Chapter 7

1834

Mormonism Unvailed Howe, E. D., b. 1798

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Howe, E. D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, From Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in which the Famous Golden Bible was Brought Before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries Into the Probability that the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written By One Solomon Spalding, More than Twenty Years Ago, and By Him Intended to Have Been Published As A Romance. Painesville, Ohio:E. D. Howe, 1834.

CHAPTER VII.

THE BOOK OF HELAMAN.—Helaman, the son of Helaman, is the next writer of a book, which commences with the fortieth year of the reign of the Judges and reaches down to the ninetieth, and is the year preceding the nativity of Jesus Christ.

In the commencement of this book, we are presented with the account of mighty wars and battles, with great slaughter—next, with multitudes of holy prophets, prophecying of the coming of the Messiah. Thousands were baptised unto repentance and for the remission of sins. “And the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words,” p. 421. Freemasonry is here introduced and is said to have originated with a band of highwaymen. This institution is spoken of in very reproachful terms, in consequence of the members having bound themselves by secret oaths to protect each other in all things from the justice of the law. The Nephites are represented as being Anti-masons and Christians, which carries with it some evidence that the writer foresaw the politics of New York in 1828–29, or that work was revised at or about that time.

Nephi, who is the son of Helaman, now receives the sacred charge of keeping the plates, &c. together with the power of loosing and sealing in Heaven, and the gift of working miracles.

He invokes a famine, which follows, as a matter in course, in order to bring the people to the remembrance of their religion. The distress and suffering occasioned by the famine is beyond description, without the aid of Mormon inspiration. [81]

The Nephites, notwithstanding all their wars and difficulties, were not idle—they made progress in the sciences; their arts were not confined to the building of temples, houses and large ships, &c., but they understood astronomy, of which any one will be convinced after reading the following elegant extract: “If he saith unto the earth thou shalt go back that it lengthen out the day for many hours, and it is done ; and thus according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto men that the sun standeth still ; yea, and behold, this is so: for sure it is the earth that moveth, and not the sun.” If the prophet Elijah had taken the same precaution when he commanded the sun to stand still, and explained it in such a clear and astronomical manner as did our Nephite prophet, the infidel caviling of Hume, Gibbon, and others, would doubtless have been avoided upon the subject of that miracle. But we perceive that the phrophets of the Old Testament were of the minor class or were only sattelites, when compared to an inspired Nephite.

The events of our history are growing more and more important—the heathen or the Lamanites send forth a prophet, (in what way it is brought about after all their curses we cannot see, but such is the fact) among the Christians : his name is Samuel, and he foretells the coming of Christ, and says the night before he will be born, will be as light as day, but in order that the people may distinguish the two periods of time, they shall see the sun rise and set, but the light would not be extinguished but remain as bright as day all night, p. 445. The crucifixion and death of our Savior is also foretold and described in the following poetic style: “The sun shall be darkened and refuse to give light unto you ; and also the moon and stars ; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, for the space of three days,” and he adds that great earthquakes and convulsions, hills [82] and mountains shall be leveled, and valleys shall become mountains ; and divers atmospherical phenomena, such as thunder and lightning, tempests, &c. will take place, p. 446–7.

Samuel likewise prophecies of the restoration of the Lamanites, to the true religion of the Redeemer, and that they finally would be numbered among his sheep. Samuel is persecuted as usual among the Nephites, by the infidels, but he is represented as having so much of the spirit of God, that he was invulnerable to their missiles and other weapons.

“THE BOOK OF NEPHI, the son of Nephi, which was the son of Helaman,” p. 452.—The great and notable year has at length arrived, “and it was six hundred years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem.” This is the year in which the Savior must be born, and the event is consequently brought about by our author, accordingly. During this year the infidels rallied all their forces, and towards the close they had rejoicings and festivities because they fancied that Samuel had prophecied falsely. They not only rejoiced, but sent forth threatenings against the Christians! But Nephi prayed to God for protection, who informed him that the time was at hand, that, that very night the sign should be given—and lo ! the sun set, and the brightness of the day continued, to the discomfiture and confounding of the infidels. A star appeared, which every body saw even in the bright light of day. By what kind of vision it could be seen, we cannot conjecture, unless through the medium of those huge magic spectacles. The power of seeing stars in a bright light day was never heard of previous, nor since that time, unless through the medium of optical instruments; but whether the spectacles were used, or whether the star was as large and as bright as the sun, we cannot determine. [83]

