Mormonism: Does It Pass God's
3-Question Test for Truth?
Book of Mormon Witnesses
Each copy of the Book of Mormon contains a record of eleven witnesses who proclaim its truthfulness. The Mormon Church presents this as evidence that the Book of Mormon is true. However, according to the following information, the testimony of the majority of these witnesses is largely invalidated by their actions.
The Book of Mormon witnesses were divided into two groups. The first group, called the "three witnesses", included Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. The second group was called the "eight witnesses" and included Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Junior, John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Senior, Hyrum Smith, and Samuel H. Smith.
Within ten years of the founding of the Mormon Church, all three of the witnesses in the first group withdrew from the Mormon Church. In the same time period, three of the eight witnesses in the second group also withdrew from the Mormon Church. Why did over half of the witnesses to the truth of the Book of Mormon withdraw from the church that was founded upon it? When these witnesses left the Mormon Church in about 1838, the only living witnesses who stayed with the church were Joseph Smith's father and Smith's two brothers. Christian Whitmer and Peter Whitmer, Junior, were dead by 1838.
There is some dispute over whether those witnesses who withdrew from the church ever denied their testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. However, six of the eleven witnesses abandoning the Mormon Church is cause for serious doubts about their faith in their own testimonies of its truthfulness. (What would you think if Peter, James, John, and three other apostles of Jesus left the Christian Church within ten years of its founding?)
The Mormon Church admits that the three witnesses in the first group, "… withdrew from the Church, and developed feelings amounting almost to hatred toward Joseph Smith." (The Articles of Faith, James E. Talmage, 1982, page 270) Apparently, the feeling was mutual as shown in the following quote from Joseph Smith, Junior.
Such characters as McLellin, John Whitmer, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris, are too mean to mention; and we had liked to have forgotten them. (History of the Church, Joseph Smith, 2nd edition revised, 1978, vol. 3, page 232)
Occasionally, Mormons claim that most of the witnesses returned to the Mormon Church. However, The Articles of Faith (published by the Mormon Church) makes no mention of any of the three witnesses returning. It also admits that, "Three of the eight witnesses died out of the Church…." (The Articles of Faith, James E. Talmage, 1982, page 271 - For additional information about the eleven witnesses, refer to page 504 in The Articles of Faith.)
Since Smith wanted to forget at least four of the eleven witnesses, it seems that their testimonies should be removed from the Book of Mormon. Let's take Smith's advice and forget about these witnesses and their claims that Mormonism is true.
Mormonism: Does It Pass God's 3-Question Test for Truth?
Attention: The material in this book attempts to accurately describe official Mormon doctrine in certain important areas. Therefore, quotes are included from several authorized sources of Mormon doctrine. However, this book does not claim to be authorized by or endorsed by the Mormon Church.
Copyrights of quoted Mormon materials belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) or the copyrights are under their control.
Quotations from the Bible are from the King James Version.