In this evidence video I wanted to talk about, David Whitmer, I personally feel like he’s the most compelling of any of the witnesses in the restoration for multiple reasons. We’ll talk about today. Want to start with a great quote out of this book, investigating the Book of Mormon witnesses. This is one of the seminal books. It’s done, I think, really on the Book of Mormon witnesses, the eight witnesses and the three witnesses. But he talks about David Whitmer.
Let me share this, quote, impeccable and reputation, consistent and scores of recorded interviews, obviously sincere and personally capable of detecting delusion. No witnesses more compelling than David Whitmer. He answered every objection thrown at him at half a century of life in Richmond, Missouri, and by sheer moral strength, forced a non-Mormon community to take him seriously through the miracle of modern communication. His testimony now transcends the community and confronts a world. Here’s Joe Johnson in the Missouri Plattsburgh Democrat newspaper.
He wrote, Skeptics may laugh and scoff if they will, but no man can listen to Mr. Whitmer as he talks of his interview with Angel Award without being forcibly convinced that he is an honest man. Tell what he honestly believes to be true. And so the compelling things that I when I think of David Whitmer, the awarenesses today that some even nonlinearities scholars feel like Joseph Smith had to have had some type of plates, there’s the evidence is so compelling that the three witnesses saw the change, the law.
They saw more than the plates. They heard the voice of God, extremely compelling witness. All three of them left the church. Two of them came back all over Martin. But David did not. He was out of the church for fifty years. He fell away from the Kirtland Safety Society, currently crisis. I’ve talked about that in another video. But for 50 years out of the church, he never wavered from his testimony. He was threatened at gunpoint at one time for his testimony.
After that, briefly, he was the last of the remaining witnesses for thirteen years. He was the most interviewed. You had the most recorded statement, 70 different statements. Martin Harris was 50, all recorded around thirty citizens, viewed him as very intelligent, hardworking, very, very honest. He served multiple terms as the city councilman in the city. He in fact, he was the mayor of Richmond, Missouri. He owned and operated a successful business.
He had stubborn integrity, as some called it. He pushed back on anyone poking holes in his testimony there. So those are some of the reasons why I view him as really the most compelling witness. Now, you know of the statement of the three witnesses of The Book of Mormon at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. I want to share some of the recorded statements where the woman elaborated on different elements that I think are interesting. If you look here, he says it was and these are just little snippets from from recorded interviews.
It was in June 1829, the very last part of the month. It was about 11:00 a.m. in an open pasture woods nearby, knelt in prayer, got up and sat in a log. You are talking when all at once a light came down from above us and circles in us for quite a little distance around and the angel stood before us. He was dressed in white and spoke and called me by name. When we were overshadowed by a light.
It was not like the light of the sun, nor like that of fire, but more glorious and beautiful. I hear some detail in the midst of the light, two or three feet away. There appeared, as it were, a table with many records on it, besides the plates of The Book of Mormon also the sort of waving the directors, which would be the Lehi and the interpreters. I saw them as plain as I see this bed striking his hand upon the bed beside him.
And I heard the voice of the Lord as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life, declaring that they were translated by the gift and power of God. Another statement. All of a sudden, I beheld a dazzlingly brilliant light that surpassed in brightness, even the sun at noon day in which seemed to envelop the woods for a considerable distance around. Simultaneous with the light came a strange and trancing influence which permitted me so powerfully that I felt chained to the spot while I also experienced the sensation of joy, absolutely indescribable.
The angel stood before us and he turned the lease one by one. He held the plates and turned them over with his hands so that they could be plainly visible. They appeared to be a gold about six by nine inches in size, about as thick as parchment, a great many and no and bound together like the of a book by massive rings passing through the back edges. The engraving upon him was very plain and a very curious appearance. So just some interesting tidbits there.
Again, Richard Lloyd Anderson, really, he is the one that has dug into the witnesses in detail more than anybody else in his book. He talks about, again, David Wittmer, the consistency of his reports and the reliability of the source created the trustworthiness in him. It is. What about self-interest? Can the distorting force of self-interest be detected? His plain courage and ignoring self? Interest in the matter of this testimony was the source of admiration earned from community leaders in Richmond, Missouri, neither popularity, danger nor tedious inconvenience altered his expressed convictions.
And the story about him being a gun point was actually he was tarred and feathered in 1833 in Jackson County, Missouri, and was held at gunpoint by a mob and asked him to deny his testimony of The Book of Mormon. And he held up his hands and testified in The Book of Mormon and actually created a fear in the mob. And they left. He told James Ha recorded this from David Wittmer. The testimony I gave to that mob made them fear and tremble, and I escaped from them.
One gentleman, a doctor, an unbeliever, told me afterwards of the bold and fearless testimony born on that occasion, and the fear that seemed to take hold of the mob had made him a believer in The Book of Mormon another one, his grandson, George W. SWIP, who also served as a private secretary for four Wittmer. So he heard many of the testimonies and written letters on the subject. Here’s his personal appraisal. His I have begged him to unfold the fraud in the case and he had all to gain and nothing to lose but speak the word if he thought so.
But he has described the scene to me many times of his vision. About noon in an open pasture and James Moyal 1885 Cross-examine Witness recounted the sacrifices and persecutions of his family due to their belief in an appeal. The witness closest to death while Moyal was just starting his legal career and quote. And so I begged him not to let me go through life believing in a vital falsehood. Was there any possibility that he might have been deceived in any particular all of his life?
I will remember the unequivocal affirmation of the testimony. He later recalled, quote, To have been insincere, seems impossible, would have made him a hideous, soulless mental deformity. Then somebody was trying to poke a hole saying, talking about a spiritual vision versus a physical experience. And then this was Anthony Metcalf, the woman’s reply. Of course, we were in the spirit when we have the view for no man can behold the face of an angel except in a spiritual view.
But we were in the body also, and everything was as natural to us as it is at any time that John Murphy raised the issue, suggesting mesmerism, a possible delusion. Wittmer was so upset he went to the trouble and expense of publishing his proclamation, repeating his testimony and emphasizing confidence in his own powers of observation. He kohji to have an ear to hear. Let him hear. It was no delusion. The strongest example 1884 skeptical Richmond military officer suggesting possible hallucination.
Joseph Smith. A third was there visiting and he recorded quote, how well and distinctly. I remember the manner in which elder Wittmer rose and drew himself up to his full height a little over six feet and said in solemn and impressive tones, No, sir, I was not under any hallucination, nor was I to see. I saw with these eyes and I heard with these ears. I know where I speak. Now, just to clarify, almost all the statements I just shared were after every woman was out of the church, he was out of the church for fifty years.
The story about him being at gunpoint, that was when he was in the church in 1833. But he was out of the church from 1838 to 1888, 1887. So I was fifty years out of the church. And that’s where most of the vast majority of all the things that I just shared came from. And I hope you found this enjoyable. Subscribe for more content things.