Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Question about the 8 witnesses in the book of mormon? —campire

how were they chosen

before I forget was the book of Mormon already published before Joseph Smith chose the 11 witnesses
I'm not sure they were "chosen" exactly. Lucy Mack Smith talked about the experience, saying, "In a few days we were follow[ed] by Joseph, Oliver and the whitmers ... soon after they came they all that is the male part of the company repaired to a little grove." It was just all the men who were in the party at the time.

The testimony is published in the 1830 edition of the book, so this occurred before it was published. The testimony itself is undated and does not name the author. Martin Harris said publicly in 1838 that none of the witnesses saw or handled the plates physically. It would be foolish to read this document as rational empirical evidence of anything that occurred in physical reality.

"I saw them [the gold plates] just as distinctly as I see any thing around me, though at the time they were covered over with a cloth." —Martin Harris, interview by John A. Clark, 1828, qtd. in Early Mormon Documents by Dan Vogel, 2:270

7 comments:

LifeOnaPlate said...

This post is massively under-researched.

LifeOnaPlate said...

For anyone interested in a fuller treatment see Richard Lloyd Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses. It puts this false baby to bed.

http://tinyurl.com/5cuyvb

ElGuapo said...

Huh. Well it's not exactly a treatise on the subject if that's what you mean. Just three paragraphs, citing three primary sources. Which did you find to be false?

Thanks for mentioning the Anderson book, I'm linking to it here for my own reference.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Your bald assertion that "Martin Harris said publicly in 1838 that none of the witnesses saw or handled the plates physically. It would be foolish to read this document as rational empirical evidence of anything that occurred in physical reality" is deeply problematic. First, your quote from the interview has nothing to do with the instance of witnessing the plates and angel as per the testimony printed in the book of Mormon. Second, you have used only one quote, unrelated to the BoM witnesses, and attempted to show that none of the witnesses claimed to literally behold the plates. This is false. Even a cursory reading of anything by FARMS or FAIR (those evil words!) would have helped you avoid this mistake.

http://tinyurl.com/5ofv87

http://tinyurl.com/6ej7ft

http://tinyurl.com/6kpfl3

http://farms.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=21

LifeOnaPlate said...

Funny thing about these critics; they seem to whitewash their history by sweeping certain things under the rug...

;)

ElGuapo said...

"First, your quote from the interview has nothing to do with the instance of witnessing the plates and angel as per the testimony printed in the book of Mormon."

You're right, these are separate instances. Was that unclear in the post? It wasn't meant to be.

Nor am I attempting to show that "none of the witnesses claimed to literally behold the plates." I think you should reread the post.

By the way I read the three articles you linked to. (The last link is the same as the first if I'm not mistaken.)

LifeOnaPlate said...

I re-read the post. You are sort of right on a technicality. You assert "Martin Harris said publicly in 1838 that none of the witnesses saw or handled the plates physically." This is false, especially when evaluated with many other statements.