end of that manuscript.
The text featured here is from the first printed edition of the Book of Mormon. Though JS was not explicitly instructed to publish a statement from the witnesses, a March 1829 revelation to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
announced, “The testimony of three Witnesses will I send forth & my word & behold whosoever beleaveth in my word him will I visit with the manifestations of my spirit & they shall be Born of me & their testimony shall also go forth.”14

Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:15–18].  


A passage in the Book of Mormon similarly indicated that the testimony of the witnesses and the Book of Mormon would come forth at the same time.15

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:3].  


The witnesses were also told in a revelation that they should “testify that ye have seen them even as my servant Joseph Smith jr.”16

Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17:5]. Oliver Cowdery preached about this experience in his evangelizing en route to the Indian territory west of Missouri. (Richard W. Cummins, Delaware and Shawnee Agency, to William Clark, [St. Louis, MO], 15 Feb. 1831, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, Records, vol. 6, p. 114; “The Golden Bible,” Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 16 Nov. 1830, [3]; McLellin, Journal, 1; C. C. Blatchly, “Caution against the Gold Bible,” New-York Telescope, 20 Feb. 1830, 150.)  


Facts