“Is a Witness Unto You That I Am God”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

To comply with the law of witnesses, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris addressed a written testimony “unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” that they had actually seen the plates from which the Book of Mormon came, having been shown them by an angel, and that they heard the voice of God himself bear witness that the plates had been “translated by the gift and power of God.”

Eight other competent witnesses also were granted the privilege of seeing, and in their case handling, the plates and testifying of their reality to all the world. (See testimonies of the Three and the Eight Witnesses at front of Book of Mormon.) Thus Joseph Smith's testimony is united with that of eleven others in a quorum of twelve witnesses to the verity of this sacred record destined to be a second or sustaining witness to the testimony of the Bible.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1