We have heretofore mentioned that free-masonry originated with a band of robbers, and at the present period of our history, that class of men are the most formidable foes of the Nephites. They inhabited the mountains and lurked in secret caverns of the rocks, and could not be ferreted out. The only safe-guard which the Nephites possessed, was, to appoint such men as were filled with the spirit of prophecy and revelation for their chief captains and generals ; and by this means they could not be surprised and destroyed by the mountain robbers.

We do not object to this mode of making rulers over the people ; but we cannot see why, when God appointed and annointed Joseph Smith his high priest on earth, and ruler over his people, he did not give him sufficient prophetic knowledge so that he might have avoided the disturbances in Missouri and his own tom fool’s errand, together with about three hundred deluded followers, to reinstate the disinherited from the “promised land” ?

Mighty battles are fought between the Nephites and their mountain enemies, but the former are always successful, on account of their inspired rulers and generals. “And thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable combinations, in the which there were so much wickedness, and so many murders committed,” p. 463.

The writer says his name is Mormon, and is a “pure descendant of Lehi,” p. 464. He assures us that his record is true, but complains of the impoverished condition of their language, and that many things cannot be written in consequence of it. This is the first instance of any complaint that we have ever met with, where an inspired writer could not convey divine history, for want of language. In this case, the Almighty is represented as forestalling himself by undertaking to make a history of important events without language, through the medium of a brass plate engraver.—Preposterous ! ! [84]

In the thirty-fourth year of the reign of the Judges, Samuel’s prophecies are realized. A great and terrible tempest is described, which lasted three hours ; thunder and lightning, such as were never before witnessed. The great city of Zarahemla took fire, and the city of Moroni sunk in the depths of the sea, cities which were in vallies were destroyed & their location became mountains, the rocks were split asunder and the face of the whole earth became “deformed,” 470–1.

After the terrible tempest, then came on darkness, which was so intense that it could be felt—candles, nor torches, nor fires, however dry the fuel, would not give the least scintillation of light—all was darkness ; “the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars,” were any more useful. In this terrible period, sixteen cities were destroyed, together with their inhabitants ; some were burned, and others sunk into the depths of the sea ! ! p. 471–2.

The troubles of the Nephites and the destruction at this time, is represented by our author as surpassing all other events, and if the description was truth, we should not differ with him in the least. But let us see how it compares with the words of our Savior, as recorded in St. Matthew’s gospel—“For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not, nor ever shall be.” Here our blasphemer is at direct issue with the Son of God.

After the description of the great signs which were seen and heard during the three days of darkness and trouble, the people gather themselves in a great multitude about the temple, which was situate in the land Bountiful, and were expressing their astonishment of the past events, and conversing about Jesus Christ, when they heard a voice from heaven, which “caused their hearts to burn”—they cast their eyes toward Heaven, and they saw a man descend, clothed in a white robe. Fear came upon all for they thought [85] it was an angel. The whole multitude are called upon to thrust their hands into his side and examine the points of the nails, and they did so, one by one, which satisfied them that is was the Son of God. After having authorised Nephi and a number of others to baptize, the Savior issues the following explicit command in relation to receiving members into the church : “Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptise them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying—Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.” It seems to us that the instructions here given are wholly gratuitous, for this mode, precisely, has already been practiced by the Nephites, for about four hundred years, or since King Noah was baptized, in the river Mormon.

The number which were authorised to administer and preach, were twelve, which were afterwards called apostles. After every thing is organized the beatitudes are repeated to them in a translation corresponding with that found in the 5th Chap. of St. Matthew’s Gospel, together with the sermon on the mount, somewhat transposed, but the variations are inconsiderable. The Savior is represented as continuing to address the multitude with almost precisely the same sentences which are recorded by the evangelists, somewhat picked up, and not very judiciously arranged.

