31844

Testimony, circa 2 November 1831

731

John Whitmer assigned this number to the revelation after recording it in Revelation Book 1.  


Revelation
The Testimony of the witnesses to the Book of the Lords commandments which he gave to his church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
through Joseph Smith Jr who was appointed by the vos voice of the Church for this purpose2

At a 26 September 1830 conference of elders, JS “was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” This heading likely did not appear in the original manuscript; John Whitmer likely added it when he copied the testimony into Revelation Book 1. (Minutes, 26 Sept. 1830; see also Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:13]; and Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:1–5].)  


We the undersigners feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of mankind to every creature upon all the face of all the Earth upon the Islands of the Sea3

The preface to the Book of Commandments similarly addressed itself to “ye People from afar & ye that are upon the Islands of the sea.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:1].)  


that god hath born record to our souls through the Holy Ghost shed forth upon us that these 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
are given by inspiration of God & are profitable for all men & are verily true we give this testimony unto the world the Lord being my helper & it is through the grace of God the father & his Son Jesus Christ that we are permitted to have this privelege of bearing this testimony unto the world in the which we rejoice exceedingly by praying the Lord always that the children of men may be profited thereby Amen
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
Joshua Fairchild Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
Peter Dustin

19 Apr. 1781–after 1860. Farmer, laborer. Born at Goffstown, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Dustin and Sarah (Sally) Webster. Moved to Alstead, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, by 1803. Married first Aruba (Azubah) Tubbs, 11 Sept. 1803, at Marlow...

View Full Bio
Wm.. E. Mc.lellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

View Full Bio
Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
Luke Johnson

3 Nov. 1807–8 Dec. 1861. Farmer, teacher, doctor. Born at Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs. Lived at Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, when baptized into LDS church by JS, 10 May 1831. Ordained a priest by Christian Whitmer...

View Full Bio
Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

View Full Bio
; never to be eraised
Lyman Johnson

24 Oct. 1811–20 Dec. 1859. Merchant, lawyer, hotelier. Born at Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, Mar. 1818. Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon, Feb. 1831. Ordained an elder...

View Full Bio
5

Rigdon, Hyde, McLellin, Johnson, and Johnson all attended the 1–2 November 1831 conference. John Whitmer copied their signatures when he transcribed the testimony into Revelation Book 1. (Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.)  


Thomas B Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

View Full Bio
Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

View Full Bio
Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
Harvey Whitlock

1809–after 1880. Physician. Born in Massachusetts. Married Minerva Abbott, 21 Nov. 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder, by June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 4 June 1831. Served mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, with David Whitmer, 1831...

View Full Bio
Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
John Murdock

15 July 1792–23 Dec. 1871. Farmer. Born at Kortright, Delaware Co., New York. Son of John Murdock Sr. and Eleanor Riggs. Joined Lutheran Dutch Church, ca. 1817, then Presbyterian Seceder Church shortly after. Moved to Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ca. 1819....

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Calvin Beebe

1 July 1800–17 July 1861. Farmer, merchant, postmaster. Born in Paris, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Isaac Beebe and Olive Soule. Moved to Chardon, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Married Submit Rockwell Starr, 19 Nov. 1823. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an...

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Zebedee Coltrin

7 Sept. 1804–21 July 1887. Born at Ovid, Seneca Co., New York. Son of John Coltrin and Sarah Graham. Member of Methodist church. Married first Julia Ann Jennings, Oct. 1828. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, 9 Jan. 1831, at Strongsville, Cuyahoga...

View Full Bio
[p. 121]
<731

John Whitmer assigned this number to the revelation after recording it in Revelation Book 1.  


Revelation>
The Testimony of the witnesses to the Book of the Lords comm andments which he gave to his church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
through Joseph Smith Jr  who was appointed by the vos [voice] of the Church for this purpose2

At a 26 September 1830 conference of elders, JS “was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” This heading likely did not appear in the original manuscript; John Whitmer likely added it when he copied the testimony into Revelation Book 1. (Minutes, 26 Sept. 1830; see also Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:13]; and Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:1–5].)  


