“Witnesses” Excerpt from josephsmith.net

John A. Widtsoe, Apostle, 1921–1952 

“The first visitation of Moroni came in answer to prayer. So came the First Vision. The Lord is ready to give, but he requires that his children ask. It would not be natural or wise to force blessings on anyone. The power of prayer is inestimable. One prays for little; usually much comes in answer. . . . The most marvelous part of the message to the young man, lying upon his wakeful pillow, was that he, Joseph Smith, was the chosen instrument in the hands of the Lord to inaugurate the great work planned for the last days of the world. It was astonishing! It was wonderful!”

Joseph Smith: Seeker after Truth, Prophet of God (1951), 32–33; paragraph divisions altered.


William W. Phelps, Early Member of the Church 

By that book I found a key to the holy prophets; and by that book began to unfold the mysteries of God, and I was made glad. Who can . . . estimate the worth of such a book?

Letter from William W. Phelps to Oliver Cowdery, “Letter No. 10,” Messenger and Advocate, Sept. 1835, 178.

Thomas S. Monson, Apostle, 1963–present 

What a privilege to be here at the Hill Cumorah and to reflect on the momentous events that unfolded on September 22, 1827, when a plowboy prophet took a horse and wagon and, in the dark of night, rode to this hill, where he received an ancient record from the angel Moroni. In a remarkably short time, this untutored young man translated a record detailing 1,000 years of history and then prepared the Book of Mormon for public distribution. . . .

. . . The visitor often comes with an attitude of curiosity. He or she departs with a soul touched by the Spirit of the Lord. . . .

. . . I bear an apostolic witness that Jesus is the Savior of the world and that He and His Father appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith to usher in this dispensation of the fulness of times.

“Special Witnesses of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2001, 19–20.


Lucy Mack Smith, Mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith 

That night of September 22, 1827, Lucy Smith observed the Prophet and Emma leave to obtain the plates. “Joseph’s wife passed through the room with her bonnet and riding dress; and in a few minutes they left together, taking Mr. Knight’s horse and wagon. I spent the night in prayer and supplication to God.”

Lucy Smith, History of the Prophet Joseph, rev. George A. Smith and Elias Smith (1902), 100.


Joseph Knight, Early Member of the Church 

[In] the forepart of September [1827], I went to Rochester on business and returned by Palmyra to be there by the 22nd of September. . . . That night we went to bed and in the morning I got up and my horse and carriage were gone. . . . After a while he [Joseph Smith] came home [with] the horse. All came into the house to breakfast but nothing [was] said about where they had been. After breakfast Joseph called me into the other room. . . . He set his foot on the bed, leaned his head on his hand and said, . . . “It is ten times better than I expected.” Then he went on to tell length and width and thickness of the plates; and said he, “They appear to be gold.”

Reminiscenses of Joseph Knight, Church Archives. This manuscript written between 1833 and 1847 has been published in Dean Jessee, “Joseph Knight’s Recollection of Early Mormon History,” Brigham Young University Studies, fall 1976, 30–39.


Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of the Church, 1985–1994 

The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. . . . Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. . . . If the Book of Mormon be true?and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true?then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.

A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon (1988), 18–19.

Oliver Cowdery, Witness to the Book of Mormon 

I wrote with my own pen the entire book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet as he translated it by the gift and power of God by means of the Urim and Thummim or as it is called by the book holy Interpreters. I beheld with my eye and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interpreters. That book is true. . . . It contains the everlasting gospel and came in fulfillment of the revelations of John where he says [that] he saw an angel come with the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, tongue and people.

Journal of Reuben Miller, 1848, or Millennial Star, Aug. 20, 1859, 544.


Oliver Cowdery, Witness to the Book of Mormon 

I wrote with my own pen . . . as [Joseph] translated [the Book of Mormon] by the gift and power of God, by means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by the book, “holy interpreters.” I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands, the gold plates from which it was translated. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the “holy interpreters.” The book is true. . . . It contains principles of salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God on high.

in Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things (1964), 113–14.


Emma Smith, Wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith 

The plates lay in a box under our bed for months and on the [table in our home] without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt . . . the plates as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.

“Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” The Saints’ Herald, Oct. 1, 1879, 290.