The preaching is finally finished, and Christ departs into Heaven, and we are then presented with apostolic writing, from which we extract the following beautiful, descriptive sentence: “And after this manner do they bear record; the eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard before, so great and marvellous things as we saw and heard Jesus [86] speak unto the Father; and no tongue can speak, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvellous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak ; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father,” p. 489.

The only additional commandments which were given to the American apostles on this special visit of the Savior, were—“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed”—“meet often, and forbid no man from coming unto you, when you shall meet together,” p. 492.

Nephi, our present hero, was the archbishop—he baptised himself, and then baptized the eleven, whose names were Timothy, Jonas, Mathoni, Mathonihah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Jeremiah, Shemnon, Jonas, Zedekiah, and Isaiah—“They were baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost.”—Many marvelous sayings are represented to have been uttered, but not one of them could either be spoken or written, although he spoke for many days ! !

The plates of Nephi were critically examined, and only one omission could be found which was, that no mention was made of the resurrection of the saints which were raised in America at the time of the great tempest, who were very numerous ! !

“THE BOOK OF NEPHI, THE SON OF NEPHI.”—This book includes only four pages, and contains the the whole history of three hundred and twenty years after Christ.—Events appear to be unimportant, or otherwise they are of that character which cannot be written nor spoken.

In the thirty-sixth year, all the inhabitants of the land were converted and baptized, and a perfect community of peace was the result. This condition of Millennial happiness, continued for one hundred and seventy years. Three of the apostles were immortalized and were seen four hun- [87] dred years after their induction into the sacred office by the Savior. Where they are at this time, has not been revealed, but it is conjectured by some that three witnesses appended to the Book of Mormon, to establish the truth of the brass-plate revelation, are the identical immortal three.

We cannot be dismissed by our author until we are told that sectarianism commenced among the Christians, which terminated in wars and bloodshed, and almost a total extinction of vital religion, which happened in the year, A. D. 320.

All the events, from the time when Amaleki delivered the plates to king Benjamin up to the present period of our history, have been written by Mormon, who is the recording angel of the whole matter. And he now keeps the record under his own observation ; and commences a book in the following sublime language ; “And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.” We have never read of so great a general, nor so great a Christian as was our hero Mormon. He commanded in one engagement against the Lamanites, 42,000 men, all with splendid equipage, and under complete martial discipline. The terrible battle was fought, and Mormon came off victorious, as a matter of course, A. D. 330.

A definitive treaty was concluded, after the great battle between the two hostile powers ; and the Lamanites took South America and the Nephites North America ; there being only a small remnant left of either side. Mormon exhorts the people to obey the commands of Christ, and laments over the slain, and represents that thousands of females had fallen in the great battle, p. 530.

Moroni is the next on the stage, and finishes what his father left undone, and continues the history down to A. D. 400. He complains that the plates are so small, (the art [88] of manufacturing the sacred brass leaves we suppose is lost) he is obliged to make the record in “Reformed Egyptian,” otherwise he would have written or engraved the whole matter in Hebrew.

The whole record “being handed down and altered according to our manner of speech,” p.

538.—He says that no one shall disbelieve his record, because of its imperfections ! and declares that all who receive it, will not condemn it for that reason, and promises to those who believe, not doubting, shall know far greater things, p. 532. “He that condemneth it shall be in danger of hell fire.” We are told by Moroni, in a lamentable manner, that Free-masonry will be very prevalent in the days that the unlearned man shall find the plates ; and establishes the doctrine that miracles will never cease unless it be through unbelief.

Previous to baptism each applicant must relate his religious experience, as being a duty and satisfaction to the church, and be sure not to partake of the sacrament unworthily.

THE “BOOK OF ETHER,” which commences, “And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of the ancient inhabitants which were destroyed by the hand of the Lord, upon the face of this north country.” The privilege of recording the great events of the people of Jared, has been reserved for our hero, Moroni. The people of Jared are those who were not confounded in their language at the destruction of Babel, but built ships, eight in number, and came to America, nearly 4000 years ago. The record is taken as we are told, from the gold plates which were found by the forty men whom king Limhi despatched to make discoveries.

