David Whitmer was instrumental in helping Joseph Smith during the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon and in the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today he is primarily remembered as one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon plates (The Testimony of the Three Witnesses).
In spite of many powerfully motivating and inspiring spiritual experiences, including hearing the voice of God and seeing an angel, David sometimes struggled with being overly distracted by other obligations such as caring for the family farm. In a revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord chastised David, saying, “your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called” (Doctrine and Covenants 30:2). This divine chastisement is one that is probably applicable to every modern man and woman as we struggle to find balance between our ordinary obligations and the demands of devoted discipleship.
If this were the only area of concern for brother Whitmer, it would hardly make him different from any one else. However, the Lord continued his chastisement, adding, “and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded” (D&C 30:2).
Here the Lord identifies three areas of concern: 1) not giving heed to the Spirit, 2) not giving heed to authorized leadership, and 3) being persuaded by those who are not authorized by the Lord. David’s problem was that he was listening to voices not authorized by God and that he was persuaded by them more than by what God was telling him through the Spirit and through his authorized priesthood leaders. [Read more…] about David Whitmer, Misinformation, and COVID