We the undersigners feel willing to bear testimony to all  the world of mankind to every creature upon all the face of  all the Earth upon the Islands of the Sea3

The preface to the Book of Commandments similarly addressed itself to “ye People from afar & ye that are upon the Islands of the sea.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:1].)  


that god hath  born record to our souls through the Holy Ghost shed forth  upon us that these 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
are given by inspiration  of God & are profitable for all men & are verily true we  give this testimony unto the world the Lord being my  helper & it is through the grace of God the father & his Son  Jesus Christ that we are permitted to have this privelege of  bearing this testimony unto the world in the which we rejoice  exceedingly by praying the Lord always that the children of  men may be profited thereby Amen
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
Joshua Fairchild Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
Peter Dustin

19 Apr. 1781–after 1860. Farmer, laborer. Born at Goffstown, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Dustin and Sarah (Sally) Webster. Moved to Alstead, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, by 1803. Married first Aruba (Azubah) Tubbs, 11 Sept. 1803, at Marlow...

View Full Bio
Wm.. E. Mc.lel[l]in

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

View Full Bio
Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
Luke Johnson

3 Nov. 1807–8 Dec. 1861. Farmer, teacher, doctor. Born at Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs. Lived at Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, when baptized into LDS church by JS, 10 May 1831. Ordained a priest by Christian Whitmer...

View Full Bio
Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

View Full Bio
<; never to be eraised>4

TEXT: “eraised” possibly “excised”.  


Lyman Johnson

24 Oct. 1811–20 Dec. 1859. Merchant, lawyer, hotelier. Born at Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, Mar. 1818. Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon, Feb. 1831. Ordained an elder...

View Full Bio
5

Rigdon, Hyde, McLellin, Johnson, and Johnson all attended the 1–2 November 1831 conference. John Whitmer copied their signatures when he transcribed the testimony into Revelation Book 1. (Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.)  


Thomas B Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

View Full Bio

John Whitmer handwriting ends; individual signatories begin. The remaining signatures in this column and all the signatures in the left column except Marsh’s were likely inscribed at a conference held in Missouri in late January 1832. Marsh returned to Kirtland in January 1832 from a trip to Missouri and Indiana, arriving nearly two months after Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer left Ohio with Revelation Book 1. However, in late November and early December 1831, while traveling back to Kirtland, Ohio, Marsh attended conferences in Indiana. Cowdery and Whitmer, on their way to Missouri, were at these conferences as well, and it is possible that Marsh signed the testimony at that time. If he did not sign it then, he would not have been able to sign it until he moved to Jackson County, Missouri, in November 1832. (See Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832; Minute Book 2, 29 Nov.–1 Dec. and 6–7 Dec. 1831; “T B Marsh,” [1], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.)  


Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

View Full Bio
Parley [P.] Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
Harv[e]y Whitlock

1809–after 1880. Physician. Born in Massachusetts. Married Minerva Abbott, 21 Nov. 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder, by June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 4 June 1831. Served mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, with David Whitmer, 1831...

View Full Bio
Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
John Murdock

15 July 1792–23 Dec. 1871. Farmer. Born at Kortright, Delaware Co., New York. Son of John Murdock Sr. and Eleanor Riggs. Joined Lutheran Dutch Church, ca. 1817, then Presbyterian Seceder Church shortly after. Moved to Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ca. 1819....

View Full Bio
Calvin Beebe

1 July 1800–17 July 1861. Farmer, merchant, postmaster. Born in Paris, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Isaac Beebe and Olive Soule. Moved to Chardon, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Married Submit Rockwell Starr, 19 Nov. 1823. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an...

View Full Bio
Zebedee Coltrin

7 Sept. 1804–21 July 1887. Born at Ovid, Seneca Co., New York. Son of John Coltrin and Sarah Graham. Member of Methodist church. Married first Julia Ann Jennings, Oct. 1828. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, 9 Jan. 1831, at Strongsville, Cuyahoga...

View Full Bio
[p. 121]
According to the history JS initiated in 1838, a 1–2 November 1831 conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

More Info
, Ohio, considered what was called a “testimony of the witnesses to the book of the Lord’s 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
.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 162. For additional information on this conference, see Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.  