One Ether is the reputed author of the engravings on the gold plates, and in the translation by Moroni, alias Smith, we are presented with a genealogy of the fathers down to Jared, who left the great Tower, together with sundry other [89] families and embarked for America. The genealogy is somewhat amusing; he gives us TWENTY-NINE generations down to the time of Jared, and the time when the Lord confounded the languages. According to the writings of Moses, the Tower was built in the days of Shem, the son of the patriarch Noah, and agreeably to the evangelist Luke, there were only TEN generations between Shem and Adam ! ! If we are not allowed the Bible to prove the Book of Mormon false, we must resort to the reasonableness of the story and positions taken.

To rescue Jared and his people, God marched before them in a cloud, and after reaching the sea he directed them to construct eight barges, in which to cross the seas. The whole eight are finally built, after the directions given by the Lord, and when finished they were air tight ! The Lord directs them how to remedy the evil—they are commanded to make a hole in the top to admit air, and one in the bottom to admit water ; in each hole was put a molten stone, which, when touched by the finger of Jesus, became as transparent as any glass, and gave them light under the “mountain waves,” as well as above the water. He that touched these stones appeared unto the brother of Jared, and said, “Behold I am Jesus Christ, I am the Father and the Son.” Two of these stones were sealed up with the plates, according to a prediction before Abraham was born. How, and in what manner they became set in the “two rims of a bow,” and fell into the hands of the Nephites, has not been explained, nor what has become of the remaining fourteen molten stones, is likewise hidden in mystery.

Moroni says, in his Book of Ether, that he that should find the plates, should have the privilege of shewing them unto those who should assist him in publishing the book, “and unto these shall they be shewn by the power of God: wherefore they shall of a surety know that these things are true,” p. 548. [90]

Those barges or ships are literally described on page 57 of this work as it is found on p.

542. The barges are represented air tight, and after diving and swimming three hundred and forty four days, they all safely arrive at the land of promise.

The people of Jared had the Gospel of Jesus Christ revealed and preached to them—and in the lapse of ages and generatoins, they became very numerous, and wars and contentions ensue. Two renowned generals take the command of the two hostile forces ; one is named Coriantumr and the other Shiz. Shiz pursues Coriantumr to the sea shore, where a battle is fought with unparalleled slaughter, which lasted three days—three battles more are fought, and Coriantumr is represented successful in every rencountre, but on the fifth attack, Shiz comes off conqueror.

Coriantumr now remembers the prophecies of Ether, and he counts his slain, and they amount to nearly TWO MILLION!! How many Shiz lost, is not computed. However, the cessation of hostilities did not last long; the two generals commenced rallying together their troops, which occupied four years; and every person was enrolled that was in all the land—“MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN,”—on one side or the other, except Ether, who was then the recording angel and prophet. “And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and their children; both men, women and children, being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breast-plates, and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war, they did march forth, one against another, to battle, p. 572.

They fought five successive days without conquering, and the slain could not be numbered; but the remains of Coriantumr’sarmy were fifty-two, and those of Shiz, sixty-nine.

The next day the forces met again, and the soldiers of Co- [91] riantumr were reduced to twenty-seven and those of Shiz to thirty-two; and on the next day they fought again—they were all killed except the two generals. Coriantumr took advantage of Shiz, and cut off his head, and then he “fell to the earth and became as if he had no life,” p. 573. This story cannot be doubted, for Ether went forth and saw it, and finished his record; and adds, that he is uncertain whether he shall be translated or not, and concludes by saying that it is no matter if he can be saved in the kingdom of God. Thus ends the Book of Ether, giving an account of the people of Jared, who were of a different race from the lineage of Adam, because we have their geneology, which embraces twenty-nine generations, and begins to count back from the days of Shem. Neither Noah nor any other of the antediluvian patriarchs are mentioned, consequently others must have been preserved from the flood than Noah and his family, if this history be true. Besides the inspiration of Moses is not only contradicted in this particular, but in the plain declaration that the Lord confounded the language of the whole human race, Gen. XI. 9.

“THE BOOK OF MORONI.”—Moroni is the last of the Nephites! He has survived his whole race, amidst wars and carnage, for the important purpose of “abridging” the records of the people of Jared and of sealing up the plates of Nephi, which is done, A. D. 420.

