by Dan Peterson
The witnesses of the Book of Mormon pose a real obstacle to any honest person who wishes to dismiss the claims of the Restoration.
Let me first briefly summarize who the official witnesses were and what they claimed to have seen, and then explain why I believe them to represent a significant challenge to disbelief:
The Eight Witnesses—Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, and Samuel Harrison Smith—not only saw but “hefted” the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated and turned their leaves. They did so under quite ordinary and mundane circumstances, in broad daylight.
The Three Witnesses—Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer—not only saw the plates but were shown them by an angel in a blaze of light, as well as hearing the voice of God declare them to have been “translated by the gift and power of God.” Moreover, in addition to the plates themselves, they saw a variety of other exotic objects, such as the Urim and Thummim, the Liahona, and the Sword of Laban. [Read more…] about Come Follow Me Week 8 – Doctrine & Covenants 14-17 “Stand as a Witness”