The circumstances surrounding the production of this testimony are ambiguous. The conference minutes explain that JS asked attendees “what testimony they were willing to attach to these commandments,” meaning the revelations to be published in a compilation called the Book of Commandments. Some elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
stated “they were willing to testify to the world that they knew that they were of the Lord,” but the minutes do not clearly state when or how the statement was produced.2
The history JS began in 1838 provides more detail: After JS dictated the “preface” to the Book of Commandments, “some conversation was had concerning Revelations and language.” A new revelation followed,3

JS History, vol. A-1, 161.  


informing the elders that some had not received “a testimony of the truth of those commandments which are lying before you” because of “fears in your hearts.” To help those who had not received such a witness, the revelation invited “the most wise among you” to write a revelation “like unto” one dictated by JS. If they could not “make one like unto it,” the revelation declared, the elders would be obligated to testify that JS’s revelations came from God.4

Revelation, ca. 2 Nov. 1831 [D&C 67:3–9].  


The history states that after the presentation of this revelation, William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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attempted to “write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord’s, but failed.” Subsequently, the elders “renewed their faith . . . in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the church through his [JS’s] instrumentality.” JS then dictated a “testimony” of the divine origin of his revelations for the elders to sign.5

JS History, vol. A-1, 162. Neither in his contemporary journal nor in letters he later wrote recalling this conference did McLellin ever mention trying to write a revelation. In 1882, McLellin did say that he, Oliver Cowdery, and Sidney Rigdon were appointed as a committee to write a preface to the Book of Commandments and that when they presented it, the conference did not accept it. Whether this is related to the incident described in the history is unclear. (McLellin, Journal, Oct.–Nov. 1831; William E. McLellin, Independence, MO, to Mark H. Forscutt, Plano, IL, 1 Oct. 1871, Saints’ Herald, 15 July 1872, 435–436; William E. McLellin, “From a Letter Dated Dec. 14th, 1878,” John L. Traughber Papers, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; “Letter from Elder W. H. Kelley,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Mar. 1882, 67.)  


Five elders apparently signed that day, and twelve others signed later.
Whatever the precise scenario, the production of such a testimony paralleled what JS did when publishing the Book of Mormon. Following instructions given in that book and in other revelations, JS included the testimony of three witnesses and a separate testimony of eight witnesses declaring that they had seen the plates and the engravings from which the Book of Mormon was 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
.6

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110–111, 548 [2 Nephi 27:12–14; Ether 5:2–3]; Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:11]; Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17:1–3]; Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829; Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Late June 1829.  


For the testimony to the revelations in the Book of Commandments, JS seemed less concerned about securing testimonies from a specific number of individuals, apparently allowing all those who desired to testify of the revelations’ truthfulness to do so—perhaps excluding only those who were formal witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Only four of the listed attendees at the 1–2 November conference did not sign the testimony: 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...

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and 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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, two of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon; and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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and Peter Whitmer Jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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, two of the eight witnesses.7

Fifty-six years later, David Whitmer claimed that he opposed publishing the revelations. If this was the case, it may be a reason why he did not sign. For a list of conference attendees, see Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831. (Whitmer, Address to All Believers in Christ, 54–55.)  


The original manuscript of this document is not extant, but John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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copied it into Revelation Book 1. Whitmer also copied the first five signatures on the document—apparently those signed at the 1–2 November conference. The other signatures are originals. Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
, one of the signatories, did not attend the 1–2 November meeting but was in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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for an 11 November 1831 conference before departing to preach in other areas of Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, at which time he likely signed the document.8

See Minutes, 11 Nov. 1831; Cahoon, Diary, Nov. 1831.  


Since Cahoon’s signature is the first original one in the text, Whitmer had likely already copied the testimony with its previous signatures by 11 November. Twelve other signatures were later added to the statement, the majority of which were inscribed after John Whitmer and 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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took the revelation book to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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in November 1831. The testimony was likely intended to be published in the back of the Book of Commandments—as were the testimonies of the witnesses to 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 ...

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in the Book of Mormon9

“The Testimony of Three Witnesses”; “And Also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses,” in Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., [589]–[590].  


—but because production of the Book of Commandments was terminated by the destruction of the church’s printing office in Missouri, the statement was not printed in that book.10

See “Proposed Sixth Gathering of the Book of Commandments.” A version of the testimony without signatures was included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as a testimony of that book. It was presented as “the written testimony” of twelve men who had been designated apostles in the church. (“General Assembly,” in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., 256.)  


Facts