Contrary to his expectations, he lives, and concludes to write a book for the benefit of his brethren the Lamanites, which he hopes will ultimately convert them. To avoid discovery, by the Lamanites, he remains incognito;* he expresses great fear of assassination by them, if discovered, [92] on account of his belief in Christ, which he asserts, roundly, he will not renounce, p. 574.

The manner of ordaining priests and teachers, and of “administering the flesh and blood of Christ” is the first subject explained ; after which, the particular qualifications for admission into Christ’s visible church, is described, together with the ordinance of baptism, which must be done by immersing the candidate under water.

Moroni notices the manner in which the ancient Nephites worshiped, and says they met often to converse about the welfare of their souls, and met often to partake of the bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. It was customary to forgive their members for their transgressions, as often as they required it, and the confessions were made before the Elders of the church. Previous to the death of Mormon, he wrote a few epistles to his son Moroni, which* Moroni, however, has been seen by Smith, as he says, in Susquehannah Co., Pa., since the plates were translated. A more particular account of this interview will be found in a subsequent part of this work. he inserts, and then concludes to write something which seems good to him. Spiritual gifts, he assures us, will never cease, only through unbelief and want of faith. And when the plates of Nephi should be dug up out of the earth, Moroni “exhorts you that ye should ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true ; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, and he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost,” p. 586. Here we are directed how we can all become Mormons, to wit : first believe all the fooleries, and forgeries, and lies of Jo Smith’s translation of the brass plates ; and then pray to be convinced of its divine authenticity, not doubting, and then, by the power of the Holy Ghost, it will be made manifest!!

We have now gone through with the new revelation, or Bible of the Mormonites, the analysis of which we present to our readers. The task has been a laborious one, and we acknowledge but little has been effected, and would [93] cheerfully make an apology to our readers for uninteresting results, if the forest through which we have traveled had furnished better materials for our review. We should have abandoned the task, were it not that so many of our worthy fellow citizens have been seduced by the witcheries and mysterious necromances of Smith and his colleagues, from the paths of wisdom and truth, into folly and madness. We anticipate the bitter vituperation and sneers of the Mormon leaders and their influence over their already numerous followers, and do not expect to accomplish a reformation amongst them ; but if we shall serve to enlighten any, who are not already the slaves of Mormon madness, alias the Devil, we will feel richly compensated.

The next subject is the testimony of the “three witnesses,” Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, which is appended to the Book of Mormon, to establish its divine authenticity. It is as follows :

[The Testimony of Three Witnesses follows…the break is after “Nevertheless, the voice of the, ending pp. 94]

The solemnity of an oath has been regarded sacred in all ages of the world; both by the pagan and the Christian. In all civil communities, like ours, when an individual calls the searcher of all hearts to whom he expects and firmly believes he must render a final account in a future state of existence, to bear him witness to the solemn truth of his assertions, we are irresistibly led to give full credit to his testimony. But experience has taught us, that sometimes individuals have purjured themselves, however revolting it may seem at first view; yet suspicions as to the credibility of a witness ought to be well grounded.

There are many circumstances which go to destroy the credibility of a witness, and his competency. By the common law, no person can be a witness, who does not entertain a just sense of the obligation of an oath, and disbelieves in a God, and a future state of accountability. Nor can any person be a witness who is interested in the event of a suit, that is, when he may gain or lose by the verdict.

These rules are taken, and are well founded, together with many others equally well established.

It is unnecessary for us, in this place, to give the reasons for the above rules of common law ; but the long application of them in our municipal courts, and the justice which has uniformly resulted from their operations upon the rights of individuals and communities, are sufficient argu- [95] ments in favor of their equitable claim for continuance in all our civil tribunals.

At the end of the Book of Mormon the names of Oliver Cowdrey, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, are affixed under a most solemn oath, testifying to the divine exhibition of the plates to them, and of their having been translated by the power of God ! !

Here are positive declarations, under the solemnities of an oath, with circumstances that will justify us in an examination, as to the credibility and competency of the witnesses.

In the first place, do each of these witnesses entertain a just sense of the obligation of an oath ? do they believe in a future state of existence and accountability ? We think the rational answers are in the negative ; nor will any one disagree with us, when we shall have proven that the Book of Mormon was a joint speculation between the “author and proprietor” and the witnesses.

