The Witnesses

 

This page is still under construction.


Every copy of the Book of Mormon contains signed statements of eleven witnesses who claim to have seen and handled the Golden Plates.  Three of the witnesses (Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris) saw the Angel Moroni and the Plates, while eight others (Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, Samuel Smith) saw just the Plates.

Readers are referred to the following site for an excellent discussion of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon.


As members of the Church, we have been lead to believe that:

The eleven witnesses were all considered honorable men and upstanding members of the community.

They all did in fact see and touch the plates with their own eyes and hands.

The three special witnesses  all saw the Angel Moroni and the plates together as a group.  The eight witnesses also saw the plates as a group.

None of the witnesses ever denied their testimonies.


What we don’t know is that:

By today’s standards, these witnesses were not particularly honorable or respected.

The witnesses saw the plates and angel with their “spiritual” eyes, but not with their natural eyes.  Martin Harris admits to never seeing the plates other than with his “spiritual” eyes.

Many of the witnesses, including all three of the special witnesses, apostatized and left the church.  Oliver Cowdery and perhaps Martin Harris rejoined the church shortly before they died.