How stands the matter ? Martin Harris was the scribe for Smith, for a considerable part of the work, and then mortgaged his farm to the publisher as collateral security for the payment of $3000, and after the book was completed he claimed the whole profits of the sale, until he should be reimbursed. These are facts which can be substantiated in a court of justice. Then, was he not a partner ? would not the law consider him connected with Smith and make him jointly liable?

Oliver Cowdery was the principal amanuensis, probably better qualified for the task, than his predecessor Harris.—How, and in what way he was connected we can only infer from circumstances. His pecuniary situation was very low, and the labor of writing, if he charged common wages, would amount to no inconsiderable sum, and Smith was wholly irresponsible to pay him, nor can we learn that Har- [96] ris had indemnified him in any manner whatever. Then, the rational inference is, that after having the plot disclosed to him, he was willing to risk his chance for a fortune. He is now associated with the leaders, and appears in easy circumstances.

David Whitmer is a very inconsiderable person, but is in high standing, as a leader, among the Mormons. We know but little about him, only that he has been known as a man of small capacity, an anxious dupe to the marvelous, and a firm believer in witches. Whether he was suborned or deceived by the imposter we are unable to determine.

So far as it relates to Smith, Cowdery and Harris, we have clearly shown that they were connected in the outset, as the result has proven ; a failure of which, would have reduced Harris to beggary, and blasted the fond hopes of Smith and Cowdery, and brought down upon them everlasting contempt and disgrace.

In addition to the joint speculation, we may connect the attempt to institute a new religion, contrary to the revelations of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible—which we claim to have clearly shown in our analysis of the Book of Mormon. And he who would be guilty of so gross a sacrilege, necessarily disbelieves in accountability to God, and therefore would perjure himself, with impunity.

We contend, therefore, that no credit ought to be given to those witnesses ; nor are they competent, firstly, because they were under no conscientious restraint, and secondly, their worldly prospects depended upon the issue.

Above, we have copied the solemn testimony of “the three witnesses,” accompanied with circumstances which renders it proper for us to critically examine and analyze it. They call God to witness, that they have seen the plates from which the Book of Mormon is translated; and that the translation was accomplished by the power of God, for his [97] voice had declared it unto them!! At what time this special revelation was made, is not specified; but we infer that the voice of God declared the fact to them in relation to the translation, at one time, and that they saw the plates at another; and they were severally chosen, and no others, to bear the testimony to the world. Nor could any others have seen and heard as they did, had they been present.

If an individual swears to a particular fact or facts, in order that the testimony may be believed—time, place and other circumstances must be mentioned, without which others might be prejudiced, by not giving them an opportunity to rebut. If the time and the place had been mentioned, when and where the plates were seen, it is not impossible but that testimony of equal credibility might be produced, to show that there was no such place; and that the witnesses were hundreds of miles from the country in which they testified they saw them. Then the testimony is vague and uncertain, and not entitled to credit upon that ground. If the subscribing witnesses saw the plates and heard the voice of God ; they themselves must have been in some place or places when the communications were made ; and it is not unreasonable to enquire into it.

But this is not all. Testimony must be of such a nature that others, if they were present, could have testified to the same facts. But in the testimony, the three would have us believe that they were specially chosen to testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and no others, according to the predictions of the Mormon prophets, made over two thousand years ago.

Besides all the transactions which have been and will be shewn in the course of this work, in relation to the getting up of the Book of Mormon, the testimony carries strong suspicions upon the face of it; and were it disconnected from all other circumstances of fraud and [98] deception, it would not be believed, however solemnly declared, in a court of justice.

We have, likewise, the testimony of eight other witnesses subjoined, consisting of four Whitmers, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., (the father of the prophet,) and two of his brothers.

They testify that Joseph Smith, Jun., showed them the plates, and that they looked like gold, and that they saw the engravings and hefted them.

Who are the witnesses? four Whitmers of the same family with the one who subscribed to the miraculous exhibition of them, and three Smiths, the father and two brothers of the prophet. And what is their testimony? Why, that Jo Smith showed them some plates, that were yellow and had engravings upon them, which they could not read nor understand; but Jo probably told them that he had translated a part of them, and intended to continue the work until he had finished them. So much for the eight witnesses. [99]

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